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The Archive

December 2009

Dzeko sets heart on AC Milan
29.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Wolfsburg and Bosnia international striker Edin Dzeko only has eyes for Milan, according to Il Corriere dello Sport.

The tall and rangy 23-year-old has continued on from last year, scoring regularly both in Europe and the Bundesliga.

He currently has 11 goals in 23 appearances so far this season and Europe's elite are monitoring his situation closely.

Milan made Dzeko their No 1 transfer target in the summer, but Wolfsburg, who had just been crowned German champions, declared their intention not to sell.

Things haven't gone so good for Die Wolfe this year, as they currently lie eighth in the Bundesliga, 11 points behind leaders Bayer Leverkusen.

Dzeko reportedly had a €30m release clause inserted into his contract during the summer that can be exercised at the end of the season.

Milan could well use Klaas-Jan Huntelaar as a bargaining chip to bring Dzeko's price down.

Beckham returns to AC Milan
28.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

David Beckham has arrived at Milanello for the first time since returning to Italy on loan from the LA Galaxy.

The 34-year-old will be with the Rossoneri until the end of the season when he hopes to fly to South Africa for the World Cup with England.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Andrea Pirlo, Marek Jankulovski and Giuseppe Favalli welcomed Beckham in the dining room at Milanello.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder will undergo a series of medical tests this afternoon with special attention being given to the right ankle that caused him distress toward the end of last season in the MLS.

Beckham is expected to report for his first training session with Milan tomorrow at 11:00.

His first loan spell with the Rossoneri was hailed a success after he scored two goals in 18 matches.

Ronaldinho targets South Africa 2010
24.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan star Ronaldinho has admitted that he hopes to be selected by Brazil for the 2010 World Cup.

The former Ballon d’Or winner has lost his place in the Selecao after a dip in form at firstly Barcelona and then Milan.

However, there are signs that he is getting back to his best and he’s adamant that he’ll continue to improve in the New Year.

“The year which is about to end has been a positive one for myself and for Milan, but 2010 will be even better,” he declared.

“It is true that I hope to go to the World Cup, but I don’t want to get there because of the things I say.

“I want to prove with my footballing ability that I deserve a spot in the squad.”

Ronaldinho’s revival has coincided with a change in fortunes for his Rossoneri side who are now starting to impress in Coach Leonardo’s 4-3-3 system.

“I want to do as well as I can in Serie A and in the Champions League,” added the South American. “Milan will be competitive until the very end on both fronts.”

January dates for postponed games
24.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The official dates for the Serie A and B games snowed off at the weekend, including Fiorentina-Milan, have been announced.

In all eight matches were called off in the top two flights due to snow and ice that swept across the peninsula.

Bologna-Atalanta begins the process on Wednesday January 20 at 17.00 GMT, with the same kick-off time for Genoa-Bari.

The following Wednesday, January 27, Udinese-Cagliari is played at 17.00 GMT and then Fiorentina-Milan begins at the Stadio Artemio Franchi at 19.45 GMT.

As for the Serie B games, all four will kick off at 14.30 GMT on Saturday January 30.

Those fixtures are Albinoleffe-Empoli, Cittadella-Ancona, Mantova-Crotone and Sassuolo-Salernitana.

'Huntelaar exit just a rumour'
21.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar insists reports linking his client with a move away from Milan are just rumours. For now…

The Holland international striker expressed his unhappiness last week at playing a bit part role for the Rossoneri since his transfer from Real Madrid in the summer.

Huntelaar has made just five starting appearances in Serie A under Leonardo and feels he needs regular first team football if he is to keep his place in Holland's World Cup squad.

Manchester United and FC Twente are among the clubs interested in taking him on loan, but Milan are unlikely to sanction his departure in January as they don't intend to sign a striker capable of replacing him.

Speaking to TMW, Huntelaar's agent, Arnoldus Oosterveer said: “What I can say with certainty is that right now he is a Milan player and the reports regarding interest from other clubs are just rumours.

“I have not said I exclude a move in January, but I would like to confirm that for now there has not been any contact with other clubs.”

Asked about Huntelaar's morale, Oosterveer said: “He is fine in Milan, even if he would be happier if he were playing more.

“However, I think this is the same for every player just as it's normal that there are rumours on the transfer market if a footballer plays little.”

Galliani slams stadium heatingheating
21.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani takes the postponement of three Serie A games this weekend as another reason to revamp stadiums.

Bologna-Atalanta, Fiorentina-Milan and Udinese-Cagliari were called off after heavy snowfall, but the real problem was not the state of the pitch.

These matches were postponed amid safety fears for the fans, as shards of ice covered the stands and made conditions dangerous.

“The game was not put back because of the cold, but for the obsolescence of the Italian stadiums,” slammed Rossoneri Vice-President Galliani.

“I was at the Stadio Franchi and saw up close that the pitch was in perfect condition, a resplendent green. That’s because there is a heating system and the ice left no trace.

“But the stands in Florence, much like in Bologna and almost all our stadiums, are out in the open. The consequences are inevitable.

“The ground is iced over and the authorities do not feel prepared to let the game go ahead with risks for public safety. We made an inevitable decision.”

There had been plans to let these three matches go ahead behind closed doors, but it was considered an affront to the supporters.

Instead they are postponed until 2010, most likely January 27.

“Playing behind closed doors would’ve been madness. The people were already around the stadium waiting to get in, what were we supposed to tell them? That the teams would play, but they had to stay outside?

“It would not have been right, nor wise to reschedule for the next day considering the weather forecast.”

OFFICIAL: Fiorentina vs. AC Milan postponed
19.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Tonight’s game between Fiorentina and Milan has been postponed until further notice due to snow.

Heavy snowfall has caused chaos in Italy this weekend, as Bologna-Atalanta was postponed until Sunday at 12.00 GMT, while four Serie B games were called off.

Fans heard of the problems at the Stadio Franchi and turned up several hours early to help with the clearing up efforts in the stands.

A decision on whether to go ahead was announced for 16.00 GMT, but that too was postponed as a meeting with the authorities dragged on.

There were several options, including rescheduling the game or even playing behind closed doors to ensure the safety of supporters who would otherwise travel to and from the stadium in icy conditions.

The council has now opted to reschedule the game for an as yet undetermined date.

Huntelaar 'might have to quit AC Milan'
19.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has warned Milan he could demand a transfer in January if he risks missing out on the World Cup.

The Dutchman has barely featured since his transfer from Real Madrid, making an impact only in the 2-0 victory at Catania when he scored a stoppage-time brace.

To date those are his only official goals in the Rossoneri jersey and he’s unlikely to play against Fiorentina this evening.

“I don’t know if my future will still be at Milan,” he told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad.

“Up until now I have not played much and the World Cup is close at hand. Everyone would like to be there, but I know that if I continue sitting on the bench there’s a chance I’ll miss out. I don’t want that to happen.

“Leonardo complimented me and I was happy about that, but it’s also true that at the moment he is fielding a one-striker system and I’d like to have more opportunities.”

‘The Hunter’ is of interest above all in the Premier League, where Manchester United – Milan’s next Champions League opponents – and Tottenham are lining up offers.

Bayern Munich are also on the look-out after agreeing to release Luca Toni during the January transfer window.

AC Milan equal to Manchester United, says Leonardo
18.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Leonardo believes his side has earned the right to play as equals to English champions Manchester United.

The two powerhouses of European football were drawn together in the Champions League second round this afternoon.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's match against Fiorentina, Leonardo said: “Calculations don't exist in cases like this.

