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The Archive

January 2011

Reja: Lazio will attack AC Milan
31.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lazio boss Edy Reja insists that his side won’t sit back and hope for a draw at Milan on Tuesday night.

“We have to go out there and look to score goals otherwise we’ll return to Rome as a beaten side,” he stated.

“If we wait for Milan to attack us then we will certainly lose the game.”

The two teams kick-off the midweek round at San Siro on Tuesday in a tie that Lazio haven’t won for 21 years.

“If we want to trouble the Rossoneri then we have to play with more intensity than they do because they have better players than us,” Reja added.

Milan do have some selection headaches, but the former Napoli boss has underlined that he has his own issues to contend with.

“It’s true that Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has a lot of absences to deal with, but I also have my own problems,” he added.

“In attack I only have Giuseppe Sculli, who is not at 100 per cent, and Libor Kozak…”

The latter was the hero on Saturday though as he netted both goals in the 2-0 victory over Fiorentina at the Olimpico.

“We were in a slump, but we have now found the right spirit and the desire to battle again,” added Reja.

“I don’t have many tactical solutions right now, but the side is doing well. Victories are good for morale and we have to go to Milan to play a great game.”

Allegri targets 11 wins for Scudetto
31.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Max Allegri believes 11 wins from Milan's remaining games in Serie A will be enough to win the Scudetto.

Milan currently enjoy a four-point lead at the top of the table and have been in first place since December.

“We need 11 more wins to get to 80 points, which, in my opinion, means the Scudetto,” Allegri said.

“To do better all the others must win 13 or 16.”

Asked for his opinion of Milan's five new signings, Allegri said the club's transfer market has been “practically perfect.”

OFFICIAL: AC Milan sign Legrottaglie
31.1 || webmaster

AC Milan officially announced that they have signed Nicola Legrottaglie from Juventus on a six-months deal.

Legrottaglie: 'I'll sign for AC Milan'
31.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus benchwarmer Nicola Legrottaglie has confirmed “tomorrow I will sign for Milan.”

The veteran had been expected to join hometown club Bari, but there has been a sudden change of plan approaching transfer deadline day.

“Tomorrow I will sign for Milan,” he told Sky Sport Italia television this evening.

“Am I upset at how it ended with Juve? We’ll see. When I say goodbye to everyone at Juventus, I will say what I think.”

The 34-year-old had been with the Bianconeri since 2003, albeit with occasional loan spells at Bologna and Siena.

Milan are looking for a centre-back with experience in case Alessandro Nesta’s shoulder injury proves to be serious.

Ibrahimovic: 'Scudetto is ours to lose'
30.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic maintains “the Scudetto is ours to lose” after 10-man Milan conquered Catania.

Even if Napoli win their game this weekend, the Rossoneri will retain a four-point lead at the top of the table.

Inter defender Marco Materazzi suggested Milan were “frightened” of the Treble-winners.

“Not in my view,” replied Ibra. “The Scudetto is ours to lose. If we don’t get it wrong, then we will win.”

Ibrahimovic scored one goal and created another for Robinho, despite Mark Van Bommel’s red card.

“It seemed as if the Catania players were looking for that second yellow card. They found it, but we won with character.

“It’s a good sign for the season, as it shows we are doing everything possible to win. It was a tough game against an aggressive and gritty side.

“In my view it was actually easier to play with 10 men, as that created more space for the forwards.”

Allegri: 'Van Bommel will learn'
29.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri feels Mark Van Bommel learned a crucial lesson from Italian referees and “it’s the best season of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s career.”

Milan earned a 2-0 win away to Catania despite playing with 10 men for the final 35 minutes following Van Bommel’s second bookable offence.

“It’s fair enough,” said the Coach of the red card on Van Bommel’s Serie A debut.

“The referees make decisions based on what they see and this is an example. Van Bommel should’ve been a bit sneakier, but it is his second game in Italian football.

“These fouls are not generally sanctioned with a booking in Germany, but he is a generally aggressive player.”

Ibrahimovic set up the first goal for Robinho and scored the second to confirm his decisive status for the Rossoneri.

“He is having the best season of his career in terms of intensity,” insisted Allegri.

“Ibra has a great deal of enthusiasm, feels like a leader and also knows how to defend, which is the most important thing. If he tracks back, then everyone else follows suit.”

Serie A: Catania 0:2 AC Milan - match report
29.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Robinho 58 (M), Ibrahimovic 85 (M)

Mark Van Bommel saw red on his Serie A debut, but Robinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic still earned Milan's 2-0 victory in Catania.

The leaders had to do without Alessandro Nesta, Gennaro Gattuso, Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf, Mathieu Flamini, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Gianluca Zambrotta, Pippo Inzaghi, Marco Amelia, Ignazio Abate and Rodney Strasser. Catania Coach Diego Simeone had his first home game though Mariano Izco, Pablo Alvarez and Giuseppe Bellusci are sidelined.

Robinho had a chance to break through in the opening minute, but didn't get enough power to the shot so Mariano Andujar smothered. At the other end, Alejandro Gomez nutmegged Alexander Merkel and crossed for a Ciro Capuano strike deflected over at the back post.

The Sicilians were swarming all over Milan in the early stages with Gomez causing particular problems. When Antonio Cassano did get a chance, he fired over on the bounce.

Milan had another good opportunity just before the break. Cassano sprung the offside trap on a Zlatan Ibrahimovic pass from the right, but hesitated and allowed Andujar to smother at his feet.

Bad news for the Elefantini, who lost Ezequiel Carboni to a knee injury on the stroke of half-time. Allegri gave Emanuelson his Serie A bow for the second period.

A deflected Ibra attempted was tipped over the bar, but it was a disaster Serie A debut for Van Bommel. The former Bayern Munich midfielder received a second yellow card for tripping Pablo Ledesma in a fairly harsh decision and reduced the Rossoneri to 10 men for the final 35 minutes. It also means he'll be suspended for the midweek showdown with Lazio.

Moments later, Mario Yepes had to sprint in front of Maxi Lopez to stop him getting to the smart through ball in the box.

However, just as it all seemed to be falling apart, Milan took the lead. Ibrahimovic had a poor game, but got his fierce free kick on target that Andujar got down well to palm off the line with one hand, but Robinho got the follow-up from a couple of yards.

The Rossoneri pushed Thiago Silva into midfield, while Catania switched to a three-man defence once Adrian Ricchiuti came off the bench.

Ricchiuti had a fantastic chance to equalise when a corner found him unmarked, but the volley sailed just over the crossbar. More bad news for Allegri, as Massimo Ambrosini limped off to make way for the not 100 per cent fit Marek Jankulovski.

Simone Pesce's header soared over, but when Jankulovski won back the ball to feed in Ibra, the Swede forced a tough Andujar save at the near post.

Ibra then acted as provider for the totally unmarked Emanuelson, whose crisp daisy-cutter was well smothered by the Catania goalkeeper.

Gomez shook off three Milan players to blast a long-range snapshot just over the bar.

Instead, the Rossoneri doubled their lead with a well-worked move. Robinho got down the right flank and rolled across for Ibrahimovic, who came running in front of Nicolas Spolli to slide in from six yards.

It wasn't over yet, as Christian Abbiati beat away a Taka Morimoto effort at the near post. From the corner, the Japan international's header was deflected off target by hitting his own teammate, Cristian Silvestre.

Pesce should at least have had a consolation goal with the last kick of the game, but somehow managed to balloon over the bar from a couple of yards when Giuseppe Mascara whipped in a cross from the right.

Catania: Andujar; Augustyn (Ricchiuti 66), Silvestre, Spolli, Capuano; Carboni (Pesce 45); Ledesma, Sciacca (Morimoto 82), Gomez, Mascara; Maxi Lopez

Milan: Abbiati; Bonera, Yepes, Thiago Silva, Antonini; Ambrosini (Jankulovski 75), Van Bommel, Merkel (Emanuelson 46); Robinho; Ibrahimovic, Cassano (Oddo 59)

Ref: Tagliavento

Sent off: Van Bommel 54 (M)

Didac: 'AC Milan best club in Europe'
29.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s latest new signing Didac Vila is overjoyed at joining “the best club in Europe and the side with the most trophies in the world.”

The Rossoneri completed their swoop for Espanyol star Didac on Friday and he begins training with his teammates today.

“I am very happy to be here and ready for the challenges that await me,” he told the official Milan website.

“I hope the fans will grow to love me the same way the Espanyol supporters did. I am a left-back, but feel able to play both in a defensive and offensive role.

“I think that I have joined the best club in Europe and the side with the most trophies in the world.”

Milan had been linked with Domenico Criscito of Genoa for this role, but Vice-President Adriano Galliani insisted he was always the primary target.

“We’d been tracking this player for some time and got a tip from our talent scout Andrea Valdinoci in August, when I was in Barcelona for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

“I met the Espanyol directors and they spoke very highly of him. Now Didac will have his medical and, after registering the contract, will be available for the next game with Lazio.”

Milan are in action this evening against Catania.

Paloschi ready to start afresh
29.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Genoa's new striker Alberto Paloschi says he is ready to start afresh after a difficult couple of seasons with Parma.

The 20-year-old has only made one substitutes' appearance so far this season and has struggled with injury.

Paloschi first came to light with Milan when he scored a fantastic goal. The fans even hailed him as a new Pippo Inzaghi.

“I have a great desire to start playing again,” Paloschi said. “I hope to repay the confidence of the club by scoring lots of goals.

“I no longer want to think about what has happened, only about finding the pitch again.

“Training is great.

“I was happy in Parma. If I were to score against them I would celebrate. Goals are what count for a striker.”

Allegri fears Pazzini's Inter
29.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri says Inter will pose much more of a title threat now that they have signed Giampaolo Pazzini from Sampdoria.

The 26-year-old Italy international completed a medical this morning and moves to San Siro in a transfer worth €12m in cash.

Jonathan Biabiany has also been included in the deal. He joins Sampdoria in part-exchange.

“Pazzini reinforces Inter's attack which was already very strong,” Allegri said.

“He is a great player and has a wonderful opportunity, but we are staying concentrated on what Milan must do.”

“I hope to win something and I am convinced that the next few months will be beautiful to live through.”

Asked about Milan's latest signing, Didac Vila Rossello, Allegri said: “He is a young full-back with good feet, a lot of running and a good physical structure.”

OFFICIAL: Didac Vila joins AC Milan
29.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have brought in yet another new player this January with the arrival of Espanyol full-back Didac Vila Rossello.

The 21-year-old is Milan's fourth signing of the transfer window after Antonio Cassano, Urby Emanuelson and Mark Van Bommel.

Didac Vila completed a medical this morning before signing a four and a half year contract.

He is the latest import from Espanyol's esteemed academy.

Napoli signed Didac Vila's former teammate Victor Ruiz earlier this week in another high profile transfer.

AC Milan target Espanyol's Vila
27.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

It’s widely reported that Espanyol’s Didac Vilà is the full-back Milan are targeting for the January transfer window.

Vice-President Adriano Galliani today denied negotiations for Genoa defender Domenico Criscito.

“The full-back we have chosen plays abroad and can participate in the Champions League.”

It’s believed the target is Espanyol left-back Vilà, who is worth approximately €1m.

Reports suggest Galliani is heading to Barcelona for talks with Espanyol and the 22-year-old talent.

He has played for Spain at Under-19 and Under-20 levels, so would act as a prospect for the future as well as a short-term replacement for the injured Gianluca Zambrotta.

Milan have been very active in the January window, bringing in Antonio Cassano, Urby Emanuelson and Mark Van Bommel.

Van Bommel: 'Sneijder's warning!'
27.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mark Van Bommel reveals he joined Milan despite the advice of fellow Dutchman Wesley Sneijder. “I felt the warmth of a family atmosphere.”

The veteran midfielder made the move from Bayern Munich after lightning negotiations this week and has already made his debut in the Coppa Italia win at Sampdoria.

“I didn’t have a chance to train before the game, as the day before I was still in Munich discussing the contract,” he said in his presentation Press conference this evening.

“I have to really admire Vice-President Adriano Galliani, the Coach and all my teammates, as it was not easy to let me settle in so quickly, but their warm welcome really helped. I felt the warmth of a family atmosphere.

“My situation at Bayern had changed recently, but I just want to look forward. When agent Mino Raiola said Milan wanted me, I did not hesitate, as this is a great club with an important Dutch tradition. I’m very happy to be here.”

The Rossoneri had the likes of Marco Van Basten, Ruud Gullitt and Frank Rijkaard in the 1980s, but another Dutchman didn’t want Van Bommel to join.

“Sneijder is a great friend, so I called him and he advised me not to join Milan, as he didn’t want to face a player as strong as me! I can’t wait to play the derby, as I often watched that fixture on television and it truly is a great event.

“I didn’t call Clarence Seedorf before making the move, as I knew what he was going to say. Milan are a fantastic club and you cannot let such an opportunity slip past you.”

