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It is reported Milan will sacrifice Alexandre Pato to PSG so they can sign Carlos Tevez, then Mario Balotelli in July.
The Rossoneri are in negotiations with Paris Saint-Germain, who have director Leonardo and new Coach Carlo Ancelotti, to reunite them with Pato.
According to the Corriere dello Sport, the €46m raised from selling The Duck will be funnelled straight to Manchester City.
Milan have already confirmed they agreed personal terms with Tevez for a January move and have seen their loan bid rejected, so must pay €20m to sign him outright.
However, the new development is a summer swoop for Balotelli, who is a lifelong Milan supporter.
Meanwhile, Pato has spoken out about his supposed row with Coach Massimiliano Allegri and these transfer rumours.
“My rapport with Allegri is professional. I don’t think a Coach and player need to share friendship. We have the same objective: to continue winning with Milan,” he said from their training camp in Dubai.
“I sent a message wishing Ancelotti well, but I am not talking about the transfer market. That is up to my agent. I have a contract with Milan until 2014.
“I always want to win and will wait to play so I can give my best. I think the Champions League is our primary objective this season. I spoke to Andre Santos, whose Arsenal we will be facing in the next round.
As for the Scudetto, we have to watch out for many teams, not just Juventus.”
Aquilani: 'Normal between Allegri and Pato' 30.12 ||webmaster
Antonio Cassano has revealed that in the moment he discovered that he needed heart surgery, playing football was farthest from his mind.
In an interview with Striscia la Notizia after receiving the year’s Tapiro d’Oro award - a mock award given out by the television programme - Cassano reflected on having to undergo surgery for a congenital heart problem in late October and his subsequent, ongoing recovery.
“It was unexpected, but the important thing was to live. I have to wait six months to play again. Meanwhile, I walk, walk, walk. With all the kilometres that I’m doing I’ll be arriving in Bari.”
Since joining the Rossoneri in January 2011, Cassano has struck up a friendship with fellow striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“He is one of my best friends, even though he puts pressure on me to return. I have a great relationship with him and with everyone at Milan.
“It is strange that I have a beautiful relationship with everyone, but it’s true.”
AC Milan update on Tevez and Pato 29.12 ||webmaster
Filippo Inzaghi may be presented with a way out of his Milan contract, through a move abroad to La Liga side Espanyol.
According to Catalan-based publication Sport, Los Periquitos are said to be considering a move for the 38-year-old forward this January as they look to reinforce an otherwise inconsistent front-line.
The report also goes on to indicate that Inzaghi is attracting interest from Lazio and two unnamed Premier League clubs.
The forward missed six months of last season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury to his knee and has struggled for full fitness this term, with Milan Coach Massimiliano Allegri suggesting that he rarely trains enough to be considered for first-team involvement at San Siro.
Thiago Silva has admitted he would now like to be Milan’s next captain, having previously never even considered the notion before late November.
The change of heart was a key point to a lengthy interview the Rossoneri stopper held with news agency ANSA this week. The conversation began with a reflection on the calendar year’s performance.
“We won the Scudetto and Supercoppa, we are now first in the League as we wanted - I am very happy with 2011,” reflected the 27-year-old centre-back. “Playing every three days is hard, sometimes I am so tired I do not want to train. But it is the life I wanted, I cannot complain and I have now rested a few days in the sun in Brazil.”
Silva took the captain’s armband for the Rossoneri’s League match with Chievo in November, despite not being the player with the most appearances available for selection.
“Until recently I had no desire to be captain, then it happened for Brazil and I changed my mind. When Allegri informed me, I thought he was kidding, Pato and Antonini had the most appearances for Milan.
“Now I always want that armband, I am a leader.
“Before me there is Ambrosini, Seedorf, Gattuso and Abbiati, so let’s see what happens next year, but I’d be the first permanent foreign captain of Milan for 50 years.
“When I put the armband on I can change completely. Antonini knows how much I scream on the field, but I am more comfortable as a captain, I know that I should be a point of reference.”
The centre-back has scored twice already this season, prompting club President Silvio Berlusconi’s claims that the Brazilian would be comfortable as a striker.
“When I score my game changes for the better. In three years with Fluminense I scored 14 goals, this is my third season with Milan and five goals are, for me, an understatement.
“Now, I trust my teammates so that when I go forward they prevent fast counter-attacks, now I try to exploit every corner.”
Silva is then asked why the team have already conceded 16 goals in Serie A this season when through the entirety of 2010-11 they only shipped 24.
“I’m going to talk only about myself. We would not have conceded two goals in Bologna had I been more focused. In that game I got it all wrong. Allegri wants more concentration from us - currently smaller teams are given less attention than when we face big sides like Barcelona.
“But in this League the defence is key - if we do not concede then we are sure we can score goals.”
It is noted in the interview that Silva lives on Lake Como, in ex-Inter forward Adriano’s old house. Where police were once called to the house to ask that Adriano turn down the volume during a party, Silva admits to preferring the quiet life.
“I do not like to go out at night or go to the disco. For my birthday my wife held a party, but I didn’t want to do that. Then, that was at six in the afternoon, not the morning.”
Galliani: 'AC Milan not far from Barcelona' 27.12 ||webmaster
As Adriano Galliani declares Milan as the team in European football closest to Barcelona, Marcello Lippi praises Massimiliano Allegri’s psychology.
The Rossoneri’s Vice-President Galliani made the comparison between the current Scudetto holders and the Spanish side, who have won 13 of the 16 competitions played during Pep Guardiola’s tenure, in light of the two teams’ meetings in this year’s Champions League group stages.
Milan netted twice in both matches, drawing at the Camp Nou 2-2 before falling to a 3-2 defeat at San Siro and finishing the group as runners-up behind the Catalans.
“We are not far from Barcelona,” commented Galliani this week. “It seems to me that the team to have caused Guardiola’s side the most difficulty this season so far has not been Real Madrid but really my Milan.”
Meanwhile, former World Cup winner Lippi has praised Allegri for his impact in creating the right conditions for the team’s players to shine under this season.
“Allegri has been good, he has been able to find just the right feeling. I know many at Milan who were with me in the national team and speak to me often and they all say positive things about Allegri.
“I do not think managing big personalities at Milan is a problem for him, he has created a great feeling between himself and the dressing room.
“It is true that on the field the players are winning games with their class, but to enter the field with a taken-for-granted correct psychological mindset is down to the Coach.”
Alexandre Pato has made some strange comments on life at Milan under Massimiliano Allegri amid reports linking the striker with a move away.
Speaking to Il Corriere dello Sport and Il Corriere della Sera, the Brazilian striker discussed a number of topics, from captaining Milan to his relationship with Coach Allegri. However, he began by focusing on how the calendar year has progressed from a personal point of view.
“My 2011 was a very good year - I won my first trophy in Europe, I scored some important goals. It would be a year to remember if I had not had so many injuries.”
The 22-year-old has suffered eight injuries over the course of the past 12 months.
“Every time I have tried a different method to try to find a solution. I’ve never been afraid, even after the injury in September. I thought, ‘I will return slowly, only when I am 100 per cent’.
“I’ve always done double training sessions, arriving at Milanello early each morning. I have worked more and more to return better than before each time.”
Pato was pricklier with the follow-up question that suggested his form since returning from his latest injury has not been better.
“I have scored two goals in three games. At Bologna I did not play well but then neither did the rest of the team. It is said that you win and lose together, no?
“We always talk about me because I am an important player for Milan.”
The No 7, who joined Il Diavolo in January 2008 for a reported €24m, was then asked about his relationship with his Coaches. Where he described Carlo Ancelotti and Leonardo as his ‘godfathers’, he was less-than-forthcoming with compliments for Allegri.
“Carlo always spoke to me, told me what to do on the field. If I have to improve now then Allegri has to recommend how. Champions must always move forward, they are expected to be the best.
“Every now and then Allegri will explain something to me, but a Coach should always suggest to his players how to correct defects.
“I would like to have a more direct relationship with Allegri, I won’t say much more. If he thinks it is right to criticise me then I have to keep my head down and work. I have to respect what the Coach says.
“The fact remains, however, that if he has noticed something wrong with my game that he would be better to come directly to me so we can discuss it together.”
Pato was then asked of Allegri’s comments that he had to get used to the position of striker again after previous Coach Leonardo had used him out wide on occasion.
“Even in the national team I played as a striker and I don’t think I did badly.”
In late November, Milan’s League win over Chievo was notable for Thiago Silva’s selection as captain, even though Pato was thought to be in line for the armband, according to Italian football tradition.
“The truth was, until I arrived in the changing room, I was convinced that the rule of seniority would see Milan assign the band to me.
“It did not turn out so, but I was not disappointed because in the end it ended up on the arm of a friend and a teammate.
“I did not ask for an explanation, these are the decisions of Galliani and Allegri.”
The comments come on the same day that Pato is being linked with moves to Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain. The London side, who the Rossoneri face in the Champions League in a couple of months, are reportedly monitoring Pato’s situation in Milan and even prepared to make a €28m bid for the youngster.
Competition, according to Mediaset, comes from PSG and Pato’s ‘godfathers’ Ancelotti and Leonardo, who have been given a €20m budget to try to tempt Galliani with.
Massimiliano Allegri has reflected on his team’s performance in the lead-up to the winter break and on his relationship with Silvio Berlusconi.
Speaking to Sky Sport Italia, the Coach was asked to rate his side’s performance over the season with a mark out of 10, the Coach spoke of the change he has witnessed in his players.
“We began with a ‘4’ in the first five games, but then were up to an ‘8’ or ‘9’ in the next 11 and the squad is currently navigating at a ‘7’.
“The players’ best characteristic is that they always put themselves under discussion, we need to improve the construction of the game and to give away less both offensively and defensively.”
Allegri has been without Antonio Cassano since the end of October after the player required minor heart surgery to correct a congenital heart defect. The Coach reflected on the No 99 and other striking options in the team.
“We miss him so much, I think that with Milan he has been at the best of his career both technically and physically.
“I’m sorry for [Filippo] Inzaghi, who has made history with Milan, he has great enthusiasm but I have to make decisions. For some time he has not trained with the first team and I cannot take him into consideration, he has not been available.
“[Zlatan] Ibrahimovic is doing great things, like last year. He was also determined at Juventus and Inter and despite the criticism he was great at Barcelona.
“[Alexandre] Pato? I would like him to return as soon as possible to the player that he is.”
Silvio Berlusconi has recently returned to the club as active President after ending his career in politics and has already provided some public feedback for Allegri. The Coach insists that there is no friction in the relationship.
“It is great, we talk face to face often, I listen to his opinions, I give him explanations. The Coach has the daily pulse of the situation and must make choices on the team depending on this.
“When you are working at Milan it is normal that you try to win, I have been lucky to work here in two years when the club has been great in the transfer market.
“My contract? I think it is in place.”
Galliani: 'We'll wait for Tevez' 24.12 ||webmaster
Massimiliano Allegri believes Milan will target the Champions League victory in 2013, “but we can do great things this season too.”
The Rossoneri are through to the final 16 of the competition and will face Arsenal in the knockouts.
“Barcelona continue to be the best team in the world, but when we played against them – especially in Spain – they created few dangers,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport.
“We emerged from that game aware of what we could achieve against them. I believe next term can be the right one for the Champions League, but we can do great things this season too.”
Allegri won the Scudetto in his first campaign on the Milan bench and they are now joint top of Serie A with Juventus, but he is yet to extend his contract that expires in June 2012.
“We haven’t yet agreed the figures for my contract with Adriano Galliani and President Silvio Berlusconi. If they confirm me in the job then I’m happy, as it’ll mean they have faith in me. I know full well where I have to improve as a Coach.”
Recently Berlusconi has publicly criticised his tactician for leaving Pippo Inzaghi in the stands.
“In the last few games we have played badly and had some problems, perhaps due to tiredness, that were already visible in training,” continued Allegri.
“I often speak with Berlusconi and he asked about Inzaghi. I said that as he hadn’t trained in a while, I couldn’t take him into consideration. Obviously some of the fans might not agree with my decisions, but Milan are not just a team looking for entertainment, but also the result.
“Inzaghi has made football history like many other champions, but I have to evaluate what he can give me on the field today.
“Milan have to be more clinical and control possession better. Juventus have something special, as if they are unbeaten this season then there has to be a reason for that.
“The Bianconeri are the joint Scudetto favourites along with us, even if the others are doing well and Inter remain a great squad.
“Among my players Ignazio Abate has made the most significant improvement. Who is the symbol of Milan? It’s too easy to say Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Thiago Silva, so I’ll vote for Antonio Nocerino.”
Milan directors flew to England today for a three-hour meeting with Manchester City over Carlos Tevez, but the Rossoneri won’t budge from their free loan request.
City have already rejected the proposed free loan spell with a buy-out clause worth around €25m at the end of the season, insisting they will only release the Argentine for an outright sale.
It is widely reported in the Italian media that directors Ariedo Braida and Lorenzo Cantamessa were in Britain this afternoon for a meeting with City director Brian Marwood, Tevez’s agent Kia Joorabchian and intermediary Giuseppe Riso.
Vice-President Adriano Galliani was also taking part in the negotiations via telephone.
It’s believed they discussed the move, but Braida and Cantamessa will return to Italy this evening, pending a new meeting after Christmas.
“Nobody is denying he is a great player, but I don’t know why Manchester City are so eager to be rid of him,” ex-Milan legend Cesare Maldini told TMW.
“He had some problems at City and Chelsea. I doubt any one player can win a title for his team, but Tevez is certainly a champion and it is necessary to replace Antonio Cassano.”
Meanwhile, there are reports in France Football that Paris Saint-Germain are dropping their own bid to sign Tevez, as they are targeting Porto striker Hulk instead.
Massimiliano Allegri said his players were tired and accepts President Silvio Berlusconi’s advice, but “I make choices for the good of Milan.”
The Rossoneri eased their way to a 2-0 victory away to Cagliari thanks to an own goal and a moment of magic from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“Tonight it was a difficult game, which is what I expected,” said the Coach. “We have climbed back up the table and I already saw on Saturday that the team was tired. There were difficulties and we played better in the second half, but the important thing was to get the three points.
“Ibra is generous and never pulls back. He is an extremely important player for us. Now we’ll see what the others do tomorrow.”
Milan end 2011 on a Serie A run of nine wins and two draws, which means they could be top of the table depending on the Udinese-Juventus result.
Allegri was also asked about President Berlusconi, who this week suggested he change his tactics to field a trident attack plus Kevin-Prince Boateng in midfield.
“There is always an exchange of ideas with the President. He has his ideas and would like to see Milan always play the way they sometimes do. But I have to make choices for the good of Milan.
“I like it when we talk, as I can get important ideas from him. There is absolutely no problem. Comparisons with Barcelona are impossible, as they have players with completely different characteristics to ours.”
Serie A: Cagliari 0:2 AC Milan - match report 20.12 ||webmaster
Milan did the bare minimum to earn a 2-0 victory away to Cagliari thanks to an own goal and Zlatan Ibrahimovic strike.
The Rossoneri aimed to end the year on a high with this Week 1 game, rescheduled from August due to the players’ strike. Christian Abbiati returned from a shoulder injury, though Mario Yepes, Alessandro Nesta, Ignazio Abate, Gennaro Gattuso, Mathieu Flamini and Antonio Cassano were sidelined. Cagliari opted for a very attacking line-up with Andrea Cossu back from a ban joining a trio of hitmen, while Davide Biondini was suspended.
