On 27 January 2012, Maxi López was officially transferred to Milan in a €1.5 million loan move, with a buying option set at €8 million. He signed a contract with Milan until 30 June 2015 to receive €700,000 until the end of the 2011–12 season and €1.5 million per year for the following three seasons. He chose the number 21 shirt. López scored his first goal as a Milan player on 11 February 2012 in an away game against Udinese, equalizing for Milan before going on to assist Stephan El Shaarawy to score the game-winning goal. However, at the end of the season, he returned to Catania after Milan opted not to exercise their buying option.