Focusing on youth and being financially prude is the right road for AC Milan to walk, according to head coach Massimiliano Allegri.
The Italian giants sold Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer for huge sums of money, but have suffered in Serie A with player departures and sit seventh as of the winter break.
Allegri pointed at Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rules as one of the reasons to not splash cash without consideration, and thinks that the club is doing great under the difficult economic circumstances.
“We are on the right track by focusing on youth,” the coach told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“We are building a new Milan, so this is an achievement that takes time and passion. The president [Silvio Berlusconi] is right to take this route, as nobody in the current Italian financial crisis can afford wages of €7 million per season and stay within the Financial Fair Play rules.”
Milan sit on 27 points after 18 games – five points behind sixth-placed Roma and trailing league-leaders Juventus by 17 points.
“I am happy with the number of points we have so far this season, even though we could’ve had a few more,” Allegri insisted.
“I end the year aware that I adapted to different situations. Intelligence can also be seen in someone’s ability to deal with changing scenarios. In difficult moments I am calm and not clouded by anxiety. Perhaps I kept my job because I was good at reassuring the club.
“I told them we’d emerge from this situation and we are on the right track, although the game with Roma showed we are still not solid.
“I have a contract until 2014, but obviously I’m happy at Milan and would gladly stay for longer. The challenge of getting back to the top within two or three years is exciting.”
Alexandre Pato and Robinho look set to leave San Siro in the January transfer window, but the Rossoneri boss had nothing but praise for the attacking Brazilian pair.
“Will I be more disappointed if Pato or Robinho leaves? I have different feelings,” Allegri continued.
“Pato has the potential to win the Ballon d’Or, but I understand he needs to find that confidence he lost amid all the injuries.
“Robinho… what to say about Robinho? He is a player of a superior level.”
Milan have been linked with a move for Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli using the funds raised from potential Pato and Robinho sales, and although Allegri was coy on the club’s interest, he advised the Italy international to step up his game before it is too late.
“I don’t like talking about players in other teams,” the coach said. “In any case, it’s a shame he still hasn’t shown his talent and I think he needs to hurry up, because you’re 30 before you know it.”