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The Archive

December 2012

Stekelenburg 'won't stay as second choice'
31.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Maarten Stekelenburg’s agent has opened the door to a January move, as “he certainly won’t stay at Roma to be second choice.”

The Dutch goalkeeper has recently been dropped in favour of Mauro Goicoechea even after recovering from injury.

“He has only just returned from his fitness problems, but the hierarchy of goalkeepers is not yet clear,” agent Rob Jansen told SportMediaset.

“He certainly won’t stay at Roma to be second choice. He has to think about his career, the Dutch team and the World Cup in Brazil.”

Stekelenburg has been linked to a move with Fulham or Milan.

Santos make 'final' Robinho offer
31.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Brazilian reports suggest Santos have made their final offer of €7m, but it doesn’t satisfy either Milan or Robinho.

The striker has said he would like to return to his homeland and above all his old club, but negotiations have hit obstacles.

The Rossoneri already turned down one bid and Brazilian media report their €10m price-tag has still not been met.

Santos are rumoured to have made their ‘final offer’ of €7m and a contract worth €3.6m per season.

However, Robinho is believed to want wages of at least €4.8m, so the proposal doesn’t satisfy his requirements either.

The bidding war heats up for the striker, as Flamengo, Fluminense and others are also said to be interested.

Ancelotti: 'AC Milan are my family'
31.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti won’t rule out a return to “my family” Milan and praises Fiorentina Coach Vincenzo Montella.

The former Chelsea boss spoke to the Corriere della Sera newspaper about his current situation in France.

“We changed our tactical system this season and Thiago Motta returned, but Marco Verratti remains an excellent signing,” said Ancelotti.

“There has been talk of me returning to Milan, but I have an excellent rapport with the club and they are my family, so...”

He is still keeping an eye on his old club and their attempts to rebuild.

“The 4-2 defeat to Roma was a heavy one and will be difficult to absorb, as Milan had been fighting back. Fortunately the Christmas break came at the right time.

“Stephan El Shaarawy is a modern player and, along with Mattia De Sciglio, he represents the future of the club.”

Many figures left San Siro in recent years, including Gennaro Gattuso, Clarence Seedorf, Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

“I think Gattuso is the most likely to make his return to Milan, as Rino is more than anyone still emotionally attached to the club.”

Ancelotti also cast his eye over the rest of the current Serie A landscape.

“Roma are a young and well-constructed team with great potential, but there is the unknown quantity of their lack of experience.

“Fiorentina are very impressive and I really like Montella. He has shown quality, capability and intelligence. I admire the way he presents himself, as he is always very calm and never tries to wind people up.

“Italian football needs personalities like this.”

AC Milan float Sneijder idea?
31.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Corriere dello Sport today claims Milan are reviving their interest in Wesley Sneijder, who could leave Inter for as little as €10m.

The Dutch international told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that “clearly it’s better for everyone if I leave in January.

“If that doesn’t happen, then I will stay. I have a contract until the end of June 2015 with Inter.”

According to today’s Corriere dello Sport, Sneijder could well remain at San Siro after all, as Milan are interested in taking him on.

This is also because Sneijder’s wife Yolanthe would like to stay in Italy’s fashion capital.

They face competition from Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain.

Torino give Ogbonna update
31.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Torino President Urbano Cairo insists Milan and Juventus have not made offers for Angelo Ogbonna, though “very successful overseas clubs” are tracking him.

The Italian international defender is the most valuable player in the Granata ranks and has a contract until June 2016.

“I have not received any offers from Juventus or Milan,” Cairo told La Stampa newspaper when asked about rumoured €14m bids.

“I know that he is much admired, but there are very successful overseas clubs tracking Ogbonna. In any case, he is recovering from injury and will remain with us to give the club a big helping hand.”

Among the other sides linked with Ogbonna are Roma, Napoli, Arsenal, Fulham and Benfica.

Berlusconi: 'EUR 40 mil Pato offer rejected'
31.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan President Silvio Berlusconi hopes to “lose only one” out of Alexandre Pato and Robinho, but reveals he turned down a €40m offer for The Duck.

Both strikers have stated their desire to go home to Brazil during the January transfer window.

Pato is in advanced negotiations with Corinthians for a €15m move, while Robinho is at the centre of a bidding war between Santos, Flamengo and Fluminense.

“I hope we’ll lose only one,” President Berlusconi told Radio Lombardia this morning.

“I above all have regrets over losing Pato, because up until he suffered so many injuries he was our beacon of hope for the future and a real champion.

“There were some very important offers for him, including Arabian and Russian ones worth €40m.

“Now the time has come to rebuild and we’ll take at least three years, but then will return to being protagonists.”

Allegri: 'AC Milan on track for 2013'
31.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri insists Milan “are on the right track” by rebuilding with youth and rues Robinho's potential departure.

“We are on the right track by focusing on youth,” the Coach told La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.

“We are building a new Milan, so this is an achievement that takes time and passion. The President is right to take this route, as nobody in the current Italian financial crisis can afford wages of €7m per season and stay within the Financial Fair Play rules.”

Losing so many big players has undoubtedly had an impact on performances and Allegri felt the pressure when results weren’t coming.

“I am happy with the number of points we have so far this season, even though we could’ve had a few more.

“I end the year aware that I adapted to different situations. Intelligence can also be seen in someone’s ability to deal with changing scenarios. In difficult moments I am calm and not clouded by anxiety. Perhaps I kept my job because I was good at reassuring the club...

“I told them we’d emerge from this situation and we are on the right track, although the game with Roma showed we are still not solid.

“I have a contract until 2014, but obviously I’m happy at Milan and would gladly stay for longer. The challenge of getting back to the top within two or three years is exciting.”

However, more top players are set to leave San Siro in January, as Alexandre Pato is on the verge of joining Corinthians and there’s a Brazilian bidding war for Robinho.

“Will I be more disappointed if Pato or Robinho leaves? They are different feelings. Pato has the potential to win the Ballon d’Or, but I understand he needs to find that confidence he lost amid all the injuries,” continued Allegri. “Robinho, ah what to say about Robinho? He is a player of a superior level.

“Am I convinced by Mario Balotelli? I don’t like talking about players in other teams. In any case, it’s a shame he still hasn’t shown his talent and I think he needs to hurry up, because you’re 30 before you know it.”

The Milan Coach concluded with a sideswipe at Juventus boss Antonio Conte.

“He is doing great work, but when I hear talk of ‘war through the media’ it feels like I’m in a videogame. Personally I don’t believe in wars and conspiracies. I speak to journalists even if they insult me. You never know, I might skip a Press conference and they’ll dock my wages...”

Pato: 'We've chosen Corinthians'
31.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato’s agent has declared a move to Brazil is imminent. “We have chosen Corinthians. Milan have understood it’s time to try a new experience elsewhere.”

The striker is currently training at the Milanello camp after the Christmas break, but is not expected to play for the Rossoneri again.

“Right from the start when we decided to return to Brazil, Pato and I chose Corinthians,” said agent Gilmar Veloz on Lancenet.

“If all goes well, then it’ll be something we have planned for some time. We spoke with Adriano Galliani and he understood our reasons.

“Milan have understood it’s time for Pato to try a new experience elsewhere. Corinthians are doing everything possible to make the deal go through.

“There are still a few details to sort out between the two clubs, but it is not up to me to say what those are.”

It is believed Corinthians are on the verge of agreeing a deal worth €15m for the 23-year-old.

Pato and Robinho fees become clear
30.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The exact payment structures for the sales of Robinho and Alexandre Pato have started to become clear today.

The departures of the Brazilian pair to Santos and Corinthians respectively seem to all be in place, with both deals likely to go through within the next few weeks.

“The negotiation has been established,” Gilmar Veloz, agent of Pato, told reporters. “The operation will close on January 3, and then everything will be official after we've signed.”

According to Calcio News Milan are due to receive €15m for the 23-year-old forward.

The deal for Robinho meanwhile is slightly more complicated as they claim that Santos will pay €10m for the former Real Madrid man over a period of three years.

Destro and Stekelenburg to AC Milan?
30.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan could make a double-swoop for Roma pair Maarten Stekelenburg and Mattia Destro in January.

Calcio News believe that Massimiliano Allegri is on the lookout for a new goalkeeper and sees the Giallorossi's Dutch shot-stopper as the ideal replacement for Christian Abbiati.

A bid of around €8m is likely to turn the Lupi’s head.

And they could also make an audacious move for their 21-year-old striker Destro as well, if the Rossoneri's move for Didier Drogba fails to materialise.

Bojan could make Barcelona return
30.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Bojan Krkic could be on his way back to Barcelona as his two-year loan spell in Italy draws to a close.

The 22-year-old is 18 months into his spell in Serie A, having spent one season at Roma, before being moved on to Milan this summer.

Massimiliano Allegri's side have a €14m option to make his stay on the peninsula permanent, but the player's father has claimed that a return to Spain cannot be ruled out.

“Bojan is in a privileged position,” he told Cope. “He belongs to two big clubs like Milan and Barca.

“But we cannot rule out a return to Barca. A lot can happen. The truth is that with Tito Vilanova he has always had a good relationship and mutual appreciation.”

Bojan, who had previously hinted that his original departure from Camp Nou was due to a difficult relationship between himself and then Coach Pep Guardiola, will return to the club when the Rossoneri face Barca in February in the Champions League.

“He would have preferred to avoid them in the Champions League and play against any other team.

“Any team facing Barcelona will do so as the inferior side.”

Amelia: Juventus will have ups and downs
30.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan goalkeeper Marco Amelia has claimed that his side have a genuine chance of upsetting the odds and winning this season's Scudetto.

The Rossoneri currently sit in seventh place, 17 points adrift of League leaders Juventus, but the 30-year-old shot-stopper is confident that the team can contend with the Bianconeri at the top.

“Allegri has not forgotten what happened last year,” he told Tuttosport.

“Two months ago a title challenge looked like a mirage, but we will have more consistency than our rivals.

“Juve are a good team but they will have ups and downs, that's for sure.”

He also commented on the progress of Stephan El Shaarawy and the likelihood of Mario Balotelli joining the club in January.

“If a player has certain qualities, he will emerge. Stephan has shown he has quality. I knew him at Genoa, and to tell you the truth, he was even faster than he is now.

“But now he has strengthened and can battle with opponents. He is showing his skills and his taking responsibility.

“I do not know what will happen with Mario,” he added. “As a friend and companion, I would like Robinho and Pato to stay.

“But with Mario, I do not know him very well.

“I think he has come to a particular moment in his life and perhaps it may be best for him that he comes back to Milan.

“This is an environment that allows a certain type of behaviour and I'm sure he is willing to prove himself to be a great player.”

Balotelli to leave Manchester City?
30.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

It seems Mario Balotelli's time at Manchester City could be up after his relationship with Roberto Mancini reached boiling point.

A number of Italian media outlets have claimed this morning that the 22-year-old could be forced out of the club in January, with his Coach finally losing patience with the Italy international.

The news could alert several European clubs, but most notably Milan, Juventus and Inter who have all been linked with the striker in recent weeks.

Balotelli has had a disappointing season at the Premier League club, so far managing to score just one League goal.

AC Milan in pole-position for Drogba
30.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan seem to have moved ahead of Juventus in the race to sign former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba.

The Ivorian international has been heavily linked with a move to the Bianconeri recently, but Gazzetta dello Sport believe that the Old Lady have withdrawn for proceedings, leaving Massimiliano Allegri's men in pole-position.

The Milan-based paper claim that Adriano Galliani will negotiate with the striker in person once he gets back from Brazil, where he is currently overseeing the sales of Robinho and Alexandre Pato.

If Drogba does join, he will miss the first month of action due to African Cup of Nations requirements, but will be available for the Champions League campaign.

Premier League offers for Pato
29.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato has stated he wants to go back to Brazil, but Chelsea and Liverpool hope to tempt the Milan striker into choosing England instead.

The Duck has made it clear he wishes to return to his homeland and is eager for a move to Corinthians.

However, TalkSport claim Chelsea and Liverpool are also showing an interest and would like to intercept negotiations.

It could be a hard sell for the 23-year-old, who is valued at around €15m and has barely played over the last year due to a series of injuries.

Pato wants to be back in Brazil in the lead-up to the 2014 World Cup.

Maldini: 'AC Milan lost the magic'
29.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini blasted his old club for their dip in fortunes and reveals the offers he turned down. “They sold top players and lost the magic.”

The retired defender had been expected to take a job working within the Rossoneri camp after hanging up his boots in 2009, but has not returned to San Siro.

“I have done many things in football and was in this world for 31 years starting from the youth academy. There is a ‘risk’ I’ll be left out of the football world now, but I had such a strong bond with Milan that it is difficult to imagine myself with another club, even a European one,” he told La Repubblica newspaper.

“I have never considered being a Coach, because I saw the nomadic lifestyle my father Cesare had to go through in order to work. Plus I don’t see myself anywhere except Milan, so my chances of finding another coaching job in Italy would be close to zero.

“I don’t want to be a director because I don’t like politics. If I were to remain working in football, it would be in bringing my football knowledge. There are few who are 100 per cent competent, know about tactics, players and sports psychology. I am not interested in a role just for the prestige of it.”

It has long been suggested that Maldini won’t return to work for Milan because of his bad rapport with Vice-President Adriano Galliani.

“I was fortunate enough to be with Milan for 25 splendid years. When I arrived, I found a great foundation to build a great club. President Silvio Berlusconi arrived and taught us to think big, also of course with his investments. Arrigo Sacchi came and we had the mentality that we’d become the symbol of a style of football.

“It was something magical. Slowly, the magic was lost and Milan transformed into an absolutely normal club. That’s because Milan stopped transmitting that message and those who had written the history of the club stopped teaching their knowledge to the next generation. There is nobody in the current Milan set-up who wrote history, other than those in marginal roles,” added the 44-year-old.

“Look at Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, who had directors like Beckenbauer, Hoeness, Rummenigge, Butragueno, Gallego and Valdano. This magic can be carried on and taught by those who experienced and even created it. Milan had the magic for 25 years, but then lost it.

“It is difficult to evaluate the planning of this Milan side, as over the summer they released 12 players of great character and still didn’t expect a difficult start to the season. In all honesty, I can’t see what their plans are. Choosing certain players, even if they are on free transfers, look a world away from a specific plan.

“I’ll reveal to you that Leonardo wanted me at Milanello, even if I was just to stand there and show my presence. I told him there was no point in my turning up without a role. Galliani told me and Leo that a director of sport was no longer necessary in football, but I think there is a real need for one.

“Last year, Max Allegri called me and said he needed someone to keep an eye on him, to say whether he’d done something wrong tactically or in dealing with the locker room. He needed someone with the character to talk to the more important players in an authoritative manner. He thought that I, with my past, could do that.

“Anyway, I’d like to destroy this myth that I am ‘one of the family’ at Milan. They don’t particularly want me there. I feel bitter, but not just for me – also for everything we created together that has fallen apart. It’s the same sensation many of my ex-teammates have. I just want to give the magic back to Milan.

“I won more than anyone with this club and played more games than anyone, but I feel Milan have given me even more. I feel a debt of gratitude to Milan.”

Maldini also revealed he rejected big money moves from some of Europe’s top sides during his time at San Siro.

“Juventus wanted me, while Gianluca Vialli called me to Chelsea in 1996, but I preferred to stay with Milan to recover from a disastrous year. It was the right choice. Arsenal made an economic offer and there was also a request from Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

“The truth is that most of these offers coincided with terrible seasons for Milan. It probably would’ve been easier to accept, but those of us in the foundations of the team took our responsibility and preferred to stay so we could turn the situation around.”

Lippi: 'AC Milan should sign Drogba'
29.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marcello Lippi has recently faced Didier Drogba in China and urged Milan to make him an offer, as “he’d form a great partnership” with Stephan El Shaarawy.

The Ivory Coast international is currently training with Chelsea during the close season and could well leave Shanghai Shenhua.

“If Robinho and Alexandre Pato really are leaving Milan, then I’d see Drogba doing better for the Rossoneri than Juventus,” Lippi told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“He played against my Guangzhou Evergrande recently and is still a beast. He really makes the difference on the field.

“Drogba would be a precious addition to the squad both in Serie A and the Champions League. In technical terms, he’d form a great partnership with El Shaarawy.”

However, as with the earlier interest from Juventus, Lippi does see one rather large obstacle.

“He didn’t choose to go to China by following his heart or making a footballing decision. It was purely for the money, as he earns €1m per month. Do you think he’d agree to halve his wages to come and play in Italy? I have my doubts.”