There were concerns over past problems between Van Bommel and Swedish international Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

“We have often faced off in our careers in some pretty fiery encounters. He is similar to me, as he also wants to win all the time and is not afraid of a battle. We had some clashes, but we are friends now.”

Galliani rubbishes Criscito talk
27.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has rubbished talk of the club signing Genoa full-back Domenico Criscito, slighting the player in the process.

Earlier today, Genoa owner Enrico Preziosi told reporters that Galliani has been calling him each and every day to ask about the Italy international.

Speaking at the official unveiling of Urby Emanuelson and Mark Van Bommel, Galliani said: “We are looking for a left-back.

“I rule out that it's Criscito. The full-back we have chosen plays abroad and can participate in the Champions League.

“If he doesn't come, then we'll stay the way we are,” Galliani concluded.

'AC Milan insist for Criscito'
27.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Genoa President Enrico Preziosi claims Milan are determined to sign Domenico Criscito before the end of the January transfer window.

It's no secret that Milan would like to bring in a new full-back for the second half of the season.

Earlier this week, Adriano Galliani told reporters that he would try to buy one at the request of Max Allegri.

Criscito has long been Milan's No 1 choice for the position although Genoa aren't prepared to sell until the end of the season.

“Galliani calls me every day,” Preziosi said. “He did so this morning and will do so again tomorrow.

“There is a friendship between us but I told him not to put me in difficulty because Criscito isn't moving at least until June.”

Sampdoria: 'Ziegler is off the market'
27.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

President Riccardo Garrone declared “the decision has been made. Reto Ziegler is staying at Sampdoria.”

The Swiss international full-back had been linked with Milan before entering advanced negotiations with Lazio.

“I note there is a lot of media coverage about Ziegler, but for us this player is too important and we have decided not to lose him,” President Garrone told lalaziosiamonoi.it.

“At this moment the priority is to keep a competitive squad and therefore we cannot do without him. The decision has been made. Ziegler is staying at Sampdoria.”

Nonetheless, the Blucerchiati patron did leave the door open to potentially changing his mind.

“We will only take an offer for Ziegler into consideration if it is financially favourable to us. For the moment adequate bids have not been received.”

His contract expires in June, so he could leave on a free transfer, but Sampdoria will only release him early for €4m cash.

“We haven’t spoken to Lazio for a few days. This is an important player and we will not accept others being introduced as part of an exchange.”

The Biancocelesti had reportedly offered Pasquale Foggia as part of the deal.

Allegri pleased with AC Milan newcomers
27.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Max Allegri was very pleased with the performance of Milan newcomers Mark Van Bommel and Urby Emanuelson.

The two new signings were thrown straight into the starting XI for today’s 2-1 Coppa Italia quarter-final victory at Sampdoria.

“It was important for us to get through this round and reach the semi-final,” said the Coach.

“We played an excellent first half and could’ve sealed qualification before the break, but then we conceded and it was only normal that Samp would pour forward to complete the comeback.

“We defended in an organised manner and were able to do things properly.”

Alexandre Pato was the undoubted star with a brace, while the newcomers played the entire 90 minutes.

“Pato had a great game and I was especially pleased with his work off the ball,” continued Allegri.

“Emanuelson had a good first half, then he did vanish from the game slightly. It was only to be expected that he and Van Bommel would take time to settle, as they haven’t yet had a single training session with their teammates.

“Today Van Bommel played wide and needed some time to find his position, so he did better in the second half.”

OFFICIAL: AC Milan's Paloschi on co-ownership to Genoa
26.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have bought Parma out for Alberto Paloschi, sending him to Genoa in a co-ownership deal, and loaned Bruno Montelongo to Bologna.

Rossoneri youth academy product Paloschi has been playing for Parma since the summer of 2008, as the two clubs shared his contract 50-50.

The young striker postpones his return to San Siro again, as Milan have bought out Parma’s half of the player and sold it back to Genoa.

Paloschi will play for the Rossoblu for the rest of the current season.

Milan have also loaned another youth team player, Uruguayan full-back Montelongo, to Bologna.

Coppa Italia: Sampdoria 1:2 AC Milan - match report
26.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Pato 17, 22 (M), Guberti 51 (S)

Alexandre Pato’s brace sent a revamped Milan through to the Coppa Italia semi-final, beating Sampdoria 2-1 at Marassi.

Max Allegri threw on new buys Mark Van Bommel and Urby Emanuelson, who only arrived over the last couple of days, but Antonio Cassano was on the bench against the club he left in bitter circumstances.

The Coach had few options, as the injury list included Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf, Gennaro Gattuso, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Gianluca Zambrotta, Alessandro Nesta, Daniele Bonera, Massimo Ambrosini and Marco Amelia.

Samp also went with their new boys, giving Massimo Maccarone his debut alongside Federico Macheda.

Milan thought they had taken the lead after six minutes with Emanuelson, but he was flagged offside when turning the volley into the far bottom corner from a tight angle.

The Rossoneri had most of the ball and broke the deadlock properly on 17 minutes. A corner was not dealt with effectively and Thiago Silva nodded it down for Pato.

The young Brazilian wasted no time, smacking an angled drive on the volley across Junior Da Costa.

Pato did the second all by himself with a magnificent solo effort. Emanuelson threaded through the middle for Pato outside the D, who spun round Massimo Volta and ran into the box to blast under the bar.

Samp fought back as Flavio Roma fingertipped a Macheda effort over, then the former Manchester United starlet flashed a daisy-cutter inches past the upright.

Maccarone’s volley was charged down from six yards by a brave Sokratis Papastathopoulos, but before the break Robinho skimmed the near post under pressure.

Alexander Merkel threatened a third after the restart when sent clear by a through ball, but hesitated and allowed Da Costa to smother at his feet.

However, Sampdoria got back into the game with a great goal from Stefano Guberti, who changed his position to play as a trequartista.

Maccarone deserves much of the credit, dragging Sokratis wide to then curl a cross on to his glancing header from six yards.

Macheda had penalty appeals waved away for a tussle with Sokratis, although they seemed to go shoulder to shoulder, but as the move continued Da Costa parried from Robinho.

Roma had to time his exit perfectly to stop Maccarone tapping in another Macheda assist from point-blank range, while Guberti rushed his volley from a promising position.

Cassano came on against the side he had a bitter split from this season and was welcomed by a hail of jeers and insults from the Marassi crowd. He nearly scored with a solo effort that whistled just wide, earning another chorus of boos from his former fans.

Milan go through to face Palermo in the Coppa Italia semi-final.

Scorers: Pato 17, 22 (M), Guberti 51 (S)

Sampdoria: Da Costa; Volta, Accardi, Zauri, Ziegler; Palombo, Poli (Tissone 65), Mannini (Koman 72), Guberti; Maccarone, Macheda

Milan: Roma; Yepes, Sokratis, Oddo, Antonini (Jankulovski 80); Van Bommel, Emanuelson, Thiago Silva; Merkel; Pato (Ibrahimovic 87), Robinho (Cassano 78)

Ref: Mazzoleni

AC Milan to bring in a full-back too
26.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan might not have finished in the January transfer market just yet with reports linking the club with Maxwell, Jose Enrique and Diego Contento.

The Rossoneri have already completed three new signings in the last month, namely Mark Van Bommel, Urby Emanuelson and Antonio Cassano.

Asked if he would satisfy Max Allegri's desire for a full-back, Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani said: “We will also buy him one of them.”

Milan have been linked with Barcelona's former Inter defender Maxwell, partly because he is a client of Mino Raiola, who has done a lot of business with Galliani of late.

However, bureaucratic problems tied to the fact he is considered a non-EU citizen mean the deal is a non-starter.

Milan are said to be looking at alternatives solutions, such as Newcastle United's Jose Enrique and Bayern Munich's Italian youngster Diego Contento.

Garrone can't forgive Cassano
26.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sampdoria President Riccardo Garrone can't let bygones be bygones with his former protégé Antonio Cassano.

The two fell out massively in October, prompting Garrone to freeze Cassano out of his squad and ask that the player's contract be rescinded.

Cassano was allowed to join Milan in December. He returns to Marassi for the first time since his departure this evening for a Coppa Italia Quarter-Final against Samp.

“I don't have any feeling of consideration or acceptance of his psychological problems above all after what he said during his official unveiling at Milan, which left me without any possibility to say that he is a kid who has values.

“Having said that had he known he would have gone to Milan then he should maybe have insulted me earlier, I can say that the nature of this man is exactly what it has always revealed itself to be.”

Van Bommel 'enjoys AC Milan competition'
25.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s new signing Mark Van Bommel reveals his move was “a purely sporting decision and I am not afraid of competition.”

The Rossoneri had said they were not interested in the Bayern Munich midfielder due to his age, but changed their minds after losing Clarence Seedorf, Gennaro Gattuso and Andrea Pirlo to injury this week.

“I am happy to play for Milan, partly as it’s unusual for such a prestigious club to look for a 33-year-old,” he told Spox.de.

“It was a purely sporting decision and I am not afraid of competition that I might find in the Rossoneri squad.

“I had many great moments at Bayern and must admit it is a little sad to leave at this moment, but I have faith in my abilities and think I can do well in Italy.

“I do think Bayern Munich could’ve still used a player like me.”

Coach Massimiliano Allegri has said it is likely one or both of the new Dutch signings, Urby Emanuelson and Van Bommel, will start in the Coppa Italia quarter-final against Sampdoria tomorrow.

Absent for that match are Marco Amelia, Daniele Bonera, Alessandro Nesta, Gianluca Zambrotta, Massimo Ambrosini, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Mathieu Flamini, Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf, Rodney Strasser and Pippo Inzaghi.

Emanuelson takes the number 28 shirt, while Van Bommel will wear 4.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Di Fabio, Roma, Abate, Antonini, Ely, Jankulovski, Oddo, Papastathopoulos, Thiago Silva, Yepes, Calvano, Emanuelson, Merkel, Van Bommel, Cassano, Ibrahimovic, Oduamadi, Pato, Robinho

Van Bommel and Emanuelson to make debuts
25.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Max Allegri looks set to hand new signings Urby Emanuelson and Mark Van Bommel their debuts in Milan's Coppa Italia quarter-final against Sampdoria on Wednesday.

Allegri is a firm believer in throwing new arrivals in at the deep end and did so with Antonio Cassano earlier this month despite regarding about his fitness.

“Tomorrow our two new players Emanuelson and Van Bommel will be 90 per cent on the pitch. One of the two will certainly play, the other 90 per cent,” he said.

Reflecting on the title race, he said: “When the other contenders lose or draw, it's obvious that we are happy, but we must think about ourselves because the season isn't yet over.

“There are no easy games,” he concluded.

OFFICIAL: AC Milan sign Van Bommel
25.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Bayern Munich have confirmed that Milan have signed Mark Van Bommel.

Milan had initially ruled out a move for the Holland international partly on account of his age, but a series of injuries to their midfielders has brought about a rethink.

Adriano Galliani and Ariedo Braida apparently travelled to Munich yesterday to hold talks with Van Bommel who is being represented by Mino Raiola, the agent who brokered Zlatan Ibrahimovic's switch from Barcelona to Milan in the summer.

Van Bommel's contract in Germany was due to expire in six months' time and Bayern intend to pursue alternatives rather than extend the 33-year-old's existing deal.

"I leave Bayern with a heavy heart but with my head held high," he said.

Initial reports claim Van Bommel's contract is only until the end of this season and expires on June 30, 2011.

The veteran midfielder is the third new arrival at Milanello this winter after Antonio Cassano and Urby Emanuelson.

AC Milan trio doubtful for Spurs
24.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf, Gennaro Gattuso and Alessandro Nesta are all in a race against time to be fit for Milan’s Champions League tie against Spurs.

The three wounded stars all underwent tests today after they picked up various injuries over the weekend.

Seedorf limped out of training on Saturday with a thigh problem, the same injury sustained by Gattuso in the warm-up ahead of last night’s 2-0 win over Cesena. They will be out for three weeks.

Meanwhile, Nesta had to be replaced during the match after he dislocated his shoulder which could see him sidelined for a month.

"In agreement with the player, it has been decided to try an aggressive recovery programme to allow Nesta's return to action in around three to four weeks," a club statement said.

"Surgery will be undertaken, if necessary, at the end of the season."

Kevin-Prince Boateng, Andrea Pirlo and Gianluca Zambrotta are also presently in the Rossoneri treatment room.

Allegri will be hoping to recover some of his midfield options as soon as possible after he was forced to play defender Thiago Silva in midfield last night.

Milan play Tottenham at the Stadio Meazza on February 15 in the first leg of their tie. The return is scheduled for March 9.

Napoli not the anti AC Milan
24.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Napoli chief Aurelio De Laurentiis insists that his side are not Milan’s biggest rivals for the Scudetto.

The Azzurri have had a remarkable campaign to date and find themselves just four points behind the Rossoneri.

