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The Archive

August 2013

OFFICIAL: Antonini - Birsa exchange
31.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan have agreed to exchange Luca Antonini with Genoa midfielder Valter Birsa.

According to Sky Sport Italia, both players are set to sign three-year contracts as part of the permanent switch.

Antonini seemed to confirm the news this afternoon by retweeting messages of good luck for his ‘new adventure,' while Birsa has been logged as a Milan player on the Lega Serie A site.

Full-back Antonini had already been linked with Sampdoria and several Turkish clubs over the last few days, but Genoa appear to have won the race.

Birsa would be a valuable addition to the Rossoneri midfield and it’s claimed the Slovenian already passed a medical.

The exchange with Genoa was to have involved Milan’s Bakaye Traorè, but he seems to have been ruled out of negotiations.

Lopez: 'I learned from Allegri'
31.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cagliari Coach Diego Lopez insists he doesn’t feel like “a newcomer” and faces his mentor Max Allegri at Milan tomorrow.

The 39-year-old former defender spent last season as co-Coach with Ivo Pulga, but now has the necessary paperwork to be on the bench by himself.

“I don’t feel like a newcomer or someone who just started,” he told the Corriere dello Sport.

“President Massimo Cellino was the one who convinced me to become a Coach. One day he took me aside and suggested I try, then if I saw it went well I’d continue and if not he’d find another role for me in the club.

“I worked with Allegri for two years and know him well. I also worked with Marco Giampaolo, so I learned a lot from my Coaches. I think Carlo Ancelotti is the most innovative, while Luciano Spalletti did great things abroad with Zenit.”

Lopez faces Allegri on Sunday evening at San Siro.

“It is a tough test, but we are going to Milan in order to play our game. We are in good shape and played an excellent first half against Atalanta last week,” he said of the 2-1 win.

“Mario Balotelli is a great player who can lead the attack by himself, but all of Milan is packed with international stars. There’s Riccardo Montolivo, a strong and intelligent midfielder, while Alessandro Matri just arrived.

“I don’t think we will see the same Milan performance as their defeat to Verona. I believe we’ll see the Milan from Wednesday that beat PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League.”

Andrea Cossu is back in the side after missing the Atalanta game through injury.

Cagliari squad for Milan: Agazzi, Avramov; Ariaudo, Astori, Avelar, Murru, Oikonomou, Perico, Rossettini; Cabrera, Conti, Cossu, Dessena, Ekdal, Eriksson, Nainggolan; Ibarbo, Nenè, Pinilla, Sau.

Allegri: 'AC Milan need Matri and Kaka'
31.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri is pleased to have Alessandro Matri at Milan, said goodbye to Kevin-Prince Boateng and confirms “we could do with Kaka.”

The Rossoneri signed Matri from Juventus this week and in turn sold Boateng to Schalke 04.

“It was a pleasure to have Matri here. I’d also like to wish Boateng all the best,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“He bowed out well with two important goals for our Champions League qualification. Now Matri is here and I know him well, while he knows Milan because he grew up here. He is a player we needed, considering Giampaolo Pazzini’s injury.

“Matri certainly won’t start tomorrow because he just arrived, but it is important to already have him at our disposal. He is an extra option for us. Mattia De Sciglio has a knee problem, so we need to evaluate his condition.”

Another valuable ‘option’ could be represented by Kaka, who has told Real Madrid he wishes to leave.

“Kaka would make the team stronger because he has great quality and is also a player we could do with. Having champions in the side is always a bonus. His arrival would boost the confidence of the team and the fans. I am confident the club, Silvio Berlusconi and Adriano Galliani have every intention of keeping Milan at the top level.

“In tactical terms, Kaka could play as a trequartista in this side, or as one of the two who flow around the centre-forward.”

The fans unveiled banners protesting at the transfer strategy, as they believe reinforcements are needed in defence.

“We evaluated the squad and in the last six months we conceded only 12 goals. We have a couple of centre-backs who are among the best in Italy, but the whole team needs to help out in defence. There are few out there better than the ones we have, unless we go and bring back Thiago Silva.”

Milan host Cagliari on Sunday at 19.45 UK time, click here for a match preview. They are in dire need of points after losing the opener 2-1 to Verona.

“Essentially our season starts tomorrow with a handicap of one game. Serie A is extremely difficult this year and will be a very balanced tournament. We’ll have to work even harder than last season.

“Tomorrow we have to win because it’s on home turf. Cagliari have some quality individuals, a good Coach who also worked as my player. We used up a lot of energy on Wednesday against PSV and must be ready to face these difficulties.”

Allegri shocked many by threatening to resign after the 3-0 win over PSV Eindhoven, but insists it was a joke.

“It was just a joke. In my three years here I have always had an excellent rapport with the President and I speak to Galliani daily. There were some discussions with the President at times, but that’s normal. I am happy to be the Milan Coach and wanted to stay here to conclude the work I started last year.”

There are now reports Allegri could even be offered a contract renewal, as his deal expires on June 30 2014.

“Let us be clear, I never asked for a renewal and will not talk about it until after May 19.”

Milan must also prepare for the Champions League Group of Death with Barcelona, Ajax and Celtic.

“It’s a fascinating group. Barça dominated in recent years, Milan have great history over the last 25 years in Europe, while Celtic and Ajax have memories of success in the 1970s.”

Allegri: 'Matri ideal for Balotelli'
31.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri explains why Milan signed Alessandro Matri from Juventus. “It’s the perfect partnership with Mario Balotelli.”

The 29-year-old cost in the region of €12m to take him from Turin and he could make his debut tomorrow against his former club Cagliari.

“I worked with Matri at Cagliari. He is a player we needed to cover the role left vacant by Giampaolo Pazzini’s injury,” the Coach told Milan Channel.

“The next two months are going to be very important, as we have eight Serie A games and a Champions League group phase to get through. The club understood we need options at this time.

“We’re not forgetting about Pazzini, who has been a very important player, scoring 15 goals last season. He is a reliable striker who unfortunately had these knee problems and required an operation in May.

“Matri played a crucial role for Juventus and he is the player we were looking for. Balotelli, who is extraordinary, needs someone of Matri’s characteristics by his side. They make the perfect partnership.”

Roma step up Astori bid
31.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Roma have reportedly offered €7.5m for co-ownership of Cagliari defender Davide Astori, also a target for Milan.

The centre-back has been linked with both these clubs along with Southampton, Sunderland and Everton.

He had been on the verge of a €13m move to Napoli earlier this month, but the deal collapsed when Rafa Benitez pulled the plug.

According to Sky Sport Italia, Roma made the new and improved offer for half of Astori’s contract on Friday night.

The bid is worth €7.5m for co-ownership of the player, leaving half his registration in Cagliari’s hands.

However, Cagliari President Massimo Cellino has repeatedly stated the club will not be selling any of its big stars this summer.

No Honda, AC Milan all for Kaka
31.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka moves closer to Milan after admitting “I miss Italy,” while CSKA Moscow shoot down another Keisuke Honda offer.

The Rossoneri have been very active over the last few days since securing their spot in the Champions League.

Alessandro Matri was signed from Juventus for approximately €10m-€12m, while Kevin-Prince Boateng was sold to Schalke 04 for the same amount.

Milan have made it clear they intend to bring in a creative midfielder to replace Boateng and the first choice was Honda.

“Nothing has changed. Keisuke will remain with us,” declared CSKA Moscow director general Roman Babaev.

The Japan international will arrive at San Siro in January on a free transfer, as his contract expires on December 31, but the latest offer from Milan was also turned down.

This all points to Kaka’s return after he announced he’d requested a transfer from Real Madrid and more clues are building to support this theory.

“I miss Italy so much,” Kaka told Simona Ventura’s web television show. “Every time I get the chance, I am pleased to see my Italian friends.”

Sao Paulo Vice-President Joao Paulo de Jesus Lopes also suggested Milan was his likely destination.

“We are always in contact with Kaka, therefore we know he is not interested in coming back to Brazil. We’re convinced that when he does want to return, he will choose Sao Paulo.”

According to Sky Sport Italia, negotiations over personal terms are not going well, as Kaka would like €8m per season wages compared to the €3m offered by Milan.

Liverpool and AC Milan to fight for Sakho
30.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Liverpool and Milan are set to fight it out for Paris Saint-Germain defender Mamadou Sakho, reports suggest.

French newspaper L’Equipe believe that the Rossoneri are preparing a €15m bid for the 23-year-old defender as they look to strengthen their backline before the end of the transfer window.

The same paper however, claim that the Premier League side are ready to outbid Massimiliano Allegri’s men, and could table an offer of around €16-18m for the France international.

BeInSport meanwhile, have Brendan Rodgers’ team bidding up to €23m.

Sakho has found himself pushed to the sidelines at Les Parisiens following the arrival of Thiago Silva and Marquinhos.

Boateng 'happy to be home'
30.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Italian giants Milan have confirmed the sale of Kevin Prince Boateng to German outfit Schalke 04.

The Ghanaian international, born in Berlin, leaves the Rossoneri after three seasons in Italy. He scored 17 goals in 100 games across all competition for Massimiliano Allegri’s side.

His last contribution to the Milan cause came on Wednesday evening when his brace against PSV allowed his club to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League.

Milan did not reveal the financial details of the transfer, but it is thought the 26-year-old has generated a fee of around €10m for the San Siro outfit.

Boateng underwent his medical with Schalke this morning.

“I’m happy to be back home in Germany,” the former Portsmouth man noted. “This is the best championship in the world.

“The first contact with Schalke was a year ago, but sometimes you have to wait for the right time to move.”

Conte wanted Matri to stay
30.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus boss Antonio Conte has admitted he would have preferred the club to keep both Alessandro Matri and Emanuele Giaccherini.

The latter was sold to Sunderland earlier this summer for €7.5m, while the striker joined Milan today in an €11m deal.

“Matri is the striker who has scored the most goals here over the last two years,” the former midfielder noted.

“Technically speaking, I wasn’t expecting his sale or that of Giaccherini. But Milan made an offer. I would never have sacrificed him if we were not in an economical crisis.

“A Coach has to live with the current situation and accept certain exits. But I hope that one day I’m told I have €50m to spend on the market in the way I want.”

He added: “Matri’s sacrifice underlines that the financial situation in Italy is difficult, with a few exceptions like Napoli.

“Sides like Juventus are forced to sell when important offers are made. It’s part of the puzzle – if you bring in new pieces then you have to take away others.

“People say that the gap between us and the rest has increased, but we have been weakened with the departures of Matri and Giaccherini.

“We have strengthened Milan, but what can we do?”

Conte is now hoping the club don’t release any more of his squad, especially in attack where he has been left with five forwards.

“That’s the minimum amount for a team playing in three competitions. I’m no hoping that Fabio Quagliarella doesn’t leave.”

Honda or Kaka for AC Milan
30.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan have confirmed they will look to replace Kevin Prince Boateng in the squad with either Keisuke Honda or Kaka.

The Ghanaian international completed a move to Schalke 04 on Friday and the Rossoneri are hoping to give boss Massimiliano Allegri another new face as a result.

“We are talking with CSKA Moscow for Honda,” Vice-President Adriano Galliani told Milan News. “We’re looking to sign him immediately rather than just on a free in January. We’ll see.”

Reports last night suggested that the Diavolo were also considering signing Kaka again after he expressed his desire to leave Real Madrid.

“It will be really difficult to get Kaka. I’d say it is more Honda than Kaka right now – and only one of them will arrive.”

The sale of Boateng did come as a shock after he scored twice in midweek to ensure the Diavolo reached the Champions League group stages.

“The deal was done quickly,” Galliani explained. “It was only started yesterday and all the parties are happy with its outcome.

“Our transfer market depended on getting into the Champions League, so let us see what happens now.”

The San Siro outfit also signed striker Alessandro Matri from Juventus today.

OFFICIAL: Matri to AC Milan
30.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan have completed the transfer of Juventus striker Alessandro Matri. “I’ve always dreamed of the No 9 shirt.”

The Italian international has joined the Diavolo following their progression to the group stages of the Champions League.

Matri, who has cost the San Siro giants €11m, returns to Milan after spending his teen years in their youth system.

“I’m happy to be back,” the forward, who Juventus signed from Cagliari in January 2011, commented this afternoon.

“I pushed for this move to happen despite the interest of other clubs in me,” the man who was also linked with Napoli and Roma added.

“Juventus remain the strongest side, but we will cause them problems.”

Matri, 29, will wear the No 9 shirt for his new club. “It is the jersey which I dreamed of as a kid, when the likes of Pippo Inzaghi and George Weah were playing.”

Boateng set for Schalke
30.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

German club Schalke have confirmed Milan’s Kevin Prince Boateng is in Germany ahead of a surprise move.

The attacking midfielder will have his medical on Friday after the two clubs agreed a transfer. Whispers suggest the Diavolo will net between €10m and €12m for the player.

Boateng’s imminent exit has fuelled rumours that the Italian club are making room for Real Madrid’s Kaka.

The San Siro giants could also make another attempt to sign Keisuke Honda from CSKA Moscow.

Boateng has been on the market all summer and was also paired with a possible switch to Monaco.

However, it seemed that he would stay in the end – especially after he scored twice in Wednesday’s 3-0 win over PSV Eindhoven.

That victory allowed the Diavolo entry into the group stages of the Champions League, thus providing funds to make some late squad changes.

They’ve already done a deal to sign Alessandro Matri from Juventus for a fee in the region of €11m.

Sacchi: I'm a fan of Allegri
30.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Arrigo Sacchi says he is surprised by claims he was the presumed target of Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri’s outburst this week.

The tactician criticised the media in the aftermath of their Champions League win over PSV for their pre-game coverage of him and his side.

Allegri didn’t specifically target any particular journalist or pundit, but it has been suggested that Sacchi – a former Diavolo tactician – was one of the people he was most annoyed with.

“I have nothing against Allegri, for whom I have great respect,” Sacchi told the Corriere dello Sport. “He is a great Coach and a great person.

“I was also one of the first to speak well about him with regards to how he has worked at Milan. I therefore fall from the clouds when I hear that I was the one he was aiming his criticism at.

“I don’t understand the interpretations of certain situations. I repeat – I consider Allegri to be an excellent Coach and an excellent guy.”

Allegri is now in his fourth season at San Siro following a spell in Serie A with Cagliari. He has finished first, second and third in the top flight since his arrival.

Kaka: 'I want to leave Madrid'
29.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka has launched a sensational ‘come and get me’ plea to Milan. “I want to leave” Real Madrid by Monday.

The Brazilian has struggled for playing time in recent years and decided the situation cannot continue for another season.

“I want to leave. I think it’s the best thing for me and the club,” declared Kaka this evening.

“I’m trying to solve the situation by Monday.”

The 31-year-old has been repeatedly linked with a return to Milan in recent months, so with their Champions League qualification in the bag it’s possible they will swoop.

Kaka left the Rossoneri for Real Madrid in 2009 for a then-world record fee of €65m (£56m).

He suffered from a series of injury problems and fell down the pecking order at the Bernabeu.

Along with Milan, Kaka has options in Brazil and the MLS.

The Italians have already made one new signing since qualifying for the Champions League, as this evening they confirmed a deal with Juventus for Alessandro Matri.

The move is thought to be worth €11m including bonuses and the 29-year-old striker will undergo a medical tomorrow.

Matri joins AC Milan?
29.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus have sold Alessandro Matri to Milan for approximately €11m, as confirmed by Milan Channel.

The deal had been in the works for some time, but negotiations stepped up a gear after the Rossoneri qualified for the Champions League group phase last night.

This evening Milan Channel celebrated the move by flashing this message: ‘Matri. Welcome back Alessandro.’

That’s because Matri grew up in the Milan youth academy, but was loaned out to several sides before his sale to Cagliari in July 2007 for €2.3m.

It is believed the deal was done for €11m, slightly less than the €12m asking price. The 29-year-old will undergo a medical on Friday.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani had confirmed last night that Coach Massimiliano Allegri requested a new centre-forward.

It is not clear when Giampaolo Pazzini will return from injury after his knee surgery in May.

With Matri's arrival, Milan also loan Andrea Petagna to Sampdoria.

AC Milan look on Barcelona bright side
29.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan director Umberto Gandini laughs that “at least our fans can see Barcelona again” for the fourth time in three years.

These sides were paired together in the Champions League in the 2011-12 group phase and in last season’s second round.

“In the hall we were joking before the draw that we could face Barcelona again, but that proved to be the case,” Gandini told Sky Sport Italia.

“It’s the fourth time in three years. Oh well, at least our fans can see Barcelona again at San Siro with the added bonus of their new arrival Neymar.”

Milan are in Group H with Barcelona, Ajax and Celtic. Click here for their fixture list.

“It’s a great group. Ajax and Celtic are not sides to be underestimated.”

Barcelona star Leo Messi also commented on the draw in Monaco.

“It was a very difficult draw with wonderful games. We’ll have the possibility to play Milan again and Ajax for the first time.”

AC Milan open with Celtic
29.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan begin their Champions League campaign at San Siro with Celtic and face Barcelona twice in two weeks.

Milan-Celtic (Sep 18)

Ajax-Milan (Oct 1)

Milan-Barcelona (Oct 22)

Barcelona-Milan (Nov 6)

Celtic-Milan (Nov 26)

Milan-Ajax (Dec 11)

Lennon and Bojan to face AC Milan
29.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Celtic manager Neil Lennon admits facing Milan, Barcelona and Ajax is both “the best and worst draw we could’ve got.”

The Scottish champions scraped through the play-offs 3-2 on aggregate against Shakhter and were put into Group H.

“It’s the best and the worst draw we could’ve got,” he told Sky Sports News.

“In terms of glamour I don’t think it comes any better than Barcelona and AC Milan. In terms of football it’s probably the most difficult draw we could’ve got.

“There’s a lot of excitement, the hard work was really done last night and we can go and enjoy this tournament now.

“In terms of travelling for the supporters they are three great footballing arenas and three great clubs with pedigree in the competition. We’re looking forward to three more great nights at least at Celtic Park.

“From a football point of view it’ll be hugely difficult to get through the group.”

Rossoneri Vice-President Adriano Galliani had told Mediaset Premium last night that “with our luck we’ll pick Barcelona, Manchester City and Celtic!” He got two out of three right, as Ajax replaced the English side.

Bojan Krkic has played for both Barcelona and Milan, but will now face them with Ajax in Group H.

“Destiny is incredible. I love the Champions League!” he wrote on Twitter.

Champions League draw: full groups
29.8 || webmaster

Group A

Manchester United

Shakhtar Donetsk

Bayer Leverkusen

Real Sociedad

Group B

Real Madrid




Group C


Paris Saint-Germain



Group D

Bayern Munich

CSKA Moscow

Manchester City

Viktoria Plzen

Group E


Schalke 04


Steaua Bucharest

Group F


Olympique Marseille

Borussia Dortmund


Group G


Atletico Madrid


Austria Vienna

Group H





AC Milan: Matri or Hernandez?
29.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports Alessandro Matri isn’t Milan’s only option, as Palermo striker Abel Hernandez is also in the frame.

Last night Vice-President Adriano Galliani confirmed Massimiliano Allegri had requested a new centre-forward.

Qualification for the Champions League group phase has opened up fresh funds for transfers.

So far, Matri had been the absolute favourite, though he would cost €12m to prise away from Juventus.

It would be a return for Matri, who grew up in the Milan youth academy before continuing his career elsewhere.

However, according to the Corriere dello Sport, Hernandez has emerged as a new candidate for the role.

He has different characteristics to Matri, as the Uruguay international is very fast and eager to leave Palermo following their relegation into Serie B.

Genoa have also confirmed their interest in Hernandez, although they expressed concern at the price of the operation.

Champions League draw, Group H: AC Milan, Barcelona, Ajax, Celtic
29.8 || webmaster

Group H

AC Milan

Paolo Cannavaro agent cools AC Milan link
29.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The representative of Napoli stopper Paolo Cannavaro isn’t taking transfer links with Milan too seriously.

The defender isn’t assured of first team football under new boss Rafa Benitez in Naples and a transfer before the window closes next week has been touted.

“I think they are just rumours right now,” Gaetano Fedele told “But I’m not surprised that Paolo is being paired with the big clubs.

“Everyone knows his current situation and the final decision will be taken by Napoli, but he is a happy captain and he’s happy at Napoli.

“There was something with the Rossoneri a few years ago and I’m not aware of any re-ignited interest. In my opinion Paolo will probably stay.”

AC Milan are set to reinforce after qualifying for the Champions League group stages, but Juventus striker Alessandro Matri is their prime target.

Matri hours away from AC Milan
29.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sky Sport Italia are suggesting Alessandro Matri could complete his proposed move from Juventus to Milan within the next 48 hours.

