Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani confirmed the club will not conduct any major transactions during the January transfer window. Galliani went a step further to affirm the two signings joining the squad in Milanello will be David Beckham and Ghana’s Dominic Adiyiah. Beckham does not require any introduction being a household name in football and his move will be similar to last year’s loan executed between the club and Los Angeles Galaxy. As for Adiyiah, he will bring with him the exuberance of youth, and if he can come close to some of his performances for Ghana’s U-20s then he will be a welcome addition. The tifosi were hoping for a big name signing to offset a mediocre summer campaign which actually witnessed the loss of hero Kaká and the capture of the unconvincing Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. Both transfers were conducted with Real Madrid, who both qualified from the same group in the Champions League.
Despite his failure to hold a spot in Coach Leonardo’s line-up, Galliani insisted Huntelaar is not on the transfer list. There were rumours linking the Dutch striker with a move to Old Trafford to work under legendary Manager Sir Alex Ferguson. The reports do appear to be mere speculation but the shrewd Galliani has often kept silent when big deals were being plotted. This is not a hint indicating the arrival of a star signing. The Rossoneri appear focused on working in-house as they have convinced Gennaro Gattuso to stay and would like extensions for other players including veteran goal poacher Filippo Inzaghi.
This weekend will see Milan travel to Florence to take on Fiorentina in a hotly contested encounter between two teams aspiring for a high finish in the league and progress on the European front. The Coach, the management and the players can stress their belief in winning the Scudetto and who can blame them. Any lack of confidence will doom the club and actually hinder the progress made in recent weeks. Inter’s performances lack the luster from last season when the Nerazzurri won the title relatively unchallenged. The inconsistency of Juventus under the stressed Ciro Ferrara has helped as well. Milan’s record so far can be best described as deceptive given the club’s offense is bested by six other teams in the top division and the performances of the players have veered between the decent and the horrific.
Leonardo will face a stern test against one of the most respected Coaches in Cesare Prandelli. His main concern will come from the flanks if Marco Marchionni is fit to play, with the winger and left-sided teammate Juan Manuel Vargas relying on their pace and crosses to trouble the susceptible Milan full-backs. If the Italian player and the rising Peruvian star are able to perform to their best then one would expect them to torment the Rossoneri full-backs. Speaking of the defensive line, it is surprising to have Galliani indicate no January signings will be made as the side looks in dire need of a qualified full-back.
The experience within the ranks has helped Milan to regroup and fight back to go through to the round of 16 in Europe and emerge as a contender for the top spots in Serie A. Had Leonardo been coaching less experienced and younger players, he would probably be fired now despite the fact the team would be best balanced by blending younger blood with the existing established guard. The club will thank Alessandro Nesta, Ronaldinho, Clarence Seedorf and the one young promising star on the roster, Alexandre Pato, for the mini-revival which has brought optimism to San Siro. For years the tifosi have witnessed their aging side struggle with the arduous and demanding schedule of Serie A (despite the forays in Europe and the Champions League triumphs) and the current moves have struck against the logic of reinvigorating the club with youthful players. The extension for Gattuso will likely take time away from Mathieu Flamini, who is still attempting to stake a claim in the starting line-up, while Beckham’s signing, albeit on loan, suggests the club has delayed by yet another season the capture of a younger wide midfielder.
Where would Milan be if Nesta did not fully recover and the pride of some of the old guard did not force them to overachieve? No need to wait for a long time as 2010 is just around the corner to force the tifosi to scratch their head with their club likely to waver between the horrific and mind-boggling performances.
Milan Club Focus 2009/10
Pre-season expectation – August 18, 2009
Leonardo breathes as Brazilians relieve pressure – August 25, 2009
Kaka returns to the San Siro – August 27, 2009
How to play 4-3-1-2, a lesson from their rivals – September 1, 2009
Reshuffle the current squad, regain the winning mentality – September 4, 2009
International week (Georgia-Italy, Italy-Bulgaria)
Leonardo’s time to react – September 7, 2009
Livorno springs opportunity to end crisis – September 11, 2009
Serie A slides down priority list – September 15, 2009
Leonardo lurches into decision-making territory – September 18, 2009
Off the pitch rumours continue to swirl – September 22, 2009
Old legs cannot win forever, will Berlusconi follow in Della Valle’s footsteps? – September 25, 2009
A powerhouse that no longer strikes fear – September 29, 2009
Time is running out to save il Diavolo’s season – October 2, 2009
A draw as bitter as a defeat – October 6, 2009
The club is not for sale – October 9, 2009
International week (Republic of Ireland-Italy, Italy-Cyprus)
In search of strikers and defenders – October 13, 2009
Berlusconi reiterates he will not sell as the Rossoneri prepare for Roma – October 16, 2009
Brazilian duo see off Roma – October 20, 2009
Rossoneri record famous win in Madrid – October 23, 2009
Leonardo stumbles upon the 4-2-3-1 – October 27, 2009
Two precious points dropped – October 30, 2009
Borriello strikes twice as Milan continue climbing the table – November 3, 2009
A bitter draw after Pato’s disallowed ‘goal’ as Huntelaar emerges unscathed – November 6, 2009
The Rossoneri challenging Juventus for second place – November 10, 2009
International week (Italy-Holland, Italy-Sweden)
Crucial stretch begins as Dzeko linked again – November 20, 2009
Rossoneri continue impressive run – November 24, 2009
Missed opportunity to qualify – November 27, 2009
Huntelaar breaks his duck with a late double to lift Mila to second – December 1, 2009
Season-defining week looms ahead – December 4, 2009
Sunshine glimmers from the San Siro, but those clouds won’t leave – December 8, 2009
Qualification secured after a scare – December 11, 2009
Gattuso to help the aged a little longer – December 14, 2009
Staying away from the market – December 18, 2009