However, movie mogul and Napoli owner De Laurentiis claims that the title is not their priority for this season.

“We’ve already come a long way,” he stated. “We must dream, but we can’t live our lives by dreaming.

“We are not the anti-Milan and the 'Scudetto' is a word that we will happily leave to you journalists…

“The objective of this team is to go down its own path, to step out on to the pitch with the intention of winning games to satisfy the fans.”

Mexes prepared to renew contract
24.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Philippe Mexes is ready to extend his contract with Roma, although it's said that he will ask for a minimum fee release clause to be inserted into the deal.

The France international's current agreement expires at the end of the season and there has been reported interest from Juventus and Milan.

Earlier this month, Roma President Rosella Sensi said that she is prepared to open talks with Mexes and hopes that a deal is reached as soon as possible.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands that Mexes' agent Olivier Jouanneaux will be in Rome over the next 10 days to discuss the matter further.

Reports suggest that he will ask for a €15m buy-out clause to be included in the new contract.

Allegri: 'Napoli aren't AC Milan's only rivals'
24.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Max Allegri says Napoli are just one of five or six teams that could rival Milan for the title this season.

Milan currently lie four points clear of Napoli at the top of the table.

Speaking to Radio Anch'io lo Sport, Allegri said: “I don't know if it will be like this at the end.

“Napoli are doing important things and, at the moment, they appear to be the most dangerous opponents.

“I think that they will last until the end, but there are other teams in pursuit of the Scudetto and they will give us a hard time until the end of the season. There are five or six title contenders.”

Reflecting on Milan's 2-0 victory over Cesena last night, Allegri said: “It was important to get back to winning ways and deservedly so after two draws.”

Finally, Allegri gave his first impressions of new signing Urby Emanuelson.

“He is a dynamic player with good technique. Moreover he will be the only left-footed player that we have on the team.

“I think that he is an important signing.”

Galliani hints at more signings
24.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has hinted that the club could make more signings before the January transfer window closes.

Ajax full-back Urby Emanuelson joined at the weekend and his name might not be the last added to Milan's squad this winter.

“Well, we'll see, we'll see,” Galliani told the Milan Channel.

“There is still a week left. We won't throw it away.”

Reflecting on last night's 2-0 victory over Cesena, he said: “We suffered until the last despite having created 10 goal scoring chances, but if we think about it we won with a midfield composed of Ambrosini, Merkel and Thiago Silva who reminded me of Marcel Desailly.

“The only flaw of the evening is the injury to Alessandro Nesta. He'll be out for two or three weeks and in this period it means he'll miss six or seven games.

“However, seeing the results of some of our rivals, it's a great victory.”

Ibrahimovic: 'AC Milan focusing on our own game'
24.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes his side will win the Scudetto as long as they keep thinking about their own game.

The 29-year-old Sweden international played a part in both of Milan's goals in their 2-0 victory over Cesena on Sunday evening.

Milan still have a four-point lead at the top of Serie A, preserving the club's advantage over Napoli and Roma.

Speaking to Sky Italia, Ibrahimovic said: “We are keeping our rhythm and playing our game.

“What happens behind us gives us an advantage and the more points we get the bigger lead we have.

“I had a little luck with the goal. Robinho gave me a good ball and I saw the goalkeeper was a little off his line.”

Allegri: 'AC Milan are not breaking away'
24.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri insists Milan “are not breaking away” after opening up a four-point gap at the top of the table. “We’re in an emergency situation.”

The Serie A leaders battled to see off Cesena 2-0 this evening after losing Alessandro Nesta and Gennaro Gattuso on top of an already-impressive injury list.

“We are not breaking away, but it is a nice victory,” said the Coach. “We’re in an emergency situation, but the team played well, except for the opening 20 minutes.

“I’d say the win was deserved. We created many scoring opportunities and the three forwards combined well, but were helped by a midfield that always tried to get the ball up to them quickly.”

There is no respite for the Rossoneri, who face Sampdoria in the Coppa Italia quarter-final on Wednesday.

“We hope to have recovered one or two midfielders by then,” continued Allegri, who had to push Thiago Silva into that position.

“Nesta’s shoulder popped out of joint and tomorrow we will know with greater precision the extent of the injury.

“Mario Yepes had a good game, as did Sokratis Papastathopoulos, while Thiago Silva can comfortably play central midfield thanks to his good feet.”

This match represented Antonio Cassano’s first Serie A start for the club after a series of substitute appearances and he had a hand in the opening goal.

“Cassano looked good and did some important things. I thought after Thursday’s Coppa game that he would drop in his intensity levels, but he proved me wrong there.”

The tactician also had a word for new signing Urby Emanuelson, who was in the stands following his transfer from Ajax.

“He is a midfielder with great technique and is very dynamic. He will be extremely useful for us.”

Nesta shoulder injury serious?
24.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are fears Alessandro Nesta could be out for a month after dislocating his shoulder.

The Milan defender fell awkwardly on to his left shoulder and arm during the first half of tonight’s 2-0 win over Cesena.

He was taken to hospital for x-rays and the initial reports are of a dislocation, but not the feared fracture or ligament damage.

It would be a particularly heavy blow for the veteran, as he suffered an identical injury to this shoulder in 2007 and was forced to stay on the sidelines for three months.

The shoulder has been put back in place under anaesthetic, so no surgery appears to be required, but it is still an injury that should keep Nesta out for at least three weeks.

This was not a fortunate evening for the Rossoneri, who also lost Gennaro Gattuso in the warm-up due to a muscular problem.

With Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf, Mathieu Flamini, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Gianluca Zambrotta already sidelined, it forced Thiago Silva to fill the gap in midfield.

Emanuelson: 'AC Milan stronger than Inter'
24.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s new signing Urby Emanuelson touched down with a message. “We are much stronger than Inter and coming here is a dream come true.”

The 24-year-old wide man signed a contract until June 2014 today and arrives from Ajax.

“Coming to Milan is a dream come true,” the Dutch starlet said as he went to the stands for tonight’s game against Cesena.

“It all happened on Wednesday, the negotiations were closed quickly and now I am here. I’m immediately at the disposal of the Coach and hope to make my debut as soon as possible. I will work hard for my place.

“I can play anywhere, either in midfield or in defense, both the right and left. What do I do best? I’m better when attacking.

“My objective is to win trophies and I feel that I can do that here. I’ve known Zlatan Ibrahimovic since our time together at Ajax.

“Then there are legends like Gennaro Gattuso and Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf and Alexandre Pato. I hope they can all teach me something about the sport.”

Emanuelson was asked by fans which side would have the upper hand at San Siro this season.

“We are much stronger than Inter,” he grinned.

Serie A: AC Milan 2:0 Cesena - match report
23.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Pellegrino og 45 (M), Ibrahimovic 93 (M)

Milan extend their lead at the top to four points, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic forced an own goal and scored a splendid second to beat Cesena 2-0.

The Rossoneri needed a victory to keep Napoli at a safe distance and were expected to impress, although they did lose at Cesena back in Week 2. Antonio Cassano made his first Serie A start alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho, but injuries ruled out Clarence Seedorf, Andrea Pirlo, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Gianluca Zambrotta, Marco Amelia, Marek Jankulovski and Pippo Inzaghi. There was a last-minute change, as Gennaro Gattuso also pulled out during the warm-up with a right thigh twinge, so Mario Yepes stepped in at centre-back with Thiago Silva pushed into midfield.

Cesena lost here 3-2 on Wednesday in their rescheduled game with Inter. Emanuele Giaccherini was sent off in that match and so sat out a ban, while a flu virus hit Luis Jimenez, Maurizio Lauro and Ivan Fatic.

The visitors had the first chance within two minutes, as Dominique Malonga spun round to fire low at the near post, forcing the returning Christian Abbiati to react quickly.

Another Malonga effort was was deflected over the bar, but Abbiati had to make a desperate intervention on 17 minutes! Luca Antonini's awful touch turned into an assist for Ezequiel Schelotto and his shot was beaten away at the near post, then defenders scrambled to turn it out for a corner. From the set play, Igor Budan volleyed over from six yards.

Milan were already short on defensive options when Alessandro Nesta fell awkwardly on to his left arm and shoulder, so had to make way for Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

Robinho had their first genuine scoring opportunity, but hit a weak effort at Francesco Antonioli after riding a tackle. Cassano threaded through to release Ibrahimovic one-on-one, but Antonioli did enough to close him down, then Robinho fired over the rebound.

Another great chance with Thiago Silva's angled drive beaten away by Max Pellegrino's sliding tackle. From the resulting corner, Antonini found space only to drill the angled drive across the face of goal.

An Ibra chest and volley was well saved, but it wouldn't have counted due to the offside flag, then Robinho's strike was deflected off target.

Antonioli may be 41, but he showed quick reactions to get down and block an acrobatic Ibrahimovic diving header off the line at the base of the near post.

The goal did arrive on the stroke of half-time. Once again, Cassano provided the assist with a delightful chip over the defence for Ibrahimovic to take down and push past Antonioli, although Pellegrino's desperate attempt to intervene actually got the final touch. It's the second own goal in as many weeks for the defender.

It was so nearly 2-0 in stoppages. Yepes was up for a corner and pounced on a poor clearance, a mad scramble around the penalty spot finished with a crucial hoof away from the empty net.

Massimo Ambrosini blasted just over from the D after Ibra's pull-back. Antonioli needed his fingertips to send Ibra's dipping free kick out for a corner. A chance went begging when Alexander Merkel and Robinho both tried to head the same cross and clattered into each other.

Ceccarelli managed to stop Cassano turning in the box for what would've been a likely goal, then Thiago Silva flashed an angled drive across the face of goal.

Ambrosini wanted a penalty when Paolo Sammarco rather clumsily tackled from behind, but the referee waved play on.

As the move continued to the other end, Erjon Bogdani waited for the long ball to bounce so he'd hit the half-volley, but Sokratis Papastathopoulos stuck out a crucial foot to prod it out of his path.

The game had suddenly woken up again, but Robinho's scoring boots were still snapping, as he fired straight at Antonioli from close range. The veteran goalkeeper got down to beat away another Robinho angled drive.

Sammarco drilled wide on the counter with a weak finish, as Cesena showed they were still in this game. Robinho had two attempts charged down in quick succession by Antonioli and then Benalouane.

Alexandre Pato came off the bench to curl a free kick over. Robinho should've scored in stoppages when Ibra's ball over the top sent him clear, but after waltzing round the goalkeeper, he made the angle too narrow and smacked against the upright.

Ibrahimovic had the opening goal taken from him, but there were no questions over the second. Deep into stoppages he ran to the by-line and smashed a perfect angled drive into the far wall of the net from the tightest of angles.

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta (Papastathopoulos 23), Yepes, Antonini; Thiago Silva, Ambrosini, Merkel; Robinho; Cassano (Pato 84), Ibrahimovic

Cesena: Antonioli; Ceccarelli, Pellegrino, Von Bergen, Dellafiore (Benalouane 79); Caserta, Colucci, Parolo; Schelotto (Sammarco 53), Budan (Bogdani 53), Malonga

Ref: Romeo

OFFICIAL: AC Milan sign Emanuelson
23.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have officially announced the signature of Ajax winger Urby Emanuelson on a permanent transfer.

Vice-President Adriano Galliani had already hinted yesterday that the deal was essentially done.

“AC Milan announce it has bought Urby Emanuelson on a permanent basis from AFC Ajax,” read a statement.

“He has signed a contract that expires on June 30 2014.”

The 24-year-old can play as a left-back, but is primarily used on the left side of midfield.

He stems from the Ajax youth academy and his contract with the Dutch giants was set to run out in June.

Milan beat competition from Liverpool for the Holland international.

Ficcadenti: 'We can scare AC Milan too'
23.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Ficcadenti almost caused an upset against Inter midweek and believes his Cesena can do even better with Milan.

The Sea Horses gave the Nerazzurri a scare in their rescheduled Week 16 Serie A match at San Siro on Wednesday, only losing 3-2 after going down to 10 men.

“We certainly don’t hold back, as we showed on Wednesday,” said the Coach.

“We made Inter tremble and will try to do the same to cause Milan trouble. We’ll give it our all, even if we realise the game where we mustn’t make a single mistake is next Sunday against Lecce.”

Cesena have already beaten the Rossoneri earlier this season and the Serie A leaders are coming off two consecutive League draws.

“It’s not true that Milan’s form is dipping. This side was built to win and the result of our last meeting is irrelevant.

“A player like Zlatan Ibrahimovic can win a game by himself. We may be missing some important figures, but we’ll play the way we know how.”

Emanuele Giaccherini is suspended after his very harsh red card against Inter, but Luis Jimenez, Maurizio Lauro and Ivan Fatic have been ruled out by a flu virus. Yuto Nagatomo is also injured.

“The referees have made several mistakes in our games and quite a few of them were obvious,” added Ficcadenti.

