It appears that AC Milan won’t be selling Manuel Locatelli after all.
Elliott Management, the new owners at Milan, have reportedly put an end to the negotiations to sell the young midfielder to Sassuolo, even with a buyback option.
This is a pretty good sign. Selling a player young player, even with a buyback option, isn’t ideal, especially for a club like Milan that has some depth issues in midfield. This always seemed like an option to raise some quick cash instead planning for the future.
Buyback options are great and all, but they only really work for clubs like Manchester City or PSG, clubs that are swimming in cash and want to sell a future player on to raise cash for FFP purposes instead of sending the player on loan. The buyback options are also usually quite high, so it puts a team operating under a budget into a squeeze, as they would not necessarily have the money available to buy the player back, and since the selling price of a player on a buyback clause is usually pretty low, it means that the team will have missed out on both a good player and a healthy transfer fee.
If Locatelli is surplus to requirements right now, then he should be loaned to another team to develop, not sold. Elliott Management is reportedly to be interested in at least developing the player enough to garner a large transfer fee, but it seems silly to be talking about selling a player who is still only 20 years old and has 48 first team appearances in Serie A with Milan. He should get a chance to win a place in the starting line-up and if anyone should be sold, it’s one of the older players who won’t get any better, i.e., Riccardo Montolivo.
So at least for now, the new owners have seen the light and aren’t interested in selling a good young player. However, if the plan is just to sell him later for a bigger fee, it might be a bit better, but it still won’t be ideal. Milan shouldn’t be a selling club.