Fassone: AC Milan looks to Manchester United as Europa League example
Giuseppe Bellini / Getty Images Sport / Getty

AC Milan would do well to follow Manchester United's example and treat the Europa League with utmost priority, explained club general manager Marco Fassone.

The Red Devils switched gears late in the 2016-17 season, choosing to focus on qualifying for the next Champions League by winning the Europa League instead of trying to fight for a top-four spot in the Premier League. Even though United finished fifth last season, Jose Mourinho's side qualified for the next edition of Europe's elite club tournament, and remain still in contention.

Milan sits seventh in Serie A, 14 points behind leader Internazionale, and Fassone figures the club would be wise to try to follow United's path, too.

"Obviously Manchester United are an example that we want to bear in mind," Fassone told RAI Radio, as quoted by ESPN FC. "(The Europa League is) the only trophy that we're lacking in the cabinet, and then if you consider where we are in the league, we want to give it a try.

"We know there are teams who are better equipped than we are, but let's not forget also that when the Europa League restarts in February, (new head coach Gennaro) Gattuso's ideas will have had time to bed in."

Milan have a round of 32 date with Ludogorets set for Feb. 15 before hosting the Bulgarian outfit at the San Siro on Feb. 22. It begins a long and trying path to the final, which could see the Italian outfit square off against the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Lyon, Villarreal, Arsenal, OGC Nice, Atletico Madrid, RB Leipzig, or Napoli by the end.

But if the Rossoneri fail to procure a Champions League spot and instead settle for the Europa League again, the club might have to sell next summer.

"Qualifying for the Europa League would mean a deficit of €30 million on our financial plans and this would mean having €30 million less in the transfer market," Fassone explained. "As a result, we would maybe also have to think about selling a player to increase our budget."

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Fassone: AC Milan looks to Manchester United as Europa League example
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