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Adriano Galliani has given more clues to Milan’s Mister X, ruling out Cesc Fabregas. “It won’t be a player already at the top of his game.”
There are reports in England this weekend that the Rossoneri are renewing their interest in Arsenal star Fabregas, who is expected to join Barcelona.
“Mister X will not be a player already at the top of his game. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens,” said the Milan Vice-President.
“We already have a very competitive squad and can happily start the season as we are now. If there are some opportunities, then we’ll have a look at them.
“When I read certain names associated with us, I say it’s impossible. We do not have these financial sources right now, as because of various issues, we cannot compete with the English and Spanish sides on the market.
“Unfortunately I predicted we’d fall behind Germany in the UEFA rankings and I was proved right.
“Don’t forget Milan earn €73m from pay-per-view television rights alone, while Barcelona earn €153m.”
1990 Intercontinental Cup AC Milan goalkeeper dies 31.7 ||webmaster
Milan chief Adriano Galliani gave an overview of Javier Pastore, Kaka and Mister X. “Unless he requests a transfer, Antonio Cassano is not for sale.”
The Vice-President admits he was in negotiations with Palermo for Pastore, but could not beat the €43m fee agreed with Paris Saint-Germain.
“We were tracking Pastore even before he came to Palermo and considered him an alternative to Kaka,” Galliani told Sky Sport Italia.
“He has become too expensive now. Both he and Alexis Sanchez went abroad because it’s impossible for Italian clubs to pay €45-50m for a player. If the new law on stadiums owned by clubs is not passed, then we cannot bring in the funds. That is the only big problem in Italian football.”
Milan are chasing a mystery man, known only as Mister X, during this transfer session.
“We’ll see what happens, as we already have a competitive squad, so we’ll take an opportunity if it presents itself.
“Is it Kaka? That is an impossible move, so we cannot talk about it in positive terms.”
Cassano has been linked with a transfer to gain more playing time at Fiorentina, Palermo or even Genoa.
“Cassano is absolutely not for sale. If he doesn’t request a transfer, then he is thoroughly confirmed within the squad.
“Clearly it could be a problem for him that in the lead-up to Euro 2012 he needs to play regularly, but his agent has not asked us to release him. If Cassano wants to leave, then he has to tell us that.”
AC Milan hatch new Balotelli plan 30.7 ||webmaster
Milan failed to convert any of their penalties in the shoot-out after a 2-2 draw with Internacional in the Audi Cup.
Having lost to Bayern Munich on penalties last night, drawing 1-1 after 90 minutes, Massimiliano Allegri’s men faced Brazil’s Internacional for third place in the German tournament.
The Rossoneri took a very early lead against Bayern Munich with Ibrahimovic and repeated the trick in this game.
Within the opening three minutes, a corner had been well played down the right with Robinho pulling back for a cheeky Ibrahimovic backheel flick.
Internacional are already 12 games into the Brazilian season and found an equaliser on the counter-attack with Leandro Damião, who finished off from five yards after Gilberto sprinted past Mario Yepes down the right.
Robinho, João Paulo and Alexandre Pato threatened. Pato should’ve scored against his former club straight after the break, as Ibra dispossessed a defender at the by-line and Robinho rolled across, but The Duck smacked his angled drive against the post.
Pato made up for it on the hour mark, as a Robinho-Ibrahimovic give-and-go sent the Brazilian clear to stroke home.
It should’ve been 3-1 moments later with another well-worked move, but Renan did well to deny Pato from point-blank range.
However, Internacional equalised 10 minutes from time with substitute Andres D’Alessandro. João Paulo’s shot took a ricochet off Thiago Silva to accidentally set up D’Alessandro with only Flavio Roma to beat.
Youth team player Valoti could’ve won it at the death from an Antonio Cassano nutmeg assist, but fired right at the goalkeeper at the near post.
Once again, it went to penalties. Against Bayern it was Milan who converted four before Alberto Paloschi missed the decider. This time, all four of the Rossoneri players failed to convert with Valoti, Cassano and Pato's efforts saved, while Massimo Oddo hit the post.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted in Milan’s 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich for the Audi Cup, but the Germans won on penalties.
The Rossoneri went into the semi-final of the Audi Cup in Munich and the winners would face Barcelona on Wednesday. The Spaniards had beaten Brazil’s Internacional on penalties earlier today, 2-2 after 90 minutes.
Former Bayern midfielder Mark Van Bommel was presented with gifts before kick-off to mark his return to the Allianz Arena.
