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The Archive

December 2010

Gremio confident in Ronaldinho race
31.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Brazilian club Gremio are confident that they will have signed Milan’s Ronaldinho by the middle of January.

The Selecao star looks certain to leave the Rossoneri next month with three Brazilian clubs seriously interested in his services.

Flamengo and Palmeiras are keen, but Gremio are optimistic that the former Barcelona player will soon be starring for them.

“We are waiting for the situation to evolve, but we are remaining calm,” noted Gremio Vice-President Cesar Cidade Dias. “All will be a lot clearer after January 15.

“There are various clubs that want Ronaldinho, but our shirt represents a lot to him. We have our weapons and we’ll fight for his signature. I’m optimistic.”

The player’s agent brother Roberto De Assis has also suggested that Ronaldinho is about to return to South America.

“After 10 years in Europe the time has arrived to go back home,” he is quoted as saying. “However, there is no rush in negotiations.”

It’s understood that a potential stumbling block is the €8m price tag that Milan have slapped on the player.

“I’m not saying anything about Milan because anything can happen in football,” continued De Assis. “We just hope that we can soon resolve this situation.”

Gattuso questions Leonardo appointment
31.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s Gennaro Gattuso is surprised by Leonardo’s decision to replace Rafael Benitez at Inter. “He didn’t want to Coach.”

The Brazilian was officially appointed as the new Nerazzurri boss on Christmas Eve, just months after he left city rivals Milan.

Although Gattuso accepts that he didn’t have a great rapport with Leonardo last term, he is shocked by the South American’s decision to go back into coaching.

“We didn’t really have a relationship, nothing, there simply was no feeling between us,” the former Italian international noted.

“Considering the squad we had last season you have to say that Leonardo did a good job, but he also said that coaching wasn’t for him.

“He didn’t want to be a Coach and said as much on a number of occasions. Evidently the God of money can produce miracles.

“I wish Leonardo well, but I also hope that he doesn’t win anything with Inter.”

Leonardo has limited coaching experience, given that he only spent one season on the Rossoneri bench which was his first and only job until Inter called.

Ronaldinho set for exit
31.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho’s relationship with Milan is coming to an end with reports insisting that he will leave in January.

The player’s future has been in doubt for some time given that he has less than six months left on his contract and he no longer features in the plans of boss Massimiliano Allegri.

According to sources in Italy, club Vice-President Adriano Galliani held talks with the player’s agent brother yesterday.

During those negotiations, it was apparently agreed that the South American would leave the Rossoneri during the winter transfer window.

Ronaldinho will remain with the squad in Dubai until their Italian return on January 3, but by January 7 he will allegedly be back in Brazilian football.

Gremio are leading contenders for his signature, but Flamengo and Palmeiras are also keen on the star.

Milan are said to be looking for a figure of around €8m for the Selecao international, a considerable amount for a player coming towards the end of his contract.

None of the interested parties are likely to offer such an amount, so it is expected that Dinho will be sold for a lot less – perhaps even as little as €4m.

If Ronaldinho does move in January, Milan have already signed a replacement in the form of Antonio Cassano from Sampdoria.

However, the club could make another move after links emerged with Luca Toni of Genoa and Brescia’s Andrea Caracciolo.

River Plate want €18 mil for Lamela
30.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan will have to dig deep if they are to sign River Plate starlet Erik Lamela after the Argentine club slapped an €18m price tag on the top talent.

Lamela has caught the eye of Milan's scouts, prompting the club's director of sport Ariedo Braida to watch him in person earlier this year.

Milan had reportedly planned to bid €12m for the young playmaker who has drawn comparisons with Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

However, Argentine newspaper Clarin understands River Plate won't sell Lamela for anything less than €18m.

One River Plate director is even quoted as saying: “To tell the truth, Milan have been a little low with their offer.”

A group of fans also reportedly approached Lamela while the player was on his Christmas holidays, imploring him to stay at the club.

Allegri: 'I'd like to coach Balotelli'
30.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Coach Massimiliano Allegri claims he would like to coach Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli one day in the future.

The precocious Italy international scored a hat-trick in the Premier League this week, although his homesickness and desire to join Milan is no secret.

Balotelli is a self-proclaimed Milan supporter, even going so far as to don the red and black shirt during his time with Inter.

“I would willingly coach Balotelli,” Allegri said. “But it would be difficult given that we have so many champions in our team.”

Turning his attention to other matters, Allegri revealed that Antonio Cassano has already made a good impression at the club's training camp in Dubai.

“I appreciate his desire to put himself at the complete disposition of the team and I.

“The spirit of sacrifice that he has shown has surprised me more than his talent.

“If you are not made in a certain way, you can't be a Milan player.”

Seedorf lays Cassano ground rules
29.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf lays down the ground rules for new Milan teammate Antonio Cassano, while Alexandre Pato admits he hopes Leonardo flops at Inter.

“Cassano is a good lad who has certainly found a squad that gives him the opportunity to shine in this new adventure,” Seedorf told the Gazzetta dello Sport from the Dubai training camp.

“He immediately put himself at the disposal of the team, is working hard and trying to give his best. He didn’t seem lazy at all and did plenty for someone who hasn’t played for two months.

“I must say in the two days he has been with us, Cassano has shown he wants to work and that is the key to everything. If this becomes the norm for him, then he can have an important future here at Milan.”

Pato also welcomed Cassano, but had a teasing message for former Rossoneri Coach Leonardo as he starts his new job.

“Everyone makes the decisions that they believe to be right,” said the striker. “Leonardo is a professional Coach now and we must respect the decision he made to continue working.

“Having said that, I hope he doesn’t do very well at Inter! It’s because Milan need to win the Scudetto and a lot more.”

AC Milan set €8 mil Ronaldinho tag
29.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have sent a clear warning to Gremio and other interested parties. “Whoever wants Ronaldinho has to pay €8m.”

The rapport between the Brazilian and Rossoneri seems to be at an end six months before his contract expires.

However, Gremio’s hopes of taking the former Ballon d’Or winner on a free transfer have been shattered.

“Whoever wants Ronaldinho has to pay €8m,” declared Vice-President Adriano Galliani following a meeting with agent Roberto de Assis.

It means Milan will release him from his contract six months early, but have no intention of doing it for free.

This lets other Brazilian sides, such as Palmeiras and Flamengo, back into the running with the aid of sponsors.

Other options include David Beckham’s LA Galaxy and even Liverpool.

Pato enthusiastic about Cassano
29.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato hopes to make his comeback against Cagliari and is enthusiastic about Antonio Cassano’s arrival at Milan.

“I am very happy and relaxed. Now I have to work hard and do my best to get back on the field as soon as possible,” said the Brazilian striker.

Pato has barely featured this season due to a recurring thigh strain, but hopes to make his comeback at the Stadio Sant’Elia on January 6.

“I still need to go through a personalised training regime to get back to full fitness. I hope to be able to play against Cagliari.”

Milan are currently in Dubai for their winter training camp and have been joined by Cassano, who will complete the transfer from Sampdoria once the window opens.

“We are happy that Cassano is here with us,” continued Pato. “He is a lovely lad and a great player. I think he can give us a big hand and help the whole team to win.”

Cassano made a good start to his Rossoneri experience, scoring in the game between ranks from a Zlatan Ibrahimovic assist.

AC Milan and Inter tussle for Toni
29.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Luca Toni is suddenly hot property on the transfer market for both Milan and Inter, who want to make the most of the Genoa hitman’s experience.

The veteran striker returned to Serie A from Bayern Munich a year ago, spending six months on loan at Roma before joining Genoa on a free transfer.

According to today’s front page headlines in the Italian sports papers, the 2006 World Cup winner is on the move again.

Milan consider him to be the perfect understudy to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is not matched for height, strength or characteristics by anyone else in the Rossoneri squad.

Antonio Cassano has arrived from Sampdoria to reinforce the attack, but Ronaldinho is on his way out for a return to Brazil.

Inter are also said to be interested in giving Toni a shot at Champions League football this season.

Diego Milito continues to struggle with poor form and injury concerns, so a strong centre-forward would be an interesting addition to the side now run by Leonardo.

Genoa could release Toni on loan with an option to buy outright at the end of the season.

Inter are already in negotiations with the Marassi club after agreeing to buy out the remaining half of Andrea Ranocchia’s contract for €12.5m.

Ronaldinho 'won't rule out European move'
29.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho’s agent will meet Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani today, but “won’t rule out a European move.”

It seems clear his time with the Rossoneri is at an end and a meeting is planned for today, confirmed Roberto de Assis.

“I will speak to Galliani and we’ll decide what to do,” revealed Dinho’s agent and brother on Sky Sport Italia.

“There are many Brazilian clubs interested in Ronaldinho, but I won’t rule out a European move.”

This is a surprise to Brazilian side Gremio, who for weeks have been telling the media that a deal has been struck with the player.

They are only waiting for him to terminate his contract with Milan by mutual consent six months before it expires.

Capello: 'AC Milan good for Cassano'
29.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fabio Capello has warned Antonio Cassano to “sacrifice himself” for Milan and hopes the Qatar World Cup can be moved to winter.

The England manager has a chequered history with Cassano, from a strong rapport at Roma to a huge falling-out at Real Madrid. Now FantAntonio is aiming to revive his career again with Milan.

“Why has he never found the right balance in his clubs? This is something you should be asking him,” Capello told Sky Sport Italia.

“Milan has always been an unusual place, where there is a certain type of football, mentality and tradition. I think this can help him. The environment demands each player sacrifice himself and is dedicated to the cause.”

One of Capello’s players in the Rossoneri jersey was Leonardo, who has been appointed the new Coach at rivals Inter.

“Everyone makes the choices they consider to be right for their lives. Leonardo made an important decision and it was against the grain, but I wish him all the best. I asked for his transfer from Paris Saint-Germain to Milan and always had a great rapport with him.”

Capello was among those linked heavily with the Inter bench after Rafa Benitez parted company with the club.

“I have already been in charge of many sides and I think the England squad will be my last.”

With regards to the international scene, Capello joined the list of authority figures suggesting the 2022 World Cup in Dubai should be brought forward.

“It ought to be played in winter. The heat is going to be a huge problem and not just for the match situation.

“It won’t be easy for the players to stay in the hotel all day, nor can they train in hotels. It won’t be possible to walk around the area and relax. This is why it’d be a good idea to play in January or February.”

Cassano needs to cut down
28.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Cassano is overweight and needs to cut down if he is to hold down a regular place in the first team at Milan, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The 28-year-old flew with the team to Dubai yesterday for a winter training camp after agreeing to leave Sampdoria following a dispute with the club's owner.

Cassano hasn't played for two months and he is seriously lacking match fitness.

La Gazzetta understands the Italy international is 2.5kg overweight and will undergo a specialist training regime over the next month.

The player has brought in his trusted fitness coach Agostino Tibaudi to help speed up the process.

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri will attempt to get Cassano fit again by playing him in at the first opportunity.

He will apparently get 30 minutes in a friendly against Al-Ahli on January 2.

Van Basten: 'Leonardo has betrayed AC Milan'
28.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan legend Marco Van Basten thinks Leonardo has betrayed the club by joining heated rivals Inter.

Leonardo accepted the offer to replace Rafa Benitez despite his 13-year history with Milan.

Speaking to Sky Italia, Van Basten said: “It's not right to pass from one family to another. Wouldn't it be a betrayal?

“In my case, yes. I was at Milan for many years. I found myself happy. In my opinion even Inter understand this way of thinking.”

Asked for his reaction to Leonardo's appointment, he replied: “It's another thing entirely. He wasn't a Milan player for so many years.

“He left with problems. I have never had any with Milan.”

Van Basten then gave an insight into his own future.

The 46-year-old Dutchman has been frequently linked with the Milan job in the past.

“Last year there were rumours, but no contact. I had the ankle problem. I had an operation in September. Now I am better.

“In the future you never know.

“There is quality at Milan, but they must improve in order to become a team that wins in Italy and in Europe.

“Ibrahimovic makes the difference. He has done so many times this year.

“Zlatan played in a different way at Barcelona and the relationship with Pep Guardiola wasn't good.

“He is a sensitive kind of player. He needs the support of the Coach and the fans.”

AC Milan derby for Constant
28.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Both Milan clubs are vying to sign Chievo midfield playmaker Kevin Constant, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The 23-year-old trequartista has been an absolute revelation this season following his move from Chateauroux.

