Back to business for Milan

Posted by Sumeet Paul

Mario BalotelliGettyImagesMario Balotelli returns to Milan after scoring twice for Italy.

The end of the international break signals the return of Serie A this weekend, as Milan hope to maintain their momentum in the final stretch of the season. Chievo await on Saturday evening, as the Rossoneri regroup for the nine 'cup finals' ahead.

Milan have eight wins and three draws since the turn of the year, as their ascent up the league has gathered more recognition by the week. Lauded for their refreshing new approach, it is imperative that the good work done over the past few months isn't wasted with a disappointing end to the campaign.

Those within the club have played up the possibility of catching Napoli in second place, and while that is a realistic objective, the first thought remains maintaining the gap between themselves and the chasing pack.

Taking that into consideration, it is vital that they return home with three points on Saturday, with a tough fixture list ahead during April. A possible six-point buffer would be most welcome considering the three games that follow are against Fiorentina, Napoli and Juventus. The month ahead could well define how this season.

The international contingent are likely to return in high spirits, with five Milan players featuring for Italy in the 2-0 win over Malta on Tuesday night. Ignazio Abate, Riccardo Montolivo and Stephan El Shaarawy all impressed, while Mattia De Sciglio and Mario Balotelli linked up well to seal the three points.

'Super Mario' has received endless plaudits for his performances for both Milan and Italy since returning home. The former Manchester City striker has grabbed the opportunity of being at the forefront of both projects with both hands, and it is essential he continues in the same vein.

As mentioned in my blog regarding the Milan block flourishing in Cesare Prandelli's Azzurri, the quintet didn't disappoint as the club looks to benefit from producing an Italian core to the squad.

Speculation over the past fortnight has been littered with transfer news, concerning both those that could arrive and potentially leave. For those on the periphery of the current first team, it is the perfect stage to prove their importance to Massimiliano Allegri and the club's project as it looks to evolve further in the summer.

Contracts are up for renewal, the wage bill is set to be reduced again and the squad is likely to be reinforced. Massimo Ambrosini leads the queue of players waiting to see whether their stay is extended, while the Rossoneri have been linked with a handful of transfer targets.

Amongst those at the top of the list is usual suspect Angelo Ogbonna, with Vasco's Dede returning to the fold. The Brazilian club's president suggested that due to financial constraints the defender may well leave for Europe this summer. With Milan touted as a possible destination, the Rossoneri appear to be making all the right moves to make this an incredibly exciting squad.

However, these distractions should be seen as such for now, with the primary focus being securing Champions League football for next season. The mission starts with Chievo, and the objective is nothing less than three points.

Excited by the names being linked with a summer move to Milan? How do you see the Rossoneri faring over the next month?

For all the latest Milan and Serie A news, you can follow me on Twitter @italiafooty

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