Bayern had a strong start and are already prepared for the Bundesliga kick-off in within two weeks, but it was Milan who went in front with their first chance.
It was a ball over the top to release Ibrahimovic and the Swede placed an angled drive across Manuel Neuer. Ibra was sporting a ponytail and goatee beard after the summer break.
Ibra threaded through for Antonio Cassano soon after, but the shot was straight at the on-rushing goalkeeper. Former Genoa man Rafinha flashed a strike across the face of goal to skim the back post.
Mario Gomez dribbled past both Daniele Bonera and Taye Taiwo only to blast over the bar. Bayern did equalise on 34 minutes when Toni Kroos smacked a precise daisy-cutter into the near bottom corner from the D.
Gennaro Gattuso charged down a Thomas Muller header at the back post and moments later Abbiati tipped a Rafinha snapshot on to the crossbar. The goalkeeper blocked a Robben effort after the break and flapped a Philip Lahm dipping strike out from under the bar.
Robben seemed to hurt his foot and limped off, throwing his boot in anger as he got to the touchline. Abbiati was again busy, having to rush off his line to smother at the feet of Gomez following a defensive error.
Both teams began to tire towards the end despite the numerous substitutions, so it ended 1-1 after 90 minutes and went straight to penalties.
There was a 100 per cent record from the spot until the final kick, when Alberto Paloschi ballooned over the bar. Bastian Schweinsteiger kept his cool to convert the decider, as Bayern Munich won 5-3 on penalties.
Bayern will face Barcelona in the Audi Cup Final on Wednesday evening, while Milan take on Internacional for third place.
Gennaro Gattuso is convinced Milan should bring back Ricky Kaka. “He’d be reborn here! Leonardo treated me like a child.”
The midfielder believes mysterious transfer target Mister X will prove to be a very familiar face.
“I’d like Kaka to be the man, as he’d be reborn here! He has technique, power and stamina. His fitness records still stand here at Milanello,” he told the Corriere dello Sport.
“Jose Mourinho doesn’t want him at Real Madrid anymore, so in my view he could work out an agreement with Milan over his wages.”
There are reports in Spain today that Kaka is ready to leave Madrid after a spell of injuries, though he has been linked with Paris Saint-Germain.
Leonardo is now the director general at PSG, but famously had a bust-up with Gattuso while he was Coach of Milan.
“I would’ve preferred if Leonardo had just told me he wasn’t going to consider my contribution. Instead he treated me like a child from the youth academy.
“Milan gave me a great deal, but I too have given much to this club. I turned down offers to leave because money isn’t everything in life. Milanello is my home.”
Some veterans have walked away, as Andrea Pirlo opted to join Juventus after 10 years at San Siro.
“Pirlo’s absence will be felt, as Andrea is a fantastic player. You just can’t find players of his quality nowadays.
“Cesc Fabregas? He could be a good potential signing, thanks to his quality and experience. If Milan had waited until now to announce Philippe Mexes and Taye Taiwo, then people would be saying what a great transfer campaign Milan have had.”
AC Milan make first step for Montolivo 23.7 ||webmaster
Antonio Cassano’s first Coach, Eugenio Fascetti, has urged him to “leave Milan and join Fiorentina to stay in the Nazionale.”
There have been reports the talent is considering a summer loan switch to Tuscany so that he can play regularly in the lead-up to Euro 2012.
“I tell him to leave Milan and join Fiorentina,” ex-Bari boss Fascetti told Il Giornale newspaper.
“It’s the only way he can stay in the Nazionale. Cesare Prandelli already told him that either he is a regular starter or he can forget the Azzurri jersey.
“In his shoes, I already would’ve made my decision. I read some journalists close to the Rossoneri camp think Cassano is sixth in the pecking order of strikers, even behind Alberto Paloschi. Is that acceptable? No, it isn’t.
“In Florence he’d have the chance to reunite with Alberto Gilardino, as they formed a great pair for the Under-21 side. They complete each other and seem really made to act as a partnership.
“Cassano could give Gila the service he needs to come back to scoring 20 goals. With Stevan Jovetic as well, it’d be a fairytale trident.”
Adriano Galliani admits Milan “have found our Mister X,” but patron Silvio Berlusconi will not sell the club.
All summer Galliani has been teasing the media with mentions of their top transfer target, named only as Mister X, who was thought to be Napoli’s Marek Hamsik.
“We have found our Mister X, but that’s not to say he will actually arrive,” Vice-President Galliani told Mediaset Premium.
