AC Milan are going in hard in search of a centre-back and three names have lingered past the waves of rumours. Here’s a look at the top targets to reinforce our backline:
Giampaolo really wants Demiral from Juventus, but Juve wants €40m for the player.— TheMilanBible (@TheMilanBible) July 17, 2019
[Di Marzio] pic.twitter.com/u4RWjxUCYL
Merih Demiral - Juventus - €20 million
Demiral had a standout season and has been on the move in 2018/19. He started off the season with Alanyaspor before joining Sassuolo on loan in January where he played incredibly well and was purchased by them for €9.25 million before being shipped off to Juventus for €18 million after five days. The young Turkish centre-back is incredibly versatile and solid on the defensive end as she showed his strength, good tackling and his eye for interceptions. However, his major flaw was his trouble with passing and maintaning short pass exchanges which would be necessary under Giampaolo. He could be a good fit for Milan but would need to improve technically. Juventus are reportedly asking for €40 million but could send him on loan with an option to buy given the recent arrival of de Ligt.
Dejan Lovren - Liverpool - €20 million
Lovren has fallen out of favour at Anfield as he only started 13 games between the Premier League and the Champions League in 2018/19. Milan have reportedly been pursuing Lovren for a while needing reinforcements at centre-back. Lovren has been heavily linked since the arrival of Boban and his agent visited Casa Milan earlier today. The stumbling block would definitely his astronomical wages as he currently earns £5.75 million a year and has a contract until 2021. Lovren is a mistake prone defender but has impeccable passing that would benefit Giampaolo’s system. This deal seems unlikely as there is little upside for Milan as he would not be a significant upgrade on Mateo Musacchio or Mattia Caldara and would cost a rather large sum between the transfer fees and his wages.
Dayot Upamecano - RB Leipzig - €35 million
Upamecano would be a dream signing for Milan. Multiple reports over the past week have shown Milan’s interest in the young Frenchman and given his high price tag there have been rumours that potentially include Hakan Calhanoglu or Ricardo Rodriguez as part of player + money deals. Upamecano is a top class centre-back at only 20 and has been a regular starter for RB Leipzig for two seasons now where he has impressed with his great understanding of the game and his impressive technical ability where he passes well, dribbles successfully and is dominant in the air. The major worry is a nasty knee injury he picked up earlier this year that had him sidelined for five months but he has played for the France U21 since and looked as solid as ever. Upamecano seems too rich for Milan’s blood at the moment but he would be the ideal candidate to partner Alessio Romagnoli for the foreseeable future, given the shocking lack of faith in Caldara by the new management.
Milan will look to sign a centre-back in the coming weeks given their impending US tour and the current booming market for defenders. One aspect of the defensive recruitment that is troubling is the lack of clarity on Milan’s search, are Milan looking for a starter or a depth player? The constant rumours feature starters and depth players but it is important to see whether or not Giampaolo will put his faith into Mattia Caldara as the starter for 2019/20. The likes of Schar, Mustafi and Bailly have also been linked but I would not pick them over the young Italian given his great potential, let’s wait and see what becomes of our defense.
Given the prices, Who Should Milan Sign?
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