He has played in a number of positions in Gialloblu, showing a highly regarded versatility in midfield.

La Gazzetta understands Chievo value the Guinea international at between €4m and €5m.

Milan are said to be very keen on Constant, but Inter apparently have the edge.

The Nerazzurri have very good ties with Chievo and could also collaborate with Genoa, offering to co-own the player.

Inter's new boss Leonardo is a big admirer of Constant, although he'll have to wait until the New Year to open negotiations as Chievo's director of sport Giovanni Sartori is currently out of the country.

Reached by telephone, Sartori said: “He is 99 per cent not moving from here. There have been several offers.

“The only solution is that they buy him in January and leave him with us until June.”

Allegri: 'Cassano isn't a monster'
28.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri insists Antonio Cassano is not a monster, but a professional football player.

Cassano's arrival at Milan comes after a heated falling out with Sampdoria owner Riccardo Garrone.

The 28-year-old Italy international hasn't played for two months on account of the dispute with his former club.

Pundits feel Cassano could disrupt an otherwise settled Milan dressing room.

Interviewed in La Repubblica, Allegri said: “Cassano isn't a monster, he's a professional.

“He will find it easy to be part of an atmosphere of good manners and respect for the rules.

“Antonio has the fortune of being at Milan and he will give us a hand.

“He finds a group of players with moral and technical values. It's an unrepeatable chance for him, the last of his career.

“I don't judge people at least until after I've heard them speak. I make an effort to get to know them.

Asked to reveal how he intends to play Cassano, Allegri replied: “As a striker. But things change in football.”

Thiago Silva: 'AC Milan would miss Ronaldinho'
28.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Thiago Silva feels Milan would lose an “outstanding player” if Ronaldinho were to leave once the January transfer window opens.

Antonio Cassano's arrival at San Siro appears to have brought the curtain down on Ronaldinho's time with the Rossoneri.

Former club Gremio claim to have reached personal terms with the player and his exit now appears inevitable.

Speaking to Sky Sport Italia as Milan arrived in Dubai for a winter training camp, Thiago Silva said: “If Ronaldinho leaves we will lose a lot because he is an outstanding player.

“We didn't talk about it on the plane. Ronaldinho and I slept [on the flight] from Sao Paulo to Dubai.”

Thiago Silva also gave his reaction to Leonardo's appointment at Inter.

“This story arrived in Brazil. I am sorry because he did many positive things for Milan and now he is going to Inter. But Leonardo is a good lad, also off the pitch.

“In my opinion, he'll do a great job even there.”

Asked if Leonardo had made the right decision, Thiago Silva said: “For him, yes.”

AC Milan are the team to beat, says Agnelli
28.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus President Andrea Agnelli believes Milan's current status as League leaders mean that they are the team to beat in the New Year.

Milan have a three-point lead at the top of Serie A, but lost their last match of 2010 at home to title rivals Roma, giving the teams around them hope.

Speaking to Rai Sport, Agnelli said: “There is a lot of balance in the League today.

“We have a Milan side in front who are having a great season. Napoli are behind them and then Lazio, us and Roma, and we mustn't forget Inter who have just won the Club World Cup. They will certainly have something to say.

“We are concentrating on ourselves and go out on the pitch every time with the desire and will to win,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, Juventus are celebrating after Alessandro Del Piero's wife gave birth to a third child.

Robinho: 'I'm happy at AC Milan'
27.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho welcomes Antonio Cassano and reveals what made him rediscover his form. “I want to stay with Milan for 10 years.”

The former Manchester City striker struggled in the Premier League and was visibly unhappy, but has hit his stride in Serie A.

“I must admit I didn’t expect to have such a positive start straight away,” he told the Corriere dello Sport.

“If it went this well, it is because I worked in the right way. There was no particular secret other than hard work and belief in my own abilities. Adding in the belief of the Coach and my teammates, then obviously things were set to go well.

“At Milan everyone appreciates Brazilians and my family felt that too. I am so happy with the way I was welcomed to the club. As for the Italians, Rino Gattuso taught me what it means to play in a side like Milan. He never pulls out of the tackle, not even in training.

“I feel happy here. I want to stay at Milan for 10 years, then at the age of 36 I can hang up my boots.”

Robinho has a new teammate as of today, because his former Real Madrid colleague Cassano joined from Sampdoria.

“I am certain he will be happy and help us to win a great deal. I already played alongside Antonio in Madrid and, if his head is in the right place, he can do extraordinary things.

“I also remember the number of pranks he played on me. He’s such a good laugh off the field, a generous and funny guy, even if he has a difficult personality.”

Cassano begins AC Milan training
27.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Although not yet officially signed, Antonio Cassano joined his new Milan teammates for mid-season training in Dubai today.

“Cassano arrived at the Milanello training ground at 11.30am and said hello to his new teammates, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic,” read a statement on the club website.

“From tomorrow he can train with Milan in Dubai with permission from Sampdoria.”

Cassano is suspended until February 1 following his row with Samp President Riccardo Garrone and will spend the rest of the campaign working with the Rossoneri.

The team flies out to Dubai this afternoon and will spend four days training at the Al-Ahly ground.

On January 2 Milan will play a friendly against Al-Ahly, which should see Cassano make his debut in the red and black jersey.

Al-Ahly are the side where Italy’s World Cup winning captain Fabio Cannavaro now plays his football.

Ancelotti: 'I saw Ronaldinho's decline'
27.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti has praised current Milan boss Max Allegri, but admits he is “not surprised by the decline of Ronaldinho. I saw it coming.”

The Chelsea manager did tend to leave Dinho on the bench during the last year of his tenure, but Allegri has taken a stand by cutting the Brazilian out.

“I am not surprised by the decline of Ronaldinho. I saw it coming,” Ancelotti told the Corriere della Sera.

“His physical condition has always been precarious, while nobody could doubt his talent.

“I admire the way Allegri very quickly understood the shape of his team. Milan use their heads and will win the Scudetto. I think Allegri is better than me!”

Ancelotti had problems dealing with pressure cooker environments at San Siro and now Stamford Bridge.

“Roman Abramovich has never let me feel like someone’s breathing down my neck. When at the end of my career I am asked about Abramovich and Berlusconi, I will reply that if I got the chance to manage Chelsea and Milan, then it is thanks to them.

“I will return to Italy one day, but for now I’d like to stay at Chelsea, quite aside from my contract which expires in 2012.”

AC Milan set crunch Ronaldinho meeting
27.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

A meeting between Milan and Ronaldinho’s agent is set for today “while negotiations with Gremio continue,” said Roberto De Assis.

It is now well known that the Brazilian is heading home to his former club Gremio during the January transfer window.

A benchwarmer at San Siro with only six months left on his contract, he is set to terminate the deal by mutual consent.

“I will meet with Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani in Rio de Janeiro on Monday,” agent and Ronaldinho’s brother Roberto De Assis told Sky Sport Italia.

Gremio have said for several days that an agreement has already been reached with the player and jumped the gun slightly when putting his picture on their official website with the headline: ‘He’s ours!’ It was taken down after a few minutes.

“Ronaldinho will return here, but not for money,” President Paulo Odone told Radio Globo.

“Negotiations are at an advanced stage and the four-year contract is ready. His objective is to play in his city so he can take part in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

“He was enthusiastic about our offer. It is also a marketing deal and we must get together many partners to keep our promises.”

OFFICIAL: Leonardo to coach Inter
25.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

It is now official that Leonardo is the new Coach of Inter, as announced by the club website.

There had been strong reports of an imminent deal for some time and the termination by mutual consent of Rafa Benitez’s contract opened the door.

On the evening of Christmas Eve, Inter released a statement confirming Leonardo is the new man in charge of the Nerazzurri.

He has signed a contract until June 30 2012 and will begin working with his new squad on December 29.

Leonardo jumps across San Siro after 13 years at rivals Milan as a player, talent scout, director and Coach.

He will be presented to the media on December 26.

“It would be disappointing to me if this was seen as a sideswipe at Milan and the Rossoneri,” noted President Massimo Moratti.

Leonardo will be Inter boss?
24.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo will soon be confirmed as the new Coach of Italian champions Inter, reports are insisting.

Despite fresh links with Walter Zenga this morning, the Italian media remain convinced that the Brazilian will be Rafael Benitez’s successor at San Siro.

Talks are understood to have already taken place with just some minor details to be resolved between both parties.

Although an announcement could be imminent, the general feeling is that the appointment will be made official on December 27 or 28.

Whispers suggest that Leonardo, who bossed city rivals Milan last term, will sign a contract until June 2012.

As part of that agreement, which will see him net around €2.5m a campaign, there will be the option of a one-year extension until 2013.

Leonardo won’t be the only fresh face at Appiano Gentile in the New Year, with a number of players expected to be brought in too.

Genoa defender Andrea Ranocchia, who the club already co-own, will be acquired to replace the injured Walter Samuel.

Real Madrid’s Kaka, who Leonardo helped Milan to sign in the past, is another possible option for the new world champions.

There are even some suggestions that Inter would like to announce the arrivals of Leonardo and Kaka simultaneously for maximum impact.

Ronaldinho exit hits obstacle
24.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan would rather keep Ronaldinho until the summer than pay him a lump sum to terminate his contract in January.

It’s understood that Brazilian club Gremio have already agreed personal terms with the attacking midfielder who has spent most of this season on the bench in Serie A.

However, the proposed New Year switch can only go through if Milan and Ronaldinho can agree terms over a rescission.

Some reports in Italy on Friday are suggesting that talks have begun, but there is a difference of opinion.

Given that the former Barcelona player is tied to the San Siro outfit until June, he would expect a severance package from the Italians.

That request seems to have been met with some opposition from club Vice-President Adriano Galliani.

It’s understood that Galliani isn’t willing to open the outfit’s chequebook for such an operation given the club’s position in the table.

Although Antonio Cassano is set to arrive, Galliani would rather keep Ronaldinho in the squad – and pay his wages – just in case an injury crisis strikes in the second half of the season.

Talks are set to continue.

If the player is released in January then Milan could make a move for one of two low-cost options – Cagliari’s Andrea Lazzari or Chievo’s Kevin Constant.

Allegri happy with Cassano gift
24.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri insists that Sampdoria enigma Antonio Cassano is all that he wants for Christmas.

Cassano will join the Rossoneri once the winter window opens after his spectacular falling out with Doria chief Riccardo Garrone.

And Allegri has told club officials that he’ll be the only January addition required for a side that is currently top of the table.

“It’s nice that I’ll get the chance to train Cassano,” Allegri told the Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday.

“Great players can adapt to any situation and all he needs to do is place himself at the disposal of the dressing room.

“Where will he play? We’ll carry on with the 4-3-1-2 system, but he could play as the first striker seeing as Pippo Inzaghi is injured.

“More arrivals? I don’t think we’ll need anybody else, otherwise there will just be too many of us in a squad where there is great harmony and, above all, the desire to make sacrifices for the team.”

Allegri was inevitably asked to comment on Ronaldinho, a former Golden Ball winner who has found little space in the first team.

“It’s not a case of Ronaldinho not being suited to our championship, but the team has needs which come before a player,” the former Cagliari tactician explained.

Paloschi and Palladino swap clubs
24.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Parma’s Alberto Paloschi and Luca Antonelli will join Genoa in January, with Raffaele Palladino and Francesco Modesto moving in the other direction.

Reports this evening are suggesting that terms were finalised earlier today in Rome, with the moves set to be made official on January 3.

Genoa will pay €7m to the Tardini outfit in total, a figure which sees them take total control of left-back Antonelli but only a half-share in striker Paloschi.

Palladino joins Parma in a co-ownership too, but Modesto’s move is permanent.

Genoa and Parma simply swapped their co-ownership deals for Paloschi and Palladino, who are still half-owned by Milan and Juventus respectively.

Thiago Silva: Ronaldinho wants to stay
24.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Thiago Silva is surprised by the reports suggesting that Milan teammate Ronaldinho is heading for a January exit.

The Brazilian fantasista’s future is in doubt after failing to break into the first team plans of boss Massimiliano Allegri this term.

A host of Brazilian outfits have been paired with a New Year switch for the player who only has six months left on his San Siro deal.

However, Thiago Silva expects his South American colleague to remain at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.

“I know him,” he stated. “He wants to remain here with us because he wants to play for us. You’ll soon see him return to his highest levels.”

