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The Anti-Mercato

Due to the nth delay in the sale of the club, everyone has said that there will be no investments in the mercato. The only way anyone will come in is if someone is sold. Not that Galliani hasn’t said that before, but considering that results have been better than expected this season and there are so many steps to approve any movement in the mercato at all, this time it seems a very harsh reality. But never fear, Galliani is still in charge. And so far, he has not disappointed at all. Brace yourselves for the anti-mercato.

"That is a waste of a whole lot of money. I'm just going to walk away now."

First up, dumping Luiz Adriano, who should be taking medicals shortly for Spartak Moscow. Seemed kinda obvious he’d leave, he’s not gotten much playing time. But considering that 18 mos. ago, we paid €14m for him (€8m + €6m in undisclosed fees,) the €1m reported funds we will receive in return is a massive slap in the face. But, thanks to the beauty of social media, there is a story going around that we will save €30-35m in wages!! Now I’m no mathematician, but Adriano’s wages were €3m/yr. and he had 3.5 yrs left on his contract. That’s €10.5m we’d save over 3.5 years. I asked a lot of smart people where this €30-35m figure was coming from, they said it was probably  gross wages, before taxes. If so, his gross wages would be around €10m/yr, or around 10% of Milan’s entire wage bill. Which is certainly not true. So the real formula is: spent €14m + €4.5m in wages for the past 18 mos., meaning total cost: €18.5m for Luiz Adriano. Selling him for €1m transfer fees. A loss of €17.5m. If you want to listen to Galliani and point out the ridiculous €10.5m in saved wages, that’s a loss of only €7.5m… between his signing and the year 2020. Winning.

"Surely no one will notice how much money I'm wasting if I wear these trunks"

Next up, the Storari-Gabriel swap. Milan get an old, washed up, discipline-problem keeper who didn’t want to be at Milan 10 years ago to give their 24 year-old never-should-have-bought keeper six months of first team experience at a club with one of the worst defensive records in the league. That’s a vintage Galliani 2012 move right there. Everyone loses. Everyone. Here’s an idea, why don’t we sell Gabriel and let him get some proper first team experience at a club that actually cares about developing a good solid young keeper? We might even lose less than €17.5m on that deal. In fact, it turns out we only ever paid €500.000 for him four years ago, plus wages for the 1.5 seasons he’s actually played for Milan would be €750.000. So €1.25m loss over four years time… kinda seems like we could practically give him away without the trauma of bringing Storari in. But that’s so Galliani… risk the dressing room to give a 6 month loan to a kid you bought four years ago who deserves better, but dump someone you spent €18.5m for 18 months ago. Yeah, that happened.

Exactly what Milan need: an angry, abusive old man to bring some "experience" to the squad

Consider also that every transfer deal has to be approved by Galliani as well as Fassone and Mirabelli as well as Sino Europe. So by the time everyone says yes, any potential players we wanted will have signed and perhaps already played with another club. Rumors have been flying about several “players of interest” and even rumors about Mirabelli making agreements for summer transfers. Woah, there social media. Remember, the deal has to actually close before anyone can be doing that. But at least that rumor acknowledges that we won’t be able to do much of anything in this mercato, it’s like the anti-mercato. So this year, as you break out the hard core 12 year old girl act for the month, when you read a new rumor and wonder if it's real or not, ask yourself if it has confirmed not only by Milan but also by Sino Europe. Until you read both reports from credible sources, it’s definitely not happening.

In the past five years, Milan have had some pretty horrible transfer markets. And while nothing beats selling your two best players in the summer of 2012, replacing them with second division players from lesser leagues and not reinvesting the €70-90m you got at all, this mercato is shaping up to be pretty terrible. Kind of feels like we will give away anyone of value and do whatever it takes to keep those we don’t need or don’t cost much. I’d like to say, “Well at least this is Galliani’s last mercato,” but isn’t that what we told ourselves last summer? It’s like he tried to squeeze out the last drops of blood last summer, but now has been given this gift to squeeze out even more. Galliani’s already negative €17.5m in his first move, can he do better? How much of Milan’s precious little mercato funds from the past four years can he squander? Coming out of a mercato worse than it started really is his specialty, so let’s all brace ourselves for the anti-mercato.

This post inspired by the music of Ludo’s “Go-Getter Greg”

Our next match is
Milan vs. Cagliari
Sunday, January 8 • 18:00 CET (12noon EST)