However, Japanese international claims deal could happen sooner.
AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has revealed that the club are ready to wait until January to sign CSKA Moscow playmaker Keisuke Honda.
The 27-year-old has been linked with a move to San Siro all summer, and while he has agreed on personal terms with the Serie A giants, his current employers have not been able to reach an agreement over a transfer fee.
With his contract set to expire in December, the Rossoneri are ready to wait until January to sign him on a free transfer, although Galliani has revealed that they would prefer to secure his signature before the season starts in order to have him available for the Champions League.
“Honda will arrive in January, but it would be good if they want to give him to us sooner,” he said as reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“If that doesn’t happen then we will wait,” he added.
However, there are conflicting quotes from the player himself who has suggested that the two clubs aren’t far off an agreement and he expects a decision to be made on his future in the coming days.
It would seem unlikely that this is the case given Milan’s tense relations with CSKA over the course of negotiations, with the Russian club’s president warning Galliani and Co. not to “treat them like losers”.
Nevertheless, Honda still holds on to hope that a deal will be reached sooner rather than later as he has his heart set on a move to Italy.
“I have already admitted having negotiations with Milan and it’s true that they are entering the final stages,” Honda is quoted as saying by Nikkan Sports.
“As far as I am aware, Milan have almost satisfied CSKA’s requests. A clear decision will be made when club officials meet again in the next few days.”
It remains to be seen whether Honda’s claims are true, with Milan also hoping to sign Adem Ljajic from Fiorentina this summer.
After their initial bid of €8m was rejected, it is expected that they will return with an improved proposal if the Serbian international turns down an offer of a contract extension from the Viola.