“Manchester United is a club with a great tradition, just like Milan. We will play as equals. Anyway we need to see how we'll be in February. There are almost two months to go and 25 days between the first and second legs.”

Asked if he would be supporting his friend Carlo Ancelotti when Chelsea face Inter, Leonardo replied: “I only support Milan.

“If we want to go far then we need to beat everyone. One characteristic of this Milan is that it's very concentrated on itself.”

The Brazilian then turned his attention to the Viola.

“The last time Milan went to play in Florence was the last game of last season, a really strange moment. For me, it was the day in which I begun my adventure as a trainer and I had not thought about what could happen in the future.

“I remember perfectly that it was a day rich of many emotions. Ancelotti's goodbye inside the dressing room, his words and the respect he aroused in all of us in that moment.

“Milan had qualified for the Champions League. It was Paolo Maldini's last game and that of Kaka, even if we still didn't know Ricky would be leaving.

“And then there was also the moment in which Gattuso and Nesta came back. Tomorrow we will return to Florence and meet a team with a strong identity.

“The Viola have a very clear way of playing and the players are in great form because they possess many resources and many possibilities of play.

“It will be an important test for Milan even if I still don't know the formation that I will line up because there are many situations to evaluate,” Leo concluded.

AC Milan have success in their DNA
18.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan director Umberto Gandini insists the Rossoneri aren't afraid of Manchester United because they have Champions League success in their DNA.

Speaking following this afternoon's draw, Gandini said Milan were just happy they didn't draw Chelsea who are coached by former boss Carlo Ancelotti.

“There were teams in the draw that have done very well up until now. We are ready and happy to be here,” Gandini explained.

“We are happy to have avoided meeting Ancelotti and Chelsea. We will play against a great team, the current runners-up.

“We are a formation that plays a great style of football and that has this type of challenge in its chromosomes.

“It reminds me of the 2007 semi-final, that perfect game between the two sides won by Milan at San Siro, which carried us to the Final in Athens.

“We are ready. We knew that we would have to face a great team. Beckham will be happy because he returns to Old Trafford as an opponent.

“It's a great challenge, truly fascinating,” Gandini concluded.

Borriello has World Cup hope
18.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Marco Borriello insists he is holding out hope for a place in Marcello Lippi's World Cup squad.

The 27-year-old is Leonardo's preferred target man and has performed well this season, scoring five goals in 14 games in all competitions.

Pundits feel Borriello is starting to rediscover the kind of form that he showed at Genoa two years ago when he finished the season with 19 goals.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Borriello said: “I want to confirm my position and establish myself at Milan. I have always wanted to return here and show how much I am worth.

“It's a challenge that I don't intend to miss. The idea of leaving Milan has never entered my head. I have never felt undervalued.

“Sure, I was a player with a question mark at my side, but I did a great job with the trainers. I have only been playing seriously since two months ago, since the first leg with Real in Madrid.”

Asked about the prospect of making Lippi's squad for South Africa next summer, Borriello replied: “I know that the list has already been made, but I have a tiny little hope.”

Champions League Draw: AC Milan vs. Manchester United
18.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan vs. Manchester United
Stuttgart vs. Barcelona
Olympiacos vs. Bordeaux
Inter vs. Chelsea
Bayern Munich vs. Fiorentina
CSKA Moscow vs. Sevilla
Lyon vs. Real Madrid
Porto vs. Arsenal

AC Milan prospect worries Ancelotti
18.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti is looking to avoid Milan when today’s Champions League draw is made.

The two giants of European football could be paired together as the line-up for the last 16 is finalised.

Ancelotti only joined the Stamford Bridge outfit in the summer after leaving Milan and he’s admitted he doesn’t fancy a return at this stage.

“I have to be honest, I would prefer to avoid a head-to-head with Milan and Leonardo in February at Stamford Bridge," he noted.

“But if it happens, it's no problem. Football puts you in this type of situation. It's obvious that if we get Milan the emotional aspect would be something special."

Ancelotti has a great record in the competition after leading the Rossoneri to three Champions League Finals, two of which he won in 2003 and 2007.

He also won the trophy as a player with the San Siro giants.

Beckham eyes Manchester United reunion
18.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

David Beckham is keeping his fingers crossed that Milan will be drawn against Manchester United in the next stage of the Champions League.

Given that United won their group and the Italians only qualified for the last 16 by finishing as runners-up, they could be paired together during today’s draw.

"It would be very difficult but also very exciting,” stated the LA Galaxy player who will join Milan for a second time on loan in January. “I love the big games.

"I would love it if the draw pitted us against my former team,” he added. “Since I left in 2003 I've never returned to play at Old Trafford.

"It has been seven years and I want it to happen. Me against Manchester United would be great, wouldn't it?”

Beckham, who won the Champions League at Old Trafford in 1999, left the Premiership giants in 2003 to try his luck in Spain with Real Madrid.

Galliani frugal on transfer market
17.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani doesn't deny promising the fans a new striker, but insists one will arrive in June, not January.

The Rossoneri have been strongly linked with Goran Pandev over the last week, as they look to cover Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato.

However, it now appears David Beckham and Dominic Adiyiah will be the only reinforcements in the upcoming transfer window.

“It's true. I said that a new player would arrive with similar characteristics to Pato and Ronaldinho, but we are talking about next summer, not in January,” Galliani explained on leaving a meeting of the Lega Calcio in Milan.

“We already have three strikers,” he concluded.

Pundits feel the Rossoneri could do with another target man as Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has failed to offer adequate competition to Marco Borriello up front.

Leonardo has tended to play the same starting XI every game, injuries permitting, so far this season, but players will obviously have to be rotated over the course of a long campaign.

Galliani 'framed' Gattuso
17.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani convinced Rino Gattuso to stay at the club by holding a photo of the two of them in front of his face.

Gattuso arrived for talks with Galliani last week and had been expected to announce his intention to leave the club after nearly a decade.

The 31-year-old was unhappy at the lack of regular first team football under new boss Leonardo and had been attracting interest from the Premier League.

However, in the space of a few minutes Galliani managed to convince Gattuso not just to stay, but also to extend his contract and take a 30 per cent pay cut.

“He started speaking and I answered him with a photo in front of my face. In the end he started laughing and signed the new contract,” Galliani explained.

The photo showed both Galliani and Gattuso with clenched fists after Milan's 3-1 victory over Lyon in 2006.

Asked about the growing discontent at Milan, Galliani shrugged his shoulders and said: “The dream of every chief executive would be to pay 11 sets of wages and to make the same 11 players play every game, this way you'd save money.

“However, you can't do that; you need two players for every position with the many injuries in this fast and physical game, in fact you need three players.

“There will always be players who aren't happy because they are out of the starting line-up,” he concluded.

Parma rule out Inzaghi bid
16.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Parma President Tommaso Ghirardi insists there is no truth to rumours linking the club with a move for Milan striker Pippo Inzaghi.

The 36-year-old is unhappy at a lack of first team football and is expected to sit down for talks with Adriano Galliani during the winter break.

Galliani would like to keep Inzaghi at the club and insists a contract extension is on the table, but the 36-year-old Super Pippo doesn't want a place on the bench.

Inzaghi has a real affection for Parma having played one season there in the mid 1990s.

“I am a friend of Pippo's and I don't deny the fact we talk often, but Inzaghi is a Milan player and he is a step from breaking world records,” Ghirardi said.

“He is a Milan player and will remain as such.”

Asked about his plans for the January transfer window, Ghirardi said: “We would be crazy if we were to think about doing a transfer campaign based on our current position in Serie A.

