Pioli: Milan 'have clear ideas' ahead of January window

By Sports Desk October 28, 2020

Stefano Pioli has "clear ideas" about which areas he hopes to strengthen during the January transfer window as Milan look to build on an impressive start to the campaign.

Milan are top of Serie A after the first five rounds of matches and have gone 22 games without defeat since football resumed in June.

Speaking to Tuttomercatoweb on Wednesday, CEO Ivan Gazidis outlined the Rossoneri's plans for the next window, with "some of the best talents in the world" being targeted.

But while Pioli will accept the opportunity to bring in more recruits at the turn of the year, he is not looking too far ahead with the games coming thick and fast.

"You are already thinking about January, but we don't because we still have many games," he said at a news conference previewing Thursday's Europa League match with Sparta Prague.

"We have clear ideas and if we get the chance we will improve the team."

Milan won 10 games in a row – including a penalty shoot-out success against Rio Ave – before being held to a thrilling 3-3 draw with Roma on Monday.

After beating Celtic 3-1 in their opening Europa League Group H clash, the Italian side are looking to win their opening two games in the competition for a third time in a row, but Pioli intends to rotate his side for the visit of Sparta.

"There will be some changes," he said. "We'll see if there will be repercussions from a physical and mental point of view because the match against Roma was tiring.

"You can still expect a strong and competitive Milan. I don't like to talk about player turnover. We are preparing in the best way to face Sparta."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored his sixth and seventh goals of the season in the draw with Roma, is among those who could be rested for Thursday's match.

"I will do all the assessments. After tomorrow's game, we will immediately have another important match against Udinese," Pioli said.

"If I ask Ibra if he wants to play, he'll always say yes, like all my players. But it's important to have players who are physically and mentally ready.

"Even the lads do not know the line-up yet. I'm doing several evaluations, we still have two sessions to go."

Legendary former player Franco Baresi was named honorary vice-president of Milan at a shareholders assembly on Wednesday, a decision Pioli was keen to back.

"It was a very important decision. I am very happy about it," he said. "We are talking about a Milan legend who will be able to transmit the club's values.

"It is important to have people around us who know what Milan is all about."

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