The Diavolo confirmed on Wednesday evening that they are looking for a striker after qualifying for the group stages of the Champions League.

Matri, who is available for transfer, has also been linked with the likes of Napoli and Roma this summer.

The Italian international will cost the Diavolo €12m, although the two clubs are still discussing payment terms.

Juve, it is being claimed, will either get an initial €11m plus a further €1m in bonuses or €10m with a later additional €2m.

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has worked with the 29-year-old in the past when they were both at Cagliari.

Matri, signed by Juve in January 2011, was netted by the Diavolo youth system in 1996. He remained on Milan’s books until his 2007 switch to Sardinia.

Abbiati: This is Milan
29.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan's Christian Abbiati is delighted that last season’s efforts have now been rewarded with a place in the Champions League.

The Diavolo had a nightmare beginning to the 2012-13 campaign, but they recovered to finish third in Serie A and qualify for the preliminary round of Europe’s premier club competition.

After a 1-1 draw at PSV Eindhoven last week, the Rossoneri secured progression to the group stages with a 3-0 San Siro triumph on Wednesday.

“We achieved our goal,” the veteran goalkeeper commented. “It’s the perfect end to the comeback that we started last season.

“We played as a team, like Milan. The loss to Verona at the weekend was not good, but we took to the pitch against PSV compact and focused.

“It wasn’t easy as PSV are a good team, but I think we deserved the result.”

The Champions League draw will take place today, but Abbiati’s desire to play PSG in order to “meet some old friends” can’t occur.

That is because Milan and Paris Saint-Germain are both in pot two.

Clubs await Champions League draw
29.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus, Napoli and Milan will today be told the names of their Champions League group stage opponents for the 2013-14 campaign.

The Diavolo booked their place in the competition proper last night with a convincing 3-0 win over PSV Eindhoven at San Siro.

Milan and the Old Lady will be in pot two after Lyon’s elimination at the hands of Real Socieded saw the Italian champions jump up from the third pot of clubs.

Rafael Benitez’s Napoli, who finished second in Serie A last season under Walter Mazzarri, are in pot four.

The 32 teams will be split into eight groups with the top two sides progressing to the last 16 of the competition. The third-placed outfit will drop into the Europa League.

Clubs from the same nation can not be paired in the same group.

The draw ceremony, which will take place in Monaco, will start at 16.45 BST.

Pot 1: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Arsenal, FC Porto, Benfica.

Pot 2: Atletico Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Milan, Schalke, Marseille, CSKA Moscow, Paris St-Germain, Juventus.

Pot 3: Zenit St Petersburg, Manchester City, Ajax Amsterdam, Borussia Dortmund, FC Basel, Olympiakos, Galatasaray, Bayer Leverkusen.

Pot 4: FC Copenhagen, Napoli, Anderlecht, Celtic, Steaua Bucharest, Viktoria Plzen, Real Sociedad, Austria Vienna.

Galliani: 'Allegri was joking!'
28.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani assured Max Allegri’s threat to resign was “a joke,” but confirmed he requested a centre-forward.

The Coach caused shockwaves after the 3-0 Champions League play-off win over PSV Eindhoven, noting he was tired of the criticism and might resign tomorrow morning.

“I can assure you it was a joke and he sent me here to inform you of that. Let’s not create controversy out of a joke,” the Vice-President told Mediaset Premium.

Allegri also clarified the situation on Sky Sport Italia later this evening. “Seeing as other people have fun making stuff up, I thought I’d have a go.”

Nonetheless, Galliani confessed this was a decisive moment for Milan and Allegri.

“It is evident this was clearly the most important game of the season. Tonight it was a turning point, gave sense to our great comeback which we earned two minutes from the end against Siena.

“I told the lads we couldn’t throw away something that we fought for from January to May. We were all very tense, but we did it and are in the group phase of the Champions League.”

Their transfer strategy also rested on qualification, as now Milan are expected to make a bid for Juventus striker Alessandro Matri.

“Our Coach has specifically asked for a centre-forward. Not a second striker, nor a midfielder or defender. If he’d had Giampaolo Pazzini at his disposal, then he wouldn’t have made that request.”

The fans protested against this strategy, as there were several banners in the stands at San Siro referencing the moves.

‘Matri, no thank you,’ read one. Another called for new defenders and midfielders rather than strikers.

Montolivo: 'Thank you Abbiati!'
28.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo admits Milan owe a debt to their goalkeeper after beating PSV. “Thank goodness for Christian Abbiati!”

The Rossoneri won 3-0 in the second leg, going through 4-1 on aggregate to the Champions League proper, but Abbiati needed a series of desperate saves.

“I think we deserved qualification, though at times you can happen to lose matches like the one at Verona, as these are dips in character,” the captain told Sky Sport Italia.

“Today we could’ve won by a mile, but at a certain point we ran a huge risk. Thank goodness for Abbiati!

“There shouldn’t be a difference in mentality when we approach a Serie A game or a Champions League tie, but unfortunately there is different motivation.

“We made up for the defeat at the Bentegodi, so that performance must not be repeated. We can’t fall into the same mistakes.”

AC Milan in Pot 2 for Champions League draw
28.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Tonight’s results mean Juventus and Milan are in Pot 2 for tomorrow’s Champions League draw.

The Bianconeri were bumped up to the second seed status after Olympique Lyonnais went out against Real Sociedad.

Napoli are relatively new to the Champions League, so are only in Pot 4 and risk an extremely tough group.

This evening Celtic scraped through 3-2 on aggregate, overturning a 2-0 first leg defeat to Shakhter with a late goal.

Real Sociedad completed the destruction of Lyon, winning both legs 2-0.

Viktoria Plzen won 1-0 away to Maribor, 4-1 on aggregate, while Luciano Spalletti’s Zenit won 4-2 against Pacos Ferreira. It resulted in an 8-3 aggregate victory.

The Champions League group phase draw will be held in Montecarlo on Thursday at 17.00 UK time.

Pot 1: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Arsenal, Porto, Benfica

Pot 2: Atletico Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Milan, Schalke, Marseille, CSKA Moscow, PSG, Juventus

Pot 3: Zenit, Manchester City, Ajax, Borussia Dortmund, Basel, Olympiacos, Galatasaray, Bayer Leverkusen

Pot 4: Copenhagen, Napoli, Anderlecht, Celtic, Steaua Bucharest, Viktoria Plzen, Real Sociedad, Austria Vienna

Allegri: 'I might resign tomorrow'
28.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri vented his anger at media and pundits after Milan’s Champions League win. “I might resign tomorrow…”

The Rossoneri beat PSV Eindhoven 3-0 on the night, winning 4-1 on aggregate to qualify for the competition. It had been reported Allegri would be fired by President Silvio Berlusconi if he didn’t get through.

“We went through the qualifying round and will play the Champions League, so tonight we concluded the comeback that we started in Serie A in January,” a visibly annoyed Allegri told Sport Mediaset.

“The lads fought hard, though PSV are a good team with great technique and we struggled at the start of the second half.

“There was some tension and anxiety, but the lads defended well and we only ran a few risks after the break.”

When asked about the tension of the situation and talk of being replaced, Allegri went down an unexpected route.

“For a couple of years this has been going on, so maybe I’ll resign tomorrow morning. I’ll think it over tonight…

“I am a little annoyed tonight, as I read things that have been written and believe people need to be more objective. There is pontificating from the outside. There should be respect for other people’s work, but I enjoy this, as I am pig-headed.

“I am satisfied with the performance, but very angry tonight. I am very angry, fortunately occasionally we win a game and the lads allow me to have some fun too.

“They are trying to make me angry from the outside, it doesn’t work. From the inside there is a good rapport with the general manager, the players and the club.

“Still some like to write rubbish, so when I read this pontificating about what they’d do – fine, come and take my place on the bench and see if you can get the results I have.

“I say this because every now and then you have to put up some barriers. I hope when my career ends, maybe at the age of 60 if I get there, I will go to Livorno, stay by the sea, go fishing, eat good food, drink good wine. I might watch a few games here and there, but not go around pontificating on what other people are doing.

“I am very happy with what the lads did, as they gave a great night to me, the fans and the President. I also thank the supporters, who stood by us during difficult moments. I don’t want to say anything else about the game. It’s the result that counts.”

Balotelli: 'We killed PSV'
28.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli said Milan “killed” PSV Eindhoven with a 3-0 victory in the Champions League play-off.

“In Holland we played a good game and were unlucky to draw. Here in Milan we proved that we deserved it, as we killed them,” he told Sport Mediaset.

The Rossoneri go through to the competition proper 4-1 on aggregate after Balotelli and a Kevin-Prince Boateng brace sealed the result at San Siro.

The performance was a world away from their 2-1 defeat to newly-promoted Hellas Verona on Saturday.

“In Verona it was just a bad match, but these things happen. It’s better to play the first game of the season badly rather than the last.

“Of course it’s normal I want to win the Scudetto and the Champions League, but the important thing is to take it one game at a time.”

The interviewer asked if Balotelli wanted to dedicate this qualification to President Silvio Berlusconi, but he opted to honour his agent instead.

“I apologise to the President, but I’m dedicating this one to Mino Raiola!”

This week Raiola stated Balotelli and Paul Pogba were “worth at least twice as much as Gareth Bale.”

Ljajic: 'I had no AC Milan deal'
28.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adem Ljajic said goodbye to Fiorentina fans after his move to Roma and denied reports he had a pre-contract agreement with Milan.

This evening he completed the transfer for €11m plus €4m in performance-related bonuses, putting pen to paper on a four-year contract.

“I have an excellent rapport with all of my teammates and never had a row with any of them,” he told Viola Channel.

“I don’t understand why this story was in the papers that I had an argument with Mario Gomez. I care about everyone.

“I always had a great relationship with the fans and want to thank them for our years together. Many things happened and I said several times I wanted to remain in Florence, but we were unable to reach an agreement on the contract.

“Another option emerged that was positive for both Fiorentina and me, so everyone is happy. It’s a shame to leave Florence and I will always cheer on the team, because I like the city and its people. I thank everyone.”

Ljajic had been very close to joining Milan, but Fiorentina reportedly rejected all proposals because they went through the player first.

“Talk of me having a pre-contract agreement with Milan is just a lie. I didn’t sign anything with anyone. I only spoke to Fiorentina and we’ve been discussing the contract renewal for two months. There was no deal, so we found another option.

“I say goodbye to Fiorentina, hopefully an arrivederci, as I’ve always said I want to come back here. I bought a house in Florence and I don’t want to sell it.

“I wish all the best to the fans and my teammates. I’ll always keep an eye out for them and hope we meet again soon.”

Champions League: AC Milan 3:0 (agg. 4:1) PSV Eindhoven - match report
28.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Boateng 9, 77 (M), Balotelli 55 (M)

Kevin-Prince Boateng bagged a surprise brace along with Mario Balotelli, as Milan swept PSV aside 3-0 to enter the Champions League.

The first leg of this play-off ended 1-1 in Eindhoven, so qualification all came down to this result at San Siro. Daniele Bonera, Giampaolo Pazzini, Jherson Vergara and Gabriel are still injured, but Boateng, Mattia De Sciglio and Nigel De Jong were back in the side after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Hellas Verona. Georginio Wijnaldum was able to start for PSV despite picking up a knock, but Luciano Narsingh and Oscar Hiljemark missed out.

There was an early scare after eight minutes when Tim Matavz got behind Cristian Zapata for a header, but Christian Abbiati was at full stretch.

Moments later, the Rossoneri took the lead, Boateng found space from 20 metres and unleashed a right-foot daisy-cutter that squirmed into the far bottom corner despite Jeroen Zoet getting a hand to it.

Stephan El Shaarawy curled over the bar, then tried to dribble into the box and Zoet smothered at his feet.

Adam Maher almost scored a sensational goal, as his shot on the volley from distance was dipping towards the far top corner, but Abbiati flew to palm it away.

Zoet was again quick off his line to stop El Shaarawy going clear, then Riccardo Montolivo blasted just wide from a Boateng assist.

El Shaarawy could not have gone closer on 32 minutes. He volleyed from a De Sciglio cross and it ricocheted off the underside of the crossbar, hit the line and bounced back out.

Memphis Depay drilled just past the upright, while Balotelli should’ve done better on a Montolivo cross, mistiming his jump for the wayward header.

Willems went extremely close to an equaliser just before half-time, as his cross-shot floated over Abbiati and landed on the crossbar. In stoppages Abbiati grabbed a deflected Matavz attempt and Balotelli’s powerful but central free kick was smothered.

Straight after the restart Wijnaldum was left completely unmarked at the back post and Abbiati performed a stunning save, making himself big to deflect it over the bar from point-blank range.

El Shaarawy felt he should’ve scored on 53 minutes when he pounced on a defensive error, but under pressure he couldn’t adjust his aim and prodded wide of an open goal.

Milan did extend their advantage moments later when Philippe Mexes flicked on an El Shaarawy corner for Balotelli to volley in from seven yards. It was his first European goal in a Rossoneri jersey.

Balotelli also received a yellow card for a mistimed tackle, meaning he has been booked in all three of Milan’s competitive games this season.

El Shaarawy’s attempt at an overhead kick from Balotelli’s chipped pass was ill-conceived, then Abbiati flew to fingertip a fierce Stijn Schaars shot over the bar from a tight angle.

Milan added a third to put the result beyond doubt with Boateng’s second of the night. Balotelli sparked the move, carried on by substitute Andrea Poli and the Ghanaian’s scuffed left-foot finish rolled into the far bottom corner past Zoet’s outstretched hand.

Milan 3-0 PSV (4-1 on agg)

Scorers: Boateng 9, 77 (M), Balotelli 55 (M)

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Zapata, Mexes, De Sciglio; Montolivo, De Jong, Muntari (Nocerino 81); Boateng (Robinho 86), Balotelli, El Shaarawy (Poli 73)

PSV: Zoet; Brenet, Bruma, Rekik, Willems; Wijnaldum, Schaars, Maher (Toivonen 69); Park Ji-Sung (Jozefzoon 60), Matavz, Depay (Locadia 73)

Ref: Clattenburg (ENG)

Champions League: AC Milan vs. PSV Eindhoven - lineups
28.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan look to Mario Balotelli, Stephan El Shaarawy and Kevin-Prince Boateng against PSV in the Champions League play-off.

The first leg ended 1-1 in Eindhoven and the decider kicks off at San Siro at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

Although the result was positive in Holland, the Rossoneri’s confidence took a hammering on Saturday with a 2-1 defeat to Serie A new boys Hellas Verona.

Mattia De Sciglio and Nigel De Jong are back in the side after recovering from injury, though Daniele Bonera, Jherson Vergara, Giampaolo Pazzini and Gabriel are still absent.

PSV Eindhoven need at least an away goal to have a chance of going through to the group phase of the Champions League.

They are without the injured Luciano Narsingh and Oscar Hiljemark, while Georginio Wijnaldum has shaken off a minor knock he picked up at the weekend in the 1-1 draw with Heracles.

AC Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Zapata, Mexes, De Sciglio; Montolivo, De Jong, Muntari; Boateng, Balotelli, El Shaarawy.

Milan bench: Amelia, Silvestre, Nocerino, Poli, Emanuelson, Niang, Robinho.

PSV: Zoet; Brenet, Bruma, Rekik, Willems; Wijnaldum, Schaars, Maher; Park Ji-Sung, Matavz, Depay.

PSV bench: Tyton, Jorgensen, Arias, Hendrix, Toivonen, Locadia, Jozefzoon.

Van Bommel on AC Milan - PSV
28.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Former Milan and PSV midfielder Mark van Bommel has admitted that it will be ‘very nice’ to return to San Siro this evening.

The two teams play each other in the second-leg of their Champions League play-off tonight, and the 36-year-old has offered his opinion on the game.

“It looks like it’s going to be a good game,” he told “But I think in the end a Milan win is most likely.

“PSV have to be pragmatic if they want to win. But after 1-1 in the first leg, they should not rest and be happy with that.

“They can’t say ‘we have done well’.

“If you have the chance to beat Milan, then you must take it. It’s going to be very nice to be back at San Siro and speak to all those people I know.”

AC Milan: Ljajic? No hard feelings
28.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan have accepted defeat in their pursuit of Adem Ljajic after he agreed to join Roma from Fiorentina.

The Rossoneri did make a bid for the Serbian youngster who had less than a year left on his contract in Tuscany, but he’s been sold to the capital club instead.

“There are no hard feelings or any controversy,” Galliani stated to TMW on Wednesday. “There is not too much to say about it to be honest.

“The simple truth is that Fiorentina decided to consider an offer from another club and not our bid. That’s what happens in the transfer market.”

The forward, still just 21, arrived in Rome this morning ahead of his medical with the Stadio Olimpico outfit.

Milan could now make a move to sign Juventus forward Alessandro Matri if they qualify for the group stages of the Champions League.

The Diavolo take on PSV tonight at San Siro in their preliminary round tie. The first leg ended 1-1 in Holland last week.

“Will Matri be cheering us on tonight? I hope so,” Galliani responded. “As he grew up in our youth system.”

Cocu: 'Anything could happen'
27.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

PSV Coach Phillip Cocu warns Milan “anything could happen” ahead of their Champions League play-off.

The first leg ended 1-1 in Eindhoven and the decider is at San Siro on Wednesday night at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

English referee Mark Clattenburg has been assigned to the big game. Click here for Milan Coach Massimiliano Allegri's conference.

“Playing at home is different to being away. We played a good game in Eindhoven and are confident we can also do well tomorrow in Milan’s stadium,” said Cocu in a Press conference.

“It is a wonderful moment for me as well as the team, as being able to measure yourself up against a side like Milan is great.

“This brings tension, but it is a positive tension, a sensation you need in football. My job is also to help my players to experience and use this pressure.

“We are prepared for anything. I don’t know how Milan will approach the game, whether they will defend or attack. In such an important match with so much at stake, anything could happen.”

Robinho and Mattia De Sciglio are fit again, so Cocu was asked whether he fears the Brazilian more than Stephan El Shaarawy.

“Milan have the luxury of being able to choose between great players. We have to step on to the field knowing we must control these players. Did we see Milan’s defeat to Verona? Yes, we watched it.”

Cocu also revealed Georginio Wijnaldum is not 100 per cent fit after picking up an injury at the weekend.

Ljajic Roma medical tomorrow
27.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adem Ljajic will undergo a Roma medical tomorrow, replacing Tottenham-bound Erik Lamela, while Ante Rebic joins Fiorentina.

The transfer merry-go-round is expected to go full circle within the next 48 hours.

Today Ljajic left the Fiorentina camp without joining in the training session, as he only went into the locker room to say goodbye to his teammates.

The striker turned down a contract extension, so the Viola made it clear he would be sold to avoid running down to its expiry in June 2014.

He had been very close to Milan, but Fiorentina were furious with them for trying to go through the player first, so today successfully convinced Ljajic to accept Roma instead.

The offer for the player who turns 22 next month is €10m plus a further €3m in performance-related bonuses.

Ljajic is set to arrive in Rome for a medical between this evening and tomorrow.

AC Milan squad for PSV Eindhoven
27.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan named their squad for the Champions League play-off with PSV Eindhoven, including Robinho.

The Rossoneri welcome the Dutch giants to San Siro on Wednesday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

Robinho and Mattia De Sciglio are back from injury, though Gabriel, Giampaolo Pazzini and Jherson Vergara are still unavailable.

Kevin-Prince Boateng also returns after he missed Saturday’s 2-1 Serie A defeat to Verona.

The first leg of this Champions League preliminary round ended 1-1 in Eindhoven.

AC Milan squad for PSV: Abbiati, Amelia, Coppola, Abate, Costant, De Sciglio, Mexes, Silvestre, Zaccardo, Zapata, Boateng, Cristante, De Jong, Emanuelson, Montolivo, Muntari, Nocerino, Poli, Balotelli, El Shaarawy, Niang, Petagna, Robinho.

Montolivo: Verona wasn't us
27.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo has admitted that Milan want to put their defeat to Verona behind them as they face PSV in the Champions League.

The Rossoneri play the Dutch side in their second-leg play-off tomorrow after losing to the newly-promoted team at the weekend.

“There is a great desire to prove that we are not what we saw in Verona,” he told a Press conference.

“Saturday was not us – we were so bad it wasn’t true. We have to demonstrate that we have value.

“Beyond the economic impact that getting into the Champions League would have, we also have our pride.

“You can win, lose or draw, and play a good or bad game, But whatever happens you have to have a good attitude.

“We were all wrong at the weekend, so we are staring over again.”

Allegri wants AC Milan to bounce back
27.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri wants his Milan players to redeem themselves after Saturday’s loss to Verona.

The Rossoneri went down 2-1 on the opening day of the season, but face PSV tomorrow evening in the second-leg of their Champions League play-off.

“We need to have the right attitude tomorrow,” he told a Press conference. “That was lacking against Verona.