“Obviously we'll be careful, but the only thing we will do is give space to those who are playing less. It's in Parma's interest to put them on show,” Ghirardi concluded.

AC Milan players visit Berlusconi
16.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Thiago Silva and Clarence Seedorf have taken the time to visit Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in hospital in Milan.

Berlusconi, who has bought Milan in 1986, was attacked during a political rally on Sunday evening.

Massimo Tartaglia, a man with a history of mental health problems, hit Il Cavaliere with a statue of the Milan cathedral.

Berlusconi lost a lot of blood, suffered cuts and bruises, and also broke a number of teeth in the attack.

He should be discharged later today but won't be back at work for a week or so.

According to Sky Tg24 Seedorf and Thiago Silva stopped by at the San Raffaele hospital in Milan to give Berlusconi the team's support.

US President Barack Obama apparently rang Berlusconi to wish him a speedy recovery promptly after they left.

AC Milan step up bid for Krasic
16.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are doing everything to secure a deal for CSKA Moscow midfielder Milos Krasic next summer, according to Il Corriere dello Sport.

The 25-year-old Serbia international has really shown his class in this year's Champions League and is expected to shine at the World Cup.

Milan were originally looking to take Krasic in January, but CSKA's qualification for the second round of the Champions League has made them reluctant to part with him until the end of the season.

The 2005 UEFA Cup winners have set Krasic's fee at a non-negotiable €15m.

In the meantime, Milan will turn their attention to a short-term solution, the most likely being Udinese's Antonio Di Natale who is disgruntled in Friuli.

The 32-year-old Italy international has fallen out with Udinese President Giampaolo Pozzo who is sick of seeing him pick up silly suspensions.

Milan would like to loan the Serie A top scorer until the end of the season and are prepared to send one of the stars from their academy the other way as a sweetener.

Kaladze going nowhere
16.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan defender Kakha Kaladze insists he has no intention of leaving the club amid rumours linking the Georgia international with a move to Dynamo Kyiv.

The 31-year-old is the latest player to be unhappy with the Rossoneri as he has started just five games in Serie A this season.

“It's strange because I have never spoken about leaving with anyone, but on the other hand it makes me happy because it means that there are teams who want me,” Kaladze said.

“However, I have a contract with Milan until 2011 and I am proud to be here, where I have won everything.

“Playing less bothers me. I came back well from my injury. I thought I would be used more. Yes, also against Palermo, seeing that I did well in Zurich.

“I cannot go to Leonardo or Galliani and ask to play. I respect Leo's choices and I will give my best when called upon,” he concluded.

Pirlo will not imitate Gattuso
16.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan midfielder Andrea Pirlo will not imitate team-mate Rino Gattuso and extend his contract albeit with a 30 per cent pay cut.

Gattuso has been increasingly restless over the last month, as he has not been getting regular first team football under Leonardo.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani eventually placated him by adding a year onto Gattuso's current deal, but he also enforced a now standard 30 per cent pay cut as the Rossoneri continue their effort to decrease the club's wage bill.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Pirlo and several other Milan players would prefer to just let their current contracts expire and see what the market offers them there and then rather than slash their existing earnings.

Pirlo currently takes home around £5m a year until 2011 and will be 32 when his contract formally expires.

The next round of contract talks on the horizon will involve Pippo Inzaghi, who, like Gattuso, has grown disgruntled at a lack of playing time this season.

Inzaghi's situation is a little more urgent, though, as his current deal expires at the end of this season.

Galliani has said: “If Pippo wants, he can extend. It's up to him.”

However, the 36-year-old believes he can still give a lot and if first team football isn't guaranteed at San Siro then he will go looking for it elsewhere.

Milan can win Scudetto, says Beckham
16.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

David Beckham believes Milan still have a very good chance of overtaking Inter and winning the Scudetto this season.

The 35-year-old will return to the Rossoneri on loan in January with a view to playing regularly before next summer's World Cup.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Beckham said: “I am very happy to return to Italy. I cannot wait to arrive in Milan. I am counting down the days and by now there are only two weeks left.

“Leonardo and I speak continuously via text message. I have wished him luck. I see that he is doing well despite the recent defeat to Palermo and it won't be long before we speak in person.

“I have watched all the games. I am very informed as to what happens in Italy.”

Asked about the race for the Scudetto, Beckham replied: “It's a long road to win this League. We need to reach and overtake Inter, but anything is possible.

“Obviously it will not be easy but all the Milan players are strong and above all they are playing at a good level. This makes me think that Milan can win the Scudetto.”

However, Beckham did also reveal he would prefer to win the Champions League.

“It's normal. The strongest and most important teams play in the Champions League. I am thinking about Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United and Chelsea.

“I would like to win the Champions League because it's a special competition. But it's also wonderful to go on a tour of various Italian cities to play in Serie A. I enjoy your League a lot.”

Finally, Beckham gave his opinion on this Friday's all-important Champions League second round draw.

“I would like it a lot if the draw were to challenge us with my former team Manchester United. Since I left in 2003 I have not returned to play at Old Trafford.

“Seven years have passed and I would like it if it were to happen. Manchester against Beckham would be great, no?

“It would be very difficult, but also very exciting. I like the great challenges. I love playing games like this,” Beckham concluded.

Manchester United target Huntelaar
16.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Manchester United have emerged as unlikely suitors of unsettled Milan striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, according to the Daily Mail.

The 26-year-old only joined Milan in the summer in a £13m transfer from Spanish giants Real Madrid, but he has failed to make a sustained impact.

Huntelaar has made just five starting appearances for the Rossoneri and his two goals in Serie A came in one game against lowly Catania.

The Holland international has so far failed to convince Brazilian trainer Leonardo who is unlikely to drop No 1 target man Marco Borriello.

United are looking to add a physical presence to their attack both to complement the more silky skills of Dimitar Berbatov and to take the heat off Wayne Rooney.

However, the Reds apparently face competition from Steve McClaren's FC Twente who would like to bring Huntelaar back to Holland on loan.

Thiago Silva ready for Fiorentina?
15.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

In a remarkable recovery, Milan defender Thiago Silva could be fit to face Fiorentina despite being originally ruled out for two months.

The Brazilian limped off during the 1-1 Champions League draw with FC Zurich last week and the initial diagnosis spoke of a serious hamstring strain.

“Milan announce that today Thiago Silva underwent further tests that gave a comforting response,” read a statement on the official club website.

“The defender has begun running again and taking part in his own personalised training regime.

“In the next few days we will evaluate his condition ahead of a potential inclusion for the trip to Florence.”

It would be a huge boost to have Thiago Silva back, as the defence has looked decidedly shaky without him in the last two games.

These included the 2-0 home defeat to Palermo on Sunday afternoon, their first loss since September 23.

AC Milan are serious about Pandev
15.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have made Lazio striker Goran Pandev their No 1 priority in the January transfer window, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The Rossoneri are looking for a player capable of providing continuity on the left-hand side of their attack in case Ronaldinho or Alexandre Pato get injured.

Negotiations for the Macedonia international could prove difficult, though, as he is currently involved in legal proceedings against Lazio.

The 26-year-old is trying to rescind his contract after Claudio Lotito allegedly froze him out of the first team for demanding a move in the summer.

It had looked as if a resolution would be fairly quick in coming, but things took a turn for the worst yesterday as Salvatore Giacchetti, the President of the tribunal handling the case, actually changed his mind.

After seeing Lazio reintegrate another player frozen out by Lotito, namely fans' favourite Fabio Firmani, Giacchetti wants more time to consider the case.

