I suspect many are sick and tired of seeing me reply “it’s too early in the season, so much can change between now and the summer” upon being asked about a potential transfer move for a major Serie A player. But now that March has come around, we can start getting a better sense of what the future holds for some key players in Italy’s top league.
 
Between the fact that positions in the standings are more defined, and because many clubs are intensifying their efforts to lay the ground work for future deals,  we can start projecting what will happen. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the individual situation for some players who could be on the move next summer:
 
 
Gigio Donnarumma: just after the 19 year old keeper received a warm ovation from Milan ultras following the win in the Coppa Italia semifinal against Lazio, agent Mino Raiola (once again) stated that if it were up to him, his client would have already left Milan and that his advice for the future is to depart the rossoneri to take the next step in his development. 


 
It almost feels like Donnarumma’s relationship status with Milan should be “it’s complicated”, but since the transfer market isn’t like Facebook, one would think that sooner rather than later Gigio will either dump his agent or leave for another club.

But things may not be that simple, before Gattuso’s arrival a summer departure felt almost inevitable, especially in light of the fact that the rossoneri’s executive director Fassone had told the Guardian that should the team fail to qualify for the Champions League, at least one big name would have to be sold in the summer to balance the books.
 
But now that Milan has a chance to make it back to the top European competition what could happen with Donnarumma? On paper it would seem that regardless of the outcome of the current season, especially with likely openings at Paris St Germain and Real Madrid, Donnarumma will be on his way out- especially since the reports of Milan’s interest in Pepe Reina have resurfaced- but last summer Gigio surprised us all (and probably Raiola too) when he decided to extend his expiring contract with the rossoneri. 
 
Lorenzo Pellegrini: for Roma fans it has (unfortunately) become an annual tradition to try to guess which big name player will be sacrificed on the altar of Financial Fair Play. While I’ve been personally advocating for Roma to be pro active by blowing it up, and sell many of their older players to settle the financial issues once and for all and to build a team ready to peak by the time the new stadium comes around, we’ve seen them go in the other direction in January by selling Emerson Palmieri right at the time that Kolarov was running out of gas after a great start to the season.
 
While it probably would make much more sense to sell Kevin Strootman and/or Radja Nainggolan, two players struggling this season while being amongst the highest paid at the club, the exit clause in Pellegrini’s contract makes the giallorossi vulnerable to the possibility their best young midfielder could leave.
 
Juventus are very interested in exercising the clause worth a reported 25 million euro (an absolute bargain for a player of his calibre who will turn 22 next June), but while they have previously signed Pjanic by using a similar clause, it remains be seen if Pellegrini, who was born in Rome and grew up as a supporter of the club, would want to join another Serie A team while his home town club is willing to offer him a significant raise and while also being a player that Pep Guardiola longs for.  

 
 
Mauro Icardi: while Lautaro Martinez has recently publicly denied that he has an agreement with Inter, he’s likely trying to keep Racing fans focused on his efforts in the Copa Libertadores. Both the striker’s father and his current club’s president have gone the other way, they essentially confirmed he’ll be joining Spalletti’s squad next summer.
 
But does Martinez’ arrival mean that the nerazzurri’s current captain is on his way out this summer? Not necessarily, especially if you consider that Inter had previously invested significantly in Gabigol (actually more than they are now for Martinez) and Icardi ended up staying. But this year things could be different, while Icardi has previously turned down significant offers from Arsenal and Napoli only to sign a new contract with the nerazzurri, another failure to qualify for the Champions League could end his tenure in Serie A.


 
Between the fact that Icardi is now officially in his prime after turning 25, the reports he’s looking to hire Mino Raiola and a potential opening at Real Madrid (a club that previously acquired Kovacic from Inter) even if Spalletti’s team finishes in the top four, there will still be a chance they lose their best player since the treble team.
 
Sergej Milinkovic Savic: I was tempted to keep him off this list since we’ve covered him so much this season, but then I would have spent the next few days responding to tweets about him (now I can just send folks a link to this article, winning!!!). In any event, the Serbian midfielder has become arguably the hottest name on the transfer market- and his performances have probably surpassed the standards set by Paul Pogba during his time at Juventus.


 
When Milinkovic Savic and Lazio reached an agreement on a contract extension about a year ago, they decided to not include an exit clause- a wise decision considering that now so many of the super rich clubs have been linked to him. When you look at Lazio’s track record selling some older players for considerable fees (Candreva, Hernanes, Biglia), it will be very interesting to see how much they can fetch for their newest star when you consider that he’s just 23.
 
Jorginho: while Giampiero Ventura’s tenure as the Azzurri’s manager will be remembered as fondly as the Star Wars prequel movies, the former Torino coach at least ensured that Jorginho will be available to his successor by finally playing him in an international match. But while the former Hellas Verona play-maker won’t be able to showcase his talents at the upcoming World Cup, he has played so well for Maurizio Sarri that he has been linked to both Liverpool and Manchester United.
 
After being able to keep their squad together with a scudetto pact (and some rich extensions to key players) next summer Napoli could see some significant departures. While Jorginho has been a very important player in their current system, the partenopei do have Amadou Diawara (who is six years younger) waiting in the wings and have also been linked to Lucas Torreira, who currently plays for Sampdoria- a club Napoli has done business with recently. Considering that Jorginho will turn 27 in December, Napoli could consider moving- just don’t expect any discounts from president Aurelio De Laurentiis.

 
Alex Sandro: assuming it’s true that the Brazilian left back wanted to leave last summer, but Juventus wouldn’t let him after already losing two defensive starters in Bonucci and Dani Alves, then you can kind of understand why the bianconeri’s usual policy is to let anyone who wants to leave follow their desires.
 
While he has been playing better lately, Alex Sandro has been a shell of his former self this season- but when you consider how few quality left backs are available, there’s no doubt he would have a significant amount of suitors. In addition, Juventus are now considering extending Kwadwo Asamoah’s expiring contract (sorry Galatasaray fans), and his performances have been so good enough this season that it’s not out of the question he could continue to be a co starter with Leonardo Spinazzola, who is set to return from Atalanta next summer.




David Amoyal

@DavidAmoyal