“Perhaps that was my fault – especially in the second half. There were errors made in the reading of certain situations.

“I do not want to see cocky attitudes from my players. We need to grow up and do it quickly.

“But I’m sure tomorrow we’ll play an intense, technically good match.

“We have to be careful against PSV though. We have to win and cannot think of anything else.

“We are at home and need to redeem ourselves after Saturday.

“Everyone knows the importance of this match. PSV are a team that plays well and can put us in trouble.

“We will not change much from the first leg though.”

PSV squad for AC Milan
27.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

PSV boss Phillip Cocu has named a 22-man squad for Wednesday’s Champions League encounter at Milan.

The Dutch side will need a win at San Siro, or a high scoring draw, if they want to make the group stages of the competition.

The first leg in Eindhoven last week ended in a 1-1 draw.

PSV squad: Dolce, Tyton, Bertrams; Zanka, Rekik, Bruma, Maher, Toivonen, Scarso, Matavz, Wijnaldum, Locadia, Arias, Joseph Son, Willems, Narsingh, Bakkali, Van Ooijen, Depay, Brenet, Hendrix, Park.

AC Milan to bid for Matri if...
27.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan will launch a bid for Alessandro Matri of Juventus should they reach the group stages of the Champions League.

The striker is available for transfer and he has been linked strongly with possible moves to Napoli and Roma in recent weeks.

However, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport, the Diavolo are keen on re-signing a player who is actually a product of their youth system.

The 29-year-old joined the Old Lady in January 2011 from Cagliari for €15.5m. The Turin giants are keen to sell following the arrivals of Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente.

Juve are expected to ask for between €10m and €13m for the man who played under Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri in Sardinia.

Milan will entertain PSV in the second leg of their Champions League qualifier on Wednesday. The first game ended 1-1.

The Rossoneri are also interested in Fiorentina forward Adem Ljajic and CSKA Moscow midfielder Keisuke Honda.

Ljajic pulled out of Fiorentina squad
26.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Reports in the Italian Press this hour have claimed that Adem Ljajic has been left out of Fiorentina’s squad for their game against Catania.

The Serbian youngster was named in the initial 23-man squad for the match with the Elefanti to be played this evening.

But several media outlets have insisted that the forward will not be present, with a move away from the Viola seemingly more and more likely.

Ljajic has been heavily linked with a transfer this summer, with Roma, Milan and Atletico Madrid all said to be interested.

The 21-year-old has been given until tomorrow to decide on his future at the club.

Rekik confident of beating AC Milan
26.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

PSV Eindhoven defender Karim Rekik is confident his side can beat Milan and qualify for the Champions League.

The Dutch side drew 1-1 with the Rossoneri last week in the first leg of their European play-off.

And the young centre-back has claimed that his men can go to San Siro this Wednesday and win.

“If we play like we did in the first leg we can beat Milan,” he told NUSport.

“We must not be worried by playing at San Siro – we just have to do our normal game.

“Milan will try their best at home, so we’ll see what happens.

“I believe though, that we can qualify for the Champions League.”

Antonini now linked with Sampdoria
26.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sampdoria have become the latest club to be paired with available Milan full-back Luca Antonini.

After attracting the interest of Besiktas, Trabzonspor and Torino, it appears former club Samp are keen on signing him again.

The now 31-year-old spent the 2003-04 campaign at Marassi, but he featured in just three Serie A games during a loan spell.

Antonini may be sold as his contract at San Siro is set to expire in the summer of 2014.

Poli expects AC Milan response
26.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan will be looking to exorcise their Week 1 loss at Verona when they take on PSV Eindhoven in midweek.

The Rossoneri surprisingly lost 2-1 to the newly promoted club on Saturday in the opening fixture of the Serie A season.

“We wanted to start well, but we didn’t manage it,” Poli, who opened the scoring in the fixture, told Milan Channel.

“The loss was a bad performance. We played well for the first 20 minutes, then after the goal we relaxed a bit and that’s no good.

“The loss has been analysed and we want to put it behind us as soon as we can starting on Wednesday.

“Luckily we have another big game coming up against PSV and we can get back on track.”

The Rossoneri will take on the Dutch with the aim of reaching the group stages of the Champions League. The first leg last week ended 1-1.

“We have a lot of games ahead of us and Wednesday’s will be fundamental,” the summer signing from Sampdoria added.

“We played a positive game in the first leg, but we know we’ll be up against a good team. We have to get through at all costs and we have all the right ingredients to do it as well.”

Fiorentina: 'If Ljajic is sold...'
25.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fiorentina warned they will “only sell Adem Ljajic to a club that behaves correctly with us and within the sporting rules.”

The Viola had already released a statement earlier this month blasting Milan for what they claimed was an illegal approach towards their player.

Ljajic’s contract expires in June 2014 and he has been given until Tuesday morning to accept a renewal or be sold.

“If Adem does want to go, we’ll only sell him to a club that behaves correctly with us and within the sporting rules, which means speaking to the club before the player,” general manager Sandro Mencucci told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“He will not remain here without signing a renewal, as that would not be right. We offered him an excellent contract. If he considers it to be adequate, then that’s fine. If not, he will leave.

“Whatever happens, it will be a success for Fiorentina. If he remains, and I am optimistic he will, then we’ll have a strong team. If he goes, then we will sell for a suitable price, as there are many teams tracking Ljajic.

“Everyone has spoken to the player and there’s no need to say anything else. The final decision is only down to Adem.”

While Milan have been most consistently linked with the Serbia international, other clubs interested include Roma, Tottenham, Southampton and Atletico Madrid.

Balotelli: 'I take the blame'
24.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli complimented Verona players – but not their fans – and blamed himself for Milan’s defeat.

The Rossoneri opened their Serie A season with a 2-1 defeat at the Stadio Bentegodi this evening.

“Compliments to Verona (the players),” wrote Balotelli on Twitter.

“I take the blame for our defeat. In any case, compliments to Verona again.”

There were fears Balotelli would be subjected to racist abuse due to Hellas Verona’s history of fines, but they opted to ironically applaud and cheer him on instead.

It appeared to work, as Super Mario had a disappointing performance and was booked for dissent after a penalty appeal.

Allegri: 'We played badly'
24.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri admits Milan deserved their 2-1 defeat in Verona. “We played badly and were only a team for 13 minutes.”

Andrea Poli had given them the early lead at the Stadio Bentegodi, but Luca Toni bagged a brace of headers to seal the Serie A season opener upset.

“We played badly at football, badly as a team and should’ve controlled the ball better,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“We reanimated Verona, who had until then been struggling. We played badly and Verona amply deserved the victory, so this has to make us reflect. We must play with more determination to bring home the results.

“I am not so much worried as angry, because we made life difficult for ourselves, were soft and were bad on a technical level too.

“It is the opening weekend, so it’s normal that to lose like this is painful, especially as we have an important Champions League play-off with PSV on Wednesday.

“Toni set the example for Verona and fought like a lion, which ought to be our spirit,” continued Allegri.

“In order to get results, we need a different attitude. There are some players who didn’t manage much pre-season training, but that cannot be an alibi. When your legs give in, you have to defend with 10 men and that didn’t happen today.

“We only played as a team for the first 13 minutes. Were there refereeing errors? I prefer to talk about the game.”

Serie A: Hellas Verona 2:1 AC Milan - match report
24.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Poli 14 (M), Toni 30, 53 (V)

AC Milan started the campaign with a shock 2-1 defeat in Verona, as Luca Toni’s brace of headers overturned Andrea Poli’s goal.

The Serie A 2013-14 season opener was at the Bentegodi, where the Rossoneri famously lost 5-3 to hand the 1974 Scudetto to Juventus in one of the League’s biggest ever shocks. Sulley Muntari was suspended with Kevin-Prince Boateng, Giampaolo Pazzini, Daniele Bonera, Riccardo Saponara, Luca Antonini, Bakaye Traore, Gabriel and Jherson Vergara injured. Hellas were without Alessandro Agostini and Daniele Ragatzu, but looked to summer signing Luca Toni.

Riccardo Montolivo aimed an early long-range effort over the bar and Mario Balotelli stung Rafael’s palms with a snapshot.

Andrea Poli broke the deadlock with his first goal for the club he has supported since childhood. The former Sampdoria midfielder ran on to a smart Balotelli through ball and kept his cool to burst between two defenders, sliding an angled drive past Rafael.

A dangerous Verona counter-attack was wasted by Romulo, who went for goal and saw his shot charged down by Philippe Mexes rather than roll across when it was three against two.

Hellas did draw level on the half-hour mark with their veteran hitman Toni, who rose above Kevin Constant at the back post to nod in a corner and send the Bentegodi crowd wild. It was the 36-year-old’s fifth career goal in an opening round of the Serie A season.

Toni’s shot from the D was parried haphazardly by Christian Abbiati, but scrambled out for a corner, as Verona grew into the game.

Milan confirmed their consistent problems defending from set plays, as straight after the restart Bosko Jankovic was allowed a free header from six yards that Abbiati palmed out from under the bar.

It was a warning they did not heed, as moments later Verona took the lead. Jankovic curled a free kick to the back post, where Cristian Zapata did not jump, and Toni nodded in despite Abbiati’s attempted save.

The Rossoneri had a series of shots charged down, including a Mexes overhead kick and Niang effort, while Abbiati punced a Martinho cross away from Toni on the counter.

Andrea Petagna was given his Serie A debut as Milan tried to turn the situation around, but Toni had penalty appeals for a tussle with the deeply disappointing Zapata, though he seemed to run into the back of the defender. Toni received a standing ovation at the Bentegodi when substituted.

Robinho came on for the final stages and Petagna was unable to get on the end of his ball across the face of goal. Riccardo Montolivo tested goalkeeper Rafael from distance with his snapshot, as did Balotelli with a long-range curler.

Maietta had to deflect Robinho’s assist over the bar from five yards before Petagna could tap-in, but at the other end Abbiati was at full stretch to fingertip a Daniele Cacia angled drive.

In the final minute Balotelli fell under a Moras nudge in the back and was so furious that he was booked for clearly insulting the referee.

Verona: Rafael; Cacciatore, Maietta, Moras, Albertazzi; Jorginho, Donati (Hallfredsson 84), Romulo; Jankovic, Toni (Cacia 84), Martinho (J Gomez 77)

AC Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Zapata, Mexes, Constant (Robinho 77); Poli, Montolivo, Nocerino; Niang (Emanuelson 64), Balotelli, El Shaarawy (Petagna 64)

Ref: Calvarese

Serie A: Hellas Verona vs. AC Milan - lineups
24.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Verona: Rafael; Cacciatore, Maietta, Moras, Albertazzi; Jorginho, Donati, Romulo; Jankovic, Toni, Martinho.

AC Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Zapata, Mexes, Constant; Poli, Montolivo, Nocerino; Niang, Balotelli, El Shaarawy.

Fiorentina confirm Ljajic deadline
24.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fiorentina general manager Sandro Mencucci confirms “Adem Ljajic has until Tuesday to decide” on a new contract.

The player met with the club on Friday and left without signing an extension to the current deal that expires in June 2014.

“Fiorentina have made their proposal, including a wage increase, but he has received offers from other clubs,” revealed Mencucci.

“We have given him until Tuesday to decide. If he finds a club that is willing to offer him more, then he will come and tell us. In any case, Fiorentina will be competitive.”

Conte on Juventus rivals
24.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Conte identified the challengers to Juventus in Serie A, clings to Paul Pogba and reveals he didn’t want to sell Emanuele Giaccherini.

The Bianconeri won the title for two years running and a third would be an historic achievement not managed since the 1930s. They open their campaign tonight against Sampdoria.

“Napoli signed Gonzalo Higuain, so have a strong side. Juventus had also negotiated for Higuain, but would not spend €35m,” Conte told Sky Sport Italia.

“Then there’s Fiorentina, who want to abandon their status as a mid-table side and in my view they can target ambitious objectives like the Scudetto.

“Milan invested for Mario Balotelli and in my view Inter have an excellent squad at their disposal.”

Conte also commented on his own team, which has been enriched with Carlos Tevez, Fernando Llorente and Angelo Ogbonna.

“Tevez and Llorente have settled in very, very well. Let’s not forget that Tevez is coming off a different League, while Llorente barely played last season. We need patience, as we know Llorente is a great signing and he was a free transfer too.

“I am convinced that those two, along with Ogbonna, can give us a great hand this season.”

Arsenal reportedly made an offer for midfielder Pogba, but it was turned down point-blank, unlike the Sunderland bid for Giaccherini.

“I say that the Pogba we see today is not the same Pogba who arrived a year ago. He is a guarantee, not just a player of potential, a hard worker and someone who really wants to become one of the best.

“As for Giaccherini, his departure was a symptom of where Italian football is at financially right now. I would never have parted with a player like Giaccherini.”

Balotelli - Verona tension rises
24.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Verona President Maurizio Setti is “optimistic” his fans won’t aim racist abuse at Mario Balotelli after his mocking tweet.

There are fears of racist abuse from the stands, as Hellas Verona ultras have been repeatedly involved in these incidents and this week Mayor of Verona Flavio Tosi accused Balotelli of “provoking” these insults.

SuperMario responded in his own way with a tweet aimed at the ultras: “People of Verona, I present to you a man from Brescia!”

There are now reports the Verona ultras will adopt a different approach to circumnavigate the punishment of racist abuse.

They could substitute the ‘monkey noises’ with different random sounds, such as ‘pe-pe-pe’ or ‘hee-hee-hee’ every time he touches the ball.

It would follow on from Lazio ultras releasing a statement to insist those noises were not racist abuse, but simply aimed at irritating their opponents.

“I am hopeful and optimistic,” said Verona President Setti in the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“This is the opportunity to prove to everyone that our fans have changed. I noticed huge improvements. We signed Donsah, a player from Ghana, and he was accepted with no problems in the city or the stadium.

“When we first took over the club, we had to pay €150,000 in fines every season. Now we’re down to €20,000. The people of Verona are not racist. There are those who make those noises to get attention, as they know they’ll get on TV and in the papers. Then others go along with their crowd. It’s only a few dozen people.

“Besides, there should also be punishment when we play an away match and the crowd chants ‘you have to die’ at our Coach for the entire 90 minutes.

“Do I agree with Tosi? No. In my view Balotelli is a 23-year-old and, like everyone at that age, if you press certain buttons he will react. I’d advise him to play his game as best he can and not listen to anything else. I’d love to have him play for Verona.”

Boateng returns to Ghana duty
24.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan's Kevin-Prince Boateng has officially come out of international retirement to play for Ghana.

The midfielder had opted out of international football in June 2011 in order to focus on his club career.

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome your decision to return to action to the national team of Ghana, the Black Stars,” read an open letter sent to Boateng from General Secretary of the Ghana Football Association Emmanuel Gyimah.

“Your decision to return to action for Ghana will surely re-energise the Black Stars for our future challenges.

“We are confident that you will work hard in the team to ensure the continuous progress of our beloved national team of Ghana, the Black Stars.”

Mandorlini sees 'AC Milan derby'
24.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Verona open the 2013-14 Serie A season today against Milan and Coach Andrea Mandorlini sees it as “a derby.”

This also represents Verona’s first top flight game in 11 years.

“As a young lad I played in many derbies and this is another,” said the tactician who played for Inter from 1984 to 1991.

“It will be a very tough start for us against Milan. We will have to put our weapons on to the pitch. The important thing will be to stay combat and try to hit them quickly on the break.

“We must remain concentrated for the entire match. The Rossoneri have stronger fitness levels because they already played a competitive game against PSV Eindhoven.

“We have to run harder than anyone else and play at the top level.”

Samuele Longo, the Under-21 international striker on loan from Inter, is in the squad and ready for his Hellas Verona debut.

Verona squad for Milan: Rafael, Nicolas, Mihaylov; Bianchetti, Moras, Albertazzi, Maietta, Cacciatore; Donati, Laner, Jorginho, Martinho, Romulo, Hallfredsson, Cirigliano; Toni, Sgrigna, Cacia, Gomez, Sala, Grossi, Jankovic, Longo

Roma join Ljajic chase
24.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adem Ljajic has failed to agree a new contract with Fiorentina, so Roma joined Milan, Tottenham and Southampton with offers.

The Serbia international met with Viola directors at their headquarters on Friday afternoon, but left without securing an extension to the deal that expires in June 2014.

President Andrea Della Valle noted on Thursday that he would be sold if there was no new contract and there was “not much chance” of him staying.

Milan have long been interested in Ljajic, even though their initial €9m offer was rejected, and remain the favourites.

It was reported Atletico Madrid made a proposal, but the forward turned down that alternative.

Over the last few hours Roma have emerged as new contenders for Ljajic’s signature, as he would be a valid replacement should Erik Lamela join Tottenham for €35m.

Other options are Spurs, Southampton and Schalke 04, though the player seems eager to remain in Serie A.

According to Sky Sport Italia, Ljajic will give Fiorentina his definitive answer on Tuesday morning after their Serie A match against Catania.

Honda 'wants to wear the AC Milan shirt'
24.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

CSKA Moscow midfielder Keisuke Honda has confirmed that he is desperate to play for ‘his favourite team’ Milan

The Japan international has been a perennial transfer target for the Rossoneri this summer, and the playmaker has admitted he wants to join up with the San Siro side, whilst also revealing that he has not received any offers from Paris Saint-Germain.

“I haven’t received any offers from PSG,” he told Le10Sport. “It is a great club with a great project.

“Milan remains my favourite team, and if possible, I would like to wear their shirt.”

Montolivo: AC Milan can't afford mistakes
24.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo has conceded that Milan are in for a critical week as they face Hellas Verona and PSV in the space of four days.

The Rossoneri travel to the Gialloblu for their opening League fixture of the campaign and then host the Dutch side in the second leg of their Champions League play-off.

“On Saturday we have the first game of the season at a ground which will be sold out,” he told the club’s official website.

“And then on Wednesday we play PSV again.

“We are only at the beginning of the season, but we cannot afford to make any mistakes in either match.”

Ljajic in Fiorentina talks
24.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fiorentina playmaker Adem Ljajic and his representatives are currently in discussions with the club in Florence.

The Serbia international’s future has been the subject of constant speculation this summer, with moves to Milan and Atletico Madrid touted.

But the youngster has been spotted entering talks with the Tuscan side, as he looks to seek clarification over his future.

Ljajic’s current contract ends in 2014, however it is unclear whether the meeting is to discuss an extension or an exit from Stadio Artemio Franchi.

Allegri doesn't feel under exam
24.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri doesn’t think he is under any extra pressure after he almost lost his job as Milan boss during the summer.

The tactician looked all set to be replaced at Milanello at the request of President Silvio Berlusconi, but he was confirmed in the role after a number of crunch talks.

“I don’t feel under examination, absolutely not,” he said on the eve of his side’s Week 1 fixture at Verona. “Once the games that count start then a Coach has to begin collecting results.

“He is in charge of the group so if things go wrong then he is the first one who is questioned. This is my fourth season at Milan and I’m happy with what I have done so far.

“I spoke to Berlusconi yesterday and also before the PSV game. We often speak and we are all close to him during this difficult time.”

Milan have had a relatively quiet summer on the transfer front so far, but Allegri is confident that he is in charge of a competitive side which includes Mario Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy.

“I don’t know if we are stronger than last season,” he added. “Juventus are still Scudetto favourites, but the championship is a long one.

“We’ve been working together for a year and we now know each other better. The players need to grow, as does the team as a collective.

“Balotelli is still young. He has worked well up until this point. He could potentially get 25-30 goals this season, it all depends on him. But don’t forget that he is still just a 23-year-old.”

Turning his attention to Verona, Allegri showed the newly promoted outfit respect while sharing some thoughts on his own starting XI.

“Verona have Luca Toni, they are a side who don’t offer you much and they will be playing with great enthusiasm.

“We’ll need to play with our heads and technique, in the knowledge that you can win games in the 90th minute.

“I’ll decide tomorrow whether Nigel De Jong or Antonio Nocerino will play alongside Andrea Poli and Riccardo Montolivo in midfield.

“It’s likely that Ignazio Abate will start at right-back seeing as Mattia De Sciglio hasn’t played a game for a while.”

Allegri was also questioned on the transfer market, specifically his club’s reported interest in Juventus striker Alessandro Matri.

“I had two beautiful years with him in Cagliari, he’s done well at Juventus where he has made a difference. However, the club is looking after market matters and they know what they are doing.”

Milan Squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Coppola; Abate, Constant, De Sciglio, Mexes, Silvestre, Zaccardo, Zapata; Cristante, De Jong, Emanuelson, Montolivo, Nocerino, Poli; Balotelli, El Shaarawy, Niang, Petagna, Robinho.

AC Milan pick 21 for Verona
24.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin-Prince Boateng is one of numerous injured players missing from the Milan squad for Saturday’s tie at Verona.