After 100 seconds of play in the driving rain, Thiago Ribeiro’s angled strike cracked against the outside of the near post from a tight angle.
However, it was Milan who took the lead moments later. Robinho got to the by-line down the right and drew out the goalkeeper, rolling across for Antonio Nocerino to tap into an empty net from five yards. Replays suggest Francesco Pisano got the final touch when sliding in to intercept.
Philippe Mexes returned to the starting XI, but risked an own goal with his horribly scuffed clearance. Albin Ekdal hit a screamer from distance that stung Abbiati’s palms. The goalkeeper performed a spectacular save with his knee from point-blank range, though Joaquin Larrivey was offside anyway.
Larrivey was on the right side of the trap later on, but his header was wide, while Lorenzo Ariaudo’s looping effort was too weak to trouble Abbiati.
At the dawn of the second half a Kevin-Prince Boateng flick sent Aquilani through for a snapshot that struck Michael Agazzi’s legs. At the other end, Thiago Ribeiro chipped up a cross for Victor Ibarbo, but the header was straight at Abbiati.
Robinho managed to dribble round the on-rushing Agazzi after running on to an Ibrahimovic disguised pass, but had narrowed the angle too much and drilled over. Abbiati smothered a powerful Radja Nainggolan screamer, but Milan doubled their lead.
Ibrahimovic did it all himself this time round, as his flick was nodded back down by Robinho and the Swede turned on the turbo to burst past Michele Canini, at full stretch clipping the finish over Agazzi into an empty net. It was a fine way to mark his 200th Serie A appearance.
Thiago Ribeiro’s attempt was deflected wide, while Agostini’s cross was desperately cleared by a sliding Thiago Silva tackle. Substitute Alexandre Pato and Ibra went on the counter from a Cagliari free kick, but The Duck fired straight at Agazzi.
“At the moment Manchester City have rejected our offer for Carlos Tevez,” confirmed Milan chief Adriano Galliani.
The Vice-President has agreed personal terms with the player, but City do not want to release him on loan with an option to buy at the end of the season.
“Milan are only looking for a striker on the transfer market after Antonio Cassano’s health problem,” Galliani told Sky Sport Italia.
“At the moment Manchester City have rejected our offer for Tevez. If it is accepted, then good, otherwise he won’t come to us.
“We will meet with City again and try to convince them from here to January 31. If we do not succeed, then either another striker will arrive or nobody at all.”
The Rossoneri have made a name for themselves as bargain hunters in recent years. They snapped up Antonio Nocerino from Palermo for just €500,000 in the final minutes of the transfer session and he has already scored six Serie A goals.
“I really liked Nocerino and always thought he was an undervalued player who belonged at a top club,” explained Galliani.
Massimiliano Allegri admits Siena gave Milan problems, but hailed their patience and Antonio Nocerino.
“In the first half we had patience and risked going a goal behind,” said the Coach of their 2-0 victory.
“After the break and our opening goal, it was much easier. I asked Clarence Seedorf to play on the right because with his technical quality I thought he’d make trouble for Siena. Once I saw they were attacking us down that flank, I moved Nocerino there.
“Tonight was not an easy game and it was important to get the three points. When you play badly and still win, it’s a good sign.”
Nocerino broke the deadlock with his sixth goal of the season, already a new personal best.
“I hope he gets to 15 goals. He has already got six and is proving he is a player who belongs at Milan,” continued Allegri.
“The thing about matches like this is if you don’t break through straight away, then you must find the strength to keep playing until you find the right opportunity to score.”
There were also doubts about Kevin-Prince Boateng’s clash with the goalkeeper for a penalty.
“I think it was a spot-kick.”
Serie A: AC Milan 2:0 Siena - match report 17.12 ||webmaster
Milan had a tougher job than expected, but eventually pushed Siena aside 2-0 with Antonio Nocerino and a dubious penalty.
The Rossoneri had to completely reshuffle their defence, losing Ignazio Abate and Luca Antonini the day before the game. They joined Alessandro Nesta, Mario Yepes, Gianluca Zambrotta, Christian Abbiati, Antonio Cassano, Gennaro Gattuso and Mathieu Flamini on the treatment table, so Philippe Mexes got his first Serie A start for the club with Daniele Bonera re-routed to right-back. Siena hoped to end a run of three consecutive defeats, but missed Simone Vergassola and Nicola Belmonte.
As expected, Milan dominated possession from the start and pegged Siena back into their own half with Antonio Nocerino’s volley off target, though Reginaldo also drilled wide at the other end. Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s deflected half-volley skimmed the bar after a lucky ricochet, but on 20 minutes Robinho’s disguised pass released Kevin-Prince Boateng, forcing Brkic into a desperate one-handed save from point-blank range.
However, Siena went even closer, as Francesco Bolzoni sprung the offside trap on Taye Taiwo’s error and drew out Marco Amelia, but the angled drive dribbled inches wide of an open goal.
Clarence Seedorf tried to squirm his way through a crowd of Siena defenders, eventually seeing his finish deflected wide by Cristiano Del Grosso.
An Ibrahimovic backheel flick set up Seedorf for the low drive that Brkic needed a couple of touches to control.
After the restart, Siena went on the counter from a Milan corner kick, but Angelo’s cross-shot was too close to Amelia with Emanuele Calaio waiting in the middle.
Milan eventually took the lead on 54 minutes thanks to Nocerino’s sixth goal of the season. He had already set a new personal best with five, so this was an extra bonus. A corner was passed out to the edge of the box for Nocerino’s daisy-cutter with slight deflection to beat Brkic at the near post.
The Rossoneri went on a rapid counter-attack with Robinho who spread the play for an unmarked Boateng. He already appeared to be falling as Brkic came tearing out at his feet, but it was also a very clumsy attempt at a challenge. The referee awarded the dubious penalty, which Ibrahimovic converted with a powerful finish into the near top corner.
Brkic made an unorthodox save on the long-range Alexandre Pato snapshot, the ball flying straight up into the air, then crossed back in for Ibra’s header. Pato had another great chance when he exchanged passes with Nocerino to carve the Siena defence apart, but some desperate defending charged down his tap-in for a corner.
Amelia had his palms stung by a Bolzoni diving header at the near post, then from that corner Claudio Terzi nodded over.
Carlo Ancelotti believes Milan are “superior to Arsenal,” while Napoli can eliminate Chelsea.
Both Italians have been paired with English clubs in the Champions League final 16, while Inter take on Olympique Marseille.
“I am a Milanista through and through, so when I am cheering on my team, I find it difficult to be rational,” confessed the former Coach in the Gazzetta dello Sport.
“In any case, I think Milan are superior to Arsenal. Massimiliano Allegri has great champions, as Arsenal don’t have anyone like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, nor Pato or Robinho.
“They do have Robin Van Persie, that is true, but we also have Alessandro Nesta and Thiago Silva. Milan are the favourites, but I won’t forget Arsenal knocked us out of the Champions League in 2008.
“Arsenal are a side who always try to play their football and move it around, as that is the philosophy of the club. In order to reach the quarter-finals, Milan have to ensure their greater individual technique makes the difference.
“Arsenal had a bad start and were hammered at Old Trafford by Manchester United, but they are back on track now. I follow Arsenal regularly and can confirm they play pretty well now.”
Ancelotti is also a former Chelsea manager, but is cheering on Napoli in their showdown.
“Italian football has made steps forward and the English game is not in great shape, what with Manchester City and Manchester United’s elimination.
“Napoli already achieved something remarkable by beating a City side that is dominating the Premier League, so I don’t see why they can’t repeat it.