Lippi is still keeping a close eye on Serie A football from China and has been thoroughly impressed with Milan’s new star.

“El Shaarawy reminds me of Alessandro Del Piero. They both love to start from the left and cut in to seek goals with curling shots. He hasn’t got Del Piero’s quality yet, but is growing and could be even more explosive in attack.

“Juventus are the strongest side in Serie A. They might have a few problems in February when the Champions League commitments begin again, but with Antonio Conte they have rediscovered that attacking fury.

“This side could be compared to my Juve, but also those of Giovanni Trapattoni and Fabio Capello.”

Robinho gets AC Milan call
29.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani may be in Brazil for talks with Santos, Flamengo, Atletico Mineiro and Fluminense, but Robinho is expected back at Milan training tomorrow.

The striker has made it clear he wants a return to his homeland and the club is considering several offers in the region of €10m.

According to the latest reports from Brazil, talks are still dragging on, so Robinho has received a call to be at the Milanello training ground on Sunday December 30.

Meanwhile, Futnet claims that Flamengo are so close to a deal that they will announce Robinho as their new player on New Year’s Day.

Flamengo had pulled out of the race, but leapt back in over the last couple of days.

Corinthians director denies Pato deal
28.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Corinthians director Dulio Alves Monteiro has denied reports that the club have reached an agreement with Alexandre Pato.

Stories have circulated recently that the Brazilian have have all but signed the Milan forward, but the administrator has quashed those rumours saying that the initial fee is too high.

“I had a meeting with the CEO of Milan Adriano Galliani,” he told reporters. “It was only an initial talk – the negotiation is complicated.

“The figure is high and the player is young. Galliani and I will meet next week and we will talk more.”

Ilicic agent hints at AC Milan possibility
28.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Josip Ilicic's agent has failed to rule out whether his client could make a move to Milan in January.

Reports this morning suggested that the Palermo forward could replace Robinho at San Siro, and his representative has admitted that he has had no contact with the club, but did concede that the Slovenian international could play for any club in Europe.

“I have read those stories in the newspapers,” Amir Ruznic told calciomercato. “But I do not know anything about it.

“I have not been contacted by anyone, but I cannot rule out the fact that the two teams could be talking to each other.

“I have never doubted his qualities and have often said that if he continues to grow, he can aspire to any team in Europe.”

AC Milan to replace Robinho with Ilicic?
28.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan could look to replace Robinho with Palermo attacker Josip Ilicic, Gazzetta dello Sport believe.

The Brazilian forward is looking ever-closer to a move back to his homeland with former club Santos in pole-position to sign the 28-year-old.

And the Milan-based newspaper have claimed that the Rossoneri will look to fill the void left by the former Real Madrid man with the 24-year-old Slovenian international.

A fee of around €9m is likely to turn the Rosanero's head, with a the positive relationship between Palermo sporting director Pietro Lo Monaco and Massimiliano Allegri's side another reason that the move could be pushed through.

Montolivo can play Pirlo role
27.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo has told Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri that he has the ability to be used as a deep-lying playmaker.

“I think that I can play in front of the defence,” the summer signing from Fiorentina told Milan Channel on Thursday.

“By working on it for a while I do think that I can do a job there, but I’m being used as an outside central midfielder for now.

“I am at the disposal of the Coach so it will therefore be up to him to decide where to field me.”

The Italian international joined the Diavolo on a free transfer, but his new club have had an inconsistent start to the season after some notable summer sales.

“The League table is still quite tight,” he added. “We are close to the top spots.

“We have to continue playing well and winning games, only by doing that can we start to climb the standings again.”

The Diavolo are seventh in Serie A, eight points away from the top three and 17 shy of leaders Juventus.

AC Milan reveal Robinho sale latest
27.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has confirmed that Santos are in the running to sign Robinho next month.

The official is currently in Brazil in a bid to sell the South American and Diavolo teammate Alexandre Pato.

While a deal is close with Corinthians for Pato, Robinho’s future is still unclear given the interest of numerous sides.

“There is the possibility of a sale to Santos,” the Italian official was quoted as saying by the Brazilian media.

“We haven’t been able to reach an agreement with Flamengo though, while I still don’t know about Atletico Mineiro…”

Milan want around €12m for the former Manchester City forward, but another problem could be the player’s wage demands.

Robinho reportedly wants €5m a season and it is unclear whether Santos can match that request.

Goals galore surprise El Shaarawy
27.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stephan El Shaarawy has admitted that he’s surprised himself with his hot scoring form in 2012-13 so far.

The 20-year-old has been a revelation in only his second San Siro campaign and, with 14 goals, he’s Serie A’s top scorer this season.

“It’s all a bit unexpected,” he admitted to La Stampa. “A year ago, I would never have believed that I would be Serie A top scorer now.”

El Shaarawy has developed into an untouchable in the Milan line-up and he’s also broken into the Italian national set-up.

“I have a strange surname, but I feel Italian – 100 per cent,” said the boy who was born in Italy to an Egyptian father.

“It’s nice to know that Italy are counting on me and Mario Balotelli,” he added.

“The economical crisis has helped me. A lot of youngsters have been given a chance to showcase their skills and they’ve taken advantage of that.

“We just needed some space – it makes no sense to go and buy players abroad when you already have good players at home.”

Milan have opted to sell a host of their star names in recent times, but El Shaarawy wants to become a flag bearer with the Diavolo.

“I’ve supported Milan since I was a kid and it would be great to become a bandiera,” he commented.

“However, there is nothing certain in football. If a big offer was made for me then I’d hope Milan would have the strength to keep me.”

Pato moves closer to Corinthians
27.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Brazilian outfit Corinthians are reportedly on the verge of signing Alexandre Pato from Italian giants Milan.

The injury-plagued forward has put in a transfer request and Vice-President Adriano Galliani is currently in Brazil working on his sale.

Galliani met with Corinthians yesterday and, although he insists more talks are needed, a €15m transfer is expected to be done by the start of 2013.

“The meeting went very well,” Galliani commented. “But the negotiations are still not complete. We’ll meet again in Sao Paulo at the end of the year.”

Pato, 23, has failed to score in four League games for the Diavolo so far this season.

Meanwhile, Galliani is also trying to sell Robinho as he too has requested a move back to his homeland.

There seems to be a two-horse race for the former Real Madrid man given that Santos and Atletico Mineiro want the forward.

Milan value Robinho, still only 28, at around €12m.

Bojan shows Barcelona respect
24.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Bojan Krkic has admitted that he will not celebrate if he scores for Milan against Barcelona in the Champions League.

The two teams will meet in the European Cup when the competition resumes in 2013.

“Facing Barcelona will be special for me,” the forward told Mundo Deportivo. “I’ve played a lot for Milan since coming here and I want to take on Barca.

“However, if I was to score at the Camp Nou then I wouldn’t celebrate the goal – that would be impossible for me to do.”

The 22-year-old is a product of the Barcelona youth system and is actually still owned by the Spanish giants.

He left them for Roma in 2011, before joining Milan in the summer.

“The draw has given us a tough opponent,” he continued. “Everyone knows how Barcelona play and their strengths, but we have our weapons too.”

AC Milan's Pazzini on the defensive
24.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Giampaolo Pazzini believes that Milan need to tighten up at the back when Serie A resumes at the start of 2013.

Speaking after this weekend’s 4-2 defeat at Roma, the summer signing from Inter has admitted that improvements need to be made in defence.

“It’s a shame to finish the year like that,” the Italian international commented. “We really didn’t need a defeat right before Christmas…

“In general, we’ve conceded many goals and we need to improve. Conceding 14 goals from set-pieces is too much.

“Now we need to start again with the game against Siena.”

The Diavolo are one of the most prolific sides in Serie A given that only Roma, Juventus and Fiorentina have scored more than their 34 goals.

However, they’ve conceded 26 in 18 League games which is actually more than the likes of Torino, Bologna and Parma.

Allegri: Watch out for AC Milan!
24.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri admits that he ran the risk of being sacked, but believes Milan will hit back in the second half of the season.

The Rossoneri made mass changes to their squad in the summer and they’ve already lost seven of their first 18 games so far.

“I think the club did well because they could have changed Coach in a moment of difficulty,” the tactician told Sky Sport Italia.

“When results are missing then it is the Coach who pays the price.”

Milan did see an upturn in results recently, but they lost heavily in Rome on Saturday night against a rampant Roma.

“I’m sure that we’ll have a good second half of the season,” Allegri added. “We’re behind in the standings so we have nothing to lose.

“It will be fundamental that we beat Siena when the championship restarts and that we get to the half-way point of the League with 30 points on the board.

“We know that we can’t fix the League table in a month or a game and we are aware that we have some really important matches from now until February.”

Milan are seventh, eight points away from the Champions League zone and a massive 17 shy of leaders Juventus.

AC Milan ponder Stekelenburg
24.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan are reportedly interested in Maarten Stekelenburg after he recently lost the first team gloves at Roma.

The Dutch international began the season as the club’s No 1, but, following an initial injury, he’s been overtaken by Mauro Goicoechea.

His future at the Stadio Olimpico under current boss Zdenek Zeman is thus in some doubt.

Milan are apparently interested in the former Ajax man given their present goalkeeping situation.

Christian Abbiati has less than a year left on his contract at San Siro and the club may opt against offering him a new 12-month contract.

The 30-year-old Stekelenburg has made nine League appearances so far this season.

Galliani: 'Pato and Robinho want to go home'
24.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has flown out to Brazil to sell Alexandre Pato and Robinho. “The lads want to go home.”

The transfer guru had already stated he was going to travel to South America for negotiations, as Santos, Flamengo and Fluminense are interested in Robinho, while Corinthians have made a €15m offer for Pato.

“It’s a bit of a sad Christmas, but a defeat can happen and the game with Roma was rather unusual,” Galliani told Sky Sport Italia at the airport.

The Rossoneri were beaten 4-2 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome last night.

“Pato and Robinho? We’ll see how these two negotiations go. The lads want to go home to their own country.

“Which of the two is the simplest deal to work out? Nothing is ever simple.”

Galliani was also asked whether the money raised from these sales would enable Milan to make a concrete offer for Manchester City star Mario Balotelli.

“It’s difficult, above all in economic terms. We’ll see...”

Pato and Robinho 'asked to leave'
23.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan were crushed 4-2 by Roma, but Adriano Galliani confirms he’s flying to Brazil for negotiations after Robinho and Alexandre Pato “asked to leave.”

It is widely believed Robinho has €8m offers from Flamengo and Fluminense, while Pato is wanted by Corinthians at €15m.

“My trip to Brazil has been planned for months. It will be all work and no vacation, as there are two negotiations in progress.

“Pato and Robinho asked to leave Milan. I already know what could happen in case they do go.”

The tension is high going into the Christmas break, as a run of four consecutive victories came screeching to a halt at the Stadio Olimpico last night.

“It’s a shame, as we made many mistakes, but also created plenty of chances,” said Vice-President Galliani on the official club website.

“There were a few too many errors in defence and we really have to work on set plays. We’ve conceded 14 from dead ball situations and that is a statistic we must reflect on.”

The result left the Rossoneri in seventh place, nine points adrift of Lazio in second and 17 off leaders Juventus.

“We are looking at second position more than third,” insisted Galliani. “With a win here we could’ve closed the gap. I still mourn the points we dropped at home to Atalanta and Sampdoria.

“Oh well, let’s look on the bright side. We have a team that plays good football, has good players and can bring talent off the bench too. It’s a shame we’re paying for that bad start to the season.”

Allegri: 'AC Milan weren't that bad'
23.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri insisted he “did not see big mistakes” in the 4-2 defeat to Roma. “I think Milan played a good game.”

The Rossoneri were 4-0 down before snatching two late goals after Marquinhos had been sent off at the Stadio Olimpico.

“I think it was a strange game where we could’ve taken the lead and instead conceded from a corner. Then we could’ve equalised and they immediately doubled their advantage,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“We definitely have to improve our defending from set plays, while we were too disorganised and hasty in attack.

“After the break we were trying to get back into the game and conceded another two goals against the run of play, while the Roma goalkeeper had to perform quite a few tough saves.

“I think we need to improve in defence, but I did not see any big mistakes tonight. Maybe we weren’t aggressive enough on their counter-attacks, probably because we feared Roma’s forwards.

“Sometimes games go against you and we contributed to the result, but at the end of the day I think Milan played a good game. Roma deserve credit for making the most of the space we left and we know how dangerous Zdenek Zeman’s teams can be in these situations.”

Milan had been on a run of four consecutive victories, but are now five points adrift of Roma and eight off the Champions League spots.

“I think the Giallorossi are one of the best teams in Italy and I am amazed we are so close to them in the table,” insisted Allegri.

“We fought back to earn many points in the last 10 rounds. We’ll try to reach half-way on 30 points so that we can push hard in the second half of the season and close in on the top places.

“People think we go from the stars to the gutter in a millisecond, as don’t forget we went into this game with four wins and a draw against Napoli in six games. Of course we can do better and the club will certainly do something in the transfer window, but it’s not as if we were challenging for second place before this defeat.

“There has to be greater balance when talking about Milan, as this is a new and young side.”

Serie A: AS Roma 4:2 AC Milan - match report
22.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Burdisso 13 (R), Osvaldo 23 (R), Lamela 30, 61 (R), Pazzini pen 87 (M), Bojan 88 (M)

Roma tore Milan to shreds with Erik Lamela’s brace, although they still managed to leak two goals in the final minutes for a thrilling 4-2 victory.

These sides had disastrous starts to the season, but are finding their feet towards the Christmas break. It was also a head-to-head for position, as only two points separated them going into the weekend.

Bojan Krkic, Philippe Mexes and Marco Amelia returned to face their former club, but Alexandre Pato, Bakaye Traore and Nigel De Jong were injured. Kevin-Prince Boateng was in the trident as a ‘False Nine.’ Leandro Castan sat out a ban and Marquinhos was on the treatment table for the Giallorossi, who had Erik Lamela back from the start.

Roma last won this fixture in 2008, followed by three draws and last season’s 3-2 defeat. Zdenek Zeman’s men saw a run of four straight victories ended in controversial fashion by Chievo last week, while the Rossoneri were still on their four-game winning streak.

It took Stephan El Shaarawy 41 seconds to drill just wide, while Daniele De Rossi fired straight at Amelia after a strong run. Milan tried one backheel too many, sparking a Roma counter-attack that saw Amelia fly to palm the Pablo Daniel Osvaldo shot over the bar.

From that corner, Nicolas Burdisso was allowed a header into the bottom near corner, giving Roma the lead. It confirmed Milan’s weakness when defending from set plays.

El Shaarawy sprung the offside trap on a Robinho through ball and tried to dribble round the goalkeeper, but Mauro Goicoechea did brilliantly to stand his ground and push it off his feet.

It was a wide open game and Roma doubled their advantage when Francesco Totti on the left flank curled a cross on to Osvaldo’s glancing header, as he once again rose above Mario Yepes.

The Giallorossi tore the Rossoneri defence to shreds and went 3-0 up by the half-hour. Kevin Constant’s poor clearance sparked a new move, so De Rossi put a wonderful disguised through ball to send Lamela through and the Argentine passed it over the stranded Amelia.

El Shaarawy had a shot charged down in the box, but Milan were simply stunned at the Stadio Olimpico.

Totti should’ve made it 4-0 straight after the restart, but his angled drive skimmed the base of the far post after Constant kept him onside.

Giampaolo Pazzini replaced Antonio Nocerino, returning Boateng to a deeper role. The visitors had more possession in this second half, but conceded a fourth when Federico Balzaretti floated a cross into the box for Lamela’s header from six yards.

Robinho forced Goicoechea into a flying save to palm away his curler, then Boateng’s follow-up was also smothered.

A Miralem Pjanic volley flashed wide, but Milan had a triple chance. Boateng’s first header was brilliantly parried by Goicoechea from point-blank range, his follow-up hit the post and substitute Bojan fired the rebound into the goalkeeper’s arms.

Bojan had the opportunity to get one back against his old club, but Goicoechea got fingertips to turn the angled drive just wide.

Pazzini blasted straight at the ‘keeper from distance, but Roma went down to 10 men after Marquinhos foolishly used his arm to block an El Shaarawy counter-attack and the referee saw it as a clear goal-scoring opportunity.

Sulley Muntari was in the wall and received a Pjanic missile of a free kick right in the face, sending him down and in need of treatment.

