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Sumeet Paul blog profile  By Sumeet Paul
Aug 9, 2014

Do Milan really need Lopez?

Real Madrid are leaning toward starting their 3rd different opening day keeper in 3 years in Keylor Navas.

It has been a busy week at Casa Milan as Pippo Inzaghi's squad continues to take shape ahead of the new season, and with notable arrivals and departures, it appears as though the air of positivity within the club continues to spread ahead of the opener against Lazio in three weeks' time.

While the week began with the sales of Kevin Constant and Robinho to Trabzonspor and Santos respectively -- albeit the latter being a loan deal -- Inzaghi continues to impress with his ability to identify which players are surplus to requirements.

The Rossoneri have collected unnecessary pieces for this squad in the past few years, with some individuals not at a level expected of a Milan player. As a result, it is refreshing to see certain players leave from a financial point of view and in terms of allowing others more opportunities.

Given Constant's exit, Milan are expected to complete a deal for Pablo Armero as an almost direct replacement. If the Colombian international is capable of rediscovering his early form from his Udinese days, particularly after impressing this summer at the World Cup, then that in itself is an exciting piece of business.

However, the move that has captured considerable attention is the almost-completed deal to sign Real Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez.

- Report: Lopez to Milan "99 percent done"
- Report: Menez vows to change ways at Milan
- Rigg: Real GK situation far from clear

The 32-year-old brings significant experience to San Siro and as proven in Spain over the years, he is a reliable option between the sticks and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.

In addition, he is expected to arrive on a free transfer with Milan that is set to pay only performance-related bonuses at the end of the season. Therefore, on the face of it, it would appear to be an impressive deal that provides Inzaghi with increased solidity defensively.

However, Lopez is understood to be signing a three-year deal worth 2.5 million euros per year plus add-ons, as reported by Football Italia, which again brings into question the long-term vision of the club, given Christian Abbiati's continued presence on the squad.

Diego Lopez is on the verge of leaving one goalkeeping glut at Real Madrid for another at AC Milan.
Diego Lopez is on the verge of leaving one goalkeeping glut at Real Madrid for another at AC Milan.

Milan now have two veteran goalkeepers at their disposal, which will only result in slowing Gabriel's development, despite the fact that the Brazilian still has time on his side and needs to continue to improve.

Nevertheless, Milan were also linked with Genoa and Italy youngster Mattia Perin this week, and ultimately that would arguably have been the ideal solution, with Abbiati acting as his mentor for next season, at least.

Given that this is Inzaghi's first season in charge, it is important to not be too critical until we see how his side performs on the pitch in competitive action. However, there is undoubtedly an argument to suggest that the Lopez signing is slightly unnecessary and the Rossoneri should have considered their other options.

However, with the signing all but confirmed, along with Armero's arrival on Monday, new faces are coming and they will provide the rest of the squad with a much-needed boost ahead of the new campaign, the focus being securing an immediate return to the Champions League.

Additionally, if Lopez is capable of organising a solid defence and giving Milan's attacking players the opportunity to go out and win games, then neither his age nor his wages will be of much importance in the bigger picture.

Sumeet Paul

Sumeet Paul is a freelance football writer and has written for various websites providing Serie A coverage, including ESPN and Betfair. He can be found on Twitter @SP_Calcio for all things Italian football.

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