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Sumeet Paul blog profile  By Sumeet Paul
Aug 15, 2014

Milan still rebuilding squad

Antonio Conte was named Italy's new manager, Tata Martino takes the helm for Argentina and goalkeeper Diego Lopez signs with AC Milan.

With just over two weeks to go until the new Serie A season begins, Milan's business in the transfer market is far from done. Silvio Berlusconi, Adriano Galliani and Pippo Inzaghi convened for yet another meeting on Wednesday evening, and it is suggested that the trio were prioritising their transfer targets.

Following the arrival of Diego Lopez and Pablo Armero earlier this week, Inzaghi is arguably now content with the defensive options he has at his disposal next season. Coupled with the arrival of Alex this summer, reinforcements have been brought in and they should provide the club with a solid base from which to work.

Moving further afield, there is an argument to suggest that further strengthening is still required in midfield, particularly given Riccardo Montolivo's absence through injury.

Nevertheless the club captain will return in a matter of months, and with Bryan Cristante impressing in preseason, perhaps there isn't a desperate requirement to improve. The 19-year-old shares several characteristics with Montolivo, and he undoubtedly has the talent to emerge as an important part of the squad moving forward.

However, despite the fact that Inzaghi has numerous options in attack, speculation continues to suggest that along with Berlusconi and Galliani, they are all in agreement that an additional attacking winger will be added to the squad before the deadline.

As reported by Football Italia, the list of potential targets contains the likes of Ezequiel Lavezzi and Alessio Cerci, but placed at the top is Shakhtar Donetsk's Douglas Costa.

- Massimo Ambrosini set to retire
- Milan sign Pablo Armero, Diego Lopez

Given that Inzaghi already has Stephan El Shaarawy, Keisuke Honda, Jeremy Menez, Mbaye Niang and Hachim Mastour, to an extent, available for selection, there is a suggestion that Milan will perhaps make an unnecessary purchase.

However, the rumours have been prevalent for weeks rather than days, and it can only be assumed that the club are serious about signing one of the three.

From a financial point of view, it would make sense that the Rossoneri are attempting to take advantage of the unrest at the Ukrainian club and will potentially demand a lower fee as a result. In contrast, either Lavezzi or Cerci would not come cheap, and it is unclear as to how much is available in terms of transfer funds.

Meanwhile, it is still unlikely that Shakhtar will be willing to sacrifice much if they are put in an untenable position in negotiations, with the 23-year-old still years away from reaching his peak as his game continues to develop and improve.

As a result, it remains to be seen whether or not Milan are priced out of signing the Brazilian, in which case they would have to switch their attention elsewhere.

It can be assumed that Mario Balotelli will lead the line next season as the primary striker, with El Shaarawy expected to operate on his favoured left flank, fitness permitting. As a result, that merely leaves one position open for a number of players, but who gets your vote and is Costa the missing piece?

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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