Another aspect which has cast further doubt over Ronaldinho’s future is the imminent arrival of Italy international Antonio Cassano.

“If he arrives then we would have signed a really strong player,” the defender added. “He’s an experienced player too and he could do very well for us.”

Cassano is expected to arrive from Sampdoria after his falling out with Doria chief Riccardo Garrone.

Galliani shocked at 'Leonardo to Inter' talk
23.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani admits he wouldn't know how to react if Leonardo were to replace Rafa Benitez at Inter.

Leonardo spent over a decade at Milan first as a player, then as a director and finally as a Coach.

He left by mutual consent in the summer after one season in charge, citing differences of opinion with Silvio Berlusconi.

“I don't know what my reaction would be,” Galliani told Sky Italia. “He certainly has a very important history with Milan.

“I remember perfectly when I went to sign Leonardo in Paris in 1997. He had a 13-year career at Milan.

“Last year things didn't go badly because we could have done better than third place without the many injuries.

“There was a misunderstanding between Leonardo and Berlusconi and I am sorry about this.”

Looking back at Milan's start to the season, Galliani said: “We don't play as well as during the time of the great Arrigo Sacchi, but the players are very determined, very strong and have a lot of desire.

“I hope that in 2011, we win something after three years. Milan are in the running for three trophies. We are looking to win one of these and maybe even more than one, who knows.

“Ibra is perhaps doing better than the rosiest expectations but he has always been a great warrior. He frightened me when I saw him play for other teams.

“When we played the derbies with Ibra on the other side, his strength, character and determination put me on edge.”

Pato relishes Cassano partnership
23.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Alexandre Pato is looking forward to linking up with the club's new signing Antonio Cassano in the second half of the season.

The 21-year-old Brazil international is still recovering from a muscle injury, but should be back soon after the winter break ends.

“I have missed nine games and I have scored six goals in the other eight,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “With this average, if I'd always played, I would have been on 12. More than Ibra…

“I am very calm and happy because I have started running hard again. I am on the way back. I don't see any reason to make a drama out of it. I believe that the injuries can be put down to my growth.

“I have put on kilos and gained in centimetres, and I want to [grow] more. Football in Italy is tough and being robust is fundamental.

“I can't wait for the New Year to arrive, but 2010 isn't one to throw away. I met Massimiliano Allegri, who is a great Coach. I have scored many goals. I am a regular for Brazil. Now I only want to start all over again without the injuries and play the second half of the season without stopping myself anymore.

“I want a 2011 with many goals to help Milan win.”

Looking ahead to playing alongside Cassano, Pato said: “He is an extraordinary player who will give us a big help in trying to win. We will enjoy ourselves and do well together.

“I am happy for Antonio's arrival. It's like having another Brazilian in the team.”

AC Milan: 'Cassano's Last Chance Saloon'
22.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Amid reports of special contract clauses on his behaviour, Milan directors note Antonio Cassano “is at a Last Chance Saloon.”

The Sampdoria player is just days away from completing his transfer to San Siro, although the legal battle with his club means he cannot play until February 1.

“I think this is a Last Chance Saloon for him and that Milan are the very best he could’ve hoped for,” director Leandro Cantamessa told

“He was fortunate and I don’t think he wants to let this opportunity slip him by. He has talent and if he cares about himself at all, he won’t fail in this once-in-a-lifetime chance.”

There are reports that Cassano’s contract will include numerous clauses on his behaviour to safeguard the Rossoneri.

These include the option for the club to terminate his contract if he breaks the ‘code of ethics’ set out for the whole team.

Meanwhile, Cantamessa also confessed that Ronaldinho was likely to make way for Cassano.

“The players more or less take the same role, so it could be an understandable club decision. Besides, the Coach has made it clear what he thinks.”

Ronaldinho has spent most of this season on the bench.

The Milan director also commented on reports ex-Milan legend Leonardo is ready to take over at Inter.

“I have never been anti-Inter, as they are rivals and not enemies. As for Leonardo, this is part of the profession of a Coach. There are more shocking things than this.

“I am Leonardo’s friend and spoke to him this week, purposefully avoiding any questions over his future. This too means being a friend.”

Cassano to debut against Cannavaro
22.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Cassano will make his debut for Milan against Fabio Cannavaro's Al-Ahli side in Abu Dhabi.

The 28-year-old Italy international, who is currently on holiday in London, will fly out with Milan on January 27 to attend their annual winter training camp in Dubai.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands his signing will become official on January 3.

However, he is likely to make his debut a day before that date in a friendly against Al-Ahli.

Cannavaro joined the Dubai-based outfit in the summer after Juventus agreed not to offer him a year extension on a rolling contract.

It's understood that Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri will look to get Cassano fit again simply by playing him, just like he did with Robinho earlier this season.

Cassano is expected to return to Italy today and spend Christmas back in Bari before hooking up with his new teammates.

AC Milan director fears Napoli
22.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan director of sport Ariedo Braida tips Napoli as their main Scudetto rivals. “I hope they slow down a bit.”

The Rossoneri’s lead at the top of the Serie A table has been cut to three points ahead of joint second-placed Napoli and Lazio.

“Napoli are truly a very strong side and I hope they slow down a bit, as they are doing great things,” the director told Radio Crc.

“It had been a long time since we’d seen Napoli fighting for the top spot or give the sensation they could challenge to win the Scudetto.

“In this season they find themselves battling for the title, like Milan, thanks to a particularly smart transfer campaign.

“At this moment Napoli can make the most of a wonderful striker like Edinson Cavani, who is doing amazing things.

“I believe Napoli to be a highly competitive squad who will fight for the Scudetto to the end.”

Gremio 'await Ronaldinho termination'
21.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

President Paulo Odone remains “optimistic that we can bring Ronaldinho to Gremio,” but wants the player to rescind his contract with Milan first.

The Brazilian is thought to be on his way out of San Siro after spending most of the season on the bench.

“I am optimistic, as we have a great chance of concluding the deal so we can bring Ronaldinho to Gremio,” President Odone announced.

“We cannot do anything until January 1, as we must wait until the player resolves his rapport with Milan directly. Then we can make the move.”

His contract expires in June and to avoid losing him on a free transfer, the club is likely to push for a sale during the January transfer window.

If Gremio believe he will simply rescind his contract early instead, then there could be some sort of compensation scheme in place.

Ronaldinho has also been linked with Palmeiras and David Beckham’s LA Galaxy.

Balotelli: 'One day I'll play for AC Milan'
21.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has again fuelled speculation of a return to Serie A. “One day I will play for Milan.”

The Italy international has struggled to settle at Eastlands, partly due to an injury lay-off, but has never disguised the fact he is a Rossoneri fan.

“One day I will play for Milan,” he announced when accepting the Golden Boy Under-21 prize from Tuttosport newspaper.

“In any case, I am very happy at Manchester City and would like to win the Premier and Europa League.

“Zlatan Ibrahimovic wants me to wear the Rossoneri jersey and I tell him that one day that wish will come true.”

SuperMario also smiled when commenting on his status in the football world.

“Well, there is only one player who is a tiny bit better than me: Leo Messi. The rest are behind me!”

Berlusconi: Cassano is the right man
21.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Silvio Berlusconi has confirmed Milan are in the process of signing Antonio Cassano and insists amid divided opinion that he is the right man for the club.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands Cassano has put pen to paper on a four-year contract after agreeing to pay a third of the €5m sell-on clause to his former club Real Madrid, which forms part of his existing deal with Sampdoria.

Cassano will fly with his new teammates to a training camp in Dubai on December 27 and could make his debut in a friendly a week later.

Initially, Berlusconi seemed unconvinced about the transfer, telling reporters that it's his belief Ronaldinho is a better player.

However, he now appears to have come around to Adriano Galliani's way of thinking.

“We are taking Cassano also because it seems Ronaldinho will leave and we are taking him because he is the right man,” Berlusconi said.

Ronaldinho looks likely to return to Brazil in January either with Gremio or Palmeiras who are both working on his signature.

Cassano will reportedly wear the No 99 shirt at Milan just like at Sampdoria.

It's the same number Ronaldo wore during his short stay in red and black.

Sampdoria: Cassano sale close
21.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sampdoria have confirmed that they are close to reaching an agreement with Milan over the sale of Antonio Cassano.

Reports this afternoon claimed that a deal could be wrapped up at some stage tomorrow for the Bari-born enigma.

And now Doriano Tosi, the club’s sporting director, has suggested that there are just a few details to iron out.

“We have been working on this deal for some time and we are very close to a conclusion,” he stated.

“All you have to do is listen to the rumours that are being circulated.”

It’s understood that Sampdoria, who unsuccessfully tried to rescind Cassano’s contract earlier this month, will allow the player to officially move for nothing.

However, Doria may have to pay just over €1.6m to Real Madrid in order to get rid of the Italian international.

Under the terms of the deal when they signed Cassano from the Spanish giants, they agreed to pay Real €5m should the player be sold.

As a result, whispers suggest that Doria, Cassano and Milan will all pay a third of that amount in order to satisfy the Liga giants.

Should Cassano put pen to paper on a Milan deal tomorrow, he will officially become a Rossonero in January once the transfer window has opened.

AC Milan are superior, says Hernanes
20.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lazio midfield playmaker Hernanes believes Milan are superior to his side, even though just three points separate the two title rivals in the table.

The Aquile's 3-2 victory over Udinese on Sunday means they are still hanging on to the League leaders' coat tails going into the annual winter break.

“I don't know which team is favourite for the Scudetto, but of course I remain very impressed by Lazio,” Hernanes explained.

“Sure Milan have shown themselves to be superior. They have players of a great level.

“Milan's strength is that they have many strong players. Having many alternatives is a very positive factor for them.

“Personally I am happy with these first five months in Rome. I have been made to feel very welcome by this city, which soon made me feel at home.

“The only problem up until this point was the defeat against Roma in the derby, which gave me a great displeasure. But we will play another and I hope that it will go better.”

Cassano to sign for AC Milan tomorrow?
20.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Reports in Italy suggest Antonio Cassano will sign for Milan as soon as tomorrow, putting an end to a torrid few months with Sampdoria.

The 28-year-old Italy international hasn't played since late October after his epic falling out with Sampdoria President Riccardo Garrone.

Last week, the FIGC's arbitration panel recommended that Cassano be reintegrated at Sampdoria albeit with a 50 per cent cut to his wages.

Desperate to get rid of him, Garrone immediately put Cassano on the transfer list, agreeing to let the player join Milan for free.

However, the deal stalled when it emerged that Milan would have to pay a sell-on clause to Cassano's former club Real Madrid said to be worth €5m.

Sport Mediaset understands that the obstacle has now been cleared after a meeting between Milan's directors this afternoon.

It remains to be seen whether Cassano will contribute a third to the sell-on clause as reported in this morning's La Gazzetta dello Sport.

In the meantime, Cassano will fly with Milan to a training camp in Dubai on December 27.

He could make his debut in red and black on January 2 when Milan are due to play a friendly.

Cassano to pay Real Madrid to help AC Milan
20.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sampdoria's out-of-favour playmaker Antonio Cassano is apparently prepared to pay part of the €5m sell-on clause to Real Madrid so he can join Milan in January.

The 28-year-old's time at Sampdoria has come to an end after his colossal falling out with club owner Riccardo Garrone in late October.

Sampdoria took Cassano to court last week in order to rescind his contract, but the arbitration panel recommended that he be reintegrated.

Garrone immediately put the Italy international on the transfer list and agreed to let him join Milan for free on the condition that they pay Real Madrid the €5m sell-on clause in the player's contract.

This has become something of a sticking point, as Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani isn't prepared to pay the fee, especially after Real Madrid President Florentino Perez said there would be no discounts.

However, this morning's La Gazzetta dello Sport claims Galliani has proposed a three-way solution whereby Milan, Sampdoria and Cassano all contribute a third of the €5m each.

It's apparently very important that Garrone sees Cassano 'pay' for his insubordination partly because he won't feel the full effect of his punishment if he joins Milan.

The arbitration panel had asked that Cassano receive only half of his wages at Sampdoria for the remainder of the season.

But if he joins Milan in January, the Bari-born playmaker will be earning twice as much as he would be at Sampdoria, rendering the punishment meaningless.

An agreement needs to be found fast partly because the clause in Cassano's contract stipulates that Real Madrid must be paid the €5m within 15 days.

