AC Milan overcame the odds and won their first Scudetto in 11 years on the final day of last season, leapfrogging rivals Inter in the dying weeks of the campaign.
The Rossoneri have risen back to the top under Stefano Pioli, securing Champions League qualification in 2021 and conquering Italy in 2022.
But the hard work doesn’t stop there. RedBird recently agreed to buy the club for €1.2bn from Elliott Management – the second most expensive sale of a football team following Todd Boehly’s takeover of Chelsea – and there is an optimism in Milan that they can become a European powerhouse again.
Here’s how they could line up for the 2022/23 season.
After losing Gianluigi Donnarumma on a free transfer last summer, Mike Maignan had some pretty big shoes (literally and metaphorically) to fill. However, he’s firmly established himself as Serie A’s best stopper.
Backup goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu is heading into the final year of his three-year contract, while veteran Antonio Mirante‘s deal expires this month and is expected to leave.
Milan are pushing hard to complete a deal to sign Sven Botman from Lille ahead of Newcastle, whose lingering interest refuses to completely subside.
The hope is for the Dutchman to slot in alongside the imperious Fikayo Tomori at the heart of defence. Club captain Alessio Romagnoli is nearing the exit door on a free transfer.
At full-back, it could be another long summer for the Rossoneri in trying to fend off interest for Theo Hernandez, though there haven’t been as many strong links with a move away this time around. Alessandro Florenzi has hinted that he will make his loan move from Roma permanent, and Milan should benefit from having Davide Calabria fit for a full season (hopefully).
Renato Sanches is being lined up as Milan’s long-term successor to Franck Kessie, who is nearing a move to Barcelona.
The Portugal international will fit in well alongside Sandro Tonali and Ismael Bennacer, while Rade Krunic saw plenty of minutes as a number 10 down the stretch of their title win. In place of the goal-shy Bosnian could be Nicolo Zaniolo, who has been heavily linked with a move from Roma.
There will also be plenty of hope that Daniel Maldini will continue his fine progress, carrying the torch of his legendary father.
Jesse Lingard has been tentatively touted with a move to San Siro but it seems a reunion with Jose Mourinho at Roma is more likely. River Plate midfielder Enzo Fernandez and Wolves youngster Morgan Gibbs-White are admired by the Rossoneri hierarchy but wouldn’t go straight into the starting lineup.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss most of the season after undergoing knee surgery, revealing he played much of Milan’s title-winning campaign without an ACL at all.
Olivier Giroud isn’t getting any younger but seems well suited to coming off the bench and Milan have sewn up a deal for Divock Origi anyway.
The Italian champions desperately need to fend off interest for star winger Rafael Leao, while they look to be strengthening their depth in that area with a move for Brugge’s Noa Lang.
Milan are also interested in Sassuolo trio Gianluca Scammaca, Hamad Traore Junior and Domenico Berardi, with the latter a primary transfer target.