Serie A giants AC Milan must beat Manchester United and Arsenal to the signature of Barcelona midfielder Alex Song this summer.
The Cameroonian, who is widely expected to leave the Catalan giants as Luis Enrique sets about making changes to his squad in the wake of losing the La Liga title to Atletico Madrid last term, has endured a difficult time in Spain and could be available for as little as £10 million.
He has made just 51 appearances since leaving the Gunners back in 2012, with just 19 last campaign.
Song has failed to replicate his form shown at the Emirates Stadium in the colours of Barcelona, and under Gerardo Martino cut an increasingly forlorn figure.
The holding midfield role where he prefers to operate belongs to Sergio Busquets, whilst Argentina’s Javier Mascherano is also above the 26-year-old in the pecking order.
Any possible void left by Cesc Fabregas’ exit to Chelsea has been filled with the signing of Ivan Rakitic from Sevilla, whilst club stalwarts Xavi and Andreas Iniesta show no sign of their powers fading any time soon.
Song’s combative midfield style would be perfectly adapted to the rigours of Serie A, and if recruited could play an important role in the club’s bid to secure the return of European football at the San Siro.
New manager Fillipo Inzaghi is the man charged with repairing the damage inflicted by both Massimiliano Allegri and Clarence Seedorf last season, and by signing an established international could appease the fans worried by their poor pre-season tour of America.
Song could be drafted in as a replacement for Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong, who like the Cameroonian has been linked with a move to the Premier League with Louis Van Gaal’s United.
With Real Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez another reported target for the Rossonieri, and Paris St Germain duo Jeremy Menez and Alex already secured, the 26-year-old would be the latest cog as Inzaghi sets about creating a Milan machine akin to the great sides of yesteryear.
Competition for signature
Milan could come up short in their pursuit of the Barcelona ace if United and Arsenal opt to commence a bidding war for his services.
Given their current financial predicament, they would fail to outbid the Premier League pair if both follow up their interest in the bulldozer.
Their best chance of winning the race for the Cameroonian is if United and Arsenal opt to move on to other targets, with the former particularly keen on Juventus’ Arturo Vidal whilst the Gunners still desire Sami Khedira or William Carvalho.
Song’s arrival would be the first marquee signing of Inzaghi’s reign. The Milan machine begins to rumble in anticipation.