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The Archive

June 2004

Milan yearn for Koller
30.6 || scharatz

The Rossoneri continue their search for a powerful centre-forward and have set their sights on Czech Republic star Jan Koller.

The giant striker stands at 2.02m tall and would suit the tactical requirements set out by Coach Carlo Ancelotti.

At the age of 31, the Borussia Dortmund man would also be a more affordable prospect than most of Milan’s other options for this role of fourth forward and scored 16 goals in 32 games during the last Bundesliga campaign.

The first choice had been Bernardo Corradi, but he now seems set to join Valencia later this week along with his Lazio teammate Stefano Fiore.

The Scudetto holders could yet go for a younger player who will not mind spending time on the bench, so they are also showing an interest in Brescia’s Under-21 international Andrea Caracciolo.

Caracciolo bagged a creditable 11 Serie A goals this season with the Rondinelle and would be available for around £7m.

Viola dream for Rui Costa
30.6 || webmaster

After being confirmed as Fiorentina boss for next season, Emiliano Mondonico has asked the club to sign Manuel Rui Costa.

The tactician was surprisingly kept in the job and he wasted no time in requesting the services of the Milan man.

The Portuguese ace spent seven seasons with the Viola before their financial troubles led to his Rossoneri move in 2001.

Rui Costa, currently on Euro 2004 duty, would possibly accept such a switch for two reasons in particular.

The first is that he has a close relationship with the Viola fans and has often said that he could one day return to the club.

The second factor is that he would be guaranteed first team football, something he is not at Milan given the emergence of Kaka.

The attacking midfielder, who is also of interest to former club Benfica, is tied to Milan until 2006.

Roma nervy over AC Milan, Man Utd Cassano interest
24.6 || webmaster

AS Roma know they must spend this season attempting to secure striker Antonio Cassano to a new contract.

The Italy international's current deal expires in 2006 and he has already refused to discuss new terms when approached at the end of the season.

AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani sat with Roma director general Franco Baldini at Italy's 1-1 draw with Sweden last week in a game in which Cassano dominated.

But it isn't just Milan which are tracking the young striker. Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is a long-time admirer, while free-spending Chelsea are sure to test Roma's resolve over the next 12 months.

Milan eye Emre swoop
24.6 || webmaster

Emre Belozoglu could become the latest Inter player to leave the Nerazzurri for city rivals Milan.

The Rossoneri have already brought the likes of Andrea Pirlo and Clarence Seedorf from Inter in the past.

Now reports suggest that the 23-year-old is an alleged target for the new Italian champions this summer.

It’s unclear whether Emre will figure in Roberto Mancini’s plans next term which could see him tempted by a move.

However, Inter will only let him go if they get either Massimo Ambrosini or Manuel Rui Costa in return.

Both spent most of the last campaign on the bench which suggests the proposed move could happen.

In other transfer news, Lazio are said to be on the verge of signing Jose Ze Maria after Perugia were relegated.

The capital club could also be about to wave goodbye to Roberto Muzzi. The veteran striker may be set for a return to newly promoted Cagliari.

Player Profiles: Marco Van Basten
22.6 || Seamus

If you were a football fan in the late 80’s and early 90’s, you surely know Marco Van Basten and his capabilities.

He was born on the 31st of October 1964 in Utrecth, Netherlands. He began his career with a short lived spell at local side Edilwijk before being whisked off to Dutch super club Ajax in Amsterdam. He played his first game for Ajax in the Eredivise on the 3rd of April 1982 against Nijmegen, fittingly replacing the reigning Dutch football legend Johan Cruyff and even managing to grab a goal in the process. What an unforgettable debut!

By 1986 he was considered as the most complete and lethal forward in Europe. He grabbed the European Golden Boot award with his 37 goals. At Ajax Van Basten won two Dutch Championships, two Dutch Cups and the European Cup Winners’ Cup. He played his final game for Ajax against Dynamo Dresden, winning the European Cup Winners Cup. He had scored 128 league goals in just 143 games at an unprecedented strike rate and was top scorer in Holland 4 times.

In 1987, he was transferred to Milan. He made his debut with on 13th September 1987 in Pisa and again scored a goal as Milan won 3-1.But in 1987-1988 season, he only managed to play 11 games with 3 goals after being plagued by an ankle injury that would haunt him for the rest of his career. Because of this injury, he started the 1988 European Championship as a subtitute. But later on managed to become the best player of the tournament. He scored a fantastic goal, considered as one of the best ever seen in football history.

