Wednesday November 18 2020
Five players Milan can sign in January

As both Paolo Maldini and Ivan Gazidis have confirmed Milan have a budget to sign new players in January, Kaustubh Pandey takes a look at five potential winter purchases of the Rossoneri.

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.

Ozan Kabak

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.

Nikola Maksimovic

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.

Mohamed Simakan

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

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.

Have your say...
Priority should be Szobozlai, Kabak or Siakiam. Hakan for 6m year is not worth it. Diaz may leave. Szobozlai is the future and for only 25M? Easy decision of he still wants to come. Prob headed to Leipzig. Unfortunately we waited too long to get him - should have done so last summer...back up to Ibra would be nice but Jovic isn’t coming as we cannot pay 40M + for him. Leao can deputies for Ibra. Realistically if we sign one or two players in January that is all that can be expected.
on the 4th December, 2020 at 3:11am
Maldini heir
You write essays about not needing to buy players now you say we need to buy players but not just any players but those who alone earn what 10 Milan players earn collectively. Great strategy I can see the board of directors now "lets find players who are bored of winning, let see, messi? Great idea and we will cut the players here to €1 aweek to make up the €900k"
Sure thats all we need? How about a LW? LB? CM? ACM? Thats 9 new plays, guess we can keep Ibra and Donna to make 11
on the 23rd November, 2020 at 7:34am
What we need are 5 players:
1, Top RW - Thauvin? With Castilejo going elsewhere...
2, Top RB - should be on same level than Calabria or even better
3, CB - that will challenge Romagnoli and maybe send him to bench...
4, New promising CF that will be preparing himself for times when Ibra leaves (Jovic with option to buy in 2021/2022 f.e.)
5, a solid backup for Kessie with similar playing style

with new RB Dalot can move to be a Theos backup so we will be covered there till next summer. Conti out
on the 22nd November, 2020 at 10:55pm
Be interetin to see if we are able to keep Bennacer, Chala and Kessie. For the first time in a long time we actually have players other teams want to sign. Who can we afford to lose if big offers come in next summer? I think we have cover for Hakan in Hauge. Bennacer would be a loss but if someone comes in with 60m i think we probably have to take it. Sadly I think mid table English teams are more attractive than most serie a teams.
on the 22nd November, 2020 at 10:42pm
@Maldini's Heir

No comparison between Haaland and Bonucci/Higuain. Juve and Bonucci seemed to have a falling out, which led to him leaving. 40m, he was

Haaland would be 140m by now

As for Higuain, he was another fading light at Juve that Milan never actually bought. I can't see Dortmund loaning Haaland to Milan lol

Haaland is not doable at all. Not a chance in hell. Maybe in 10 years when he's retiring, but not any time soon.

Unfortunately, Milan are in no position to sign the top players.
on the 21st November, 2020 at 12:28pm
Haaland WILL happen. In 2030 when he is to opd for every other league.
The funny thing is the very people who are saying these ludicrous things are those who claim to know everything about modern day football.
Milan look the best we have seen for a good few years but to even think for a moment they could land any top player in their prime is utterly stupid.
I think we are lucky to have Ibrahimovic who just doesn't seem to age he is an absolute legend.
on the 21st November, 2020 at 8:36am
We can target Juve, PSG or Bayern players because they must be so bored by now winning back to back titles endlessly. What more can Neymar or Lewandowski or Dybala achieve at their respective clubs? So they either go to Liverpool, Man City, Barca or Real or they seek out a new challenge with a formerly great side that has managed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 8 years. It's not exactly a hard narrative to sell and we're paying about 10 different directors to sell it.
on the 20th November, 2020 at 11:33pm
@ ACM Northern voice Well if we don't qualify for the Champions League Pioli will probably be sacked and we'll have another re-set! So we need to qualify or else there's a whole other conversation.

