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Milan have a fantastic array of attacking talent but a huge dearth of depth in both midfield and defence. While an injured forward simply means another world class star takes off his tracksuit and enters the fray, a knock to either Alessandro Nesta or Thiago Silva leaves most Rossoneri fans with palpitations akin to those club President’s have when discovering player has Mino Raiola is his agent.

With a number of large contracts due to expire this coming summer it is clear a huge rebuilding project is underway at Milanello, but as well as the space on the wage bill the club will also need funding to complete the deals necessary to fully round out the team.

With Marco Borriello’s set-fee basically passiing straight to Barcelona as payment for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Silvio Berlusconi’s daughter denying her father access to the family fortune, the club must provide for itself for the first time since the politician took control in 1986.

Massimiliano Allegri has a far more pragmatic approach than either of his predecessors, Carlo Ancelotti or Leonardo. But as the coach largely ignores his bosses demand to cram as many of his attacking stars as possible into the starting eleven, Alessandro Pato seems to be the odd man out with increasing regularity. Antonio Cassano’s arrival alongside Ibrahimovic and Robinho gives an ideal blend of blunt force, creativity, guile and goals.

With Ibrahimovic scoring freely it is perhaps the rebirth of another Brazilian that will free the club of worry when and if it becomes time to sell on Pato. Robinho is finally fulfilling the potential he has only shown in the briefest of glimpses since arriving in Europe five years ago.

There had been the understandable questions over whether he was too much of an individual for the tactical intensity of the Italian game, but his licence to roam to the flanks has given Milan a new impetus and his energy is fast becoming an effective weapon, particularly when Ibrahimovic is rested or struggling.

With Pato still only 21-years-old he is the one asset that may raise the necessary money to plug the gaping holes that are obvious to anyone watching the team this season. At various times this term Berlusconi, Allegri, Ibrahimovic and even Gennaro Gattuso felt the need to publicly criticise the young striker and it is hard to judge what affect - if any - such displays of frustration will have on the player.

None of this is a criticism of a player who is undoubtedly an amazing talent, a fact borne out even by this seasons statistics. In twelve appearances (nine starts) he has netted an impressive eight goals, a fantastic return from a player who is far more than just a scorer. In total for Milan he has an overall tally of 51 goals in 107 games, an astonishing record.

But selling ‘The Duck’ may be of more value to a team that, aside from Kevin-Prince Boateng and Mathieu Flamini has very little in terms of both midfield and fullback cover. Deals for Ajax prospect Urby Emanuelson and Espanyol’s Didac Vila have been completed, as have the short term additions of Nicola Legrottaglie and Marc van Bommel, but so much more work remains to be done.

Carlo Ancelotti, a self-proclaimed fan of Pato would be perhaps the most willing buyer should the player become available. Whether he continues in his current role at Chelsea remains to be seen, and it would be hard to imagine the player moving to Roma should that become his former mentors new home as is widely believed.

Milan have a tough decision to make regarding his future, but it is not one without precedent - it is hard to argue the Rossoneri certainly timed the sale of Kaka perfectly. Yet unlike that deal, this would not be a move to ensure the club remained solvent, this would be purely to provide money to rebuild.

Perhaps selling Pato, once an unthinkable proposition, is now the only way for Milan realise their ambitions in the years ahead. A strange juxtaposition, but one sure to intrigue us in the months to come.

3 Responses so far.

  1. Brancho says:

    You numpty! selling pato! get a grip man!!!!

  2. Michelangelo says:

    I hope it will never appen. Anyway it can be a concrete possibility.

  3. Anthony says:

    Surprisingly, this was actually a decent read.

    The question I ask myself, is if Andy Carroll is worth 40 million or what ever, then what’s Pato worth?

    I think if a offer of 60 million euros comes in, Galliani will have to take it.

    My only problem is, will Milan use Pato’s transfer fee to buy new players? Or will they continue to buy ” stop gaps “?

    Milan need a LB, a center half that can actually replace Nesta, two midfielders, and maybe even a new goalie.

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