Later on in Milan, Van Basten was heavily involved in helping the Rossoneri pick up 3 Scudetto’s, 2 European Cups, 2 World Club Cups and 2 European Super Cups. He scored an incredible 90 goals in 147 Serie A games. He also grabbed 3 European Footballer of the Year awards, 2 World Player of the Year awards, FIFA World Player of the year and 2 Capocannonere awards as Serie A top marksman. He also marked a 92.3% percentage rate at penalty kicks.

There is one interesting story back in the match in 1991-1992 season. In the match against Cagliari; in the first half Cagliari were leading 1-0. After half time, when all players returning to the field, Fabio Capello, Milan coach, showed the number of 3 with his fingers which showed to Marco Van Basten. Later on, Van Basten scored a hattrick in 18 minutes to help the Rossoneri win the game.

His career ended when he was on the top of the world. After winning the 1992 European Footballer of the year, 1992 world footballer of the year. and helping Milan to win the Scudetto and Champions League title, his career ended because his ankle injuries.

By January 1993, he was operated on for the 4th time. On 18th August 1995, in the Luigi Berlusconi trophy, Marco Van Basten, the greatest European striker of the last 20 years, left football. 85.000 people at San Siro stood up and clapped him. Football fans lost this maestro but always remember him in their hearts. Van Basten had made a legend of himself before his injury dramatically shortened his brilliant career. He was known as one of the complete strikers, able to score with both feet, also great with his head, while also possessing with great vision.

Van Basten’s achievements:
3 Dutch titles
3 Dutch Cups
3 times Dutch League top scorer
3 Italian titles
2 European Super Cups
2 European Cups
2 Intercontinental Cups
1 Cup Winners Cup
2 times Italian League top scorer
1 World Player of the Year award
1 Golden Boot award
3 times European Footballer of the Year
2 World Soccer Player of the Year awards

By Yunus Setiawan

Pippo pledges career to Rossoneri
19.6 || scharatz

Pippo Inzaghi is raring to get back on to the field of play and claims he’ll wear the Milan jersey for the rest of his days.

“I would like to play at the top level for another few seasons and end my career with the Rossoneri,” said the striker who signed from Juventus in the summer of 2001. “This is the best that I could wish for.”

The hitman proved pivotal in Milan’s Scudetto and Champions’ League success, but spent much of this season on the sidelines with a painful ankle injury. Surgery cleared up the problem, but it was too late to convince Giovanni Trapattoni of his fitness.

“Unfortunately,” he explained, “I wasn’t at all well and this year was a bit of a disappointment. The European Championships could have been an important chance for me and I really wanted to be there, but my ankle prevented it. At least now I can look forward to giving 100 per cent for Milan.”

Carlo Ancelotti’s side has dominated Italian football over the last two seasons, picking up the European Supercup and Coppa Italia along the way.

“I hope we can continue along this fantastic path,” added the 30-year-old, “so we can open a new era in this club’s history. It’s wonderful to see this summer all these great players who want to join us. This makes us proud, to wear a jersey everyone would want to be in.”

The latest star name to be linked with the San Siro side is Francesco Totti, who is clearly unsettled by the many problems at Roma.

“Totti isn’t the only one who’d love to be at Milan. This is a group that works well together and the club is doing a great job to make it even stronger.”

Milan snoop around Sneijder
19.6 || scharatz

The Rossoneri have renewed their long-standing transfer rapport with Ajax in a bid to bring in young talent Wesley Sneijder.

The attacking midfielder impressed during their meeting for the Champions’ League Group phase earlier this season and could be their third reinforcement after the arrival of Jaap Stam and Vikash Dhorasoo.

It’s reported that Milan’s transfer guru Ariedo Braida is already in Amsterdam to discuss terms with the Dutch giants.

They would be willing to release Sneijder for a figure approaching £6.5m, although that could be further reduced by the inclusion of a player in part-exchange.

Sneijder turned 20 years of age last week and is currently taking part in Euro 2004 with the Dutch squad. He would be particularly valuable for Coach Carlo Ancelotti at the San Siro, as he is two-footed and can play on either side of midfield.

