After coming up short in their attempt to qualify for top four in 2017-18, despite a second half surge under Gennaro Gattuso, Milan will look to get off on the right foot this upcoming season and press on for Champions League football.
That won’t be an easy task though, with Unibet currently offering odds of 4/1 for the Diavolo to crack the top three. Even though the Rossoneri’s current ownership situation under Elliot Management may not seem all that ideal for the club’s future, it appears that at the very least they are in much better hands with the hedge fund than they were at any point during the shady, short-lived reign of Yonghong Li.
While the Italian giants await a verdict from the Court of Arbitration for Sport on their Europa League ban, Elliot officials are working behind the scenes to assemble a technical staff that exudes a more positive and healthy feeling amongst on-edge supporters. Whether CEO Marco Fassone and sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli remain in their respective roles remains to be seen, as rumours circulate in the Italian media that Elliott may clean house to usher in new ideas and strategies.
Without question, Milan require serious action on the transfer front despite last summer’s spending spree north of €200 million. The main areas in need of reinforcement included adding depth in the midfield, improve the quality in wider areas and the everlasting top priority since the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic – a prolific striker.
Gonzalo Higuain, Alvaro Morata and Ciro Immobile are the names that have been floating around the news wire to spearhead Gattuso’s attack. Even with the young, homegrown bomber Patrick Cutrone catching fire in 2017-18, it is of paramount importance that the Como-native is supported with a veteran to shoulder the attacking workload that both Nikola Kalinic failed to do. However, the assumption is that Milan will not see the same lofty investment they enjoyed last summer, meaning the market must be funded through sales - or a big star’s departure like captain Leonardo Bonucci.
The Italian defender’s agent Alessandro Lucci reportedly had conversations with Paris Saint-Germain over a possible move from the fashion capital, which would be a blow to Milan’s backline even if it turns out to benefit the books. But regardless of which players stay, go, or arrive, the club are led by a true general in Rino Gattuso who simply will not let the mercato determine how prepared his side will be for the upcoming campaign and what they aspire for.
After the Italian commander took over midway through the previous campaign, we saw a motivated and inspired Rossoneri who rose from the depths to flirt with a top four finished before subsequently fizzling out late. Gattuso’s ambitions as manager will be to press on and chase a coveted 4th place spot no matter what, simply because it’s his duty to not let matters beyond his control deter Milan from challenging for targeted objectives.
Most would agree, Milan are lagging behind city rivals Inter, Roma, Napoli and Juventus and aren’t well-equipped to keep pace in the hunt for European qualification. However, a Gattuso-led Milan will not mail it in and must aim to finish minimum fourth – even if the odds are stacked against them at this current time.