Massimiliano Allegri says AC Milan are on the right track after slashing their wage bill, despite some on-field struggles in Serie A this season.
Milan sold key men Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to Paris Saint-Germain in the off-season for huge sums of money in a bid to reduce their wage bill, but have suffered in Serie A as a consequence and sit seventh at the mid-season break.
Allegri pointed to UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules as the driving force behind the club’s newfound prudence and believes the team are performing well under the difficult economic circumstances.
“We are on the right track by focusing on youth,” Allegri told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“We are building a new Milan, so this is an achievement that takes time and passion. The president (Silvio Berlusconi) is right to take this route, as nobody in the current Italian financial crisis can afford wages of seven million euros per season and stay within the Financial Fair Play rules.”
Milan sit on 27 points after 18 games played this season, five points behind sixth-placed Roma and trailing league-leaders Juventus by 17 points.
“I am happy with the number of points we have so far this season, even though we could’ve had a few more,” Allegri said.
“I end the year aware that I adapted to different situations. Intelligence can also be seen in someone’s ability to deal with changing scenarios. In difficult moments I am calm and not clouded by anxiety. Perhaps I kept my job because I was good at reassuring the club.
“I told them we’d emerge from this situation and we are on the right track, although the game with Roma showed we are still not solid.
“I have a contract until 2014, but obviously I’m happy at Milan and would gladly stay for longer. The challenge of getting back to the top within two or three years is exciting.”
Milan have been linked with a move for Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli and although Allegri would not be drawn the rumours, he did advise the Italy international to make good on his considerable promise.
“I don’t like talking about players in other teams,” he said.
“In any case, it’s a shame he still hasn’t shown his talent and I think he needs to hurry up, because you’re 30 before you know it.”