Milan loan out Kutuzov to Sampdoria
18.6 || Seamus

Milan have loaned out Belorussian international striker Vitaly Kutuzov to fellow Serie A team Sampdoria for the 04/05 season.
The former Sporting Lisbon striker spent the last season on loan at Spanish Second division side Avellino and scored 15 goals.

Kutuzov stood little chance of getting into the Milan line-up with the likes of Andriy Shevchenko, Jon Dahl Tomasson and Filippo Inzaghi ahead of him.

Trap opts for Pirlo
18.6 || Seamus

Andrea Pirlo is set to start for Italy against Sweden on Friday following the suspension of Francesco Totti.

Indications from today’s training session suggested that the Azzurri will shelve their 4-2-3-1 formation in favour of a 4-3-1-2.

The defence should remain unchanged with Buffon in goal, guarded by Panucci, Nesta, Cannavaro and Zambrotta.

Milan’s Pirlo may be used as a deep playmaker, flanked by Cristiano Zanetti on the left and Gennaro Gattuso on the right.

Antonio Cassano, who replaces Totti, will play behind Christian Vieri and Alex Del Piero – the latter being used as a second striker rather than a left winger.

The Azzurri really need to win tomorrow night after only drawing 0-0 with Denmark in their first match. Sweden beat Bulgaria 5-0.

Nesta calls in Totti
13.6 || scharatz

Alessandro Nesta has urged Francesco Totti to leave Roma in favour of a summer switch to Milan.

The Giallorossi captain has been linked with a move away if he’s unconvinced by the competitiveness of his team next season.

The Italian champions would be interested and Nesta knows all about leaving Rome as he joined Milan from Lazio two years ago.

"I’m not sure what Francesco will do after the European Championships," said the international stopper.

"It certainly is not easy to leave the city and the club which have seen you grow up as a man and a player.

"However, I have no regrets at all about leaving Lazio because it was the right decision for me."

Nesta and Totti were once fierce rivals as respective captains of the capital duo but the defender hopes that they can now become club mates.

"It is obvious that I would be in favour of Francesco coming to play with us at Milan," he concluded.

Totti had stated that he would only join Real Madrid if he left the Olimpico, but they claim to be no longer chasing the No 10.

Mould Italy on Milan
13.6 || scharatz

Author: Susy Campanale of Channel 4's Football Italia


Milan have one of the best midfields in Europe, but Giovanni Trapattoni is the one man who doesn't know it.

So much has been said of Trap’s brave decision to dump the defensive tendencies and opt for an attacking line-up, but the 4-4-2 does not automatically lead to a dour display of football. Milan have shown over the last two years that the system can be tweaked to provide creativity and goals in abundance, all the time maintaining a solid back line.

Anyone who witnessed the Scudetto winners this season will find it astonishing that Andrea Pirlo and Gennaro Gattuso do not warrant a place in the starting line-up of the Italy squad. These are players envied the world over and, despite his Cro-Magnon man demeanour, Gattuso has improved a great deal in terms of technique and temperament.

In fact, Rino is a far preferable choice for midfield digger compared to Cristiano ‘Yellow Card’ Zanetti, a man with an infinitely worse disciplinary record and quite frankly not much improvement on his passing.

Zanetti managed to notch up eight bookings in 19 appearances during a Serie A season he spent mostly on the sidelines with a series of injuries, while Gattuso led Milan to Scudetto glory with just two yellow cards to his name. Where the former Rangers man is passionate, his counterpart is all too often merely thuggish and slow.

As for Simone Perrotta, the Chievo star is your classic hard worker who is not particularly blessed with inspirational searching passes for the forwards. Pirlo has made that deep midfield role his very own and proved so important in lifting the Champions’ League, Scudetto, European Supercup and Coppa Italia over the last two years. How can Trap possibly leave him on the bench?

The veteran tactician goes back to the old adage of balance, claiming that Francesco Totti cannot share the field with another creative player. In that case, one wonders how Carlo Ancelotti – a mere slip of a Coach compared to the grand old master of Italian football – managed to construct a successful side with Pirlo, Kaka’, Andriy Shevchenko, Pippo Inzaghi, Giuseppe Pancaro, Clarence Seedorf and Marcos Cafu in the same starting eleven?

Gianluca Zambrotta is born to bomb forward from the full-back position, but the choice of Christian Panucci ahead of the more inspired Massimo Oddo only highlights Trapattoni’s intentions. The reason he has refused to even experiment with Milan’s system is that it would be too attacking for his conservative tastes.

