AC Milan leave Zlatan Ibrahimovic OUT of their Champions League knockout stage squad… with the Serie A giants opting not to risk the veteran forward following his lengthy lay-off after knee surgery
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not play for AC Milan in the Champions League this term
- He has not been included on their squad list following his lengthy injury lay-off
- Milan are due to face English side Tottenham in the last-16 of the competition
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has not been included in AC Milan’s squad for the knockout stages of the Champions League.
The Rossoneri are due to face Tottenham in the last-16, with the first leg taking place at the San Siro on February 14 and the return fixture being played three weeks later.
Ibrahimovic is yet to feature for Milan this season after undergoing knee surgery last summer, but the Serie A giants were hopeful that he could return to fitness for the second half of the campaign.
However, they have now confirmed their squad for the latter stages of the Champions League, and Ibrahimovic misses out due to being deemed too much of a risk following over six months on the sidelines.
Leaving Ibrahimovic off the list could be seen as a gamble by Milan given the impact that the veteran forward has had since he returned to the club in January 2020.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been left off AC Milan’s Champions League squad list
Manager Stefano Pioli has decided not to risk Ibrahimovic following his lengthy injury lay-off
The 41-year-old has scored 33 goals in 60 league matches over the past three years, and helped Milan win the Scudetto for the first time in 11 years last term.
There is also considerable doubt over whether goalkeeper Mike Maignan will be available to face Spurs after he was initially left off the squad list.
Maignan has been out since September with a serious calf injury, and is running out of time to prove his fitness before Milan host Tottenham.
However, as he is currently injured, his circumstances are different to Ibrahimovic’s, and he can still be added to the squad up to 24 hours before the Spurs match.
Should he receive a late call-up, Milan would have to take his deputy Ciprian Tatarusanu off the list and replace him with third-choice keeper Antonio Mirante to ensure that they have enough homegrown Italian players in their squad.
Milan’s only other change to their group stage squad sees Malick Thiaw come in for Sergino Dest.
Thiaw is viewed as a more versatile defender, offering Stefano Pioli more options at the back.
Pioli will be under pressure to deliver in Europe after a difficult start to 2023 that has seen his Milan side drop out of the top four in Serie A and crash out of the Coppa Italia.
Mike Maignan has also been left off the list for now as he continues to recover from a calf injury
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