AC Milan Transfer News: Alessandro Matri Is the Newest Candidate to Replace Ibra

Tim Fontenault@Tim_FontenaultCorrespondent IJuly 19, 2012

Matri could be returning to his childhood club.
Matri could be returning to his childhood club.Claudio Villa/Getty Images today indicates that AC Milan are interested in acquiring Juventus forward Alessandro Matri as their replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Milan CEO Adriano Galliani has admitted that foreign stars may be too expensive for the club as they are trying to conform to the new regulations of UEFA Financial Fair Play, and the 27-year-old Italian could be available as Juventus want to make a run at Robin Van Persie.

Matri, who was born in Sant'Angelo Lodigiano, Lombardy, 30 km southeast of Milan, was groomed in the Milan system from 1996-2004. On May 24, 2003 he made his only appearance for the first team while Carlo Ancelotti rested his starters for that year's UEFA Champions League Final against Juventus. He then went on three different loan spells and in 2007 was sent to Cagliari in a co-ownership as part of a deal for David Suazo. Cagliari bought the other half in 2008.

Matri became a starter for Cagliari under Milan's current manager Massimiliano Allegri during the 2009-10 season and produced 13 goals in Serie A, playing in all 38 matches.

He played the first 22 matches of 2010-11 with Cagliari, scoring 11 times, before making a move back north to Juventus. Matri played in every game after his arrival, netting nine goals in 16 appearances.

Matri's performance dropped last season, but he scored 10 times in 30 matches as Juventus won the Scudetto.

It's hard to picture Matri starting alongside Alexandre Pato at Milan. He would likely have a role similar to that of Maxi Lopez during his loan spell from Catania this past season.

Leandro Damiao seems to be the other top option with Manchester City duo Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko (via ESPN), Robin Van Persie (via talkSPORT) and Dimitar Berbatov (via Yahoo!) all continuously linked as well.