Milan did get a look-in for the final minutes, as Goicoechea spilled a Muntari strike and brought down Pazzini on the rebound. The goalkeeper received a yellow card, though it seemed more of a scoring opportunity than the Marquinhos dismissal. Pazzini got back up to convert by firing it down the middle.

Incredibly, moments later the Rossoneri made it 4-2, as Bojan turned in from the tightest of angles and suddenly the home crowd and their 10-man side were nervous. However, the fightback just came too late to turn things around.

Roma: Goicoechea; Piris, Marquinhos, Burdisso, Balzaretti; Bradley, De Rossi, Pjanic; Lamela (Florenzi 68), Osvaldo (Destro 69), Totti (Romagnoli 81)

Milan: Amelia; De Sciglio, Mexes, Yepes, Constant; Montolivo, Nocerino (Pazzini 56), Ambrosini (Muntari 77); Robinho (Bojan 70), Boateng, El Shaarawy

Ref: Rocchi

Sent off: Marquinhos 78 (R)

Serie A: AS Roma vs. AC Milan - line-ups
22.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Roma: Goicoechea; Piris, Marquinhos, Burdisso, Balzaretti; Bradley, De Rossi, Pjanic; Lamela, Osvaldo, Totti.

AC Milan: Amelia; De Sciglio, Mexes, Yepes, Constant; Montolivo, Nocerino, Ambrosini; Robinho, Boateng, El Shaarawy.

Berlusconi: Pato or Robinho to stay
21.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan President Silvio Berlusconi has admitted that he wants to keep one of either Robinho or Alexandre Pato come January.

Both strikers have been linked with a winter move back to Brazil recently, but the club's owner has claimed that he would like one of them to stay.

“Efforts will be made to retain at least one of Pato and Robinho,” he told reporters outside the team's hotel in Rome ahead of their match in the capital tomorrow.

“But I understand their nostalgia to return home.”

Corinthians: 'We went on a first date with Pato'
21.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Corinthians President Mario Gobbi has admitted that there is some interest from his club for Milan striker Alexandre Pato.

Some reports yesterday had suggested that the Brazilian team had gone off the idea of signing the Rossoneri forward.

But the owner of the Timao has conceded that the are still considering a move for the injury-prone goalscorer.

“There have been initial talks and we've looked at Pato,” he told reporters. “There has been nothing more.

“Let's see what happens – but we are only in the early stages.

“It is as if I had invited a woman for dinner – we went on a first date. I do not want to create expectations, but we have cash available and are considering our options.”

Allegri: Transfers depend on Galliani
21.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has admitted that he’ll need a new striker if the club sell Robinho and Alexandre Pato in January.

The duo do have offers from Brazil and Vice-President Adriano Galliani is set to fly to South America on Sunday for talks.

“If Pato and Robinho leave then we’ll need another striker,” Allegri stated on Friday afternoon. “Five attackers is the right number, but it all depends on Galliani’s trip.

“From that we will look at what the best solutions are to strengthen the team. But talking about this now makes no sense.

“If a player arrives then it will be an important player and if it is an important player then they would probably have already played in the Champions League this season.”

The transfer rumour mill is suggesting that Milan could offload the pair to then make a bid for Mario Balotelli.

“I’ve never trained Balotelli and until I do I can’t pass judgment on him,” the tactician added. “He’s a Manchester City player and there’s no point talking about him.

“Javier Pastore? I don’t think Paris Saint-Germain will let him leave.”

Turning to on field matters, Allegri is looking forward to the prospect of facing Zdenek Zeman’s Roma on Saturday.

“I think he’s one of the best Coaches around. Roma are a team that once they start to play and develop their attacking part of the game, they get very dangerous.

“We have to play a good game from every point of view knowing that we’ll be up against one of the three best teams in the League with players that suit Zeman’s game well.

“In their way of playing Roma tend to leave you some space even though lately, they’ve been conceding a lot less. We’ll have to play an intelligent game.”

Giampaolo Pazzini will start against the Giallorossi, as will goalkeeper Marco Amelia and stopper Mario Yepes.

“I won’t give myself any marks out of 10 for the year,” Allegri added. “I can divide this year in two parts. In the first six months, I had one team and for the second part of the year, another team.

“Regrets? Losing a League title that we had won.”

De Sciglio can improve and Mastour...
21.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan youth sector chief Filippo Galli has cooled the enthusiasm surrounding Mattia De Sciglio and Hachim Mastour.

De Sciglio is a graduate of the club’s youth academy who is now part of the first team, while Mastour is a 15-year-old kid who has caught the media’s attention.

“A player like De Sciglio has margins for improvement,” Galli, a former Diavolo defender, told Radio Sportiva. “We’re happy that we were able to give him to Massimiliano Allegri’s squad.”

Mastour, meanwhile, is an Italian boy born to Moroccan parents who was signed by the Rossoneri as a 14-year-old for a reported €0.5m from Reggiana.

“Mastour has above average technical qualities,” Galli admitted. “But the media attention he is receiving is very high.”

Thiago Silva: I miss AC Milan
21.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Paris Saint-Germain’s Thiago Silva has admitted that he’d love to get the opportunity to play for Milan again in the future.

“I can’t deny that I miss Milan,” the stopper, who left the Diavolo for PSG in the summer at a cost of over €40m, told Sky Sport Italia.

“They will always remain in my heart because they gave me the chance to go around the world after I left Fluminense.

“I’d like a return to Milan in the future, they are a great club, one of the most successful in the world.

“I played there for three years and I can’t exclude anything because the future is unknown. If the opportunity presented itself then I would happily go back.”

The Brazilian international was actually hoping for a February ‘return’ once the Champions League resumed.

PSG could have been paired with Milan in yesterday’s draw, but the French giants have been handed Valencia instead.

“I wanted to face Milan in the Champions League,” the centre-back added. “I wanted to play them just so I could return to the club that is still so important to me.

“When I played my last game there, I did not know it at the time and I did not say goodbye to everyone that I wanted to.”

Corinthians abandon Pato talks?
21.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports that Corinthians have pulled out of negotiations for Alexandre Pato after rumours of PSG seeing a €30m turned down by Milan.

Adriano Galliani confirmed an offer had been received for Pato, but they were “still deciding” on his future.

Now there are suggestions emerging from Brazil that Corinthians are ready to pull out of talks.

It comes after rumours that PSG made a proposal worth €30m that Milan rejected, though there is no confirmation of this.

Paris Saint-Germain had been on the verge of signing Pato last year, but the club pulled out at the last minute.

It had been suggested Corinthians made an offer of €15m.

AC Milan on Pato, Robinho and Barcelona
20.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan chief Adriano Galliani is stunned to be facing Barcelona again, while confirming they “haven’t decided yet” on Robinho and Alexandre Pato.

The Rossoneri faced Barça in both the group stage and the Quarter-Finals of last season’s Champions League, but have drawn them again in the Second Round to be played in February.

“It’s incredible, we’ll be playing them six times in just over a year,” said Vice-President Galliani.

“Barcelona were assigned to us because the other teams could not face each other, so we were the default option. Barcelona play the best football in the world with the best players in the world. We’ll try and last season we made a good impression.”

Galliani is expected to fly out to Brazil this weekend for negotiations with Santos for Robinho and Corinthians for Pato.

“We won’t sign any more strikers, even if one of the current roster leaves. If both of them go, then we’ll see what we will do.

“We haven’t decided yet on Robinho and Pato, as it’s still only December. The Brazilian transfer session ends on April 15.

“Was the offer for Pato satisfying? We’ll see. Robinho wants to go back to Brazil because his family is there and it’s a personal choice. We received an offer from Santos which we rejected, but there has not been a second proposal yet.

“Brazilian football has grown on an economic level, as with sponsorship deals and pay-per-view television the clubs can afford more than they could in the past. We will speak with Pato and Robinho to decide what to do.

“For now Pato and Robinho are Milan players. Our books are balanced and we are even set to make a profit. Any potential Pato and Binho sales would go into the 2013 budget.”

The Vice-President also commented on rumours regarding Didier Drogba, Udinese’s Pablo Armero and a potential return from Botafogo for Clarence Seedorf.

“I won’t comment on the Drogba rumours. We have never considered Armero. Seedorf will continue playing in Brazil.”

Allegri: 'Barcelona best in the world'
20.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri feels Milan have drawn “the strongest team in the world” as they’ll face Barcelona in the Champions League.

The Rossoneri play the first leg at San Siro on February 20 and visit the Nou Camp on March 12 in the Second Round tie.

“We ended up with the strongest team in the world,” Allegri told Milan Channel.

“We’ll still try to get through this round, hoping to be luckier than we were last year.”

These sides already clashed last season in both the group stage (drawing 2-2 at the Nou Camp and losing 3-2 at home) and the Quarter-Finals, where they drew 0-0 at San Siro and Milan lost 3-1 in Spain.

“This must be the fifth or sixth time we’ve been paired with Barcelona in a draw,” sighed Milan director Umberto Gandini.

“Their visit has become almost a regular occurrence. We are growing and there is still time to improve, so we’ll give our best and see what the result is.

“We’re facing a side we know very well and they’ve had a few more problems than usual in the group stage this season. We hope that Milan can end this taboo and beat Barcelona.

“This is the biggest obstacle we could’ve drawn and it’ll be a test of the side’s maturity. We can win the Champions League, as Milan have already won it seven times.”

There was also a message for Barcelona Coach Tito Vilanova, who underwent surgery to remove a tumour this week.

“We are all close to Tito Vilanova, who is going through a difficult time, and hope he’ll be on the bench when we play Barcelona in February.”

Thiago Silva on Robinho & Pato future
20.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Former Milan defender Thiago Silva has remarked on the rumours that Robinho and Alexandre Pato will leave the club.

The Brazilian defender, who moved from the Rossoneri to Paris Saint-Germain this summer, believes his countryman will depart from San Siro soon.

“I don't think Robinho is as happy as he was during his first year at Milan,” the 28-year-old told Sky Sport Italia.

“He always has an immense desire to win and do well, but I think he might leave in January.

“For what I know, Pato is not happy. He wants to go back to Brazil. I do not like to see him down like this.”

Puyol 'happy' to face AC Milan
20.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol has admitted that he is looking forward to their last 16 Champions League tie with Milan.

The Catalan club face Massimiliano Allegri's men on Wednesday February 20 at San Siro before the return leg three weeks later in Spain.

And the 34-year-old centre-back has conceded that he is happy with the prospect of facing the Rossoneri.

“I am very happy,” he told reporters. “I said the other week that I wanted Milan, not because they are easy, but because I've always liked them.

“It is going to be a very nice tie.

“Our familiarity with Milan is neither good nor bad. We know each other but also some of the other rivals.

“The knockout games are always very complicated. Anyway, it's a long way away.”

Leonardo: Pastore staying at PSG
20.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Paris Saint-Germain director general Leonardo has insisted that Javier Pastore is not heading back to Serie A.

The Argentine has been paired with Inter this month and he this week claimed that he would play for Milan at some stage in the future.

But speaking at this morning’s Champions League draw, the former Rossoneri player and Coach underlined that no transfer is on the horizon.

“He’ll stay with us, 100 per cent,” the Brazilian noted. “There really isn’t even the need to talk about that.”

Turning to the draw itself, Leonardo seemed content that his outfit have been paired with Spain’s Valencia.

“We were afraid of Real Madrid,” he admitted. “Valencia are a good side, but I think we have a chance of qualifying.

“We haven’t been at this stage of the competition for 17 years, so it was nice to come here today and see that other clubs wanted to avoid us...”

Barcelona: AC Milan a name that frightens
20.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan may have made some big summer changes to their squad, but Champions League opponents Barcelona still respect the Diavolo.

After four meetings between the two sides last season, the giants have again been paired with each other in today’s last 16 draw.

“Milan are one of the biggest teams in Europe and a club that must be respected,” Vice-President Josep Maria Bartomeu told reporters in reaction to the pairings in Nyon.

“They are not doing well in their League at the moment, but they have impressive players. We will have a lot of respect and will try to go into that tie in good shape.

“They are not at their best but football changes from week to week. Theirs is a name that frightens, but we will go there with the highest aspirations.”

Pato agent open to AC Milan exit
20.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Alexandre Pato has opened the door for a move to Corinthians – although he insists no deal has been done with Milan.

Reports this week have suggested that the Brazilian outfit are ready to spend €15m on the injury-plagued striker.

Milan chief Adriano Galliani yesterday admitted that they had received a bid for the forward, but didn’t name the bidder or the size of the offer.

“If there is this possibility then it will be a very important step for his career to go and play for a two-time world champion club,” Gilmar Veloz told ESPN Brazil.

“To come and work here can make things easier for him. We hope that something can be done,” Veloz continued.

“We need to stay calm as we are talking about Milan and Corinthians – two of the biggest clubs in the world.

“There is great respect and affection between the two outfits, but there is nothing official at this stage.”

The 23-year-old, no goals in just four Serie A appearances this season, is contracted to the Diavolo until the summer of 2014.

Nene: 'I'm leaving PSG'
20.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan and Juventus target Nene has announced he intends to leave PSG in January. “Soon I will be free from my contract.”

The 31-year-old Brazilian was left out for the last three games after a row with Paris Saint-Germain officials and has made it clear his time at the club is over.

“I love the city, the club and the fans, who always treated me with great respect,” he wrote on his official website.

“I received many invitations to stay, but this is a difficult decision. I think the time has come for me to open a new chapter in my career.

“I think we can soon reach an agreement and I will be free from my contract.”

Nene can play in several different roles, including a forward, a winger and attacking midfielder.

He has been linked with Milan, Juventus, Galatasaray and several clubs back in Brazil.

Champions League Draw: AC Milan vs. Barcelona
20.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan were set to face a tricky last 16 tie after Malaga beat them to top spot in their section.

Barcelona and Milan faced each other four times in last year’s edition of the Champions League, with the Catalans and Rossoneri sharing a group stage before then crossing swords in 2011-12’s quarter-finals. Barca won two games and there were two draws.

Elsewhere Real Madrid, after facing Manchester City in the group stages, will take on Manchester United.

Arsenal will play Bayern Munich, while Carlo Ancelotti’s Paris Saint-Germain will fancy their chances against Valencia.

The first legs will take place on 12/13 and 19/20 February, with the second legs due to be played on 5/6 and 12/13 March.

The Draw

AC Milan v Barcelona

Celtic v Juventus

Galatasaray v Schalke

Arsenal v Bayern Munich

Shakhtar Donetsk v Borussia Dortmund

Real Madrid v Manchester United

Valencia v Paris SG

Porto v Malaga

VIDEO: Hachim Mastour's Italy U-15 debut with goal
19.12 || webmaster

Niang extends AC Milan contract
19.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

M’Baye Niang has signed a contract extension tying him to Milan until June 2017, marking his 18th birthday.

The French striker turned 18 today and was given a special gift by the club he joined in the summer.

He put pen to paper on a new deal that will keep him at San Siro until June 30, 2017.

AC Milan linked with PSG's Sissoko
19.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan are pondering a January bid for Paris Saint-Germain’s Momo Sissoko, a report in France is claiming.

Le Parisien is suggesting that the former Liverpool and Juventus man could be targeted after the Rossoneri lost Nigel De Jong for the rest of the season with injury.

The Mali international, who joined PSG from Juve in the summer of 2011 for €8m, is contracted to the capital outfit until June 2014.

Sissoko has been used just six times so far this season by boss Carlo Ancelotti.

AC Milan confirm 'Pato and Robinho offers'
19.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

“An offer has arrived for Alexandre Pato,” confirmed Milan chief Adriano Galliani. “We’re doing everything possible to keep Robinho, but he wants to go home.”

The Vice-President spoke to Milan Channel this afternoon and admitted the stories of negotiations with Brazilian clubs for the two players are on-going.

“We’re doing everything to keep hold of Robinho, although I am not certain that we’ll succeed,” confessed Galliani of the Santos talks.

“Robinho is happy to stay here and has a wonderful rapport with the Coach and team, but his wife and children want the beaches of Santos.

“I hope to convince him to stay here, though he is virulently asking to leave Milan and go back to his homeland.”

Corinthians are reported to have made a €15m bid for Pato, which could even involve a swap with midfielder Paulinho.

“An offer has arrived for Pato. Basically, in defence and midfield we will not be signing anyone. If Pato and Robinho remain, or if only one leaves, then we won’t bring in any replacements.

“We believe the right number of strikers to have is five, as if two new ones arrive, then there won’t be space for M’Baye Niang.”

