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Saturday January 26 2013
Milan's transfer delirium

Alex Mott wonders what the Rossoneri can possibly be thinking going all-out for Ricky Kaka, Mario Balotelli and Cristian Zaccardo.

“We are focusing on youth and have some excellent talents at the club right now,” President Silvio Berlusconi told reporters back in December. “We are trying to strengthen the squad with the introduction of young champions.” After an indifferent start to the season with initial losses to Sampdoria, Atalanta and Udinese inside the opening four weeks,  the Rossoneri chief was keen to build from the ground up – start afresh with a side built around the exciting talents of Stephan El Shaarawy and Mattia De Sciglio.

As statements go, it was as clear as day. But like all the best politicians, the Milan President has got to January, and done a complete U-turn.

The reports and rumours coming out of Milanello have been never-ending since the start of the New Year. A host of different agents have been seen coming out of the training ground gates, the Italian dailies have led with numerous different stories of Diavolo signings.

But no matter what the headlines have said – all the players linked with Milan this window have been the exact opposite to Berlusconi's original mission statement.

It was meant to be a time of austerity for the club – a time for reflection and growth under its own means. However, with the close of the winter window looming Berlusconi and his cronies have panicked and are on their knees trying to bring in a host of superstar names.

Real Madrid playmaker Kaka is perhaps the most high-profile of the targets, and the personification of what has gone wrong in Milan’s boardroom. The Brazil international left San Siro in 2009 for a then world record fee of €68m, but has found himself on the fringes of the first team at the Santiago Bernabeu thanks to a series of knee injuries and the superior performances of Mesut Ozil.

A reunion with the Seleçao man was proposed this month, with Kaka receiving €12m during a two-season loan-deal – a preposterous amount of money for someone the wrong side of 30 and with a history of lengthy lay-offs. Add to that the fact that 23-year-old Alexandre Pato was allowed to leave for Corinthians just a few weeks ago and you start to wonder what the Milan hierarchy are thinking.

It’s that same baffling logic that also links Mario Balotelli with the Rossoneri. The Manchester City forward has seen his asking-price drop like a stone over the past few weeks since Milan’s reported interest, and it seems likely that Roberto Mancini would want rid of the troublesome striker - the former Inter man has been in more training ground bust-ups than he has hit the back of the net this season.

But why would Massimiliano Allegri’s team want the Italy international? Performances of any real quality have become the exception, not the norm – and it seems a genuine worry whether anyone can get the best out of the youngster. But as Ignazio Abate’s agent has confirmed, “if Zenit St Petersburg raise their offer, then maybe Abate could go to Russia. After all, Milan are looking for the funds to sign Balotelli.”

In his original statement to the Press last year, Berlusconi admitted that patience really would have to be a virtue.  “This is a transitional period and we had champions for 26 years, but must now have a little patience,” he claimed. “We give ourselves three years to get back to being protagonists in Italy and the world.”

Now 31-year-old Cristian Zaccardo has officially joined from Parma. Kaka, Balotelli and even David Beckham could also reportedly become Milan players by the end of next week. And if they do join, this knee-jerk reaction could mean it takes longer than three years for the Rossoneri to be back on top of Serie A.

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Have your say...
Viktor and Dario. Come on guys. I think that Balotelli was a great signing for Milan but a new defence is needed. You two are forgetting that. Zaccardo will bring experiance to the defence. Maybe a young new centre back to play would be a good idea. A goalkeeper is needed as well. Abbiati as number 1? Amelia is good but a younger goalkeeper is needed.

My Milan starting 11 4-3-1-2

Amelia

Zaccardo
Mexes
Acerbi
Abate

Flamini
Nocerino
Ambrosini

Boateng

Balotelli
El Shaarawy
on the 1st February, 2013 at 12:04pm
@Dario

Cavani is great..so I Napoli. It's your coach I sont really like. Whines too much just like conte if h ask me. But Napoli as a team are awesome
on the 30th January, 2013 at 2:49pm
Not jealous at all. we have cavani who is a team player, scores more goals and doesn't get himself carded almost every game....besides that we are above you in the table!
on the 30th January, 2013 at 11:46am
@Dario

Yes, Dario.. sure sounds like a disaster, top striker in serie a a at the age of 20 (actually second, however ses doesnt take the pen kicks for acm which cavani does for napoli)
and then Super mario whoes 22. Who prandelli uses in the national with ses, like he did against France and then Bojan or Boateng behind.. sure sounds bad. ROFL.