“Of course, it requires a great performance, but Walter Mazzarri’s team can improve a lot from now to February. Chelsea try to make possession their main strength, while Napoli are very dangerous when they win the ball back and go on the counter.
“If that’s the situation, then Chelsea have to be very wary of the pace shown by Marek Hamsik, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Edinson Cavani, Christian Maggio and the rest. They are absolutely deadly on the counter-attack.
“After a difficult period, Chelsea seem to be back in shape. It all depends on what physical condition the teams are in when the games come round. The only advantage Chelsea might have is their international experience, but I believe Napoli’s enthusiasm and grit can bridge that gap.”
Inter have a trip to France against Didier Deschamps’ side Olympique Marseille.
“With a great deal of patience, Claudio Ranieri is trying to put the season back on its feet. In my view, in the long run, he will do it. The Nerazzurri have world class players and in the Champions League quality does make the difference.”
Prandelli: 'Italians can progress' 17.12 ||webmaster
Milan are facing a shortage of defenders this weekend as both Luca Antonini and Ignazio Abate are ruled out of the Siena match.
Already without Alessandro Nesta and Mario Yepes until the new year thanks to respective thigh strain and ankle injuries, the club have confirmed that they will welcome Siena to San Siro on Saturday night without first-choice full-backs Antonini and Abate. Christian Abbiati is also still unavailable in goal.
In announcing the squad of 19 that will prepare for tomorrow’s match, the Rossoneri declared that Antonini is out through back pain and that Abate suffered a sprained ankle in training.
It could see unsettled Nigerian Taye Taiwo and League novice Mattia De Sciglio deputise on the flanks, with Daniele Bonera alongside Thiago Silva in the centre of defence. Alternatively, Bonera could play at right-back with centre-back Philippe Mexes pushed back into the first team, but perhaps ahead of the club’s intended schedule.
Squad to face Siena: Amelia, Roma, Bonera, De Sciglio, Ely, Mexes, Taiwo, Thiago Silva, Ambrosini, Aquilani, Kevin Prince Boateng, Emanuelson, Nocerino, Seedorf, Van Bommel, El Shaarawy, Ibrahimovic, Pato, Robinho
Sannino: Siena to create identity 16.12 ||webmaster
Siena Coach Giuseppe Sannino has revealed how he is preparing his players for Saturday night’s tough challenge away to Milan.
The Tuscans arrive at San Siro in Week 16 having never won away to the Rossoneri in the League and with Sannino himself on his first visit to the stadium as a Coach.
With League form, history and experience pointing towards a one-sided affair, Sannino has revealed how he intends to focus his players away from the inevitable.
“Let’s go with the knowledge that we have seen what we possess within,” began Sannino, perhaps in reference to the midweek Coppa Italia win at Palermo. “The boys have the opportunity to play with carefree, mentality free.
“I have told my players to enter the field as the unknown, without a face, without a name on the back. Then leave the field having well-defined our identity.”
Sannino then reflected on what will be his coaching debut at the Giuseppe Meazza stadium.
“When I was a player, for two days before a friendly with Torino I was overwhelmed by tension in Asti. Today, more or less, I feel the same, but tomorrow none of this will count.”
Manchester City: AC Milan not alone in Tevez race 16.12 ||webmaster
Manchester City have warned Milan that they are not the only club interested in signing Carlos Tevez.
The Rossoneri have finalised personal terms with the striker, but they have yet to reach an agreement with the English club.
The Italians admitted this week that they are prepared to wait until the last hour of the transfer window to get their man, but the English outfit have questioned such tactics.
“You know there are more clubs than just Milan interested in Tevez,” stated City official Brian Marwood to Sky Sports News.
“If they choose to wait until the end of the window then they may pay that price if other clubs come in before them.”
Milan want to take the striker on a temporary basis in January before possibly signing him outright at the end of the season.
“The position hasn’t changed,” added Marwood. “Milan came to us with a loan option, which was something we rejected and that still stays the same.
“Clearly Milan have decided to conduct their business through the media. That's something we choose not to do and will continue not to do and things haven't changed – Carlos Tevez is still a Manchester City football player.
“I don’t know what will happen,” he added.
“He's made his desire to leave the football club known. The club have gone on record to say they will consider that and it just really depends on us receiving something that is acceptable to Manchester City.
“That's no different to where we were before and that will not change. We'll have to see what the next three to four weeks bring.”
The Gazzetta dello Sport suggested today that Milan would hold talks with City at some stage next week in an effort to reach a compromise for the 27-year-old striker.
Allegri: English sides not in crisis 16.12 ||webmaster
Gianluigi Buffon believes Juventus would not benefit from Carlos Tevez and has questioned Milan’s necessity to sign him either.
The wantaway Manchester City forward had been linked in recent weeks with both the Turin and Milan sides. The Rossoneri have put in an offer to take the Argentine in January and are now waiting on his club’s decision amid reported competition from Paris Saint-Germain.
Despite the player’s goal-scoring record in recent seasons and the reportedly low price the player is available at - almost half his summer valuation - Buffon believes he is not a player that would add value to the Bianconeri.
“In the event that he is at Juve, I have no idea if he will improve us. In attack we are covered, in numbers and quality, and I do not know if someone like Tevez has other problems.
“To get great results, everyone needs to pull in the same direction and you have to set aside the ego and the self. Speak in the plural.”
The Italian goalkeeper, who recently equalled Dino Zoff’s caps record between the Azzurri sticks, also went on to question whether Milan need Tevez either.
“In attack Milan are so strong, they have no big problems - with Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Pato and then the returning Cassano and Inzaghi.
“In short, they are well covered. It is clear, though, that the assessment is their business.”
Champions League Draw: AC Milan to meet Arsenal 16.12 ||webmaster
AC Milan vs Arsenal Napoli vs Chelsea Basel vs Bayern Munchen Lyon vs Apoel Bayer Leverkusen vs Barcelona CSKA Moskow vs Real Madrid Zenit vs Benfica Inter vs Marseille
AC Milan to meet Manchester City for Tevez 16.12 ||webmaster
Kevin-Prince Boateng reveals why he retired from international duty with Ghana. “I did it to win with Milan. Carlos Tevez is perfect for us.”
The midfielder surprised many when he announced he would no longer be playing for Ghana at the age of 24.
“It isn’t an easy situation and my family didn’t really understand my decision, but I’d like it to be respected,” he told Milan Channel.
“In my life I have already had six knee operations and many injuries. I am challenging for top honours at Milan like the Scudetto and Champions League, so did it to be at my best for the club. I did it to win with Milan.”
Boateng could have a new teammate in January, as the Rossoneri are in negotiations with Manchester City for Tevez.
“I really like him as a player, he is so gritty and determined. He attacks the defender and scores plenty of goals. Plus he defends too, so Tevez is perfect for us.”
One of Carlos Tevez’ agents has played down comments published this week that suggested he was keen only to play for Boca Juniors.
Argentine newspapers ran quotes on Wednesday from the player that had him complaining of travelling to Europe and intimating that he would like to train with old club Boca and play for them in the Copa Libertadores.
However, one of his representatives, Adrian Rouco, looked to clarify the situation with La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Those are old statements, said before Milan came on the scene. Carlitos has not spoken with anyone since and expects Manchester City to reach a decision on his future soon.”
Tevez is understood to have offers from both Milan and Paris Saint-Germain to move this January, even as PSG deny they are in the running.
Milan defender Taye Taiwo could join former Inter full-back Davide Santon at Newcastle United this January, according to reports.
The Nigerian left-back only joined the Rossoneri on a free transfer in the summer from Marseille, but recently spoke of the frustration at failing to hold down a regular place at San Siro.
Having managed just two League starts under Massimiliano Allegri, the 26-year-old hinted via French publication L’Equipe this week that he may consider a January switch. His agent also suggested the same possibility exists, even if the player’s primary intention is to remain with the Italian champions.