AC Milan wipe Pato off website
19.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato’s future at Milan is more in the balance than ever, as he has mysteriously vanished from the club’s merchandising website.

The striker had been on the banner representing the e-store, but has now been replaced by Kevin-Prince Boateng, Massimo Ambrosini and Stephan El Shaarawy.

A similar vanishing act occurred just before Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva were sold to Paris Saint-Germain this summer.

It has been said that Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani is flying out for talks with Corinthians over a €15m offer for Pato.

Paulinho - Pato swap for AC Milan?
18.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are new reports suggesting Milan could sell Alexandre Pato to Corinthians in exchange for midfielder Paulinho.

It was already claimed that Vice-President Adriano Galliani is flying out to Brazil to listen to offers for Pato and Robinho.

According to the latest rumours emerging from San Siro, the Rossoneri are hoping to coax Corinthians into releasing Paulinho as part of the €15m Pato deal.

It would be a coup for Milan, as Paulinho has long been a transfer target for rivals Inter.

Fresh from winning the Club World Cup, the 24-year-old is also linked with Chelsea.

Pastore sure of AC Milan future
18.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Paris Saint-Germain’s Javier Pastore has surprisingly stated that he one day expects to play for Italian giants Milan.

While he recently rejected January links with both Milan sides, the Argentine has left the doors wide open for a Diavolo switch at some point in the future.

“Sooner or later I will play in the Rossoneri shirt,” he told Italian magazine Chi in an interview. “I’m sure of that.

“I have a splendid rapport with Vice-President Adriano Galliani and director general Ariedo Braida. I often dine with them, away from prying eyes, when I’m in Milan.

“I miss Italy and I love your country, while Milan are magic. First I want to win with PSG, but after that I will wear the Milan shirt.”

The creative midfielder, who left Palermo in August 2011 for Paris Saint-Germain at a cost of €43m, has had his form problems in the French capital this season.

El Shaarawy on Roma, Allegri & goals
18.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stephan El Shaarawy has admitted that he is enjoying his season so far at Milan and hopes to aim for the Capocannoniere award.

The 20-year-old forward has made an exceptional start to the campaign scoring 14 goals in 17 League matches, and has conceded that to sit on top of the goalscoring charts is a nice feeling.

“I am having a good time this season,” he told Milan Channel. “I am scoring a lot of goals.

“Hopefully this situation goes on for as long as possible. Do I aspire to the Capocannoniere? Well, staying ahead of the likes of Miroslav Klose and Edinson Cavani is a good feeling.”

He also commented on the Rossoneri's match with Roma this weekend, as well as the impact Coach Massimiliano Allegri has had and the future of Robinho.

“Against Roma we will focus on the three points because we want to end the year with some success,” he said.

“It is going to be a tough challenge against an opponent who is very technical and have some great players.

“We will have to concentrate because they have the ability to take advantage of any space we may give them.

“Robinho has been in good shape since he came back from injury and has helped us a lot. I hope he stays.

“Allegri has helped us overcome a crisis and the start of the season and deserves to stay on the bench.”

AC Milan take on Juventus for Drogba
18.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan have joined Juventus in the chase to sign Didier Drogba during the January transfer window, reports suggest.

The Italian champions are known to be keen on landing the former Chelsea man in the New Year to aid their Champions League bid.

However, it appears that the Rossoneri are also looking at the player who is thought to be keen on leaving Chinese outfit Shanghai Shenhua.

Milan could be in need of new attacking options given the possibility that Alexandre Pato and Robinho may both be sold after Christmas.

Drogba, who left Chelsea in the summer after eight years in London, will turn 35 in March.

Pato and Robinho to be sold?
18.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani will fly to Brazil on Sunday to listen to offers for Alexandre Pato and Robinho.

According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, the official will head to South America to consider bids for the duo.

Corinthians are said to be ready to make a €15m offer for Pato, a player who continues to be hampered by injury at San Siro.

Meanwhile, Robinho is thought to have asked to be released in order for him to return to his homeland.

Santos are still keen on the 28-year-old, but there is also interest from Atletico Mineiro, Fluminense, Gremio and Flamengo.

Pato, 23, has no goals in four League appearances this term. Robinho has netted two in 10 Serie A matches.

Corinthians make EUR 15 mil bid for Pato
17.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Brazilian club Corinthians have made a €15m bid for Milan forward Alexandre Pato, according to reports in the Italian media.

Sky Sport Italia have claimed that the recently crowned World Club Champions have made a substantial bid for the Rossoneri striker which is likely to be turned down by Massimiliano Allegri's side.

The 23-year-old has been blighted by injures since his move to the San Siro from Internacional in 2007, with the Milanese giants hoping to loan out the young attacker rather than sell him outright.

Perin eyes El Shaarawy link-up
17.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mattia Perin has admitted that he’d love to play alongside Milan’s Stephan El Shaarawy at some stage in the future.

The goalkeeper, a former teammate of the striker, is a player who has been linked with a possible move to the Diavolo.

“I told Stephan that he wouldn’t score against me,” the Genoa-owned custodian, who is on loan at Pescara, said after the 4-1 loss at San Siro.

“I’m happy for him that he did, but not for myself on a personal level.

“I have a great friendship with Stephan and we talk to each other quite regularly. At the age of 20 he is already the Serie A top scorer. I’d definitely like to play alongside him in the future.”

Perin and El Shaarawy have been teammates at Genoa and also while with various Italian national youth levels.

Amelia respects Roma threat
17.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Amelia concedes that it will be tough for his Milan side to get a result at Roma next weekend.

Although the Giallorossi lost at Chievo on Sunday, while the Diavolo collected their fourth straight win, Amelia respects his former club.

“This will be the last week before the Christmas break and we’ll be doing everything we can to get the win at the Stadio Olimpico, but it won’t be easy,” said the goalkeeper.

“We have to prepare well during the week to bring home a good result.”

After wins over Juventus, Catania and Torino, the San Siro giants disposed of Pescara with a 4-1 scoreline.

“We played a good first half and spent a lot of energy,” he continued. “Pescara have been playing well in the last few weeks. We did well to hang on for a while and then win.

“We started the season badly but we did well to react and get points on the table.

“We involved the fans with our enthusiasm and the wind has changed. Shots that hit the post now would have gone in in the past. That’s a sign.”

Allegri: 'Robinho wants to leave'
17.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri is grateful for Milan’s change of luck, but confirms “Robinho has told us he wants to go home to Brazil.”

The Rossoneri beat Pescara 4-1 this afternoon, aided by two own goals and an Antonio Nocerino strike after 35 seconds.

“We must continue working, because we are trying to do our best and are still quite a few points off the top,” said the Coach.

“There are some things in life that are out of our hands. Milan are doing well after a negative start, but every single player is improving and fortune is favouring us lately.”

Allegri was asked about the upcoming January transfer window and revealed the situation.

“The club knows perfectly well which players I like and could replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva.

“Robinho has told us he wants to go home to Brazil. Obviously, if he changes his mind then we will be very happy to keep him here, but if he wants to go then it’s right he does.”

Santos have confirmed they are in negotiations for Robinho after their initial offer was rejected.

Serie A: AC Milan 4:1 Pescara - goals/highlights
16.12 || webmaster

Serie A: AC Milan 4:1 Pescara - match report
16.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Nocerino 1 (M), Abbruscato og 51 (M), Terlizzi 57 (P), Jonathas og 79 (M), El Shaarawy 81 (M)

Antonio Nocerino scored after 35 seconds, but Milan ultimately beat Pescara 4-1 thanks to two own goals.

The Rossoneri were climbing up the table after three consecutive victories and expected to maintain their 100 per cent Serie A home record against Pescara. The Delfini’s confidence received a boost with last week’s win over Siena, though Manuele Blasi, Uros Cosic, Simone Romagnoli, Giuseppe Colucci and Emanuel Cascione missed out. Alexandre Pato, Daniele Bonera and Nigel De Jong were sidelined, but Riccardo Montolivo and Luca Antonini were again available. Marco Amelia was picked ahead of Christian Abbiati in goal.

There was a great atmosphere at San Siro, as Milan celebrate the 113th anniversary of their foundation.

The game had barely kicked off when the ball was already in the back of the net after 35 seconds. Montolivo’s through ball found Stephan El Shaarawy, who rolled across for Antonio Nocerino to tap in at the back post.

Amelia had to palm a Romulo Togni screamer round the base of the upright, then Giampaolo Pazzini redirected a Robinho shot over the bar. Mattia Perin did well to turn El Shaarawy’s effort round the post – the pair are friends thanks to their time together in the Genoa youth academy. Perin also controlled a Montolivo volley.

Milan had penalty appeals for a potential handling offence, but the referee waved play on. Pescara were still in this game and after the restart Bjarnason’s header tested Amelia.

The Rossoneri were gifted their second goal, as Robinho’s cross was turned into his own net by a diving Elvis Abbruscato header.

Pescara got themselves back into the running, as a free kick was whipped into the box for Christian Terlizzi’s free header from seven yards.

It was almost 2-2 for the Delfini, who were only denied an equaliser by the base of the upright, as Amelia watched Antonio Balzano’s screamer whizz past him.

Pazzini had a free header from five yards, but completely missed contact with Nocerino’s cross, though Pescara were now pouring forward and Amelia caught Bjarnason’s fierce drive.

El Shaarawy’s splendid curler was deflected out for a corner by Terlizzi. From that set play, El Shaarawy’s corner was nodded into his own net by Jonathas – the second Pescara own goal of the day.

El Shaarawy did get his name on the scoresheet soon after, tapping in as Pazzini rolled across the six-yard box.

Milan: Amelia; De Sciglio, Zapata, Yepes, Constant; Montolivo, Ambrosini, Nocerino; Robinho (Boateng 61), Pazzini (Niang 82), El Shaarawy (Muntari 85)

Pescara: Perin; Balzano, Terlizzi, Capuano, Modesto; Nielsen, Togni, Bjarnason; Weiss (Celik 46); Abbruscato (Quintero 74), Vukusic (Jonathas 64)

Ref: Giannoccaro

Serie A: AC Milan vs. Pescara - lineups
16.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan: Amelia; De Sciglio, Zapata, Yepes, Constant; Montolivo, Ambrosini, Nocerino; Robinho, Pazzini, El Shaarawy.

Pescara: Perin; Balzano, Terlizzi, Capuano, Modesto, Nielsen, Togni, Bjarnason, Weiss, Abbruscato, Vukusic.

Wenger: 'I like El Shaarawy'
16.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed his interest in Milan star Stephan El Shaarawy. “His philosophy fits perfectly with mine.”

The Gunners have repeatedly been linked with a bid for the 20-year-old, even before he was bought outright by Milan over the summer.

Any transfer now is extremely unlikely, as he is the current Serie A top scorer and the Rossoneri’s most prolific player in all competition this season.

“El Shaarawy is a very mobile, very technical young player. His philosophy fits perfectly with mine,” Wenger told Eurosport.

The French tactician also told newspaper Metro that a January offer was not out of the question.

“You never know. I just say I love the way he plays.”

El Shaarawy is valued at a minimum of €30m, but Milan have pledged not to sell their latest discovery, who is a life-long Rossoneri supporter.

Bergodi on Allegri past
16.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cristiano Bergodi is pleased to take on his former teammate Max Allegri as Pescara visit Milan this afternoon.

“I started a coaching career before he did, but he’s better than me,” smiled the Pescara tactician.

“Even as a player, Allegri knew how to read the game really well. We were teammates at Padova and also did our coaching certificate together, so we know each other pretty well.

“This is going to be a special game and we must try to remain compact to close down their attacks. Everyone has to participate in defending.

“I am confident, as I saw the lads training well. We are ready.”

Serie A: AC Milan vs. Pescara - squad
15.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Abbiati, Amelia, Gabriel, Abate, Antonini, De Sciglio, Mexes, Yepes, Zapata, Ambrosini, Boateng, Constant, Emanuelson, Flamini, Montolivo, Muntari, Nocerino, Strasser, Bojan, El Shaarawy, Niang, Pazzini, Robinho.

Santos: 'Robinho talks not over'
15.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan insist they won’t sell Robinho, but Santos are confident “negotiations are continuing and this is not over.”

The striker confessed he is missing Brazil and would like a return to his former club, where he won the title in 2002, but the Rossoneri do not intend to sell for less than €10m.

“We are talking every day,” assured Santos President Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro in Globo Esporte.

“At the moment it’s like a game of chess, moving pieces here and there with the hope of finding a solution.

“We made our formal proposal and Milan sent back their reply, but the negotiations are continuing and this is not over.”

Allegri: 'Robinho a professional'
15.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri trusts Robinho will “be professional” despite transfer stories, focuses on Pescara and warns Alexandre Pato won’t play again in 2012.

The Coach sat down for his Press conference this afternoon and was asked about their recent injury crisis.

“Daniele Bonera will have a fitness test today and resume full training on Tuesday. Sulley Muntari needs playing time, though his best form won’t be visible until January. Riccardo Montolivo has also recovered.

“Christian Abbiati is fine, but Marco Amelia will be in goal. Kevin-Prince Boateng had a knock in training and Philippe Mexes had flu yesterday, so we’ll see whether or not they start. As for Pato, we’ll talk about his return in the New Year. By January 6 he will be at the disposal of the squad.”

This is in contrast to what his agent said this week, claiming the Brazilian is 100 per cent recovered from his thigh problems.

“I am pleased that we are putting in good performances, although sometimes we fall asleep when it looks as if the game is safe. Tomorrow will be a very difficult game and we mustn’t under-estimate Pescara.

“I am very tied to the club due to my past there and I’m happy they are in Serie A. Vladimir Weiss is a good player and one to watch.”

Robinho has confirmed he misses Brazil and would like a return to Santos, although Milan are not prepared to release him for less than €10m.

“He is proving decisive again this season with assists and goals. He always puts in strong performances. We’ll see what happens in January, but I hope and believe that we won’t lose Robinho. He’ll show what a great professional he is,” noted Allegri.

“This season we have a new squad and I have adapted to the needs of the club. We are working with great enthusiasm and proving you can get results with young players. It makes me proud to see them grow and learn.

“This isn’t Year Zero for Milan so much as for Italian football. Many champions left and if someone like Clarence Seedorf or Gennaro Gattuso quits, you can’t find a replacement the next day.

“Will M’Baye Niang play tomorrow? It’s possible and I am not surprised he scored against Reggina, but we must give him time to grow.”

Niang on AC Milan and idol Ronaldo
15.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan’s new 17-year-old starlet M’Baye Niang dedicated his debut goal to the fans and revealed his hero is Inter legend Ronaldo.

The French teenager has so far been better known for his off the field antics than performances on it. He was fined for driving without a licence and banned from international duty with France after skipping out on an Under-21 training camp to go partying in Paris.

“I must first of all thank the fans and I dedicate the goal to them,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport after scoring in a 3-0 Coppa Italia victory over Reggina.

“The supporters encouraged me even before I stepped on to the field. As for my teammates, I was really struck by the mass hug I received. They were happy for me and you could tell.

“Last Saturday President Silvio Berlusconi took me to one side and encouraged me, saying the club really believed in me. It really made an impact.

“Milan have always shown great faith in my potential. I was honoured when Adriano Galliani came to pick me up in France with a private plane. I will repay them with action. I’ve been working to learn as much as possible, though the last four months have felt more like 18.”

Niang turns 18 next Wednesday and has a special request. “I’d love to score a goal against Pescara, assuming I play. In truth I’ll celebrate by going back to Paris for Christmas. My father visits often, but I want to be around my family again.”

Perhaps due to his early development and chaotic off the field lifestyle, Niang has been compared to Mario Balotelli.

“It is pleasing to be compared to Balotelli, as he is a great striker, but we’ve never met. My idol is Ronaldo, as I fell in love with football during the years he was at Inter. He is the ideal forward in terms of technique, power and speed.”

Berlusconi: 'AC Milan will be great again'
15.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan President Silvio Berlusconi discussed Robinho, transfer strategy and promised in three years “we’ll get back to being protagonists in Italy and the world.”

The patron, who has announced he'll probably run for election as Italian Prime Minister again, was speaking at the launch of a new book marking the 113th anniversary of the club’s foundation.

“This is a transitional period and we had champions for 26 years, but must now have a little patience. We give ourselves three years to get back to being protagonists in Italy and the world,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“We are focusing on youth and have some excellent talents at the club now, like an extraordinary 15-year-old Hachim Mastour, who will be able to play in Serie A when he turns 16. Mbaye Niang is reminiscent of Mario Balotelli, even in the hairstyle...