La Gazzetta understands Milan will wait until the tribunal gives them guarantees on Pandev's situation, as Adriano Galliani doesn't want to spark any arguments with Lotito.

Gattuso extends contract
14.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso won't be leaving Milan after he put pen to paper on a contract extension.

The Rossoneri midfielder will now stay at San Siro until the end of June 2012.

Ringhio has had several problems under new boss Leonardo and claimed he felt unsettled at the club.

However, Vice-President Adriano Galliani made it clear that the Italian international was still a key member of their squad.

Rumours which linked him to Chelsea and Manchester United have clearly been denied.

The 31-year-old player, who will no doubt take part in next summer's World Cup in South Africa, is now set to end his career with Il Diavolo.

AC Milan launch Pandev counter
14.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have made a surprise move by apparently joining the race to sign Lazio striker Goran Pandev during the January transfer window.

Up until now, it looked like something of a two-horse affair, as both Inter and Juventus have been the only two teams consistently linked with the Macedonia international.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Rossoneri have significantly increased their interest in Pandev partly because a tribunal has shown signs of accelerating its verdict of his case against Lazio.

The 26-year-old is trying to rescind his contract with the Biancocelesti after Claudio Lotito froze him out of the first team for expressing his desire to leave in the summer.

“We are looking for a striker who can play out on the flank for next season or who knows when,” Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani said yesterday afternoon.

Asked if someone, namely Pandev, would arrive in January, Galliani replied: “I don't know. Right now, we're thinking about it.

“Sure, when you're missing Ronaldinho or Alexandre Pato it's clear we don't have players in the squad who are similar to them, so we're thinking about it.

“If we were market-magicians then I would like it if we could find a mix between Pato and Ronaldinho, someone who can play on the right and the left, and also scores many goals.”

Leonardo: Palermo were better
13.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo praised Palermo for their San Siro victory and pointed out “they play in a similar style to ours, today they just did it better.”

Milan fell 2-0 on home turf, ending an unbeaten Serie A run that had lasted since a 1-0 at Udinese on September 23.

“What happened? First of all we must give credit to Palermo, who were very organised tactically and physically strong,” said the Rossoneri Coach.

“They play in a similar style to ours, with many players on the attack, today they just did it better.

“It was an extremely open game and those two goals at the start of the second half decided the result.”

The defeat comes just days after a disappointing 1-1 Champions League draw with FC Zurich.

“I think the lads did well, as it's never easy to deal with this many games in quick succession,” continued Leonardo.

“We didn't have the tempo of other games today, but the team was in the running and did not play badly. It's just that we ran into a Palermo side that played better.”

Serie A: AC Milan 0:2 Palermo - match report
13.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Miccoli 49 (P), Bresciano 61 (P)

Milan's unbeaten run from October 28 is ended by Palermo's perfect display of counter-attacking football.

The Rossoneri were just four points off leaders Inter and right back in the thick of the Scudetto race. Qualification for the Champions League came at a price, as Thiago Silva's strain will keep him out for up to two months, joining Oguchi Onyewu, Massimo Oddo, Gennaro Gattuso and Daniele Bonera on the treatment table. With this in mind, Alexandre Pato was rested for a less unbalanced system.

Palermo's away record was one win, a draw and five defeats, while at San Siro they'd lost 19 of the 22 visits. Giulio Migliaccio was suspended, but Fabio Liverani and Fabrizio Miccoli returned from their bans.

Milan were looking for a sixth Serie A win on the bounce, but within 120 seconds Edison Cavani had flashed an angled drive across the face of goal from Miccoli's assist.

The Rosanero had a blistering start with Mark Bresciano testing Nelson Dida from distance and Antonio Nocerino drilling over.

Clarence Seedorf's cross-shot whistled across the face of goal with Marco Borriello sliding in a second too late to turn it in.

Bresciano was under pressure from Massimo Ambrosini to turn the angled drive across the face of goal, missing the far post by a matter of inches. At the other end Borriello had a very similar effort that shaved a coat of paint off the upright.

Moments later Gianluca Zambrotta also skimmed the woodwork from Seedorf's assist.

Palermo were again very aggressive after the restart ad took a deserved lead when Miccoli walked into the left side of the box and curled a magnificent right-foot finish into the far top corner. It was a special goal for the striker, who started his career in the Rossoneri youth squad.

Pato was thrown on for Ignazio Abate, but this left even more space on the counter and Simplicio failed to take advantage of Dida failing to meet a cross.

Borriello nodded a Ronaldinho corner into Salvatore Sirigu's arms, then Pato's shot was charged down after good work from Seedorf and just as Milan were putting on the pressure, Palermo doubled their lead with a counter.

Once again Miccoli was involved, as he surged forward down the left flank and kept a tricky ball in play, rolled through for Javier Pastore's effort palmed into the path of Bresciano.

Luca Antonini blasted wide and Pato accidentally got into the way of Ronaldinho's shot. On yet another counter Alessandro Nesta's last-ditch tackle proved decisive, while Sirigu got down to block a header from substitute Pippo Inzaghi.

Sirigu kept out a Mathieu Flamini screamer and Andrea Pirlo attempt, while Pato nodded Dinho's cross wide. From a corner the Palermo goalkeeper needed a great save to deny Zambrotta's strike with the outside of his right foot as it was flying into the near top corner.

Deep into stoppages Pato had the chance to open the game again, but hit an incredibly weak volley straight at Sirigu.

Milan: Dida; Zambrotta, Nesta, Favalli, Antonini; Pirlo, Ambrosini (Flamini 77); Abate (Pato 50), Seedorf (Inzaghi 69), Ronaldinho; Borriello

Palermo: Sirigu; Cassani, Kjaer, Bovo, Balzaretti; Nocerino, Liverani, Bresciano; Simplicio (Pastore 60); Cavani (Goian 91), Miccoli (Budan 68)

Ref: Bergonzi

Leonardo's words of wisdom
12.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo admires Palermo, looks to the future with Alexandre Pato and Ronaldinho as well as offering Juventus some advice.

“Palermo have some very dynamic players and are extremely dangerous, but we really want to do well in the final home game of the year,” said the Milan boss.

“We’re in second place and Inter’s defeat last week tightens everything up at the top of the table, so that naturally gives everyone a boost, but there is a long way to go this season.”

The Rossoneri were on stunning form, though the midweek 1-1 draw with FC Zurich was a disappointing performance.

“It was a strange game, as we had lots of players who weren’t 100 per cent fit. Massimo Ambrosini had a fever and he wanted to play, but during the match he clearly ran into some difficulties.

“Kakha Kaladze was also not fit, so I opted for Thiago Silva and unfortunately he aggravated the injury.”

A calf strain has ruled the Brazilian centre-back out for the next two months, a devastating loss to their back line.

The team’s other two Selecao stars, Pato and Ronaldinho, were heavily criticised at the start of the season and are improving radically.

“Ronaldinho looks happy, he tries to do everything he can for the team and that pleases me, as he went through a moment of great difficulty.

“No player can be 100 per cent for 90 minutes in 60 games a season. Pato is always marked very tightly and let’s not forget he’s only 20 years old, so he’s learning on the job.”

Brazilians elsewhere around Serie A are in dire straits, as Diego and Felipe Melo have largely been blamed for Juve’s Champions League flop.

“I think Juve will follow their own path,” mused Leonardo. “Don’t forget after everything that happened with the demotion to Serie B, they probably thought just signing lots of great players would resolve everything.

“That’s not the case and it takes a little time.”