“For this reason I am in favour of technology being used in football when the referee is struggling to judge dubious incidents. It would be helpful for the directors and also look out for the teams.”

Allegri: 'AC Milan shook off doubts'
22.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri says the Coppa Italia victory “shook off Milan’s doubts,” but he could start Antonio Cassano against Cesena.

“It is important for us to get back to winning ways,” said the Coach after Thursday’s 3-0 win over Bari.

“We must earn all three points against Cesena, as it’s fundamental to resume that winning streak. The team is ready to get back on the right track.

Although they are still the Serie A leaders, Milan have dropped points for two consecutive rounds against Udinese and Lecce.

“Maybe some will say we’re in crisis, but we must remain relaxed and aware of our strength. Winning helps to maintain certainty.

“When you lose or draw, it can raise a few doubts. This should not happen, though, for a draw like the one at Lecce. We won in the Coppa Italia on Thursday and shook off those few doubts that had emerged.”

Cassano had his first start for the club in that game and could well partner Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho again, leaving Alexandre Pato on the bench.

“Pato has to stay calm. This season he is playing in a different way, plus he was out injured for a long time,” explained Allegri.

“Cassano may be a little bit behind in terms of match fitness, but he has already shown his talent and is an excellent buy. Pato finishes off moves, while Cassano tends to put others in the position to score.

“Cassano can change a game. We have signed an extraordinary player and he has to keep on working hard.”

There should be a new arrival next week, as Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani confirmed Urby Emanuelson will join from Ajax.

“He was one of our transfer objectives and I would be happy with his arrival,” added Allegri.

“He is a midfielder who can also adapt to the left-back role, but in essence he is more of a midfielder.”

AC Milan close on Emanuelson
22.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports that Milan have secured a deal for Ajax left-winger Urby Emanuelson.

The Rossoneri have made it clear they are seeking a new left-back during the January transfer window.

On Friday, Vice-President Adriano Galliani declared it would not be Sampdoria’s Reto Ziegler or Genoa man Domenico Criscito unless the price-tag dropped considerably.

According to the Gazzetta dello Sport and Sky Sport Italia this morning, they have already found an alternative.

Emanuelson is a 24-year-old Holland international who can play on the left side of midfield or at left-back.

His contract with Ajax expires at the end of the season, so it would not cost much to prise him away six months early.

"It is impossible to turn down Milan," Emanuelson told Der Telegraaf.

It is reported he has been offered a three-and-a-half-year contract.

Seedorf and Pirlo out for AC Milan
22.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf, Andrea Pirlo and Rodney Strasser are out of the match with Cesena, leaving Milan with midfield problems.

Seedorf has not been included in the squad for the Sunday evening encounter, apparently due to a knee issue.

Pirlo made his first appearance of 2011 in the Coppa Italia midweek against Bari, but lasted just 20 minutes before limping off with a thigh problem.

One of his natural replacements, youth team player Strasser, is also out of action along with Gianluca Zambrotta, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Marco Amelia, Marek Jankulovski and Pippo Inzaghi.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Roma, Abate, Antonini, Bonera, Nesta, Oddo, Papastathopoulos, Thiago Silva, Yepes, Ambrosini, Flamini, Gattuso, Merkel, Cassano, Ibrahimovic, Pato, Robinho

AC Milan: 'Emanuelson is our player'
22.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has confirmed “Urby Emanuelson is ours,” but they’re working to have him now rather than in the summer.

The much sought-after Ajax wide man’s contract expires at the end of the season, so he would be a free transfer, but the Rossoneri would like him to reinforce the squad now.

“Emanuelson is ours from July at least and I think from today,” explained Galliani on Sky Sport Italia television.

“We are extremely close to a signature and, although it’s not finalised yet, everything suggests from tonight we can say he is owned by Milan starting from today.”

The club was seeking both a left-back and a winger, so picked up the Holland international capable of filling both roles.

“His characteristics are more attacking than defensive. He can play as a left-back, but in my view will be used more in midfield,” added Galliani.

It’s believed Emanuelson will sign a three-and-a-half-year contract.

“I would like to stay at Ajax until the end of the season so we can win the title, but Milan represent an opportunity I cannot turn down,” the player told De Telegraaf.

Ibrahimovic: AC Milan don't need Balotelli
21.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Despite encouraging him to join the club in the past, Zlatan Ibrahimovic says Milan don't need to sign Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli.

Balotelli is often linked with a move to San Siro partly because of his frequently expressed support for the Rossoneri.

“There is no place for Balotelli,” Ibrahimovic said.

“At Milan we have Ibrahimovic, Cassano, Robinho, Pato and Inzaghi who is injured.

“How many strikers do you want? Should we play with four or six?

“We don't need other strikers, but these things are up to Adriano Galliani and the Coach.”

Asked about the resurgence of his old club Inter, Ibrahimovic said: “I am sure that they are playing with confidence after the recent games but we must concentrate only on our own work, on our things.

“I am not worried about other teams. If we keep doing our job, we'll keep being top of the table.

“The season finishes with Milan in first place,” he concluded.

Galliani: No deal for Criscito or Ziegler
21.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani claims the club won't sign Domenico Criscito or Reto Ziegler unless their prices are significantly reduced.

Both players have been heavily linked with a move to San Siro, but it would appear that Genoa and Sampdoria are proving tough negotiators.

“Neither Criscito nor Ziegler will come to Milan because there is no deal financially,” Galliani said. “It's only a problem of costs, but for the moment we consider the demands of Genoa and Sampdoria to be excessive.

“I don't rule out the possibility of someone coming in before the end of the transfer window.

“I am saying that Criscito and Ziegler won't arrive, but we are looking for an opportunity and if one arises we will jump at it, otherwise we'll stay the way we are.”

Win was vital, says Allegri
21.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has underlined the significance of last night’s Coppa Italia win against Bari.

“It was important to get through to the next round, but also to get back to winning ways,” he said after a run of just one League win from their last four Serie A games.

“The Italian Cup is a competition that we want to do well in and the boys played an excellent game.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was one of the scorers in the 3-0 triumph, but Antonio Cassano impressed after starting his first game for the club.

“I didn’t think he would do so well given his fitness, but he put himself about and made sacrifices for the team,” the former Cagliari boss added.

“He combined well with Ibra and Robinho. I’m very happy with what I saw.

“He certainly needs a bit of time to improve his physical condition, but if he works with this intensity then he’ll be ready very soon.”

Allegri also seemed calm about an injury to Andrea Pirlo who picked up a problem less than 20 minutes after returning to action following a month on the sidelines.

“It doesn’t seem to be anything too serious, but we’ll make a proper evaluation with the doctors on Friday,” concluded Allegri.

Oddo: Pato must mature
21.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan veteran Massimo Oddo has advised Alexandre Pato to listen and learn from his San Siro teammates.

The young Brazilian has come under fire over the last week after he was berated on the pitch at Lecce by Gennaro Gattuso on Sunday.

It was the latest in a number of incidents which suggest that the club expect more from the 21-year-old, despite his awesome scoring record.

“Pato is a boy who needs to mature,” said the former Lazio captain.

“He must listen to the advice which he is given because the boy lacks experience.”

Oddo was also questioned on Inter’s resurgence seeing as the Nerazzurri are now just six points behind the Rossoneri and with a game in hand.

“It’s quite normal that Inter are climbing back up the table as they had a few games yet to play,” the 2006 World Cup winner said. “We’re still top though.

“Inter just needed a bit of a shake up and Leonardo has had the good fortune of being able to count on the injured players who Rafa Benitez couldn’t.”

Asked whether he saw Inter’s 3-2 win over Cesena on Wednesday, Oddo claimed he was watching the other channel.

“I watched the Rome derby [in the Coppa Italia] as I’m really not interested in Inter at all. We’ll see who is first at the end of the season…”

Coppa Italia: AC Milan 3:0 Bari - match report
20.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Ibrahimovic 19 (M), Merkel 45 (M), Robinho 64 (M)

Antonio Cassano made his first start for Milan, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alexander Merkel and Robinho got the goals to beat Bari 3-0 in the Coppa Italia.

The striker had only ever featured as a substitute in official games, but was given his full debut for the Rossoneri against his hometown club. He’ll face his old club Sampdoria in the quarter-finals next week.

Thiago Silva was out with a stomach bug, while goalkeeper Flavio Roma made his first appearance 18 months after joining Milan.

Nacho Castillo had the first chance, but scuffed his shot, then Daniele Padelli flapped a Zlatan Ibrahimovic half-volley on the turn.

The front three combined beautifully and Padelli spilled another Ibra shot, but recovered to smother at Robinho’s feet.

The goal was in the air and Ibrahimovic got it on the counter sparked by Robinho, taking on Glik to curl across Padelli into the far top corner.

Padelli flew across the face of goal to palm a Robinho snapshot round the post, while at the other end Massimo Donati drilled wide.

It was 2-0 in first half stoppages when Cassano knocked on a cross for Robinho, who pulled back for Alexander Merkel’s daisy-cutter. However, Bari were livid and wanted play stopped for a push.

It should’ve been 2-1 moments later, but ex-Milan striker Vitalii Kutuzov incredibly ballooned over the bar from six yards.

After the restart Castillo thought he had got one back when Alessandro Parisi threaded through for the former Fiorentina forward to tap in, but he was flagged offside.

A delightful Ibrahimovic backheel flick set up Cassano, but the ex-Sampdoria star was offside. The Swede then threaded through for Robinho to drill wide, while Ignazio Abate’s strong run and angled drive was charged down.

The third goal was scored by Robinho, who sprung the offside trap on a Merkel through ball to fire past the ‘keeper from close range.

Andrea Pirlo made his comeback for the first game of 2011, but needed treatment again after a knock to the knee. As all the substitutions had been completed, sat back on the bench after less than 20 minutes on the field.

Milan go on to play Sampdoria in the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia.

Scorers: Ibrahimovic 19 (M), Merkel 45 (M), Robinho 64 (M)

Milan: Roma; Oddo, Nesta, Yepes, Antonini; Gattuso (Abate 46), Ambrosini, Merkel (Pato 71); Robinho; Ibrahimovic, Cassano (Pirlo 66)

Bari: Padelli; Raggi, Rossi, Glik (Crimi 70), Parisi; Alvarez, Pulzetti (A Masiello 46), Donati, Romero; Kutuzov (Caputo 75), Castillo

Ref: Ciampi

Thiago Silva ruled out of Coppa Italia tie
20.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan will have to do without key defender Thiago Silva for tonight’s Coppa Italia match against Bari.

The Brazilian is not even in the squad for this evening’s game after coming down with a stomach bug this morning.

Alessandro Nesta is also not 100 per cent fit, so it is likely Daniele Bonera will be drafted in with Mario Yepes at the centre of the defence.

Antonio Cassano is included and could make his first start in the Milan jersey.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Roma; Antonini, Bonera, Montelongo, Nesta, Oddo, Yepes; Ambrosini, Gattuso, Merkel, Pirlo, Strasser; Cassano, Ibrahimovic, Oduamadi, Pato, Robinho

Laczko deal signals Ziegler exit
20.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sampdoria have completed the signing of Zsolt Laczko, which would appear to indicate that Reto Ziegler is on his way to Milan before the end of the transfer window.

The 24-year-old Hungarian is a like-for-like replacement for Ziegler and cost €830,000 from Debrecen.

However, both Sampdoria and Milan have yet to come to an agreement for the Switzerland international.

Milan reiterated that they are only prepared to pay €2.5m for Ziegler.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands that the League leaders have strengthened their position by agreeing personal terms with the player.

Samp, though, are holding out for €3.5m and show no intention of being short-changed after the deal that took Antonio Cassano to Milan.

Allegri remains optimistic
20.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Max Allegri remains optimistic despite his side's recent stuttering results in Serie A.

The Rossoneri have a four-point lead on second place, but have won just one of their last four games.

“We are still first in the table. We have to remain optimistic and keep working.”

Asked about Alex Pato's compatibility with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he said: “Tomorrow's Coppa Italia match against Bari is not a test for him, but rather an important challenge for us.

“We want to go through to the next round and to win to continue our progress in the Coppa Italia.

“It's an objective we all believe in and one that we want to realise.”

AC Milan close in on Ziegler
19.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Reports in Italy claim that just €1m separates Milan from agreeing a deal to sign Sampdoria winger Reto Ziegler in the January transfer window.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands Milan have already offered €2.5m for the Switzerland international, but Sampdoria aren't satisfied.

Ziegler's existing contract is due to expire at the end of the season, so this is Sampdoria's last chance to cash in on the 24-year-old.

Sampdoria were initially holding out for €5m, but it would appear that their asking price is slightly lower.

A deal now looks likely to be done for €3.5m, but the relationship between the two clubs is uneasy.

Sampdoria need to find a replacement for Ziegler and also feel short-changed from the Antonio Cassano transfer.

