When technical director Paolo Maldini told Sempre Milan that not one but two full-backs would be on their way out of San Siro before the end of August, it didn’t look good for AC Milan’s forgotten man Ivan Strinic.
And it seems that the inevitable has come to pass. The former Napoli and Sampdoria defender has been released by the seven-time European champions after just one season in the red and white stripes, according to SM.
Strinic only arrived in Milan last summer after helping Croatia reach the World Cup final but, thanks to a heart defect, he failed to play a single game for the Rossoneri. Even three appearances under Marco Giampaolo in the International Champions Cup wasn’t enough to earn him a fresh start.
But with the 32-year-old back to full fitness and raring to get going after 12 months out of the game, the availability of an experienced full-back with 49 international caps to his game represents a fine opportunity for anyone looking for affordable reinforcements at the back.
Someone like Celtic, perhaps.
Time is running out for The Hoops to strengthen their backline with a replacement for Kieran Tierney still required. And while Strinic is a whole decade older than Arsenal’s new £25 million signing, he’d be a potentially inspired short-term addition to Neil Lennon’s squad, adding leadership and, perhaps most importantly, plenty of European experience.
Strinic IS hardly a jet-heeled force of nature like the rampaging Tierney but he is a solid, proven defender who averaged over two successful tackles per game in his long Serie A career. You don’t play for Napoli and Milan without being steeped in the arts of catenaccio after all.
And with new £3 million signing Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo looking far more secure going forward than he does in his own half, Strinic could be exactly the kind of experienced, stable alternative that Celtic need.
Food for thought, then.
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