In 2010 when a 32-year-old Christian Abbiati ruptured the cruciate ligament in his knee many doubted he would recover to play again but play again he did and how. The veteran goalkeeper has confounded the doubters since taking over from Dida in 2010 seeing off the threat of Marco Amelia to be the undisputed number one at the San Siro for the past three years.
The keeper has been with the Rossoneri since 1998 but has spent most of that time as an understudy and only recently has been able to highlight his obvious talents. Now however the season is coming toward an end and it appears increasingly likely that Milan are reluctant to offer him a new deal.
His contract expires in the summer and some even suggest that not playing for Milan will be the end of his career; and he will retire.
Milan are trying to rebuild their team at the moment and that involves a revamp of the entire squad. With an emphasis on youth the rumour mill suggests they will be looking for a new keeper in the summer; despite the presence of Amelia and young Brazilian international Gabriel.
While the likelihood is that a younger Italian such as Mattia Perin of Pescara or Andrea Consigli of Atalanta will be brought in should Premier League teams be worried about losing some of their talented stoppers?
First of all the obvious choice is Simon Mignolet. The Belgian stoppers future at Sunderland has been thrown into doubt this week after his agent said he wanted to join a bigger club not long before he himself said that was not true. He has probably been the best keeper in the league this season and AC Milan would be very privileged to have him in between the sticks.
Then there is the possibility for a raid on Manchester United for David de Gea or Anders Lindegaard. De Gea is still being linked with an exit from Old Trafford despite his Bernabeu heroics in February while the Danish stopper has been warned he risks losing his number one spot for the national team to Stephan Andersen if he is not playing regular first-team football.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald