AC Milan’s hopes of a quick return to the top of Serie A have been hit by yet another summer of poor business in the transfer market.
The Italian giants, who will be without European football at the San Siro after a disastrous campaign under both Massimiliano Allegri and Clarence Seedorf last term, have endured a difficult summer compounded by the recent departure of star striker Mario Balotelli to Liverpool.
New manager Filippo Inzaghi is in urgent need of a marquee signing to ensure his reign starts positively, although may have to settle for the current crop at his disposal.
Arguably the biggest arrival at Milan this summer is that of Spaniard Diego Lopez – who leaves Real Madrid after less than two years in the Spanish capital.
The 32-year-old had been a regular fixture in Carlo Ancelotti’s side after being signed by Jose Mourinho last January, but following the acquisition of Keylor Navas from Levante had no choice but to depart for pastures new.
French giants Paris St Germain were raided as Jeremy Menez and Alex signed on at the San Siro last month.
Menez, who has tasted Serie A from his time with Roma, had fallen down the pecking order following Lauren Blanc’s acquisition of Edinson Cavani from Napoli and could find his form tarnished by his difficult spell in the French capital.
In Alex they have added a defender blessed with experience, but whose powers have diminished and make him a stark contrast to the bulldozer that graced the Premier League with Chelsea.
Balotelli’s exit will not be missed by many over in Milan following his move to Anfield, but will still leave a sizeable hole in the club’s attacking frontline.
Stephan El Shaarawy’s return to injury will be a welcome boost but the struggles of M’Baye Niang and Giampaolo Pazzini have provided little evidence that they can be the ones to thrive in Balotelli’s absence.
Further bad news could come if Manchester United come calling for Nigel De Jong, who could link up with his former Netherlands manager Louis Van Gaal at Old Trafford after leaving fierce rivals Manchester City two years ago.
Kaka and Robinho were once considered two of the finest acts in world football, but both have ended their time in Italy to head to Orlando City and Santos respectively.
Transfer deadline day
Having lost their talismanic striker Milan are in urgent need of a new hero with days of the transfer window remaining.
Inzaghi needs a marquee name yet may have to settle for a Premier League flop with Roberto Soldado, Fernando Torres and Javier Hernandez all being linked to the San Siro.
Jackson Martinez and Radamel Falcao would be the dream but Milan’s chances of luring either appear slim, seeing yet another window of opportunity to sign a superstar slam shut on the club.