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Milan linked with Mexico international midfielder Rodolfo Pizarro

Pizarro came to Monterrey last summer with a big reputation

Mexico v United States Final - 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Sky Italia is reporting that AC Milan are interested in bringing Mexico international Rodolfo Pizarro to Italy as an alternative to landing Fiorentina’s Jordan Veretout.

Pizarro currently plays at CF Monterrey in Liga MX. Los Rayados won the CONCACAF Champions League last year and were semifinalists in the Clausura 2019 Liguilla (playoffs), losing to city rivals and eventual champions UANL Tigres. During the Apertura 2018 Liguilla, the club was also a semifinalist, losing to runners-up Cruz Azul. They also lost to Cruz Azul in the Apertura 2018 Copa MX final at home.

As one of the biggest teams in Mexico, Monterrey have plenty of money to spend and aren’t afraid to splash it around to bring in big names. The club brought former Watford FC and FC Porto, and current Mexico international fullback Miguel Layun back to Mexico from Villarreal in the January transfer window. The club also brought in Maxi Meza from Argentina’s Independiente during the same transfer window for a reported fee of $15 million.

While Meza didn’t have the greatest of times during the Clausura, he and Pizarro play a similar position in Monterrey manager Diego Alonso’s 4-2-3-1 system. Pizarro also started slowly for Los Rayados in the Apertura, but he turned a corner in the Clausura and was perhaps the best player for large stretches of the season.

The idea of Pizarro as an alternative to Jordan Veretout for Marco Giampaolo’s 4-3-1-2 system is a bit odd, however. Pizarro usually plays as an enganche or winger for Monterrey, and plays almost exclusively on the wing for the Mexican national team, although he has freedom to play through the center when the fullbacks overlap.

Pizarro is best with the ball at his feet dribbling past opponents and drawing a crowd, allowing him to pick out other players to make plays. He’s not as ruthless in front of goal as someone like Lucas Paqueta, and while he’s a standout player in Liga MX, Serie A defenses would be a much taller task than most of the clubs in Mexico. He could adapt his game, but probably not as a central midfielder in Serie A. Pizarro would be an exciting addition for Milan, but he would need some adjustment time and would likely be out of place in a midfield three and Milan already have Paqueta and Hakan Calhanoglu as enganches.