Reports in England are linking Taiwo with Newcastle United. In the market for a left-back to replace Jose Enrique, the Tyneside club are understood to have turned their attentions to a loan deal for the Milan man after being warned off first-choice PSV Eindhoven’s Erik Pieters.
Further reports are linking Arsenal with a move for the international who has been capped 48 times by his country, after they recently lost regular full-back Andre Santos to a long-term injury.
Carlos Tevez has reportedly told the media in Argentina he “only wants Boca Juniors” rather than Milan or PSG.
The Manchester City striker agreed personal terms with the Rossoneri last week, but it seems as if he has already changed his mind.
“Milan? I only want Boca Juniors,” he was quoted as telling newspapers in Argentina.
“I am tired of travelling to and from Europe. You can be certain I’m never going back to England.
“I want to play the Copa Libertadores with Boca and am prepared to give up large sums of money to make this happen.”
Only this evening Milan President Silvio Berlusconi reiterated the offer to take Tevez on loan would not be increased, even though Paris Saint-Germain have proposed a more financially advantageous package.
Berlusconi: 'Does Tevez want money or prestige?' 14.12 ||webmaster
Silvio Berlusconi warned Carlos Tevez he must choose between PSG’s money or “a prestigious club like Milan where he can win everything.”
The striker is set to leave Manchester City in January, but the Rossoneri want him on loan whereas Paris Saint-Germain can offer €30m and much bigger wages straight away.
“Tevez has two choices,” the patron told Sky Sport Italia. “Milan represent prestige and the ability to win everything, including the Ballon d’Or. Paris Saint-Germain represent a large intake of money.”
There were reports Alexandre Pato would be offered to Manchester City as part of the deal to bring in Tevez.
“Pato is a great player who recently hasn’t expressed himself to his full potential. In football you need goals to win and in order to score, he has to be closer to the penalty area.”
Berlusconi also confirmed Coach Massimiliano Allegri is all set to renew his contract.
“He is doing very well and the contract renewal is not up for debate. We have already made the decision and it will be done.
“Milan want to be protagonists and can win the Scudetto again, while we can also do it in Europe. We’re in the final 16 of the Champions League, just like Barcelona, a side who play the kind of football I’d like to see more of at Milan.
“We already have a large squad and there are players like Thiago Silva who can take on numerous positions. He can be a midfielder and, with his class, also a striker.
“I make exceptional efforts, as Milan cost me €50m per year for the last two seasons. I think last term it was actually €90m. I always acted with great generosity for this club, sometimes excessively.”
Stefano Pioli revealed what under-fire referee Gianluca Rocchi told him after the controversial Bologna-Milan game.
The official made numerous dubious decisions during the 2-2 draw, including penalty appeals from both sides.
“I’d rather not talk about the referee, as it’s fairer to discuss a very entertaining game,” said Coach Pioli.
“We said goodbye at the end of the game in a very cordial fashion. He told me that, even if he might’ve made some mistakes, he took the decisions that he considered to be right.
“It’s not easy being a referee, as they have negative and positive days too.”
It was a spectacular performance by the Rossoblu, who put Milan under constant pressure just days after they pushed Juventus to extra time in the Coppa Italia.
“It was a wonderful game. Milan are superior in technique and strength, but we held the field well without being passive. We went on the counter with a certain consistency and timing.
“We made life difficult for the Rossoneri and I have to praise my players for that. As for Marco Di Vaio, he just needed to break his drought, as not scoring for 10 or 11 games is tough for a striker who has netted 200 in his career.
“There was a little pressure on him, especially as he is the captain, but he always trained very hard and kept in shape.”
Seedorf: 'Tevez follows the money' 11.12 ||webmaster
Milan Coach Massimiliano Allegri admits the referee “got it wrong” with regards to several penalty incidents against Bologna.
The spectacular 2-2 draw at the Stadio Dall’Ara was marred by a controversial performance from referee Gianluca Rocchi.
“Looking back at the footage, Clarence Seedorf did seem to handle in the box, but towards the end there was an identical handball not awarded for us,” said the tactician.
“As for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, I think he dived to earn the penalty. In any case, the referee got it wrong for both teams, so it wasn’t one-way the same we suffered against Fiorentina.”
This was the Rossoneri’s second consecutive 2-2 draw after a midweek stalemate with Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League.
“After taking the lead we defended badly and couldn’t even hold on to it for a minute. Our second half was not up to the task, even if we had a few good chances towards the end.
“We didn’t throw any points away here, though, as Bologna played very well to earn the result with real determination. Marco Di Vaio was excellent at moving between the centre-backs and Bologna were very rapid on the counter-attack.
“Milan made mistakes and we paid for them.”
Serie A: Bologna 2:2 AC Milan - match report 11.12 ||webmaster
There was a sensational and highly controversial four-goal thriller, as Milan and Bologna were furious at the referee.
The Rossoneri aimed to continue their fine Serie A form, though Antonio Nocerino joined the injury list with Alessandro Nesta, Christian Abbiati, Gianluca Zambrotta, Mathieu Flamini, Gennaro Gattuso and Antonio Cassano. Nico Pulzetti was suspended for Bologna, who gave Jorge Crespo a rare start in defence.
Within three minutes Zlatan Ibrahimovic had unleashed a ground to air missile of a free kick from the left flank that rattled the crossbar. It was absolutely ferocious and kept the woodwork wobbling for some time.
However, it was Bologna who took the lead with a moment of magic from Marco Di Vaio. He broke on his own from the centre-circle on a long ball and as Marco Amelia came sprinting out of the box, Di Vaio brilliantly and bravely lobbed into an empty net.
The situation did not last long, as Clarence Seedorf gathered from Kevin-Prince Boateng just outside the D and smacked a stunning right-foot curler into the near top corner, where Jean-Francois Gillet had absolutely no chance.
Moments later Ibra burst on the counter down the left, but nobody was ready to tap into an empty net. Di Vaio drilled just wide of the near stick and Gillet had his palms stung by Ignazio Abate’s volley.
Milan had penalty appeals for a Gaby Mudingayi shove on Alberto Aquilani just 30 seconds after the Bologna midfielder had been booked. Aquilani had another great chance on 35 minutes, but Andrea Raggi got a toe to the cross to put him off from six yards and force a corner.
Ramirez went from end to end on the counter, but was too tired by the end to really trouble Amelia with his shot.
There was huge controversy in first half stoppages, as Seedorf blocked a Diamanti free kick with his outstretched arm. It was a blatant penalty, but the referee waved away protests and even booked the protesting Bologna players.
Within 90 seconds of the restart, Di Vaio had curled a splendid right-foot effort round Amelia and on to the base of the far post!
Diamanti also swung a simiar attempt just wide, then Ramirez slipped as he was pulling the trigger under pressure from Mario Yepes. Aquilani’s diving header from a corner whistled wide.
There was further controversy when the referee did point to the penalty spot. Ibra tried to pass to Alexandre Pato, who was offside, but it didn’t reach him and the ball returned to the Swede’s feet as he was kicked by Raggi. Ibrahimovic buried the spot-kick by sending Gillet the wrong way.
However, moments later it was 2-2, as Diamanti hit a daisy-cutter from distance that slipped off Amelia’s hand into the bottom near corner of the net. The goalkeeper committed a howler there, as it was within his grasp.
There were yet more penalty appeals as Ibra’s cross for Aquilani clearly struck Archimede Morleo’s arm, but the referee again waved play on.
An Urby Emanuelson snapshot flashed across the face of goal, then Di Vaio’s counter-attack was charged down in the box by Daniele Bonera, as the game remained end-to-end stuff.