“At the moment there are no plans to buy or sell players, as we are ultra-competitive in our current form.
“We’ll see if something happens towards the end of the transfer campaign. In any case, we have a precise idea of the player we want.”
More recently, the target is believed to have become want-away Fiorentina midfielder Riccardo Montolivo.
“Meetings with his agent are irrelevant. We are discussing the transfer of a few youth team players. We have not spoken about Riccardo.”
Galliani also took the opportunity to deny reports President Berlusconi was ready to sell the club in order to resolve his financial issues.
“Fininvest, who are the parent company of Milan, have spoken clearly. Berlusconi has the same passion that he always had. He is the soul of Milan and the fans can relax, as he will be for a long time to come.”
Kevin-Prince Boateng feels right at home with Milan and reveals he was won over by Zlatan Ibrahimovic. “I thought he was an arrogant bastard!”
The Ghanaian was a huge success in his debut Serie A campaign, winning the Scudetto and marking the occasion with a Moonwalk on the San Siro pitch.
“If a year ago someone had told me I’d be playing for Milan, win a title and become an idol for the fans, I’d have asked them what drugs they were on,” he joked in the Gazzetta dello Sport.
“But it all happened and I only realised it on vacation when I had time to reflect. It’s wonderful to be a hero to children. Maybe in the past their parents would’ve thought I did stupid things, am full of tattoos and have too much of a hard man image to set a good example, but instead the people understood me.
“They see me for who I am here, seeing my positive passion, the way I battle for my dreams.”
‘Prince’ was surprised by some of his teammates when arriving at San Siro last summer.
“I had thought Ibrahimovic was an arrogant b*****d, but he’s really nice, kind and funny. As for Pippo Inzaghi, seeing him train at age 39 makes you think everything is possible. I’d throw up if I ran as much as he does.”
Asked if he followed in the footsteps of ex-Milan legend George Weah, Boateng had a more modern approach.
“I was born and raised in Europe, so I only visited Ghana for the first time a few months ago. I feel more a symbol of multi-cultural society than an African figure. I do want to build a football school in Ghana, though.”
Boateng played in several different midfield roles throughout the season and could move again.
“My preferred position is behind the strikers. If a ‘Mister X’ player joins over the summer, then he’s welcome, but we don’t need anyone really. Milan have experienced and young players, those of quality and fighters.
“This squad is fantastic and if we play as a team, then we can achieve any result.”
Stephan El-Shaarawy cannot contain his excitement at becoming a Milan player. “I’ll try to mature, develop and earn my place.”
The Italian Under-21 international impressed last season at Padova in Serie B and was bought from Genoa in a co-ownership deal worth €20m.
“These first few days at Milanello have been very exciting, as I got to know great champions and extraordinary people. The top players were the ones who gave me the best advice, and Gennaro Gattuso said he’d cut my hair with a tackle!
“My objectives for this term are to learn, mature, develop and earn my place. It takes a lot of hard work and I am willing to do that. I prefer to play as a trequartista, although I can also do well as a support striker, which is where Coach Massimiliano Allegri has tested me so far.”
El-Shaarawy is nicknamed ‘The Little Pharaoh’ thanks to his mixed heritage.
“I am very tied to the land of my father, Egypt, but I also feel Italian because I was born and raised in Italy. Let’s say I feel a little Egyptian and a little Italian.
“I am passionate about Milan and as a little boy would go to the stadium to see the games. This has always been the club in my heart.”
He hopes to follow in the footsteps of former Rossoneri hero Kaka, who he considers to be an inspiration.
“Kaka has always been my idol. I’ve often been compared to him for the way I run with the ball at my feet, but the great thing about Kaka is he’s a wonderful person as well as a champion.”
Inter 'only real offer for Casemiro' 16.7 ||webmaster
Milan signing Philippe Mexes thanks Roma for “seven marvellous years” and reveals why he turned down Real Madrid and Manchester United.
The defender was a free agent after his contract with the Giallorossi expired and held his first Press conference with his new side today.
“I keep all the Roma teammates in my heart, as I’ll never forget the city and its fans, who did so much for me. Now I am at Milan and very proud to be part of this club,” he said.
“I had seven marvellous years at Roma and it’s partly thanks to them that I grew as a man and a player to earn this opportunity with Milan.
“It was my choice, as I could’ve joined Real Madrid this summer. In the past I chose Roma ahead of Manchester United. I dreamed of a club like this since childhood and it’s an important shop window, so I can hope to earn a place in the France squad for Euro 2012.”