Ronaldinho: 'I'm better than at Barcelona'
12.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho credits Leonardo with his return to form at Milan. “I’m back to the player I was, in fact probably better.”

This week the Brazilian was voted Player of the Decade by World Soccer magazine, though many believed he was past it when leaving Barcelona and having a poor first season in Serie A.

“I’m back to the player I was, in fact probably better,” he told the Corriere dello Sport.

“After a year of apprenticeship, not just on the field, everything became a lot easier.”

Dinho credits Coach Leonardo with the turnaround in both his fortunes and those of second-placed Milan.

“First of all I am friends with Leonardo. We talk about everything, he speaks my language and I’ve never had such a perfect rapport with a Coach.

“I had many great tacticians to work with, from Wanderley Luxemburgo to Phil Scolari.”

The Brazilian has recently lost his place in the 2010 World Cup squad, but is looking even further into the future.

“I want to play another two World Cups. How can Carlos Dunga not call me if I keep playing at this level?

“I want to be a protagonist in South Africa. In my career I’ve been missing an exceptional World Cup campaign, the kind I like.”

There are reports in Tuttosport newspaper today that in January Ronaldinho will begin negotiations to extend his contract.

It currently expires in 2011, but he would like to add another two years to the deal with Milan.

The only problem would be in maintaining his current wages of £4m per season.

Ancelotti doesn't want AC Milan either
11.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Just days after Adriano Galliani said he wouldn't like Milan to draw Chelsea in the Champions League second round, Carlo Ancelotti has returned the favour.

Chelsea qualified top of Group D and therefore could face Milan who finished second in Group C when the draw is made in Switzerland next Friday.

Ancelotti joined Chelsea this summer after nearly a decade in charge of Milan with whom he won the Champions League on two occasions.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Ancelotti said: “Chelsea-Milan would be a very strange situation for the two of us. It's beyond discussion that if we were to draw Milan then the emotion would be something special.”

Asked if he would prefer to draw Inter, Ancelotti replied: “The only problem, if we do get Inter, is that they are a very good team on a technical level. I think that they are the best among the teams who placed second in the group stages.”

Ancelotti also revealed he had been in touch with Milan since the group stages ended earlier this week.

“I spoke with Leonardo. We always call each other before the games. I have quite a frequent relationship with him.

“I confess that I would prefer to avoid a face to face with Leo in February at Stamford Bridge. But if it happens, no problem. Football puts these situations in front of you. It has already happened to Kaka against Milan in the group stages with Real Madrid.”

AC Milan link shocks Nocerino
11.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Nocerino is flattered by comparisons with Gennaro Gattuso, but insists he knows nothing about rumours suggesting he could replace him at Milan.

The Palermo midfielder, likened by some to the San Siro hero, has been suggested in some quarters as a transfer target for the Rossoneri should Gattuso leave in January.

However, the former Juventus youth team player claims that he knows nothing of the rumours, even if he’s proud to be mentioned in the same breath as the 2006 World Cup player.

“It is a great honour for me to be put alongside him,” said the Italian ahead of Sunday’s clash between the two sides.

“However, he is a great champion and I have much work to do to reach his level. It’s still pleasing to hear these things though.”

Gattuso has been linked with a New Year exit after his recent admission that he is unhappy with the amount of playing time he is getting under new boss Leonardo.

Should he leave, Manchester City and Chelsea are options, then the Milan giants would be forced to enter the transfer market.

“I haven’t heard the stories that Milan would be interested in me to replace him,” continued the former Under-21 international.

“Yet it is always nice to hear your name being associated with big clubs as important as they are. It is certainly something to be proud of.”

Gattuso recovery on track
10.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso has recovered from a thigh injury and could make his comeback against Fiorentina, announced Milan.

A note on the official club website confirmed that tests “showed a nearly complete medical recovery” in the right thigh muscle.

It is believed he will be back in time for the final match of 2009 against Fiorentina.

The midfielder has been struggling with a series of problems all season, including knee surgery, and made only eight appearances in all competition.

Gattuso has threatened to walk away in January if he does not receive more playing time, as there is interest from Chelsea and Manchester City.

Leonardo has told the World Cup winner to focus on returning to full fitness before making any decisions.

Nesta: 'Let's not meet Ancelotti!'
10.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alessandro Nesta looks ahead to the Champions League draw, hoping Milan won’t pick Barcelona or Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea.

The Rossoneri went through in second place behind Real Madrid and as such could have a very tough opponent in the second round.

They will choose one from Manchester United, Sevilla, Arsenal, Barcelona and Yoann Gourcuff’s Bordeaux in the December 18 draw.

“Barcelona and Chelsea are the toughest and I really would not want to meet them yet,” confessed defender Nesta during a charity visit to a local children’s hospital.

“We can happily challenge all the others, even if Manchester United also remain very strong.”

Vice-President Adriano Galliani and Coach Leonardo revealed they had been joking with Ancelotti about a ‘reunion’ since the summer.

They already met with former star Kaka in Madrid for the group phase, earning a 3-2 win and 1-1 draw.

In the next round, no two teams from the same country can clash, nor can they meet again if they were already in the same group.

Urn 1: Bordeaux, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Fiorentina, Barcelona, Sevilla, Arsenal
Urn 2: Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow, Milan, Porto, Lyon, Inter, Stuttgart, Olympiacos

AC Milan wanted Aragones
9.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Spanish newspaper Marca reports Milan were considering replacing Leonardo with Luis Aragones when things weren't going so well for the Rossoneri in October.

The Rossoneri currently lie second in Serie A, four points adrift of Inter, and last night qualified for the second round of the Champions League.

However, they started the season poorly and many felt Leonardo would not get to eat the panettone at Christmas.

Marca understands Milan were prepared to sack Leonardo if his side failed to beat Atalanta on October 4. The Rossoneri drew that game and then beat Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

They haven't suffered defeat since.

Aragones is currently unemployed after parting ways with Turkish club Fenerbahce at the end of last season.

The summer before that he famously won the European Championship with Spain.

Galliani eyes Ancelotti reunion
9.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani could pick Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea in the draw. “We joked about it since the summer!”

The Rossoneri qualified in second place behind Real Madrid, while the Blues are on top, so a head-to-head is entirely possible in the next round.

“After running into Kaka for the group phase, it would be just perfect to meet Carlo! We’ve been joking about it since the summer. To be honest, we hope that reunion doesn’t happen quite yet.”

The Italians went through after a 1-1 draw in Zurich, though would’ve been out had Olympique Marseille beaten Real Madrid tonight.

“After 23 years of experience I am able to understand what the mood is like in the camp before a game,” explained Galliani.

“I knew that Ronaldinho was in doubt, that Massimo Ambrosini and Kakha Kaladze had stomach bugs, while Thiago Silva was dealing with that muscular problem that forced him out after 19 minutes.

“I knew it wasn’t going to be the Milan we’d seen against Sampdoria on Saturday. We didn’t play well, struggled in the first half, but all’s well than ends well.

“I thank Real Madrid for their victory and my friend Florentino Perez, who texted me the moment they secured the win. It’s nice to go through together to the next round.”

Milan are likely to get a very tough draw in the knockouts, but Galliani is not concerned.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re first or second. Two years ago we won the group and then went out by losing at home to Arsenal, so perhaps it’ll be better for us this time to play the second leg away.

“What really counts is that so far two Italian sides are through to the last 16, while Germany put Bayern Munich through and not Wolfsburg, so we should keep four teams in 2011-12.

“I am disappointed at Juventus’ exit, for the club, their Coach and for Italy as a nation, because we are battling Germany in the UEFA rankings.”