The midfielder wasn’t included in Massimiliano Allegri’s 21-man party for the Week 1 encounter at the Stadio Bentegodi.

Giampaolo Pazzini, Daniele Bonera, Riccardo Saponara and Luca Antonini are just some of the others who will be missing. Sulley Muntari is suspended.

Mattia De Sciglio and Robinho, however, are once again at the disposal of a Milan side who drew 1-1 with PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday.

Squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Coppola; Abate, Constant, De Sciglio, Mexes, Silvestre, Zaccardo, Zapata; Cristante, De Jong, Emanuelson, Montolivo, Nocerino, Poli; Balotelli, El Shaarawy, Niang, Petagna, Robinho.

AC Milan - Genoa swap Traore - Birsa?
24.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan’s Bakaye Traorè is heading to Genoa as part of a deal which will see Valter Birsa move in the other direction.

Sky Sport Italia claim the two clubs held successful talks last night after a meeting between Genoa chief Enrico Preziosi and Diavolo director Adriano Galliani.

Traorè only joined the San Siro outfit a year ago from Nancy, but he failed to establish himself in the first team plans of boss Massimiliano Allegri. He made just seven League appearances last term.

Birsa, meanwhile, is a 27-year-old Slovenian international midfielder who scored twice in 17 appearances on loan at Torino in 2012-13.

Della Valle: 'Ljajic likely to leave'
22.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adem Ljajic is on the bench against Grasshopper and Andrea Della Valle admits “there’s not much chance” he’ll stay at Fiorentina.

The striker’s contract runs out on June 30 2014 and negotiations for an extension have so far proved fruitless.

The Viola have made it clear he will be sold this summer if he does not sign a new deal, as they won’t risk losing him on a Bosman.

“Ljajic? I cannot give any answers right now, but there are several different options available,” President Della Valle told Sky Sport Italia in Zurich.

The first leg of the Europa League play-off is tonight and Ljajic is on the bench, most likely to avoid him being cup-tied.

“Next week we will make a decision, so give us a few more days. Personally I would like to keep him, of course, but one has to understand the player’s intentions and the atmosphere.

“Ljajic could still stay at Fiorentina, though there’s not much chance of that happening.”

Serbian international Ljajic has been heavily linked with Milan, though their €9m offer was rejected last month.

Atletico Madrid are the other most realistic alternative.

Mayor: Balotelli 'provokes racists'
22.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Mayor of Verona caused controversy by telling Mario Balotelli he shouldn’t “provoke” if he wants to avoid racist abuse.

Flavio Tosi, who is a member of the anti-immigration Lega Nord party, made the comments ahead of Saturday’s Serie A opener Hellas Verona-Milan.

There are fears of racist incidents, as the Verona fans have been punished for this behaviour in the past.

“Will I reassure Balotelli about coming to Verona? There are two aspects here,” noted Tosi on Radio Sportiva.

“One is the fans, the other is the club that has always worked hard to improve the behaviour of the fans other than those four idiots. If someone acts like a cretin, he’ll be in the minority.

“However, if Balotelli provoked people a bit less, then it would be even better. There are many black players, but not all of them stoke the ire of the opposition fans. Most have no problems. Balotelli is very good at making himself unlikeable.”

The comments from the Mayor of Verona come after Lazio ultras released a statement explaining their monkey noises at black Juventus players were “not racist.”

Lazio have been forced to close down the Curva Nord for their next home game as punishment for the jeering during the Italian Super Cup.

Although the Biancocelesti ultras insist their behaviour is not racist, they have agreed to stop making the noises “to silence the hypocrites.”

'All Ljajic theories still possible'
21.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adem Ljajic has still not signed a contract extension and Fiorentina director Sandro Mencucci admits “all theories are still possible.”

The striker’s current deal expires in June 2014 and the club made it clear he would not be allowed to hold on until he can leave on a free transfer.

Milan have seen a €9m offer rejected, while Atletico Madrid were also linked with the young Serbia international.

“We are close to the end of the transfer session and the conclusion of this saga,” general manager Mencucci told Radio Blu.

“All theories are still possible. Is Ljajic distracted by all this? That is also possible, but I am accustomed to thinking positive.”

AC Milan consider Donovan and Eriksen
21.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

With Keisuke Honda still unavailable, Milan are looking to Landon Donovan and Ajax’s Christian Eriksen.

The Rossoneri have an agreement with Honda to join as a free agent in January, but so far attempts to convince CSKA Moscow into an early sale have proved fruitless.

According to reports emerging from America, one of their ‘Plan B’ targets for this summer is LA Galaxy star Donovan.

It would be a return to Europe for the winger, who played for Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich and Everton.

Milan have a good rapport with LA Galaxy, having worked with them in the past to ‘share’ David Beckham during the season.

The other candidate is Ajax midfielder Eriksen, as Dutch newspaper Die Telegraaf claims there is a €10m offer on the table.

There is competition from the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal for the 21-year-old.

It should be noted Milan would only bring in reinforcements if they qualify for the Champions League proper.

The first leg ended 1-1 away to PSV Eindhoven and they won’t know their fate until August 28.

Champions League: PSV Eindhoven 1:1 AC Milan - goals/highlights
21.8 || webmaster

Abate didn't expect quick comeback
21.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan defender Ignazio Abate has conceded his surprise at returning from injury so quickly.

The 26-year-old was laid low all preseason thanks to a dislocated shoulder, but the full-back has claimed that he is excited to be back and can’t wait for the season to start properly.

“I did not expect to come back feeling so well,” he told Milan Channel. “I did not think I’d be back so quickly.

“The Coach has really given me a lot of confidence.

“Against Verona we are expecting a great game. We are an amazing group who are united and have trained well.”

Eriksen linked with AC Milan move
21.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan could make a move for highly-rated Ajax youngster Christian Eriksen, according to reports in the Dutch Press.

De Telegraaf have claimed that the Rossoneri could bid for the 21-year-old if they make the Champions League group stages.

Massimiliano Allegri’s men go into the play-off second-leg with PSV next week having drawn 1-1 in Holland yesterday.

And the paper has insisted that should they make it into the tournament proper, they could try and capture the playmaker.

Liverpool have been heavily linked with Eriksen, but are unable to offer the Denmark international European football.

Match fitness a factor, warns Tassotti
21.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan assistant boss Mauro Tassotti has conceded that it took some time for the Rossoneri to get into their stride against PSV Eindhoven.

The Rossoneri collected a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Champions League preliminary tie in Holland on Tuesday.

“We scored with our first chance through Stephan El Shaarawy, then Mario Balotelli the bar, but we did not start the game well,” the former right-back noted.

“They created some problems and we ran some risks. Then, in the second half, they scored with a shot which was hard to hold for goalkeeper Christian Abbiati.”

While PSV’s campaign is already in full swing, last night’s tie was Milan’s first competitive match of 2013-14.

“A competitive game is very different from a friendly,” he added. “And it was impossible to think that we could wrap up qualification today.

“I think we played well and I believe that our fitness will improve. When PSV got tired, the game became balanced again.

“We collected a decent result, but the return will also be tough.”

Emanuelson happy with PSV draw
21.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Urby Emanuelson was satisfied with Milan’s 1-1 Champions League draw at PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday.

Although the Diavolo had chances to take a commanding grip of the preliminary round encounter, the Dutchman is confident ahead of the return.

“The first half was difficult as they played very well,” stated the man who spent part of last season on loan at Fulham.

“We scored through Stephan El Shaarawy, while in the second half we played better but PSV drew level.

“The 1-1, however, is a good result for us and I think we can be happy with our first official match of the season.

“The League starts on Saturday and, next week at the San Siro, we will have more rhythm in our legs. We will do well and hopefully we can qualify.”

Emanuelson, as expected, began the game in his preferred role of left-back. “I am happy and satisfied with my performance.”

Assistant boss Mauro Tassotti said of Emanuelson: “He did well, but found it difficult like everyone else. He has not played in that position for a long time, but he can play there again.”

Allegri: 'All open with PSV'
20.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri praised Stephan El Shaarawy for his performance in Milan’s 1-1 Champions League draw with PSV.

El Shaarawy scored a potentially decisive away goal in the 1-1 Eindhoven result, while the second leg is on August 28.

The other first leg play-off results are Shakhter 2-0 Celtic, Viktoria Plzen 3-1 Maribor, Lyon 0-2 Real Sociedad and Pacos Ferreira 1-4 Zenit.

“We struggled a little at the start, losing the ball in banal fashion and allowing them easy chances,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“In the second half we controlled the ball better and above all defended better, as in the first half we were too wide between the sections and that allowed passes through.

“It’s a shame, as we had so many chances to seal the win even after the equaliser, so now it’s all open ahead of the second leg.

“If we had won and especially with a two-goal cushion then we would be looking at this match differently.

“Now we have to think about Saturday’s Serie A opener with Verona and only after that worry about the second leg.”

“Compared to last season the team is at a more advanced stage, as they know each other, and I have a few more options at my disposal. I’m also waiting to have De Sciglio, Robinho and Pazzini back from injury.”

This was Mario Balotelli’s Champions League debut in a Milan jersey, as he was cup-tied when joining from Manchester City in January.

“Mario did very well tonight, including off the ball, while of course we all knew his technique and talent.

“Stephan scored a great goal this evening, while Boateng also performed well. Considering it’s our first official game of the season, the team did pretty well.”

This was El Shaarawy’s first competitive goal since the Milan derby in February.

“Stephan had already done well in America. He had an amazing first half of last season and for a 20-year-old it was inevitable he could pay the price for that. He can’t possibly be like that all the time at his age.

“When young, a few blows helps players to grow up and realise to be in a top club you have to notch up years of experience at the highest level rather than just a few months.”

Allegri was also asked about the on-going negotiations with CSKA Moscow for Keisuke Honda.

“Honda? Right now we have to focus on what we’re doing and I’m happy with the lads. We have until September 2 and will see what happens.”

Montolivo: 'AC Milan need to improve'
20.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo admits fitness is an issue for Milan against PSV, so they must “improve all round for the second leg.”

The Rossoneri earned a 1-1 draw in Eindhoven and the Champions League play-off will be decided on August 28.

“We suffered their sharpness and intensity for almost the entire match, though we did better in the second half,” the midfielder told Sky Sport Italia.

“We were a little tighter after the break, but clearly need to improve all round for the second leg.

“It’s a shame, as we had taken the lead and could’ve been a bit more clinical to hold on to it, but the draw is still a good result.”

Mario Balotelli played his first European game in a Milan jersey, as when he arrived in January he was cup-tied.

“Since Mario arrived in January he has been incredibly consistent in terms of goals and performance, so of course he’s important for us.

“Compared to last season we are at a more advanced stage, as the players already know each other. We need to improve match fitness, but that’s only to be expected.

“I think it is an advantage that we have more or less the same side as last season. This time last year we were a work in progress, so we hope this time to avoid that rough start.”

With Massimo Ambrosini’s move to Fiorentina, Montolivo is the new Milan captain.

“It is a great honour and responsibility to wear the captain’s armband. I wore it a few times last season and it was an amazing feeling.”

Champions League: PSV Eindhoven 1:1 AC Milan - match report
20.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: El Shaarawy 15 (M), Matavz 60 (P)

Stephan El Shaarawy broke his goal drought and both sides rattled the crossbar, but Milan were held to a 1-1 draw by PSV Eindhoven. The second leg at San Siro is on August 28.

Mario Balotelli and Park Ji-Sung shook off injuries to start the first leg of this Champions League play-off, but Robinho, Mattia De Sciglio, Jherson Vergara, Luca Antonini, Gabriel, Zakaria Bakkali and Luciano Narsingh were ruled out. The last time these sides met, the Rossoneri won the 2005 quarter-final on away goals despite current PSV Coach Phillip Cocu bagging a brace.

Eindhoven’s season had already begun, winning all five of their competitive matches, but it was the first ‘real’ game for Milan. This also represented Balotelli’s Champions League debut in a Rossoneri jersey, as he was cup-tied last season from his time at Manchester City.

There was a huge scare in the opening minute, as Tim Matavz’s shot took a huge deflection off Adam Maher to leave Christian Abbiati stranded and skimmed the upright.

Balotelli put Jeroen Zoet under pressure and forced a collision, but the goalkeeper scrambled back up to parry at El Shaarawy’s feet. PSV were immediately sharper and Park’s backheel set up Georginio Wijnaldum’s low strike that Abbiati did well to beat away.

However, it was Milan who took the lead. Ignazio Abate ran on to a Kevin-Prince Boateng through ball and rode the Jetro Willems tackle to curl a great cross on to the head of El Shaarawy. It was the Little Pharaoh’s first competitive goal since February 24.

Moments later Balotelli’s screamer from distance was fingertipped on to the crossbar by Zoet’s flying save. Abbiati also needed an acrobatic clearance on Maher’s long-range strike and had his palms stung by the midfielder’s fierce volley at the near post.

PSV also rattled the crossbar with Maher after an Abate howler, but the defender got back in time for a crucial goalline clearance on the rebound.

After the restart El Shaarawy ran on to a Balotelli chipped pass, but under pressure from Zoet his finish flashed across an open goal. Super Mario created another great chance for his teammate, but Willem crucially intercepted to stop El Shaarawy volleying in from three yards.

PSV drew level just as Milan seemed to be taking more control of the match. Bruma’s rocket from midfield bounced off Abbiati’s chest and Matavz was first to nod in the rebound.

Sulley Muntari acrobatically charged down a Florian Jozefzoon strike and from that corner Karim Rekik’s free header from six yards was surprisingly wide of the target.

Andrea Poli’s give-and-go with fellow substitute M’Baye Niang sent him clear and the finish was fingertipped over the bar by a desperate Zoet.

A corner in the final minute was worked to set up Philippe Mexes, but the defender effectively kicked it on to his standing leg and the great opportunity went begging.

Moments later El Shaarawy did something similar, volleying an Abate cross on to his own arm.

PSV 1-1 Milan

Scorers: El Shaarawy 15 (M), Matavz 60 (P)

PSV: Zoet; Brenet, Bruma, Rekik, Willems; Schaars (Hiljemark 88), Maher; Park (Jozefzoon 68), Wijnaldum, Depay; Matavz (Locadia 75)

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Mexes, Zapata, Emanuelson; Montolivo, De Jong (Poli 77), Muntari; Boateng (Niang 84), Balotelli, El Shaarawy

Ref: Cakir (TUR)

El Shaarawy glad to end drought
20.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stephan El Shaarawy found it “very satisfying” that he was able to score his first official goal since February – and a header too.

“Despite the fact PSV got a strong start, we were able to take the lead and then had two or three more chances,” he said of the 1-1 Champions League play-off draw in Eindhoven.

“In the end, PSV were able to equalise. It was a good performance and an important result.

“It’s only normal that we were behind in terms of match fitness, but we had good concentration and intensity. The only regret is that we were unable to hold on for the win.”

This was The Little Pharaoh’s first competitive goal since February.

“It was my first goal in an official match since the derby and it’s also my first header, so it’s very satisfying.

“This is an El Shaarawy who really wants to get going, to score and do well. Now we must focus on the game with Verona and then consider the second leg.”

Sacchi: 'Balotelli inconsistent'
20.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

“Balotelli is a good player who so far has proved his extraordinary qualities only in fits and starts,” Sacchi told Sport Mediaset.

“He doesn’t always manage to connect himself with the squad. If he does manage that, then he can make the most of the extraordinary talent God has given him.”

The Rossoneri finished third in Serie A last season and Coach Massimiliano Allegri was given another year on the bench after weeks of speculation.

“Milan are a side with some interesting young players, but they are still missing something to become a great team,” continued Sacchi.

“Only Allegri can achieve this, trying to give not just good football but also play that is efficient, innovative, can quickly grow the youngsters and hide the issues of some players who are not top level.

“Milan, making the most of the experience and capabilities of their directors, can be competitive despite not spending much money on the market.”

Balotelli on the cover of Sports Illustrated
20.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli has become the first non US-based soccer player to appear on the front cover of Sports Illustrated.

The Milan and Italy striker appears with a lengthy interview in the new edition of the magazine.

The story calls him “the most interesting man in the world (soccer edition), by turns a national hero and the target of national prejudice.”

This honour follows on from Balotelli being named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.

Click here for the full story.

Galliani still coy over Honda
20.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan vice-President Adriano Galliani has admitted that the club are still in ‘constant contact’ with CSKA Moscow over Keisuke Honda.

The Japan international has been heavily linked with a move to San Siro this summer, with stories emerging for months that the midfielder would join Massimiliano Allegri’s men.

However, a transfer has failed to materialise, and the board member has failed to shed any light on a potential deal.

“Honda? We are in constant contact with the Russian club,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport. “At the moment there is no news.

“But even if there was I couldn’t tell you because we are bound by secrecy with CSKA.”

Inzaghi hails Balotelli
20.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan Primavera boss Pippo Inzaghi has crowned the Diavolo’s Mario Balotelli as the finest striker in Serie A.

Balotelli is only a 23-year-old who was snapped up by the Rossoneri from Manchester City in January for €20m.

“Balotelli is the best centre-forward in the Italian championship,” the former Milan striker told the Corriere dello Sport.

“As a Milan fan, I hope that he ends up as the Serie A top scorer in the new campaign. That would be important for himself, his club and the Italian national side.”

Inzaghi, though, is also a fan of Super Mario’s attacking colleagues at the San Siro for the 2013-14 season.

“Stephan El Shaarawy, who needs to confirm himself, Robinho and Kevin Prince Boateng will alternate around him.

“As will Andrea Petagna, he’s a very good player.”

The latter is an 18-year-old forward.

In 13 games for Milan, ex-Interista Balotelli has scored 12 times.

Emanuelson playing for AC Milan future
20.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Urby Emanuelson wants to make an impression at left-back for Milan this season after returning to San Siro.

The 27-year-old, who spent the second half of last term on loan at Fulham, is a versatile player who can also be used in a variety of midfield roles.

“It is important for me that I play this season,” the Dutchman noted. “I am back at Milan and the Coach has used me as a left-back so far.

“I think that would be my position for this season.”

Emanuelson could be used in that role tonight against PSV Eindhoven, in the Champions League qualifier, given the injury to Mattia De Sciglio.

“There is a good rivalry between Kevin Constant and myself for the full-back spot, but Kevin is a friend, we talk a lot together,” he added. “Let’s see who will play…

“PSV? They have always been a good team and this year they are young – but they still have great quality.”

Cocu: AC Milan will be tough
20.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

PSV Eindhoven Coach Philip Cocu believes his side will be up against a tough team to when they face Milan on Tuesday.

The Dutch club play the Rossoneri in the Champions League play-off on Tuesday, and the 42-year-old has claimed that it is a ‘litmus test’ for his men.

“We will fight with all our strength to win,” he told a Press conference. “But for us, Milan will be a litmus test.

“We want to play bug clubs, and this match is a huge opportunity for us.

“I have seen a lot of their games and I know they have a lot of quality.

“It is not going to be easy for us to deal with them. We need to reduce the amount of errors we make.”

Allegri: PSV win critical
20.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri has admitted that Milan’s Champions League game against PSV is ‘critical’ to their season.

The Rossoneri face the Dutch side in the preliminary round of the competition tomorrow, and the Coach has conceded that the match is vital.

“Beating PSV is critical to the rest of our season,” he told a Press conference.

“We must do everything possible to be in the next round of the Champions League.

“And I think my boys can succeed.

“I believe by October we’ll have a better idea of how we’re doing. For now we just have to focus on the upcoming games.

“We want to start well in the League against Verona.

“Juventus will be the favourites for the title, and I think their win over Lazio showed that.”

The tactician then commented on the fitness and form of Mario Balotelli.

“Mario is feeling good – he is an extraordinary player. It will be an important test for him playing in his first Champions League game with us.

“He won’t be in top condition, but he has some extraordinary qualities.”

Thiago Silva wants AC Milan reunion
19.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva has admitted that he wants to face Milan in the Champions League.

The Rossoneri play PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday in the preliminary round of the competition.

But the former centre-back hopes his old side make it through to the tournament proper.

“I want to go back to San Siro,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “It is a beautiful stadium.

“I have already spoken with Balotelli and El Shaarawy.

“It would be a big deal to face Milan in the group stages of the Champions League.”

Galliani: AC Milan in shape for PSV
19.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani is quietly confident ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League preliminary tie against PSV Eindhoven.

The Diavolo flew out to Holland today for the first leg of an encounter which the Italian giants are desperate to qualify from.

“I remember when we went to PSV and signed Ruud Gullit,” the Rossonero official noted. “They are a noble side who have had players such as Ronaldo and Romario in their ranks.

“It is one of the most important play-off games, but let us not overload it. These games are vital every year, but it is not the most important in our history.