Mexes could well find himself on the bench at San Siro, with competition from Alessandro Nesta, Thiago Silva and Mario Yepes.
“I am humble and respect everyone. Clearly there is competition, but I’ll do my utmost to help the team and give my contribution.
“Even if there are no more signings this summer, Milan are already favourites for the Scudetto and competitive in the Champions League.
“Everyone has been very welcoming and I’m won over by the humility of great champions. I am just annoyed that I can’t get to know them better on the field, but I’m working like a madman to recover quickly from the knee injury.”
Massimiliano Allegri has “absolutely” ruled out reports of Milan exchanging Antonio Cassano for Riccardo Montolivo.
There have been rumours for several weeks that the Rossoneri have a deal in place with Fiorentina to swap players.
“Absolutely not,” said the Coach during today’s Press conference, “even if Montolivo has excellent quality and I believe is one of the best midfielders in Italy.
“I can categorically rule out this move, as there is zero chance. Cassano is staying at Milan.”
Allegri turned his attention towards new signings Taye Taiwo, Stephan El-Shaarawy and Philippe Mexes.
“Taiwo impressed me with a good first training session and now needs time to get to know his teammates. El-Shaarawy has technique, but is also very wide awake for someone so young.”
The Rossoneri begin the defence of their Scudetto and hope to target the Champions League too.
“We cannot allow ourselves the arrogance to think we’re unbeatable or have hit our peak. Don’t forget last season we started with a handicap, as after four games we were five points off Inter, even if we then recovered and stayed top for 28 rounds.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic ran out of steam towards the end of the season with physical and disciplinary problems.
“Last term he was crucial and devastating until January, when the rest of the team still needed to find its form. He is a generous player and really drags the squad along with him, but it’s only normal he couldn’t keep up that pace.”
Massimiliano Allegri feels Milan’s squad is “complete,” but again refused to guarantee Antonio Cassano first team football.
“We start the new season in the best possible way, as the club provided me with three new buys plus Alberto Paloschi,” said the Coach as pre-season training kicked off today.
“Last season I changed the team quite a lot due to injuries, as we ended the campaign with Kevin-Prince Boateng as trequartista after Robinho had taken that role.
“We have many versatile figures who allow us to have different options. Right now the squad is complete, I’m happy with the players at my disposal and now we can only focus on doing well.”
However, Allegri again ruled out giving Cassano regular first team football, which could push him into a summer move in the lead-up to Euro 2012.
“No club and no Coach in the world can guarantee a starting spot for a player. Cassano will be important for Milan, just as he was in the six months he played for us so far.
“Last term we found a style of football and a team identity that allowed us to win the Scudetto. Of course we need to improve on dead ball situations and other things.”
Philippe Mexes, Taiye Taiwo, Stephan El-Shaarawy and Paloschi have joined the Rossoneri this summer.
“We start this season with an advantage, as we know the four new players in the side when beginning training,” continued Allegri.
“We have to start with the same motivation and hunger as last year. It’s difficult to say who will be Milan’s main antagonist, but I think Inter are the joint favourites for the Scudetto, followed by Napoli, Juventus and Roma.”
Berlusconi 'won't abandon AC Milan' 12.7 ||webmaster
President Silvio Berlusconi “will stay at the helm and Milan’s transfer policy won’t be affected by the Fininvest financial problems.”
There were fears Berlusconi would abandon the club after his company Fininvest was ordered to pay €560m in damages due to corruption in their 1991 takeover of Mondadori.
Those concerns intensified when Berlusconi did not attend today’s presentation of the Rossoneri squad.
“President Berlusconi is not here because, as Prime Minister, he is in Rome for the funeral of a soldier killed in Afghanistan,” explained Vice-President Adriano Galliani.
“President Berlusconi intends to stay at the helm with enthusiasm, so we want to reassure the fans.
“I saw the banners supporting the President and I can tell you he has no intention of giving up. The Fininvest financial problems will not influence Milan’s transfer policy.
“The side starts the new season with the Scudetto symbol on its shirt, an objective we strongly wanted to achieve.
“We also present our new signings, Taiye Taiwo, Philippe Mexes and Stephan El-Shaarawy. Milan are the champions of Italy and as such cannot fear any opponents. We are here to confirm our success and try to do the best we can in the Champions League.
“We’ll see what opportunities the transfer market has for us, but we have a competitive squad already, considering now Antonio Cassano and Mark Van Bommel can play in the Champions League.”
Berlusconi pulls out of pre-season 12.7 ||webmaster