Adriano Galliani claims Keisuke Honda will remain at AC Milan amid speculation linking him with a switch heading into Saturday’s visit of Frosinone in Serie A.
Honda failed to impress when selected behind Carlos Bacca in Milan’s defeat to Verona last weekend as interim coach Cristian Brocchi struggles to coax results out of his underperforming team, sitting sixth in Serie A.
But joint-chief executive Galliani says the number 10 role is the best position for the Japan international and defended his performance against Verona.
“I spoke with [Beijing Guouan coach Alberto] Zaccheroni and he confirmed that Honda always played as a trequartista,” Galliani said.
“He’s a good fit for that role and Brocchi employs him that way. He was one of the least blameworthy players in the game against Verona.
“I won’t talk about transfers, he’s our player. We’ll come back to this topic next year, but Honda still has one year with us.”
Giacomo Bonaventura was absent last time out, but could be fit to return for Brocchi’s side, while Mattia De Sciglio is a doubt and Milan will be without M’Baye Niang (ankle) and Andrea Bertolacci (muscle).
Frosinone are fighting for their top-flight lives, with a five-point gap to make up on 17th-placed Carpi in the last three matches of the season and games against Sassuolo and Napoli to come.
With just one win in their last seven league fixtures, which came against bottom side Verona, the fate of Roberto Stellone’s side looks to be sealed and they could be relegated this weekend should in-form Carpi win at Juventus and Frosinone be beaten by Milan.
Striker Federico Dionisi, who has scored eight league goals this season, came off the bench against Palermo last weekend and should now be fit enough to start alongside Daniel Ciofani.
Raman Chibsah is suspended for the visitors, Daniel Pavlovic is out with a muscle injury and a knee problem means Danilo Soddimo is also unavailable.
Milan won 4-2 at Frosinone in the reverse fixture, which was the first top-flight meeting between the sides with Ignazio Abate, Carlos Bacca, Alex and Bonaventura on the scoresheet.
However, Milan are winless in their last three home games and have only won one of their previous eight Serie A matches.
Key Opta Stats:
– In the reverse fixture, AC Milan recorded their highest number of shots target in a single game (10).
– The Rossoneri have not scored more than a single goal in any of their last 10 league matches (seven goals in this run).
– Frosinone have lost 13 of their 17 away matches this season (W2 D2), collecting the fewest points of any Serie A side on the road (8).
– Frosinone have faced 695 shots this season, at least 127 more than any other team in Serie A.
– Gianluigi Donnarumma has made the most saves (15) over the last three Serie A match-days.