Leonardo saw unfit AC Milan
9.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo concedes Milan were “poor” in Zurich and focuses on the physical problems that dogged the team.

The Rossoneri qualified in second place and it is only thanks to Marseille's inability to beat Real Madrid that they got through at all, having drawn 1-1 in Switzerland.

“The first half was poor and there were many factors contributing to that. We had a complicated lead-in, as some players weren't 100 per cent and remained in doubt right to the end, such as Ronaldinho, Thiago Silva and Massimo Ambrosini.

“Thiago Silva sadly then pulled a calf muscle, so we will need tests to see what happens there.”

Milan needed a victory to be certain of qualification, but only managed a 1-1 with 10-man Zurich and go through in second place behind Real Madrid.

“We were playing against a team that had no objective or pressure, who had beaten us at San Siro and therefore were more relaxed than we were.

“It was a strange evening. If we have regrets over finishing in second, it is down to the defeat to Zurich at home, which is what really made the group complicated for us.

“I honestly don't think we are tired. It was tough to face this game today, as Zurich were more open and attacking today because they didn't need to defend a result.

“I do admit there was a bit of arrogance in there too, as after all Zurich were already eliminated, but we must never underestimate qualification.”

As Milan are runners-up, they risk a second round draw with Carlo Ancelotti's Chelsea.

“There is that chance! We had been joking about it with Carlo, so now we'll see what happens. The important thing is to take it one game at a time.”

Champions League: Zurich 1:1 AC Milan - match report
8.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Gajic 30 (Z), Ronaldinho pen 64 (M)

Ronaldinho's penalty avoided defeat to 10-man Zurich in a 1-1 draw and Milan qualify above all thanks to Real Madrid's victory in Marseille.

The Rossoneri went into the final round of this very tight group needing a victory to be certain of qualification, although a draw would be enough depending on the result between Marseille and Real Madrid. Gianluca Zambrotta sat out a ban, joining the injured Gennaro Gattuso, Massimo Oddo and Oguchi Onyewu, so Luca Antonini and Ignazio Abate were the full-backs. Ronaldinho and Massimo Ambrosini started despite fitness concerns, while Zurich missed the suspended Florian Stahel and injured Eric Hassli.

Milan's shirt did not have a sponsor, as in Switzerland it is illegal to advertise betting sites.

Alexandre Pato nearly scored the opener after seven minutes, as Marco Borriello only glanced at Antonelli's cross from the left, so The Duck's low volley at the back post came off goalkeeper Leoni's feet.

Nikci drilled wide, but there was bad news when Thiago Silva suffered a recurring muscular problem and made way for Kakha Kaladze, meaning Alessandro Nesta was the only first choice member of the defence.

Nelson Dida smothered a weak Alphonse effort and Pato ballooned over when he slipped at the crucial moment.

Thiago Silva's absence made a big difference, as Kaladze allowed Alphonse to burst through the middle and, fortunately for Milan, fire off target when one-on-one with Dida.

Zurich were pushing and took the lead after 29 minutes, as a missile of a Milan Gajic free kick from 20 metres went round the defensive wall and in at the near post. Dida appeared to be unsighted and didn't react until it was too late.

This goal means that Leonardo's men have not kept a clean sheet in their last 10 European games, matching the unfortunate club record set between November 1955 and November 1957.

Milan fought back, as Marco Borriello hooked down a Clarence Seedorf pass with his back to goal and spun round to fire over.

At the other end Dida fumbled an Okonkwo blockbuster from distance as it was whizzing towards the top corner, but blocked it essentially under his body before it could cross the line.

Rochat sprung the offside trap on a slide-rule pass and pulled it back past Dida, but Nesta performed an acrobatic clearance just in front of the line.

After the restart, Ambrosini nodded a Ronaldinho corner just off target. Dinho created another great chance, as he gathered from Seedorf and the angled drive was kept out by a strong Leoni hand. The ball continued to ricochet around the box with Borriello and Seedorf shots charged down.

Ambrosini was a doubt to start after suffering from flu symptoms and forced Leonardo into a second substitution, introducing Mathieu Flamini. At least there was good news from Marseille, as Real Madrid went 2-1 up on the hour mark.

Moments after that story filtered through, Milan received a penalty. Seedorf's slide-rule pass sent Borriello clear on goal and Rochat tripped the striker from practically the penalty spot, earning a red card. Ronaldinho took the kick and sent Leoni the wrong way with a powerful daisy-cutter.

Andrea Pirlo's free kick was whipped into the six-yard box for Kaladze to nod wide. News also filtered through that Marseille's Lucho Gonzalez hit a penalty against the crossbar.

Milan had several shots charged down within the same move, while Borriello nodded wide. In stoppages Leoni batted away a header from substitute Pippo Inzaghi.

Zurich: Leoni; Koch, Barmettler, Tihinen, Rochat; Okonkwo, Aegerter, Gajic (Margairaz 82); Djuric (Lampi 66), Alphonse, Nikci (Vonlanthen 74)

Milan: Dida; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva (Kaladze 19), Antonini; Ambrosini (Flamini 55), Pirlo; Seedorf; Pato, Borriello (Inzaghi 84), Ronaldinho

Ref: Proenca (Por)

Sent off: Rochat 63 (Z)

Leonardo confident for Zurich
7.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Leonardo claims he has no fear ahead of their Champions League clash against Zurich.

Il Diavolo comfortably beat Sampdoria at the weekend and are hoping to top their group in Europe and progress to the next round.

“We are proud of what we have done so far,” claimed the Brazilian.

“Regarding the Champions League we are aware that qualification only relies on us so we must decide our own future. The next game is always the most important in my eyes and I am thinking about a win which would take us to the last 16.

“We want to continue down this path and I am very confident we will. Ronaldinho should play tomorrow, I am optimistic.”

Regarding former Milan ace Kaka, who has recently stated he is not enjoying himself at the Bernabeu, Leo made a slim comment.

“He will find his way, I am sure he will have fun eventually because he is an extraordinary player.”

Galliani hails stellar AC Milan
7.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has hailed his side's “stellar” performance against Sampdoria on Saturday.

The Rossoneri scored three goals in 23 minutes and shortened the gap with Inter to just four points at the top of Serie A.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow night's Champions League clash, Galliani said: “We're thinking about going to Zurich to win. We cannot cope with the palpitations of understanding if Marseille beat Real Madrid.

“It's clear that if the French were not to win then any result would be good for our qualification, but we have to play to our strengths.

“Milan play well, going on a very important unbeaten run, but above all they play very very well. As an aesthete, I have to say having seen more or less all the games yesterday that our team seemed to be playing another sport.

“I watched the Sampdoria game again on the Milan Channel and Milan were simply stellar in the first half an hour.”

Finally Galliani reassured fans that Rino Gattuso would not be leaving the club despite reports in the Italian Press.

“My relationship with Gattuso is indissoluble. We hope that the relationship between Milan and Gattuso also remains indissoluble.”

Gattuso promises decision on future
7.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan's talismanic midfielder Rino Gattuso has promised to make a decision on his future before the beginning of the January transfer window.

The World Cup winner is upset after being left out of Milan's recent matches despite nursing an injury that would make it difficult for Leonardo to pick him.

Last week Gattuso expressed his desire to talk to Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani who promptly offered him a contract-for-life but the 31-year-old rejected the new deal.

Galliani was particularly upset, telling journalists: “Milan is not a hotel.”

Manchester City are believed to be just one of the clubs monitoring Gattuso's situation.