“The papers keep going on about Balotelli, but I never dreamed of him and I don’t think he is in our list of objectives.”

Robinho has been repeatedly linked with a move to Santos, but Berlusconi insisted the matter is in the balance.

“We hope to convince Robinho to stay with us. He brings great joy to the locker room and we are all fond of him. He misses Brazil, but he’s not for sale.

“We are trying to strengthen the squad with the introduction of young champions, but I do hope a few big signings can be made.

“Nigel De Jong’s injury is a real shame, but we already have cover for him in midfield.”

Berlusconi has been making a habit this season of visiting the training ground before match day to fire up the squad.

“I do what I can to motivate the team and help them achieve their targets. I have always been a leader of men.”

Robinho will not leave, says father
14.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan forward Robinho will not leave the club for Santos in January, according to the player's father.

The 28-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to his former club over recent weeks, but his father has quashed those reports claiming he will only move at the end of the season.

“Robinho will not leave Milan,” he told UOL Esporte. “He does not want to deceive the fans of other clubs.

“The Rossoneri have already sold other strikers, so they will not let him leave too.

“These stories are only rumours – he will not move from Milan in January. I'm sure he will go to Santos in the summer.”

Antonini wants Robinho to stay
14.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Luca Antonini has urged Milan to ignore any eventual offers for Brazilian international forward Robinho.

The South American’s future at San Siro is in doubt amidst interest from a number of clubs in his homeland.

However, the left-back insists that the former Real Madrid and Manchester City man can still make a telling contribution with the Diavolo.

“Robinho is a great player and it’s always better to have him in your team,” the Italian noted. “He’s important for us and let’s hope he stays.”

Antonini was in action last night as Milan beat Reggina 3-0 in the Italian Cup to set up a tie against Juventus in the next round.

“Inter managed to get a win at the Juventus Stadium and I don’t see why we can’t do the same,” he stated.

Muntari accepts Ghana snub
14.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sulley Muntari is disappointed to miss out on the African Cup of Nations, but concedes his omission was the right decision.

Ghana haven’t included the Milan man in their squad for the competition, which starts in January, after he only just returned from knee ligament damage.

“It’s better that the national team Coach takes players to the African Cup of Nations who are 100 per cent fit and I’ll stay here,” he stated.

“I’m sorry to be out of the national side, but it’d be impossible to be sidelined for six months and then go straight to the African Cup of Nations.”

The decision to not call up the former Inter man is good news for the Italian club who recently lost Nigel De Jong for the rest of the season with injury.

“De Jong is a big loss for us, but I’m back playing now and we’ll try and do well for him,” Muntari continued.

“I have to stay fit and try to help the team and do whatever the side and the Coach asks of me.”

It has been a tough start to the season for the Rossoneri, but there are signs of a revival at Milanello.

“We can get higher in the League. When there were problems, I always said that the team would come back.

“Now we want to win the last two games before the winter break and then start the New Year as best we can.”

What went wrong at AC Milan?
14.12 || webmaster

This was always going to be a transition year for AC Milan. The start they made to the season, though, was worse than anything anyone expected. At the mid-way point through the season, let’s look at what happened and see if we can make sense of it.

There’s no denying that Milan were an old men’s team and that some serious rebuilding needed to happen for them to return to the glory days of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Out went established but aging superstars like Alessandro Nesta, Mark van Bommel, Clarence Seedorf and Gennaro Gattuso. Milan also showed it still had the financial acumen for getting rid of players at a profit, too, as it sold Zlatan ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to the newly wealthy and glory-hungry PSG.

With the money made on those two deals, Milan brought in strikers Giampaolo Pazzini from city rivals Inter, Bojan Krkic (on loan from Barcelona), and youngster M’Baye Niang from Caen. The squad was further strengthened by bringing in the likes of Nigel de Jong from Manchester City and Sulley Muntari from Inter.

The team looked good on paper and you’d have found short odds on any online betting site for the Rossoneri to make a strong run for the Scudetto. Yet the miserable start they made to the campaign was shocking. The team didn’t gel; often it seemed they didn’t even want to be playing. What went wrong?

The answer is straightforward. Milan chopped and changed the team too much, too quickly. They paid the price for hanging on to the oldsters too long and had to find replacement all at once instead of bringing in new faces over a few seasons.

In addition, you can’t simply replace strikers of Ibrahimovic’s and Cassano’s talents with the likes of Krkic and Pazzini and expect to get the same goal returns. Add to that the fact that Muntari has seen more time on the treatment table than the pitch and you’ve got the recipe for disaster that the first half of the season has been.

There’s hope for the Rossoneri, though. They’ve made huge improvements in the past few weeks, sparked by the draw with Napoli and the win against Juventus. If I were to lay odds at an online betting site, I’d say the chances are good they’ll push for a top four finish. They’re also through to the next phase of the Champions League, and I wouldn’t bet against them going far in that competition, either.

This has been a guest post from Australia's premier online betting news source, if you'd like to know more about Euro football or any other sports, get in and give them a look. They're also great for finding great bonuses and freerolls.

Coppa Italia: AC Milan 3:0 Reggina - goals/highlights
13.12 || webmaster

Allegri compliments Reggina
13.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri complimented Reggina and Coach Davide Dionigi on their performance after Milan set up a Coppa Quarter-Final tie with Juventus.

The Rossoneri struggled for most of the game, but eventually broke through to win 3-0 at San Siro.

“It was a terrible first half from us and we were unable to take our chances,” said Allegri.

“In the second half we clearly deserved to qualify. I have to compliment Reggina, who put in a fine performance and made it difficult for us.”

Reggina Coach Dionigi also talked to RAI after the Coppa Italia Fifth Round match.

“We played a good game, even if some incidents would need to be seen again. I didn’t use some first choice players because the Serie B tournament is too tight for us to get away with it.

“We are in a delicate situation and need to get out of it as soon as possible.”

Reggina are sixth from bottom in Italy’s second division.

Coppa Italia: AC Milan 3:0 Reggina - match report
13.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Yepes 51 (M), Niang 79 (M), Pazzini 81 (M)

AC Milan eventually ran out 3-0 winners with Mbaye Niang’s first goal for the club, but they found it harder than expected to end Reggina’s Coppa Italia dream.

The winner of this fixture goes on to face Juventus in the Quarter-Finals, so Massimiliano Allegri fielded a new trident attack, plus Luca Antonini and Rodney Strasser returning from injury. Reggina Coach Davide Dionigi and players Rodrigo Ely and Davide Facchin were all in the Milan youth academy.

The Serie B minnows eliminated Chievo in the last round and it took until the 15th minute for Facchin to be tested by Giampaolo Pazzini’s angled drive under a smattering of snow.

Reggina also threatened with Alessio Campagnacci blasting over relatively undisturbed. They did have the ball in the net when a free kick was volleyed in off the underside of the bar by Francesco Bombagi, but he was caught offside.

Facchin got down quickly to palm a Mario Yepes header off the line and smothered another Pazzini aerial effort.

The Rossoneri came out fighting for the second half and quickly took the lead. First Robinho’s attempt from a corner was cleared off the line, then as the move continued Yepes nodded into the top corner from an Urby Emanuelson cross.

Substitute Mbaye Niang shrugged off a challenge to force a save from Facchin and the goalkeeper was quick to smother at the feet of both Bojan Krkic and Emanuelson.

Facchin beat away an Ignazio Abate shot and needed a fine save to deny Pazzini’s volley. Bojan cut in for a strike deflected on to the side-netting. Sulley Ali Muntari made his comeback for the final 14 minutes, having snapped knee ligaments while playing beach soccer with friends over the summer.

Niang put qualification beyond doubt with his first goal in a Milan jersey. Emanuelson won back possession and rolled across the box for the teenage Frenchman kept his cool to sweep it past the on-rushing goalkeeper.

Milan added a third goal moments later, as Pazzini gathered a Bojan through ball and smashed under the bar, though he did appear to be offside.

Facchin denied Emanuelson a fourth in the final minute and the 25-year-old goalkeeper certainly impressed his former club at San Siro.

AC Milan 3-0 Reggina

Scorers: Yepes 51 (M), Niang 79 (M), Pazzini 81 (M)

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Zapata, Yepes (Acerbi 85), Antonini; Flamini, Strasser (Muntari 77), Emanuelson; Bojan, Pazzini, Robinho (Niang 54)

Reggina: Facchin; Freddi, Ely, Bergamelli (Di Bari 83); D’Alessandro, Rizzo, Castiglia, Bombagi, Rizzato; Fischnaller (Hetemaj 74), Campagnacci (Barilla’ 65)

Ref: Calvarese

Coppa Italia: AC Milan vs. Reggina - lineups
13.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Zapata, Yepes, Antonini; Flamini, Strasser, Emanuelson; Bojan, Pazzini, Robinho

Reggina: Facchin; Freddi, Ely, Bergamelli; D'Alessandro, Rizzo, Castiglia, Bombagi, Rizzato; Fischnaller, Campagnacci

Pato '100 per cent fit', says agent
13.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato “is 100 per cent fit and can start for Milan. He has no intention of asking for a transfer,” said his agent.

The striker has barely featured over the last year due to a series of muscular injuries and is out of the squad for tomorrow’s Coppa Italia tie with Reggina.

“We are waiting for Pato to recover from his injury,” said Coach Massimiliano Allegri in his Press conference today.

However, agent Gilmar Veloz had a very different view of the situation.

“Pato is 100 per cent fit and can start for Milan. He has no intention of asking for a transfer. If anything, the club will have to evaluate offers.”

AC Milan sign Guangzhou Evergrande deal
12.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan have officially sealed a commercial partnership with Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande, who are coached by Marcello Lippi.

It was known that general manager Adriano Galliani held meetings with the side this week during their visit to Italy, but the deal has now been confirmed.

“Adriano Galliani was in fine spirits when he welcomed to president of Chinese club Ghuangzhou Evergrande, Liu Jong Zhuo,” read a statement.

“The commercial partnership between the two clubs was signed and sealed with a handshake and smiles all around. Galliani gifted the Chinese president a shirt with 8-Liu printed on the back.

“Ghuangzhou have won the last two league titles in China. Guangzhou Evergrande won the title in 2012 with 58 points, 5 more than Jiangsu Sainty. They won 17 games, drew five, lost five and scored 51 compared to 29 conceded.”

There are rumours this partnership could see a Chinese player loaned to Milan in January and the exchange of youth academy prospects.

Robinho agent shoots down Santos
12.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho’s agent insists “he has a contract with Milan until 2014 and for now will not return to Brazil” after Santos made a €6m offer.

Santos confirmed yesterday they had made a written proposal to the Rossoneri and hinted there was an agreement of sorts with the player too.

However, it was today reported that the €6m bid was too low, as Milan have set the price-tag at €10m.

“Every day the media invents new destinations, but Robinho has a contract with Milan until 2014 and he intends to respect it,” his agent and father told Lancenet.

“He is happy at Milan and for now will not return to Brazil.”

Coppa Italia: AC Milan vs. Reggina - squad
12.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Goalkeepers: Abbiati, Coppola, Gabriel.

Defenders: Abate, Antonini, De Sciglio, Mesbah, Yepes, Zapata.

Midfielders: Emanuelson, Flamini, Muntari, Nocerino, Strasser.

Forwards: Bojan, El Shaarawy, Pazzini, Niang, Robinho.

Allegri on Robinho, El Shaarawy and Coppa Italia
12.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has claimed that the Coppa Italia is a trophy his side are keen to win this season.

The Rossoneri face Reggina tomorrow evening and the 45-year-old has revealed that his side are aiming to win the competition.

“For us it is important to go as far as we can in the Coppa Italia,” he told a Press conference. “In the early rounds nobody cares all that much.

“But if you win it, your name goes down in the annals of history.”

He also commented on the speculation surrounding Robinho's departure from the club, as well as their recently improved form.

“It is normal that Robinho would have admirers,” he said. “It is evidence of his good performances, but he will remain an important player for Milan for the second half of the season.

“We played really well against Torino last Sunday. We have come from a good period, but we still have room for improvement.

“We want to finish this calendar year as close to first place as possible.

“I knew we could get over those difficult moments at the beginning of the campaign. But we have not done anything yet.

“Now we need to improve our level of play and go into the New Year in a better position in the table.”

The former Cagliari man concluded by revealing that some players will be leaving the club in January, and also had some words of advice for Stephan El Shaarawy.

“We have a squad of 32, but the board and I will only talk after the match against Roma on December 22.

“We all agree though that some young players will have to leave to gain experience and other will leave to get some first team football.

“Stephan is doing fine, but he is only 20-years-old and still has a lot of room to grow.

“He has to improve his overall game and linking up with teammates – but all this is normal.”

AC Milan meet with Evergrande
12.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani is reportedly meeting with Guangzhou Evergrande’s President this morning to finalise a link between the clubs.

Liu Jong Zhuo is believed to be in Italy during the coming days to search out potential recruits for his team, who under Marcello Lippi’s coaching have just won the Chinese League and Cup double.

However, particular speculation with regards Milan is that the Rossoneri are planning to link up with the Super League outfit.

Today’s meeting between Galliani and Zhuo is understood to be based around finalising plans for a partnership between the clubs, which could link business strategies and youth development together.

Reports have been going on for the past two months that the two clubs are planning to link up.

AC Milan reject Robinho bid?
12.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan are reported to have rejected Santos’ first bid for Brazilian striker Robinho, believed to be holding out for an amount to then spend elsewhere.

The Rossoneri were confirmed by Robinho’s former club Santos as in negotiations to transfer the No 7 this January, with the club’s President Luis Alvaro Ribeiro saying that an offer had already been made.

The player has also stated that ‘several clubs’ are in talks with his current employers over a proposed mid-season switch.

Whilst some sections of the Italian media report this as being accepted by Milan, the Gazzetta dello Sport are running the line that the San Siro outfit have rejected it as being too low.

Specifically, it is believed that in trying to catch Robinho for a third stint with them, Santos have offered between €5m and €6m.

However, the Rossoneri, whose President Silvio Berlusconi is reportedly keen to keep hold of Robinho if possible, are pushing for a €10m fee, in order to then fund a move for PSV Eindhoven’s defensive midfielder Kevin Strootman.

Strootman is seen as the Serie A side’s first choice replacement for Nigel de Jong, who is confirmed as facing at least six months out of action after surgery on his Achilles tendon injury.

Pastore again affirms PSG plan
12.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Javier Pastore has once more confirmed reports that he would prefer to stay with Paris Saint-Germain rather than return back to Serie A this January.

The Argentine playmaker made the move out to the French capital almost 18 months ago but has been linked with a return to the Italian League this season, with Milan and Inter said to be interested.

However, in reiterating a message from earlier in the week, the 23-year-old has dismissed the idea that he is pushing to leave France.

“I am pleased that two major clubs in Italy and the world are talking about me, but I am happy here, I am relaxed and if the club wants me to stay, I will voluntarily stay,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

Inter’s absent star Wesley Sneijder has been linked with a move to PSG.

“Sneijder? He is a great champion who has won everything with Inter. We all know the quality that he possesses and if he were to come here then that would be good for the team.”

Santos confirm Robinho talks
12.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Santos President Luis Alvaro Ribeiro has confirmed “Robinho wants to return to Brazil and we presented a written offer” to Milan.

The reports have been swirling round for months that the striker is looking for a January move to his former club.

“Robinho wants to return to Brazil and for him that means returning to Santos,” President Luis Alvaro Ribeiro told

“We have presented a written offer, though there is a difference between what the player and the club are asking for.

“It is not an easy negotiation process, but we will know the outcome next week.”

Robinho also commented on his potential return to Santos this week.

De Jong undergoes surgery
11.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan have confirmed Nigel De Jong went under the knife today for an Achilles tendon injury and will be out for six months.

The midfielder collapsed during Sunday’s 4-2 victory at Torino and was diagnosed with a ruptured Achilles tendon in his left leg.

The club released a statement confirming that De Jong underwent an operation in Benalmandena, near Malaga, with Professor Sakari Orava.

Surgery was successful and “the recovery period is approximately six months, save for complications.”

Robinho hints at Santos move
11.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho said several clubs “are talking to Milan,” but it’s reported Santos are ready to announce his move this week.

The rumours of a return to his former club have been circulating for months and the January transfer window would appear to be the ideal moment.

