Robinho out, Honda or Ljajic in?

Posted by Sumeet Paul

Claudio Villa/Getty ImagesJapan's Keisuke Honda could be on the way to Milan very soon.

There are just nine days remaining before the Brazilian transfer window is closed for business, thus leaving Milan in a predicament. It is understood that Adriano Galliani has reduced Robinho's valuation in order to push through an exit, so if the Brazilian departs, who should arrive?

- Santos continue pursuit of Robinho

The first contender is Keisuke Honda, who had been rumoured to have reached an agreement on personal terms with the Rossoneri. While that has not been officially confirmed, Galliani must also decide on whether or not to wait until January.

The Japanese playmaker's contract expires in December, thus leaving him available as a free agent. However, considering the requirement to replace Robinho should he leave, Milan may look to sign Honda in a cut-price deal this summer.

There is no denying the 27-year-old's talent, and he has the ability to fit in among the current squad and become an integral part of Milan's more immediate future.

Those with a keen business eye will also acknowledge the commercial aspect of bringing the star to Italy, with financial quotes already suggesting that Milan's revenue will enjoy a sharp increase upon his arrival.

However, while it would seem Robinho is destined for a return to Santos, Kevin-Prince Boateng is no closer to leaving San Siro which means Milan must decide between two targets.

The second contender is Fiorentina's starlet Adem Ljajic, who is currently in contract negotiations with the Viola. It is believed he is requesting a salary increase in order to extend his stay in Florence beyond the end of next season.

Depending on how those talks go, Milan may also be able to take advantage of the Serbian’s situation. Should he fail to agree terms, Fiorentina may decide to actively look for suitors this month in order to avoid losing the star for nothing next summer.

Ljajic represents a more long-term investment, as the Rossoneri would essentially be swapping the 29-year-old Robinho for a 21-year-old talent that showed last season that he is developing into quite a player.

The former Partizan star has arguably always had the skill, yet lacked the end product. However, that changed last season as he bagged 11 goals in an impressive campaign that took the club to the brink of Champions League football.

Galliani acknowledged the speculation on Saturday, dismissing reports that the club had sought out Ljajic already, but admitted that he would be among a group of players that they would consider if Robinho were to leave.

Ljajic appears to "fit the bill" as it were, in the sense that he can be deployed as a secondary striker, is young and would be an upgrade on what Milan currently possess.

His position will become clearer following a meeting with Fiorentina officials on Monday, but personally, the Serbian international would perhaps be the more intriguing signing.

Nevertheless, Milan's transfer activity still hinges on Robinho's exit. Until that is confirmed, the mystery of whether they will sign Honda, Ljajic or another target, will continue.

Which player would you prefer to see Milan sign? Is there another target that you see better suited to the club should Robinho leave?

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