Milan to Rival Liverpool for Touted Schalke 04 Center-Back

Milan are considering signing a young center-back with a high upside. He would not necessarily replace Simon Kjaer right away. Instead, he would be brought along slowly to adapt to being part of a top club and to Serie A football. It would be the same move they made in attack, where they acquired Marko Lazetic.

They are keeping tabs on a few profiles should they take such route. According to Sky Sport, the Rossoneri have joined the race for Malick Thiaw. The Schalke 04 defender is on Liverpool and West Ham’s radar too, though. They touched base with his club for preliminary talks.

The 20-year-old, who is a product of Die Knappen’s youth academy, has accumulated 47 appearances with the first team. He has been a full-time starter in the Zweite Bundesliga this season. He has six caps with Germany U-21. The asking price is around €8-10M. According to Tuttomercatoweb, the German side would like to keep him until the end of the season. Napoli have expressed interest for the summer.

On top of the Schalke center-back, Milan are also eyeing Maxime Esteve. The 19-year-old debuted in Ligue 1 in 2021-2022 and has notched 13 appearances. The Rossoneri have previously been linked to Empoli’s Mattia Viti, who just turned 20. He remains an option even though the Azzurri eventually lost the race for Andrea Conti. However, Thiaw has jumped the other candidates. The Rossoneri appear to have discarded the more established options but Sven Botman, but it is an uphill climb to sign him in January.