Speaking from Calabria where he has been doing some charity work, Gattuso said: “Like Galliani said, we'll meet before the winter break.

“I heard the correction with regard to the fact that Milan is not a hotel. I want to think that it was a joke.

“I don't forget my home and Milanello is just that for me,” he concluded.

Berlusconi: I was right about Ronaldinho!
6.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Silvio Berlusconi was in the stands for the 3-0 win over Sampdoria and takes full credit for Ronaldinho’s revival.

Many criticised the Milan President when he signed Dinho from Barcelona last year and opted to build the new team around him by selling Kaka.

“See, I was right on Ronaldinho,” grinned Berlusconi at San Siro on Saturday evening.

The Brazilian provided two assists in the 3-0 victory before limping off with a slight muscular twinge.

“He is a player reborn, but along with him I also see an extraordinary Clarence Seedorf and exceptional Alexandre Pato.

“The others too always guarantee the high Milan standards we know well.”

The Rossoneri are now just four points off the leaders following Inter’s 2-1 defeat at Juventus.

“Now everyone has to believe. They are all convinced of their strength and above all a level of quality that the other teams do not have.”

There is a fly in the Milan ointment, as Gennaro Gattuso has publicly threatened to walk away in January.

“We will try to keep him here, as he is a symbol of Milan,” concluded Berlusconi.

Leonardo admires approach
6.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo was pleased with Milan's dominant performance, but won't focus on Juventus-Inter tonight.

The 3-0 victory put the Rossoneri only four points adrift of leaders Inter and they had scored all their goals in the opening half-hour.

“I saw the right approach against a very solid squad that marks its opponents tightly,” said the Coach.

“We had the plan to get off to a strong start by keeping the tempo high straight away. The team followed the suggestions perfectly.”

So much so that Marco Borriello opened the scoring just 58 seconds after kick-off at San Siro.

“We had also scored early on in other games. It's important to know how to control the tempo of a match, changing the way you push forward.

“Ignazio Abate is doing well as a wide player, like he did today. The good thing about so many matches is it gives you the opportunity to make changes.”

Ronaldinho limped off during the first half with a slight muscular twinge as a precautionary measure, as the Rossoneri take on Zurich in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Tonight the Derby d'Italia will decide if Milan close on the leaders or consolidate second place.

“We cannot think about that game,” insisted Leonardo. “A side must be able to play consistently and with its own style of football. That is what we are trying to achieve.

“There are too many games to go yet. I will watch the match tonight, but it is not decisive for our position.”

Serie A: AC Milan 3:0 Sampdoria - match report
5.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Borriello 1 (M), Seedorf 22 (M), Pato 24 (M)

Milan pummelled an embarrassing Sampdoria 3-0 with Marco Borriello, Clarence Seedorf and Alexandre Pato.

The Rossoneri knew they could consolidate second place or even close on leaders Inter, so took no chances and fielded a full-strength side. Luca Antonini replaced the injured Massimo Oddo, while Pippo Inzaghi was suspended. Samp were still smarting from the 3-0 derby defeat and had Angelo Palombo, Fabrizio Cacciatore and Marco Rossi on a ban.

Milan could not have asked for a better start, taking the lead after 58 seconds! Antonini intercepted a weak Antonio Cassano pass and sent Ronaldinho down the left for a cross and Marco Borriello's cushioned header from six yards.

Alexandre Pato skipped past Salvatore Accardi and his scuffed shot was palmed round the base of the upright by Luca Castellazzi.

Pato just failed to get on the end of an inspired Ronaldinho cross-field pass, but the veteran Brazilian did create the second Milan goal. Clarence Seedorf started and finished the move, spreading wide to Dinho for the side-foot back and the Dutchman smashed a powerful strike into the top corner from nine yards.

Pato was unlucky not to get a third, as he skipped round a defender and Castellazzi came flying out to push it off his feet.

It was only a warning, as moments later The Duck did get his goal. It was chaotic defending, as Borriello knocked down a cross for Pato to hold off a defender. Castellazzi got a touch to it, but could do nothing on the follow-up.

Sampdoria were simply not at San Siro, so Gigi Del Neri made a tactical switch with Stefano Lucchini replacing Daniele Mannini, pushing Reto Ziegler wide midfield.

Sadly for the crowd, Ronaldinho had a muscular twinge and was replaced as a precaution ahead of the Champions League tie with Zurich. Ignazio Abate came on, moving Seedorf further up the field.

Abate rolled across from the right for Pato, but the finish was charged down by defenders in the box. Pirlo's free kick was over the bar, while an acrobatic Daniele Gastaldello clearance prevented Borriello from tapping in Abate's cross.

Lucchini was fortunate to avoid a straight red after the restart when he hacked down Abate. Sampdoria had their first chance of the game after 55 minutes, but Ziegler's volley was charged down in the box from Antonio Cassano's chipped assist.

Pato skipped past two defenders down the left side of the penalty area before his low drive stung Castellazzi's palms at the near post.

Sampdoria were visibly disheartened and sat back waiting for the nightmare to end, as Milan continued to pass the ball around relatively undisturbed. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar replaced Borriello, hoping to add to the sensational brace he scored last week in Catania.

It was more of a training exercise than a game at this point, as the Blucerchiati had given up and Milan preserved energy for the Champions League. Tissone broke the monotony with eight minutes to go by forcing a save out of Nelson Dida.

In stoppages Castellazzi needed his wits about him to prevent Pato grabbing a fourth.

Milan: Dida; Antonini, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Pirlo, Ambrosini (Flamini 75); Seedorf; Pato, Borriello (Huntelaar 68), Ronaldinho (Abate 34)

Sampdoria: Castellazzi; Stankevicius, Gastaldello, Accardi, Ziegler; Padalino (Semioli 52), Tissone, Poli, Mannini (Lucchini 25); Pazzini (Bellucci 76), Cassano

Ref: Rocchi

Juventus vs. Inter isn't decisive, says Leonardo
4.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Leonardo doesn't believe Saturday evening's derby between Juventus and Inter will ultimately decide the championship.

The Rossoneri currently lie second in Serie A, seven points adrift of their cross-town rivals.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's match against Sampdoria, Leonardo said: “The only thing that will be decisive is our own play and continuing doing what we are doing.”

He then reflected on his own situation, which has calmed down somewhat thanks to an unbeaten run that stretches back to late September.

At one point it looked as if Milan would sack Leonardo after a terrible start to season. However, the Brazilian has really turned things around with a new attacking brand of football.

“The President calls in the most difficult moments. At the beginning of the season he called every two or three days. Today it's much less.

“He is satisfied and has other things to think about. There is an agreed line shared by everyone at the club and things are going well. But we are always very close.”

Finally Leonardo gave his opinion on Rino Gattuso, Milan's talismanic midfielder who has threatened to leave if he doesn't get regular playing time.

“Egotistically I would like him to stay. When he feels better the problem will be faced, but the idea is that this relationship will go forward.

“Now we cannot decide upon anything. He is a little better. We hope that he returns like before. He has never lost the desire to train and work, but it's difficult to manage an injury,” Leonardo concluded.

Galliani gets tough with Gattuso
4.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Amid reports Rino Gattuso rejected a contract extension, Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani says the club is not a hotel.

Gattuso expressed his dissatisfaction at being left out of Milan's recent games even though he has been nursing an injury.

The Rossoneri quickly rallied around him, no more so than Galliani who promised Gattuso a new deal that would see him finish his career with the club.

However, it has emerged this morning that Gattuso may have rejected the proposal, increasing speculation he will leave Milan after a decade in Rossonero.