Pirlo out for a month with thigh strain
19.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andrea Pirlo will be out for a month after suffering a thigh strain during Milan’s home defeat to Roma.

The midfielder limped off in the opening half-hour of last night’s 1-0 loss at San Siro.

“Tests have shown a right thigh strain and the prognosis is of around four weeks,” read a statement on the club website.

“Pirlo will train regularly with the team in Dubai over the winter break, as the warm climate will aid the recovery process.”

Borriello 'hurt' by San Siro jeers
19.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Borriello has Scudetto ambitions for Roma and admits he was “hurt” by his former Milan fans jeering him last night.

“I was a little hurt by the jeers. I didn’t expect them, as I did not make any aggressive gestures during my celebration,” said the goal-scorer.

He is still owned by the Rossoneri, but has found his form on loan in Rome.

“In any case, I am happy for my team and we closed the gap on the leaders to seven points.

“I am finding consistency in terms of performances and scoring some decisive goals. Roma have proved we are a competitive side.

“Do we have a shot at the Scudetto? I have always said so, even during the difficult opening games. Our squad is extraordinary and it all depends on us.”

Gremio: 'We're in Ronaldinho talks'
19.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Brazilian club Gremio are “in conversation” with Milan outcast Ronaldinho, said their President. “He told us he wants to return.”

The superstar continues to be on the outskirts of Massimiliano Allegri’s squad and only played the final four minutes against Roma last night.

“Ronaldinho feels that he owes our club something,” said Gremio President Paulo Odone in Zero Hora.

“He told us he wants to return to Gremio and end his career where it started.

“There are conversations going on and a very good chance that the move will go through.”

If Milan do complete their signing of Antonio Cassano from Sampdoria, then Dinho is likely to have even less playing time than he already does.

Allegri: 'AC Milan lost intensity'
19.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri admits Milan’s second half performance against Roma was not up to scratch. “It’s a pity to end the year with a defeat.”

The Rossoneri wasted numerous chances before succumbing to Marco Borriello’s strike.

“Analysing the game, we created a great deal in the first half without running any real risks, but after the break Milan did lose intensity all over the pitch,” he said of the 1-0 result.

“It’s a shame, as we had the game under control and wanted to win tonight. We should’ve broken the deadlock before half-time.

“It’s a pity to end the year with a defeat, but we can learn from this result. It’s true that we lost at home to both Juventus and Roma, but overall we can be happy with our record in head-to-heads.

“Let’s not forget we are still top of the table and at least three points clear, so it’s nothing to be sniffed at.”

Andrea Pirlo limped off in the opening 25 minutes, forcing a reshuffle of the Rossoneri midfield.

“Andrea had been playing very well up until then, but Clarence Seedorf impressed in a difficult situation when he came off the bench,” continued Allegri.

“It’s a shame Zlatan Ibrahimovic picked up that yellow card, as it means he’ll be suspended for the next game against Cagliari.”

Serie A: AC Milan 0:1 AS Roma - match report
18.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Borriello 69 (R)

Marco Borriello stunned his former club at San Siro, as Roma beat leaders Milan 1-0 to get back into the Scudetto race.

The Rossoneri would be top of the table at the end of 2010 regardless, but wanted to extend their six-point lead. Both sides had injury absentees, as Alexandre Pato, Pippo Inzaghi, Thiago Silva, Mathieu Flamini and Gianluca Zambrotta missed out for Milan. Roma had to leave Mirko Vucinic, Marco Cassetti, Simone Perrotta and Bogdan Lobont behind, but opted for Milan-owned Marco Borriello and ex-Inter striker Adriano, leaving Francesco Totti on the bench.

Robinho went very close within five minutes, turning Philippe Mexes inside out before flashing the angled drive inches wide of the far post. Milan had easier the stronger start and after a group of players forced Luca Antonini's cross out for a corner, Alexander Doni smothered the Kevin-Prince Boateng strike.

Bad news for Max Allegri, as after just 21 minutes Andrea Pirlo limped off after a knock to make way for Clarence Seedorf.

Boateng's low cross-shot was cut out before it could reach Seedorf for a tap-in at the back post. Moments later Jeremy Menez pounced on a defensive error only to balloon over.

It was Ibra's turn to waste a great opportunity on 34 minutes, as he sprung the offside trap in the final third from a Gattuso slide-rule pass, but in a one-on-one fired straight at the on-rushing goalkeeper.

There was an uninspired start to the second half and Roma almost snuck in, as Borriello trapped a ball over the top, but Alessandro Nesta was glued to him to charge it down from six yards.

Robinho was furious when he was halted for a very tight offside decision. Moments later at the other end there was chaotic defending as Adriano first and Fabio Simplicio second tried to dribble through the crowd, Ignazio Abate hoofing it off the foot of Borriello for a corner.

Borriello chested down Simplicio's cross for Matteo Brighi and a half-volley charged down.

Roma were piling on the pressure for the first time in the game and they broke through with Borriello. Still on loan from Milan, the striker almost accidentally netted when a low Menez cross was cleared on to his shin by Abate from six yards.

Ibra should've equalised when he got behind defenders to chest down a Seedorf ball over the top, but blasted it over the bar under pressure from John Arne Riise.

Ibrahimovic again couldn't get a Boateng ball under control, but a fierce De Rossi volley dipped viciously and Christian Abbiati had to fingertip it out from under the crossbar.

Boateng flashed an angled drive wide after Massimo Ambrosini lost his footing in the box. Boateng limped off to give Ronaldinho a run out for the last five minutes.

Dinho had a good chance when a pass was deflected into his path, but with his back to goal he tried to chip and overhead kick it well over. Ibra rolled across for Ambrosini, but he couldn't get enough power to the shot and Doni smothered.

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Bonera, Antonini; Gattuso, Ambrosini, Pirlo (Seedorf 21); Boateng (Ronaldinho 85); Ibrahimovic, Robinho

Roma: Doni; Burdisso, Mexes, Juan, Riise; Brighi, De Rossi, Simplicio; Menez (Taddei 80); Borriello (Okaka 90), Adriano (Rosi 87)

Ref: Damato

Juve and AC Milan track 'new Kaka' Piazon
18.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus and Milan are doing battle for 16-year-old Brazilian talent Lucas Piazon, known as ‘the new Kaka.’

Piazon has found fame at Sao Paolo and earned comparisons to the Real Madrid star, who was also snapped up from this club by the Rossoneri.

He doesn’t turn 17 until January and Milan have already been linked with the young player.

However, the latest reports suggest Juventus have the upper hand on the starlet whose contract expires in 2013.

Manchester City and Chelsea are also showing an interest in Piazon, who is more of a centre-forward than Kaka.

Galliani: 'Cassano problem is Real Madrid'
18.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has confirmed a deal with Antonio Cassano and Sampdoria, “but the problem is Real Madrid.”

As part of the transfer that took him from Spain to Genoa, Real are owed €5m from his next move away from Samp.

“The negotiations for Cassano are at an advanced stage, but are not completed yet,” Galliani told Sky Sport Italia.

“The problem is the money owed to Real Madrid. Who is going to pay it? Milan are not prepared to do so, neither are Sampdoria, so it’s a real problem.

“We have done two out of three: there are agreements with the player and with Sampdoria. But who gives the €5m to Real Madrid? Milan are not prepared to do it.”

Some have suggested Cassano will be drafted in as a replacement for Ronaldinho, who has offers from Brazil and LA Galaxy.

“This has nothing to do with Ronaldinho. If Cassano arrives, then he is replacing Pippo Inzaghi, even if they have different characteristics.”

Cassano: 'Who wouldn't join AC Milan?'
18.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Cassano happily posed with a Milan jersey and said “it suits me. Who wouldn’t agree to join the Rossoneri?”

It is now confirmed that there is a basic agreement for the transfer, held up only by the €5m owed to his previous club Real Madrid.

Television show Striscia La Notizia visited Cassano with the gift of his own personalised Milan jersey.

“It suits me, doesn’t it? It really looks good on me and I will gladly accept it,” he grinned while posing with the shirt.

“Who wouldn’t agree to join the Rossoneri, who along with Real Madrid are the greatest clubs in history?

“Of course my time in Madrid was a disaster! We’ll see what happens in the next few days. There are still a few details and then we’ll see.”

The same show had visited Cassano after his row with Sampdoria President Riccardo Garrone.

This week the tribunal ruled Samp could not terminate his contract due to that incident, but he has been suspended without pay until February 1 2011 and ordered to collect only half his current wages to the end of the contract.

“I got a real pasting and lost quite a lot of money.”

Berlusconi: Ronaldinho better than Cassano
17.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi has reacted rather coldly to reports that Antonio Cassano is close to signing for the club by telling journalists Ronaldinho is better.

Last night it emerged that Sampdoria are prepared to let Cassano join Milan on a free transfer, although a payment of €5m must be made to Real Madrid as part of a sell-on clause.

Asked if he is excited about the prospect of Cassano playing at San Siro, Berlusconi said: “So so. Ronaldinho is better.”

Meanwhile, Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani is yet to complete the deal despite positive indications from Sampdoria.

“The deal for Cassano is at a good stage but it's not complete. The problem is the €5m that need to go to Real Madrid.

“We have an agreement with Cassano and one with Sampdoria. But who will pay Real? We don't intend to. That's the problem.

“If Cassano arrives then he will replace Pippo Inzaghi, not Ronaldinho.”

Allegri pleased with Tottenham draw
17.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri appears to be happy with his side being drawn against Tottenham in the Last 16 of the Champions League.

The Rossoneri currently sit top of Serie A, but remain cautious of Spurs given they took three points off Inter in the group stages.

“They are a good side, but seeing the other teams that we could have also drawn, it was one of the less hostile on paper,” Allegri said.

“I am happy with the draw. We are going to London and it's always a pleasure to play against the English.

“They are a good team, very strong in attack, but looking at the numbers, they concede something in defence.”

English sides have knocked Milan out of the Champions League at the Last 16 stage in two of the last three seasons.

CL DRAW: AC Milan vs. Tottenham Hotspur
17.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan travel to London to face Tottenham, Inter will play Bayern Munich in a re-play of last year's final and Roma brace the cold in Ukraine against Shakhtar Donetsk.

The Italian teams were among the first out of the hat and the draws for the last 16 of the Champions League whet the appetite.

Roma are perhaps the happiest of the Serie A representatives, although Shakhtar's European pedigree was illustrated two seasons ago when they won the UEFA Cup.

Milan will be wary of Tottenham after what they achieved at San Siro and White Hart Lane against the holders Inter in the group stages.

But perhaps the most intriguing tie of all is that pairing last year's winners Inter with the runners up Bayern Munich.

The German giants have already lost on Italian soil this season, throwing away a 2-0 lead to suffer a 3-2 defeat at Roma.

The first legs will be played on February 15/16/22/23 with the second legs on March 8/9/15/16.

Champions League Draw

Roma vs Shakhtar

AC Milan vs Tottenham

Valencia vs Schalke

Inter vs Bayern Munich

Lyon vs Real Madrid

Arsenal vs Barcelona

Marseille vs Manchester United

FC Copenhagen vs Chelsea

Vucinic misses AC Milan trip
17.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Roma have been dealt a real blow to their preparations for Saturday's clash with Milan as Mirko Vucinic has suffered an injury setback.

The Montenegro international has apparently had a relapse of a muscle problem, which hampered his progress earlier in the season.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands Vucinic left Roma's training group this morning, signifying that he won't be on pitch at San Siro.

Roma need to beat Milan if they are to go into the winter break with any hope of still being in the title race.

A defeat would leave Claudio Ranieri's side 13 points adrift of the League leaders.

Ronaldinho set for Palmeiras
17.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

With Antonio Cassano on his way to Milan, Ronaldinho is this morning again being linked with a move to Palmeiras.

The Italian footballing media are convinced that the Rossoneri will take advantage of Cassano’s rift with Sampdoria by acquiring his services in January.

Should that happen, Ronaldinho’s chances of first team football could be reduced even further after regularly being omitted from the side in recent weeks.

And with his contract at San Siro set to expire in June, it seems that Ronaldinho will leave with the only question being when - in January or at the end of the campaign?

“The interest from Palmeiras is very pleasing for my brother,” agent Roberto De Assis told the Mundo Deportivo newspaper.

“It’s not crazy to think that he could return to Brazil.

“The offer is interesting, but his Milan contract comes to an end in June 2011.

