After bringing about a structural change in their transfer policy, Milan seem set to take a dip into the market in the January transfer window too. The business they did in the summer clearly suggests the Rossoneri have a clear plan now. They’ve acquired players with a specific profile: current cheap value but with immense room for development.
The signings of Pierre Kalulu, Sandro Tonali, Jens Petter Hauge, Brahim Diaz and Alexis Saelemaekers shows that, although the Real Madrid starlet is on a dry loan deal with the Rossoneri who hope a permanent transfer is possible in the summer.
The Rossoneri, however, didn’t end the last transfer window as they expected. Paolo Maldini and Frederic Massara tried to sign a new centre-back who would give Alessio Romagnoli and Simon Kjaer some breath while learning the training secrets of the starting duo. A central defender remains a transfer priority for the Diavoli although they also have other departments they want to improve.
Let’s take a look at who Milan could sign in the January transfer window.
The Shalke 04 defender is a player Milan closely followed during the summer. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Rossoneri could offer €15m to secure his services in January.
The Bundesliga side have reportedly slapped a €20m price-tag on the promising central defender, which would make the gap between offer and request very thin.
The 21-year-old came through the Galatasaray academy and played 14 league games and three Champions League games with the Turk club. He then joined Stuttgart and Schalke 04 and has five caps to his name with Turkey’s senior team. Despite his young age, he already has a considerable international experience and appears as a more likely option than Bologna’s Takehiro Tomiyasu, another hot name for the Diavoli last summer.
The Bologna defender could’ve easily been a Milan player today. The club’s interest in the Japanese defender was well documented as Bologna sporting director Riccardo Bigon confirmed they rejected an offer from the Rossoneri in the summer.
The Rossoblu had reportedly placed a €25m price-tag on the Japanese defender.
Maksimovic is another player that Milan were said to be looking for. The Napoli man has also drew links with a move to Inter and Premier League clubs like Everton and West Ham. While the 28-year-old Serbian is a much more experienced player than the likes of Kabak, Tomiyasu and Wesley Fofana, who joined Leicester in the summer, his contract at the Stadio San Paolo runs out in the summer of 2021. That means he’d be free to discuss terms on a pre-contract deal in January and if the two parties reach an agreement, Milan could try to snatch the former Torino man for a low fee in the winter transfer window.
There won’t be shortage of competition for him in January but the Serbia international is one of those players that Carlo Ancelotti saw as a faithful soldier during his time at the Partenopei. He offers versatility as he is able to play in four different positions and he would be another leader inside the Rossoneri’s locker room together with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Simon Kjaer. Keeping all that in mind, his signing would make sense.
While Wesley Fofana was Milan’s main defensive target in the summer and the Frenchman ended up joining Leicester City, Simakan was another name that constantly came up in their chase for a centre-back. Despite the interest of multiple other Serie A, Premier League and Bundesliga clubs, Simakan ended up staying at Strasbourg and that might give Milan the chance to cash in on him in January.
He is also capable of playing as a right back and as a centre-back. He performed those roles well for his Ligue 1 club last season. He comes across as a cheap option and could be available for a fee around €20m. Being only 20-year-old he also offers big room for development. Milan would've to face big competition but it might all be worth it. Reports have even stated that Simakan could be Milan's number one target this winter alongside Kabak.
Luka Jovic's downfall at Real Madrid has been disappointing but a lot of time can be put down to his own attitude worries. Zinedine Zidane doesn't exactly have a liking for him and neither do too many people in Serbia. Spanish media was seemingly giving signs of the fact that Jovic's entourage was offering him around in the summer to seek an escape route from the Santiago Bernabeu. Milan have always been a club that has kept an eye on the former Eintracht Frankfurt man.
Jovic's agent, Fali Ramadani, has excellent ties with the Milan management and this may not be a complicated deal to get through, especially if it comes on loan. Milan and Real also have great relations, as evident from the deals involving Theo Hernandez and Brahim Diaz. The Serie A giants are a trusted option for Los Blancos and, in an attempt to resurrect Jovic's career, they might just confide in Milan even if the starting spot at the San Siro entirely belongs to a certain Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
A product of Barcelona academy on loan at Betis, according to reports in Spain, Emerson is being chased by the Rossoneri and could end up playing in Milan in January. Emerson is only 21-year-old and plays as right full-back. He has already made his senior debut with Brazil national team.
Betis paid €6m to sign the player on loan for two seasons in 2019 and he’s already played 47 games with the La Liga side, scoring three goals and providing six assists. He has only missed three games so far this season, two of them because of an injury and it remains to be seen if Betis will agree to cut his loan spell short in the middle of the campaign.
The Serie A giants have been linked with other players during the international break: from Marcus Thuram to Dominik Szoboszlai who has a €25m release clause but the Rossoneri may need to wait until the next summer transfer window to make a move for the two talented wingers.