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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Cesc Fabregas not an option to replace Montolivo at AC Milan - Montella

Cesc Fabregas was linked to a possible move to the San Siro this summer.

AC Milan manager Vincenzo Montella says he wouldn't bring in Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas to replace Riccardo Montolivo at the San Siro.

Montolivo is facing a six-month absence after suffering a cruciate ligament injury while on Italy duty. And Montella is in search of a replacement for his influential midfielder.

Fabregas had been linked with the Rossoneri duing the most recent summer transfer window, but Montella told an Italian outlet on Wednesday that signing the Spain international now wouldn't be a fair swap.

"We need a player with Montolivo's characteristics, someone who knows how to play in a midfield of two. Fabregas does not have these characteristics," Montella told Corriere della Sera.

"I think Montolivo is nearly irreplaceable. He is important both on the pitch and in the dressing room. It's an even bigger loss than people think."

Manuel Locatelli has been backed to fill in for Montolivo in the middle of Milan's formation, though Montella wants to take things slow with the promising 18-year-old.

"I have faith in Locatelli. He has come on on decisive moments in our past few games," Montella said.

"But we have to remember that he has only played a few games in Serie A. I would like to bring him slowly."

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