President Silvio Berlusconi practically confirmed his intentions when confessing that the striker was “changing his mind” about wanting to quit San Siro.

According to Brazilian media, Santos already have a deal in place with Robinho and are preparing to make the announcement as early as Saturday.

It is rumoured Milan would benefit from the transfer, worth cash plus midfielder Felipe Anderson for a total €8m move.

“I have history with Santos and so it won’t be difficult for them to reach a deal with me,” Robinho told Globoesporte.

“My love for that club is eternal, but there are also other clubs interested and who are talking to Milan. I am a professional and will see what is best for me.

“Milan do not want to sell me and I have no intention of arguing with a side that opened its doors and gave me a chance.”

Gattuso misunderstood new AC Milan
11.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso has once more reflected on why he left Milan and has apologised for an earlier outburst aimed at the club.

The midfielder left San Siro this summer after more than a decade in the Rossoneri’s midfield and sat down this week with Guerin Sportivo to reflect on his decision.

“I love Milan. It was a dream that lasted for 13 years. I consider myself an ultra who had the privilege of lifting the European Cup, to wear the captain’s armband and become sixth in the club’s all-time appearances in the field,” he enthused.

“Why am I no longer there? I had a great relationship with the club that I will always be grateful for, but I wanted to keep playing. They made me feel important, but in a different role from that which I wanted.”

This was widely believed to be in a coaching capacity. The midfielder has also previously alluded to a difficult relationship with Coach Massimiliano Allegri as another reason for his departure.

“I have a great relationship with Max. We were teammates, we won a championship together, but when you hear certain words, you find it difficult to digest.

“I have a character that has seen me make many mistakes, but has also allowed me to do a lot of good things, because I am stubborn and proud.

“When I feel I am a failure, I can take it and I will go. I will decide with my family, who love me. I need to feel enthusiastic, wanted for what I can do. This was not possible, so I decided to remove myself from the disruption.

“Do I regret anything? I have not yet left Milan. I feel them inside. During these months I have avoided going home to say goodbye to the people that I love, but only because pandemonium would break out in the papers.

“However, the sentiments spoken about me are nice and respectful, they make me realise that I made the right decision and that it pays to be passionate about the work.”

Gattuso also wanted to make clear on a recent outburst where he described the Milan dressing room last season as ‘anarchy’.

“I was speaking from the heart, but I was wrong. You cannot criticise just because you see dynamics that do not respond to your own code. Ancelotti was right when he told me ‘You’ll see Rino, the players are not all alike, no horse runs like another’.

“Now I understand. The error is in expecting the generation after you to be the same as yours. I did not like the haircut of El Shaarawy’s, nor his eyebrows.

“Maybe now they miss my slaps, but I repeat, I was wrong. He is indeed proving to be a phenomenon.”

Nainggolan or Strootman to AC Milan?
11.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Despite Adriano Galliani’s belief to the contrary, reports today suggest Milan will be making a move to replace Nigel de Jong in January.

The Dutch midfielder is facing a lengthy spell out of action for the Rossoneri, after damaging his Achilles tendon.

Facing the prospect of immediate surgery after consultation due on Tuesday, De Jong is set to be replaced in the winter transfer market.

Corriere dello Sport believe that Radja Nainggolan and Kevin Strootman are the initial targets identified.

Strootman is seen as similar in playing style to Mark van Bommel, whilst Belgian and former Juventus target Nainggolan is believed to be of particular preference to Coach Massimo Allegri.

However, a major barrier to making a move for either player is seen in their cash values. PSV are understood to be asking for no less than €20m for their midfielder, whilst Cagliari were reportedly steadfast a year ago in dealing with Juve’s offers for Nainggolan.

Mancini on Balotelli, De Rossi
11.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Roberto Mancini has urged Mario Balotelli to focus only on his football, revealed a failed bid for Daniele De Rossi and spoken of missing Italy.

Balotelli has drawn criticism in recent weeks in England for his form and he was taken off before the hour mark of Sunday’s Manchester derby and then criticised by Mancini for lacking focus.

Whilst continuing with that message, the manager has also made clear that the striker will not be leaving City any time soon.

“Balotelli has enormous quality, he is not for sale,” the Italian told Sky Italia.

“He is a player of 22 and he should think only of his work and his family, because he has such a talent and thus cannot blow it as he is doing.

“With his quality a game can change at any moment, I hope that this moment will come soon.”

Mancini also made clear that even if he left his position as manager, it would not increase the odds of Balotelli following him out, before then suggesting that leaving the bench could come soon.

“It is not easy to live abroad, certainly I feel homesick. But I’m fine at City,” said Mancini.

“I work in a very serious club and in England it is easier to work. There is a project and we have done a great job in two years.

“I feel really good, but it is clear that I miss Italy because home is always missing.”

City were heavily linked with a move in the summer transfer window for Daniele De Rossi and now with a winter deal for Wesley Sneijder or Stephan El Shaarawy.

“We tried to take De Rossi in the summer, but the deal went nowhere and the story is now over. I think De Rossi will stay at Roma, I do not think he will leave them.

“Sneijder is a great player, but we have quality players like Nasri and David Silva who have similar characteristics.

“Beyond his great quality, Sneijder is not a player that we need.”

“El Shaarawy belongs to Milan, I do not think we can take him, Milan have found a great champion for the future.”

Galliani clear on transfer strategy
11.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani has sworn three times that Stephan El Shaarawy is going nowhere in January, and also dismissed any move to replace Nigel de Jong.

El Shaarawy has caught the attention during the first half of the season with his form for the Rossoneri, but according to Vice-President Galliani, will not be offered as bait to Manchester City, in exchange for Mario Balotelli.

“I swear, I swear, I swear that El Shaarway will stay with Milan,” commented Galliani to reporters at a charity event late last night.

“We will keep him and make up for the absence of De Jong with those we have in the squad.”

This is in direct contradiction to President Silvio Berlusconi’s earlier assertion that the club will be moving in the January market to replace the former City midfielder.

The suggestion of a move for Roma’s Daniele De Rossi was one put to Galliani.

“De Rossi and Sissoko? No, let’s stay the way we are. De Rossi is impossible.

“Berlusconi will absolutely be at Milanello on Saturday ahead of the team’s next game.

Nocerino would like Balotelli to join AC Milan
11.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan midfielder Antonio Nocerino has admitted he would relish the prospect of a Stephan El Shaarawy-Mario Balotelli strike-partnership.

Reports recently have linked the Manchester City forward with a move to the Rossoneri, and the former Palermo man has conceded that the controversial forward would fit in at San Siro.

“An El Shaarawy-Balotelli pair? That would be nice,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “It's not up to me to choose players though.

“For now, I am enjoying them playing together for the national team.”

The 27-year-old also remarked on the win against Torino at the weekend, as well as Silvio Berlusconi's return to politics.

“It was important to win against a tricky team like Torino,” he said. “I have tried to put into practice what I have been taught – sacrifice, commitment and a never-say-die attitude.

“I have tried to do that in the good times and the bad times.

“Berlusconi can return to politics, but we need him. He always gives the players confidence – he is a great motivator.”

Armero to AC Milan?
10.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Udinese wide-man Pablo Armero could be the subject of a January transfer bid from Milan, according to reports.

Mercato 365 believe that the Rossoneri could make a move for the Colombia international over the winter break, with €10m likely to turn the Zebrette's head.

The 26-year-old has only played a bit-part for Francesci Guidolin's men this term, starting just eight games in Serie A.

Pazzini on Italy and El Shaarawy
10.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan forward Giampaolo Pazzini has admitted that he would love to make a return to the Italian national team.

The Rossoneri striker has played 24 times for Cesare Prandelli's side, but did not make the squad for Euro 2012, and has conceded that he would like to play once again for the Azzurri.

“Even though I wasn't called up to the last squad, I still root for the Azzurri,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“If I get a lot of goals for Milan, then I hope to receive a call-up.”

He also commented on his season so far and some of the Coaches he has worked under – past and present.

“We are growing well as a side,” he said. “We have a nice group of lads here and I'm sure everything will turn out well.

“With Leonardo at Inter, we got on very well. He brought joy and enthusiasm to the locker room and helped everyone grow.

“Stramaccioni was always direct with me – he told me that he preferred other players, so I have absolutely nothing against him.

“Allegri and I understand each other. He has not changed his attitude even in this time of difficulty. He has always had a positive attitude and that has helped us grow.”

The 28-year-old then remarked on the rise of strike-partner Stephan El Shaarawy.

“I did not expect this explosion. But mentally, he certainly does not seem like a 20-year-old. He is playing in an impressive manner and always keeps calm.

“But there is still ample room for improvement. He can certainly become a great player.”

Montolivo: 'Happy with win, sad for De Jong'
10.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan midfielder Riccardo Montolivo has wished teammate Nigel De Jong a speedy recovery after snapping his Achilles tendon yesterday.

The Dutch international was stretchered off in the Rossoneri's 4-2 win at Torino on Sunday, and the 27-year-old has admitted that he was delighted with the win, but not with his friend's long-term absence.

“It was really enjoyable going away from home and scoring four goals, “he told Milan's official website.

“Especially at a difficult place like Torino. We were all happy with the win, but sad for Nigel and the injury he suffered.

“I want to wish Nigel good luck – I hope he is back playing for us soon.”

The San Siro side have suggested that De Jong's injury could see him miss the rest of the season, whilst President Silvio Berlusconi has confirmed that they will look to replace the former Manchester City man in January.

Barbara Berlusconi talks AC Milan
10.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan director Barbara Berlusconi has conceded that the days of buying ready-made champions are in the past.

The Diavolo were once a powerhouse on the transfer market, aided by the funds of President Silvio Berlusconi – Barbara’s father.

But, speaking with L’Equipe, Barbara underlined that the current economical climate means that the Rossoneri will have to adjust.

“The idea to cut costs is the only road to take,” she stated. “Football doesn’t like change, but there are times when decisions need to be made.

“That’s not to say that we can’t buy champions, but our ideas are different. We want our youngsters to grow and we want to construct a side around them.”

Milan have already put that into practice after selling Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Paris Saint-Germain, thus allowing Stephan El Shaarawy to flourish.

“Let’s say that we seized a good opportunity with this offer from PSG which was too good to refuse,” she added.

“To lose a player of great quality is always disagreeable, but that's the way things are. One champion goes and we make another…

“When I talk about a home-made champion, it doesn't only mean he comes from our youth academy. El Shaarawy doesn't.

“But we bought him when he was quite young and we've helped him mature. We have the experience to allow his talent to blossom.”

She also insisted that Milan are not envious of PSG – a club who are now one of the richest in the world game.

“We don't envy anyone. We're the club with the most titles of any in the world. Today, I only have admiration for clubs like Bayern Munich who have put in place a healthy economic system.”

Pastore rejects Milan duo
10.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Javier Pastore is ready to snub transfer interest in him from both Milan clubs in order to stay at Paris Saint-Germain.

The South American is being paired with Milan and Inter given his difficulties at PSG so far this season.

Although he admits that he’s honoured to be on the radar of the San Siro giants, the Argentine doesn’t plan on leaving France.

“It is nice to be followed by clubs such as Inter and Milan, it’s very pleasing,” the former Palermo sensation noted.

“I’ve heard all of the rumours, but I’m happy in Paris and there is no chance that I will be leaving this club.

“My none optimum performances to date are pushing me to do even better, not pushing me to run away…”

The creative midfielder left Palermo in August 2011 for Paris Saint-Germain at a cost of €43m.

AC Milan to replace De Jong
10.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan chief Silvio Berlusconi has confirmed that the club will look to replace Nigel De Jong during the January transfer window.

The Dutchman could miss the rest of the season after he snapped his Achilles tendon in the 4-2 win at Torino on Sunday.

“We’re disappointed, it is a real shame for De Jong,” the former Italian Prime Minister told Sky Sport Italia after the game.

“We’re evaluating the opportunity of going back on to the market if that is what is necessary.”

The 28-year-old has scored one goal in 12 League appearances for the Diavolo following his summer arrival.

The midfielder joined the Diavolo from Manchester City for a fee believed to be in the region of €5m.

Mancini: 'Balotelli can't continue like this'
9.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini blasted Mario Balotelli today, increasing reports he could join Milan “He has to think about his job.”

The Italian international started today’s 3-2 Manchester Derby defeat to United, but was substituted five minutes into the second half.

“I love Mario as a guy and a player, but it is important for him to start to think about his job,” slammed Mancini.

“He has everything to play well but he can't continue to play like today. We want more from Mario because he has everything. He has top quality.

“When you have a player of this quality you can’t understand that he could continue to throw this out of the window. This is incredible.

“I saw a player like this in my life with fantastic quality but in the end they did nothing. I don't want Mario to finish like this player because it’s not good for him.

“I wanted to see if Mario did well at the start of the second half, but after the five minutes he played I saw that he was playing like in the first half.”

Milan President Silvio Berlusconi stated this weekend that Balotelli was “too expensive” at a reported £28m price-tag but the Rossoneri are ready to swoop if the situation between player and club becomes untenable.

Mancini hinted with his comments that Manchester City are fast running out of patience with SuperMario, who is a self-confessed Rossoneri supporter.

Allegri rues De Jong injury
9.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri cannot entirely celebrate Milan’s victory in Turin, as he confirms “Nigel De Jong will be out for the rest of the season.”

The Rossoneri were already in the middle of an injury crisis when fighting back to beat Torino 4-2.

“We did well to earn a great victory. Perhaps in the first half we could’ve done more in terms of technique and pace, but the lads still created a lot and I am satisfied with their performance,” said the Coach.

“We are slowly growing and improving. It’s just a terrible shame about De Jong, who will be out for the rest of the season, and of course all the lads dedicate the win to him.”

De Jong limped off after 22 minutes and has been diagnosed with a torn Achilles tendon, which will keep him out for five to six months.

“We controlled the ball well today, but didn’t push forward with through runs enough. We were static and that is why we went behind.

“Giampaolo Pazzini played well, his presence was felt in the air and we needed his physicality against Torino.”

De Jong’s injury will force Milan back on the market, but meanwhile the transfer gossip continues to link them with Mario Balotelli and Javier Pastore.

“We’ll see what to do about De Jong’s role in January, but we do have Sulley Muntari, Massimo Ambrosini and Mathieu Flamini.

“Who would I choose between Balotelli and Pastore? They are both excellent players, but one belongs to Manchester City and the other to PSG.”

De Jong out for six months
9.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan have confirmed Nigel De Jong snapped the Achilles tendon in his left leg and will be out for five to six months.

The Dutch midfielder went down 22 minutes into today’s 4-2 Serie A victory away to Torino and immediately made gestures towards the bench that it was a serious problem.

Initial reports of damage to the Achilles tendon was confirmed this afternoon and he will be out of action for approximately five to six months.

De Jong had only joined from Manchester City in the summer, but will now be sidelined for the rest of the season.

Serie A: Torino 2:4 AC Milan - goals/highlights
9.12 || webmaster

Serie A: Torino 2:4 AC Milan - match report
9.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Santana 28 (T), Robinho 40 (M), Nocerino 53 (M), Pazzini 61 (M), El Shaarawy 76 (M), Bianchi 80 (T)

AC Milan gifted Torino the opener, but fought back in an exciting 4-2 victory at the Olimpico and lost Nigel De Jong to injury.

The Rossoneri were finding their feet again with two consecutive Serie A victories and were through to the Champions League knockouts, but Max Allegri had a bit of an injury crisis to deal with. Kevin-Prince Boateng was suspended with Riccardo Montolivo, Alexandre Pato, Kevin Constant, Daniele Bonera and Francesco Acerbi unavailable, so he broke out the 4-3-3 system. Toro were smarting from their 3-0 Turin Derby hammering, though affected by Kamil Glik’s early red card. He was naturally suspended for this game.

Milan hadn’t visited the Granata in Serie A since a 2-2 draw in November 2008, while they were unbeaten here since a 1-0 loss in November 2001.

Mario Alberto Santana flashed a snapshot wide in the opening 70 seconds and Angelo Ogbonna risked an own goal on Ignazio Abate’s cross.

Pazzini nodded Mattia De Sciglio’s cross over and on the counter Amelia had to rush off his line to smother at the feet of Riccardo Meggiorini following a Mario Yepes error. Pazzini sprung the offside trap and pulled back from the by-line for El Shaarawy to fire over, though replays show the flag should’ve been raised.

Milan’s injury crisis deteriorated, as Nigel De Jong limped off after just 22 minutes, making way for Massimo Ambrosini. Initial reports were very bad, suggesting damage to the Achilles tendon.