As for Ziegler, Milan have offered a contract until 2014 worth €1.4m a season.

AC Milan finally turn to Roma
18.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Goalkeeper Flavio Roma will make his debut for Milan this week – 18 months after signing for the Rossoneri.

Roma will start in goal against Bari in Thursday’s Coppa Italia match given the injuries to Christian Abbiati and Marco Amelia.

The latter, who had taken over for the sidelined Abbiati in recent weeks, picked up a thigh problem against Lecce and will be in the treatment room for the next seven days.

Roma joined the San Siro giants in August 2009 after spending eight years abroad in France with Monaco.

Although the Italian international will be given a chance against Bari in the Cup, boss Massimiliano Allegri is hoping to have Abbiati back for the weekend League game against Cesena.

Andrea Pirlo may also return to action on Thursday as a substitute. The playmaker has been missing since December 18 with a muscle strain.

Bastos not joining AC Milan
18.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lyon have rubbished reports that Michel Bastos will join Italian giants Milan before the January transfer window closes.

The Rossoneri have recently been paired with the left-back, but Lyon general director Bernard Lacombe insists the 27-year-old is going nowhere.

“Everyone is asking me about Milan and Juventus, but, for the time being, the player is not moving. His sale is out of the question,” Lacombe told TMW.

“At this point in time we want to strengthen the team, not sell players.”

However, Lacombe did admit that Milan transfer guru Ariedo Braida had recently visited the French club.

“It’s true, he came here and we talked, but that doesn’t mean that Bastos will be joining Milan,” he continued.

“We also have to take into account a number of factors. Bastos is currently playing in the Champions League, if he went to Milan then he wouldn’t be able to do so this term.

“You also have to consider that Bastos is a non-EU player.

“I don’t know if the situation could change in the summer, but for the moment he isn’t moving from here.”

Genoa: No Criscito - AC Milan deal
18.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Genoa have reacted with surprise to reports that they have agreed to sell Domenico Criscito to Milan.

A number of Italian news sources are this evening reporting that the two clubs have agreed terms for the Italian international.

However, the news comes just hours after President Enrico Preziosi again insisted that he wouldn’t be selling Criscito in January.

“Criscito is not moving, at least not until the summer,” said the Marassi patron.

The club’s sporting director, Stefano Capozucca, has also poured cold water on the whispers of a ‘done deal’ this evening.

“Criscito to Milan? That seems strange as President Preziosi today confirmed that Criscito will be staying at Genoa,” he noted.

The San Siro giants are in search of a left-back and have also been associated with Sampdoria’s Reto Ziegler.

Nevertheless, reports coming from the opposite side of the port city claim that Samp owner Riccardo Garrone will not accept an offer below €4m for the defender.

Lazzari open to AC Milan transfer
18.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cagliari midfielder Andrea Lazzari is open to a move to Milan, according to his agent Stefano Zambetti.

It's no secret that Milan boss Max Allegri would like to be reunited with the 26-year-old.

The pair spent two years together in Sardinia and developed a close personal bond.

Earlier this week, Cagliari President Massimo Cellino said he wouldn't stand in Lazzari's way as long as the price is right.

“He'll only leave if everyone is satisfied with the eventual offer,” Zambetti said.

“It's not that Andrea wants to leave Cagliari, but he cannot but be happy with the interest of a team like Milan, even if my client is happy in Sardinia.

“If the President is open to negotiation and Milan propose to buy the player then we could talk about it.

“I will stop by repeating that Andrea is very happy in Cagliari. We will see what developments arise from here until the end of the transfer window.”

AC Milan zoom in on Ziegler
18.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Reto Ziegler has still not renewed his Sampdoria contract, so the Swiss international is reportedly in talks with Milan.

It is well-known the Rossoneri are on the look-out for a new full-back during the January transfer window.

According to newspaper ‘Secolo XIX’ their interest has moved on to Ziegler, who would be available for around €2.5m.

He would bring the kind of versatility and experience that Coach Massimiliano Allegri is looking for.

Ziegler’s contract is set to expire in June and he had already been on the verge of joining Malaga, but he rejected the transfer to Spain.

There is also the fact that Ziegler shares an agent with Milan’s latest acquisition, Antonio Cassano.

'Lazzari free to join AC Milan'
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cagliari President Massimo Cellino has given Milan the green light to sign Andrea Lazzari.

The 26-year-old is Max Allegri's No 1 choice to reinforce his midfield in Janury.

Lazzari worked with Allegri for two years in Sardinia and has a close bond with the Milan boss.

“There is a willingness to negotiate,” Cellino said.

“However in my opinion there won't be any particular problems seeing the relationship that I have with a true friend like Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani.

“If Milan and Lazzari want the move, then there is no problem. But we need adequate compensation.”

Seedorf plays peacemaker
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf has played down Rino Gattuso's argument with Alexandre Pato during Milan's 1-1 draw with Lecce at the Via del Mare last night.

Gattuso had grown frustrated with Pato, who was particularly wasteful, and went over to have a few choice words with his teammate.

Seedorf was then seen lightly tugging at Gattuso's elbow to lead the player away.

“At times things can seem bigger than they actually are,” Seedorf explained. “They were only talking about a cross…

“When your heart is beating 180 times a minute, things don't always seem so lucid.”

Speaking after the game, Gattuso said: “It's all fine with Pato. What we said to each other is my business.”

Nesta: AC Milan lost two points
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alessandro Nesta believes Milan's 1-1 draw with Lecce last night represents two points lost.

The League leaders slipped up in Puglia, throwing away a 1-0 advantage, which Zlatan Ibrahimovic had crafted with a wonderful long distance effort.

“We have lost two important points,” Nesta told the club's official website.

“Even if we didn't play very well, above all in the first half, we were bringing the game home.

“It's a shame. We made hard work of keeping the ball and were a little naïve on the corner, which resulted in their goal.

“We are bitter. We have to accelerate our season.

“There is a big regret, but we are going forward regardless.”

Allegri: 'Nothing to be alarmed about'
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri insists there is “nothing to be alarmed about” after Milan were held to a second consecutive draw at Lecce.

“It is only normal that through the course of a season there are moments where you win five to six games in a row and others in which you are punished at the first scoring opportunity,” he said of the 1-1 result.

“There’s nothing to be alarmed about. In the first half Lecce never got close to our penalty area.

“It’s a shame we dropped two points along the wayside. We didn’t create much to begin with, but after the goal we played well and it’s unlucky we were unable to finish off the game.

“At the end Lecce changed three men and the marking wasn’t very clear for their goal.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored one of the best goals of his career, a spectacular lob from 25 metres.

“We try to make the most of Ibrahimovic and his qualities. He scored a fantastic goal today,” concluded Allegri.

Serie A: Lecce 1:1 AC Milan - match report
16.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Ibrahimovic 49 (M), Olivera 82 (L)

One of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's most spectacular career goals was not enough for Milan, who were pegged back 1-1 at Lecce.

The Serie A leaders aimed to get back on track after a wild and crazy 4-4 draw with Udinese, but faced a Lecce side fresh from shocking Lazio at the Olimpico. Antonio Cassano was again on the bench, but Clarence Seedorf stepped in for flu-ridden Robinho. Injuries ruled out Christian Abbiati, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Gianluca Zambrotta, Andrea Pirlo and Pippo Inzaghi.

Milan had drawn four of their last six visits to Lecce, plus a win and a loss in 2006. They hadn't conquered the Stadio Via del Mare since January 5, 2005.

Mathieu Flamini's shot was deflected wide off teammate Seedorf and Gennaro Gattuso had a go at a rare goal, his daisy-cutter whistling wide of the upright.

Grossmuller attempted a shot so off target, it nearly hit the corner flag, infuriating David Di Michele who was hoping for a pass. Alessandro Nesta was caught out of position for a counter-attack, but Ignazio Abate saved him with a sliding tackle on Gianni Munari.

Marco Amelia was playing against his former club, but had precious little to do, aside from capturing a Di Michele cross-shot. Nesta charged down a Di Michele snapshot and Jeda was halted during the follow-up for a challenge on Thiago Silva.

Alexandre Pato's header was off target, but Lecce had a good chance at the 42nd minute. Grossmuller took the free kick from a good 25 metres away, but it dipped viciously on to the roof of the net.

Moments later Milan had their best opportunity of the game. Zlatan Ibrahimovic went on a slalom through the Lecce defence and his deflected shot was crucially deflected off Nenad Tomovic's ankle from close range.

Thiago Silva blasted over from distance after a corner, as Milan tried to turn the screw before half-time.

Milan needed a moment of magic and Ibrahimovic provided it! Straight after the restart, the Swede took on two defenders from midfield and somehow squeezed his half-volley round the players, over Rosati and into the far top corner with a stunning finish! He was a good 25 metres away and barely looking at the goal when unleashing that left foot stunner.

Rosati smothered a powerful Ibrahimovic free kick, but Guillermo Giacomazzi thought he had equalised for Lecce. He got between two defenders and managed to get the half-volley away from six yards, but Amelia brilliantly stuck out a hand to bat it off the line.

Nesta needed to time his tackle perfectly to stop Di Michele going one-on-one with Amelia.

Cassano came off the bench for the final 18 minutes and was given a typically vocal reception by Lecce fans, being a Bari boy through and through. He immediately went on a slalom between defenders, but the return pass from Ibra was intercepted.

Lecce continued to push and force a series of corners. On one of these at the 81st minute, Di Michele gathered on the edge of the box and his strike was deflected off Nesta to loop on to the upright. However, from the resulting corner Lecce did get their equaliser.

Giacomazzi's dummy let the Di Michele corner through for an unmarked Ruben Olivera to smack the volley from nine yards with his right foot.

Ignazio Abate pulled back from the by-line for Seedorf's first-time shot that went out for a corner off Fabiano. From that set play, Lecce went on a rapid counter, but Nesta managed to intercept the crucial pass.

Cassano flashed a cross from the right for Ibrahimovic's shot on the volley, beaten away by Rosati with excellent reflexes. Deep into stoppages, Cassano's free kick reached the head of Ibrahimovic, but he was off balance and nodded over from seven yards.

Lecce: Rosati; Tomovic, Gustavo, Fabiano, Mesbah; Vives (Piatti 81); Munari, Bertolacci, Grossmuller (Giacomazzi 57); Jeda (Corvia 68), Di Michele

Milan: Amelia; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Bonera; Gattuso, Ambrosini, Flamini (Yepes 93); Seedorf; Pato (Cassano 72), Ibrahimovic

Ref: De Marco

De Canio: 'AC Milan not impossible to beat'
16.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gigi De Canio’s Lecce were torn apart by Milan in the season opener, but he is confident they won’t suffer the same fate tonight.

“There have been some changes in our squad from that day,” he said of the 4-0 thrashing.

“Back then we had to pay a certain price for our first game, as many of our players had never been in Serie A and needed time to adapt.

“It is also true that Milan have changed, as they are now more solid and can combine substance with quality. We must try to limit our errors as much as possible and hope to put them under pressure.”

Lecce are fresh from a 2-1 victory away to Lazio and De Canio believes his men excel against the top sides.

“When you face one of the big clubs, there is less responsibility on your shoulders, because they have to take the initiative.

“My team has reached the balance I was looking for and now we must maintain it. Regardless of the result, our performance must give us confidence for the remaining games in the season.

“After all, Milan are difficult to beat, but not impossible. In terms of pure finishing power, I think Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the most important player in Serie A.”

Agent: 'AC Milan and Fiorentina want Criscito'
16.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

“Milan and Fiorentina want Domenico Criscito,” revealed his agent. “He would obviously appreciate both options.”

The Genoa and Italy full-back is hot property on the transfer market during the January window.

“He is a very important player and President Enrico Preziosi will only release him when faced with a very advantageous offer,” Andrea D’Amico told Sky Sport Italia.

“Milan and Fiorentina want Criscito. He would obviously appreciate both options.”

D’Amico is also in talks with the Viola with regards to another of his clients, Brescia centre-forward Andrea Caracciolo.

“There has been contact for Caracciolo, but we’ll have to see how much Fiorentina director Pantaleo Corvino is willing to put on the table.

“He is Brescia’s most important player and they won’t let him go without a very impressive proposal.”

Allegri: 'Next six games are crucial'
16.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Max Allegri has told Milan not to think it’ll be easy against Lecce, as “we must learn from our Udinese mistakes. The next six games will be crucial.”

The Serie A leaders dropped points last week with an epic 4-4 draw at San Siro decided in stoppages.

“We made mistakes against Udinese, but this does not change my evaluation of players like Marco Amelia, Luca Antonini and Daniele Bonera,” said the Coach.

“Tomorrow Amelia will be in goal. It’s not easy for him to play after such a long time on the bench, but he gives me a sense of security and we must learn from our mistakes.”

Lecce’s confidence has been boosted by a shock 2-1 victory away to Lazio.

