This coming January, Milan look all-but set to move for long-term target Dominik Szoboszlai, with reports from La Gazzetta dello Sport inciting that the Hungarian could finally be about to seal his Rossoneri move.
Last year, it was ex-Milan chief Zvonimir Boban who was working a deal with Red Bull Salzburg to bring the highly-rated Szoboszlai to Milan – and the deal was looking good. Szoboszlai was all set to complete his move aged 19 but for Boban’s sudden resignation from the Milan board.
After that, the move seemed to boil off. Milan went through a managerial transition which beset them into this summer; Ralf Rangnick was due to become the club’s new manager but for Stefano Pioli’s unprecedented form in the interim, leading his permanent appointment and what’s been a fine start to this 2020-21 Serie A season.
Rangnick then was all but in the job before his appointment, so much so though he’d identified Szoboszlai as a primary target and Milan’s Ivan Gazidis was trying to materialize the move. Again though, as Milan went through a managerial U-turn they turned their interest elsewhere, and to other players.
With Milan settling under Pioli and seemingly building a much more sustained future, it’s looking as though Milan will once again look to bring in Szoboszlai in the upcoming January transfer window. But Milan might yet have missed their chance.
Now aged 20 and playing in what is his third full season in the Salzburg first-team, Milan are not alone in their admiration of the midfielder. Alongside Milan, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side are being strongly linked with Szoboszlai and that could become a much more attractive destination for him.
So the question doesn’t seem to be whether Szoboszlai will be leaving this January – or at very latest, next summer – but in fact where he’ll be heading.
Arsenal for many young footballers in Europe would be a dream move. A healthy payday and the chance to play and progress alongside a team on the up, and one that’s winning trophies more importantly.
Milan meanwhile are a much more attractive option than they might have been this time last year, or last summer even. Pioli has his side top of the Serie A table after taking 16 points from their opening 6 games, scoring 14 goals and conceding just 5 in the process.
They’re well on course for a place in next year’s Champions League and they’ve all the domestic accolades still to play for, and all of which look very winnable after the start they’ve had.
Szoboszlai then could be heading to Milan at just the right time to help them potentially lift a few trophies. He’s a dynamic player and one that would slot into Pioli’s system with ease; he’s got guile and class that the Milan badge has so often represented, the pace to keep up with the modern game as well as a scoring touch.
His services will come at a price though – La Gazzetta dello Sport claims that Szoboszlai has a 25 million euro release clause on his contract, which is set to run out in 2023. Plus, Salzburg will demand a 25% sell-on fee to whoever might land Szoboszlai in the coming months.
A deal to keep an eye on, and one that would send a clear statement to the rest of the Serie A – Milan are here to compete once again.