L’Equipe via Gazzetta dello Sport are reporting that AC Milan are targeting four defenders from France's Ligue 1 as reinforcements for the summer. Milan are looking for a starting centre back to partner captain Alessio Romagnoli, a starting right back to replace Calabria/Conti and a backup left back to deputise Hernandez. The report links them to four players as follows:
Pierre Kalulu - Lyon - Right Back
Kalulu has not played for Lyon’s first team but has been turning heads in the UEFA Youth League where is his sides captain. He has 16 appearances where he has provided three assists. The 19 year old has some versatility as he has played as both a right back and centre back on occasion. The player has been offered a professional contract by Lyon but talks seem to be stalled. The right back is in high demand as there are reports claiming that Lyon turned down an offer from Bayern Munich to sign the player. He has a contract that expires this summer but even if he leaves on a bosman deal, the club would be owed around 500,000 in development fees.
Boubacar Kamara - Marseille - Centre Back
Kamara is one of the biggest defensive prospects in France, the 20 year old defender burst onto the scene last season where he dominated the starting spot for Marseille. He is has risen from the France U-19 to the U20 and now the U21 teams in that time. Kamara is the undisputed starter this season with 28 appearances in all competitions thus far alternating between centre back and a defensive midfield position. He is a solid centre back who is strong in the air and quite quick. His positioning and tactical understanding are his major strengths and he could be a very good option to partner Romagnoli. In his case, there are multiple teams circling but notably Manchester City and Arsenal seem to be hot on his trail. He is valued between 30-35 million euros by Marseille and reports in France note that the club may have to sell some players to avoid FFP sanctions.
Tanguy Kouassi - PSG - Centre Back
Kouassi has recently made a name for himself at PSG and is getting people to notice him. He only has 13 appearances with the first team this season but has broken in after some impressive displays in the UEFA Youth League. The 17 year old centre back is an academy graduate and luckily scored PSG’s 4000th goal in their history against Reims. He currently plays for France’s U18 side and is largely recognised for being a modern centre back, one who is extremely comfortable with the ball at is feet combined with a solid aerial ability. He is also quite strong given his age and the room for growth. He was been deployed as a defensive midfielder a number of times and was fielded in the Champions League breaking the club record for youngest player in the competition. The player has not signed a professional contract with PSG and is free to leave the club in the summer. He is being heavily linked to RB Leipzig but a contract with PSG cannot be written off as talks are open.
Layvin Kurzawa - PSG - Left Back
Kurzawa has for long polarised PSG fans who seem to have a love-hate relationship with the terribly inconsistent left back. He has been with the club since 2015 and has featured regularly but has always seemed to have questions marks around his reliability. He has managed to score quite significantly for a defender with his 13 goals and 21 assists in four and a half seasons. Kurzawa is known for his attacking contributions, his pace and his splendid passing but defensively he is quite vulnerable as his tackles are often weak and he can be beaten too easily. PSG are looking to offload the player for a while now and he has been linked to the Rossoneri in the past but this season, there have been non-stop rumours flying around of an impending exit likely to the Premier League. He contract expires this summer and he could be available on a bosman signing but his monumental wage would definitely be a sticking point especially considering he would play second fiddle to Hernandez.
There is a case for each of the players above to join Milan but I realistically think Kurzawa is out of the question due to his age and the wages. Kamara would be my top choice but it is unlikely he will give up on Champions League football with Marseille for Milan given the other teams in the running hence he will likely join someone else. Kouassi would be a really good addition but I strongly see PSG locking him down given his talent and the need for players at centre back for the side. That brings us to Kalulu who I see as the most realistic option and a player who could do well to compete with the duo of Calabria/Conti for a starting spot. Lyon have missed out on the UCL given the premature end of the league and he has not signed a contract, this is a good opportunity for Milan. If I were to bet on one of the four joining it would definitely be Kalulu.