“It will certainly be a revitalised team and we must not make the error of thinking it could be an easy match.

“It is an important test, even if there’s a long way to go yet this season. It is our duty to maintain balance even in the tough times, remaining aware that we are strong and top of the table.

“The next six rounds could be crucial for the Scudetto race. We are not afraid of Inter or Roma, Napoli, Lazio and Juventus. We have to focus only on ourselves.”

Antonio Cassano has come off the bench to provide decisive assists in his two games so far and is set for a similar role in Lecce.

“It’s important that he works hard in training and his form is becoming acceptable. He’ll start from the bench tomorrow and then we will see.”

Abbiati and Pirlo miss Lecce trip
15.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are still without Christian Abbiati, Andrea Pirlo, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Gianluca Zambrotta.

The Serie A leaders travel to Lecce on Sunday and are still dealing with a series of injury problems.

It was hoped that midfielder Pirlo would be back in action for the trip to the Stadio Via del Mare, but he continues his spell on the treatment table.

Goalkeeper Abbiati is also absent again, so Marco Amelia takes the gloves against his former club.

Other absentees are Boateng, Zambrotta, Marek Jankulovski and Pippo Inzaghi.

Milan squad: Amelia, Roma, Di Fabio, Abate, Antonini, Bonera, Nesta, Oddo, Papastathopoulos, Thiago Silva, Yepes, Ambrosini, Flamini, Gattuso, Merkel, Seedorf, Strasser, Cassano, Ibrahimovic, Pato, Robinho

Robinho: 'I'm not meant to score'
15.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho assures wasting scoring opportunities at Milan is not a problem. “It is not my job to score goals.”

The Brazilian has impressed with his work rate so far this season, but in each game seems to miss a series of great chances.

“People say I waste too many chances, but I replied that it is not my job to score goals,” said the former Manchester City striker.

“My purpose is to help set up the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alexandre Pato, while the team has to lend a hand. If I happen to score a goal, then that’ll make me extra happy.

“People say my personality is a problem, but look back over my career and you won’t find a single argument with a Coach or teammate in my career,” continued Robinho.

“I reached the Rossoneri at the right time. I want to win and so do Milan, which is why we are forced to play every game to the death.”

Robinho famously flopped at Manchester City and blamed homesickness.

“I knew it would be lovely at Milan. Rivaldo, Kaka and Ronaldinho told me about this wonderful place and their response has made me proud.

“It’s a pity Ronaldinho has left, but the number of Brazilians at Milan does help me to feel a little more at home.

“Even without Ronaldinho, we’ll manage to turn San Siro into a samba hall to celebrate.”

Galliani: 'AC Milan are in talks for Criscito'
14.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani admits that he has spoken to Genoa about the prospect of signing Domenico Criscito.

The full-back position has been a problem for Milan in recent years, but the club has focused instead on bringing in attacking talent.

Speaking at the official unveiling of Antonio Cassano, he said: “We are talking about it with Genoa President Enrico Preziosi.

“It was one of the things we spoke about over dinner in Brazil.”

Galliani met Preziosi in South America while helping Ronaldinho find a new club.

The pair have a very strong relationship, which was demonstrated in the Kevin-Prince Boateng and Marco Amelia deals they did in the summer.

Cassano: 'I've reached the top with AC Milan'
14.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Cassano claims there is no higher platform in world football than playing for a club like Milan.

The 28-year-old agreed to join the Rossoneri in December after falling out with his former club Sampdoria.

The Blucerchiati had asked that Cassano's contract be rescinded after he had a row with Riccardo Garrone.

The court of arbitration ruled that Cassano should stay at Samp, hence Garrone's decision to let the player join Milan practically for free.

Speaking at his official unveiling, Cassano said: “I've arrived at the top. Above Milan is only the sky.

“I would like to thank Silvio Berlusconi and Adriano Galliani who gambled on me in a moment of difficulty.

“I am pretty sure this will be the last club of my career. I am at the peak.

“I have made many mistakes but I have no regrets. Now it's time for me to change. I want to win and do things right.

“Lots of teams wanted me, but as soon as I knew Milan wanted to sign me, I said to myself: 'Let's go there'.

“Rino Gattuso told me that everything is perfect here. You have everything to do well. If I don't manage to succeed here, I should be locked up in a madhouse.

“I am a second striker, but I am at the service of the Coach. I am open to playing in any role in attack. All I want is to win.

“I would like to once again thank Sampdoria because I was very loved there.”

AC Milan 'delay' Bosingwa interest
14.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have rejected claims that they are lining up a January move for Jose Bosingwa of Chelsea.

The Portuguese international has been associated with the Italian giants given the player’s contract situation at Stamford Bridge.

The defender has less than six months left on his deal in London and this will be Chelsea’s last chance to cash in on him should they not offer him an extension.

However, Milan have noted that they have no plans to sign the right-back even if that may change at the end of the season.

“We always like good players and Bosingwa definitely falls into that category, but we’re just on standby,” director Ariedo Braida noted.

“At the moment there is no interest from us in the player, but who knows when it comes to June…

“Football is ever changing, a situation now may not be the same situation at a later date.

“All I can say right now is that Bosingwa will not be joining us in January, but I don’t know about the summer.”

The former Porto star, who has had his injury problems over the last 18 months, would seem to be a good fit on paper for Milan given their full-back issues.

Criscito agent warns AC Milan
14.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Genoa star Domenico Criscito’s agent has warned Milan “he is the best Italian left-back, so the price-tag is high.”

This morning the Rossoneri were linked with a bid for Criscito in the newspapers, as his versatility makes him an ideal replacement for Alessandro Nesta.

“For now I have received no contact from Milan, so it is all newspaper rumour,” agent Vincenzo D’Amico told Radio Sportiva.

“I believe that President Enrico Preziosi spoke with Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani several times in Brazil over the past few days, but I don’t know what they discussed.

“Criscito is the best Italian left-back, so the price-tag is certainly high, but I leave that kind of suggestion to Genoa.”

The club have already sold defender Andrea Ranocchia to Inter and could release the other Italy international.

“The thing about the transfer market is that it changes every day. I cannot make predictions. We just have to keep our ears close to the ground and follow the evolution of the market.

“For now Criscito is concentrated on Genoa.”

AC Milan push for Criscito
13.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan will make an effort to sign Italy international full-back Domenico Criscito in the January transfer window, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

It's no secret that the League leaders plan to reinforce their squad in view of the second half of the season.

Speaking to Sky Italia last night Adriano Galliani said that two players could arrive before deadline day.

It's thought that one will be a midfielder with Andrea Lazzari and Mark Van Bommel being mooted as possible candidates.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has added Criscito to the wishlist.

Allegri is keen to bolster Milan's defence in light of Sunday's 4-4 draw with Udinese.

Earlier this week Genoa President Enrico Preziosi said Criscito is 99 per cent staying in Genoa, partly because they have already sold a key component of their defence in Andrea Ranocchia and don't want to have to completely rebuild their backline in January.

However, Milan have a very good relationship with Genoa, as became apparent in the deal that took Kevin-Prince Boateng to San Siro.

Galliani cools Van Bommel interest
13.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has ruled out a move for Bayern Munich midfielder Mark Van Bommel.

The 33-year-old Holland international is out of contract in the summer and has consulted Italian agent Mino Raiola about finding an alternative destination.

Interviewed on Sky Italia, Galliani said: “He is an important player, but his age is such that we aren't thinking about it, no.

“The market is open until January 31. I believe that last August, three days before the end of the window, no one thought that Ibrahimovic and Robinho would arrive, so we'll see what happens.”

Pato: 'I'd never follow Leonardo to Inter'
12.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato insists he would “never” follow Leonardo’s example by crossing over to Inter. “I only want Milan.”

The Coach caused controversy when he accepted the bench after Rafa Benitez terminated his contract.

“This is a profession, Leonardo made a decision and we respect that,” assured Pato on Sky Sport Italia.

“I just want to win with this jersey, which I will wear as long as the club wants me to. Would I go to Inter? No, never. I only want Milan.

“Inter are always Inter, a strong side that won everything last season, but as I have already said we must focus on our own targets. I am convinced we will do well.”

They are still top of the table despite the chaotic 4-4 draw with Udinese on Sunday and are settling in well with Massimiliano Allegri.

“The Coach deserves to be at Milan, as he is a great manager and we are all happy. He talks to everybody and helps them all out. Allegri knows how to motivate the players, even those who have already won everything.

“We are united and a real team. We want to win for him. I do what he asks me to, which is to sacrifice myself to help the side.”

Allegri did not find room in his team for Ronaldinho, who completed the transfer to Flamengo this week.

“We will miss his personality and his smile, not forgetting on the pitch he is among the best in the world,” continued Pato.

“He went home for the Selecao and I hope to play alongside him for Brazil.”

AC Milan to move for Mexes?
12.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are seriously thinking about making a move for Roma defender Philippe Mexes to shore up their defence.

Sunday's 4-4 draw has got Massimiliano Allegri worried that his team are too leaky at the back, especially when one of Thiago Silva or Alessandro Nesta is missing.

Mexes is out of contract at Roma in the summer and though Rosella Sensi has said that the club would like to extend his existing deal, the France international defender insists he is in no hurry.

Sensi spoke with the player yesterday and invited his agent to meet with her at the club's training ground as soon as possible.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands Milan are keeping a close eye on the situation with a view to a move either in January or June because there is a lack of faith in Daniele Bonera.

However, Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has a strong relationship with Sensi and will endeavour to do everything above board.

If Roma show absolutely no intention of selling Mexes, then Milan will apparently turn their attention to Espanyol's highly-rated centre-back Victor Ruiz.

Balotelli 'could join AC Milan one day'
12.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are no talks planned for Mark van Bommel, but Mario Balotelli “could join Milan one day,” said their agent.

Mino Raiola represents both players who have been heavily linked with the current Serie A leaders.

“Could Balotelli join Milan? Who knows, one day,” revealed Raiola. “We’re not married, so Balotelli is free to go where he wants in the moment he considers it right to go.

“We do not have any agreements with Milan or other clubs, but nor do we rule out any sides when the moment comes.

“It is premature to talk about this now. I don’t want him to leave Manchester City, as it is the ideal club for him and the Premier League suits him perfectly.

“The next step will be to prove all his worth there, until Milan, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea or others can battle to have him. We don’t owe anybody favours.”

Raiola also represents Bayern Munich midfielder van Bommel and commented on reports this morning that he is in talks with Milan.

“It’s true that this week I will be in Milan, but to negotiate other matters,” the agent told Calciomercato.it.

“I have had no contact with Milan. I haven’t yet spoken to van Bommel either and it’s too early to discuss an eventual contract renewal.”

OFFICIAL: Ronaldinho signs for Flamengo
11.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Flamengo have formally announced on their official website that they have signed Ronaldinho from Milan on a four-year deal.

The 30-year-old playmaker's contract was due to expire in the summer and Milan felt it best that they went their separate ways.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani gave the Brazil international permission to seek a move home to Brazil after he brought in Antonio Cassano to replace him.

Ronaldinho has been in talks with several Brazilian clubs, notably Palmeiras and Gremio, but after weeks of negotiations Flamengo have won the race to sign the two-time winner of the World Player of the Year award.

“Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, or simply Ronaldinho Gaucho, will wear the Flamengo shirt,” read a statement on the club's website.

“I can already imagine that stadium packed full of fans,” said Ronaldinho. “They can expect maximum effort from me and obviously I hope that my hard work will get me back into the Brazil side.”

OFFICIAL: Onyewu leaves AC Milan for Twente on loan
11.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan defender Oguchi Onyewu has joined Dutch champions FC Twente on loan until the end of the season.

The United States international has made just one appearance for Milan since his arrival in 2009.

The 28-year-old has endured an injury-ravaged 18 months and got into a fight with Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the Swede went in a little too hard during training.

Onyewu had accepted to play for free this season such were his knee problems.

He has yet to recapture the form that he showed at Standard Liege, but a reunion with former mentor Michel Preud'homme could see a resurgence in Onyewu's fortunes.

Lazzari or Van Bommel for AC Milan
11.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Max Allegri will make a decision to sign either Andrea Lazzari or Mark Van Bommel this week as he looks to bolster Milan's midfield.

The Rossoneri feel that they are a player short in the position after Mathieu Flamini suffered a knee injury and have expressed their intention to bring in some cover.

It's no secret that Milan had earmarked Chievo midfielder Kevin Constant for the role, but he is unavailable until the summer.

In that case, Allegri is keen to be reunited with Lazzarri who he coached to good effect during his two-year spell with Cagliari.

Il Corriere dello Sport understands Milan have agreed a deal to sign the 26-year-old in exchange for the other half of Davide Astori's contract.

However, Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani is due to meet Van Bommel on Thursday to sound out his intentions for the future.

The Holland international is out of contract at Bayern Munich in the summer and it's thought that Zlatan Ibrahimovic's agent Mino Raiola has agreed to represent him.