“We played well on our American tour,” Galliani added. “I think the side is in good shape, but I don’t want to make any predictions…”

Milan haven’t been overly active in the transfer market so far, but the former Lega Calcio chief is satisfied with his work.

“The transfers which we wanted to take place have happened. This is an ultra-competitive side, with good players.”

Milan are also trying to sign CSKA Moscow’s Keisuke Honda and were yesterday linked with Paris Saint-Germain defender Mamadou Sakho.

“There is no news on Honda and Sakho hasn’t been offered to us,” Galliani replied.

AC Milan squad for PSV Eindhoven
19.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho and Mattia De Sciglio have been ruled out of Milan’s Champions League qualifier against PSV Eindhoven.

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has named a 21-man squad for Tuesday’s first leg game in Holland and the duo haven’t made it for fitness reasons.

Italy striker Mario Balotelli, as expected, is in the party after he missed the international against Argentina last week with a swollen knee.

Squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Coppola; Abate, Constant, Mexes, Silvestre, Zaccardo, Zapata; Boateng, Cristante, De Jong, Emanuelson, Montolivo, Muntari, Nocerino, Poli; Balotelli, El Shaarawy, Niang, Petagna.

Kingsley Boateng joins Catania
19.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kingsley Boateng has completed his move from Milan to Catania, the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza outfit have announced.

The 19-year-old has joined the Sicilian club on loan for the 2013-14 season. Catania will have the option to buy a 50 per cent stake in his contract next summer.

Boateng, a forward, was born in Ghana but he has appeared for the Italian national side at youth team level.

The move has taken place after the youngster signed a new deal at Milan until 2017.

Amelia: 'AC Milan will do well at PSV'
18.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Amelia is confident Milan “will do well” against PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League play-off.

The first leg is on Tuesday in Holland with the return at San Siro on August 28.

“PSV are a young side and their season has already started, so they are at a more advanced stage of fitness than we are, but I think we will do well,” Amelia told Milan Channel.

“The team appears to be in good condition and I think we will be ready for this appointment.

“We have a good squad and know Tuesday’s game is fundamental, not just in Holland, but for the whole 180 minutes of the tie.

“We are ready and concentrated for this challenge,” concluded the goalkeeper.

Cakir referee for PSV - AC Milan
18.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir will officiate Tuesday’s Champions League play-off between PSV and Milan.

The first leg will be played in Eindhoven with the decider at San Siro on August 28.

Today UEFA announced that Cakir of Turkey has been assigned to the match in Holland.

He is familiar to some of the Milan players, as he was in charge of Italy-Republic of Ireland in Euro 2012.

More famously, he controversially sent off Nani in the Champions League Manchester United-Real Madrid tie last season.

Cakir is assisted by Bahattin Duran and Tarik Ongun.

AC Milan battle Liverpool for Sakho
18.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan are battling Liverpool to take defender Mamadou Sakho from Paris Saint-Germain.

Laurent Blanc confirmed this week that Sakho has requested a transfer, although he could sign a contract renewal first and then go out on loan.

The 23-year-old French-Senegalese centre-back immediately became a target for the Rossoneri.

However, according to the Corriere dello Sport, Liverpool have also entered the race for Sakho’s signature.

Milan could attempt to get the upper hand by offering a cash sum to secure the loan with option to buy at the end of the season.

Atletico Madrid beat AC Milan's Ljajic bid
18.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adem Ljajic has still not signed a Fiorentina renewal and it’s reported Atletico Madrid have beaten Milan’s offer.

The Serbian striker’s current contract expires in June 2014 and the Viola have warned he will be sold this summer unless he pens a new deal.

Milan had been the favourites to snap him up, although their €8m offer (plus performance-related bonuses) is still below Fiorentina’s asking price.

According to Spanish newspaper AS, Atletico Madrid have dived in with a proposal worth €10m.

Fiorentina released an angry statement criticising Milan’s approach towards Ljajic and would be very happy to sell him abroad rather than reinforce one of their Serie A rivals.

Balotelli back in 11-0 AC Milan win
18.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan warmed up for their Champions League play-off with PSV Eindhoven with an 11-0 victory, including Mario Balotelli’s brace.

They took on Serie D side Derthona at the Milanello training ground this evening, welcoming Balotelli back from a knee injury that ruled him out of Italy’s friendly with Argentina.

Super Mario proved his fitness by bagging a brace, while M’Baye Niang also scored two goals.

Stephan El Shaarawy, Andrea Petagna, Antonio Nocerino, Matias Silvestre, Sulley Muntari and Cristian Zaccardo were also on target, while Derthona netted an own goal to complete the rout.

Milan travel to Eindhoven for Tuesday’s Champions League play-off first leg match.

Players' Association on racism walk-offs
17.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Players’ Association President Damiano Tommasi notes “racists must leave the stadium, not those being insulted.”

AIC chief Tommasi spoke to Radio Uno about the new rules to combat racist abuse from the stands, which sees referees halt play and a warning read out over the loudspeakers.

If the abuse continues, then the referee can halt the game, but players are urged not to walk off the field without permission from the officials.

“It has happened, in Busto Arsizio and in the Trofeo TIM, that players chose to leave the field, but the problem must be faced all together,” said Tommasi.

He was referring to two Milan incidents, as Kevin-Prince Boateng walked off during a friendly and Kevin Constant did the same against Sassuolo.

“The player must raise the problem with the referee, making the fourth official part of the situation and from there follow the planned procedure.

“The racists must leave the stadium, not those being insulted.”

Angry fans toilet paper Balotelli's car
17.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There was an unfortunate prank on Mario Balotelli, as angry fans TP’d his Ferrari when he refused to sign an autograph.

The Milan and Italy striker arrived in Lugano on Thursday evening and, according to LiberaTV, refused requests from a group of fans to sign autographs or have his picture taken.

At the end of his evening, Super Mario came back out to the parking lot and found his red Ferrari wrapped in toilet paper.

Kingsley Boateng to Catania
17.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan teenage striker Kingsley Boateng is joining Catania on loan, confirmed his agent.

“My client will go to Catania, but first he will sign a contract extension with Milan,” representative Giuseppe Riso told ItaSportPress.

The 19-year-old impressed in pre-season and had also been linked with a loan spell at Genoa and Sampdoria.

He suffered from a serious knee injury that kept him out of action from January to November 2012.

Boateng is of Ghanaian origin, but recently made his debut for Italy’s Under-20 squad.

Ancelotti: 'Real Madrid is like AC Milan'
17.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti explained why Real Madrid is like Milan, cast his eye over the Scudetto race and commented on Gareth Bale.

The former PSG Coach replaced Jose Mourinho at the Bernabeu this summer and his La Liga career begins this weekend.

“Real are always the same, as the club goes beyond players and managers,” he told the Corriere dello Sport.

“There is a special atmosphere and, like Milan, you can sense the history. It’s no coincidence the two clubs can be compared. Florentino Perez is Real’s top fan, in love with the club just like Silvio Berlusconi is with Milan.

“I am settling in well in Madrid. The ham is very, very good.”

Unlike the Rossoneri, Real Madrid have huge transfer funds and could smash the world record for Tottenham winger Bale.

“Will Bale arrive? Today I say no, as there are no new developments. When I spoke about this recently, Andre Villas Boas complained, so it’s a delicate issue to discuss.”

Ancelotti turned his focus towards Serie A and the Scudetto race, where Juventus are looking for a third straight title.

“Juve are the favourites, but watch out for Milan. I say that because they are the side with the fewest question marks over new signings. Napoli, Roma, Fiorentina and Inter have changed a great deal and need to be tested.

“Inter are starting from scratch with new players and above all a new Coach. They need time. This is the kind of tactical approach that had only been experimented with briefly under Gian Piero Gasperini.”

When asked to name his ideal XI from his career, Ancelotti found it tougher than expected.

“Buffon in goal, Ivanovic, Nesta, Cannavaro and Maldini in defence. Pirlo and Lampard in front of the back four. Zidane and Kaka behind the strikers. Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo in attack? These are all players I worked with.

“Of course, in goal I forgot about Dida, who was in the Manchester Champions League Final, and Peruzzi. In defence we can’t leave out Cafu, Terry and Thuram.

“As for the midfield, you need Gattuso to keep them solid, then Seedorf, Davids and the current Real players.

“In attack, we’ve got to have Shevchenko, Inzaghi, Drogba and Crespo. It’d be chaos if I left out Pippo, who scored a brace in the Champions League Final in Athens.

“I can never make up an ideal XI, as I’d need 10 or 20 and they’d all be fantastic.”

Tassotti: 'Aggressive against PSV'
17.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mauro Tassotti warns Milan will “need to be very aggressive” against PSV in the Champions League play-off.

The assistant manager to Massimiliano Allegri spoke to Milan Channel about Tuesday’s difficult trip to Eindhoven.

“All of our pre-season preparation has been aimed at this crucial game for the Champions League play-off,” said Tassotti.

“We played the friendly games that we considered suitable, though of course this is not the same as playing a friendly or in Serie A.

“PSV are a team who keep the ball very well and know how to attack, so we will need to be very aggressive.

“Their stadium isn’t very big, but it is a passionate atmosphere and the enthusiasm will make it difficult for us. We haven’t had much time to study PSV, as we only began tactical discussions on Friday.

“The only doubts we have are wrapped up in the stamina and intensity, as obviously this is our first ‘real’ match of the season and it was tough to play at a high tempo in America with that heat.

“Now Tuesday’s game is the only thing in our minds. We hope to get a good result, as getting through is fundamental for many reasons.”

Galliani: 'Honda interest waning'
17.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan chief Adriano Galliani admits their “interest is waning” in getting Keisuke Honda from CSKA Moscow before January.

The Japanese international has already agreed terms to join the Rossoneri after his contract expires on December 31, but they were also hoping to bring the move forward to this summer.

“If the club wants to give him to us, then we’ll sign him in August. If they don’t want to, which is within their rights, then Honda will arrive in January on a free transfer,” explained Vice-President Galliani.

He also admitted that “interest is waning,” as Milan must present their Champions League play-off squad by August 19.

AC Milan reconsider goalkeepers?
16.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports Gabriel suffered a serious injury, changing Milan’s transfer strategy around goalkeepers.

The 20-year-old Brazilian had overtaken Marco Amelia as second choice behind Christian Abbiati, but he has picked up a shoulder injury.

According to Sky Sport Italia, the injury could be serious and more tests will be needed next week.

With that in mind, Milan will abandon plans to sell Amelia and consider bringing in Ferdinando Coppola as third choice.

It would be a return for Coppola, who already wore the Rossoneri jersey in 2006-07, 2010-11 and 2012-13.

The 35-year-old would be available, as he is currently out of contract.

AC Milan plan Honda meeting
16.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan won’t meet with CSKA Moscow until after August 20 to discuss a new offer for Keisuke Honda.

The Rossoneri have already agreed terms with the Japanese international to join on a free transfer in January, as his contract expires in December 2013.

Their efforts to coax CSKA into releasing him six months early have so far been fruitless, as the Russians want around €6m.

According to Sky Sport Italia, a new meeting with CSKA will not be held until after August 20.

It means there is no chance of Honda playing for Milan in the Champions League play-off against PSV Eindhoven.

Poli: 'I've always been a AC Milan fan!'
16.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andrea Poli reveals he has been a Milan fan “since childhood,” so is overjoyed to be wearing their jersey.

The Italian international midfielder joined this summer from Sampdoria and spoke to the club’s official magazine ‘Forza Milan!’

“Since childhood I have always had the walls of my room covered in Milan symbols, hats and jerseys,” grinned the 23-year-old.

“I remember an old photograph of me wearing the Milan strip. I was only six or seven and my father gave it to me, so I was wearing it at my birthday party.

“I also wore it when playing with friends and during Milan games I would watch on television.”

Despite his life-long passion for the Rossoneri, Poli spent the 2011-12 season on loan at Inter and very nearly joined them on a permanent basis.

“I was coming off a year at Sampdoria that was tormented by injuries and unfortunately also negative in terms of results.

“Inter made an offer and took me on loan. You know the rest. It is an experience that is in the past now, so there’s no point talking about it.

“Football has always been everything for me. I started playing in the street with my friends and the ball has been an integral part of my life since childhood. I was able to cultivate this passion until I made it my profession too.”

PSG put Sakho on AC Milan radar
16.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan could find their new defender in France after Paris Saint-Germain confirmed Mamadou Sakho wishes to leave.

“It’s true, Sakho wants to find a solution and the club’s position is clear,” said PSG Coach Laurent Blanc.

“Until September 2 his situation will develop and we’ll have time to work out an agreement that suits both parties.”

The French international centre-back is out of contract in June 2014, so would be available for a cut-price deal.

It is also possible Sakho will agree to sign a contract renewal with PSG if he can be sent out on loan this season.

The 23-year-old has slipped further down the pecking order under Blanc and is eager for regular playing time in a World Cup year.

Milan are the favourites, but Fiorentina could also show an interest.

Honda and Ljajic not top players
16.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan’s quest to sign CSKA Moscow’s Keisuke Honda and Adem Ljajic of Fiorentina hasn’t excited a former Diavolo.

The Rossoneri have made bids for the midfielder and forward, but deals are yet to be agreed for either.

“They are two good players with different characteristics,” Giuseppe Pancaro, who starred for the club between 2003 and 2005, told Milan News.

“However, neither would allow Milan to take the next step up in quality because they are not top players.”

Japanese international Honda, if he doesn’t join the San Siro club immediately, will do so in January when he will be available on a free transfer.

Ljajic’s future will depend on whether he signs a new contract at Fiorentina as his current agreement will expire next summer.

Saponara cools Kaka similarities
16.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Saponara has played down comparisons between himself and former Milan idol Kaka.

The 21-year-old has moved to San Siro this summer after impressing with Serie B side Empoli and the Italian Under-21s last term.

“I may look similar to Kaka in certain movements, but there is an abyss between him and myself,” the attacking midfielder told Forza Milan.

“Kaka is a phenomenon, whereas I have so much to learn from the Real Madrid man and also my new teammates here at Milan.

“Kaka has always been my idol, the player who I have always aspired to become, but the comparisons with him are excessive.”

Milan played with a variety of shapes last term, but it seems that Saponara’s arrival has coincided with the decision to use a 4-3-1-2 again.

“It shows that the club are prepared to change the system for me,” he added. “They have great consideration for me as a player.

“It will now be up to me on the field of play to prove that was the right decision to make.”

Genoa explain Niang complications
16.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Serie A side Genoa have almost conceded defeat in their pursuit of Milan youngster M’Baye Niang.

Club officials and boss Fabio Liverani have spoken of their desire to net the 18-year-old forward before the transfer window closes.

Rumours of a possible deal intensified this week after Preziosi again met with Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani.

“I think I can exclude a swap deal between Juraj Kucka and Niang,” the Marassi President told Sky Sport Italia.

“AC Milan’s failure so far to sign Keisuke Honda and Adem Ljajic has complicated talks with the Rossoneri.”

Asked about other targets, Preziosi admitted that Nacional’s Gonzalo Bueno, a 20-year-old Uruguayan forward, is liked.

“Bueno is a player with great prospects and quality, we are looking to bring him here to Genoa,” he noted.

Roma and Livorno are also interested in the South American attacker.

Balotelli will face PSV for AC Milan
16.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are confident Mario Balotelli will be fit and ready to face PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League next week.

The striker was a doubt for Tuesday’s trip to Holland for the preliminary round tie because of a knee problem.

“Balotelli should be able to make it,” Vice-President Adriano Galliani told Sky Sport Italia. “His knee is improving and boss Massimiliano Allegri has told me that he should play.

“Milan are in fine form both physically and mentally. I saw the side play in the United States and we seemed to be in good shape, now we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Galliani was also asked for an update on the club’s pursuit of Keisuke Honda, the midfielder who is only contracted to CSKA Moscow until the start of 2014.

“The situation is very clear,” the transfer official explained. “He’s made his decision and he has informed his club of that decision.

“But CSKA are in charge of his contract. If they want to give him to us then we’ll sign him in August, if they don’t – which is in their rights – then we’ll sign him on a Bosman in January.

“The market will close on September 2, but the more time passes and the less interest we have in the deal.

“But you never know, this is football.”

Zaccardo: AC Milan ready for PSV
15.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan defender Cristian Zaccardo has promised that his side will be ready for their Champions League qualifier next week.

The Rossoneri face PSV Eindhoven for a place in the group stage of the competition, and the 31-year-old has claimed that his team are well prepared for the match.

“We’ve done a lot of work,” he told Milan Channel. “We are ready for this milestone of our season.

“We know PSV and tomorrow we will prepare for their challenge from every point of view.

“They may be physically better because they have already started the Dutch League, but we are Milan.

“Both teams are very good, but this is an important step for us and we have to go through.”

Antonini set for Turkey?
15.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Turkish clubs Besiktas and Trabzonspor are reportedly interested in Milan full-back Luca Antonini.

Both outfits are chasing the defender after a proposed move to Monaco fell through for the 31-year-old.

Antonini is contracted at San Siro until 2014 – which means he could leave the club on a Bosman free transfer next summer if he doesn’t sign a renewal before then.

Liverani admits to Niang desire
15.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Genoa boss Fabio Liverani has revealed he wants his club to sign M’Baye Niang from Milan before the transfer window closes.

The Diavolo have insisted the 18-year-old striker will remain at San Siro this term, but the Rossoblu have expressed an interest in recent weeks.

“I dream of having Niang in my squad,” the new tactician told Il Secolo XIX on Thursday. “A Niang who is hungry and ready to test himself here with us at Genoa.”

Niang, however, did tell L’Equipe earlier this month that he wanted to fight for his place with the Diavolo.

“I’m happy at Milan and I want to stay,” the former Caen striker stated. “I know what I can give to the team and I don’t fear the competition for places.

“I can play as a striker, on the left or right, I’ll play wherever Coach Massimiliano Allegri needs me. I know that I have the qualities to make an impact with this club.”

The teenager was signed a year ago, but he failed to score in 20 League games for the Rossoneri last season.

Constant only has eyes for AC Milan
15.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin Constant has committed his future to Italian giants Milan. “I want to end my career with this club.”

The Guinea international is about to start his second season at San Siro and he’s keen for many more to follow.

“I’ve now signed definitively for Milan,” said the man, who initially joined on loan and then a co-ownership from Genoa, to France Football.

“I have a five-year contract which is a long time, but, if possible, I would like to stay at this club for the rest of my playing days.”

Constant arrived at San Siro as a midfielder, but he has been converted into a left-back by boss Massimiliano Allegri.

“Milan are a great club and the competition for places here is a good thing,” he added. “It means there are a lot of excellent players in every department.

“Logically I would like to play as many games as possible, but the important thing for me and Mattia De Sciglio is that there is healthy competition between us and that we support each other.”

The 26-year-old Constant has been in Italy since his 2010 move from Chateauroux to Chievo Verona.

What Pope Francis told Balotelli
14.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

According to Vatican sources, Pope Francis spoke to Mario Balotelli about racism and being a good role model.

The striker was the only player to receive a private audience with His Holiness during the meeting with both Italy and Argentina squads on Tuesday.

He achieved this by running after the Pope into a separate room after the ceremony had concluded.

“Thank you Pope Francis. Thank you from the heart for those five minutes,” wrote Balotelli on Twitter.

He has refused to discuss what was said in that private audience, but emerged from the room visibly moved.

According to Vatican sources in La Repubblica newspaper, they discussed racism in society and being a good role model to youth.

Pope Francis also encouraged Balotelli not to react to provocation on the field or off it.

Pacifico taught AC Milan lessons
14.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan Primavera captain Davide Pacifico says he has developed a lot over the last few months with the Diavolo.

The 19-year-old was promoted to the first team set-up over the summer where he starred in a number of pre-season friendlies.

“Working with the first team is magnificent,” the defender told Milan Channel. “You are working with real players and real football, it is a great experience.

“Antonio Nocerino was the player which I bonded with the most,” Pacifico continued. “He helped me a lot.”

The youngster’s focus though has now returned to the youth team, where he will be under the orders of former striker Pippo Inzaghi.

“Having Inzaghi as a Coach is a real help because he passes on so much to us,” the kid born in Varese continued.

“He really does teach us a lot and off the pitch as well – how we must behave and act away from football.

“We are almost ready for the season. This is a good group of lads, we are still working at getting to know each other and how to play better as a team, but I would say that we can achieve a lot.”

AC Milan legends set for Newcastle tie
14.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Franco Baresi is set to face Alan Shearer next month in a charity game between legends of Milan and Newcastle.

The two sides will meet at St James’ Park on September 11, with the proceeds being donated to the Great North Children's Hospital, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and the Newcastle United Foundation.

The game is being staged by former Newcastle ‘keeper Steve Harper, who is now on the books of Hull City.