Yet for once these two factors could combine for something positive. Trap – and Under-21 Coach Claudio Gentile – always drift back towards a 4-4-2 the moment they qualify for a tournament anyway, so they may as well make it an entertaining take on their usual approach.

Keep Alessandro Del Piero out wide on the left, push Francesco Totti closer to Christian Vieri, where he is effective anyway as shown by his 20 goals for Roma this season, and give Zambrotta and Oddo free reign to push forward. Trap had every chance to experiment in a series of meaningless friendlies, but there’s still time to go for a system that mixes creativity with consistency. It’s not too late for Italy to shine.

Pirlo wants Euro 2004 starring role
11.6 || scharatz

After Gennaro Gattuso’s complaints, Andrea Pirlo has now warned he is not prepared to sit on the bench throughout Euro 2004.

“When I was called up,” revealed the Milan midfielder, “I was happy just to be among the 23 players going to the tournament. Now this isn’t enough for me any more and I want a first team place.”

Giovanni Trapattoni’s decision to ignore Milan’s successful system – and its main stars Gattuso and Pirlo – has provoked discussion in the Italian press.

However, the former Inter man is less abrasive in his analysis of the situation than his club teammate Gattuso.

“The 4-2-3-1 system is the one that allowed us to qualify, and therefore I think it only right that we should start with Cristiano Zanetti and Simone Perrotta,” noted Pirlo.

“But things can change in football and I will do everything I can to get into that line-up. After all, I can easily play in a variety of different systems and my presence isn’t necessarily linked to Gattuso.”

The 25-year-old started out his career as a Trequartista, but hit the big time with Milan in a deeper midfield role.

“I am relaxed and patient,” he continued, “because I know that sooner or later I will be given the chance to play, and I certainly won’t let that opportunity pass me by.”

Trap’s main worry is that Pirlo cannot share the field with creative centre Francesco Totti, but the experiment against Tunisia was fruitful.

“I don’t think us playing in the same side will be a problem,” concluded the Rossoneri star. “After all, the friendly games with this system were far from disappointing.”

Torres has Milan future
10.6 || scharatz

Milan are already at work in an attempt to sign Atletico Madrid ace Fernando Torres for the 2005/06 season.

The 20-year-old is considered as one of Spain’s most promising strikers and numerous clubs have been linked.

Manchester United and Juventus are monitoring his situation but the Rossoneri seem to be in pole position.

That is because Atletico reportedly still owe Milan around £17m after signing Cosmin Contra and Javi Moreno in the past.

The Spanish side could cancel that debt by handing over the player who may eventually replace Pippo Inzaghi at the San Siro.

"There is a lot of talk about Milan," stated Torres. "I like them as they are a great side who are used to winning.

"My former teammate Demetrio Albertini has also told me that there is a great atmosphere within the club.

"Yet I’m just used to focusing on one season at a time. I know that I will be at Atletico next season, then we’ll see what happens."

Totti opens Milan door
10.6 || scharatz

Francesco Totti could join Milan this summer if he’s not satisfied by Roma’s transfer campaign.

"I’ve already said that I will decide my future after July 4," he stated from Italy’s training camp today.

"The fans can stay calm, the club have informed me of five or six signings which I am satisfied with.

"If those players arrive then I will remain. If not then I will feel let down by the club and be freed from my promises."

Has Totti suggested any names to the Olimpico outfit regarding who should arrive before the start of next season?

"I am in contact with the club and every now and then they listen to me," he stated. "Gilardino? I hope he does arrive."

Ten days ago Totti insisted that he would only leave the capital for Real Madrid, but he’s today opened the Milan door.

"I’m ready to repeat what I said but this is football and anything can happen in this game," he noted. "You can never say never."

The Roma captain was also asked for his thoughts on Emerson’s probable move to Juventus.

"I’m not concerned about the Emerson situation," he answered. "I’m just thinking about who Roma will buy."

Ancelotti opts for Totti
10.6 || scharatz

Carlo Ancelotti says that he would rather have Francesco Totti in his Milan team than Ronaldinho.

Vice-president Adriano Galliani admitted earlier this week that the Barcelona ace would be his dream buy but Ancelotti disagrees.

"I prefer Totti out of the two of them," he told Telelombardia. "However, there are no negotiations regarding those players taking place."

Ancelotti labelled reports that Milan could be interested in the duo as fantasy football but he did reveal some transfer truths.

