After months of intense speculation that Ralf Rangnick would take over Milan starting from next season, and news that the German tactician had already agreed a deal with the club, I Rossoneri performed a spectacular u-turn and decided to keep Stefano Pioli.


Only time will tell if Milan made the right decision, but Pioli undoubtedly deserved to stay. His side have been unbeaten in Serie A since the restart, winning seven of ten games played - including a surprise 4-2 win over reigning champions Juventus - and have secured their place in the Europa League for next season.


If Milan are to build on this success, their squad will need a shake-up. Not only is there a lot of dross taking up a decent chunk of their wage bill, but they also need to strengthen in certain areas. With this in mind, here are the positions that will need reinforcing ahead of next season.



Striker


Luka Jovic could be on his way to Milan this summer

This is the position that needs reinforcing the most. Rafael Leao isn't good enough from a short-term perspective, Ante Rebic is better utilised on the left-wing and Zlatan Ibrahimovic is getting on a bit.


So who do I Rossoneri go for? Real Madrid's Luka Jovic is a name that has popped up on more than a few occasions in the gossip columns. A move to Milanello would see him reunited with former Eintracht Frankfurt teammate Rebic, with the two formerly part of a deadly front-three which included current West Ham striker Sebastien Haller.


Jovic hasn't had a great debut season at Real, but is clearly a talented, and potentially prolific striker - as his spell at Frankfurt demonstrated. It would be a mutually beneficial move, as Milan would get a young striker with a ton of promise and Jovic would get a chance to rediscover his form at a club more suited to his abilities.


Another possibility in Patson Daka. The Red Bull Salzburg striker was somewhat overshadowed by Erling Braut Haaland earlier this season, but has shined nevertheless - scoring 27 goals in 45 games. At 21, the Zambian will only get better, too.



Centre-Back


Nikola Milenkovic is one of Serie A's most exciting centre-backs

Simon Kjaer is very good. Good enough to probably partner Alessio Romagnoli for another couple of years. The Dane is 31, though, and Milan's other main centre-back Mateo Musacchio is unconvincing. Therefore, Milan should explore the possibility of reinforcing their central defence in the summer.


Fiorentina's Nikola Milenkovic has been linked with a move and would be an excellent acquisition for I Rossoneri. A calm but commanding presence at 6ft 5, Milenkovic has been a rock at the back for Fiorentina for the last two and a half years, barely missing a game in that; a testament to his reliability even at a young age.


At 22, he would still have plenty of time to grow into an even better player, not to mention that he's also played under Pioli, meaning that the tactician will know his strengths, and perhaps most importantly, what areas he needs to improve his game in.


The only stumbling block might be Milenkovic's price. Should Milan be priced out of a move, Celtic's Kristoffer Ajer could be a cheaper option. Like Milenkovic, he's young and has a lot of potential, but lacks big-league experience.



Right-Back


Emerson has excelled during his spell at Real Betis

The right side of Milan's defence has been a noticeable weak spot this season, with Davide Calabria and Andrea Conti - who should've in theory, been two very good options in this position - just not cutting it. Calabria, a product of I Rossoneri's youth system, is looking like he might move on this summer, so signing a right-back should be one of Milan's top priorities.


Emerson, who is currently co-owned by Real Betis and Barcelona, has been the subject of intense speculation linking him with a move to Milanello recently. An attack-minded, but defensively strong, right-back, Emerson would represent a significant improvement on Conti and Calabria, but could command a fee that Milan may feel is above what they're willing to pay.


PSV's Denzel Dumfries is another option. He's older and slightly more defensive-minded than Emerson, but is still more than capable going forward - having contributed seven goals and three assists for Boeren in the Eredivisie this season.



Defensive Midfielder


Seko Fofana has contributed eight assists this season - more than any other Udinese player

Franck Kessie and Ismael Bennacer have formed an incredible defensive midfield partnership under Pioli, becoming a key part of Milan's post-restart resurgence. However, with Lucas Biglia likely to leave this summer, I Rossoneri will need to add depth in this position as they look to fight for a Champions League spot and compete in the Europa League next season.


Sandro Tonali, the Pirlo protege who everyone has been raving about for the past two years, would probably command a fee beyond what Milan should be spending on depth, but if they're willing to possibly sideline one of Kessie or Bennacer - and break the bank - it might be a sacrifice worth making.


Udinese's Seko Fofana would probably be a more feasible option. He has been one of I Friulani's standout players this season, and while he has mainly been used as a central midfielder throughout his career, he has played as a defensive midfielder before and possesses the strength and accurate passing ability that position requires.