Both are giants in their respective countries, both are former European champions, both have millions of supporters around the world and both are struggling this season.
The similarities between Manchester United and AC Milan are quite stark. While the Red Devils have pretty much relinquished their chances of a top-four finish in the Premier League, the Rossoneri are struggling in the bottom half of Serie A, closer to the relegation zone than the top three.
For both clubs, the 2013-14 campaign is a write-off and rebuilding needs to be done over the summer. However, while United do have the necessary funds to invest in what is a largely ageing squad, Milan are likely to blood youngsters as they cannot afford to make big-name signings.
Yet, coach Clarence Seedorf remains optimistic about the future of Milan and has urged the club’s fans to be patient and to have faith.
The Dutchman took charge of the first team in January following the sacking of Massimiliano Allegri, but he has yet to make a real impact.
"AC Milan, just like Manchester United, are going through a period of transition and difficulty, but I'm sure they still have the desire to be competitive every year,” Goal.com quotes the 37-year-old as saying.
"It is clear at a time like this we need patience and I think the fans will see commitment. I am optimistic for the future of Milan."
But how “optimistic” can the Milan fans be? Results have improved in their last two Serie A fixtures – a 1-1 draw at Lazio was followed by a 2-0 victory over Fiorentina in Florence – but is that enough cause for a resurgence of hope?
Take a quick look at the Milan squad sheet and you would probably be able to count the number of genuinely world-class players on one hand. That hardly bodes well for a bright future.
The Diavolo have a number of young footballers who truly have potential and can go on to become great players, for example, Stephan El Shaarawy and Mattia De Sciglio. However, Milan need experienced players in their prime to provide a balance. The likes of Kaka, Michael Essien and Cristian Zaccardo are not really the way to go along rebuilding a team that desperately needs rejuvenation, although the signing of Keisuke Honda in January will eventually prove to be a great one.
This Milan squad needs to be refreshed in the summer. At the end of the season, the club officials need to sit down and make harsh decisions. And, more importantly, keep faith in their own decisions and stick to them.
Will AC Milan recover from a poor 2013-14 campaign?