Hachim Mastour, one of Milan's most prominent young talents, has recently been linked to Turkish club Besiktas. The original story is that the club was planning to swap their prodigy for right wing Kerim Frei. Now, new reports claim that the Primavera product has been offered to PSG for Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The story emerged on Monday, which is when PSG supposedly offered Milan 5 million euros for Hachim Mastour. The Rossoneri reportedly opted to take advantage of this offer and put Hachim Mastour on the table for Ibrahimovic.
This information should, of course, be taken with a grain of salt during the mercato's 'silly season'. Rumor though this may be, it's not unreasonable to believe that PSG offered 5 million euros for Hachim Mastour, and Milan's response was to demand the Return of the Zlatan. After all, PSG has been courting Mastour for quite some time now, and Berlusconi has stated that Milan wants Ibrahimovic back. This then begs the question: should Milan ink this deal?
If Milan execute this transfer, Ibrahimovic could become a true leader on this team. Ibrahimovic could serve as a mentor for younger players on the team and new arrivals Carlos Bacca and Luiz Adriano. Along with this, Ibrahimovic has already proved himself at every level of play, in various leagues across Europe, and could undoubteldy add to the Milan lineup. Hachim Mastour has only really proved himself in Milan's Primavera and will not be able to play with such dominance and ease at the professional level - at least not immediately. Unlike Mastour, Ibrahimovic could generate immediate results for Milan; he is guaranteed to be successful. Since Milan has a tendency to waste their young players, this isn't necessarily true with Mastour. The unfortunate fate of other young players at Milan may not necessarily befall Mastour, but if he is overworked or doesn't thrive as much as everyone expects, he runs the risk of poor return's on Milan's investment. If this deal is framed - a tradeoff between guaranteed results and unproven youth - Milan's course of action should be obvious.
Milan could use some goals like this, right?
On the other hand, as former Rossoneri Zvonomir Boban has pointed out, Ibrahimovic "costs a lot and risks obstructing Bacca's (and even Luiz Adriano's) integration." In other words, Ibrahimovic may create an enviroment where summer signings, especially Carlos Bacca and Luiz Adriano, are never able to have the spotlight or contribute as much to the team. This could cause these players to not thrive as much as they could in Ibrahimovic's absence or even reach their full potential. Along with this, if this deal pulls through, it would be so disappointing to see Milan not even attempt to tap into Mastour's potential. If Milan plays their cards right, he can develop into something special. A focus on short-term fixes like Zlatan's return would signal that Milan are so concerned about the present that they are willing to ignore the players that could build the future of the club. Mastour's loss could end up haunting Milan.
Milan could use goals, but they could also use a player with this much potential.
Another reason to think twice about this deal: Zlatan Ibrahimovic symbolizes the "Old Milan". Milan should stop trying to cling to players that have left the club. It's time to start a new era.