Milan are also keeping tabs on Ajax's 18-year-old Christian Dannemann Eriksen.

Allegri: 'It's in our hands'
10.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri insists that the destiny of the Scudetto lies in Milan's hands this season.

The League leaders drew 4-4 with Udinese on Sunday, but retain a four-point advantage over second-placed Napoli.

“The lads were very good yesterday,” Allegri said. “The point we got against Udinese was a big one. It was important.

“We have closed the first half of the season with 40 points and hope to do the same if not more in the second half.

“We are keeping an eye on what's going on behind us, but this is normal when you have your destiny in your own hands.

“Yesterday's game gives us a lot of strength.”

Asked about whether Milan will look to reinforce in the January transfer window, he said: “No, we are fine the way we are.”

Ibrahimovic: 'Drawing 4-4 isn't normal'
10.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic felt it was 'very important' that Milan came back to draw 4-4 with Udinese, but felt the result itself was absurd.

The Sweden international scored a 93rd minute equaliser at San Siro to ensure his side collected a point after going behind three times.

“This is a great team,” Ibrahimovic said. “There are great players. It's normal that they win without me.

“Conceding four goals at home is not normal. Scoring four goals and not winning is not normal.

“But the important thing is that we get off to a good start in the New Year.

“If we hadn't have won, we would have gone down mentally. This success is very important.”

Ibrahimovic, however, did have praise for Antonio Cassano, who laid on the assist for his goal.

“Bravo Cassano. He is a great player. He is fitting in well. Antonio is a little low on fitness, but he gives us strikers the balls that we need.”

Allegri: 'Draw was the right result'
10.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Max Allegri expected Milan to have problems against Udinese. “The draw was the right result, even if we could’ve won at the end…”

It was an epic clash at San Siro that saw the Rossoneri trailing 3-1 and then 4-3 before Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s stoppage-time equaliser.

“We knew that Udinese could cause us problems,” he said of the 4-4 draw.

“It was a good first half performance and we started well enough after the break, but gave away two goals far too cheaply.

“It’s a shame, as Ignazio Abate had that chance and we could’ve won at the end, but the draw is the right result.

“We had several scoring opportunities and we always had the feeling we could get back into the game. We did well to believe and of course had a bit of luck too.”

The only substitution proved decisive, as Antonio Cassano replaced Clarence Seedorf to provide two assists.

“Seedorf didn’t play badly, but he had to come off because with four strikers and two midfielders, he was the one with the characteristics to step aside,” continued Allegri.

“Simplicity is the best thing in football. Again today Cassano provided two simple and effective assists. At this moment his fitness levels mean he can only play around 20 minutes, but once he gets stronger he can start matches too.”

AC Milan 4:4 Udinese - match report
9.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Di Natale 35, 66 (U), Pato 45, 84 (M), Sanchez 53 (U), Benatia og 77 (M), Denis 89 (U), Ibrahimovic 93 (M)

Milan fought back from 3-1 down for an epic eight-goal thriller at San Siro!

Already certain of their status as Winter Champions, the Rossoneri welcomed back Zlatan Ibrahimovic from suspension, but had to do without Christian Abbiati, Andrea Pirlo, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Gianluca Zambrotta, Alessandro Nesta, Mathieu Flamini, Pippo Inzaghi and the banned Massimo Ambrosini. Antonio Cassano was still only fit for the bench. Udinese's Giampiero Pinzi was suspended with Damiano Ferronetti and Dusan Basta.

In the last five meetings there have been a grand total of 27 goals and this fixture hadn't ended in a stalemate since 1997-98.

Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Pato's chest and volley were dangerous early chances. Robinho nearly finalised a splendid team move between Luca Antonini, Ibra's backheel and the Brazilian thumping just wide.

Udinese took the lead after 35 minutes. Sanchez unleashed a screamer that cannoned off the upright into the path of Antonio Di Natale to tap in. Milan protested that he was offside, but replays show Antonini was keeping everyone in play.

Zapata bravely charged down a powerful Ibrahimovic free kick as the leaders tried to get back into the game.

Milan equalised in first half stoppages. Ibra was the creator and Alexandre Pato the scorer, left criminally unmarked from seven yards to side-foot home when the Swede squeezed a pass through the gaps in the Udinese defence.

In the second half Robinho got in front of Benatia to hit a rocket towards the far top corner, but Samir Handanovic threw up a hand to parry from close range.

However, just as Milan were pouring on the pressure, Udinese restored their lead. The Mauricio Isla cross was whipped in from the right and Sanchez anticipated Daniele Bonera for a diving header at the near post.

Di Natale made it 3-1 for Udinese, as they left huge gaps at the back for the counter. Clarence Seedorf lost possession in midfield, the captain took on Bonera and sent him the wrong way to place an angled drive into the far bottom corner.

Antonio Cassano was thrown on in place of Seedorf, but it was Benatia who gifted Milan with a chance to get back into the game. His header deflected a Thiago Silva cross past his own helpless goalkeeper, as it sailed into the near top corner of the net.

There are always fireworks between these sides and it was no different, as Milan fought back from 3-1 down to equalise 3-3! Cassano provided the decisive assist, as he headed towards the right flank only to place a disguised slide-rule pass through the legs of two defenders for Pato to turn and fire in from the edge of the area.

It was nearly 4-3 to Milan, as Handanovic got down to beat a powerful Ibrahimovic free kick off the line.

However, just as the Rossoneri were absolutely dominating, Udinese struck with a classic counter-attack! They passed it around well until substitute German Denis eventually kept his cool to tap in!

It still wasn't over! Deep into stoppages Cassano threaded through for Ibrahimovic, who shook off Isla by controlling with the sole of his foot and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to sweep home from 10 yards.

It was nearly 5-4 to Milan 60 seconds later! A ricochet fell to Ignazio Abate, whose angled drive was cut off by a desperate sliding tackle.

Milan: Amelia; Abate, Bonera, Thiago Silva, Antonini; Gattuso, Seedorf (Cassano 69), Strasser; Robinho; Pato, Ibrahimovic

Udinese: Handanovic; Benatia, Zapata, Domizzi (Coda 73); Isla, Abd

Ref: Valeri

Guidolin: 'AC Milan like Champions League final'
9.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Francesco Guidolin has told his Udinese men to treat today’s Milan match “like the Final of the Champions League.”

The Friulani visit the Serie A leaders this afternoon and hope to end their poor record at San Siro.

“Up until this moment we have received many compliments for our performances away from home, but I’d like to get a result to show for it,” said the Coach.

“Let us not forget, though, that we are facing Milan, who in my view are the strongest and most complete side in Serie A. They must be the prime candidates for the Scudetto.

“This is why I tell my players that we must step on to the field with the bit between our teeth, treating it like the Final of the Champions League.”

Giampaolo Pinzi is suspended, joining the injured Dusan Basta and Damiano Ferronetti on the sidelines.

Guidolin looks set to adopt a 3-5-2 system with Alexis Sanchez partnering Antonio Di Natale.

“We undoubtedly play better with this tactic and everyone is in their natural role. This is the first thing a Coach must look to.”

Gremio: 'Flamengo for Ronaldinho'
9.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho is heading for Flamengo, as even Gremio now confirm “we consider the negotiations to be closed.”

Earlier today Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani suggested he was “99 per cent a Flamengo player.”

Now Gremio are also confirming that they have backed out of the talks to bring him back to the club where he started his career.

“It all seemed to be finalised, we were just waiting for Ronaldinho to put pen to paper, but things changed,” commented Gremio President Paulo Odone.

“Flamengo can pay Milan a buy-out clause thanks to their sponsors, while we cannot go beyond our limits and therefore we consider the negotiations to be closed.

“We have already told our position to agent Roberto de Assis. We had been told Dinho wanted to end his career in his favourite club, but that will not be happening now...”

Ronaldinho '99 per cent Flamengo'
8.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

“Ronaldinho is 99 per cent a Flamengo player,” said Milan chief Adriano Galliani, all but putting an end to Gremio’s dreams.

The legend claimed he only wanted to return to the club where he started his career in Porto Alegre, but Gremio failed to reach a financial agreement with the Rossoneri.

“Ronaldinho is 99 per cent a Flamengo player,” Galliani was quoted as saying by TV Globo in Brazil.

Palmeiras and Corinthians had also made offers to bring Dinho back to his homeland after six months spent mainly on the Milan bench.

It is another surprise twist in the tale, as Galliani had stated overnight that Gremio had “closed the gap” from Flamengo with their financial package.

However, the latest reports would suggest Flamengo have won out with their proposal of €3m.

“We need two or three days to put everything in place,” commented Flamengo President Patricia Amorim.

“There are still a few details to sort out in the contract, but negotiations are relaxed now. The most important thing is that Milan and Flamengo reached a deal. Now we must speak to the player.”

AC Milan lose Abbiati and Nesta
8.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Christian Abbiati, Alessandro Nesta, Andrea Pirlo and Mathieu Flamini are among the Milan men injured for tomorrow’s game with Udinese.

The Rossoneri are dealing with something of an injury crisis at the moment and were already short on players for Thursday’s 1-0 win over Cagliari.

There were hopes that Nesta and Abbiati would be able to recover for tomorrow’s encounter, but they have not even been included in the squad.

Also absent are Gianluca Zambrotta, Marek Jankulovski, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Flamini, Pirlo and Pippo Inzaghi.

With Massimo Ambrosini sitting out a ban, the options in midfield are very limited indeed, so youth team players Rodney Strasser and Alexander Merkel could get a look in.

Abbiati pulled up during training with a minor calf strain and hands over the gloves to Marco Amelia.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic returns from his one-match ban.

Milan squad: Amelia, Roma, Di Fabio, Abate, Antonini, Bonera, Montelongo, Oddo, Papastathopoulos, Thiago Silva, Yepes, Gattuso, Merkel, Seedorf, Strasser, Cassano, Ibrahimovic, Oduamadi, Pato, Robinho

Allegri: 'Cassano has much to give'
8.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Coach Max Allegri hopes Antonio Cassano “can give us that step up in quality,” but warns the Scudetto race is wide open for Roma, Lazio Napoli, Juventus and Inter.

The Rossoneri are guaranteed the title of Winter Champions regardless of Sunday’s results, as they have a five point lead at the top of the table.

“It will be a difficult game against Udinese, just as it was in Cagliari. In fact, tomorrow will be far tougher because they are a quality side with pace, good football and organisation. To beat the Friulani we must have a lot of patience and play intelligently.”

Cassano made his Milan debut in the 1-0 win on Thursday, providing the decisive assist, and could get more playing time tomorrow with the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic from suspension.

“It’s never easy after a three-week break, but in the end we only really allowed Cagliari two chances, even if we can do a lot better.

“Cassano worked hard during the training camp in Dubai and is coming off two months on the sidelines, so naturally he’s not 100 per cent fit, but when called upon he steps on to the field with the right spirit and mindset,” continued Allegri.

“Cassano has immense class and can give us that step up in quality. Losing Ronaldinho is a shame, but a team is about balance and everyone has to give their contribution. My choices were for the good of Milan. Cassano has much to give.

“Ibra is back and I think Alessandro Nesta will be fit too. We have a bit of an emergency situation in midfield, but Rodney Strasser, Gennaro Gattuso and Clarence Seedorf can fill in admirably.

“Robinho could be the Trequartista, otherwise there is Alexander Merkel. Robinho has done well up until now as a support striker, but in the final 15 minutes in Sardinia impressed in ‘the hole.’ He can hold either role and it depends on the match situation.

“The fact remains there aren’t that many options in the middle of the park, so we could do with an extra midfielder.”

It is rumoured Cagliari’s Andrea Lazzari will be drafted in during the January transfer window.

Milan may be out in front, but the Coach has no qualms about declaring the title race wide open.

“Inter have always been in the hunt for the Scudetto, just like Roma, Lazio, Napoli and Juve. We must remain consistent and that is crucial for Serie A and the Champions League.”

'Ronaldinho decision within 24 hours'
8.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani reveals “Gremio have closed the gap” in the race for Ronaldinho and “a decision should be made within 24 hours.”

The player has been in Brazil for over a week now to oversee negotiations over his future, but there is a battle between Gremio and Flamengo for his signature.

“I am following the Ronaldinho issue like the oscillation of the stock market,” Galliani told Sky Sport Italia.

“On Friday morning, Gremio closed the gap on Flamengo, but I don’t feel ready to call it one way or another. I hope a decision will be made within the next 24 hours.

“Our rapport with the player has always been affectionate and lasted for two and a half years. Ronaldinho asked for a return to Brazil to prepare for the 2014 World Cup and we made him happy. We salute him with great affection and respect.

“As for the rest of the strike force, I don’t think there will be any other transfers. We’ll see if there are some bargains in January.”

Antonio Cassano has joined as a replacement for Dinho, though so far there is nobody to step in for Pippo Inzaghi following his season-ending knee injury.