Torino took the lead thanks to an absolute howler from Antonio Nocerino. His dreadful backpass from the centre-circle was straight at Santana, who dribbled all the way into the box and round Amelia to slip into an empty net.

Milan managed to equalise with a fine goal from Robinho, who ran down the left side of the box, but back past Valerio Di Cesare and smashed across Jean-Francois Gillet with his left toe from a very tight angle.

The Rossoneri completed their comeback after the break, as El Shaarawy ran away from defenders and his cross was only palmed away by Gillet into the path of Nocerino. The midfielder was ready to nod in, making up for his first half howler.

Ignazio Abate was booked for taking down Rolando Bianchi on the counter-attack, but the Torino striker had wanted a straight red.

Pazzini further extended the advantage to 3-1 when clattering into Salvatore Masiello from behind to win back possession in the box and place an angled drive across Gillet, but Toro were furious at the foul.

A Valter Birsa long-range strike was deflected just past the post, while Urby Emanuelson went even closer with a swerving effort from the edge of the box that landed on the crossbar.

Moments later Milan rattled the woodwork again, as Pazzini nodded a De Sciglio cross on to the upright.

El Shaarawy consolidated his Capocannoniere status, though it was a gift as Gillet fumbled an easy low cross and the Little Pharaoh only had to tap in from six yards.

Toro did get one back with Rolando Bianchi’s looping header on a Birsa cross from the right. The Granata kept pushing for pride and Amelia cleared a Birsa header off the line.

Torino: Gillet; Darmian, Di Cesare, Ogbonna, Masiello; Gazzi, Basha; Cerci (Birsa 46), Meggiorini (Sansone 65), Bianchi, Santana (Verdi 74)

Milan: Amelia; Abate, Mexes, Yepes, De Sciglio; Nocerino, De Jong (Ambrosini 22), Emanuelson; Robinho, Pazzini (Bojan 81), El Shaarawy (Flamini 74)

Ref: Romeo

Ventura has AC Milan warning
9.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Torino Coach Giampiero Ventura warns his team “are working to become more clinical” against Milan this afternoon.

The Rossoneri visit the Stadio Olimpico in Turin against a Granata side that is eager to make up for their 3-0 derby defeat.

“Milan are coming here with great conviction, because now they are getting results and going through a positive period of form,” said Ventura.

“Our strength is in the team unit, so there are players able to stand in for the suspended Kamil Glik.

“Torino’s objectives have to be securing another year in Serie A. We cannot go into the campaign thinking it’ll be a walk in the park.

“This will be a tough game, but we are working to fix our mistakes and become more clinical. We have regrets from the last two games, dropping points to Fiorentina in the last six minutes and not being able to play with 11 men against Juventus. Hopefully we won’t be left with regrets again.

“Our approach may well depend on how Milan are set up. We will see and adapt.”

Torino squad for Milan: Agostini, Basha, Bianchi, Birsa, Brighi, Cerci, D'Ambrosio, Darmian, Di Cesare, Gazzi, Gillet, Gomis, Masiello, Meggiorini, Ogbonna, Rodriguez, Sansone, Santana, Sgrigna, Stevanovic, Suciu, Verdi, Vives

Serie A: Torino vs. AC Milan - squad
8.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Abbiati, Amelia, Coppola, Gabriel, Abate, Antonini, De Sciglio, Mesbah, Mexes, Yepes, Zapata, Ambrosini, De Jong, Emanuelson, Flamini, Nocerino, Strasser, Bojan, El Shaarawy, Niang, Pazzini, Robinho.

Berlusconi: 'Robinho changing his mind'
8.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

President Silvio Berlusconi announced Robinho “is changing his mind” about leaving Milan for a return to Brazil.

The striker has been repeatedly linked with a January exit to Santos, although there is also interest from Corinthians and Flamengo.

“I want him to stay here with us, as he is a good man and a great player with wonderful technique,” Berlusconi told Milan Channel during a visit to the training ground.

“I speak to him often. He said some things that are making me understand he’s changing his mind and could stay.”

While Berlusconi’s comment was meant to be reassuring, it effectively confirmed that Robinho is intent on leaving San Siro.

'Balotelli Mona Lisa? AC Milan collect art'
8.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan continue to drop hints they’re bidding for Mario Balotelli. “He costs as much as the Mona Lisa? Well, we are art collectors...”

This week agent Mino Raiola warned a deal for SuperMario was extremely difficult, as “he costs as much as the Mona Lisa.”

Vice-President Adriano Galliani spoke to Sky Sport Italia cameras today and was asked about this comment.

“I often talk to Raiola. He goes around with his works of art, but we are collectors...”

Today Italian newspapers stated that Manchester City have set a price tag of either €35m or €40m – equivalent to £28m or £32m.

However, President Silvio Berlusconi arrived for his now traditional weekly motivational session with the squad and gave a different view of events.

“My comment on Balotelli was misinterpreted. He is too expensive and it is no longer the time for certain moves.

“I am worried about Pato, but satisfied that we are climbing back up the Serie A table. Finally we are hanging on to the leading sides.”

Milan also progressed to the last 16 of the Champions League, albeit in second place.

“Whatever opponent we draw will make no difference. We’d like to face a big club, because this Milan becomes great against the great sides.”

Allegri reveals AC Milan injury crisis
8.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri admits he has an injury crisis on his hands as Milan take on Torino, but is confident “we’ll be in a great position come February.”

The Rossoneri visit Torino on Sunday afternoon and have a lengthy absentee list, as Riccardo Montolivo, Kevin Constant, Alexandre Pato, Djamel Mesbah and Daniele Bonera are injured with Kevin-Prince Boateng suspended.

“It’s a pity, as Montolivo had been doing well recently, while Boateng and Constant were improving. I guess another three will have to play,” shrugged the Coach in his Press conference.

“Can it be Giampaolo Pazzini’s game? Either he or Bojan will start. I am happy with Pazzini’s performances, as he has contributed to the team, but he does need to score.

“Ignazio Abate and Luca Antonini have recovered, Sulley Muntari is close to a comeback and Daniele Bonera will resume training tomorrow. Montolivo and Constant will be back against Pescara.

“Pato still has pain and a bruise in his knee that isn’t being absorbed, so we’ll see his condition next week. Marco Amelia could be in goal again tomorrow, as he is doing well.

“This isn’t the right time to talk about the transfer market. I will only say that there are 32 players in the squad, which is too many.”

Milan are among the clubs who have been linked with an offer for Torino defender Angelo Ogbonna.

“He is a good player, but I don’t like talking about those who belong to other clubs,” noted Allegri.

“Torino are organised and play good football. We are ready for this game, but know it is going to be very tough. What tactic will we use? 4-3-and then we’ll see.”

The Rossoneri progressed to the Champions League knockouts in second place and Allegri hopes things will change by the time those ties come round.

“There are three months to go and now we must focus on Serie A. I am sure we’ll be in a great position come February.”

Ancelotti: 'I want PSG - AC Milan Final'
8.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

PSG boss Carlo Ancelotti has a very special dream for the Champions League Final: “I’d love to face Milan.”

The former Rossoneri Coach won the trophy twice at San Siro and his Paris Saint-Germain have impressed in the group phase.

“Milan are in a transitional phase, but have made the most out of talents like Stephan El Shaarawy and Mattia De Sciglio,” Ancelotti told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I hope I won’t draw them in the Round of 16, but I’d love to face Milan in the Final. That is not a dream, either.

“In Serie A Juventus are a step above, though I see Napoli as the team best equipped to challenge them. Inter have changed too much for a title push this season.”

While PSG have impressed in the Champions League, they have stuttered in Ligue 1 and are falling off the title pace.

“No, I am not happy with the way the season is going and neither are the club owners, although they did reassure me. There are so many expectations around PSG and consequently rumours too, but rumours do not always point to the truth.

“I have a strong rapport with Leonardo and never feared I would be sacked. We’ve lacked group spirit so far, but that’s normal considering there are 15 new players. The project is ambitious, PSG have history and it would be wonderful for me to help them win something.”

After signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, PSG have been linked with a January swoop for Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi.

“There will be no further arrivals in January other than Lucas Moura.”

Manchester City set £ 28 mil Balotelli price-tag
8.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Italian media claim Manchester City set Mario Balotelli’s price-tag at €35m, so Milan are intercepting Inter’s bid for PSG man Javier Pastore instead.

The Rossoneri have made it clear they want to bring SuperMario back to Serie A after his struggles to settle with Roberto Mancini’s side.

According to the Italian newspapers this morning, Manchester City have set the price-tag at somewhere between €35m and €40m for a January move (between £28m and £32m) – altogether too much for President Silvio Berlusconi.

The only way to raise funds would be to sell Robinho to a Brazilian side for €12m, as he has offers from Santos, Cruzeiro, Atletico Mineiro and Flamengo.

With this in mind, La Gazzetta dello Sport suggests Milan are changing tack and have contacted the agent of PSG trequartista Pastore.

The former Palermo star has been deeply disappointing in Paris and heavily linked with a January switch to Inter.

However, La Gazzetta dello Sport claims general manager Adriano Galliani met with agent Marcelo Simonian two days ago to discuss the possibility of taking Pastore on loan in January to help him regain his form.

Abate: De Sciglio going places
7.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan full-back Ignazio Abate has praised teammate Mattia De Sciglio after the youngster's impressive performances this season.

The Primavera product has been playing in place of the injured 26-year-old, but has claimed he is a player who is 'going places'.

“Mattia is doing well,” he told Milan Channel. “He is growing both defensively and offensively.

“But now comes the hard part. He is a head on his shoulders though and is definitely a player going places.

“I think the competition is normal in a great team – it would be a problem if there wasn't any.”

He also commented on the Rossoneri's recent upsurge in form after their poor start.

“We are in a positive period at the moment,” he said. “We have to try and make the most of it and claim as many points as possible.

“We lost so many games and too many away from home, but we will try to give our best between now and Christmas.”

AC Milan, Inter and Juventus want Balotelli
7.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Gazzetta dello Sport is today suggesting that Milan, Inter and Juventus are all thinking about making a bid for Mario Balotelli.

Despite his agent making it clear this week that no Italian clubs would be able to afford the Manchester City man in the current climate, the Gazzetta insists the three big Serie A outfits all want him.

Milan have been open admirers of the Italian international and President Silvio Berlusconi insisted on Tuesday that netting the forward was no dream.

Inter, meanwhile, are believed to have a buy-back option which was agreed when they sold the player to City in the summer of 2010.

The 22-year-old is also seemingly on the radar of Italian champions Juventus who continue to look for a ‘top player’ in attack.

Juve are hoping that their developing relationship with agent Mino Raiola, who also represents Paul Pogba, could help.

Balotelli joined City at a cost of €22m. His valuation today could be around 50 per cent higher than that figure.

2016 Champions League final at San Siro?
6.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports that the 2016 Champions League Final will be held at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan.

Italian media are confident a deal has been struck with UEFA, though it will only be made official in March.

It would be the fourth time that this trophy is handed over at the Stadio Meazza, most commonly referred to as San Siro based on the area of the city.

It was played here in 1965 when Inter beat Benfica 1-0, 1970 with Feyenoord 2-1 Celtic and in 2001 was decided on penalties after Bayern Munich and Valencia drew 1-1.

The 2015 Champions League Final is set to be played in Berlin.

I admire AC Milan, admits Puyol
6.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol has admitted that he would like to face Milan in the last 16 of the Champions League.

The Blaugrana defender has claimed that he does not care who they play in the knockout stages, after they qualified top of Group G with a 0-0 draw against Benfica yesterday.

But the 34-year-old did concede that the Rossoneri are always a team that catches his eye.

“We do not care who our next rival is,” he told a Press conference. “However, you know that I like to play against Milan.

“They are a team that I admire.”

Barca played Massimiliano Allegri's side four times in last season's Champions League, meeting twice in the group stages and again in the quarter-finals, where the Spanish side went through 3-1 on aggregate.

Santos' Leo: Robinho will join
6.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Santos defender Leo believes Milan forward Robinho is on the verge of rejoining the Brazilian club.

The 37-year-old, who has had two separate stints at the Sao Paulo club spanning eight years, is convinced that the Rossoneri striker is close to completing a move to the Peixe.

“I have already spoken with Robinho twice,” he told A Bola. “The word is that will arrive.

“We expect it to happen, but let's see.”

Who await Juventus and AC Milan?
6.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus may have finished top of their Champions League group, but they still risk being paired with Real Madrid. The last 16 could be tricky for Milan too.

The Old Lady’s 1-0 win at Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday saw them overtake the Ukrainian outfit to top their section.

As a consequence, the Turin giants will now take on a side who finished second amongst the other groups and there are six options.

Porto, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Valencia, Celtic and Galatasaray are possible opponents as they can’t face fellow Italian club Milan or Shakhtar again at the next stage.

Meanwhile, Milan finished second to Malaga and thus run the risk of being put up against Paris Saint-Germain, Schalke, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Barcelona or Manchester United.

Juventus will play the first leg of their tie away from home, while Milan will entertain their opponents at San Siro in their first leg encounter.

The draw for the last 16 will take place on Thursday 20 December.

Champions League last 16 qualifiers…

Group A: PSG, Porto

Group B: Schalke, Arsenal

Group C: Malaga, Milan

Group D: Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid

Group E: Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk

Group F: Bayern Munich, Valencia

Group G: Barcelona, Celtic

Group H: Manchester United, Galatasaray

Juventus could draw: Porto, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Valencia, Celtic and Galatasaray.

Milan could draw: Paris Saint-Germain, Schalke, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Manchester United.

Raiola on Ibrahimovic and El Shaarawy
5.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Agent Mino Raiola warns “Zlatan Ibrahimovic won’t end his career at PSG,” while Stephan El Shaarawy turned down offers from London.

Ibra has been a key figure in Paris since making the move from Milan this summer, though has never been known to stay at one club for long and has already been linked with Manchester City.

“Ibrahimovic won’t end his career at PSG,” Raiola told Sky Sport Italia. “Unless, of course, he renews his contract.”

Raiola also dropped hints that current Milan and Italy starlet El Shaarawy received proposals from the Premier League.

“He is doing well at Milan and they are right to give space to young players. If he wants to, he can explain why he didn’t go to London.”

There had been reports of interest from Arsenal and Chelsea in ‘The Little Pharaoh.’

Flamini hints at AC Milan exit
5.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mathieu Flamini’s contract with Milan expires at the end of the season, so he has left the door open for a January move to Olympique Marseille.

“There are various options for my future, which is why there is so much talk,” the French midfielder told L’Equipe.

“Right now I am at Milan and what counts is finishing the first half of the season in the best way possible. Marseille? For now I am here, then we’ll see...”

The former Arsenal man has barely featured for the Rossoneri due to a series of injuries and was never particularly high up the pecking order.

He started Tuesday’s Champions League 1-0 defeat to Zenit, a meaningless game as Milan had already qualified.

“It is always a pleasure to start a match. In a career there can be difficult moments, but it’s a marathon, not a sprint and I have no intention of pulling back. I remain concentrated so I can prove the Coach can count on me.”

Balotelli too pricey for AC Milan
5.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Mario Balotelli insists that the Manchester City man won’t join Milan. “He costs as much as the Mona Lisa.”

The Italian international is again being paired with the Diavolo after President Silvio Berlusconi fuelled transfer rumours last night.

However, representative Mino Raiola has underlined that no Serie A sides have the finances to land his client.

“Balotelli costs as much as the Mona Lisa,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “There are no teams in Italy who could afford him.”

'Paloschi like Super Pippo'
5.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alberto Paloschi has been likened to legendary Italian striker Filippo Inzaghi by Chievo Verona teammate Gennaro Sardo.

The 22-year-old has had an injury-plagued start to the season, but he netted a fine hat-trick in the 4-2 win at Genoa on Sunday.

“Alberto is an extraordinary kid and player,” Sardo noted of the forward who has four goals in four Serie A games this term.

“He plays like Pippo Inzaghi, his second goal on Sunday was an example of that. He has the future of a great champion.”

Paloschi, who has had spells at Parma and Genoa in the past, joined Chievo on loan in the summer from Milan.

The Flying Donkeys have an option to sign 50 per cent of the Italian Under-21 international’s contract at the end of the season.

Bojan doesn't want Barcelona
5.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan forward Bojan Krkic has admitted that he fears being drawn against former club Barcelona in the next round of the Champions League.

