With less than a month until the summer transfer window opens, it’s hardly a surprise when we see some gob-smackingly stupid rumors aired. But the pick of the litter thus far may be the news that AC Milan are planning a €35 million raid for Fiorentina and Croatia striker Nikola Kalinić, since (snicker) Pierre-Patrick Aubameyang and Álvaro Morata, of Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid, respectively, are beginning to look a little bit too expensive.
Oh my goodness, where do we even start with this? The funniest part may well be the Rossoneri pretending that they have the financial clout and prestige to attract Aubameyang—who’s probably next in line for the title of “most expensive transfer ever”—or Morata—who’s probably a year away from replacing Karim Benzema as the starting striker at Real [expletive] Madrid—which speaks volumes about Milan’s self-awareness.
That Kalinić has a €50 million release clause only adds to the comedy. Why would the Viola sell their star striker to a direct rival for Europa League qualification for less than they’ve publicly stated they’ll accept? Fiorentina rarely sell star players to Serie A opponents (Adem Ljajić to AS Roma is the only exception I can think of, and he rather forced his way out), and really don’t have any motivation to cash in on one of the only two front men on the roster.
Oh yeah, and the Slender Man himself wants to stay in Florence. He already turned down the ultra-lucrative advances of Tianjin Quanjian this past January, and a lateral move in terms of prestige isn’t likely to attract him. He’s no dummy and probably knows that he wouldn’t be assured a starting berth (and selection for Croatia) at many teams bigger than Fiorentina, which is doubtless part of his commitment to the Gigliati.
This won’t be the most outlandish rumor that we get in the weeks approaching the silly season. It probably won’t even rank in the top ten by the time September rolls around. But in early May, it’s certainly a frontrunner for stupidest rumor of the year.