“Ronaldinho wants to win trophies that he hasn’t yet in his career like the Brazilian championship, the Libertadores.

“Palmeiras are a great club, one of prestige, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens. We’ll have to talk with Milan.”

The South American club are not the only interested party though, given that LA Galaxy and even Liverpool have been associated with the former Barcelona star.

Ambrosini hails AS Roma's Borriello
17.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Borriello has won the praise of former teammate Massimo Ambrosini for the way he has settled in at Roma.

The Italian joined the capital club late in the transfer window after the Rossoneri swooped for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho.

“He’s managed to settle in a tough environment,” the midfielder noted ahead of the Serie A meeting between the two sides.

“Roma are a great team and there is some tough competition for places.”

The San Siro captain also insisted that the decision to sell Marco to a rival was not made for footballing reasons.

“He was sold for economical aspects, not technical ones,” added the former Italian international. “Marco is a friend and a great attacker.”

Parma on Paloschi
17.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Parma transfer chief Pietro Leonardi has ruled out a bid for Antonio Cassano, while insisting that Alberto Paloschi will remain.

Cassano is expected to be sold in January – now probably to Milan – after a falling out with Doria chief Riccardo Garrone, who then unsuccessfully attempted to have his contract rescinded.

Although the player will be reintegrated into the Sampdoria squad after Christmas, he isn’t likely to end the campaign at Marassi.

Parma have been associated with a short-term deal for the enigma, but that suggestion has been shot down.

“This Cassano story is a joke,” the club’s director general Leonardi noted.

After rubbishing that rumour, the official also dismissed claims that Under-21 international Paloschi was heading to Milan.

“I can exclude his departure,” he continued. “I have had no contact in any form with Milan. I just hope Paloschi becomes of use to us again [after injury].”

The Rossoneri, who own a 50 per cent share in the player, are looking for a striker who could replace the injured Pippo Inzaghi for the rest of the campaign.

Leonardi also admitted that Chelsea attacker Fabio Borini is a player who he is monitoring.

Leonardo's 'AC Milan misunderstandings'
16.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani has finally confirmed Leonardo quit Milan because “some of his ideas did not match with those of our President.”

The Coach resigned after just one season at the helm and took several sideswipes at patron Silvio Berlusconi as he left.

“Some of Leonardo’s technical ideas did not match with those of our President, but there has to be a debate,” confessed Vice-President Galliani on Milan Channel.

“I care for Leo, as he had been with us for many years and did very well last season. It’s a pity there were a few misunderstandings and that the rapport is no longer what it was before.

“It’s a shame, as Leonardo was a great player for Milan, director, talent scout and Coach.”

Galliani also praised veteran Pippo Inzaghi, whose career could well be over after knee ligament surgery.

“Inzaghi will certainly remain with us next season. He wants to return to the playing field and I am certain he will do it, despite being 38 years of age.

“If we are in the last 16 of the Champions League, then it’s thanks to his goals against Real Madrid.”

SuperPippo came off the bench to bag a brace in that 2-2 draw.

Robinho encourages Cassano move
16.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho would like to be reunited with Antonio Cassano at Milan even though they would ostensibly be competing for the same position.

Milan have been repeatedly linked with a move for the Sampdoria fantasista, although it now appears that they will have to stump up some cash after initial indications from the arbitration panel presiding over his contract dispute with club owner Riccardo Garrone revealed he is likely to stay at Marassi rather than have his existing deal rescinded.

Cassano has been frozen out of the Sampdoria first team since late October when he fell out with Garrone in spectacular fashion.

“I would like to play with Antonio,” Robinho said. “I have already done it at Real Madrid. He is a very strong player.”

The arrival of Cassano would be contingent upon Milan getting rid of Ronaldinho who has lost his place in the starting line up at San Siro.

“He has a complicated situation but unfortunately football is like this,” Robinho admitted. “I hope that he stays at Milan because when he is well both physically and mentally he is an incredible player.”

Ibrahimovic: 'Time to beat Roma'
16.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has reiterated his intention to win everything this season and feels Saturday's clash with Roma is another test.

The Rossoneri have a six-point lead at the top of Serie A with one game remaining before Italian football's annual winter break.

“We have to beat them,” Ibrahimovic told the Milan Channel. “That way we can enjoy the Christmas holidays and we'll be even more motivated in the second half of the season.”

Asked to reveal what his objectives are in his first year at Milan, the Swede replied: “Winning everything even the Coppa Italia.

“Max Allegri is a young Coach. He has great enthusiasm, good ideas and wants to play attacking football.

“Having not won big trophies before in his career, he is doing everything to win them now.

“Max gives us motivation and determination. He is ruthless when he needs to be.”

Finally, Ibrahimovic gave his reaction to recent comparisons between his style of play and that of Marco Van Basten.

“I take them as compliments, but he is a legend. You can't compare us.

“I hope to make history with Milan like him. But you can't compare me to a legend. Everyone has their own personality and their own characteristics,” he concluded.

Ronaldinho open to Palmeiras move
16.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan playmaker Ronaldinho is open to a move back to Brazil, possibly with Palmeiras, according to his agent and brother Roberto de Assis.

The 30-year-old is out of contract in the summer and Milan have intimated that they will risk letting it run down rather than offer him a new deal right away.

Palmeiras went public with their interest in Ronaldinho last week and it appears that the players' entourage is now considering a return to Brazil to be a very real option.

The Brazil international has lost his place as a regular in Milan's starting line-up and while he has frequently spoken of his desire to stay at San Siro, Ronaldinho is reportedly becoming frustrated.

Speaking to Radio Bandeirantes, de Assis said: “Ronaldinho would like to return to Brazil also because he has the desire to win the trophies that he is still missing like the Brasileirao and the Copa Libertadores, and Palmeiras are a club of great prestige.

“But this isn't the moment to give percentages because his contract with Milan expires at the end of June and first of all we want to listen to their opinion.”

Allegri is a hybrid, says Ambrosini
16.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Ambrosini believes one of the reasons Max Allegri has enjoyed such success at Milan is because he is a little like Carlo Ancelotti and Fabio Capello.

Milan currently have a six-point cushion at the top of Serie A and will be League leaders at Christmas even if they lose against Roma in their last game before the winter break.

Interviewed in La Gazzetta dello Sport, Ambrosini said: “Max is a mix of one person and another. He is less rigid than Capello and knows how to joke like Carlo but when he needs to make himself heard he is like Fabio.”

Looking ahead to Milan's clash with Roma, he said: “It would be a little step towards the Scudetto and would allow us to distance ourselves from a direct competitor, but these games aren't be decisive.

“I won a League making up seven points in seven games on Lazio in 1999, so…”

Asked to reveal who he believes are Milan's most dangerous title rivals, he said: “Juve because they aren't in Europe and can bother us. They have a Coach who has the desire and the right mentality. But Inter will also figure in the title race again.”

Finally, Ambrosini gave an insight into where his future lies.

The veteran midfielder's contract expires in 2011 and it remains to be seen whether he'll spend a 16th year in red and black.

“It would be difficult for me to wear another shirt in Italy. But I have no intention of stopping, so if I weren't to find an agreement with Milan, I would go abroad.”

Inzaghi will finish career with AC Milan
15.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Pippo Inzaghi has revealed his intention to end his career with Milan, but in the meantime hopes to be back playing before the end of the season.

The veteran striker suffered a serious knee injury earlier in the campaign, which required surgery and it was initially thought that his season was over.

Interviewed on Kalispera, Inzaghi said: “I hope to return before the end of the season. Jose Mourinho calls me every three or four days to check on my condition.

“I will close my career in red and black.”

Asked about Milan's title chances, he said: “I knew that we were a great group and that we would entertain.”

Finally, Inzaghi gave his reaction to reports linking Antonio Cassano with a move to the club.

“If you come to Milan you soon understand that you must behave in a certain way because there are great players here,” he concluded.”

Van Basten sees Ibrahimovic likeness
15.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Van Basten admits that 'every now and again' he sees a bit of himself in Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Yesterday Van Basten's former Coach Arrigo Sacchi told La Gazzetta dello Sport that he feels Ibrahimovic is worth just as much to this current Milan side as he was to the club in the late `80s and early `90s.

Ibrahimovic has scored 13 goals in 21 appearances this season, but his willingness to sacrifice himself for the team has been remarkable.

“He is a good player,” Van Basten told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “But he goes about his life and I go about mine. He is an important player for Milan and I hope for him and for the club that it all goes in the best way possible and they have a lot of success.

“Comparisons right now seem a little out of place. Milan are doing great things, but it doesn't seem to me that they are playing great football.

“For the moment it seems that they are worrying above all about winning games and it's right this way. Then once the results are consolidated, they will think about playing better.

“Every now and again I see myself again in Ibrahimovic above all in terms of physique. Ibrahimovic has a formidable power, but also good technique. But I keep thinking that comparing two players from different ages is difficult and rather useless.”

AC Milan derby for Cassano
15.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Both Milan and Inter are preparing to battle it out to sign Sampdoria playmaker Antonio Cassano in the January transfer window.

The 28-year-old Italy international is awaiting the arbitration panel's verdict on his dispute with Sampdoria and expects a decision today.

Sampdoria President Riccardo Garrone has asked that Cassano's contract be rescinded after a falling out in late October.

Cassano hasn't played since and his time at the club appears to be over.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi has told Adriano Galliani to “give me a present” in January, which has been taken to mean Cassano.

In the meantime, they are waiting for the arbitration panel's decision, because if Cassano's contract is rescinded, Sampdoria will still have to sort out the payment of a €5m installment of his transfer from Real Madrid.

Inter appear to be most in need of Cassano, though, and it's rumoured that the player's agent Beppe Bozzo has been working on a deal for months.

Reports claim that there is a mutual desire to see a deal done and Garrone even hinted earlier this month that Massimo Moratti and his people were lurking in the shadow.

Galliani slams Europa League exits
15.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani has blasted Juventus, Sampdoria and Palermo. “Italy will have three Champions League spots and we can thank the Europa League sides.”

Italy has been in a battle with German football for several years over who deserves a fourth qualification place in the top competition.

Serie A’s position in the UEFA rankings will drop because Juve, Sampdoria and Palermo are all out of the Europa League in the group phase.

Napoli will find out tomorrow against Steaua Bucharest if they are also crashing out of the tournament.

“The Italian sides have collapsed in Europe and from 2012 we will have only two teams going directly into the Champions League with the third going through a preliminary round,” said Galliani.

“It is damaging to our football. For all this we must ‘thank’ above all those who played in the Europa League.”

Juventus, in particular, were expected to do better in the competition, but drew all of their group games.

Meanwhile, Milan Vice-President Galliani also wished Inter good luck for the Club World Cup.

“Of course I say ‘Forza Inter!’ In Serie A we are rivals, but when playing on the international scene absolutely not.

“When we won the trophy three years ago, I felt like a world champion and certainly not as if we’d won a summer tournament.”

The comment was aimed at Roberto Mancini, who as Inter boss had joked about the importance of the Club World Cup when Milan took the trophy.

Agent: 'Ronaldinho likes Brazil move'
14.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho’s agent confirms the Milan bench-warmer could leave in January. “Returning to Brazil would allow him to win the two titles he’s missing.”

The Rossoneri star is struggling to get a game under Coach Max Allegri and started just one of the last eight official outings.

“Football evolves in such a rapid fashion,” agent and brother Roberto de Assis told Jogo Aberto.

“Today a transfer away from Milan seems difficult, but I don’t know what will happen in the next few days. Everything can change suddenly.”

Dinho has been repeatedly linked with clubs in his homeland, above all Palmeiras and Flamengo.

“Returning to Brazilian would allow him to win the two titles he is missing, the Libertadores and the Brasileirao. It would be very important to add these to his trophy cabinet.

“Where could he go? A great deal depends on the club, the Coach and the project that is proposed to him.”

Ronaldinho’s contract expires at the end of the season, so Milan could try to sell him in January to avoid losing the player on a free transfer in June.

Ibrahimovic is like Van Basten, says Sacchi
14.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Arrigo Sacchi feels Zlatan Ibrahimovic isn't necessarily better than Marco Van Basten, but adds that he certainly isn't worth any less as a player to Milan.

This morning's La Gazzetta dello Sport has a picture of Ibrahimovic on its front page pulling on a mask of Van Basten, suggesting that they are in fact one and the same.