"We’ve already made some important signings this summer and there could be a new arrival in attack," he added.

"Kutuzov is an option for us after spending a good season on loan with Avellino in Serie B but he is still very inexperienced.

"Lazio’s Bernardo Corradi though is a great player. We know him well and if he arrived he would give us some different attacking characteristics."

Ancelotti was also asked about Gennaro Gattuso’s criticism of Italy boss Giovanni Trapattoni.

"Rino simply stated to Trap his position," said the Coach. "He didn’t want to cause any confrontation.

"He simply wants to play his part and he deserves too. He’s right when he says he is a reserve to nobody."

Milan rivals don’t worry Max
9.6 || Seamus

Massimo Ambrosini maintains that Milan will still be the team to beat next season no matter who their rivals sign.

Juventus look set to make quite an impact on the transfer market after Fabio Capello was named as their new Coach.

The Old Lady have been linked with moves for Roma ace Emerson and Italian striker Christian Vieri.

While Inter have already signed Argentine international Juan Sebastian Veron to strengthen their midfield.

But the Rossoneri player doesn’t seem too concerned about what other clubs are doing to catch Milan.

"I firmly believe that Milan will have that little bit more than anybody else no matter what happens this summer," he said.

"We demonstrated during the last campaign that we were the best side as we won the Scudetto.

"We will also go into the new campaign in a relaxed frame of mind as we won’t have to spend the summer worrying about the Champions’ League qualifiers."

Meanwhile, Milan are again being linked with a swoop for Lazio striker Bernardo Corradi today.

Reports suggests that they will offer the capital club £4.5m plus the services of young striker Marco Borriello in return.

Gattuso guts Trap tactics
8.6 || Seamus

The first signs of trouble in the Azzurri camp emerged when Gennaro Gattuso called Giovanni Trapattoni’s choices “absurd.”

“It is absurd that the Italy squad cannot even attempt to emulate Milan’s system,” snapped the midfielder. “It seems strange that someone like Trap, who has 20 years of experience in football, could think in such banal terms.”

The Rossoneri have won the Champions’ League, Scudetto and Coppa Italia in the last two seasons with Andrea Pirlo’s deep midfield role and Gennaro Gattuso as the main ball-winner.

However, Trap has made it perfectly clear he won’t switch to this ‘rhombus’ shaped midfield, preferring Inter’s Cristiano Zanetti and Chievo man Simone Perrotta in a 4-2-3-1 system.

“The Coach makes his decisions and that’s what he’s paid for,” continued Gattuso, “but I have just completed two brilliant seasons and have improved my technique.”

Yet it seems that ‘Rino’ is even more upset at the exclusion of his club teammate.

“It is absurd not to see Pirlo in the first choice line-up, because he is the envy of many a European nation and is among the best both in terms of technique and tactical intelligence. He doesn’t challenge for the ball in quite the same way as I do, but he makes up for that with his great vision.”

Gattuso was left out of Trapattoni’s side for several months after a row over his tactics, so the fiery former Glasgow Rangers man could be in for another battle during Euro 2004.

Seedorf blow for Holland
8.6 || Seamus

Milan ace Clarence Seedorf has been ruled out of Holland’s opening game of the 2004 European Championships.

The midfielder has picked up a hamstring injury and he will not feature in the June 15 tie against Germany.

The 28-year-old underwent tests earlier today and he’ll need around five days to fully recover.

Seedorf suffered the problem on Saturday during the 1-0 shock friendly defeat to the Republic of Ireland.

However, the Dutch medical staff are confident that the former Samp man will be fit enough to face the Czech Republic and Latvia.

Seedorf is expected to make a real impact at Euro 2004 after enjoying a stunning season with Milan.

Galliani - My dream is Ronaldinho
8.6 || Seamus

Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has revealed that his dream signing would be Barcelona playmaker Ronaldinho.

"My preference is for Brazilian players," said Galliani. "They play in a good way, they still smile, they are loyal.

"If I had to reveal my dream, I'd say Ronaldinho.

"But he isn't on the market. And everyone will write now that Milan want him!"

He added that the club will not be moving for Barca target Luis Fabiano.

Inzaghi has Olympic dream
7.6 || scharatz

Pippo Inzaghi has told Under-21 boss Claudio Gentile to consider him for the Olympic Games.

