Interest, price tag, renewal and replacement: Unpacking Theo Hernandez’s situation at Milan | OneFootball

Interest, price tag, renewal and replacement: Unpacking Theo Hernandez’s situation at Milan | OneFootball

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·4 March 2024

Interest, price tag, renewal and replacement: Unpacking Theo Hernandez’s situation at Milan

Article image:Interest, price tag, renewal and replacement: Unpacking Theo Hernandez’s situation at Milan

Theo Hernandez is one of the stars of this AC Milan side and is among the best in the world in his position, something which has in turn attracted the interest of elite clubs.

As our colleagues at report, Theo Hernandez has become a primary target for Bayern Munich who are seemingly ready to test Milan’s resolve in the event that they lose Alphonso Davies to Real Madrid.

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Milan meanwhile are preparing for an ambitious summer mercato which foresees the purchase of a centre-forward, a reinforcement in defence (if not two) and one in midfield, therefore a total expense of €100m or even more.

Gerry Cardinale will only be able to partly fund that budget largely because of the fact that the Rossoneri will not be able to count on anywhere close to the same UEFA prize money compared to last season’s Champions League semi-final run.

Thus, there might well be the need to self-finance the summer window and this is where the idea of incoming offers for Mike Maignan, Rafael Leao and Theo become more interesting, even if the hope remains to build around the trio.

The price tag

The Milan management for their part do not intend to give any discounts and will not ask for less than €100m for Theo, who they consider to be among the best if not the best player in his role.

However, it is not a figure that is astronomical, especially when considering the inflated prices abroad and the fact that Bayern would be able to divert funds from the sale of Davies.

The sale of the Frenchman – just like that of Sandro Tonali to Newcastle United last summer – would align perfectly with the sustainability strategy carried out by RedBird Capital at Milan.

In fact, the Tonali situation showed above all that there is little room for sentimentality and if a club arrives with an offer for a player that they deem to be fair or even above market value, it will be listened to.

Another factor to consider is that Milan would stand to make a huge capital gain from selling one of their stars, which greatly increases the room for manoeuvre when it comes it incoming operations.

Contract situation

After an inconsistent start to the season, Hernandez has shown his importance in the last few months, returning to his best form while playing both at centre-back and left-back.

He last renewed his contract with Milan at the start of 2022, meaning it is soon time to sit down and talk again about another extension given how football seems to work nowadays.

His contract situation thus becomes another layer to unpick, but among other sources claim that the 26-year-old is very happy at Milan and is open to discussing another extension.

Nonetheless, Theo asked to postpone all renewal talks until the summer because he wants to focus on the current season and help the Rossoneri without any distractions. The obvious retort to this is that he might also want to weigh up his options.

Towards the end of the season, Geoffrey Moncada and co. plan to meet with his representative Manuel Garcia Quillon to talk about new terms. His current deal runs out in 2026 and he earns €4m net per year.

Hernandez will probably want to get closer to or even match Leao’s pay packet, given he earns €5m net per season plus bonuses to get to €7m. Whether Milan will match that remains to be seen, but the discussions will begin on the right foot.

Who could replace him

If Theo were to leave, Milan will focus more on Filippo Terracciano, and will buy Alex Jimenez from Real Madrid for €5m, but that will not be enough given how important the former Real Madrid man is.

A name that could forcefully come back into fashion again is that of Juan Miranda. The Spaniard’s contract will expire in June with Real Betis and Geoffrey Moncada is very fond of him, having scouted him for months.

However, what feels more likely is that Milan would use a big chunk of the proceeds to put towards a more ready-made replacement, and this is where Pervis Estupiñan emerges as a contender.

The Brighton left-back has exploded under the guidance of Roberto De Zerbi, a coach who is also very popular with the Rossoneri management in terms of potentially being Stefano Pioli’s replacement.

Regardless of De Zerbi, however, Estupiñan could be the ideal replacement for Theo, considering that finding a player of his level is almost impossible.

The 26-year-old Ecuador international has six goal contributions (three goals, three assists) in 21 games for the Premier League club this season so far.

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