I can smell your jealousy from miles.
on the 29th January, 2013 at 9:46pm
Balo & SES only time will tell...my guess is it will be a disaster. Let's see how many goals he scores and plays this year as he is way overrated!
on the 29th January, 2013 at 9:07pm
There we go

SES and Balo together.. its not only good for AC Milan its good for Italy. No one can deny the fact that the two together could potentially be the two strikers Italy will be using 2014.
on the 29th January, 2013 at 6:32pm
@Dario

Ruin them further? FYI, ACM is the team that gathered most points the last 3 month... their doing really well not, toobad they stared out so horrid. Just watch and see.. SES and BALO together. Imagine if we got kaka as trequarista.
on the 28th January, 2013 at 9:02pm
Poorly researched article> Very poor. One of the poorest i have read on this my beloved website. Dont even know where to start.
on the 28th January, 2013 at 6:32pm
poor article! Zaccardo reliable cheap option to provide experience in defence who can lead their young defenders including DeScoglia & Abate. Kaka & Balo are risk. kaka clearly passed his best, but if he is fit to play, he is what milan need now. and Mourinho already show green light, should be available in reasonable price. Balo is an even bigger risk. I do agree "IF" he is to be mature, it have to be milan, but will he really be mature at all? let's see Adriano... I wont take this costy risk!
on the 28th January, 2013 at 10:53am
@viktor......lol no way am I a Juve fan...hate them with a passion! Balotelli just cannot settle anywhere. He is a liability wherever he plays. He rarely plays because of all the suspensions, clashes with management and injuries. Look at him at Man.City. Does he ever play 90 minutes? How many goals has he scored since he left Inter? I would love him to go to Milan so he can ruin them further lol
on the 27th January, 2013 at 8:10pm
The real change Milan needs is in the boardroom. Galliani has to go. Milan has shown no clear strategy over the last few years. Just trying to buy on the cheap (especially players at the end of their contract). One week, they say somethig andthe next week, they'll do the exact opposite. What does this mean? They let Pirlo go because they would not offer a contract longer than 1 year to someone who is older than 30 and now they sign Zaccardo for 3 years. Sad. Unexplainable
on the 27th January, 2013 at 5:31pm
Hahaha!.wueva wrote dis was totally wrong
on the 27th January, 2013 at 5:23pm
@dario

So what are you saying? That balotelli is not a player you would have wanted to play along with ses? You kidding right? Or just a juve fan who picks up anelka and are satisfied.
on the 27th January, 2013 at 3:52pm
@Viktor, Balotelli would cause hell in the changing room and everywhere else but the pitch...he wouldnt be on it long enough!!
on the 27th January, 2013 at 9:19am
Milans real crisis is defence. Mexes, Zapata, acrebi, yepes and bonera wow what world class options. Abate and antonini both should also go. Milan need serious investment in defence. I've lost all hope on the bossman kings. Midfield and strike force is mediocre (apart from ses and niang). Remember a time when we had maldini nesta thiago and billy. I can't believe the calibre of players that are being signed and have starting line up places. Say hello to iniesta xavi and messi Milan. Such a shame
on the 27th January, 2013 at 2:15am
Frank and Maverick have basically summed up my thoughts, poor argument really. The only point worth mentioning is Balotelli, he is a big gamble, but Milan is his team and if he doesn't shape up for his own club then even he can't be stupid enough to realise he's heading down the 'What could have been' hall of shame, sparking memories of Adriano's spell in Serie A. And I can't see Beckham coming, big fan of the guy but this level of football is too much for someone nearing 40
on the 27th January, 2013 at 1:22am
Balo fits the bill, 22 years old and devastating when on form (he killed the germans last summer). Far to early to judge him a failure and if he can mature anywhere, Milanello is it.

Kaka would provide some attacking spark although Galliani shouldn't break the bank for him.

