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If you have watched this week’s friendlies, you’d probably be surpried by the way things have tuned out for the “big” ones.
To begin, there’s Turkey’s loss to Finland filled with 5 overall goals. Secondly, there’s Bulgaria’s win against World Cup runners-up The Netherlands. Then there’s Macedonia’s (read it loud: Macedonia, not FYROM) probably biggest success for far – the 0-0 draw vs. Cristiano Ronaldo and his crew, Portugal (Not to be so boastful regarding the final result). However, the award goes to Ottmar Hitzfeld’s and Switzerland’s glory against EURO 2008 runners-up, this time rebuilt Germany.
Leverkusen duo Derdiyok and Barnetta crushed the German resistance, with the striker scoring a hat-trick. Nevertheless, the bright light of the match was injury returnee Tranquillo Barnetta, who got the credit for his compatriot’s three goals. That is how the story begins…
The last two seasons weren’t delightful for the Swiss star, filled with couple of frightening knee injuries and surgeries. Therefore, season 2011/2012 is apparently about to mark the end of his eight-year association with Bayer Leverkusen. The 27-year-old midfielder has rejected club’s offer of a new deal and is set to leave the BayArena on a bagain deal. He was heavily tipped to join Newcastle last summer but a move failed to materialise. Numerous Premier League clubs are inetrested in his services, such as: Everton, Arsenal, Aston Villa, even returnees West Ham United. They have to beat the competion of Serie A’s top ones, though. There are Fiorentina, Juventus, Lazio and last but not least Milan in the race, as well and all of these numerous clubs are willing to get a piece of this Tranquil (calm) midfield maestro.
Here is my way of describing the connection between the player that topped England all by himself on 4 June 2011 and our beloved Milan. First of all, according to Transfermarkt, Barnetta is worth €7 million. That means hiring him as a free agent on such a deal equals winning the lottery. As a second point, there are the positions he can play on. The Swiss’ natural position is winger, but can play in a more withdrawn role as a defensive midfielder. He may turn out to be the ideal alternative to PSV’s Kevin Strootman if the deal goes off. In addition, he has got the perfect skills to fulfill veteran Mark van Bommel’s place in the squad, who has already left Milan and joined PSV on a free transfer. On the other hand, Tranquillo could settle in on the wing. As a result, one of Nocerino or Muntari will be forced to withdraw from the starting line-up.
Moving up to former St. Gallen jewel’s age – the reason he may turn out to be included in Milan list of potential signings. The Milan giant are looking to strengthen the squad with younger players who are supposed to fill in the gaps that the veterans have left due to their departures. Barnetta, who turned 27 only few days ago, is a perfect match to the ballance CEO Adriano Galliani is trying to create. Additionally, Milan have been linked with players of similar age few times already, including the loans of Sulley Muntari, Maxi Lopez, Alberto Aquilani and Taye Taiwo; arrivals of Riccaro Montolivo and Bakaye Traore; possbile arrivals of Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko, Andreas Granvist, Aleksandar Kolarov, Salomon Kalou, Wesley Sneijder…
Another thing is the Adidas sponsorship, one thing Milan can rely on. Sporting brand No. 1 could be the key in making this move possible. It’s a detail that must not be ignored as the sports company who sponsor the player for his boots would likely prefer to see him in an Milan shirt, rather than non-Adidas one. Anyway, his final game for Leverkusen was the 4-1 away victory at Nurnberg earlier this month.
To sum up, I have to admit that I’ve been following Tranquillo since 2006 and all I can say is that this man deserves to play in a club like Milan – that is why he is the first one to be written about in the newly introduced topic called “Transfer sugegstion of the day”.