Stefano Pioli says Bologna “need the perfect game” to get something against Milan, but are buoyed by forcing Juventus into extra time this week.
The Rossoblu were in action on Thursday and only went out of the Coppa Italia to a 2-1 defeat in Turin after 120 minutes.
“There is not much difference between Milan and Juventus,” said the Coach. “However, the Rossoneri have something more, as Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are players who make the difference.
“Their approach to football also gives fewer reference points than Juve. We’ll have to be very sharp to understand the tactical situations that will develop, as Milan are unpredictable and very dynamic.”
That certainly does not mean Pioli is expecting a defeat at the Stadio Dall’Ara on Sunday.
“We’ve got to give it our all. We’re playing on home turf, are in good shape and coming off an important Serie A win against Siena.
“Obviously, we need the perfect game, ready to work hard and chase them down, using up all our physical and mental energy. But I know my team and they are ready to give 100 per cent to get a positive result.
“This is an important game for our growth, as we must step on to the field without the mentality of just accepting whatever comes, but rather to try and win the match.”
Manchester City reject AC Milan's Tevez bid 10.12 ||webmaster
Adriano Galliani confirms Manchester City have rejected their proposal to sign Carlos Tevez on loan. “It’ll be a long negotiation process.”
The striker has already agreed personal terms with the Rossoneri this week, but their plan to take him on loan for a non-binding €23m option to buy at the end of the season did not go down well.
“We received an answer. You all know the situation,” Vice-President Galliani told Sky Sport Italia.
“Manchester City want to sell the player outright, while we want him on loan with the right to buy. We are a big club and if players do well then we take up their options.
“It’s true that Paris Saint-Germain are looking at the Argentine now as well, so I think it will be a bit of a long negotiation process. I spoke to Leonardo and he told me the President of PSG is interested in Tevez.
“In any case, I don’t want to make any predictions on the outcome of the negotiations, as there were many clubs on Tevez, including some Italians, an English side and PSG.
“We have already received City’s response to our offer and they are asking for the player to be signed outright, so I hope to convince them to accept our proposal.”
Galliani also commented on the other players who could leave in January to make way for Tevez.
“Pippo Inzaghi will decide his own destiny, while we’ll decide along with Stephen El Shaarawy what to do.
“If Tevez does not arrive, then we have a basic agreement with Catania for Maxi Lopez. He too is a great player, but in any case I’ll do everything possible to bring Tevez to Milan.
“As for Massimiliano Allegri, his contract until 2014 is already written. It’s a pure formality.”
AC Milan with Tevez: 'Best in the world!' 10.12 ||webmaster
Massimiliano Allegri wants to keep Milan focused on Bologna, but also admits “with Carlos Tevez we’d have the best strike force in the world!”
The Rossoneri did the bare minimum to get through their Champions League group and are on a Serie A roll which they intend to maintain on Sunday.
“We know that we cannot make mistakes like the ones we made against Viktoria Plzen, especially at the end,” he said of their 2-0 lead fumbled for a 2-2 draw.
“I hope it can be a useful lesson ahead of tomorrow’s game with Bologna. We know the Rossoblu are a strong side and saw it midweek against Juventus in the Coppa Italia.
“From now until the Christmas break, we have three matches to play, therefore nine points, and must try to get the maximum result.
“I am certain that the Scudetto will be a race between us, Juventus, who will fight to the end, Napoli and Udinese. Last season we won the title three rounds from the end, but this term I’d be happy with the penultimate match.”
Allegri surprised many by naming his starting XI for tomorrow’s encounter at the Stadio Dall’Ara, including Alexandre Pato and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Naturally, talk around the Rossoneri has been focused around the personal terms agreed with Manchester City striker Tevez.
“During the break we will evaluate everything along with the club. We’ve got clear ideas, so if Tevez doesn’t arrive then I am happy with my squad.
“It’s always better to have champions alongside you than against you. If Tevez does arrive, then we’d have the best strike force in the world!”
AC Milan line-up: Amelia; Abate, Thiago, Yepes, Antonini;Van Bommel, Aquilani, Seedorf; Boateng;Pato, Ibrahimovic
Leonardo warns AC Milan about Tevez 10.12 ||webmaster
Paris Saint-Germain chief Leonardo insists “the market is open” as they intercept Milan’s negotiations for Carlos Tevez.
This week the Rossoneri confirmed they had agreed personal terms with the player, but Manchester City have not yet replied to their proposal of a free loan with non-binding option to buy for €23m at the end of the season.
However, PSG have dived in with a bid of €30m up front, aided also by the fact the two Saudi owners of the clubs are related.
“Paris Saint-Germain have made no offer for Tevez, a player we had already made enquiries about in the summer,” director Leonardo told the Corriere della Sera.
“I spoke to Carlitos’ agent and know that he would prefer to join Milan, but I also know that Manchester City want to sell him outright and not send him out on loan.
“If City accept the idea of giving Tevez to Milan on loan, then the issue is closed. Otherwise the market is open.
“After all, with the Argentine’s wages how many clubs are ready to invest such figures? It’s obviously that the owners of PSG and City speak to each other, as they are related.
“However, let it also be clear that we are not trying to undercut or insult Milan. We were already interested in Tevez some time ago and if City don’t want to release him on loan to Milan, it certainly won’t be our fault. There is no subterfuge.”
Antonio Nocerino will be out for at least a week after tests, but Taye Taiwo’s agent insists he’s staying with Milan.
Midfielder Nocerino limped off during the Champions League 2-2 draw with Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday and tests have now confirmed the left thigh twinge will keep him on the sidelines for at least seven days, when he will undergo further medical examinations.
On the other hand, Kevin-Prince Boateng has recovered from a back problem to face Bologna on Sunday.
It was reported Taiwo would leave Milan in January after failing to settle in his first six months of Serie A football, as the likes of Newcastle United are interested.
“We are not 100 per cent satisfied, but that doesn’t mean the player is not ready to fight for his place,” agent Fabio Parisi told MilanNews.
“I think he has had some difficulties settling in, especially when it comes to understanding the movement the Coach is asking for.
“However, Taiwo never gives in and therefore does not want to leave Milan. We’ve got to evaluate the situation and he has many admirers, but the idea is to stay with the Rossoneri.”
Reports are indicating that Paris Saint-Germain are planning to hijack Milan’s move for Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez.
The player has reportedly already agreed personal terms with the Rossoneri after Vice-President Adriano Galliani met with his representative Kia Joorabchian on Monday evening, whilst it is also understood that the current Serie A champions have also sent off a formal proposal to the English side.
However, it is thought that the Qatari-owned French club, who are coached by former Rossonero Leonardo, are ready to come in with a stronger offer. Where Milan are after a six-month, low-cost loan followed by a rumoured €20m fee to secure the player on a full-time basis next summer, PSG are apparently ready with an immediate €25-30m offer to take Tevez permanently in January.
Tamin Al-Thani, who heads the Qatar Investment Authority that own PSG, is a cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed.
Alexandre Pato and Robinho had given Milan a 2-0 lead, but Viktoria Plzen snatched a point with the last kick of the game.
The Rossoneri rotated the squad, aware second place behind Barcelona was confirmed regardless of the results in this last round of games. Czech side Viktoria needed a point to be sure of third place and a spot in the Europa League, though simply BATE Borisov’s defeat at Barcelona would be enough.
Philippe Mexes and Mattia De Sciglio received their first starts in a Milan jersey. As expected, the home side had a very aggressive start, as Mexes and De Sciglio both got crucial touches to take a cross away from the two strikers in the middle of the box.
Mexes forced another corner at full stretch to anticipate Bakos, while from that set piece a spectacular Pilar volley sailed inches over the bar with Marco Amelia well beaten.
Petrzela was flagged offside in a very tight decision and Viktoria lost Jiracek to an injury after 28 minutes.
