Milan veteran Alessandro Nesta claims his old team can qualify for the Champions League, even though quality ‘has come down a lot’.
The Rossoneri are currently joint seventh in Serie A, five points behind Genoa in the third and final qualification spot for the competition.
However, they have received backing from former defender Nesta, who won two editions of the Champions League during his decade with the club.
“I've travelled the world and Milan's name remains too important for the team to be eighth,” the 38-year-old Chennaiyin player has told the Gazzetta dello Sport.
“They can aim for the Champions League, though of course they used to play to win it, now they play to be in it.
“But they can only do that if they find continuity. Today it is the qualities of the players that make the overall performances inconsistent.”
But Nesta believes the crisis in Italian football is extended well beyond Milan.
“Inter, Napoli and the others are also having trouble. It's a shame, it looks like a race at who's in the least trouble.
“Milan could do more in Italy, while outside they are not competitive.
“They could do with two or three quality purchases, but we go back to the usual problem, that of money.
“An alternative would be to change mentality and invest on a network of scouts. They'd still have a better chance than Udinese to find the next Kaka.”
The defender, who has opened the possibility of one day coaching Milan, said he was not jealous of ex-teammates Clarence Seedorf and Filippo Inzaghi, who have already been given that chance.
“They are very dear friends. I think Clarence did his part, and more than that.
“Pippo needs to be given time, I have seldom seen his Milan play badly, it has often been the case that they have suffered individual errors.
“He has brought ideas and enthusiasm. He has ties with [Carlo] Ancelotti and [Gigi] Cagni.
“The point is that the quality has come down a lot while the targets have not, people expect marvels but the team is no longer what it was.”