Speaking on his arrival at a meeting of the Lega Calcio, Galliani said: “It doesn't seem to me that Gattuso wants to leave.

“Milan is not a hotel where you check out and then leave. It doesn't seem to me that Manchester City are interested in him.

“I have also spoken with Ancelotti and Rino is not in his plans.”

Turning his attention to this weekend's game against Sampdoria, Galliani said: “We have to get three points and then Juve and Inter can do what they want.”

Gattuso rejects renewal
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Source: Football Italia

The relationship between Milan and Gennaro Gattuso is still on shaky ground after the player reportedly turned down a new contract.

The San Siro outfit are understood to have offered the player an extension until June 2012 in a bid to underline their belief in his ability.

However, Gattuso is said to still be considering his future after making it clear last week that he was unhappy with the amount of playing time he is receiving.

Stories in Italy on Friday are suggesting that Gattuso doesn’t want to tie himself down to a longer deal until it becomes clear whether he figures in the first team plans of boss Leonardo.

With the World Cup Finals just six months away, Gattuso is desperate to help Italy defend their crown.

However, he knows that in order to be a part of Marcello Lippi’s plans then he is going to have to play with consistency.

Gattuso has numerous admirers at other clubs across Europe, specifically in the English Premiership.

The former Rangers player is a favourite of Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti and Manchester City have been strongly linked in recent weeks.

Gattuso set for new deal
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Source: Football Italia

Barely a week after threatening to leave the club, Milan's talismanic midfielder Rino Gattuso has been offered a new contract.

The 31-year-old Italy international is upset at being left out of the first team for much of this season even though he has been suffering through injury.

Milan quickly rallied around Gattuso, insisting he is part of the club's plans and will feature regularly again once he gets back to full fitness.

Adriano Galliani, the club's Vice-President, has made a particular effort to ensure Ringhio feels better about his situation and has now revealed his intention to offer Gattuso a contract extension that should see him finish his career in Rossonero.

“I have never done it before, but I have asked Ringhio to stay and extend his contract so he can end his career with Milan,” Galliani explained.

“We have come to an agreement. First, Gattuso must get better and then we'll meet again and speak,” he concluded.

Gattuso has been with Milan for a decade, winning the Champions League twice.

Ambrosini has a Scudetto plan
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Source: Football Italia

Milan captain Massimo Ambrosini believes his side has a credible shot at the title despite being seven points behind League leaders Inter.

The Rossoneri have really turned a corner in Serie A after a terrible start to the season and are now unbeaten in all competitions since late September.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Ambrosini said: “It's a believable project, very believable. We are going through a long positive moment, but we still have to improve if we are to have the chance of reaching and overtaking Inter and hope that the Nerazzurri relent a little.

“We are convinced the team still has some unexpressed potential and we are thinking about succeeding in expressing it so we are able to think about being able to compete on an equal-footing with Inter and Juve.”

Asked about Milan's new attacking style of play, Ambrosini said: “It's a different way of playing with respect to the past.

“Leonardo wanted to try this line-up in the summer then he changed his idea for various motives.

“Now we have found the right formula and the results are arriving.

“Undoubtedly we have also been lucky. But in the history of football all the strong teams have needed good fortune,” Ambrosini concluded.

AC Milan deny Simplicio talk
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Source: Football Italia

Milan technical director Ariedo Braida has denied reports linking the club with a move for Palermo midfielder Fabio Simplicio.

Il Corriere dello Sport carried a story this morning suggesting the Rossoneri are looking to reinforce their midfield with the Brazilian who is out of contract in the summer.

Speaking to, Braida said: “The news has only just come to me. I see that there are four names written down, but Simplicio doesn't interest us because we are not looking for players.”

Asked if Milan would therefore not be doing any business in the January transfer window, Braida added: “We are not looking for players.”

Milan were expected to use the winter to add a full-back and possibly another striker to their current repertoire, but it now looks as if David Beckham and Dominic Adiyiah will be the only additions to the squad.

The Rossoneri have rallied of late and are now unbeaten since September in all competitions.

They currently lie second in Serie A, seven points behind rivals Inter.

AC Milan plan to add Simplicio
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Source: Football Italia

Milan are looking to reinforce their midfield in the January transfer window and appear set to launch a bid for Palermo star Fabio Simplicio.

The 30-year-old has been excellent so far this season and saw his form rewarded last month with a first ever call up to the Brazil squad.

His contract expires in the summer and Palermo have yet to negotiate a renewal, perplexing many of their fans who would like Simplicio to stay.

If talks do not take place over the coming weeks then Il Corriere dello Sport believes Palermo will try to cash in on Simplicio rather than let him leave for free in the summer.

Milan are said to like Simplicio's stamina, which would suit Leonardo's high octane physically exhausting style of play.

If the former Sao Paulo youngster does decide to stay in Sicily, Milan will turn their attention to Parma's Kenya international McDonald Mariga, who has been watched on many occasions by the Rossoneri's technical director and chief talent scout Ariedo Braida.

Other names on Milan's shortlist include Real Madrid youngster Fernando Gago, who the Rossoneri tried to sign from Boca Juniors in 2007 and Lazio's Cristian Ledesma who is currently involved in a legal battle with Claudio Lotito having been controversially frozen out of the first team after asking for a clause in his contract that would allow him to join a big club if an offer were to arrive.

Inzaghi happy to help Huntelaar
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Source: Football Italia

Pippo Inzaghi insists he is more than happy to help Klaas-Jan Huntelaar succeed at Milan after the Dutchman's tough start to life in Rossonero.

The 36-year-old was instrumental in setting up Huntelaar's first goal for Milan in the 93rd minute of last night's match away to Catania.

Huntelaar went on to grab his and Milan's second goal just two minutes later, as the Rossoneri beat the Sicilians to leapfrog Juventus and move into second place.

Speaking to Milan's official website, Inzaghi said: “I am happy to have been useful to Klaas. You always need to be ready when you get the call and it makes me happy for Huntelaar because it doesn't often happen that I get an assist.

“We were told to play close together and I am happy because it's never easy to come on and be decisive. I will not take part in the next game because I am suspended and it always makes me unhappy when I am unable to contribute to the good of the team.

“I picked up several fouls in and around the area, then I committed one and got booked,” he concluded.

Milan are back in action on Sunday when they host Sampdoria who were thumped 3-0 by Genoa in the Derby della Lanterna on Saturday.

Galliani ready to support Juventus
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Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has revealed he wants Juventus to beat Inter in Saturday's highly anticipated Derby d'Italia.

The Rossoneri leapfrogged Juventus into second place on Sunday night after two very late goals from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar handed them victory over Catania.

Milan, unbeaten since the end of September yet still seven points adrift of the top, are now being touted as the 'anti-Inter' or, in laymen's terms, the more credible title challenger, as Juventus, who lost to Cagliari on Sunday, are not showing the sort of consistency necessary to win the Scudetto.

Speaking to GR Parlamento, Galliani said: “Milan are in good condition, but there is an extraordinary Inter side in front.

“We have dreams like everyone, but we are not anyone's 'anti'. We are not the 'anti-Inter'. In the last seven games we have won six and drawn one without recovering points. We haven't any torments. We are only thinking about our own team.

“Our 28 points, like Juve's 27, seem to be few because in front there is an extraordinary Inter.

“Leonardo has completely changed the skin of this Milan. I believe that this summer we had courage. It's the first time that a big European club has chosen a person as a Head Coach who has never been a trainer not even in the Youth sector.

“We have done very well,” Galliani concluded.

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