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Calciomercato: Milan's Plan B Is Better Than You Expect

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Galliani failed in his first two forays into the mercato, but the plan B he's considering is a lot better than anyone would have expected.

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In the first unofficial month of the calciomercato (which officially opens today), Milan failed to land their prime targets, Jackson Martinez and Geoffrey Kondogbia. The 29-year-old striker from Colombia signed a 4-year deal with Atlético Madrid and the former Monaco midfielder will be bound to Inter until 2020.

Milanisti shouldn't be more worried than usual though. Despite his recent struggles with closing deals, Zio Fester is still one of the most experienced and qualified businessmen in the world, and he definitely knows how to use the huge amount of money that president Silvio Berlusconi has gifted him. For that reason, Galliani ended his collaboration with Doyen Sports' manager Nelio Lucas - who's reported to be the cause of the failed acquisition of Jackson Martinez - and went off to work on his own, as he does best, just like in the old days.

This new transfer strategy is already paying off. Recently Milan reached an agreement with the 19-year-old free agent José Mauri - who had been automatically released by Parma due to the club's bankruptcy - and finalized the deal with the 24-year-old midfielder Andrea Bertolacci. Also, Galliani is negotiating with Zenit Saint Petersburg in order to acquire Axel Witsel, but the asking price is extremely high (40 million) and Witsel doesn't seem to be keen to play in a team that's not competing in Europe.

Another reinforcement for the team could be another Colombian striker, namely Carlos Bacca, a target of many European teams. Zio Fester has offered Sevilla the whole 30 million required by his release clause. Carlos Bacca might not be the only arrival for the advanced positions in this transfer window since Milan are negotiating with Shakhtar's forward Luiz Adriano. The Brazilian striker has been a longtime target for the Rossoneri and would be another big reinforcement for their roster.

Zio Fester hasn't forgotten the Rossoneri's struggling defense, either, and he's working on a couple of interesting young defenders: Aymeric Laporte and Alessio Romagnoli. They have a lot in common: they're young (Romagnoli is 20 years old, Laporte 21), very talented defensively, great passers and both extremely expensive. However, Bilbao and Roma have requested more than 20 million for their players, and Milan should carefully evaluate the pros and cons of offering so much money for two young, but very promising, defenders.

Zio Fester's plan B seems to be oriented towards young talent and solid players. It may be even better than anyone expected.