Decade-long suffering finally came to an end last season as Stefano Pioli’s AC Milan side won their first Scudetto since 2010/11.
Inspired by former Chelsea star Olivier Giroud and 2021/12 Serie A MVP Rafael Leao, the Rossoneri defeated Inter Milan in one of the most exciting title battles in recent years.
Not since 1992/93 and 1993/94 had Milan won back-to-back Serie A crowns, and achieving that feat will be Pioli’s goal next season.
So often in the past had former club president Silvio Berlusconi reiterated that the Champions League was an integral part of the Rossoneri DNA.
But Milan’s last continental triumph dates back to 2007, and Pioli’s men will be under pressure to prove their European credentials in 2022/23.
They failed to leave up to expectations last season, finishing their underwhelming Champions League campaign already in the group stages.
Expecting Milan to fight other European giants for the most prestigious continental title sounds unrealistic at this point in time.
Yet, Paolo Maldini will give his best to provide Pioli with a competitive squad, even though he has to operate on a tight budget.
The Italians took to Twitter to announce that Liverpool cult hero Divock Origi has finally completed his long-awaited switch to San Siro.
While waiting for the Belgian striker’s first picture in the 2022/23 AC Milan home kit, Maldini is looking to complete other deals.
Hakim Ziyech & Charles de Ketelaere
According to Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea misfit Hakim Ziyech is Milan’s next ‘main target,’ alongside Club Brugge prodigy Charles de Ketelaere.
The Rossoneri have opened talks with their Stamford Bridge counterparts to discuss the Moroccan’s move to Serie A.
Following a frustrating season, Ziyech is keen to leave west London in search of regular first-team football and has already given his consent for a Milan deal.
At 29, the former Ajax winger still has plenty to offer and the Italians are ready to make him their marquee summer signing.
Milan would like to take Ziyech on loan with an option or obligation to buy, with Chelsea inclined to accept their bid.
As for de Ketelaere, he has been on Maldini’s shortlist since January.
Widely regarded as one of Belgium’s most exciting young talents, the 21-year-old went from strength to strength at Brugge last season.
The technically-gifted forward netted 18 goals and laid off ten assists in 49 competitive appearances as Blauw-Zwart won their 18th Belgium First Division title.
But Milan are not alone in the race for de Ketelaere, as Leeds United are considering a swoop for the Belgium starlet to replace outgoing forward Raphinha.
Milan are in the market for a new deep-lying midfielder to replace Franck Kessie, who left the club to join Barcelona on a free transfer earlier in the summer.
They initially earmarked Lille’s Renato Sanches as their number one priority, but the Portuguese ace is close to linking up with Paris Saint-Germain.
Forced to explore other options, the Rossoneri have laid their eyes on Aston Villa star Douglas Luiz.
According to the Daily Mail, Maldini has opened talks with the Premier League side over the Brazilian’s move to Serie A.
As per the same report, it could take up to £26million to lure the 24-year-old away from Villa Park.
Luiz’s representatives are reportedly ‘confident’ of sealing their client’s transfer to Italy despite Newcastle United’s interest in the player.
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