AC Milan will test Roma's resolve over Philippe Mexes at the end of the season. Controcampo says Milan chiefs Adriano Galliani and Ariedo Braida see the Frenchman as the No1 successor for the retiring Paolo Maldini.

Mexes' leadership qualities and calming presence is viewed as being very similar to Maldini and Alessandro Nesta and great Milan defenders of the past such as Franco Baresi and Cesare Maldini.

Roma would be reluctant sellers and Milan know they will have to put aside over £40 million to make the deal happen, but they intend to test the capital club's resolve in the summer.