Italy qualified for the event on Saturday, having beat Portugal in the U-21 Euro Finals, and Inzaghi is keen after being dropped for Euro 2004.

"I was devastated to miss out on the squad," he told Controcampo. "It was a real shame because I’m in good shape now.

"Although the youngsters ensured Olympic qualification, I am ready for selection if Gentile wants me."

The Azzurrini will be allowed to use three over-aged individuals in Athens and Inzaghi is fit again after recent ankle surgery.

The former Juventus ace was also asked to comment on his club future as transfer rumours suggest he could be sold.

"I’m hearing the reports too but it is my intention to stay here with Milan," added the international.

Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti also seems keen on keeping the player by claiming he will be the club’s best summer ‘signing’.

"He said a similar thing last summer about Andriy Shevchenko and look what he achieved," stated Inzaghi. "I’m hoping history repeats itself."

Ancelotti has Real ambition
7.6 || scharatz

Carlo Ancelotti says that he would love to boss Real Madrid once his Milan spell comes to an end.

"If I ever had to leave Milan then I would like to go and work in Spain," he told the Corriere dello Sport newspaper.

"I really like how they play football over there and if I could choose a club then it would be Real Madrid."

Ancelotti is certainly making a name for himself on the world stage after finally getting rid of his ‘loser’ tag.

In two seasons at the San Siro, he has now won the Scudetto, the Champions’ League and the Coppa Italia.

However, Ancelotti admits that he would also be tempted by the prospect of the international game.

"There could be an important and hopefully successful spell for me on the Italy bench in the future," he added.

"However, for the time being I must just concentrate on the next year with Milan – a side that has never been so strong."

Meanwhile, some reports in the peninsula today claim that his club are interested in signing Ronaldinho.

"I like Brazilian players and if I had to name someone then I would say Ronaldinho," stated Vice-president Adriano Galliani.

The South American’s future at Barcelona is in doubt even if the Italian outfit would face stiff competition from Chelsea if he was made available for transfer.

Milan receive Kaka praise
7.6 || scharatz

Brazilian sensation Kaka has thanked Milan for giving him a chance to express his skills at the highest level.

The youngster was signed from Sao Paulo last summer and he was key in the Rossoneri’s Scudetto success.

"Playing in Italy has made me physically stronger and also improved my experience," said the 21-year-old. "I’ve had a fantastic year."

Kaka, who relegated Manuel Rui Costa to the bench after scoring 10 League goals, added that he’s looking forward to further victories next season.

"The arrival of Jaap Stam is great news as he was the best defender on the market," continued the attacking midfielder.

"I just now hope that the side still has the great hunger and desire needed to win more important trophies."

Kaka was also asked for his opinion on the shock news that Fabio Capello has left Roma to take over at Juventus.

"All sides will look to make changes and there will always be surprises but I wasn’t that shocked," he concluded.

Maldini: Milan remain the best
7.6 || scharatz

Paolo Maldini believes that despite the arrival of Fabio Capello at Juve, the reigning Italian Champions remain the team to beat.

“Capello will certainly be a central force in their rebuilding project,” he told newspaper ‘Tuttosport’, “and this choice as Coach is a strong signal of their intent this season. But Milan are still the team to beat, because we are the Champions.”

Juventus ended the campaign empty-handed and have brought in Italy’s most successful tactician to turn their fortunes around immediately.

“The news that Capello was moving to Turin took me by surprise,” confessed the legendary defender. “To be honest, I don’t think anyone was expecting it.”

Former Juve boss Carlo Ancelotti knows the club well, but he was also shocked by this change of direction.

“I didn’t see this coming at all,” admitted the Milan Coach. “Both Capello and Juventus are reliable, so this combination could be very successful indeed.”

Milan close in on Corradi
7.6 || scharatz

Despite Vice-President Adriano Galliani’s insistence to the contrary, it’s claimed Milan will sign Bernardo Corradi some time next week.

“Our transfer campaign is over,” assured the Rossoneri chief when asked about these reports. “Let us leave Corradi in peace to prepare for Euro 2004.”

The newspapers aren’t fooled by these comments and continue to maintain that Lazio forward Corradi will be released for around £5.5m.

The reigning Italian Champions have already brought in Jaap Stam from Lazio and out of contract Lyon midfielder Vikash Dhorasoo, but Pippo Inzaghi’s injury worries suggest a new striker is required.