The Rossoneri, having finished second in their group, will face a group winner in the last 16 and Barca will be one possibility.

“Honestly, I hope we don’t draw Barcelona,” the Spanish international noted to Milan Channel after last night’s 1-0 home defeat to Zenit St Petersburg.

“The other teams are all the same for me. In the last 16 of the Champions League they’re all top teams, but my ex club is a step above.”

Acerbi: I'll pick up Balotelli!
5.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Francesco Acerbi says he’d welcome Manchester City and Italy ace Mario Balotelli to Milan. “I’d go and pick him up.”

Super Mario is again being paired with a switch to the Rossoneri after President Silvio Berlusconi seemed to open the door for a January bid.

“Balotelli is a great player who would be of use to any team,” the centre-back noted to Sky Sport Italia. “I’d be more than happy if he came here.

“Actually, I’d even go to England and pick him up.”

Acerbi himself joined the Diavolo in the summer, but he hasn’t featured regularly even if he did play in last night’s 1-0 loss to Zenit.

“Getting on the pitch only does me good, even if I’m tired now after this match and the one against Catania. If you don’t play often, it’s normal to feel fatigue.

“My future? I’ll be staying in January so long as that is what Milan want…”

Allegri: 'Zenit more motivated'
5.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri admits Zenit “were probably more motivated” than already-qualified Milan in the Champions League tonight.

“The team played fairly well and we conceded a goal that was avoidable with a little more attention and reactivity,” said the Coach after a 1-0 home defeat.

“We had two really good chances in the first half. Admittedly, we lost our shape a bit in the last 10 minutes, but that was normal.

“It was important for us to play a game like this in order to help us grow. Zenit gave away 10 more free kicks than us, which says it all. They were probably more motivated.”

While Milan were already certain of second place in Group C, Zenit needed a result to be sure of qualifying for the Europa League. Anderlecht drew 2-2 away to leaders Malaga in the other game.

“We were lacking something on the flanks tonight. We continue to concede too many goals and that remains our biggest weakness. We’ve got to work on improving that aspect.”

Flamini: 'AC Milan dominated Zenit'
5.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mathieu Flamini was “disappointed” with Milan’s home defeat to Zenit, “as we dominated the game.”

Their Champions League spot in the knockouts was already secure, but the 1-0 loss at San Siro means they finish Group C with only two points from three home fixtures.

“We took the initiative and created many scoring opportunities. They defended well and didn’t allow us anything,” said the French midfielder.

“The President told us this was an important game and we wanted to win, but were unable to do so.

“We are disappointed because we dominated the game and instead they punished us with their only first half chance. After the goal they clammed up and we couldn’t find the space to score despite so many efforts.”

Berlusconi: 'Balotelli not a dream'
4.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan President Silvio Berlusconi and his daughter both dropped hints of a January bid for Mario Balotelli. “He is not a dream.”

The Rossoneri have been repeatedly linked with the unsettled Manchester City star, who has barely featured under Roberto Mancini this season.

President Berlusconi arrived at San Siro for tonight’s Champions League game against Zenit and spoke briefly to Sky Sport Italia cameras.

“Balotelli? He is not a dream,” smiled the former Italian Prime Minister. “I hope Milan continue like this. I am pleased that my visits fire up the squad, as my players say.”

Barbara Berlusconi, who is on the Board of Directors, was also asked about Balotelli this evening at a different event.

“The transfer window only opens in January,” she said.

Champions League: AC Milan 0:1 Zenit - match report
4.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Danny 35 (Z)

Luciano Spalletti’s Zenit earned a 1-0 win at San Siro to reach the Europa League, but already-qualified Milan couldn’t make their chances count.

It is only Zenit’s second ever away victory in the Champions League, the other being at BATE Borisov in 2008-09, while Max Allegri’s men end the group phase with just two points from three home games.

The Rossoneri were already qualified, so rotated the squad with Djamel Mesbah, Cristian Zapata, Mathieu Flamini and Giampaolo Pazzini getting rare starts. Philippe Mexes was suspended, joining the injured Kevin Constant, Luca Antonini and Alexandre Pato. Luciano Spalletti’s Zenit missed Vladimir Bystrov and Domenico Criscito, but needed a result to reach the Europa League ahead of Anderlecht.

After just four minutes Milan were denied an evident penalty, as Bruno Alves flattened Pazzini from behind, but the referee waved play on.

Sergei Semak blasted over from distance, while Zapata did well to rush back and rob Hulk on the counter-attack with a clean tackle in the box.

Pazzini’s glancing header on a corner fell to Zapata, who at full stretch couldn’t keep it down. Mattia De Sciglio put in a series of excellent crosses from the right, but the strikers were unable to make the most of them.

Instead, Zenit took the lead with their first chance of the game after 35 minutes. Danny burst into the box and his pull-back wasn’t cleared properly, so he got back on it to steer a low angled drive into the far bottom corner.

Bojan attempted an overhead kick that whistled wide and Vyacheslav Malafeev had his gloves stung by a fierce Flamini snapshot.

In first half stoppages, a free kick whipped across the face of goal, where Pazzini only got a glancing header.

It should’ve been 1-1 after the restart when Kevin-Prince Boateng ran down the right and saw his strike denied by Malafeev’s outstretched foot, then Aleksandr Anyukov made a desperate clearance to stop Urby Emanuelson getting the tap-in.

Pazzini nodded a cross off target and Robinho was introduced for defender Mesbah to give a greater attacking threat. Boateng ballooned over the bar, but Bojan had a great chance when he ran on to a Robinho through ball and was crucially tackled by Tomas Hubocan as he was about to pull the trigger, the loose ball flashing past Pazzini.

Francesco Acerbi almost scored the strangest of goals, as a clearance thumped him in the crotch and ricocheted back into the arms of goalkeeper Malafeev.

Milan were dominating in the second half, but struggling to turn the pressure into goals, so top scorer Stephan El Shaarawy was thrown on for the final 10 minutes. Hulk was also substituted by Zenit and vented his anger at Spalletti, refusing to shake his hand and shouting. The Coach wagged his finger at the fiery striker.

Robinho’s curler was inches wide of the far post, as was El Shaarawy’s daisy-cutter on the turn. Milan gave 17-year-old Andrea Petagna his debut in stoppages and Acerbi had to stop Maksim Kanunnikov going clear on the counter.

There was chaos at the 93rd minute when three Zenit players lined up to finish another counter, but desperate blocks and a Christian Abbiati save on Kanunnikov denied the Russians a second goal.

AC Milan 0-1 Zenit

Scorers: Danny 35 (Z)

Milan: Abbiati; De Sciglio, Acerbi, Mesbah (Robinho 65), Zapata; Flamini (El Shaarawy 80), Ambrosini, Emanuelson; Boateng, Bojan (Petagna 91); Pazzini

Zenit: Malafeev; Anyukov, Bruno Alves, Lombaerts, Hubocan; Witsel, Denisov, Shirokov (Kanunnikov 88); Semak (Lumb 91), Hulk (Zyryanov 80), Danny

Ref: Chapron (FRA)

Berlusconi makes training ground visit
4.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan President Silvio Berlusconi has been at the club's training ground to voice his support for the team.

The Rossoneri owner has been a regular at Milanello over the past few weeks, with defender Luca Antonini claiming that the 76-year-old's inspiring words spurred them on to a victory against Juventus last month.

And the former Italian Prime Minister has been there again today, arriving at 10.00 GMT, as the San Siro side play Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League, and Torino in Serie A.

AC Milan to bid for Consigli
4.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan could look to rejuvenate their ageing roster of goalkeepers by signing Atalanta shot-stopper Andrea Consigli.

Tuttosport claim that the Rossoneri will make a bid for the 25-year-old next summer as Christian Abbiati's contract comes to an end in June.

The Lombardy-born No. 1 has been ever-present in La Dea's XI this term, conceding 20 goals in 14 matches.

A bid of around €5m is likely to force the Bergamo-based side's hand.

Spaletti 'too old' to coach AC Milan
3.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zenit St Petersburg boss Luciano Spalletti has ruled himself out of the running to become the next Coach of Milan.

Massimiliano Allegri has come under intense scrutiny this season at San Siro, but the 53-year-old has quashed rumours he may become the new man in charge of the Milanese giants.

“I'm too old to coach Milan,” he told a Press conference. “I still want to continue in Russia anyway.

“I have a good relationship with the President and have only just renewed my contract. However, in the future I would like to coach in England.”

He also made a surprise admission regarding Stephan El Shaarawy.

“El Shaarawy is a beautiful player,” he said. “He was proposed to me even back when I was at Empoli in 1998.”

Champions League: AC Milan vs. Zenit - squad
3.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Abbiati, Amelia, Gabriel, Acerbi, De Sciglio, Mesbah, Yepes, Zapata, Ambrosini, Boateng, Cristante, De Jong, Emanuelson, Flamini, Nocerino, Bojan, El Shaarawy, Pazzini, Petagna, Robinho.

Yepes: We will honour the shirt
3.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan defender Mario Yepes has claimed that the team will 'honour the shirt' as they face Zenit St Petersburg in a Champions League dead-rubber.

The Rossoneri will play the Russian champions at San Siro on Tuesday, with both sides already certain of their fate in the competition.

Massimiliano Allegri's side are guaranteed to finish second in Group C, whilst Luciano Spalletti's men cannot qualify whatever the circumstances.

But the Colombian centre-back has claimed that the squad will still take the match seriously.

“Tomorrow we will honour the Milan shirt and this competition,” he told a Press conference. “Even if we have already qualified for the next round.

“Zenit are led by a great Coach and began this journey perfectly capable of going through. That hasn't happened, but with a good result they could make the Europa league, so we will have to work hard to beat them.

“There is a different spirit in our team than there was a few weeks ago, and that is an important factor.”

AC Milan to keep hold of Acerbi
3.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan have told Francesco Acerbi that they have no intention of releasing him when the January transfer window opens.

The club have made it clear that they want to trim their squad after Christmas, but the defender doesn’t seem set for the chop.

“He’s made quite a leap from Serie B to Chievo and now to Milan, one of the most important clubs in the world,” agent Andrea Cattoli told Itasportpress.

“He has the total backing of the Milan board and Vice President Adriano Galliani told me a few days ago that Acerbi was not for sale and would not leave in January.

“He’s played some good games for Milan, but he needs time to demonstrate all of his qualities. He’s part of the young project at the club.”

The 24-year-old, part-owned with Genoa, has played in just five League games for the Diavolo this term.

Qualified AC Milan still want win
3.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Boss Massimiliano Allegri has warned his Milan side that defeat is not an option in their irrelevant tie against Zenit St Petersburg.

The Diavolo will host the Russians at San Siro on Tuesday, but it will have no bearing on the group as the Diavolo have already qualified as runners-up.

“It’s a Champions League game and we want to do well,” he stated. “In the last eight games in which we had already qualified, we’ve lost five and all of those were at home.

“Tomorrow I want to see a side with the right concentration to avoid another loss. It is an important game for the club’s finances and Italian football’s ranking.

“We have to get a result also because we want to give some continuity after our win at Catania.”

Allegri, however, will not be able to field his strongest side with Riccardo Montolivo and Stephan El Shaarawy set to be rested. Philippe Mexes, meanwhile, is suspended.

“We won’t change the system, but a few players will,” he added. “ It’s probable that Djamel Mesbah will start on the left of defence.

“Giampaolo Pazzini? He’s scored five goals, he played well against Juventus and he has my faith. He could play.

“He’s an important player for us, whether he starts or comes on during a game.”

Alexandre Pato will again miss out because of fitness issues. “He’s still struggling with his thigh and it will be tough to get him back for Sunday. We have to be cautious with him.”

Allegri was also asked about his club’s plans for the January transfer window.

“The club is alert to everything,” the tactician added. “We’ll have clear ideas when we sit down around a table to talk about it.

“Some individuals will certainly leave though because we can’t have 40 players at Milanello…”

No offers for Pato or Robinho
3.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan say they have no plans to sell Robinho or Alexandre Pato in January – even though they do want to reduce the size of their squad.

Robinho is again being paired with former club Santos, while Pato recently cast doubt over his future by insisting he wanted to play more often.

“Santos may be interested in Robinho, but it is not our intention to sell,” Vice President Adriano Galliani stated on Monday.

“There are no offers for any of our players at this point in time. I think that Pato is on the mend and everything has been cleared up with his agent.

“There are 32 players in the squad and if nobody leaves then nobody will come in. We’ll have to sell first and then buy, otherwise we’ll stay as we are.”

Galliani was again, inevitably, asked about a possible bid for Manchester City enigma Mario Balotelli.

“Balotelli? It’s a sentimental matter, but enough of this,” he added. “We’d have to get down to 26-27 players for him to arrive because there really are too many of us.

“If five don’t go, there will be no new signings.”

The official also praised striking sensation Stephan El Shaarawy, the kid who is Serie A’s top scorer this term thanks to his 12 goals so far.

“Neymar and El Shaarawy are the strongest 20-year-olds in circulation. They’d be a good paring, but, please, make it clear that I’m only joking otherwise…”

AC Milan plan Balotelli bid
2.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli has emerged as the sensational Milan transfer target for January, although he has to ‘break it off’ with Manchester City first.

President Silvio Berlusconi and his CEO Adriano Galliani have never disguised they have a soft spot for SuperMario, who is a self-confessed Rossoneri supporter.

According to both the Corriere dello Sport and Tuttosport this morning, Berlusconi has set his sights on a January swoop for the troubled hitman.

Seeing Balotelli combine brilliantly with Stephan El Shaarawy for Italy, the club is eager to revive that rapport on a weekly basis.

However, as Berlusconi warned a few days ago, “top strikers are hard to get in the current economic crisis. We’d need them to make the situation with their clubs unsustainable first, like Ronaldinho did with Barcelona.”

It was an open invite for Balotelli to break it off with Manchester City, where he has already run into problems with the club hierarchy and manager Roberto Mancini, as he was dropped for a lengthy spell due to his attitude in training.

During a Press conference this week, Mancini insisted there were no plans to sell Balotelli in January.

Inter have also been linked with a bid for the 22-year-old, but it is highly unlikely he would return to the Nerazzurri.

Catania rage at refs after AC Milan win
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Source: Football Italia

Catania Coach Rolando Maran and director Sergio Gasparin vented their fury after Milan’s controversial victory. “The psychological weakness for big clubs is evident.”

The Elefantini had taken the lead last night, but Stephan El Shaarawy equalised when clearly offside after Pablo Barrientos saw red and the Rossoneri eventually won 3-1.

“Those two incidents changed the game,” said Maran. “Before the dismissal we had not allowed anything to Milan and were able to interrupt all their moves. We were playing the match we wanted to and had prepared for all week.

“Unfortunately at Catania we are getting accustomed to certain things and it’s not a good habit to have. We are bitter about the result, because we wanted to get back on track after the Derby defeat, but at least I saw us work as a team again.”

There have been several controversial incidents at the Stadio Massimino this season, as Juventus also won here with an offside goal and a perfectly good Catania strike disallowed.

“When we play against a big club, it almost seems as if an offside goal is the rule,” snapped director Gasparin.

“We lost to Inter at San Siro with Andrea Stramaccioni admitting we deserved a penalty. Against Juventus and Milan we all know what happened.

“The psychological weakness of referees towards big clubs is evident. The errors of the assistants are even worse, as this El Shaarawy goal and the Juve one were pretty easy to spot. Evidently the offside flag weighs heavily in their hands when the big sides are playing.”

Serie A: Catania 1:3 AC Milan - goals/highlights
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Allegri admits to offside goal
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Source: Football Italia

AC Milan Coach Massimiliano Allegri admitted that Stephan El Shaarawy's first goal against Catania should have been disallowed.

The 20-year-old fired home just after half time, but the 45-year-old tactician has conceded that there was an offside.

“The first goal from El Shaarawy was offside,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “It was easy to see. It was tough on Catania, because they played a really good game.

“The first half was very even, but we improved vastly in the second half.

“It is an important win for us and it allows us to continue the good form we are on.”

El Shaarawy hopes to maintain form
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Source: Football Italia

AC Milan striker Stephan El Shaarawy hopes that the Rossoneri can keep up their good form after their 3-1 win over Catania.

The 20-year-old bagged two goals against the Elefanti, and has admitted that the team are coming together after a poor start to the season.

“I hope we can continue this for as long as possible,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “They were three big points for us.

“We haven't got any targets for the campaign, we just want to move as high up the table as possible.

“We are finding a balance in the side now that wasn't there before.”

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