Milan are inches away from signing Antonio Cassano and we can comfortably say that this is potentially one of the best captures of the last 10 years in calcio. The Barese's detractors may raise their eyebrows about this statement, but I feel this reflects precisely what is about to happen.
I am no big fan of FantAntonio, but I believe Milan have all to gain from this deal. Some may compare it to the signings of Christian Vieri or Ronaldo, just as they were going downhill in their respective careers, but with Cassano it will all be different.
First of all, let's start talking about money which is a key factor in the bargain. Cassano will join the Rossoneri for less than £5m which will go straight into Real Madrid's pocket - a ridiculous fee for a player of his talent. What is even more amazing is that Milan aren't even going to pay half of it. Sampdoria will put money towards it and the player has agreed to cut down his wage in order to move to San Siro. Good start indeed.
We are aware of the behavioural problems of the irascible forward, but Milan are fully capable of handling that. Cassano will walk into a solid dressing room knowing who the veterans are as he tries to make up for what he did at Sampdoria. He will not immediately turn into an angel, but I can see him behaving straight for a while.
Cassano has still a lot to prove and even if he will eventually go off the rails at some point, for Milan this remains a win-win situation. Adriano Galliani and Ariedo Braida anticipated Inter and this is already a good thing considering Antonio's potential. Furthermore, if he wasn't to live up to expectations they could still sell him for more than what they are set to pay.
Is that all? Not really, because when you talk about Cassano his talent must be mentioned. Despite all his problems, the fantasista from Puglia is arguably one of the best players in Serie A. With Doria he had a fantastic spell playing just off Giampaolo Pazzini. His assists for the Blucerchiati striker were a habitué at Marassi. At Milan, Cassano will be setting up Zlatan Ibrahimovic as well as Alexandre Pato and Robinho.
The partnership between Zlatan and Antonio is potentially one of the best in Europe and this alone gives Milan every right to gamble on Cassano. He will also be a direct replacement for Ronaldinho, who is about to leave on a free transfer. This deal makes sense from every way you look at it.
Cassano will give his best from day one at Milanello. He will fight for a place in the team while he tries to regain his reputation and get back into the national team. With him, Milan have added one more arrow to Massimiliano Allegri's bow. And if it goes all incredibly wrong then I guess half of the country would be more than delighted to hear about Antonio going nuts at President Silvio Berlusconi!