Ronaldinho for €17m? AC Milan need a defence

AC Milan are slowly waking up to the fact that they may have to concentrate on domestic football next season.

It’s increasingly looking as if Italy’s most celebrated club in the Champions League will have to watch Europe’s elite on television for the first time since 2001-02.

Who would have thought a home game against Cagliari this weekend would be the defining moment of the season? But that's the way it’s looking. After turning in a wretched display to go down 2-1 to Atalanta in front of an increasingly disgruntled San Siro, the Rossoneri are a dismal joint-sixth alongside Sampdoria.

More San Siro misery for Milan against Atalanta 

Both are on 49 points, four off that all-important fourth spot held by the consistent Fiorentina while the improving Udinese, on 50 points, could be the surprise side of the run-in until the end of the campaign.

Then there’s Inter who are 20 points ahead but let’s not go there – there’s enough of a mess to clear up on the doorsteps of Milanello, AC Milan's swanky headquarters.

Reports that Marcello Lippi has already signed up to take over from Carlo Ancelotti in July have really got Carletto’s back up. Apparently, the coach has demanded that president Silvio Berlusconi forget about welcoming Andriy Shevchenko back as he can’t see the Chelsea failure bringing the best out of Alexandre Pato.

Sheva back in a Milan shirt? Don't bet on it 

Then, there's all the deadwood: the likes of Guiseppe Favalli and Serginho who have been offered new contracts rather than a map of Milanello with the exit marked clearly.

Most worryingly, a perplexed Ricky Kaka has been asking what’s going on – hence a swiftly arranged photo-op of Silvio’s henchman and Uncle Fester lookalike Adriano Galliani out wining and dining Ronaldinho’s agent and brother Roberto Assisi.

The word is that the wayward Brazilian can be landed for a mere 17million euros but would Dinho come to an ailing side who aren’t in the Champions League? And anyway, wouldn't the money be better spent on beefing up the fragile defence?

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