A heavy investment has been made by Milan’s new owners in players and the only way to pay it off will be Champions League football in the future 

Mateo Musacchio, Franck Kessie, Ricardo Rodriguez, Andre Silva. Four names to start off with.

The new-look AC Milan has big plans for the summer and for next season. It is only mid-June and four players have been brought in. All of this for one aim: be in the Champions League in the 2018/2019 season.

The new Chinese ownership of the Rossoneri, lead by Yonghong Li, have to invest massively now for immediate results. But, to an extent, it is a gamble. To complete the acquisition of the club, Li was forced to ask for a loan from Elliott, a private equity fund. The only real way to repay it – via AC Milan – is for the club to return to Champions League football. And to do so, the new directors have been adding cash to the planned spending, to bring in the players needed to hand Vincenzo Montella the material to work with properly.

So first a centre-back, Mateo Musacchio, jumped ship from Villarreal. Next was the strong Atalanta box-to-box midfielder, Franck Kessie, then a left-back – one of the most needed positions to cover – Wolfsburg’s Ricardo Rodriguez, and last, but not least, a centre forward, a big issue in the past season with Carlos Bacca and Gianluca Lapadula underperforming. André Silva is the name up front: the young Portuguese striker going from Porto has everything to become a top number nine.

The sums being spent are big, considerable, important – but not crazy. Silva should cost around €35 million, adding to the €28 million for Kessie, the €15 million for Musacchio and the roughly €18 million for Rodriguez. Considerable amounts for young players that have already shown qualities: the type of players Milan was right now.

Now coach Montella has the material to work on and produce his best football, what we admired him for at Fiorentina. The results of his first season at the San Siro, bringing Milan back to the Europa League, have earned him a contract renewal and the chance to help build the new team. Now he will have no excuses over the next 12 months.

The big issue left to be sorted out for the Rossoneri is Gianluigi Donnarumma. The 18-year-old star goalkeeper has yet to renew his contract, and talks are ongoing. With one year left on the current deal, Milan risk losing him for a small sum, a disaster considering how much money the big European powers seem willing to spend for him.

The Rossoneri have offered Donnarumma a deal worth €4 million a season, a sum considered huge for such a young goalkeeper. It will be down to him now to accept. Holding on to Donnarumma would be the strongest message to Milan’s rivals.

The main gamble has been made, now Milan might bring in some other players to complete the squad, and then only the upcoming season will tell us if it was worth it. A top-four finish meaning Champions League football will be absolutely necessary. Otherwise the new owners and directors could find themselves in a difficult situation.

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