“I have to thank – talk about name-dropping – Franco Baresi,” the 38-year-old Harper commented. “He was very keen to come along.

“One of the big things is I don’t think he’s ever played against Alan Shearer and he’s very much looking forward to that, so that’s a contest to keep an eye on.

“But the opportunity to bring the likes of Baresi, Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Costacurta, Christian Vieri and Andriy Shevchenko here to St James’ Park and see that Milan kit with arguably some of the best players ever to have played the game in it was too good to turn down.

“Then it’s obviously what opposition do you put against them and, having been here for 20 years, the idea was to put some of the best players to have worn a black-and-white shirt in my time here up against them.

“I think I need to crack the whip, though, because I’m told Milan are very competitive – they were at Rangers – and are training for a week before the game.

“It will just be fantastic to see the likes of Alan, Les Ferdinand, Tino Asprilla – personally I am looking forward to seeing the Peter Beardsley-Andy Cole partnership re-united.”

Franco Baresi, who will captain the Italian side, noted: “I know the passion of Newcastle fans and I know of the club's history and the love of football in the city so I congratulate Steve and wish the fans and Newcastle United a magnificent occasion.”

AC Milan must beat PSV, says Abbiati
14.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

A Champions League without Milan is unimaginable for veteran Diavolo goalkeeper Christian Abbiati.

The Rossoneri have yet to book their place in the competition this term after finishing third in Serie A last season.

They will have to dispose of Dutch giants PSV later this month if they are to progress in Europe’s premier club tournament.

“Failing to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League would be incredibly damaging, under all aspects,” Abbiati told the Corriere dello Sport.

“I would struggle to imagine or endure a Champions League without Milan being in it. We can’t allow ourselves to be stopped by PSV Eindhoven.

“Qualification is in our grasps.”

Milan had a desperately poor start to 2012-13, but Abbiati is much more optimistic this time around.

“We are further ahead than we were at this time last year,” he continued.

“With the exception of the first 33 minutes against Manchester City, where we conceded five goals, we’ve done well in our pre-season games.”

Muntari: 'De Jong a natural leader'
13.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sulley Muntari feels Nigel De Jong is “a natural born leader” as Milan prepare to face PSV Eindhoven for the Champions League.

The Rossoneri play the first leg of the play-off in Holland on August 20, then the decider at San Siro on August 28.

“The important thing is to win and if my teammates score instead of me then that is just as good,” midfielder Muntari told Milan Channel.

“We are preparing a very important game for us, for our entire season because we want to play in the Champions League and this is a game that we want to win at all costs.

“I am very happy with the way things are going and how the training camp has gone this summer in the USA.”

Although the Rossoneri have made few signings over the summer, they do have De Jong back after missing almost an entire season with a torn Achilles tendon.

“De Jong’s return is very important for us, very important. He is a tough player in front of the defence.

“We have a lot of good players in midfield but when you think of De Jong you think of someone who breaks up play, who plays it well and is a natural born leader.”

Balotelli and Messi miss game
13.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Both Mario Balotelli and Lionel Messi are out of Wednesday’s Italy-Argentina friendly.

Balotelli picked up a slight knee problem on Monday and has been sent home, as he does not want to risk anything ahead of Milan’s Champions League play-off with PSV Eindhoven next week.

“He has a slight swelling in the right knee, the one that underwent surgery and therefore every now and then swells up,” explained Professor Enrico Castellacci.

“There is some liquid in there, but nothing worrying.”

Messi did not take part in last night’s game between ranks in Rome and told journalists today “I won’t be playing.”

Both Balotelli and Messi held off leaving their teams until today’s meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican.

Italy have already lost Andrea Barzagli to injury for this game.

It’s reported both Mario Balotelli and Lionel Messi are out of Wednesday’s Italy-Argentina friendly.

Balotelli picked up a slight knee problem on Monday and has been sent home, as he does not want to risk anything ahead of Milan’s Champions League play-off with PSV Eindhoven next week.

“He has a slight swelling in the right knee, the one that underwent surgery and therefore every now and then swells up,” explained Professor Enrico Castellacci.

“There is some liquid in there, but nothing worrying. Whether he plays against Argentina depends on how the knee responds over the next couple of days.”

Messi did not take part in last night’s game between ranks in Rome and told journalists today “I won’t be playing.”

Both Balotelli and Messi held off leaving their teams until today’s meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican.

Italy have already lost Andrea Barzagli to injury for this game.

Updated Italy squad for Argentina: 1 Buffon, 13 Marchetti, 12 Sirigu; 15 Antonelli, 4 Astori, 19 Bonucci, 3 Chiellini, 26 De Silvestri, 2 Maggio, 5 Ranocchia; 7 Aquilani, 6 Candreva, 17 Cerci, 16 De Rossi, 23 Diamanti, 24 Florenzi, 22 Giaccherini, 8 Marchisio, 18 Montolivo, 21 Pirlo, 10 Verratti; 14 El Shaarawy, 11 Gilardino, 25 L Insigne, 20 Osvaldo

Galliani meets with Genoa
13.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani is holding transfer talks with Genoa chief Enrico Preziosi on Tuesday.

The two men are in Forte dei Marmi, in northern Tuscany, where it is understood they are discussing player transfers.

The Diavolo are again being linked with Genoa central midfielder Juraj Kucka, the 26-year-old Slovakian international.

Meanwhile, the Rossoblu have publicly admitted an interest in 18-year-old Milan striker M’Baye Niang.

Italy have Balotelli worry
13.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan’s Mario Balotelli is a doubt for Wednesday’s international friendly between Italy and Argentina.

The striker has picked up a problem to his right knee which has cast uncertainty over his presence at the Stadio Olimpico tomorrow night.

It is the same knee which required surgery in September 2010 as a result of a meniscus issue.

“We’ll evaluate the situation over the next 48 hours,” Italy team doctor Enrico Castellacci stated. “It is nothing serious, but we don’t usually take risks with players.”

Milan will want the Azzurri to proceed with caution, given that the Diavolo have two ties against PSV Eindhoven on the horizon as they look to qualify for the Champions League group stages.

Abate 'working hard' to be back
12.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan defender Ignazio Abate hopes to be back playing in time for the Champions League.

The Rossoneri face PSV Eindhoven next week in the first leg of the play-off.

And the full-back has admitted that he is working hard, following a dislocated shoulder, to get back in time for the group stages.

“I’ve been working so hard,” he told Milan Channel. “Today was the first day I worked with the rest of the team, so hopefully my shoulder responds well.

“I feel much better and my goal is to be ready for the Champions League.”

AC Milan's Champions League squad
12.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan have submitted a 29-man squad to UEFA for their Champions League play-off tie against PSV Eindhoven.

The Rossoneri, who had until midnight this evening to do so, have left out four players who are currently sidelined with injuries.

Those unavailable players are Jherson Vergara, Daniele Bonera, Riccardo Saponara and Giampaolo Pazzini.

A-list squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Gabriel; Abate, Antonini, Constant, De Sciglio, Mexes, Silvestre, Zaccardo, Zapata; K.P. Boateng, Cristante, De Jong, Emanuelson, Montolivo, Muntari, Nocerino, Poli, Traorè; Balotelli, El Shaarawy, Niang, Robinho.

B-list squad: Andrenacci, K. Boateng, Iotti, Petagna, Pinato.

Traore set for Anderlecht?
12.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Belgian outfit Anderlecht are considering making a move for Milan midfielder Bakaye Traorè, reports the Gazzetta dello Sport.

The midfielder, signed on a Bosman free transfer from Nancy a year ago, has failed to break into the plans of boss Massimiliano Allegri.

Anderlecht, after losing Lucas Biglia to Lazio last month, are hoping to take the 28-year-old on loan for the next 12 months.

Traorè, whose Milan deal runs until June 2015, featured in just nine games for the Diavolo last term across Serie A, the Champions League and the Coppa Italia.

Montolivo sees improved AC Milan
12.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan captain Riccardo Montolivo is optimistically looking ahead to the new campaign. “We’re strong.”

The Rossoneri just sneaked into the Champions League zone at the end of last season, but the midfielder thinks the Diavolo are a better outfit than they were.

“We are more of a team than we were a year ago,” the Italian international told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“We are stronger and we feel ready for the season.

“Juventus will be favourites for the title, they were the strongest and they have reinforced,” he added. “But there are a lot of clubs on the second row – Inter, Roma, Fiorentina, Napoli and Milan.

“The objective is to confirm ourselves in the top three.”

Milan have gone for continuity this season after keeping a large proportion of the squad, along with boss Massimiliano Allegri.

“We understood at the end of last season that there was a chance that Allegri could go,” the former Fiorentina ace added.

“But I’m happy nothing happened. Allegri has all that is needed to boss a great team.”

The San Siro giants have opened the door to youth in recent times and Montolivo is impressed with the budding talent at Milanello.

“Andrea Poli has a chance of going to the World Cup,” he said of the summer signing from Sampdoria. “He’ll have a great season.

“Bryan Cristante has been with the first team squad before and we know him, while Andrea Petagna has surprised me.

“However, I’m betting on Luca Iotti for the new season.”

Hiljemark 'dreaming' of PSV - AC Milan
11.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

PSV Eindhoven midfielder Oscar Hiljemark reveals the Champions League clash with Milan is “something you dream about as a kid.”

The Swedish Under-21 international is looking forward to the play-off, as the first leg in Holland is on August 20 with the decider on August 28 at San Siro.

“Milan represent a great challenge for us and a great opportunity. I can’t wait,” grinned Hiljemark.

“A game like this is something you dream about as a kid. On paper Milan are the best team, but we are not beaten before we even play. Reaching the Champions League proper is our objective and I think we’ve got a chance.

“The ideal scenario would be to win 3-1 at home and then draw 1-1 at San Siro. It would be marvellous.”

Allegri rejects new AC Milan strikers
11.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Several strikers including Marco Borriello and Claudio Pizarro are linked with Milan, but it’s rumoured Max Allegri doesn’t want them.

Italian newspapers have put forth a list of forwards to act as Mario Balotelli’s understudy in the squad, especially as Robinho and Giampaolo Pazzini are injured.

The candidates include Roma’s Borriello and Maxi Lopez of Catania, both of whom are former Milan players.

Bayern Munich’s 34-year-old Peruvian hitman Pizarro and former Torino winger Jonathas are also options.

However, it is also rumoured that Coach Allegri (who turns 46 today) rejected all proposals and warned the Rossoneri not to buy any more forwards for such a small role.

He has faith in youth team player Andrea Petagna, who impressed in pre-season.

CSKA 'changed minds on Honda'
11.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Agent Ernesto Bronzetti reveals CSKA Moscow “changed their minds” over Keisuke Honda and Milan did not break the rules.

The Rossoneri already have a deal in place to sign Honda when his contract expires on December 31, but have been trying to bring him in six months early.

Talks appear to have broken down and the Russian club accused Milan of acting unfairly in the negotiations.

“Milan did not behave unfairly on Honda, as it was CSKA Moscow who changed their minds,” FIFA agent and go-between Bronzetti told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“In mid-June Hiro Honda contacted me to help him make Keisuke’s dream come true, as his brother wanted to come to Milan.

“I started work and called Adriano Galliani, who seemed interested, but first wanted to consult with his Coach. We set an appointment for July 3 precisely because it was within the final six months of his contract and Honda was free to negotiate with other clubs.

“Milan called CSKA, who took a few days to consider the situation and came back with a strange calculation. They felt Honda was worth €20m, but seeing as he was only six months away from becoming a free agent they requested €5m.

“Milan offered €3m, which was considered insufficient. CKSA even bought a Bulgarian player to replace Keisuke, but he got injured and that was probably the reason behind the Russian turnaround.

“I can’t understand why CSKA are angry with Milan, seeing as the contact between the clubs was immediate and at the top level with clear communication.”

Boateng: 'AC Milan ready for PSV'
11.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin-Prince Boateng is confident Milan “will be ready for the Champions League play-off” against PSV Eindhoven.

The Rossoneri visit Holland on August 20 with the return leg at San Siro on August 28.

“We are working well and the team is getting stronger every day,” Boateng told

“There are still almost two weeks before we have to take it seriously, so we are perfectly within the planned schedule.

“Even if our results in pre-season weren’t exceptional, I think the side did pretty well. We only had a few problems against Manchester City in the Audi Cup, when we conceded five goals in the opening half-hour, but I can assure you we will be ready for the Champions League play-off.”

Milan finished third in Serie A last season, so must go through the preliminary round to reach the Champions League group phase.

“Milan will fight for the top spots this term. Our team is solid and I am convinced we’ll at least finish on the podium,” continued the Ghanaian.

“Many people think we are not as competitive as in the past, but they are wrong. Alright, there are fewer marquee names, but still players of great talent like Stephan El Shaarawy, Mario Balotelli and Riccardo Montolivo, for example. You can be sure, Milan will be up there.

“I have changed my style of play recently. Before coming to Milan I was primarily a defensive midfielder, but in Italy I have become a trequartista. I know I still have to improve in certain respects, such as my finishing, but I’m working on it.”

AC Milan seek Maxi Lopez?
10.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Maxi Lopez could be making a surprise return to Milan on loan from Catania, a year after they turned down an option to sign him.

The Argentine striker was expected to join Al Nasr this week, but the transfer collapsed at the last minute.

According to Sport Mediaset, the situation could work in Milan’s favour, as they are looking for a forward during injury problems for Robinho and Giampaolo Pazzini.

Maxi Lopez is no stranger to the Rossoneri, as he spent six months there on loan from January to June 2012.

He scored two goals in 11 games for the club, but they did not take up their option to buy him outright.

The 29-year-old spent last season on loan at Sampdoria, netting five times in 18 matches, but again he returned to Catania.

Real Madrid want De Sciglio
10.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Spanish newspaper Marca claims Carlo Ancelotti has asked Milan for ‘Little Maldini’ Mattia De Sciglio.

The versatile 20-year-old can play as a right-back or left-back, plus in wide midfield roles when needed, and is already a senior Italy regular.

This morning Marca splashed on their front page the report that Ancelotti has specifically requested De Sciglio for this summer to reinforce Real Madrid.

Known as the ‘new Paolo Maldini,’ De Sciglio grew up in the Milan youth academy.

It is suggested the Rossoneri could be prepared to release him for as little as €12m and his current contract expires in June 2016.

U20: Boateng and Insigne for Italy
10.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Roberto Insigne and Kingsley Boateng are in Italy’s Under-20 squad for the Four Nations tournament.

The team was called up by Coach Alberigo Evani and the Azzurri open their campaign against Switzerland on September 6.

Roberto Insigne is the younger brother of Napoli and Italy starlet Lorenzo. He will spend this season on loan at Perugia.

GK: Cragno (Brescia), Di Gennaro (Cittadella), Zanotti (Virtus Entella);

D: Zampano (Juve Stabia), Nava (Novara), Nicolao (Virtus Lanciano), Liviero (Carpi), Rugani (Empoli), Barba (Grosseto), Biraschi (Grosseto), Prestia (Parma), Speranza (Pisa);

M: Busellato (Cittadella), Moroni (Gubbio), Sampietro (Pisa), Schiavone (Siena), Verre (Udinese), Ricci (Roma), Vassallo (Fussballclub Sudtirol), Cataldi (Crotone);

F: Insigne R. (Perugia), Magnaghi (Virtus Entella), Frediani (Roma), Beltrame (Juventus), Gomez (Pro Vercelli), K Boateng (Milan)

Cocu: 'PSV - AC Milan a great duel'
10.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

PSV Eindhoven Coach Phillip Cocu is looking forward to “a great duel” with Milan to enter the Champions League.

The first leg of the play-off will be in Holland on August 20 with the return at San Siro on August 28.

“It’s a wonderful challenge,” said Cocu in his Press conference.

“We know it’s been a tough draw and we realise we face a tall task to qualify for the Champions League. It will be a huge challenge to play against AC Milan.

“It will be a great duel and it gives us a chance to compare ourselves to a great team. I am looking forward to it.

“They are busy reshaping their squad for the next season, but I am sure several quality players will line up.

“Our target is to make sure we qualify for the Champions League. We will go for it. If you don’t believe in your chances, you might as well stay at home.”

Stephan El Shaarawy also tweeted his reaction to the draw. “PSV... very difficult challenge, but we are Milan. Respect for everyone, fear of no-one.”

Eto'o: 'Napoli would be a dream'
10.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

“It’d be a dream” for Samuel Eto’o to join Napoli, said his agent, as Milan and Inter also track the Anzhi hitman.

The Cameroon international suddenly became a viable transfer target when Anzhi announced they would be whittling down the big earners at the club.

“It’d be a dream for him to wear the jersey of a glorious club like Napoli,” agent Claudio Vigorelli told Radio Kiss Kiss.

“However, so far they have not contacted us.”

Milan and a return to Inter have also been suggested for Eto’o, even though these clubs cannot match the wages he earns in Russia.

It would be a comeback to San Siro for the striker, who won the Treble with Inter in 2010.

No changes to Round 1 fixtures
9.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Verona - AC Milan and Sampdoria-Juventus will kick off at the times originally released after some confusion on Friday.

Sampdoria today posted a note on their website suggesting that their game versus Juve would start at 18.00 local time and not 20.45 as previously thought.

As a consequence, reports suggested that the Diavolo’s match at the Bentegodi would begin at 20.45 instead of 18.00.

However, Sampdoria have now corrected the error so Verona-Milan will still be the first game of the new season. Samp-Juve will follow on Saturday 24 August.

AC Milan will wait for Honda
9.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan have confirmed Keisuke Honda will join them from CSKA Moscow – they are just unsure when that will happen.

The Japanese international will be available on a free transfer in January, but the Diavolo are trying to get CSKA to sell him before the September 2 transfer deadline.

“Honda will arrive in January, but it would be good if they want to give him to us sooner,” Vice-President Adriano Galliani noted. “If that doesn’t happen then we will wait.”

The two clubs have been in discussions for a number of weeks and Honda is hopeful an agreement is very close.

“I have already admitted having negotiations with Milan and it's true that they are entering the final stages,” Honda is quoted as saying by Nikkan Sports.

“As far as I am aware, Milan have almost satisfied CSKA’s requests. A clear decision will be made when club officials meet again in the next few days.”

Balotelli given green light
9.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan have breathed a huge sigh of relief after tests revealed no injury to the calf muscle of Mario Balotelli.

The Rossoneri returned to Italy from their US tour this morning and the striker was immediately taken away for medical checks.

The January signing from Manchester City picked up a problem in the 2-0 win over LA Galaxy which was worrying club doctors.

Milan, though, have confirmed that all is well for the forward who should thus be available for international and Champions League duty.

Italy face Argentina on Wednesday, while the Diavolo will play PSV Eindhoven in the preliminary round of the Champions League later this month.

However, there are whispers that Azzurri boss Cesare Prandelli may leave out the forward as a precautionary measure.

Champions League draw: AC Milan vs. PSV Eindhoven
9.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Italian giants Milan will have to dispose of PSV Eindhoven if they are to reach the group stages of the Champions League.

Milan will travel to Holland on August 20, while the return at San Siro will take place on August 28.

Ties will be played on August 20,21 and 27, 28.

Full preliminary round draw:

GNK Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) v FK Austria Wien (AUT)

PFC Ludogorets Razgrad (BUL) v FC Basel 1893 (SUI)

FC Viktoria Plzeň (CZE) v NK Maribor (SVN)

FC Shakhter Karagandy (KAZ) v Celtic FC (SCO)

FC Steaua Bucureşti (ROU) v Legia Warszawa (POL)

Olympique Lyonnais (FRA) v Real Sociedad de Fútbol (ESP)

FC Schalke 04 (GER) v FC Metalist Kharkiv (UKR)*

FC Paços de Ferreira (POR) v FC Zenit St Petersburg (RUS)

PSV Eindhoven (NED) v Milan (ITA)

Fenerbahçe SK (TUR)* v Arsenal FC (ENG)

*Fenerbahçe SK and FC Metalist Kharkiv’s entry to be confirmed.

Balotelli set for tests
9.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan ace Mario Balotelli is set for tests after picking up an injury in the Guinness International Champions Cup tie against LA Galaxy.

The Italian international, who has touched down in Italy this morning with the rest of the squad, suffered a muscle problem to his right calf in the 2-0 win.

“Balotelli will have some exams and hopefully it is nothing too serious,” Vice-President Adriano Galliani stated.

“Let us be patient because no one wants to take a player out of international duty.”

The former Manchester City striker was set to be included in the Italy squad for Wednesday’s friendly against Argentina.

However, the Diavolo will want him in perfect condition for their Champions League qualifying tie later this month.

New signings impress Montolivo
8.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo has welcomed the additions of Andrea Poli and Matias Silvestre to the Milan squad.

The Italian has arrived on a co-ownership from Sampdoria, while the centre-back has joined on loan from Inter.

