Milan are expected to confirm the signing of talented Italian defender Alessio Romagnoli on Monday, with Arsenal missing out on a future star.
The Gunners had been linked with a making a move for the 20-year-old, particularly with Roma and Milan unable to agree on a transfer fee.
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The capital club were adamant that the youngster was worth €30m, while Milan were not moving from their valuation of €25m. However, having reached a compromise which will see the Giallorossi receive their preferred fee, Arsene Wenger is no longer in the equation.
While €30m is a significant amount of money to spend on a 20-year-old that hasn’t particularly been tested at the highest level yet, Milan boss Sinisa Mihajlovic has clearly seen enough to be convinced.
The Serbian tactician worked with Romagnoli at Sampdoria with the latter spending last season on loan at the club, and it is there where Mihajlovic suggested that the defensive ace reminded him of Italian legend Alessandro Nesta, as reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Those comparisons may seem a little far-fetched considering how early it still is in Romagnoli’s career, but Mihajlovic hasn’t wavered in that belief and has made it a priority to convince the Milan hierarchy to spend on him.
Given that the Roma starlet is now reportedly on the brink of moving to San Siro, Arsenal and a number of other interested clubs will potentially see just how much of a mistake they have made by not pushing harder for him.
Milan have been criticised for spending so much, but for a club that hasn’t found the answers to their defensive problems since losing Thiago Silva and Nesta himself over three years ago, it is long overdue that they invest significantly in that area of the pitch.
Further, if Romagnoli proves to be a cornerstone of the club for years to come, just as Nesta did, then few will remember the controversy over the transfer fee and will instead congratulate the club on signing a player that has a huge role to play for both club and country in the coming years.
The pressure is on Milan, Mihajlovic and Romagnoli to prove that this was a smart move for all concerned. However, there is so much belief in that triangle that Wenger will probably be left to rue not making it a priority to move for the youngster.