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AC Milan line up Empoli sensation Tommaso Baldanzi as Brahim Diaz replacement

AC Milan have identified Empoli midfielder Tommaso Baldanzi as a potential replacement for exit-linked Brahim Diaz, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Diaz has made an astounding impact for Milan this season after Charles De Ketelaere, the highly anticipated signing from Club Brugge last summer, struggled to adapt to Serie A.

The Spanish playmaker has racked up six goals and four assists in all competitions, playing a pivotal role in Rossoneri’s progression to the Champions League semi-finals.

However, his future at the San Siro is hanging in the balance, with his loan spell from Real Madrid expiring this summer.

Although Milan can make his deal permanent for around €22 million, Los Blancos are keen on summoning him back to the Spanish capital and plan to hand him a new deal.

Madrid have been left impressed by the development of Diaz and want him to be part of the first-team squad next season.

Milan are expected to enter talks with Madrid to negotiate a deal for Diaz, but the Italian giants have also started to look for alternatives.

Baldanzi, 20, is one of the rising stars in Serie A this season, having racked up four goals in 22 appearances, including the winning strike against Inter Milan at the start of the year.

Milan are expected to face competition from fellow Serie A rivals Napoli for Baldanzi, who could cost around €20m.

Stefano Pioli has deployed Ismael Bennacer in the No 10 position in recent games, but the Italian is keen to bolster his options.

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