@ ITA 1 As I keep saying Haaland is intended to focus our minds. We already have youth players. We don't need to sign more youth players, we need to sign players that can lift our youth players. Milan have managed to attract Bonucci and Higuain in the past few years so it's doable.
on the 20th November, 2020 at 11:30pm
seriously if milan had 100s of million to spend on a player why not mpabbe he is probably going to be the stand out player in the next decade.

it is just absurd milan have spent the best part of the last decade as a mid table serie a side with a management team and ownership team which were utterly incompetent.

to think that any top player would want to sign for milan is hilarious with a boat load of money and to be honest you wouldn't want a player who cares more for money than success.
on the 20th November, 2020 at 11:29pm
Hard to believe there are people here who think Milan are in a position to sign Haaland!

This is 2020, not 2004

Milan would have had a slim chance at best of getting him before he joined Dortmund, but now they have no hope at all. The days of Milan singing top players is long, long gone. Better off focusing on Haaland-types BEFORE they join Dortmund etc

Someone said 75m for Haaland?! In this silly market he'd be twice that - and Milan would struggle to pay half of 75m, let alone double
on the 20th November, 2020 at 10:13pm
Hauge looks good. Took his Celtic goal with real aplomb & he was 1 of the few who could hold his head up after Lille. It may be frustrating for some fans but their recruitment works. If they do offload a CB, then maybe get a young one with different characteristics, who is fast & who erm...can defend. I don't mean in his pos but gems like Miranchuk are out there & Serie A is starting to attract again. Haaland, EPL like his Dad. Thuram, ace but maybe NN. It'd b nice to get 1 with high potential.
on the 20th November, 2020 at 5:19pm
We need a very, very good center back. I don't know who this player is, or who is available. But this has been my observation for the past few weeks.
Kjaer's composure and experience offer guarantees (he is slow though, but may cbs are). Romagnoli needs to man up and perform better. He is too passive too often. But I trust him. Backups are not at the same level.
Then there is the dilemma of Ibra sitting out due to injury. None of our other forwards can knock down balls for others.
on the 20th November, 2020 at 4:24pm
Let`s get Champions league spot first, then we can discuss world class signings. OK?
on the 20th November, 2020 at 3:31pm
@aussie ding I don't mind it.. Its like falling it love for the first time. the 5th time with a cheap with a chanel back its its the same. Milan is growing and im pretty certain that within a few years they will be on the top, yes they won't stay there for long but the actually climbed it. Thats for me is true achievement. For me that's bigger than supporting a team that as all but no loyalty.
on the 20th November, 2020 at 2:52pm
italian clubs buying average second grade players who cant get a game at the club there at when there are good young italian players they can buy at a quarter of the price and who will wear the shirt we pride
on the 20th November, 2020 at 12:19pm
@ Anonymous As long as that player in singular. The squad is as good as we’re going to get it. The focus now needs to be on one or two key signings that lifts the squad. Personally I’d be looking at the other end of the spectrum: players who are bored at big clubs. If Milan finish in the top 4 then they should be focusing on some massive signing. Someone to really make a statement. Maybe even a Neymar. I don’t care: making one and making it spectacular. It’s how Barca turned into the greatest.
on the 20th November, 2020 at 8:21am

I know some of you will take the piss on this one but what if Hauge lives up to it...

Ive seen the way he moves, vision and his feet. I don't think its completely unlikely he will be class, AND he can play as a trequarista.
on the 20th November, 2020 at 8:17am

We never got "kicked out of Europe" from FFP, we strategically DENIED entry to Europa League to balance the books.