With some of the dead wood gone (Acerbi, Mesbah) and some to follow hopefully soon (Antonini) Zaccardo is a cheap reliable solution and his experience will be valuable especially when Yepes leaves in summer.
on the 27th January, 2013 at 12:44am
You guys can't be serious. Kaka is as washed up as Shevchenko when he returned to Milan. Zaccardo is a good addition and could be Milan's Barzagli. Mario Balotelli is the great addition unlimited potential and playing with the Pharoah will be the future of Milan for 5 years
on the 26th January, 2013 at 11:17pm
Kaka could be a good buy if Milan could keep him fit. His game was never about pace, a fit Kaka has 2-3 years left in him. Zaccardo wasn't good enough 5 years ago, let alone now and Balotelli is just stupidity.
on the 26th January, 2013 at 10:23pm
Is zaccardo going to play central defence now acerbi is gone? Wouldn't like to lose abate as well as milan are already weak enough at the back. Wouldn't waste the money on kaka either, great servant for the club but he's finished. Would rather the club continue to focus on younger talents instead of panic buying.
on the 26th January, 2013 at 8:49pm
It was always going to happen when you do not invest in youth and in particular Italian youth. Buying hacks from overseas gets you nowhere. Milan did not invest and now they pay the price. As for Balotelli he has huge talent but is a right idiot, Berlusconi was correct when he stated that he would cause trouble in the changing room. The best for Balotelli is to be dropped by everyone until he grows up. Only an idiot like him tries to attract attention to himself with his hair styles.
on the 26th January, 2013 at 8:38pm
Milan fan since 89'. Never missed a game pretty much.I don't know bout you guys but Ivan tell you this much. SES, balotelli and bojan would cause hell in evey defense. That trio would have been incredible not to mention the average age.
on the 26th January, 2013 at 8:07pm
A Move For Zacarddo Baffles Me when Astori a future italian international could lead that defence with the capable Zapata, Kaka would be a great buy as he could provide the creativity between the midfielders and strikers, Balotelli just wouldnt be a good move trying to bring him in so soon and think he would blend in with the squad perfectly (wont happen) to sell abate is the worst move milan can make in the transfer window! Behind Juventus (Of Course)i wana see A.C Milan back up there in SerieA
on the 26th January, 2013 at 7:23pm
What a terrible article and poor analysis. Experience is exactly what Milan needs. Kaka will bring some desperately needed on-field leadership, and can be a mentor to El Shaarawy until Hachim Mastour is ready for the first team. Meanwhile, Zaccardo is over 30 but he is just a backup.
on the 26th January, 2013 at 6:23pm
Go Milan, buy Kaka and Balotelli thats what many supporters from other clubs would love to see...more money down the drain for Milan! Balotelli will be expensive and spend a lot of time arguing with all those around him, lots of suspensions and leaving his team with 10 men much of the time. Kaka will spend more time with the doctor than Pato and cost a lot more. Berlusconi should save his money and spend it on lawyers to keep him out of jail!
on the 26th January, 2013 at 5:00pm
I believe that Zapate is an excellent full back, this Milan only need one good spark at the front and Kaka is what they need for now, I like Balotelli, but he is unpredictable and expensive, thus one more signing "Kaka"
on the 26th January, 2013 at 4:20pm
The Milan transfer hierarchy need their heads checking. After selling our best players in the Summer, I was willing to give youth a chance, recognising it will take a couple of years for the team to reach it's full potential. Whilst the season has been disappointing to date, there have been some positives - namely Di Sciglio and El Sharawaay - and the team was beginning to find some rhythm. The last thing we need to do is break the bank for a player who's best years are clearly behind him
on the 26th January, 2013 at 3:50pm
Am I the only one who isn't convinced by Santon? He is ok at going forward, but he is abysmal at defending. He is too timid, and is always caught out of position. He may pass as a wing-back, but that is about it.

Milan need a top class central defender, and a number 10. Cristante should be fast-tracked, as, IMO, Boateng, Nocerino, Flamini, seem incapable of completing a pass at present.

Whilst Constant & Zacardo are decent acquisitions, overall it has been a very disappointing January so far.
on the 26th January, 2013 at 2:32pm
if kaka were to come back to Milan, not only would he give Milan the identity they need. But he'd offer the offensive creativity they desperately lack. Anyone that watches them play knows that. Bringing in young talent is good but it doesn't sell and it doesn't keep you in the top 3 of Serie A. The fact you even write this way about the 2007 best player in the world is ridiculous.
on the 26th January, 2013 at 1:39pm
They need a number 10 and a centre-back. Belhanda, perhaps. Kaka would do, but he's a shadow of what he once was. Keep Abate too, maybe stick him in midfield where he can add some pace and energy. Up front I don't think they need much. As for Balotelli, leave him where he is.
on the 26th January, 2013 at 1:37pm

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