“I don't believe it's right to judge whether Ibra or Marco is better,” Sacchi wrote in his column. “I would be less objective having coached Marco and benefited from his extraordinary ability.

“However, I must recognise that the actual Ibra is not worth any less. Marco was perhaps more elegant and until this year more capable [than Ibra] of linking with the team.

“Ibra hadn't always showed continuity and the ability to move himself with and for the team across the entire pitch until this season.

“The Swede has returned [to Italy] after being a partial failure at Barcelona with the desire to redeem himself which has increased his openness [to work for the team] and today he has completely exploded.

“He collaborates in defence, and in attack he doesn't just exploit his technical and physical potential, but moves in the time that the team wishes.

“If he keeps going this way, Ibra will equal Van Basten in international victories and individual achievements.

“Marco won three Ballon d'Or awards. Ibra has matured and has transformed from a soloist into a complete footballer.”

Paloschi staying at Parma
13.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Parma have ruled out the possibility of losing Alberto Palsochi to Milan during the January transfer window.

The Under-21 international, who is co-owned by both clubs, has been mentioned as a possible replacement for the inured Pippo Inzaghi.

However, Parma President Tommaso Ghirardi insists that Paloschi’s career will continue at the Stadio Tardini for now.

“It’s true that Milan are strongly counting on him, but not in the immediate future,” he told Sky Sport 24.

“For now I’m just anxiously awaiting his return to the field of play after injury”, he added.

“We’ve only been able to use him for a year and a half of the three years that he has been here with us.”

If all goes to plan, the youngster should return to Pasquale Marino’s disposal at some stage in January.

AC Milan lose veteran duo
13.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan will face Roma in Serie A at the weekend without veterans Gennaro Gattuso and Gianluca Zambrotta.

The World Cup winning duo limped out of the 3-0 win at Bologna yesterday with injuries which will keep them sidelined until the start of 2011.

Midfield warrior Gattuso picked up a right thigh problem which will need between seven and 10 days to get over.

Zambrotta, meanwhile, suffered a knee injury which isn’t as serious as first thought but still bad enough to see him sidelined for up to two weeks.

The Rossoneri, who lead Serie A, have had their injury issues this term considering that Alexandre Pato, Pippo Inzaghi, Mathieu Flamini and Thiago Silva are all on the treatment table.

Galliani: 'No Tevez for AC Milan'
13.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani has ruled Milan out of the running to sign unsettled Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez.

The Argentina international has submitted a transfer request at Eastlands, which has been rejected.

Tevez has fallen out with the club's executives and would like to be closer to his two daughters who live in Buenos Aires.

He has intimated in the past that retirement isn't entirely out of the question, although interest from Real Madrid and Chelsea is also being reported.

“Tevez is great, but Milan can't make an investment like that,” Galliani admitted.

“If we find a forward who looks like a Milan player we will sign him, otherwise we'll stay like this,” he concluded.

Allegri: 'Ronaldinho will stay'
13.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

“Ronaldinho will stay with us until June,” assured Milan Coach Massimiliano Allegri amid renewed speculation.

The Brazilian has barely featured in recent weeks, as he was benched for eight of the last nine official games.

“Ronaldinho will stay with us until June,” insisted Allegri. “It’s true he is not playing very much at the moment, but soon the time will come when he can be important for this team.”

There has been interest from Brazilian side Palmeiras and Flamengo, but above all David Beckham’s LA Galaxy.

A January sale is likely because Ronaldinho will be out of contract at the end of the season and Milan do not want to lose him on a free transfer.

Allegri: 'Ajax defeat good for AC Milan'
12.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri praised Milan’s reaction to their Ajax defeat and explained Andrea Pirlo’s adjustment. “Now for Roma.”

The Rossoneri were beaten 2-0 in the Champions League midweek in a game that had no bearing on their qualification, but it was still a blight on their current fine form.

“We started in the best possible way and brought a lot of intensity to the match,” he said of their 3-0 victory away to Bologna.

“The defeat to Ajax was actually good for us, because even if it didn’t count for anything, it could still affect our mentality. Instead, the team reacted straight away.

“Now bring on Roma and a very difficult game to finish off 2010 on a positive note.”

Milan consolidated their Serie A lead to six points, depending on what happens this evening between Juventus and Lazio.

Pirlo is playing in a new role more wide midfield, leaving Massimo Ambrosini in that deep position.

“At this moment I think Pirlo plays better as a ‘mezz’ala’, because Ambrosini gives us better protection in front of the defence.

“It also allows Pirlo to spread around the field more and be more creative. He enjoys this position a great deal and is doing it well.”

Serie A: Bologna 0:3 AC Milan - match report
12.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Boateng 8 (M), Robinho 36 (M), Ibrahimovic 60 (M)

Milan consolidated their leadership and shattered Bologna's home record with a 3-0 victory thanks to Kevin-Prince Boateng, Robinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Christian Abbiati also contributed by saving Marco Di Vaio's penalty.

The Rossoneri were defeated by Ajax midweek with a reshuffled side already sure of qualification, but were eager to maintain their excellent Serie A form and top of the table status. Thiago Silva joined Alexandre Pato and Pippo Inzaghi on the treatment table, so Daniele Bonera stepped into central defence. Despite their financial crisis that already docked a point, Bologna had won two on the trot and had the best defensive home record in the League, conceding just three times here. Diego Perez and Massimo Mutarelli were sidelined.

Bologna had the first chance after four minutes, when Gaston Ramirez unleashed a screamer from distance and Christian Abbiati flew to palm it out of the near top corner.

However, it was Milan who broke the deadlock. Zlatan Ibrahimovic got down the left and swept in a wonderful cross with his right foot, finding Kevin-Prince Boateng leaping between two defenders to volley in from six yards.

Andrea Pirlo's thunderbolt sailed just over the crossbar and Bologna struggled to make an impact on the game.

The Rossoneri were clinical in their finishing, though, as Robinho scored for the third game on the trot. Boateng was the provider this time, his flick sending the Brazilian through the middle and he out-sprinted Esposito to place a low angled drive past Emiliano Viviano.

Ibrahimovic almost made it 3-0 moments later when he sprung the offside trap from a Robinho pass with the outside of the boot, but Viviano got just enough on the shot to see it bounce wide.

In first half stoppages Viviano did well to parry from Robinho, but Esposito was far too slow to clean up the loose ball, so Gianluca Zambrotta clipped the crossbar from a tight angle.

Viviano beat away an Ibrahimovic snapshot, then rushed off his line to stop Robinho getting on the end of a Pirlo assist.

Bologna had a great chance to get back into the game on 55 minutes. Abbiati gave it away, as he sprinted to the by-line to prevent a corner, but in so doing handed the ball to Ramirez. The crunching tackle was judged to be fair on Riccardo Meggiorini, who could only hit the side-netting of an open goal. Abbiati was very fortunate to get away with that howler, especially as the challenge may well have warranted a red card.

Zambrotta limped off after picking up a knock, joining Gattuso on the touchline.

Milan consolidated their lead after that Abbiati scare with Ibrahimovic. The Swede sprung the offside trap by sneaking in behind Miguel Angel Britos to chest down Pirlo's ball and fired in at the near post with his right foot. With this strike, Bologna had conceded as many home goals in this game as throughout the entire season so far.

Abbiati pushed a Meggiorini header round the base of the post. Bologna did get back in when Clarence Seedorf clipped Marco Di Vaio's heels in the area for a soft penalty. The veteran got back up, but Abbiati guessed the right angle and parried the spot-kick with both hands.

Bologna: Viviano; Esposito, Britos, Moras, Morleo; Casarini, Mudingayi, Della Rocca (Meggiorini 46); Buscè (Ekdal 46), Ramirez (Gimenez 76), Di Vaio

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Bonera, Zambrotta (Antonini 57); Gattuso (Strasser 53), Pirlo, Ambrosini; Boateng (Seedorf 72); Ibrahimovic, Robinho

Ref: Rocchi

Missed penalty: Di Vaio 78 (B)

Galliani: 'Floro Flores a valid option'
12.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani has admitted Udinese striker Antonio Floro Flores “is a valid option” for Milan’s January transfer swoop.

The club has confirmed it is looking for a new centre-forward after Pippo Inzaghi’s knee injury ruled him out for the rest of the season.

Players such as Cagliari’s Alessandro Matri and Real Madrid hitman Karim Benzema have been mentioned, but Galliani hinted at someone closer to home.

“Floro Flores is a very good forward and has quality,” the Vice-President told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“He could be a valid option for Milan.”

Crucially, Floro Flores would be available for the Champions League and can play in numerous different roles in attack.

Allegri fears AC Milan lunch break
11.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri has warned Milan they must play with “intensity” against Bologna in their first ever lunchtime kick-off.

“It will be a strange game, as we are playing for the first time at 12.30pm. We simulated these conditions in training, so hope to reach this game with the right intensity,” said the Coach.

“Bologna are doing extraordinary things considering the financial situation of the club. They are an organised side and in moments of difficulty brought out the team spirit.”

The Rossoneri are top of the Serie A table and qualified for the Champions League knockouts, but their 2-0 defeat to Ajax on Wednesday ended the unbeaten home record after practically a year.

“I didn’t like the loss at all, even if I understand when there’s nothing at stake that concentration can slip. I tried to field the best possible line-up in the circumstances.”

Thiago Silva picked up a meniscus injury during that game and it is unclear when he will be back on the playing field.

The main imperative in January will be to reinforce the attack, as Pippo Inzaghi will be out for the rest of the season.

“It is possible we will bring in a new striker to complete the team in January. President Silvio Berlusconi is very happy with how things are going, but in his view we can play even better than we are now.”

If Milan beat Bologna, then they could break away at the top of the table, as Juventus and Lazio face each other in Rome this weekend.

“I don’t think Lazio-Juve will decide who is the ‘anti-Milan.’ There isn’t just one side other than us who can fight for the Scudetto, as there’s Roma, Inter and I include Napoli. We cannot let the concentration levels drop.”

Thiago Silva can't set comeback date
11.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan defender Thiago Silva has flown to Brazil for meniscus treatment and admits: “I don’t know when I’ll be playing again.”

Tests this week revealed the centre-back had suffered a torn meniscus ligament in his knee and it is not clear how many weeks he will need on the sidelines.

“I don’t know when I’ll be playing again. I’m flying to Rio to talk to the doctors and have more tests to see what the situation is,” he said.

“Unfortunately, until then I really cannot say what will happen.”

Thiago Silva is nonetheless confident his teammates can continue their current strong form.

“Nobody is stronger than us. We are all on the same level, but now that we have so many injuries it’s difficult. I hope by January the Coach can have everyone at his disposal.”

Ibrahimovic: 'I'm still important to Inter...'
11.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic feels he is entitled to think that he is still very important to Inter given Marco Materazzi and Massimo Moratti keep talking about him.

The Sweden international left Inter in 2009 primarily to win the Champions League with Barcelona only to see his former side do so instead.

He returned to Italy in the summer, joining Inter's heated rivals Milan, which has naturally sparked great debate among his former employers and teammates.

Interviewed on Studio Stadio XXL, Ibrahimovic said: “Materazzi speaks a little too much about me, as does Moratti. You see that I am still very important for them.

“I instead never speak about them. You see that they are not important for me.”

Turning his attention to Milan, Ibrahimovic said: “I understood on the first day I arrived here from the atmosphere that there was around me that Milan are my team and it's where I will finish my career and hopefully win a lot.

“It's not true that the team is Ibra-dependent. Every one of us depends on each other. I don't fear Inter, Juventus, Roma or anyone else. We have already shown that we are the strongest team. We must only continue like this and Milan will win everything.”

Finally, Ibrahimovic reacted to Wesley Sneijder's snub in the voting for the Ballon d'Or.

“It's sad that Sneijder won't win the Ballon d'Or after what he did last season, including in the World Cup, but by now that trophy has become only a question of politics and it's for this reason that I am no longer interested in winning it: I prefer to win with the team,” he concluded.

Parma issue Paloschi warning
10.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Parma have shot down reports that young striker Alberto Paloschi could rejoin Milan during January.

The Rossoneri, who co-own the player, need a new forward after Pippo Inzaghi was ruled out for the season with injury.

Inzaghi himself has suggested that the Italian Under-21 international would be his ideal replacement, but the Tardini outfit don’t seem keen on releasing him.

