Boateng departs; Honda or Kaka to join Matri at Milan?

Posted by Sumeet Paul

With the relief of Wednesday night's win over PSV still fresh in the memory, it came as quite a surprise on Friday at the speed at which Kevin-Prince Boateng secured his return to the Bundesliga. The hero of the San Siro two nights ago is now the key which has unlocked Milan's transfer market activity.

- Report: Boateng makes surprise Schalke switch

Having made a century of appearances for the club in which he scored 17 memorable goals, Boateng will wear the colours of Schalke as of this weekend, while the Rossoneri have welcomed their new number 9 to the club.

"Matri? No thanks" read the banner on display in the Curva Sud on Wednesday, but clarification has since arrived in that the issue was with the lack of reinforcements elsewhere and not with the player himself.

Nevertheless, the former Milan youth team product has not been universally welcomed given that there didn't appear to be a need to strengthen the attack. Massimiliano Allegri will now have up to six options for three positions, with the potential of another arrival before Monday's deadline.

With doubts still hovering over when Giampaolo Pazzini will return from his knee injury, Allegri convened with both Adriano Galliani and Silvio Berlusconi on Thursday evening, where it was decided that a replacement was required.

Matri will bring goals to the team, but as it also sacrifices an element of the youth project with Andrea Petagna going out on loan, the arrival of the 29-year-old for such a high transfer fee and salary has left many rightly confused.

With regards to the sale of Boateng, it perhaps isn't that damaging to Milan given his poor overall form for the past two years. The trequartista experiment has more often than not disappointed, and with a midfield already packed with similarly high energy players, the requirement for a real No.10 can now finally be addressed.

The revenue from qualifying for the Champions League will have possibly covered the costs of Matri with ample left over, while the income from Boateng's move is also likely to be used in signing new players over the next three days.

Speculation went into overdrive on Thursday night, following Kaka's announcement that he wished to leave Real Madrid in order to secure regular first-team football. As has been the case over the past two transfer windows, inevitable links were made with a return to Milan, with Galliani reportedly revealing that the Brazilian is "always in our hearts".

However, speaking to reporters while unveiling Matri, Galliani hinted that Honda will remain the priority and that negotiations with CSKA Moscow over an immediate transfer are on-going.

The Japanese playmaker is set to join the Rossoneri in January on a free transfer after agreeing on personal terms, but the two clubs have been unable to reach an agreement on his transfer fee, therefore resulting in a standstill until now.

Galliani will in all probability raise the offer for the 27-year-old who will bring craft and creativity that has long been required in this Milan team. For all of Boateng's great memories, that was perhaps the key absence from his game which was ultimately his biggest failure in a Milan shirt.

However, his departure signals a busy few days for Galliani, who now has the finances to go out into the market and improve the squad where it is necessary.

Happy to see Matri arrive? Disappointed to see Boateng leave? If Milan are to make another signing to replace him, should it be Honda or Kaka?

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

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