“Poli is a midfielder of quality and quantity,” the former Fiorentina captain told Milan Channel. “He’s a concrete player who will be very useful.

“There are a lot of us in the middle, but it means we are well covered in that particular area of the field.

“As for Silvestre, he did well in the recent game against Chelsea. He has only just arrived, but he has immediately fitted well into the mechanisms of the team.”

Although not strictly a new capture, Montolivo also underlined the importance of Nigel De Jong’s return from serious injury.

“He’s one of the players who is in the best form right now,” the 28-year-old continued. “He’s really fired up after his long spell on the sidelines. He’s an important ‘signing’ for us.”

Nedved not amused by Allegri
8.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Pavel Nedved has hit back at Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri’s jibe that Juventus need to get a sense of humour.

“I’m always calm,” the tactician said in an interview with the Gazzetta dello Sport yesterday. “It's just that Juve took one or two of my jokes a little too seriously.

“Someone over there should study humour. I'm lucky enough to be from Livorno. Humour comes naturally to me.”

Bianconero director Nedved clearly wasn’t too amused by the suggestions of the former Cagliari tactician.

“Our creed here is to be winners, not be nice,” the former Juventus and Czech Republic midfielder told Sport Mediaset.

“We take everything seriously here,” he added. “Being seen as pleasant is not our aim, being successful is.”

Abbiati: AC Milan's US tour a success
8.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Christian Abbiati is confident the US tour has served Milan well ahead of their Champions League preliminary ties.

The Diavolo ended the Guinness International Champions Cup campaign with a 2-0 win over LA Galaxy which secured third spot.

“This tournament has been a positive experience,” the goalkeeper noted in an interview with Milan Channel.

“We did excellently over the three matches, playing well against Chelsea too and only conceding the second goal against them right at the end.

“We are working well as a unit in defence and we are preparing well for the Champions League play-off – we really want to get through that round.

“We will face a team that has already started its League campaign so they will be more match fit than we are.

“We have around 15 days to get ready for the game, but this tournament has definitely helped.”

Milan will be paired against Dutch side PSV Eindhoven, Ukrainians Metalist Kharkiv, Turkish outfit Fenerbahce, Real Sociedad of Spain or Portuguese club Pacos Ferreira.

Friendly: LA Galaxy 0:2 AC Milan - goals/highlights
8.8 || webmaster

De Jong believes in AC Milan model
8.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Nigel De Jong is confident Milan will be competitive in Serie A even though they haven’t spent big on the transfer market this summer.

“We are a team in progression,” the midfielder told the Gazzetta dello Sport. “But when a club decides to focus on youth then you need time.

“This Milan has a model, one like Ajax’s which is based on youngsters, one that gives opportunities to kids.

“Of course if you think about how much some clubs have had to spend to buy established players then you can understand the difference, but you should never give up.

“After all, there is more than one road to take in order to win.”

The Diavolo finished third last season and not too many pundits believe they will have a chance of winning the Scudetto this time around.

“Who are favourites for the title? What name is on my shirt? Milan,” he added. “What else was I going to say…”

Galliani fears defeat in Honda chase
8.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has just about given up hope of signing Keisuke Honda from CSKA Moscow.

The Diavolo have been trying to net the Japanese international for weeks, but the Russian club have so far refused to sell.

The midfielder will be available on a free transfer in January, but the San Siro giants have been trying to net him immediately by offering a nominal fee.

“Has Honda almost vanished? I think so, with the last telephone call,” the transfer chief noted. “The CSKA President has told me that he won’t sell.

“Therefore we will stay as we are. There are not a lot of transfer gifts out there for boss Massimiliano Allegri.”

The official then confirmed that M’Baye Niang, wanted by Genoa, would be remaining at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.

“Niang will be staying with us, that is for certain. He also scored a really good goal against LA Galaxy.”

That strike came in a 2-0 win that ensured the Rossoneri finished their Guinness International Champions Cup campaign on a high.

“We played well and we took a really good third place,” Galliani added. “The team was well organised and played the ball around well.

“Serie A? Milan competed with everyone in the second half of the season last year and the team can be competitive again.”

Friendly: LA Galaxy 0:2 AC Milan - match report
8.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Balotelli 17, Niang 40

AC Milan grabbed third place in the Guinness International Champions Cup by beating LA Galaxy 2-0 in Miami during the night.

The Diavolo had the game won by half-time thanks to goals from Mario Balotelli and M’Baye Niang on 17 and 40 minutes respectively.

Boss Massimiliano Allegri fielded a 4-3-3 system with Stephan El Shaarawy completing the trident in attack.

There was concern in the second half when Balotelli was forced to come off, but it is understood that he was just suffering with cramp.

Summer signing Andrea Poli began the game in midfield, before being switched to left-back during the second half.

LA Galaxy 2-0 AC Milan

Goals: Balotelli 17, Niang 40

Milan: Abbiati (Amelia 45); Zaccardo, Zapata (Iotti 80), Silvestre (De Jong 45), Emanuelson (Constant 64); Poli, Montolivo (Muntari 53), Nocerino (Cristante 80); Niang (Traorè 64), Balotelli (Petagna 80), El Shaarawy (Kingsley Boateng 80)

LA Galaxy: Cudicini (Penedo 46); Dunivant (Cochrane 60), Gonzalez (Opare 46), Franklin (Sorto 71), De La Garza (Jimenez 46), Leonardo (Meyer 70); Sarvas (Mastroeni 46), Juninho (Stephans 61), Rogers (Zardes 46); Keane (Cortosi 61), Donovan (Villarreal 46).

AC Milan Champions League rivals
8.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan’s potential Champions League play-off opponents are PSV, Metalist, Fenerbahce, Real Sociedad and Pacos Ferreira.

The Rossoneri must go through a preliminary round to reach the group phase of the tournament.

This evening the qualifiers continued, setting out the five possible teams Milan will be drawn against on August 9.

They are Dutch side PSV Eindhoven, Ukrainians Metalist Kharkiv, Turkish outfit Fenerbahce, Real Sociedad of Spain or Portuguese club Pacos Ferreira.

Galliani on Ljajic and Honda
7.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani gave updates on Adem Ljajic, Keisuke Honda and his meeting with Real Madrid.

“I had dinner with Florentino Perez because we are friends, but we did not talk about football,” he told Milan Channel of the encounter with the Real Madrid President.

“Carlo Ancelotti was also there last night, so it was simply a meeting between friends.”

Galliani was also asked about developments on his bids for Fiorentina striker Ljajic and CSKA Moscow star Honda.

“There is no chance for Honda, as the President of CSKA is on vacation. I have no plans to meet the Della Valle family this weekend.

“Will Max Allegri have a gift? We’ll see.”

Genoa confirm Kingsley Boateng bid
7.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Genoa confirm they are in talks for Milan strikers M’Baye Niang and Kinglsey Boateng.

At first the Rossoblu were interested in Niang, but have over the last couple of days turned their focus more towards youth team player Boateng.

“It’s true that Boateng could be an interesting objective for the squad, even if he is a little ‘greener’ than Niang,” director of sport Daniele Delli Carri told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The Genoa director also spoke about their other transfer targets for this summer.

“There’s no news on Henri Saivet. Malmo have offered Jiloan Hamad to us for the last six weeks, but he is not ready to play for Genoa.

“Gonzalo Bueno is expensive, as co-ownership is valued at €3.5m. In these conditions, it is impossible to buy him.”

Allegri on El Shaarawy and Balotelli
7.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has high hopes for young strikers Stephan El Shaarawy and Mario Balotelli in the new campaign.

El Shaarawy was a revelation in the first half of last season, before Balotelli made the headlines following his January move from Manchester City.

“El Shaarawy just has to keep working,” the tactician noted. “He was thrown into the limelight at a young age and he needs to find the right balance and remain relaxed.

“He is training well and he has done good things and things less well in matches as everyone has. He just needs to stay focused.

“Everyone needs to question themselves each day and you have to keep looking to the future. Stephan has all the qualities to get back to how he was playing last year.”

The 20-year-old grabbed 16 goals in 37 League games, while Balotelli, his Italian international colleague, bagged 12 in 13 Serie A ties.

“Balotelli is training well,” Allegri added from their American training base. “He is an extraordinary player and he can still improve.

“He needs to make himself a team player as do all star players.

“He has a good temperament, he is well liked within the squad, but he can be provoked so he needs to handle that carefully.”

Sassuolo dismiss Zaccardo option
7.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Serie A new boys Sassuolo have dismissed links with Milan defender Cristian Zaccardo. “He is too old for us…”

The 31-year-old, who has made just one appearance for the Diavolo since his January arrival from Parma, was said to be of interest to the newly promoted side.

“There is no truth in it at all,” Sassuolo sporting director Nereo Bonato told Milan News. “I can calmly dismiss this rumour which has been circulating over the last few days.

“Zaccardo doesn’t fit into the age bracket with regards to our club’s philosophy.”

Antonini linked with Besiktas
7.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Turkish side Besiktas reportedly have Milan defender Luca Antonini on their transfer radar.

Antonini’s future is somewhat uncertain given that he has less than a year left on his current deal with the Diavolo.

The 31-year-old is a product of the Rossoneri’s youth system, however, he didn’t get a first team chance until 2008 after spells with eight different clubs.

The left-back has had his injury problems in recent times which have limited him to just 26 League games over the past two campaigns.

Milan could potentially lose the player on a Bosman next summer should he not put pen to paper on an extension before then.

No AC Milan for Astori or Santon
7.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan don’t have the money to sign Davide Astori or Davide Santon, the agent of the two players has stated.

The Cagliari centre-back, also wanted by Napoli, has been paired with a possible move to the Diavolo this summer.

“He is certainly a player who they are interested in,” Renzo Contratto told Milan News. “But if there are no finances available then a deal can never happen.”

The representative also looks after the interests of Newcastle’s Santon, a full-back who the Rossoneri wanted in the past.

“There was an attempt for him in January,” Contratto continued. “But, in this case too, nothing occurred because of a lack of funds.”

Allegri: AC Milan now more of a team
7.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri concedes Juventus will be favourites for the Serie A title, but he’s optimistic about the chances of his youthful Milan side.

“I think it will be a well-balanced championship, but Juve have won the last two Scudetti and bought quality players so they have to be favourites,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Yet I have a squad made up of quality kids and, with respect to last season, we have the advantage of already having been together for a season.

“We are more of a team than we were a year ago. We’ll have Mario Balotelli from the start of the season, we’ve got Nigel De Jong back from injury. And I have faith in Vice-President Adriano Galliani – he usually makes a signing late on in the window.”

Milan have spent the last year looking to rejuvenate their squad and Allegri is happy with what he has at his disposal.

“The youngsters have grown and if individual qualities improve then so does the team’s play,” he added. “If I play kids then it is because they are good, not that I need to launch them.

“Andrea Petagna and Bryan Cristante have started well with the first team squad. But you have to treat youngsters with balance – not overhype them when they do well or criticise them when they make mistakes.

“The kids we have need to mature, but they have qualities. I’m eager to see how Vergara and Gabriel do.”

Allegri was also questioned on the Milan defence after the club opted against making a move for Angelo Ogbonna who is now at Juventus.

“Ogbonna is a good defender. Juve had a great defence and they have improved it. But we have signed Matias Silvestre and the players I have already are good.

“My defence is often criticised, but we didn’t concede that many in the second half of last season. It shows that the team is working well because if you leave your defenders isolated then the best in the world would struggle too.”

Allegri is now in his fourth season at Milan after he escaped the chop at the end of the last campaign.

“President Silvio Berlusconi, Galliani and I spoke to each other and decided to continue,” he explained. “For me, this is a new challenge.”

Catania and Genoa consider Kingsley Boateng
6.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Catania and Genoa are considering the option of taking Kingsley Boateng on loan from Milan this summer.

The 19-year-old Ghanaian is a star of the Rossoneri youth academy, though he missed much of last season with a serious knee injury.

He impressed during pre-season friendlies, scoring the winner against Sao Paulo in the Audi Cup last week.

There are reports Catania or Genoa could take Boateng on loan in order to give him some Serie A experience.

Failing that, he would be used with Andrea Petagna in the Primavera youth team now coached by Filippo Inzaghi.

Genoa have already been in talks with Milan to take M’Baye Niang on loan, but Boateng would be a different option.

Jorginho hints at Verona future
6.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Verona starlet Jorginho has turned down big offers from Italy and abroad, but hinted he’ll be moving on next summer.

The 21-year-old Italian-Brazilian midfielder is preparing for his Serie A debut with newly-promoted Hellas Verona.

“It is curious to be playing the first game of the season against Milan, but it’s a match like all the others. I hope to be ready and to do well,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

The Rossoneri are one of the clubs who were linked with Jorginho this summer, along with Juventus, Roma, Liverpool and more.

“So far we’ve only played against these teams on the Playstation, yet we’re now going to be on the same field playing them for real. I’ve always liked Robinho and it’d be a pleasure to meet him.

“I’m happy that my name is linked to big clubs, as it reflects on the work I’ve done at Verona. Will I stay? That’s a good question, but yes, I am staying.

“I hope this will be my year and that of the team, then we’ll see. Milan, Juventus, Real Madrid, Barcelona: these are the clubs you dream of playing for as a child.”

Ljajic - Fiorentina meeting postponed
6.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Adem Ljajic saga drags on, as a crunch meeting between Fiorentina and his father was postponed.

His contract expires in June 2014 and so far there has been no progress on a renewal, while Milan’s €8m offer was rejected.

Ljajic’s father Samir was due to meet the Viola today, but according to Sky Sport Italia that encounter has now been postponed until August 12 or 13.

Fiorentina have already stated that Ljajic will be sold this summer if he does not sign a new contract.

Emanuelson on the defensive
6.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Urby Emanuelson says he would like to primarily be used as a left-back by Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri this season.

The Dutchman can be fielded in a variety of midfield roles, but he has outlined that he does have a preference.

“I feel ready to play in whatever position will most benefit the team and the Coach,” Emanuelson commented from the Diavolo’s American training base.

“It is true that I am a very versatile player, but I have to say that my favoured role is as a left-back.”

The 27-year-old is back at Milan after spending the second half of last season on loan with Premiership side Fulham.

“We won’t be just targeting a top three finish in Serie A this term,” added the January 2011 signing from Ajax.

“We want to end the campaign as champions of Italy!”

Boateng: 'Chelsea a good training session'
5.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng believes that their 2-0 loss to Chelsea will stand them in good stead for the season to come.

The Rossoneri were defeated by the Premier League club in the Guinness International Champions Cup on Sunday.

But the Ghana international has insisted that playing against such a strong team will be an advantage.

“Chelsea are a strong team so it was a good test for us,” he told MilanNews. “Certainly we are disappointed about the defeat, but it was a good experience.

“It’s a good training session ahead of the Champions League qualifiers we have to play.

“My goal is to better last season, and we’re all working hard to do that.”

Friendly: Chelsea 2:0 AC Milan - goals/highlights
5.8 || webmaster

Niang wants AC Milan stay
5.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

M’Baye Niang has committed his immediate future to Italian giants Milan. “I want to stay here,” he underlined.

The young striker has been linked with a possible move away, with Genoa making their interest known last week.

“I’m happy at Milan and I want to stay,” the former Caen striker told L’Equipe. “I know what I can give to the team and I don’t fear the competition for places.

“I can play as a striker, on the left or right, I’ll play wherever Coach Massimiliano Allegri needs me. I know that I have the qualities to make an impact with this club.”

Niang is an 18-year-old forward who failed to score in 20 League games for the Diavolo last term following his arrival from France.

Amelia paired with Monaco
5.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Monaco boss Claudio Ranieri has reportedly asked the Ligue 1 club to sign Marco Amelia from Milan.

The goalkeeper’s future at San Siro is unclear given the possibility that Gabriel will be primarily used as back-up to Christian Abbiati this season.

Amelia, who was part of Italy’s World Cup winning squad in 2006, has also been paired with a possible move to Torino.

Amelia, now 31, is contracted to the Diavolo until June 2015. He joined the Rossoneri in 2010 from Genoa.

AC Milan ready to wait for Honda
5.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan chief Adriano Galliani says his club can do nothing but wait to see if their bid for Keisuke Honda is successful.

“We are pretty relaxed when it comes to Honda,” the transfer official stated on Monday when asked about the Japanese international.

“We cannot sign players who are not for sale,” he added. “If CSKA Moscow do not want to sell then we will wait patiently.”

The midfielder has a deal with the Diavolo to join the San Siro giants in January on a free transfer once his contract with CSKA expires.

However, Milan have made a nominal bid to the Russian club for the 27-year-old in an effort to net him immediately.

“It all depends on the two clubs, just them,” Hiroyuki Honda, the player’s agent brother, told TMW.

“There is no need for me to speak with CSKA again. They already know the situation from the player’s point of view.

“This will be a very, very important week. Milan will see CSKA and there could be developments before the weekend.

“Keisuke is calm. The hope is that he can join Milan now, but all we can do is wait and see.”

AC Milan a dream for Silvestre
5.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Matias Silvestre says he has fulfilled a dream after completing his transfer from Inter to city rivals Milan.

“I’m very happy and I have to say that Milan have welcomed me well,” the centre-back told Milan Channel.

“It has always been my desire to wear the Milan shirt and I want to repay the faith that the club have shown me on the field of play.

“This is a great opportunity for me and I have been giving my very best since arriving here. It is my objective to help the team be protagonists in 2013-14.”

The 28-year-old has joined the Diavolo on loan, with an option to buy at the end of the present campaign.

The Argentine rejected moves to Parma and Genoa this summer after being told by the Nerazzurri to find a new club.

Silvestre joined the San Siro giants last summer from Palermo, but he appeared in just 20 games for the Beneamata across Serie A, the Coppa Italia and the Europa League.

He wasn’t called up by new boss Walter Mazzarri for Inter’s pre-season training.

Allegri sees AC Milan progression
5.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri is happy with his side’s pre-season progress despite the 2-0 loss to Chelsea in America.

The London club collected a 2-0 win in New York, but Allegri was remaining optimistic after the 90 minutes.

“We perhaps gave too much away to Chelsea in the first half, but I’m happy with the performance of the lads,” he noted.

“The side played well against an excellent team. It was a good test and a step forward in respect to the previous games we have played.

“Our physical condition is improving.

“We have to improve on certain areas of our game, but that is only normal. We gave away too many counter-attacks and that is something which needs to be avoided.

“However, games like this, of a certain level, are important. They are the best preparation possible for the preliminaries of the Champions League.”

January signing Mario Balotelli was given 45 minutes as a precautionary measure by the former Cagliari tactician.

“Mario took a knock in training so I preferred to only give him a half of football. Nevertheless, he did well out there.”

AC Milan will play Los Angeles Galaxy in Miami on August 7.

AC Milan defend bid for Ljajic
5.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan have defended their bid for Fiorentina’s Adem Ljajic. “We’ve made an offer during a transfer session…”

The Diavolo tabled a bid for the forward on Friday, a move which seemed to anger the Tuscan giants over the weekend.

“We consider Milan’s offer to be unacceptable, certainly late and absolutely inopportune,” an official club statement noted.

Rossonero Vice-President Adriano Galliani responded to that claim on Monday by insisting his club have behaved correctly.

“All we have done is made an offer during the transfer window,” Galliani commented. “We haven’t done anything wrong.”

Milan are believed to have made an offer of about €8m for a player whose current contract is set to expire at the end of the season.

“At this moment in time, the conditions are not in place to complete the deal,” the former Lega Calcio chief continued.

Fiorentina will meet the 21-year-old’s agent this week in an effort to get him to sign a new deal at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

Fiorentina admitted on Friday that the player would be sold if he didn’t put pen to paper on an extension before September 2.

Friendly: Chelsea 2:0 AC Milan - match report
5.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: De Bruyne 29 (C), Schurrle 92 (C)

Kevin De Bruyne and a last-gasp Andre Schurrle goal were decisive, as Chelsea beat Milan 2-0 in an extremely tight New York game.

Chelsea go on to face Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid in the Miami Guinness International Champions Cup Final on August 8, while Milan take on LA Galaxy the same day.

The Rossoneri beat Valencia 2-1 in their first game, but welcomed Mario Balotelli and Riccardo Montolivo back with new signing Matias Silvestre thrown straight in. Mattia De Sciglio, Daniele Bonera, Jherson Vergara, Philippe Mexes, Giampaolo Pazzini and Robinho are all injured. Chelsea defeated Inter 2-0, but Jose Mourinho was still without Frank Lampard and opted to bench Fernando Torres.

Branislav Ivanovic forced an early save at the near post with a backheel flick and nodded wide from a free kick, while Stephan El Shaarawy and Kevin-Prince Boateng scuffed from promising positions.