“Paloschi is co-owned between Milan and ourselves and we intend to keep him,” Parma President Tommaso Ghirardi noted.

“He will decide his future, but our priority for January is to get him and Daniele Galloppa back to full fitness.”

Paloschi has had an injury plagued 18 months at the Stadio Tardini.

Thiago Silva suffers knee injury
9.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have suffered a real blow after it emerged that Thiago Silva has incurred a nasty-looking knee injury.

The Brazil international underwent a series of tests this morning, including an MRI which ultimately revealed that he has torn the meniscus in his right knee.

Milan have since released a statement detailing that Thiago Silva plans to travel to Brazil where he will seek a second opinion from the national team's doctor Jose Luiz Runco.

It is as yet unclear how long he faces on the sidelines, but meniscus injuries tend to take a while to heal.

The only crumb of comfort is that Milan have just two more League games before the winter break.

Thiago Silva is widely considered to be a key component of Milan's defence alongside Alessandro Nesta.

Mathieu Flamini has also been ruled out for three or four weeks after he tore the medial ligaments in his right knee.

Bonucci: 'Juventus will catch AC Milan'
9.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo Bonucci feels Juventus have enough in their locker to really challenge Milan for the title this season.

The Italy international centre-back is particularly buoyant given the Old Lady is unbeaten in 15 matches in all competitions.

Juventus currently lie third in Serie A, just six points adrift of the League leaders.

Interviewed in Il Corriere dello Sport, Bonucci said: “I don't want to get the fans' hopes up, but six points are not an eternity. We have to be ready to profit on any eventual braking.”

Looking ahead to this weekend's clash with second placed side Lazio, Bonucci said: “They will fight until the end of the season. Edy Reja has created a great team spirit.”

Asked if he was born a Juventus fan, he replied: “Yes, in a family of Interisti. But I wasn't alone. My grandfather Gabriele is a Lazio supporter. But on Sunday he'll be supporting me.

“Heart and blood count more than faith,” he concluded.

Corvino tips AC Milan for the title
9.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fiorentina director of sport Pantaleo Corvino believes Milan have what it takes to win the Scudetto this season.

Max Allegri's side currently lead Serie A after 15 games, opening up a three-point advantage over Lazio as the winter break approaches.

Interviewed in Il Corriere dello Sport, Corvino was asked if he believes Milan are equipped to hold on to their lead.

“Yes,” he said. “It's an escape to victory.”

Corvino was also very complimentary towards Napoli, calling Edinson Cavani the best foreign player in the League.

“To be like Fiorentina in the last four years, Napoli obviously have to finish ahead of Milan twice and ahead of Roma twice, and narrowly missed out on a UEFA Cup Final and a Champions League Quarter-Final.”

Asked if he'll reinforce the team in January, Corvino said: “The market in wintertime offers few possibilities, but every team has to be vigilant to see if there is a chance.”

Ronaldinho wishes to stay
9.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho would like to stay at Milan despite being whistled during last night's 2-0 defeat to Ajax in the Champions League.

The 30-year-old Brazil international was handed a rare start, but his presence in the first Milan team since the end of January not to score at home irritated supporters.

Ronaldinho's contract is due to expire at the end of this season and Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani has intimated that he will risk letting it run down.

Last night Palmeiras announced that they are in the process of launching a bid to bring Ronaldinho and Adriano back to Brazil in January.

Speaking to the Milan Channel, Ronaldinho said: “I am happy because I had the chance to play an entire game. I have a lot of desire to help the team do well.

“I am calm about staying at Milan. I am convinced about being able to do well. I have the utmost respect for my teammates, who are going through a wonderful moment.

“The team is winning and I have nothing to say about that. I am working towards playing more. I train for this reason,” he concluded.

Amelia: 'I proved I'm ready'
9.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Amelia kept the scoreline down with a series of saves and admits his benchwarmer role at Milan is “not the best.”

The goalkeeper was given an opportunity to shine while Christian Abbiati was rested and performed a series of desperate saves, even though Ajax won 2-0.

“Despite the fact I haven’t played much up until now, I proved that I am ready when needed,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“A goalkeeper works a great deal on positioning and when you are only called on sporadically it can be difficult to find the right approach.

“Playing once every now and then is not the best. It’s a shame we lost tonight.”

Allegri slams AC Milan attitude
9.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri is upset with his Milan side after the home defeat to Ajax. “We should not have put in a performance like that.”

The Rossoneri knew the result was irrelevant, as they would go through in second place behind Real Madrid.

Ajax needed points to be sure of Europa League qualification and poured forward for the 2-0 victory at San Siro.

“Behind this result is the lack of motivation, but that doesn’t mean playing like this,” moaned the Coach.

“We should not have put in a performance like that, it should’ve been different. Now we have to start again and on Sunday there is an important match against Bologna.”

Mathieu Flamini limped off with a knee problem in the opening stages, while Ronaldinho wasted his first start in eight games.

“It’s a shame about Flamini, as he almost certainly won’t be fit for Sunday,” continued Allegri.

“Ronaldinho played and did some good things, some not so good. When the team plays like this it’s difficult for any individuals to stand out.

“Towards the end he did set up some good chances for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho. If we do sign a centre-forward in January, it has to be someone worthy of Milan.”

Champions League: AC Milan 0:2 Ajax Amsterdam - match report
8.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: De Zeeuw 56 (A), Alderweireld 66 (A)

Ajax scored two great goals to secure their Europa League spot, beating a reshuffled Milan 2-0 at San Siro.

This game was essentially irrelevant for the Rossoneri, who knew they were through in second place behind Real Madrid. It gave them the opportunity to rest figures like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alessandro Nesta, Christian Abbiati and Gennaro Gattuso, while Ronaldinho recovered from an ankle knock to get his first start in eight games. Ajax would be certain of third spot by equalling or bettering Auxerre's result at Real Madrid, but made their debut under caretaker manager Frank De Boer after Martin Jol walked out on Monday.

Ajax had to get a result, so they poured forward from the start and within 120 seconds Marco Amelia had to palm a Luis Suarez angled drive round the base of the near post.

Clarence Seedorf's effort was charged down, but Amelia was the busy goalkeeper with another difficult save on a Sulejmani daisy-cutter. Daniele Bonera then had to throw himself at Eriksen to charge down the finish at the end of a well-worked move, as Ajax had the much brighter start.

Mathieu Flamini limped off with a right knee problem and made way for Kevin-Prince Boateng.

Amelia was certainly given an opportunity to shine, as he flew to palm a right-foot Eriksen screamer out from under the crossbar. However, Suarez was booked for simulation in the penalty area, as he seemed to trip up over his own feet.

Eriksen again tested Amelia from distance and Ronaldinho had a rare scoring opportunity, but couldn't get enough power behind the header from Robinho's cross.

Milan finally stepped up a gear towards half-time with a series of chances, as Ronaldinho's shot was deflected wide, another Robinho assist for Massimo Ambrosini intercepted at the last second and even Thiago Silva forcing a save with his strike.

Sulejmani was also booked for simulation when Amelia came out to close him down and the Ajax player flew to the ground.

Thiago Silva's header skimmed the upright from a corner kick, but it was Ajax who finally made the pressure count on 56 minutes. De Jong gathered with his back to goal just inside the area and the turn struck a defender, but ricocheted into the path of De Zeeuw for a powerful finish.

The visitors did not sit back, as soon after Amelia had to deal with a Van der Wiel strike. Massimiliano Allegri did not want to lose even in these circumstances, so threw on Ibrahimovic against his former club.

However, Ajax doubled their lead at San Siro. There was no stopping this one, as the ball fell to the edge of the box where defender Alderweireld hit a missile into the near top corner.

Ibra nearly got Milan back into it, but Stekelenburg stuck out a foot to parry. Boateng did get the ball in the net, but that was disallowed for Ibra's push in the build-up.

Amelia prevented Suarez making it 3-0 with a save from point-blank range, but Ibra attempted an audacious overhead kick that was only just off target.

Milan: Amelia; Bonera, Thiago Silva, Yepes, Antonini; Flamini (Boateng 26), Pirlo, Ambrosini (Ibrahimovic 64); Robinho (Merkel 77), Seedorf, Ronaldinho

Ajax: Stekelenburg; Van der Wiel, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Emanuelson; Enoh, Eriksen, De Zeeuw (Lindgren 83); Suarez (Tainio 93), S De Jong (El Hamdaoui 85), Sulejmani

Ref: Larsen (Den)

Palmeiras target Ronaldinho and Adriano
8.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Palmeiras have announced they’re working towards bringing Ronaldinho and Adriano back to Brazil, while Liverpool are also linked with the Milan star.

This evening Ronaldinho is expected to start against Ajax after sitting on the bench for the last seven matches.

His contract is up at the end of the season and a January move could be on the cards to avoid him leaving on a free transfer.

The Daily Star suggests Liverpool are tracking the Brazilian for a potential swoop, although his wages could pose a problem.

Palmeiras have confirmed they are pushing forward for a sensational double deal, as Adriano is also unhappy on the Roma bench.

“It is difficult, but we are working on it because dreams can come true, both in the case of Adriano and Ronaldinho,” Palmeiras chief Salvador Hugo Palaia told Radio Bandeirantes.

Another alternative for Dinho is David Beckham’s club LA Galaxy.

Allegri to make Ronaldinho decision
7.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri will decide whether to pick Ronaldinho in his starting line-up for tomorrow's Champions League clash with Ajax.

The Brazil international suffered a knock in training yesterday, scuppering Allegri's reported plans to use him.

“Milan will go out on the pitch to play an important game,” Allegri explained. “Dinho didn't train yesterday.”

“If he recovers, he'll play with Robinho by his side. Ibra will start on the bench.”

Allegri isn't a fan of rotation, but La Gazzetta dello Sport understands he will welcome Ronaldinho back in the fold to further experiment with his midfield.

Milan are working on having two variants of the 4-3-1-2 formation, one with Andrea Pirlo and Robinho and the other with Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato.

Obviously the latter is unworkable at the moment given Pato's absence through injury, hence Allegri's preference to play Ronaldinho alongside Robinho tomorrow night.

However, it would appear that the former World Player of the Year is still considered an alternative to Clarence Seedorf whose balanced play has made his Milan's No 1 trequartista.

AC Milan put Balotelli on hold
7.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani has admitted that Milan will have to wait for a few years before having any hope of signing Mario Balotelli.

The Manchester City player is admired by the Rossoneri which has fuelled regular transfer speculation – even before he left Inter for the Premiership in the summer.

But Galliani, speaking ahead of the Champions League game against Ajax, has again cooled expectations of a Balotelli capture.

“Balotelli has just been signed by City,” he said. “Therefore it is unthinkable that they would sell him.

“Mario is just 20 though, so it would be fine if he came aged 22 or 23, but for now it is important that we don’t trick the fans into thinking he will arrive sooner.”

After dismissing an imminent move for Balotelli, Galliani then excluded the January capture of Alessandro Matri.

“Matri is liked by Massimiliano Allegri who bossed him at Cagliari,” the Vice-President added.

“However, I know that Cagliari won’t sell any players in January as they are battling to avoid relegation.”

The official was also questioned about Ronaldinho who has had to get used to life on the bench recently.

“There is no problem with Ronaldinho,” he added. “The Brazilian is not under discussion.

“The Coach is free to make his decisions, but I do think that he will play against Ajax on Wednesday.”

No AC Milan return for Borriello
6.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Borriello’s agent has dismissed speculation that his client could rejoin Milan in January. “He’s happy at Roma.”

The Serie A leaders are known to be after a striker in the New Year after losing Pippo Inzaghi for the rest of the season with injury.

Amongst the many names linked has been Borriello given that he is officially only on loan with the Olimpico outfit.

However, Tiberio Cavalleri has today insisted that the Italian international will remain in the Italian capital.

“Marco is really happy in Rome at Roma and he won’t be leaving,” the representative noted.

“If he were to leave then he could only join Milan in January as you can’t play for three different teams in one season.

“But Milan have never been in touch because they know that Borriello will be a Roma player for the next five years.”

Roma officially signed Borriello on a temporary basis, but with the understanding that they will complete his full transfer next summer.

Allegri 'will not snub Ajax'
6.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri assures Milan “will not snub” their Champions League match against Ajax despite already being qualified.

The Coach is expected to completely revamp his line-up for the final group game, as the Rossoneri already know they are through in second place behind Real Madrid.