De Sciglio was not lacking in confidence, unleashing a fierce strike that was over from distance.
Neither was full-back Rajtoral, who went on a spectacular run from his one end of the pitch to the other, eventually forcing a save out of Amelia with his low angled drive.
Clarence Seedorf also drilled off target from the D, but Pilar broke away from De Sciglio to fire just wide of the near post with only Amelia to beat, then Cisovsky’s header was past the upright. Antonio Nocerino also went off, making way for Thiago Silva in a more advanced midfield role.
Milan took the lead with their first genuine scoring opportunity straight after the restart. Robinho chested down a cross from the right for Alexandre Pato, who took it past his marker and dribbled round the goalkeeper to deposit into an empty net.
Less than a minute later, it was 2-0. A long Taye Taiwo clearance was flicked on by Robinho, who had time and space to exchange passes with Pato to tear apart the remaining shreds of the Viktoria defence and pass it under the bar.
Massimiliano Allegri’s half-time talk must’ve had a great effect, as Milan were a totally different team to the sluggish, apathetic side of the first 45 minutes. Pato threatened a third when he went on the counter and cracked a shot against the base of the upright.
Viktoria had the ball in the net, but it didn’t get them back into the game. Petrzela skipped past Taiwo and beat Amelia at the near post with a daisy-cutter that thumped the woodwork, but when Kolar tapped into an empty net, he was offside.
Seedorf tested Cech from distance, but the Viktoria fans were celebrating, as BATE Borisov conceded a spate of goals in Barcelona, meaning third place was secure anyway. Amelia fingertipped a Rajtoral effort on to the side-netting and 16-year-old Bryan Christante received his Champions League debut.
There was action at both ends in quick succession, as first Pato tried to lob the goalkeeper and only hit his chest, then on the counter Bakos hit the post.
Viktoria did get their deserved goal in the final minute, as Bakos rolled across the six-yard box for Bystron’s tap-in, as the Milan defence was caught out.
The home side desperately wanted an equaliser, if only for pride, and goalkeeper Cech went up for the final free kick, but Amelia just about scrambled it away.
The Czechs kept pushing and drew level deep into stoppages to send the fans wild in Prague. Daniele Bonera’s poor clearance allowed Cisovsky to prod it into Duris’ path and the substitute took his chance quickly from eight yards.
Roberto Mancini has declared that he would be happy to see Carlos Tevez leave Manchester City for an Italian club.
Premier League side City are looking to offload the 27-year-old Argentine international after he fell out with Coach Mancini for allegedly refusing to come off the bench during a Champions League match against Bayern Munich.
The club fined and suspended the player, whilst he has since failed to return from exile in Argentina.
His agent Kia Joorabchian was photographed having dinner with Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani on Monday evening and reports indicate that further talks between the Rossoneri and Tevez’ representative will happen on Tuesday.
It is understood that the Italian champions are keen on negotiating an initial six-month loan deal for the striker who was City’s top scorer in 2009-10 and 2010-11.
Speaking ahead of his side’s return leg with German side Bayern in the Champions League, Mancini was asked once again of the latest developments surrounding the former Corinthians forward.
Whilst denying knowledge of any potential deal, Mancini did admit that Italy would represent a good move for him.
“I do not know what the situation is with Carlos at the moment. I think it is important for us to sell him. We can do it for him and for the club. If he has the chance to go to Italy, I’d be happy for him.”
Philippe Mexes is set for his first start in a Milan shirt in midweek as Massimiliano Allegri rings the changes but warns ‘Milan want a good result’.
The Rossoneri are away to Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday night in their final Champions League group stage match already aware that they will finish second in the group. However, Plzen need just a point to secure third spot in the group.
With this in mind, Allegri promised the Press upon arrival in Prague on Monday that Milan will remain motivated for the tie.
“The stimulus for the team will be strong, because we are playing in the Champions League. We all want a good game and a good result. We are also keen to do well in the last three League games before Christmas.
“Tomorrow will be difficult because they want to qualify for the Europa League and need just a point. To clarify, we ought to give our best because they also played well at San Siro.”
Allegri has also confirmed the starting line-up that he intends to deploy in the game. While Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva drop to the bench, Allegri hopes to bring in Philippe Mexes for his first start for Il Diavolo and also keep faith with Robinho in attack.
“Ibra will start from the bench and I will then decide whether to use him or rest him completely. Tomorrow Thiago Silva will also only start from the bench.
“It is true that there are some young players with us, but above all I want to evaluate the return of Mexes after so long.
“Robinho has different characteristics than Ibra and Pato, he is a player of great movement and despite what everyone says, he is good enough in front of goal. Last year he scored 15 goals.”
Whilst Plzen are without a home win in the competition proper yet, Milan have not won away to Czech opposition in European competition since 1972-73.
“The Champions League and Serie A are two different competitions, especially when the Champions League reaches the knockout stages, because from that moment you face the best in Europe. Undoubtedly it has a different charm to the League.”
Allegri then finished the Press conference on a light-hearted note.
“Viktoria are an organised team, I barely remember the names, but they are good and fast and in the reverse fixture caused us some problems.”
Intended Milan starting line-up to face Viktoria Plzen: Amelia; De Sciglio, Bonera, Mexes, Taiwo; Nocerino, Ambrosini, Emanuelson; Seedorf; Pato, Robinho
Galliani: 'Tevez? Don't make me lie' 5.12 ||webmaster
Adriano Galliani has given his strongest hint yet that Milan are focusing their January transfer activity on securing Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez.
In Florence on Monday to be inaugurated into the Italian Football Hall of Fame for his leadership work in the game, Milan's Vice-President Galliani was asked by reporters of the Rossoneri’s reported interest in the wantaway Argentinean forward.
This followed an earlier report on Monday from La Gazzetta dello Sport. They ran quotes from Galliani that suggested that Manchester City had given him permission to speak with the player's representatives, but that official negotiations with the club had not yet begun.
Whilst still refusing to confirm in Florence if talks with the English club have begun, Galliani also cryptically refused to this time deny so too.
“Tevez? Do not make me tell lies on the day I am being awarded. We will talk about it in the next few days.”
Galliani was more forthcoming, though, in reflecting on Milan’s recent good form that saw them briefly top the table over the weekend.
“We have made a great recovery, we picked up 22 points in eight games, it could have been 24 points but we couldn’t do it. After the defeat to Juventus we were at least six points behind, now we are just two.
“The championship is very long, we’ll see what happens. However, Juve are earning first place, they are playing very well.”
Allegri has faith in misfiring Robinho 5.12 ||webmaster
Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has defended Robinho from criticism after his recent errors in front of goal.
The Brazilian incredibly failed to score from a favourable position against Genoa on Friday night, but the tactician is standing by the attacker.
“Robinho has played well over the last few games,” the former Cagliari boss said ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League game against Plzen.
“He just needs to stay serene and, like last year, have a great season by scoring 15 goals. He’s not the only player in the world to have missed a chance.
“You can’t doubt Robinho because he’s missed two scoring opportunities. A Serie B player missed even more of a sitter recently…
“By the time the championship comes to an end, we won’t be missing the goals of Robinho or Alexandre Pato either.
“Pato is well, he just needs to play and he will do at Prague tomorrow.”
Robinho, 27, has scored two goals in eight League games this term.
As well as Pato, the Milan boss has confirmed that summer signing Philippe Mexes will play in the Champions League this week after recently fracturing his hand. He has selection worries though.
“Mark Van Bommel is not available. Gianluca Zambrotta has just returned after two days of having a fever. Kevin Prince Boateng has picked up a back problem too.”
Milan have already qualified behind group winners Barcelona, but the Coach still wants a performance from his players.
“The game doesn’t count for anything, but we are Milan and we’ll have to play to win. Coming off the pitch with a negative result wouldn’t be good for our mental state – it would anger us and we don’t want that.
