A Smokescreen Behind the Patchwork at AC Milan

The Internet is ablaze with transfer rumors and wishful thinking as the days of the 2014 Summer Mercato dwindle down. The shocking transfer of Mario Balotelli to Premier League side Liverpool FC has been the driving force behind thousands of blogs, Twitter accounts, retweets and memes of the sort. The transfer has caused a great divide between those who absolutely detest the transfer and those who have yelled “Arrivederci Mario” without taking into consideration the pros & cons of such a move.

Since the moment the move was speculated, there have been thousands of scenarios, possible transfers and calculations as to how The Rossoneri would use the funds or simply fold up shop and balance the books. The last several days have seen armchair Technical Directors come out the woodwork all concocting a wish list to somehow “fix” a squad devoid in positions that needed rejuvenating for several seasons now in its attempt to reach the coveted 3rd position in the table, A Champions League spot.

The Mario Move

Balotelli’s transfer has come under great scrutiny in many circles as some wonder why Milan, a side clearly in need of transfer funds, would agree to sell a prized asset at such a bargain price? In comparison, Shane Long went from Hull City to Southampton for £12 mil. Let that sink in for a second.  Shane Long, even taking into consideration Southampton’s ability to stretch for such a purchase, unless he has an absolutely marvelous season (damn near record breaking) could never command a transfer fee anywhere near that of the type of player that Mario Balotelli would. You would be wrong. What is the figure of Balotelli’s sale? £16m which in my opinion is absolutely shambolic!  There have been several “Summit Meetings” of late between Galliani, Silvio & Coach Inzaghi to discuss the direction of the club and its transfer dealings before the close of the window. Which now leads us to what I call the “Smoke & Mirrors trick”.

Galliani’s Smoke & Mirrors Tricks

Of late Adriano Galliani has become known for his infamous bargain basement dealings, layaway payment transfers & Bosman transfer signings as well as the riddle that is the Milan-Genoa axis (recent producer of the duo that was Kevin Constant and Valter Birsa) Galliani has always been known to leave it late, to make that spectacular signing right before the window closes, with tales of not having appointments or disrupting vacations and walking right in and swooping the player he so desired with hypnotic ease; at times leaving the media to believe he was in search of one player and turning around signing another. Such is the case in this critical 2014 summer mercato. Zio Fester has kicked up a ton of dust since the impending Mario transfer. Meetings with Porto, Roma & Torino, links for loan moves with players from Belgian Pro League side Club Brugge and EPL side Chelsea can be seen as agents riding the media flurry to attract interest in players looking for moves and Galliani’s smokescreen to land the man he wants if the dominoes fall in place.

It’s very clear that Milan are financially unable to power through moves for players the likes of Radamel Falcao & Jackson Martinez or even out of form Fernando Torres due to their release clauses or wage demands. The question is, why are we linked to players that are out of our reach? Why are they out of reach? Milan has shed tons of money off the books by cutting ties with Kaka, Robinho, Balotelli and others who have left, but could all this be enough to lure a player the caliber of the ones we’ve mentioned without the guarantee of Champions League footie next term? Not in my opinion. Galliani, the master of deception and frugalness would want to see these players [Falcao/Martinez] go to certain clubs, only to land the players disgruntled by the arrival of a star readily able to take away their potential minutes. Players more in line to the current salary structure & potential resale value, the likes of Mattia Destro or Plan B, Alessio Cerci.

If Roma take the cheese and somehow land Jackson Martinez, that would be perfect for a Roma team with Pjanic servicing down the middle & Gervinho, Ljajic or Iturbe on the flanks while also freeing up Destro for a move away to cut the cost of the operation a bit. If Roma play it close to the vest, Alessio Cerci for cash & 50% of Simone Verdi could end up being plan B. For all wondering about the kid from Beligium Maxime Lestienne, it just sounds like an agent throwing the name out for media attention, although what little I’ve seen of him is intriguing, Galliani is a bit more stubborn on these types of moves. Reminds me a bit of the potential move of Vladimir Weiss in 2012.

As the market continues to dwindle, we are left with more questions than there are possible answers, more raging tweets and disappointed Tifosi, more threats of season ticket returns and #TBT pics of glory days and club legends. One thing is certain, Galliani will master the smoke and mirrors trick while patching a Milan side more in need of stiches than a bandaid.

Nel Bene e Nel Male… Sempre Forza Milan

Miguel Sensacion


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