Paulo Fonseca unveiled as new AC Milan coach, talks plans: "We need a striker and we know who we want"

The Paulo Fonseca era at AC Milan begins now after the Portuguese manager was appointed this summer to replace Stefano Pioli at the club. The Rossoneri unveiled Fonseca during a press conference on Monday where the former AS Roma and Lille coach talked about his future plans, the summer transfer window and what he wants to achieve at the club. 

RedBird advisor Zlatan Ibrahimovic was also part of the press conference and announced that Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee won’t join AC Milan, as he’s now close to agreeing to a deal with Manchester United. AC Milan are now actively working to sign a central striker after the departure of Olivier Giroud at the end of the past season, as the Frenchman joined LAFC

Talking about plans for a new striker, Fonseca said, “We clearly know who the player we want is. What we know is that we want great quality for this very important position for the team. When we change, we change to improve. The striker must bring a lot for the team. We are working and I think we will have this player soon.”

Ibrahimovic also explained the current situation at the club regarding the current transfer window. “We are studying, we are talking. We are in no hurry. The market is long. I can guarantee that the new signings will arrive. Nothing is done. Zirkee is the past. We have one in mind, but I’m not saying the name. There’s someone we’re aiming for.

“We don’t want to have a squad of 30 players, but of 23. New signings will arrive, but we also need to create space so as not to have too many non-functional players for the coach. We need to think not only about who enters, but also about who leaves. Whoever arrives is to improve the team, everything is designed to improve the squad. It’s not just bringing, bringing, bringing, we don’t have to have 40-50 players like in American football.”

AC Milan are now working to sign a new striker with reports suggesting that Spanish forward Alvaro Morata is the leading candidate for the role, but nothing is decided yet. The Rossoneri need to carefully choose their new number nine, which will also have an impact on other players of the roster, though not on Christian Pulisic. The USMNT star will definitely be a key player under Fonseca after a positive first season at the club when he scored 15 goals in all competitions. In Fonseca’s tactical system (4-3-3), Pulisic fits perfectly as right winger or as left winger when Rafael Leao is not available. 

AC Milan fans expect a reaction from the team after a season that left many disappointed, despite finishing in second place in Serie A. The Italian giants were eliminated in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League before losing to AS Roma in the Europa League quarterfinals. On top of that, the Rossoneri lost the Derby della Madonnina against Inter six times in a row, including the two 2022-23 Champions League semifinals and the last one on April 22, that officially awarded 2023-24 Serie A title to Inter\ against their city rivals. 

Fonseca has the difficult task of recreating the same atmosphere inside and outside the team that led AC Milan to win the title two years ago. AC Milan carefully chose Fonseca to become the right person in the right place to make that change become reality in the shortest time possible. 

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