“It should be a good training session as we’ll play on Tuesday and then again on Sunday. We’ll have a good deal of time to recover.”
Allegri then switched his attention to Serie A and Juventus – the League leaders who are currently two points above the Rossoneri and Udinese.
“When a side [Juventus] is unbeaten after 13 games then it means that they are good technically, they have character and everything needed to fight until the very end,” he added.
“We have to do the best we can during our next three League games before Christmas. We’ll look to end the solar year in the best shape possible.
“Inter? They are 13 points from us and 15 from Juve. There are a lot of sides in between us too, but they have what is needed to climb back up the table – especially when Wesley Sneijder and Douglas Maicon return.
“They can start a winning streak of games.”
There was also the inevitable question about the January transfer market, a subject which doesn’t interest the tactician right now.
“We are close to the window and it is normal that there is talk of Carlos Tevez and others. But what counts is that our squad will be like this until at least January 1 and I’m happy with it.”
Milan squad: Amelia, Roma, Piscitelli (No 51); Abate, Antonini, Bonera, De Sciglio, Mexes, Taiwo, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Yepes; Ambrosini, Boateng, Cristante (No 34), Emanuleson, Innocenti (No 35), Nocerino, Seedorf; Ibrahimovic, Pato, Robinho.
Ibrahimovic is Number 1 in his head 5.12 ||webmaster
Massimiliano Allegri reveals he “will stay at Milan save for surprises” and what everyone expected of Antonio Cassano.
“I don’t think there will be any problems over my contract renewal, as everything is fine with President Silvio Berlusconi and Adriano Galliani. I will stay at Milan save for surprises, and thank the club for this opportunity,” he told Verissimo.
“The Champions League is one of our objectives, but we’ll only get serious with that in February. Before then we’ll give our maximum efforts to Serie A, as we cannot afford to take our foot off the accelerator.”
Allegri won the Scudetto at his first attempt in a big club and has generally handled the many egos in the Rossoneri locker room.
“The players have really helped me in that, as they always give the right response whether facing a problem or accepting the bench. Of course, it’s understandable to be a bit angry, but it always passes quickly.
“Do some of them party too much? Well, they are still young men and we can’t expect them to spend all day at home. They can have fun, of course, but the important thing is to do it judiciously. They are professionals and must behave like them.”
One of the fieriest characters in Italian football is Cassano, who arrived a year ago after he was frozen out from Sampdoria.
“Antonio is above all a great champion. When he first came here, everyone was afraid of some crazy behaviour, but I was very happy to have him. Now he has settled in brilliantly. Mario Balotelli? Maybe he’d have the same reaction.
“Cassano is on the road to recovery after the heart surgery, though I don’t know if he’ll manage to be fit in time for Euro 2012. Now he needs to focus only on recovering.”
Massimiliano Allegri reassures Robinho after another incredible miss and enjoys Milan’s Serie A leadership status.
“We are top for a couple of days, then if Juventus overtake us, we’ll just have to accept it. The important thing was to win in a difficult arena,” said the Coach.
Their 2-0 victory away to Genoa came thanks to a Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty and Antonio Nocerino tap-in, but Robinho wasted the chance to finish the game when ballooning over from a yard.
“After going 1-0 up we played well for a few minutes. The second goal was what we needed to definitively secure the result.
“Robinho contributed to the goal with a great move. I compliment him for his assist in the penalty incident. As for the miss, football is like that, at times you miss incredible chances and at others you score out of nowhere. It happens.”
The Rossoneri have charged back into the Scudetto race following a poor start and kept a fourth consecutive clean sheet.
“We are playing decidedly well, but still need to improve in the way we control games,” added Allegri.
Serie A: Genoa 0:2 AC Milan - match report 2.12 ||webmaster
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Antonio Nocerino secured Milan’s 2-0 victory in Genoa after former teammate Kakha Kaladze was sent off, temporarily putting them top.
The Rossoneri were hoping to continue their climb up the table and were in splendid form, but Alexandre Pato pulled out an hour before kick-off when he came down with a flu virus. Instead, Robinho stepped into the starting XI, while Alessandro Nesta, Christian Abbiati, Gennaro Gattuso, Mathieu Flamini and Antonio Cassano were injured. Genoa top scorer Rodrigo Palacio sat out a ban, so Lucas Pratto and Bosko Jankovic led the way.
Within 90 seconds Marco Rossi just about managed to get his toe to the ball just as Antonio Nocerino had chested down and was ready to pull the trigger. Nocerino threatened again as he burst forward through the middle, but this time Sebastien Frey sprinted off his line to smother.
Play had to be halted after 15 minutes, as there were scuffles outside the stadium and tear gas floated into the arena, affecting fans, players and the referee. It has long been a tense fixture, especially after Genoa fan Vincenzo Spagnolo was stabbed to death outside San Siro on January 29 1995, which is why Milan fans weren’t allowed to travel for this game until last year. Once the gas had dissipated, the teams came back on to the pitch.
When play resumed, Kevin-Prince Boateng’s daisy-cutter struck the side-netting, while Ignazio Abate’s low cross went past two dummies for Nocerino to skim the back post. Moments later, Frey beat away a Zlatan Ibrahimovic left-foot snapshot. Milan were piling on the pressure, as Ibra threaded through for Massimo Ambrosini, who tripped just as he was pulling the trigger.
Genoa finally emerged as Miguel Veloso tried to score directly from a free kick down the right side of the pitch, forcing Marco Amelia to fingertip over the bar. Giandomenico Mesto intercepted a Thiago Silva clearance and was tackled in the box by Mario Yepes, then flashed a shot across the face of goal. Veloso pounced on another poor clearance for Amelia to block on the ground.
However, after the restart ex-Milan defender Kakha Kaladze went very late on Ibrahimovic for a penalty and second yellow card. It was Genoa’s fifth sending off of the campaign. The Swede got back on his feet to smash the penalty under the crossbar.
Robinho fired over from a yard against Barcelona last week, but someone managed to repeat the trick! On the hour mark Alberto Aquilani steered a ball back from the by-line and the Brazilian horribly ballooned over an open goal.
However, Genoa threatened an equaliser when Rossi’s backheel flick from a low Alexander Merkel cross skimmed the base of the near post.
Milan did double their lead when Boateng skipped past his marker down the left and flashed a ball across the six-yard box for Nocerino to tap in. It was his fifth goal of the season, already a personal best for the ex-Palermo midfielder.
It could’ve been 3-0, but Nocerino’s screamer was palmed away with one strong hand by Frey, but it still represents Genoa's first home defeat since April.
Catania’s Pietro Lo Monaco has hinted that talks with Milan over the January transfer of Maxi Lopez are not yet completed.
Reports earlier this week had suggested that that two teams were close to an agreement that would see the Argentine striker move to San Siro in the winter transfer window, if the Rossoneri fail to capture primary target Carlos Tevez.
However, even as the finer details of the proposed deal were being reported on Friday - TuttoMercatoWeb speculating it is a free loan with an agree future fee of between €6-7m - Catania sporting director Lo Monaco suggested to milannews.it that the two clubs are not yet on the same page.
“We know nothing, there are always the same talks. Catania’s position is clear and everyone knows what it is.
“We are together at the Lega and we speak about a lot of things, also about Maxi Lopez, yes. Meetings with Milan? I do not know, nothing is planned.
“Would I recommend Galliani to buy Maxi? Giving advice to Galliani is the last thing I can do, as he is the most successful CEO in Italy. I can only say that Maxi is an important player, young and is a good prospect.
“Tevez? I honestly do not know what the Milan’s strategies are. Tevez is a great player, but is of a significant cost and he cannot play in the Champions League this season. Milan already have important players up-front.”