Milan secure place among Europe's elite

Posted by Sumeet Paul

At times, it was a nervy affair at San Siro on Wednesday night, but ultimately Milan did enough to secure their place in the Champions League group stages with a 3-0 win over PSV Eindhoven, a 4-1 success on aggregate. The Rossoneri are in Pot 2 for Thursday’s draw, but many will now be distracted by the possibility of new faces arriving before the transfer deadline.

-Allegri considering resigning?

As discussed in my previous blog post, qualification for the Champions League for Milan was a financial must, in more ways than one. It was essential for the club in order to continue its path toward sustainability, but it was also a sign that CEO Adriano Galliani was waiting for security.

With a minimum of an additional 30 million euros now secured for the new season, Galliani can re-start his work in the transfer market with just five days remaining. Being critical, that is perhaps not the ideal situation given the lack of time any new signing will have to settle at the club.

However, it is a situation that has been forced on the Rossoneri dating to last season, when they were unable to leapfrog Napoli into second place in Serie A and in turn missed out on the benefit of direct qualification to the group stages.

Nevertheless, it was a positive performance for manager Massimiliano Allegri against the Dutch giants, and he was buoyed by the improvement from Saturday’s loss to Hellas Verona with Kevin-Prince Boateng rediscovering his scoring touch to help lift the home faithful.

While the Milan coach lashed out in his post-game interview and threatened to resign, both he and Galliani later revealed that it was merely a joke and he had made up the scenario as others like to fabricate stories, too.

Nevertheless, Galliani was delighted with the result and is looking forward to another Champions League campaign this season.

“It is evident this was clearly the most important game of the season. Tonight it was a turning point, gave sense to our great comeback which we earned two minutes from the end against Siena,” he told reporters.

Galliani went on to confirm that Allegri had requested a new striker, with doubts still remaining over when Giampaolo Pazzini will return from his knee injury. Speculation suggests that Juventus striker Alessandro Matri is the primary target, but it isn’t a popular choice for most.

Milan supporters displayed a banner prior to kick-off on Wednesday night reading: “Matri? No thanks. Strengthen the midfield and defence instead."

While it is unlikely the recommendation will be heeded, the hope is that while Matri will in all probability arrive, the spending will not end there as the squad requires strengthening elsewhere for the season ahead.

However, for now the attention will be focused on Thursday’s Champions League draw as despite securing their place in the second pot it remains to be seen how kind the draw will be to Milan.

At this stage of the tournament it is almost impossible to hope for an “easy” draw, but there is the potential for the Rossoneri to face some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

Should Milan be looking at signing Matri? Who would you like to see the club sign in the next few days?

For all the latest transfer news and more, you can follow me on Twitter @italiafooty

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