AC Milan have reportedly reached an agreement with Genoa over the signing of Diego Laxalt, with the Uruguayan set to undergo his medical on 16th August, Thursday, ahead of Friday’s transfer deadline for the Italian clubs. Milan have agreed on a €14 million plus deal for the Uruguayan international with more than €4 million to be given in bonuses.
It is understood that Genoa still owes Milan €11m for striker Gianluca Lapadula, who was loaned to Genoa last season with an option to buy. After failing to strike a deal for the Rossoneri midfielder Andrea Bertolacci, Genoa will be looking to cover for the cost of Lapadula for Laxalt. As a result, €11 million will be offset against the fee for Laxalt’s transfer.
The 25-year-old Uruguayan has established himself as a key figure for club and country, showing versatility and consistency down the left flank not only in defensive but also in attacking roles.
Laxalt enjoyed a good run at the 2018 World Cup for Uruguay, where his team was considered to have one of the best defenses of the tournament. In addition to that, Laxalt made 34 appearances for Genoa last season, scoring four times and providing three assists. The Rossoneri hope to strengthen the left flank with this addition. If the deal is successful Laxalt can be a backup option for the left-back position amidst doubts surrounding the new arrival Ivan Strinic’s physical fitness.
However, once the latter’s fitness is certain, him along with Ricardo Rodriguez will also battle Laxalt for a place in the starting line-up at left-back. Only time will tell whether or not the arrival of more competition forces one of the former two to head in the opposite direction or if coach Gennaro Gattuso merely requires further depth as he aims for glory not only in Italy but also in European competitions.
Laxalt will arrive in Milan on Wednesday night before undergoing his medical on Thursday following which he will be expected to confirm his move to San Siro. Laxalt may not be the most spectacular of signings this summer for Milan but he will be a welcome addition to the squad as he can also play as an attacking full-back or as the modern football terminology calls it, “wing-back”. He is known to run down the left flank and reach into crucial crossing positions as observed during his time with Genoa as well as with Uruguay in Russia.
Along with the signings of the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Mattia Caldara and Tiémoué Bakayoko, the Rossoneri manager Gattuso will hope that they’ve done enough this summer to ensure the formation of a team that is capable of breaking back into the top four in Serie A, and consequently qualify for the Champions League next season, thereby embark on a path that will restore AC Milan to its former glory.