Secondly, things are gone to worse? Erhm, no? We did not spend any money on expensive signings, we borrowed 3 class players with options to buy, we lowered our salary cost AND we sold few players (Suso is one of them)

Lastly, he could sign for Milan because they have a incredible young squad, as much as you don't wanna hear it Milan is still Milan to some people. Watch.
on the 20th November, 2020 at 8:12am
I don´t want Milan to sing any player considered top player, better option is to buy a young promising talent who can develop into world-class player, they should sign sporting director like igli tare of lazio, who is able to see talent before anyone else, look at lazio now the players they have Correa, Miliknovic savic, luiz flipe, lazzari, maursic, strakosha, every one of them cost lazio less than 10 million and last season they were Scudetto contenders
on the 20th November, 2020 at 8:05am
@maldini heir - Milan won’t sign any player considered world class. What they will be able to sign is a promising player - one who could become world class. I’d focus on 18-19 year olds with potential and hope one goes to the next level. Examples would be like pre dortmund haaland (although he had a lot of interest before Dortmund) or lautaro. I would look at someone like Scamacca. Will be cheap and just needs someone to invest serious game time.
on the 20th November, 2020 at 12:12am
@ ACM Northern Voice and Vero Rossanero A few things: first Haaland is intended to focus our minds on one player, in one key position; second it’s precisely because of our budget that we need to focus on that one player; third if we can’t afford or attract Haaland then we sign the best possible striker we can get for the money and position we have; fourth if we spend money on any other players then we have less money for that one player; and fifth to really lift Milan we need a next-level-player
on the 19th November, 2020 at 10:23pm
@viktor - haha you get my point though, we aren’t going to win the league. Nice to be on top though proving the doubters wrong! Napoli v Milan is a huge game, must win if we want top 4. A loss could see up drop to 4th potentially which would be disastrous.
on the 19th November, 2020 at 8:52pm
Milan need to focus on resigning calhanoglu, would be a disaster if he went to juve or inter, donna and replacing bennacer. His 50m release clause will be triggered you would think. Locatelli would be a great choice but the talk in Italy is that barella his good friend has convinced him to make the move to inter. Would be good for him although very difficult midfield for him to break into. Milan need to move now!
on the 19th November, 2020 at 8:36pm
Not trying to disrespect - yes Milan has surprised everyone sitting top, but there have also been a few warning signs with poor performances and you have a paperthin squad - injuries will continue to come in this climate. Juve or inter will win the league there is no doubt. It’s also only what 10 games into a 38 game season! Inters been too 3-4 times over the last 10 years at this point and we know exactly what’s happened to them
on the 19th November, 2020 at 8:28pm
Seeing names like haaland mentioned - do Milan fans actually believe he would sign for you? Firstly you don’t have any money - you got kicked out of Europe for FFP and finances have only gotten worse since then. Make allowances for COVID but your owners are looking to sell to make money not invest more. Second he currently could sign for any club in the world with his form, why would he choose you over Barca, Madrid, city, psg, juve hell even inter?
on the 19th November, 2020 at 8:24pm
they say all five CB will soon be all available so maybe there will be no new CB coming in the winter. Unless Duarte and/or Musacchio leave in the winter.
on the 19th November, 2020 at 3:44pm
Maldini's Heir: We don't have 100m to spend on a single player. His next destination will be to Madrid, Barcelona, or the EPL. Haaland is pure fantasy. Maybe after two or three years of consistent participation in the CL and true scudetto challenges, but he will have made that 100m move by then and it will be moot.
on the 19th November, 2020 at 3:13pm
@ACM Northern voice

Technically we could buy him if we qualify for CL. Let say Ibra quits. We lower the 6 mill in salary and give Halland 8.

I think we could get Halland for around 75. An amount we surely could spend next season, saying that is unlikely, very unlikely.
on the 19th November, 2020 at 10:47am
@Maldini’s Heir
Did you lost your mind?
I`d prefere him too, BUT, let`s be honest, we just can`t afford signings like this one right now. So let`s not talk about impossible things and focus on reality.
on the 19th November, 2020 at 10:08am
If they can get Thauvin for a good price (practically free) then it's worth it. I don't think Milan need anyone else currently unless there are injuries until January.

Maybe a young center-back like Simakan would be a good signing for back-up too if they can offload Duarte or Mussacchi, but anything other than that, like getting a striker, shall remain for the summer.
on the 19th November, 2020 at 8:00am

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