GdS: Royal vs. Cash – Milan choosing between Spurs and Aston Villa duo

GdS: Royal vs. Cash – Milan choosing between Spurs and Aston Villa duo

AC Milan are proceeding in talks over Joshua Zirkzee and then they will turn their attention to the signing of a new right-back, a report claims, with two names standing out on the list.

La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the first is Emerson Royal of Spurs and the second is Matty Cash of Aston Villa. Both therefore play in the Premier League, and both could become an opportunity for Geoffrey Moncada and his team.

Royal approval

Emerson Royal is the main candidate. At 25 years old, born and raised in Sao Paulo, he made his mark with Real Betis where he impressed at the Stadio Benito Villamarin for two and a half seasons and then moved to Barcelona.

In 2021 he move to Tottenham, with whom he made 24 appearances and one goal in the last year. Emerson is an all-round defender: in 2023-24 he played five games as a right-back, seven as a left-back and six as a central defender, a position he only played in an emergency.

His natural role is right-back, while the cost is around €20m. Milan would like a small discount (around €15-18m), but the London club are firm on their position for the time being. Furthermore, he has 10 appearances for Brazil and 12 in European competitions, so the experience is there.

Cashing in

Matty Cash is 27 years old, he was born in England but represents Poland. In 2022, in Qatar, he started all four matches for the country of his maternal grandfather, Ryszard Tomaszewski, who passed away about ten years ago.

Wladyslaw, Ryszard’s father, died during the bombings after the German invasion. Poland was caught between the Nazis and the Soviet Union, so the family was deported to a labour camp in Siberia. In 1941 the Tomaszewskis tried to start a new life outside Poland.

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Before becoming a footballer he worked as a clerk for a clothing store. At 16 he divided his time between five-hour shifts and afternoon training but a trial and the chance to become a professional changed everything.

In the last four years he has always been a starter for Aston Villa and he ended the past season with 46 appearances, five goals and three assists in all competitions. For the first time in his life he took part in a European competition, the Conference League, reaching the semi-final.

The demand is high at around €25m. His contract expires in 2027 and Aston Villa do not want to lose him, but they have to sell players by the end of the month due to Financial Fair Play and Milan could use a discount.

The third route leads to the name of Tiago Santos of Lille, someone who the incoming head coach Paulo Fonseca knows well. Compared to the others he costs less – around €12m – but he remains behind Royal and Cash.