It’s been talked about for months and months, and now it’s finally happened: AC Milan have been taken over by their Chinese investors. It’s official.
The Italian media have been speculating endlessly about which moves the club could make in the summer transfer market with their new financial backing, and now we’ll see if they were right.
One team, however, who is very much likely to benefit from this news is Everton.
Loaning Gerard Deulofeu to the Italian side in January, the Toffees could have a big decision to make come the end of the season.
The deal taking the Spaniard to Serie A didn’t include an option to buy, meaning any transfer negotiations for his services would have to start from scratch.
A clever move from the Premier League club.
At the time of the loan talks, there was no guarantee AC Milan would be taken over anytime soon, and negotiating an option to buy held no visible benefits, as a resurgence from the player could have seen them lose out on potential profit had they undervalued him in the deal.
As things stand, Everton find themselves in an ideal situation.
AC Milan are extremely keen on making the deal permanent, hinted at by Andrea Galliani a few days ago when he revealed the club had already been in talks with Barcelona.
The La Liga club are involved in this because they still have the €12m buy-back clause available that would allow them to recall Deulofeu at an affordable fee.
While this all sounds great on paper, it must be pointed out the Everton winger has no obligation to accept the contract offered to him from his former club.
The Toffees are contractually obliged to let Barcelona know of any bid made for the player, at which point they can make a €12m bid that Ronald Koeman’s side have to accept, but Deulofeu can still say no.
Why would he say no? Because a return to Catalonia wouldn’t guarantee him first-team football, what with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar all ahead of him in the pecking order.
Contrastingly, at Milan, he is one of the first names on the team sheet these days under Vincenzo Montella.
Considering how well he is doing, Everton are going to want to make a healthy profit on him, especially since Ronald Koeman has made it clear Deulofeu isn’t a huge part of his plans, which means getting more than €12m for him.
With their new money, and an ambition to build a team full of young talent, it wouldn’t be surprising if Milan were willing to pay a considerable amount more than €12m for the Spain international in the summer.
That and the reported added interest from Napoli in the young winger could see them hit the jackpot for a player their Dutch manager is seemingly happy to do without.