“Clearly a few players might step on to the field with a more relaxed approach seeing as we are already qualified,” admitted Allegri.

“However, we will not snub this match. We are still playing in the Champions League against a prestigious opponent.”

Ronaldinho should finally get some playing time, giving Zlatan Ibrahimovic a rest for the first time this season.

Allegri: 'A long road ahead of us'
5.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri is happy with the victory, but warns Milan “there is a long road ahead of us” to the Scudetto.

The 3-0 hammering of Brescia consolidated their Serie A leadership with a three-point gap from Lazio.

“I really cared about winning tonight and we did get off to a strong start, then we relaxed a bit,” said the Coach.

“After the second goal we kicked back into gear and got the third, then it all seemed a lot easier. We can be happy with what we did this evening.

“There is a long road ahead of us, as don’t forget last season Roma took 14 points off Inter’s lead. We’ve got 33 so far and that’s not even enough to guarantee safety, let alone a Scudetto, so we need to maintain this pace.

“It wasn’t easy against Brescia, as we could’ve had the wrong approach and run into trouble.”

There was still no room for Ronaldinho, but Clarence Seedorf was rested so that Kevin-Prince Boateng could play as a trequartista.

“I fielded Boateng because I needed a player who could push into the box from midfield and, seeing as Brescia have quite a deep defence, I thought he could do a good job.

“It has happened that someone is on the bench and others even in the stands, but the important thing is the team and making sure those who do play give their all.”

Gattuso: 'It wasn't an easy game'
5.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso insists “there are no easy games” despite Milan sweeping Brescia aside and gives his opinion on “crazy” Mario Balotelli rumours.

The Rossoneri made short work of the Rondinelle this evening, securing a 3-0 result within the opening half-hour.

“There was nothing easy about it,” assured Gattuso. “We were fortunate to score the goal so early on, but there are no easy games in Serie A.

“We are worried by every team that we come face to face with. We know that we must get as many points as possible and focus only on ourselves.”

Kevin-Prince Boateng scored from a Zlatan Ibrahimovic assist, then Ibra netted a scorcher after Robinho had pounced on a defensive error.

“Ibrahimovic makes the difference, but if he plays on his own against XI men, he will lose.”

Gattuso was asked to comment on the increasing speculation that Balotelli – a self-confessed Milan supporter – is heading for a January move.

“It seems crazy to me, as Manchester City only bought him three months ago.”

Serie A: AC Milan 3:0 Brescia - match report
4.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Boateng 4 (M), Robinho 28 (M), Ibrahimovic 30 (M)

Kevin-Prince Boateng, Robinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored spectacular goals in Milan's 3-0 schooling of Brescia.

The Serie A leaders welcomed back Andrea Pirlo against his hometown club and gave Kevin-Prince Boateng a new trequartista role, but there was still no room for Ronaldinho even with Alexandre Pato and Pippo Inzaghi injured. Brescia held Inter to a 1-1 draw here last month, but were without a win since September.

The deadlock was broken within four minutes. Zlatan Ibrahimovic exchanged passes with Massimo Ambrosini and got to the by-line to pull it back for Boateng, who slid in from six yards at the near post. The Ghanaian celebrated his debut Serie A goal in style with acrobatics.

It should've been 1-1 on 16 minutes with another brilliantly worked move. Hetemaj got past his man to cross from the right and Andrea Caracciolo's audacious volley brought an equally impressive save out of Christian Abbiati.

Robinho showed marvellous footwork and step-overs to get past Berardi, but could only hit the side-netting from a tight angle.

It was only a warning, as the Brazilian scored 30 seconds later. It was a gift for Robinho, as the awful Hetemaj backpass took Bega by surprise and he wasted no time placing the finish from 10 yards.

Brescia disappeared from the field, as Ibrahimovic made it 3-0 with a cracking solo effort. He gathered in the centre and took on Gilberto Martinez, waited for the right moment and cut in to smash an unstoppable screamer under the bar at the near post.

Jonathan Zebina's howler was intercepted by Boateng, but Matteo Sereni spread himself to parry the shot, then the Robinho follow-up was cleared off the line by Martinez.

Sereni palmed away a curling Pirlo free kick, while a smart one-touch move between Pirlo, Ibra and Boateng concluded with the Ghanaian firing over. Abbiati had to rush off his line to close down Caracciolo with help from Thiago Silva.

Mario Yepes gave Alessandro Nesta a rest for the second half. Caracciolo tested Abbiati, but only after he had strayed offside.

Boateng changed gear to burst down the right and pull across for Robinho, who ballooned over under no real pressure. Even Rino Gattuso threatened a goal when he somehow got himself into the box to trap a Robinho cross and see his shot charged down by Martinez.

Ibrahimovic attempted the goal of the season when a deflected Ignazio Abate cross came in from the right, reaching backwards for an overhead kick that was only just wide of the target.

Ronaldinho got to play for the final 20 minutes as a replacement for Ibrahimovic. The Brazilian immediately had the chance to make it 4-0, but volleyed an Abate cross over from the penalty spot with the inside of his left foot.

Mathieu Flamini blasted off target from distance on a Gattuso through ball. Diamanti's free kick was deflected wide off Boateng, but both sides seemed content enough with the result in the second half.

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta (Yepes 46), Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Gattuso, Pirlo, Ambrosini (Flamini 63); Boateng; Ibrahimovic (Ronaldinho 69), Robinho

Brescia: Sereni; Zebina, Bega, Martinez; Berardi, Vass (Budel 66), Hetemaj, Daprelà; Diamanti, Kone (Eder 58); Caracciolo

Ref: Gervasoni

Boateng: 'AC Milan for life!'
4.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin-Prince Boateng has settled right in at San Siro. “I hope to stay at Milan for life and have what it takes to wear this shirt.”

The Ghanaian arrived from Portsmouth via Genoa in the summer and is still technically owned by the Marassi side.

“Coming to Milan was fantastic,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“I was so impressed by the Milanello training ground, San Siro and all the champions I had the honour of working with like Ronaldinho, Clarence Seedorf, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho and all the other players I always admired on television.

“I never thought that one day I could play alongside them. I arrived via Genoa, but I didn’t really mind the way I got to Milan, the important thing is that I’m here now.

“I am part of this squad and above all I want to remain here. My objective for the next two years is to stay at Milan, where everything is perfect. I really hope to stay at Milan for life.

“I know what I can give, I know my capabilities and I will prove to everyone that I have what it takes to wear this shirt.”

One of his current teammates was Boateng’s hero growing up, along with two former Serie A stars.

“Ronaldinho was simply incredible. When I was a kid, my idol was Rivaldo, as people said I looked like him. Another player I admired a lot was Zinedine Zidane, as he acted almost as if football was too easy for him, even boring, so I liked his relaxed approach.”

Miller looking at AC Milan move?
4.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The latest striker to be linked with a January move to Milan is Glasgow Rangers star Kenny Miller.

It is well known the Rossoneri are looking for a forward to replace Pippo Inzaghi, who was ruled out for six months by knee ligament surgery.

Scotland international Miller is already 30 years old, but his contract expires in June and he would be available for around £1.5m.

He has been on fine form for Rangers this season, scoring 18 goals in 14 games.

In his career, Miller has also played for Hibernian, Stenhousemuir, Wolves, Celtic and Derby County.

Iachini faces AC Milan crossroads
4.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Beppe Iachini is confident he can cause Milan problems tonight, but Brescia are already said to have contacted Giuseppe Papadopulo.

The Rondinelle face a very difficult task this evening when visiting San Siro and the current Serie A leaders.

“Milan are a great squad in every respect, so it will be tough to take them on,” said under-fire Coach Iachini.

“The statistics speak clearly, as do the star names. Among them are Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who can turn a game with a single move.

“This is a very important characteristic for Milan, especially when facing sides who clam up and reduce the space to a minimum.”

Brescia are without a win since beating Roma 2-1 in September, but have held both Inter and Juventus to draws.

Club President Gino Corioni stated last week that Iachini was safe “as long as he starts winning.”

Although a result against Milan is going to be very difficult, it’s reported that this could be his last game in charge.

Datasport suggest former Bologna Coach Papadopulo has already been contacted to take over.

Allegri sends message to Ronaldinho
3.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri has issued a clear message to Ronaldinho, telling the star playmaker that only those players who show they want to stay at Milan will remain.

The Brazil international's contract is due to expire in June and although he has expressed his desire to stay, his resolve will be tested by the fact he is no longer considered a first team regular.

“I believe that there must be players at Milan who want to be at Milan. Results are only obtained with the great motivation of everyone within the group,” Allegri said.

Looking ahead to tomorrow's match against Brescia, he added: “We cannot make any mistakes. It's too important for the title race.

“We mustn't let the tension dip after a week without a game. Mentally we were used to playing every two days.”

Finally, Allegri expressed his admiration for Barcelona Coach Pep Guardiola.

“I like Guardiola. I had the pleasure of getting to know him. He is a lovely guy and when a team plays like Barcelona it's a spectacle for everyone.

“Aside from the team's technical quality, I believe that they are an example of simplicity and openness between the players, but this is also happening at Milan.”

AC Milan: Forget about Balotelli
3.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan chief Adriano Galliani has cooled expectations that the Rossoneri will sign Mario Balotelli next summer.

The Italian giants are being paired with the Manchester City ace with some regularity given that the striker is a Milan fan who wants to play alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Although Galliani admits that he would love the player to arrive, he’s keen for supporters to remain realistic.

“He is a dream for the fans and perhaps I am getting carried away too, but Balotelli is a Manchester City player,” the Vice-President said on Friday.

“We need to bring a stop to these rumours about his possible transfer otherwise it will raise false hopes amongst the tifosi.

“Balotelli only joined City a few months ago and I can exclude the possibility that they will sell him.”

The Italian international signed for the Premiership side during the summer after he ended his problematic stint with Inter.

While Galliani dismissed talk of Balotelli, he did admit that his club were hoping to profit from the January transfer window.

“We are looking for an attacker, but we know that Pippo Inzaghi can’t really be replaced,” he added.

Inzaghi, 37, is out for the season after he was forced to have knee surgery last month.

Galliani: 'AC Milan ready to pounce for Balotelli'
1.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani doesn't believe Manchester City will sell Mario Balotelli, but if they do, he insists Milan will be poised to sign him.

It's no secret that Balotelli is a big Milan supporter. He has also expressed his desire to be reunited with former teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Balotelli was seen at the same restaurant as Galliani after the Derby della Madonnina fuelling speculation about Milan's intentions.

“I don't believe that Manchester will sell him,” Galliani said.

“Mario has signed for five years, but if they were to sell him we would be there.”

Asked about Milan's needs in the January transfer window, Galliani said: “If there is a chance, a striker will arrive. We are covered in all the other positions.

“If possible we'll find a striker to replace Pippo Inzaghi. Otherwise we'll stay as we are.

“Whoever arrives must be similar to Inzaghi also in terms of characteristics because we need a player like this.”

Robinho happy at 'Brazilian' AC Milan
1.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho believes he made the right decision in joining Milan in the summer and insists he would like to stay at the club for 10 years.

The 26-year-old Brazil international has started to settle at San Siro, producing a fine performance against Sampdoria at the weekend.

Interviewed in La Gazzetta dello Sport, Robinho said: “Milan is Brazilian in spirit. It's impossible not to be happy here.

“I won't move anymore. I will stay in red and black for another 10 years. Football is my passion and thanks to Milan I am happy again.

“My wife is also happy here. Our second child will be born in March, another boy. But we have yet to decide on the name.

“Milan is an important chance that I don't want to miss. I know myself. I know that when I am physically healthy and I feel at home I can give my best.

“Milan is the ideal environment.”

Ibrahimovic: 'No, I won't quit in three years'
1.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Having caused controversy by announcing he’d quit football in three years, Zlatan Ibrahimovic insists “that’s not my intention.”

The Milan striker gave an interview with Vanity Fair that was released today in which he was asked how long he would keep on playing for.

“Three years at the maximum. You have to stop when you are at the top,” was the published reply.

However, Ibra released a statement on the official club website this evening with a very different view.

“It is not my intention to stop playing in three years, especially as my contract with Milan only expires in 2014.

“I’d also like to point out that my transfer to Barcelona in the summer of 2009 was wanted exclusively by me.”

The Vanity Fair article suggested Ibrahimovic blamed then-Inter boss Jose Mourinho for pushing him out of the club.

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