The AC Milan right-back is apparently available for a cut-price fee as his contract expires in 2014 and the club looks to cut costs. With Zenit the only team interested at the moment should Premier League teams join the hunt?
AC Milan are said to be given considerable thought toward selling their Italian international right-back Ignazio Abate to Russian outfit Zenit Saint Petersburg for a deal believed to be worth in the region of £8 million. AC Milan are not enjoying their most prosperous time both on the pitch but perhaps more disconcertingly off of it.
The sale of Abate would go some way to balancing books and they are even in talks with Parma to bring in former Palermo full-back Cristian Zaccardo as a potential replacement; along with rumoured interest in Newcastle’s Davide Santon and progressing current youngster Mattia De Sciglio into the first team on a more regular basis.
The reports are quite commonplace in Italy so it is certain there is some credence to the story in which case the idea that no Premier League teams are not rivalling the Russian side to his signature is absolutely baffling.
Abate has been a regular member of AC Milan’s starting line-up for the past three seasons in both domestic and continental competitions and shone at this year’s European Championships against England with Italy. When compiling a list of the world’s best right-backs not including Abate in the top five would be difficult in the top ten it would be bordering on criminal such is his consistency, incredible pace, attacking threat and defensive ability.
At £8 million; if that truly is the price being quoted he is simply a must buy or at least a must-bid. Arsenal for instance could use a player like Abate considering the likelihood that Bacary Sagna is going to be on his way very soon. At 26 Abate still has plenty of years left at the top of his game and the idea that Arsenal would not consider picking him up as the long-term replacement for Sagna, sharing the right-back role with Carl Jenkinson, is bizarre.
Manchester City also strike me as a team who could strengthen the right-back position. While Pablo Zabaleta is one of Europe’s most consistent in the position current back-up Maicon is not getting any younger (or as a consequence any better) while Micah Richards spends more time on the treatment table than the football pitch. Considering the money available at City £8 million for an Italian international with room for improvement seems a no brainer.
Should Premier League clubs join the hunt for Ignazio Abate?
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