According to Nizaar Kinsella of Goal, AC Milan target Ryan Bertrand as a free transfer this summer. The left-back has not renewed his contract with Southampton, meaning clubs will be able to pursue him without a transfer fee. However, Milan are not alone in the race, with Arsenal, Manchester City, and Monaco also showing interest.
AC Milan Target Ryan Bertrand on a Free Transfer
Current Milan Full-Backs
Milan’s two starting full-backs are set in stone. Theo Hernandez is an explosive left-back, capable of scoring goals and providing assists. His blistering speed and excellent crosses give him traits of a winger, while he’s constantly growing as a defender. In Milan’s 3-0 victory over Juventus last time out, Hernandez was unstoppable. He participated in nearly every meaningful Milan movement while keeping Juventus’s attack at bay.
Davide Calabria is Milan’s starting right-back. The homegrown Primavera product has been a starter for a couple of seasons now, but this year is his best season to date. He doesn’t offer as much offensively as Hernandez (although he certainly does participate) but excels in defence.
The back-ups include Diogo Dalot and Pierre Kalulu. This is where Bertrand comes into play as Dalot shows inconsistencies. With that being said, he’s on loan from Manchester United, so it’s unlikely Milan will pursue a permanent deal. Kalulu is still very young but has put in solid performances. He can’t be relied upon yet as a top fullback bench option, so Milan must add more experience to the squad.
What Ryan Bertrand Offers
First and foremost, Bertrand is a very experienced player. Milan’s squad is youthful, so adding that experience is key, should they qualify for Champions League.
Bertrand has played for a plethora of clubs in England, mostly on loan from Chelsea. He left in 2015 to join the Saints. During his time at Stamford Bridge, Bertrand was primarily a back-up, but he did start in Chelsea’s victory in the 2012 Champions League final over Bayern Munich.
All in all, Bertrand will bring solid defence and European experience. His playstyle in the past can be compared to Hernandez’s, albeit not at the same level.
Bertrand is a strong option to bring in as a backup left-back. There’s no reason for Milan not to pursue this, especially on a free transfer. The two other English clubs in contention will surely be top competitors for Bertrand’s signature, however.