Under-21 international Marco Borriello will probably be loaned out to gain experience with a smaller side and the newspapers maintain the man to replace him is Corradi.

“If Borriello does leave,” insisted Galliani, “then we would bring back Vitali Kutuzov from Avellino.”

Another option upfront is Brazilian hitman Luis Fabiano, who has been marked with a £7m price-tag by Sao Paolo.

“Luis Fabiano does not have an EC passport and is too expensive,” noted the Milan transfer guru, “but in a short while more Brazilian talents will emerge.”

Inzaghi set for Athens?
3.6 || scharatz

Pippo Inzaghi may wear the Italian national shirt this summer after all – at the 2004 Olympic Games.

The Milan striker has been left out of the Euro 2004 squad but there are reports that he may be on his way to Athens.

If the Italian Under-21 squad qualify for the event then boss Claudio Gentile could call the Rossoneri striker as three over-aged players will be allowed.

The Italian Football Federation are keen to land gold and Inzaghi would be available as Milan won’t be involved in the preliminary round of the Champions’ League.

The Azzurrini will book their place in Greece if they finish in the top three of the U-21 European Championship.

The side are close to that objective as they will face Portugal in the semi-finals on Friday evening.

Milan tour ends in defeat
2.6 || scharatz

The Rossoneri’s tour of China has concluded with another setback and the final match for Fernando Redondo.

After losing 2-1 to Hong Kong outfit Kitchee last week, the Serie A Champions were beaten 2-0 by Shenhua.

25,000 supporters packed into the Shanghai Stadium to witness this match, although the Italians had dominated the first half with wasteful finishing from Massimo Donati, Beppe Signori and Marco Borriello.

However, it was the home side that got on the scoresheet with goals from Qu and Sun to end this Far East tour. It was the final match in a Milan jersey for Redondo, while the rest of the players will reunite for pre-season training on July 14.

Shenhua 2-0 Milan

Scorers: Qu 52, Sun 54

Milan: Abbiati (Fiori 80), Diana, Costacurta (Dainelli 75), Maldini, Kaladze (Ledesma 75), Brocchi, Redondo, Donati (Dalla Bona 60), Serginho, Borriello, Signori (Antonini 75)

Brocchi: "I won't leave AC Milan"
1.6 || Seamus

AC Milan are on tour in China and today Christian Brocchi announced that he will play for the rossoneri next season as well.

"I'm going nowhere," the midfielder said. "This year I played less than usual but I spoke to the manager and the staff and I understood how much I mean to them so I couldn't even imagine leaving".

Stam makes Corradi call
1.6 || scharatz

Jaap Stam has urged Milan to buy his former Lazio teammate Bernardo Corradi this summer.

The striker has been linked with the Italian giants and Stam, a £7.5m signing from Lazio, believes he would be a fantastic capture.

"Corradi is a great player, the ideal target man for any team in the world," said the Dutch international.

"He can defend the ball, he has the ability to cross the ball and he is very agile too for such a big man.

"I don’t know whether Milan will get him but if he does arrive then I would be delighted because we would become even stronger."

The Rossoneri are in the market for a new forward to join Andriy Shevchenko, Pippo Inzaghi and Jon Dahl Tomasson.

Ancelotti looks ahead
1.6 || scharatz

Carlo Ancelotti expects his Milan side to be even better next season with the help of Jaap Stam and Pippo Inzaghi.

The Dutch stopper has been signed from Lazio, while Inzaghi missed most of the last campaign with various injuries.

"We managed to cope without Pippo thanks to the fine performances of Kaka and Jon Dahl Tomasson," said the tactician.

"I now hope though that Inzaghi will be back to his best next season so that he can play alongside Andriy Shevchenko.

"Stam? Milan are very lucky to have the calibre of these players right throughout their squad."

The Italian giants enjoyed a fantastic season by winning Lo Scudetto with a new Serie A points record.

Meanwhile, Ancelotti believes that Milan’s Andrea Pirlo can make a name for himself at Euro 2004 with Italy. "Andrea will have a great tournament in Portugal," he stated.

"If he can be a playmaker for a club like Milan and handle the pressure then he can do the same with the national side.

"However, it depends on Giovanni Trapattoni’s decisions but it is clear that Pirlo offers certain guarantees."

Pirlo is likely to be used by Trap as a substitute even if he impressed and scored in the 4-0 win over Tunisia on Sunday.

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