Serie A giants AC Milan must win the race for want-away Atletico Madrid winger Alessio Cerci.
The Italian was only brought to the club by manager Diego Simeone in the summer, but has struggled to adjust to life in Spain and could be set for a sensational return to his homeland with the Rossoneri.
And with the ex-Torino star available, Filippo Inzaghi must move for a player who could be pivotal in firing them back to the big time and into the Champions League.
Cerci’s stock first rose in the summer, and after helping Torino finish seventh and secure a slot in the Europa League departed for the current La Liga champions ready to help them retain their title.
However he has found life over in Madrid difficult, and has been limited to just five appearances in all competitions with no goals or assists currently to his name.
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The likes of Antoine Griezzman and Arda Turan are above him in the pecking order, and with their performances so impressive have now left Cerci facing an uncertain future at the Vincente Calderon.
Such poor form has also left him marginalised by the national side, with manager Antonio Conte unwilling to pick a player who is currently spending most of his days residing on the substitute’s bench and with the reserves.
Inzaghi’s task is to restore the Italian side to their former position as leading club in the land, and despite spending big in the summer is still in need of reinforcements when the transfer window reopens in the New Year.
After starting the season positively momentum has stalled in recent weeks and Milan have won just once in their last seven outings in Serie A.
Jeremy Menez has been the undisputed star, but Fernando Torres has struggled since his summer loan move from Chelsea and could find himself out in the cold if Inzaghi opts to bring Cerci back to Italy.
The club cannot tolerate another season of sheer mediocrity after the nightmare of last term under Massimiliano Allegri and Clarence Seedorf, and only by spending big might they one day reclaim their position at the top of the summit of Italian football.
Regardless of this season’s disappointments, Cerci remains a stunning individual and Atletico could be unwilling to sanction his sale so early into his time at the club.
Premier League duo Arsenal and Manchester United were both interested him back in the summer, and may wish to rekindle their interest in January.
Milan must win the race. Super teams need super players, and the 27-year-old possesses the skill and ability to be a big hit over at the San Siro.
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