Balotelli blasted a free kick into the wall and Demba Ba straight at Abbiati from a corner. El Shaarawy squirmed away from defenders to set up Sulley Muntari, whose angled drive was palmed away by Petr Cech and Ivanovic dived in to stop Balotelli getting the follow-up.

However, moments later Chelsea broke the deadlock with Kevin De Bruyne’s precise angled drive after a fine passing move and Oscar assist.

John Terry was one of several substitutes and smashed his scissor-kick volley wide from a corner. Victor Moses skipped past Urby Emanuelson only to fire over from a tight angle, while Montolivo wasted a couple of chances from distance and Ramires needed a crucial tackle on Mbaye Niang in the box.

Abbiati smothered two Juan Mata strikes and Muntari ran a risk with his clumsy yet effective challenge on Mata.

Boateng should’ve equalised on 70 minutes, but wasted the opportunity with a poor finish. Chelsea broke on the counter with a Fernando Torres slalom, but he was eventually crowded out.

Mark Schwarzer was alert to intercept a deflected M’Baye Niang pull-back and Antonio Nocerino couldn’t redirect the header from Niang’s cross.

Niang was very lively after coming off the bench and forced Gary Cahill to charge down a dangerous shot.

Schurrle went close to scoring a second for Chelsea with a first-time effort over from a Moses assist. On 80 minutes Milan had a series of attempts charged down in the box from Andrea Petagna, Niang and Andrea Poli, as Chelsea held out under pressure.

Mourinho’s men made the result safe deep into stoppages with a Schurrle volley that left Abbiati stranded.

Chelsea 2-0 Milan

Scorers: De Bruyne 29 (C), Schurrle 92 (C)

Chelsea: Cech (Schwarzer 46); Azpilicueta (Terry 46), Ivanovic, Cahill, Bertrand (Cole 46); Van Ginkel (Mikel 66), Essien (Ramires 46); De Bruyne (Moses 46), Oscar (Mata 46), Hazard (Schurrle 69); Ba (Torres 46) (Lukaku 86)

Milan: Abbiati; Emanuelson (Poli 69), Zapata (Constant 69), Silvestre (Cristante 77), Antonini (Zaccardo 46); Muntari, De Jong (Pacifico 77), Montolivo (Nocerino 57); KP Boateng (K Boateng 77), Balotelli (Petagna 46), El Shaarawy (Niang 57)

Fiorentina slam 'inopportune' AC Milan
4.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fiorentina released a strongly-worded statement calling Milan’s offer for Adem Ljajic “unacceptable, late and inopportune.”

It is widely reported that the Rossoneri already agreed personal terms with the 22-year-old, even though he is still under contract until June 2014.

“With regards to what was said yesterday by Paolo Panerai on the Ljajic issue, Fiorentina confirm our counsellor’s comments were personal expressions,” read the statement.

“Having said that, we consider Milan’s offer to be unacceptable, certainly late and absolutely inopportune.”

Panerai had taken to Twitter on Saturday to attack Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani for an approach that was “violating the rules.”

The Viola also complained that there had been no formal offer, as the €8m bid was delivered via a phone call instead.

Milan finally sent the fax this weekend, but the €8m proposal is considered too low.

Negotiations were continuing, but this statement suggests Fiorentina have hardened their stance on letting Ljajic go.

It had also been reported that the player turned down a more lucrative move to Tottenham because he has his heart set on the Rossoneri.

Had Seedorf signed for AC Milan?
4.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports Clarence Seedorf had already signed a contract to take over as Milan Coach, but it was scrapped due to economic concerns.

According to the Corriere della Sera, the Dutch midfielder had put pen to paper on a contract in December 2012.

The paperwork had a blank space on it for the financial details, which also had to be worked out with his current club Botafogo.

It’s reported the cost of the operation between buying him out from Botafogo, paying his wages and those of his chosen staff would’ve come to €15m.

Because of this, President Silvio Berlusconi was unwilling to go through with the move and stuck with Massimiliano Allegri.

Seedorf is continuing his playing career in Brazil with Botafogo.

Montella: 'I can't play Ljajic if...'
4.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fiorentina boss Vincenzo Montella warns he is willing to drop Adem Ljajic. “I can’t play him if he’s not calm.”

The striker’s contract expires in June 2014 and he has reportedly already agreed personal terms with Milan, but the club rejected an offer worth €8m.

“If I was 22 years old and in Ljajic’s situation, I’d have done worse than him. At his age, you want everything,” Montella told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“The important thing is that he rediscovers his calm. I can’t play him if he’s not calm. At the age of 22, you don’t accept being on the bench.”

Meanwhile, Fali Ramadani has clarified that he is still Ljajic’s agent after reports he’d been replaced. “The story I am no longer Ljajic’s agent is absolutely not true.”

Allegri: 'AC Milan pride against Chelsea'
4.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan face Chelsea tonight in New York with Mario Balotelli and Riccardo Montolivo back as Max Allegri wants “concentration and pride.”

The Rossoneri won their first match in the Guinness International Champions Cup, beating Valencia 2-1, while the Blues defeated Inter 2-0.

This fixture kicks off at the MetLife Stadium in New York at 23.30 UK time.

Allegri has considerably more players at his disposal than at the Audi Cup, where he used a second-string side in a 5-3 defeat to Manchester City and 1-0 win over Sao Paulo.

“This match is of interest to us, just as all the games we are playing in this period,” said Allegri in his Press conference.

“It will be useful to prepare us for an important objective like the Champions League play-off, but we also have to play with concentration and pride, because we represent an important club and many people are watching us.”

The Coach was referring to the humiliating first half performance against Manchester City, which saw Milan go 5-0 down.

Balotelli and Montolivo are back in the side after injury and an extended post-Confederations Cup vacation, so both could well be in the starting XI.

Cristian Zapata also returns and Matias Silvestre could receive his debut after arriving on loan from Inter, though Jherson Vergara, Robinho, Mattia De Sciglio, Daniele Bonera, Giampaolo Pazzini and Philippe Mexes are still on the treatment table.

There are some concerns over Stephan El Shaarawy, who limped off during training with an ice pack on his right leg.

AC Milan continue Ljajic talks
4.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan continue negotiations with Fiorentina for Adem Ljajic, which could be closed at €10m after the player changed agent.

There have been significant developments over the last 24 hours, as the Viola complained there had been no formal offer, so the Rossoneri sent a fax bidding €8m.

It is still not considered enough, but it is reported the Tuscans would be willing to part with the Serbian for €10m.

His contract expires in June 2014 and President Andrea Della Valle made it very clear they will not risk losing Ljajic on a free transfer.

The directors are also reportedly furious with Milan for already agreeing personal terms with the player when he is still under contract.

It is rumoured that Ljajic is taking the next step towards pushing a move through by firing agent Fali Ramadani and hiring Mladen Furtula instead.

Montella: 'Ljajic should stay'
3.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Vincenzo Montella has advised Adem Ljajic to stay at Fiorentina after Milan sent a formal €8m offer.

The striker is out of contract in June 2014 and reportedly already agreed terms with the Rossoneri, who today sent a fax making their €8m proposal official.

“Ljajic had been criticised in the past, but the fans are very close to him and would be happy if he stays,” said Montella after a 4-1 friendly win over Gaziantepspor.

“Ljajic tells everyone he wants to stay, but that is not enough. He ought to remain with us for the sake of his growth process. I have already given him my advice, based on my experience.”

Fiorentina have impressed in pre-season with new star buys including Mario Gomez, Josip Ilicic and Joaquin.

“I have to say the training camp at Moena has been extremely positive for the work rate. The newcomers have settled in well, but can do even better. Joaquin is not at full fitness, but is an extraordinary player.”

Ex-Palermo creative midfielder Ilicic complained this week that he doesn’t like the new central position tested out in training.

“We certainly can’t change system just for him. He told me he doesn’t like playing wide in a 4-3-3 either, so that leaves precious few options for him.”

AC Milan need 'formal offer' for Ljajic
3.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fiorentina have reportedly warned Milan they must make a ‘formal offer’ to begin negotiations for Adem Ljajic.

Viola President Andrea Della Valle said this week that they had turned down a proposal, thought to be worth €8m, as it was “not enough” for his value.

Today rumours emerged that the Tuscans are irritated that Milan only made the offer via telephone through Adriano Galliani.

They await a formal offer before progressing with negotiations.

The Rossoneri have allegedly angered Fiorentina by already agreeing personal terms with Ljajic, even though he is under contract until June 2014.

It was today suggested the Serbian striker had rejected a contract renewal and a move to Tottenham because he is determined to join Milan.

Serie A Week 1 and 2 games
3.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The changes to Week 1 and 2 have been confirmed, starting with Verona-Milan although they could change with the UEFA draws.

The Lega Serie A has released its adjustments to the calendar for the opening two weekends.

Hellas Verona-Milan is the first match of the 2013-14 season at the Stadio Bentegodi, kicking off at 17.00 UK time on Saturday August 24.

Sampdoria-Juventus follows at 19.45 UK time that evening, while Inter-Genoa is the later game at 17.00 UK time on Sunday August 25.

However, if Milan are drawn to play their first Champions League play-off leg away from home on August 21, then their match with Verona will be moved to 19.45 and Sampdoria-Juventus to 17.00 on the Saturday.

The UEFA draw will be made on August 9, so that will stabilise the fixture list.

Serie A Week 2 has Chievo-Napoli and Juventus-Lazio on Saturday August 31, while Roma-Hellas Verona is on Sunday September 1.

Week 1

Saturday August 24

Verona-Milan (17.00 UK time)

Sampdoria-Juventus (19.45 UK time)

Sunday August 25

Inter-Genoa (17.00)

Week 2

Saturday August 31

Chievo-Napoli (17.00 UK time)

Juventus-Lazio (19.45 UK time)

Sunday September 1

Roma-Verona (17.00 UK time)

El Shaarawy: 'I'd never leave AC Milan'
3.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stephan El Shaarawy has no regrets about turning down a Premier League move. “I have been a Milan fan since childhood.”

The Little Pharaoh rejected a big proposal from an English club, believed to be Chelsea, over the summer and insisted he was happy with the money he earns.

“How close was I to leaving? No, I’ve always been convinced of my decisions, so I never thought about changing team,” he told Tuttosport.

“I have been a Milan fan since childhood, so being here is a dream come true. I would never have left, not even faced with an offer from Real Madrid. I’d have said no to any team.

“It’s also true that concrete requests from the so-called ‘big’ clubs never really developed. I want to be here for a long time and write Milan history.”

El Shaarawy’s form plummeted after Mario Balotelli’s arrival in January, leading some to suggest they are tactically incompatible.

“Mario and I are more than just teammates, we are true friends. We are always together and also talked about this. I’ve never listened to anyone who said my problem was him. In fact, he was one of the people who stayed closest during my difficulties and encouraged me.

“There’s no jealousy between us. I am convinced that I can do well with or without him on the field. I also think it’s normal for a 20-year-old player to not necessarily score every week. Opponents also got to know me and studied me more carefully.

“Massimiliano Allegri tells me I’m more predictable when I cut in from the left, so I should play more as an out and out striker. I’ll know how to adapt, even though I do find it easier to start from the left, as that’s where I started out. I’m enthusiastic.

“I also want to clarify there has never been a row with Allegri. When he dropped me against Napoli, he explained his ideas and I accepted them calmly. I was fully aware that I wasn’t the same El Shaarawy as a few months earlier. I was on the bench, there was no need to stir up the chaos that followed in the media.

“I’ve learned from that experience for the future. I learned that football can change from one day to the next, whether it turns positive or negative. You have to keep a level head in success and failure.”

Ljajic only wants AC Milan
3.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Reports claim Adem Ljajic has agreed personal terms with Milan, rejecting Tottenham or a Fiorentina renewal.

“If he doesn’t accept a new contract then he will be sold,” warned Viola President Andrea Della Valle on Friday, having turned down an €8m offer from Milan.

According to Sky Sport Italia, Ljajic is determined to push through a transfer to San Siro and already agreed a five-year contract worth over €2m per season.

Fiorentina have tried to convince him to sign an extension with the promise he can be sold next year – a similar agreement to the one they had with Stevan Jovetic – but the striker is impatient.

It is also reported that the Viola would prefer selling Ljajic to Tottenham in order to avoid strengthening a Serie A rival, but the Serbian international has his heart set on Milan.

Antonini on Besiktas wishlist
3.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan full-back Luca Antonini is thought to be the subject of an offer from Turkish club Besiktas.

The left-back turns 31 tomorrow and has been at San Siro for five seasons, but is falling down the pecking order.

According to Turkish media, Besiktas have presented an offer worth €1m.

It’s not the first time this summer that Antonini has been linked with a Milan exit, as Monaco and Genoa were also said to be interested.

There is an injury crisis in the Rossoneri defence, as Daniele Bonera is out for three months with a fractured kneecap and Jherson Vergara for at least a month after dislocating his shoulder.

AC Milan lose Vergara for a month
3.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan’s injury crisis in defence is getting worse, as Jherson Vergara is out for at least a month after dislocating his shoulder.

The young Colombian defender suffered the setback during the Audi Cup 1-0 win over Sao Paulo on Thursday afternoon.

Milan released a statement confirming Vergara has dislocated his left shoulder and has returned to Italy for specialist treatment.

Professor Alessandro Castagna advised against surgery, so Vergara will wear a protective cast for 15 days.

The club doctors expect a return to the team in around a month, save complications.

It is another heavy blow for the Rossoneri, who are already without the injured Daniele Bonera, Philippe Mexes, Mattia De Sciglio, Ignazio Abate, Riccardo Montolivo, Mario Balotelli and Robinho.

They signed Matias Silvestre on loan from Inter to fill in for Bonera, who is out for three months with a fractured kneecap.

Genoa: 'Niang could' join from AC Milan
2.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Genoa President Enrico Preziosi confirmed Milan striker M’Baye Niang “could be the right reinforcement.”

The two clubs have often done business together and maintain an excellent rapport, which includes negotiations for Andreas Granqvist’s potential move to San Siro.

“Granqvist? It’s all in stand-by for the moment,” Preziosi told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“A striker will arrive and Niang could be the right reinforcement, even if we have to make some final evaluations.

“I will have to talk to Coach Fabio Liverani to understand what type of player he needs for this team. As for Mattia Perin, he’s doing very well and we’re in no hurry to sign another goalkeeper.”

French-Senegalese forward Niang is still only 18 years old and he scored just one goal for Milan in official competition, in the 3-0 Coppa Italia victory over Reggina.

'AC Milan not interested in Ola John or Rojo'
2.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan sporting director Ariedo Braida has rubbished reports that the club are interested in signing Ola John and Marcos Rojo.

The Benfica forward and Sporting defender have both been linked with a move to San Siro this summer.

But the board member has claimed that, although they are both good players, the Rossoneri are not in talks for the Portugal-based duo.

“I have a great relationship with the leaders of Benfica,” he told Antena 1. “But at this time we are not interested in John.

“Roja and John are good players, but there is no interest from Milan.

“I’m friends with the leaders of many Portuguese teams, but there is no interest in these players.”

Mandorlini not thinking of AC Milan opener
2.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Verona boss Andrea Mandorlini has admitted that the team are not even thinking about the opening League fixtures.

The Mastini face Milan in Week One of the new Serie A campaign, but the Coach has claimed that there is a lot of work done be done kick off.

“We just want to prepare as well as we can,” he told reporters. “We have other games to play before Milan.

“These friendlies will help us be ready for the first day of the season.

“Training also plays a huge role in the preparation – that’s why they are so hard and why I demand so much effort from the lads.”

AC Milan close to Honda deal - report
2.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan's seemingly never-ending pursuit of Keisuke Honda could soon be coming to an end, reports in the Russian Press claim.

Izvestia have insisted that the Rossoneri and CKSA Moscow could come to an agreement within days, citing ‘sources close the club’.

Massimiliano Allegri’s men have offered the capital club €3m for their Japan international, whilst Leonid Slutsky’s side are looking for €5m.

The paper however, believe that the midfielder could drop his wages from €2.5m per season to €1.8m in order to force through a move.

Honda’s contract at CSKA will expire in January, so can move to San Siro for free in the winter.

Ljajic to extend or be sold
2.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fiorentina have rejected Milan’s offer for Adem Ljajic, but confirmed the player will be sold if he doesn’t extend his contract.

The Serbian international is understood to have been the subject of a €7m offer from the Diavolo, a bid which has been dismissed.

“From what I know, the offers we have received so far are some way off the player’s value,” Viola chief Andrea Della Valle told reporters at Moena today.

“I spoke with the player this morning, he seems calm and expressed his desire to remain in Florence. We’ll now meet with his agent next week.”

The forward’s future is in doubt given that his contract is set to expire next season which would make him available on a Bosman in June 2014.

“I hope he stays here with us,” Della Valle continued. “He is a future champion who can give a lot to Fiorentina.

“We are aware of his qualities, but certain evaluations need to be made when talking about salaries. Fiorentina will make their considerations and I hope the player understands our offer.

“If he doesn’t accept a new contract then he will be sold. There will not be another Riccardo Montolivo situation who joined Milan on a Bosman last year.

“I’m relatively optimistic though.”

Reports suggest that Ljajic’s agent is attempting to get the 21-year-old a €2m a season deal. He currently earns €750,000 a campaign.

AC Milan make Ljajic offer
2.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Serie A giants Milan have made Fiorentina a formal offer for Adem Ljajic, the Gazetta dello Sport maintains.

The striker’s future is in some doubt given that his present deal in Florence is set to expire at the end of the season.

He has been in discussions regarding a renewal in Tuscany, but if an agreement is not found then he could be available on a Bosman next summer.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani reportedly called Viola chief Andrea Della Valle this morning to make their bid, thought to be €7m.

Della Valle is expected to speak with the Serbian forward later today to discuss their options.

The 21-year-old was signed by the Viola in January 2010 from Partizan Belgrade. He scored 11 goals in 28 League games last season.

Audi Cup 2013: AC Milan 1:0 Sao Paulo - goals/highlights
1.8 || webmaster

Inter confirm Silvestre exit
1.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter have made Matias Silvestre’s move to city rivals Milan official with a brief message on their website.

“Internazionale would like to announce that Argentinian defender Matias Silvestre has joined Milan on loan,” it read. “The Rossoneri have an option to make the deal permanent.”

The 28-year-old, left out of Inter’s pre-season training squad, leaves the Nerazzurri just a year after his arrival from Palermo.

He appeared in 20 games for the Beneamata last season across Serie A, the Coppa Italia and the Europa League.

Still no Honda deal for AC Milan
1.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani says the club are no closer to signing Keisuke Honda from CSKA Moscow.

The Japanese international is of interest to the Italian giants seeing as his contract will expire in January.

Honda will thus be a free agent at the start of next year, but the Diavolo are trying to snap him up immediately by offering a nominal fee.

“CSKA Moscow don't want to sell Honda, and if they keep on saying no then there's nothing we can do,” the official noted.

“The deal is on hold, also because the CSKA Moscow President is on holiday right now.”

The transfer chief then rubbished reports that the Diavolo were lining up a bid for Cagliari stopper Davide Astori.

“He won’t arrive. We are OK as we are now following the signing of Matias Silvestre. We’re well covered at the back.”

Galliani also commented on the futures of young strikers M’Baye Niang, linked with Genoa, and Andrea Petagna.

“Is Niang is unsellable? I don't know, but I haven't talked with my friend Preziosi.

“As for Petagna, he is the player we have received the most offers for, but he is not for sale – absolutely not.”

Silvestre thankful for AC Milan chance
1.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Matias Silvestre is looking to resurrect his Serie A career after completing his move from Inter to city rivals Milan.

The Argentine has joined the Diavolo on loan after Daniele Bonera was ruled out of action for the next three months.

“This is not the moment to make any promises,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport. “I’ll look to do my talking with facts.

“I know that there is a massive wall to scale in front of me, but I have no fear.”

Silvestre was told to find a new club this summer after being omitted from Inter’s pre-season training squad just a year after his arrival from Palermo.

However, he rejected a number of possible moves before his Diavolo switch.

“I had nothing against Parma or Genoa,” he added. “I thank the two clubs for their interest, but I was hoping for a high level solution.

“Fortunately Milan didn’t forget about me. I could not have hoped for any better.”

The 28-year-old centre-back featured in just nine Serie A games for Andrea Stramaccioni’s Inter side in 2012-13.

“Everything went wrong from the start,” he responded when asked about his difficulties with the Nerazzurri.

“An injury affected my pre-season and when I got a game I perhaps pushed too hard to be noticed.

“The Coach then changed system and results arrived with the three-man defence. It was an uphill battle for me.

“However, Milan play with a four-man defence, something that I prefer and that reassures me.

“I don’t really want to find excuses though. It was a horrible season for everyone. It went badly and that is it.”

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