Gianluca Zambrotta will be out for a month after undergoing keyhole surgery on the meniscus ligament in his left knee.

Alessandro Nesta should return for Sunday’s clash with Udinese, but Christian Abbiati looks set to miss out after a slight calf strain, handing the gloves to Marco Amelia.

Ronaldinho: 'I'm leaving AC Milan'
7.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho has held a Press conference confirming he “decided to leave Milan after Leonardo went,” but is still considering four Brazilian offers.

“Nothing has yet been decided,” he assured in the conference with agent Roberto de Assis and Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani.

“I have spoken with four clubs in Brazil: Flamengo, Gremio, Palmeiras and Corinthians,” added his agent and brother.

“The difficult thing was how to convince Milan. I ask for more patience, as my brother wants to win in Brazil, but it’s difficult to reach a decision.”

Galliani revealed the Rossoneri have their preferences on where to sell Ronaldinho.

“We will examine the offers of the four clubs. I am personally a supporter of Flamengo and if possible would be his destination, but the final decision will be made along with the club.

“I can officially confirm Milan have accepted Ronaldinho’s transfer request, but we have not terminated his contract. We want to help him play in Brazil, even though his exit brings great pain to President Silvio Berlusconi.”

Meanwhile, Ronaldinho explained why he has decided to end his spell at San Siro six months before the contract expires.

“I was happy with Leonardo at the helm, but after his departure and the change of system, I decided to return to Brazil.

“I still feel myself to be a real player and an important talent with the World Cup coming in four years. I spoke to Galliani, he respected my request and I am very grateful.

“It has been a wonderful experience and after two and a half years I have only positive memories of Milan.”

Allegri glad of hard-fought points
6.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri admits it was a struggle in Cagliari with “Antonio Cassano not yet in shape,” but Milan are Winter Champions.

The Rossoneri have secured their spot on top of the table for the half-way stage of the season thanks to a 1-0 victory at the Stadio Sant’Elia.

“It’s a great result, especially because the goal came from Rodney Strasser, a lad from the youth academy,” said Allegri.

“It is another reason for the club to be proud, as it means we are working well. It was a struggle for this victory and we started the year the way we finished the last one.

“The team proved today that when we want to, we can bring home the result even in difficult circumstances.”

Cassano made his debut for the final 15 minutes and provided the winning assist for Strasser.

“Cassano is not in shape yet, as he has only been training with us for a week. The important thing is that he carries on training. Antonio can also play in the Champions League and we have many games ahead of us, so it’s crucial to have a wide range of stars to choose from.”

It was also a special match for Allegri, who left Cagliari in the summer to join Milan.

“I continue to have many important emotional bonds here. It’s a shame for my former players, but we needed the victory today.”

Serie A: Cagliari 0:1 AC Milan - match report
6.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Strasser 85 (M)

Youth team player Strasser grabbed the winner in Sardinia, but it was Antonio Cassano who provided the assist on his Milan debut.

The Rossoneri stumbled to a 1-0 home defeat against Roma before Christmas, but still had a three-point lead at the top of the table. Antonio Cassano was drafted in and Ronaldinho sent back to Brazil, but without a game for two months following his Sampdoria row, FantAntonio was only fit for the bench. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was also suspended with Alessandro Nesta, Gianluca Zambrotta, Andrea Pirlo, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Mathieu Flamini and Pippo Inzaghi injured. Youth team player Merkel made his first Serie A start.

This was a special game for the managers, as Roberto Donadoni and Max Allegri faced their former clubs. Alessandro Matri and Andrea Lazzari also wanted to impress, having been repeatedly linked with Milan.

Gennaro Gattuso needed treatment for a knock to the left knee early on, but was able to continue. Milan had a great chance after 11 minutes when debutant Merkel threaded through for Robinho down the left, but his angled drive was toe-poked round the base of the far post by defender Astori.

Milan escaped a huge scare on 32 minutes when an Andrea Cossu corner kick saw Michele Canini's header thump the upright with Christian Abbiati beaten.

Just before half-time, Abbiati flew to punch a dangerous Lazzari screamer out from under the bar. Lazzari limped off straight after the restart.

Milan piled on the pressure, as Michael Agazzi used his glove and part of his wrist to deny an Alexandre Pato rising screamer from seven yards that was heading into the near top corner.

Cagliari quite incredibly failed to score on 53 minutes! Abbiati's howler had given Nene' the ball inside the penalty area with nobody else within sight, but the Brazilian incredibly prodded wide of an open goal!

Pisano got a crucial deflection to turn out Pato's strike, but Robinho was having an off day and wasted another chance with a dreadful first touch when one-on-one with Agazzi.

It was end-to-end stuff, as Abbiati smothered at Matri's feet, but Cassano made his official Milan debut and first Serie A appearance since October for the final 15 minutes in a trident attack with Robinho as the Trequartista.

Milan broke the deadlock with just five minutes to go. Cassano provided the winning assist, as he waltzed through the middle and feinted a shot, but instead placed the slide-rule pass for nearby teenager Strasser, who fired low from just inside the box.

Cagliari: Agazzi; Pisano, Canini, Astori, Agostini; Nainggolan, Conti, Lazzari (Biondini 48); Cossu; Nenè, Matri (Acquafresca 84)

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Bonera, Thiago Silva, Antonini; Gattuso (Strasser 58), Seedorf, Ambrosini; Merkel (Cassano 74); Pato, Robinho

Ref: Rizzoli

Inter and AC Milan in talks for Constant
6.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Chievo's versatile midfielder Kevin Constant claims both Inter and Milan are interested in signing him.

The 23-year-old has proven a revelation so far this season following his move from Chateauroux.

Earlier this week, Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri admitted that he would like to bring Constant to the club, but “bureaucratic question” are hampering negotiations.

Chievo have asked that Milan loan Constant back to them for the rest of the season, something which doesn't suit Allegri's plans, as he needs a midfielder now.

Speaking to Radio Monte Carlo, Constant said: “My agent is in negotiations with Inter and Milan, but up until now there is nothing concrete. I don't want to get myself excited.

“I don't want to think about things that might not happen. Both Milan clubs are interested in me. This makes me happy. But I don't want to put the cart before the horse.

“If the chance were to present itself, I wouldn't let it pass me by. You can't refuse Inter or Milan.

“Anyway, I can't leave Inter this winter. I could only sign for another club starting from next summer,” he concluded.

Allegri: 'Nesta will miss Cagliari game'
5.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has revealed Alessandro Nesta will miss Thursday's trip to Cagliari after suffering an injury in training.

Nesta joins the likes of Gianluca Zambrotta, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Andrea Pirlo and Mathieu Flamini in the MilanLab treatment room.

“He has been taken injured and I believe that it will be difficult for him to play tomorrow,” Allegri said.

“We will evaluate his condition tomorrow.”

Allegri then turned his attention to Milan's new signing Antonio Cassano.

“It's the last chance of Cassano's career and he cannot fail.

“Right now it's the desire that counts and he is showing us that he has it.

“He has a 70 per cent chance of starting on the bench, but there is still a 30 per cent chance he'll start from the beginning.”

Asked about the Ronaldinho's apparently imminent exit, Allegri replied: “It makes me and all the Italian football fans sorry.

“Losing a player of such quality is always bad, but it's his decision.”

Finally, Allegri gave his reaction to Silvio Berlusconi's comments that a winning Milan is good for Italy.

“Compliments always make me happy. We always need to keep our ears open with Silvio because there is always something to learn.

“For now we are at the top of the table and I believe it's very important. I am sorry above all for our slip ups against Roma and Juve.”

Nesta won't play until he's 40
5.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan centre-back Alessandro Nesta believes it would be difficult for him to emulate Paolo Maldini and play until he is 40.

The 34-year-old has got back to his best in the last 12 months after a torrid few years with injuries.

Interviewed in La Gazzetta dello Sport, Nesta said: “I like playing and I would do it for the rest of my life. But I have been operated on 12 times and it seems difficult to me.”

Now in his ninth year at Milan, the former Lazio captain gave his opinion of Leonardo's decision to coach Inter.

“He did well. Inter call you once a lifetime. Everyone would have said 'yes'.

“Christian Vieri was an Inter talisman and he moved to Milan. It's happened to many others, the most recent being Ibrahimovic.

“It's the beauty of this city that lives football in the right way. On the contrary, one wouldn't be able to go out the house in Rome.”

Finally, Nesta reacted to Milan's decision to sign Antonio Cassano from Sampdoria.

“I hope that he fits in well and enters in harmony with the group. We played the European Championship together in Portugal, but it's not as if we spent a lot of time together.

“Anyway, they say many things about Cassano, but I have no prejudices. I always wait to see and get to know a person.

“If he behaves well, he could maybe stay here for 10 years.”

Ronaldinho says 'yes' to Gremio
5.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The soap opera regarding Ronaldinho's future has taken another twist with La Gazzetta dello Sport reporting that he is close to signing for Gremio.

The 30-year-old Brazil international is surplus to requirements at Milan after they signed Antonio Cassano during the January transfer window.

Since then, Ronaldinho has been the subject of great speculation, primarily in Brazil where Palmeiras, Flamengo and Gremio have all expressed an interest.

Premier League outfit Blackburn Rovers told the BBC yesterday that they had also launched a bid to sign the former World Player of the Year.

However, La Gazzetta understands that the player's agent met with Gremio's Vice-President Antonio Vicente Martinez for a second time.

“Between Gremio and Ronaldinho the agreement is total,” said club President Paulo Odone.

The pink paper claims that the Porto Alegre based side have offered Ronaldinho a four-year contract worth $1m a month.

Ronaldinho will apparently earn a base rate of $300,000 with an extra $700,000 tied to profits from image rights.

Report: Ronaldinho to join Flamengo
5.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Reports from Brazil suggest Milan’s Ronaldinho will complete his transfer to Flamengo on Wednesday.

The superstar left the Rossoneri training camp in Dubai at the weekend to personally oversee negotiations over his future.

Gremio appeared to have a deal, but were pushed out of the running when Milan demanded €8m to release him from his contract six months early.

According to Radio Globo this evening, Dinho is on his way to Rio de Janeiro, where he will sign for Flamengo on Wednesday.

The contract is set to last 42 months and will be worth €600,000 per month, plus bonuses and sponsor fees.

It will be a reunion with ex-Brazil manager Wanderley Luxemburgo.

Zambrotta requires knee surgery
5.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin-Price Boateng’s injury is not serious, but Gianluca Zambrotta requires surgery for a meniscus ligament tear.

Milan released a statement this evening confirming the results of the latest medical tests.

Boateng had left the Dubai training camp early amid fears he was suffering from athletic pubalgia, also known as a sports hernia.

However, tests confirmed an inflammation of the tendons in the upper thigh muscle and he will continue regular treatment.

There was far worse news for teammate Zambrotta, who “suffered a lesion to the medial meniscus ligament and will undergo keyhole surgery in the next few days.”

AC Milan are better equipped, says Ambrosini
4.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan captain Massimo Ambrosini feels his side are “better equipped” than last season to win the Scudetto.

The Rossoneri have a three-point lead at the top of Serie A and face Cagliari in Sardinia on Thursday.

Interviewed in La Gazzetta dello Sport, Ambrosini said: “We had a great season last year, but now we are better equipped. In fact we are top of the table.

“If we are all healthy there is no need for reinforcements in midfield.”

Asked about Leonardo's decision to accept the Inter job despite his past with Milan, Ambrosini replied: “It's very different for a footballer.

“I couldn't see myself in Inter's shirt, but for me it's another thing. Leonardo's decision must be respected. Then again, I have been here a little longer than Leo and I am the captain. They are not comparable situations.

“Even aside from Leonardo, Inter are a team who can come back. They have won so much that they will rediscover important motivations.”

Ambrosini also gave his opinion on Milan's controversial new signing Antonio Cassano.

“There isn't any need to talk a lot about Cassano. He came into a group, which has welcomed his qualities very well both on and off the pitch. It's up to him to grasp the opportunity.”

Finally, the 33-year-old midfielder gave an insight into his future at the club.

Ambrosini's contract expires at the end of the season and it remains to be seen whether he renews his current deal.

“I believe that the club has decided to deal with such burning matters all together so as not to create a ranking and they will speak to everyone at the right moment.”

Donadoni set for AC Milan reunion
4.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cagliari boss Roberto Donadoni is looking forward to Milan's visit to Sant'Elia on Thursday, but insists he won't go easy on his former club.

The 47-year-old spent a decade at Milan and won every major club honour, including three Champions League titles and six Scudetti.

Interviewed in La Gazzetta dello Sport, Donadoni said: “I had a long and important career with Milan. But now what counts is doing well on January 6.”

Asked if it will be billed as a clash between himself and Milan boss Max Allegri who is making his first return to Cagliari following a two and a half year spell in Sardinia, Donadoni replied: “This is the choreography. The players will give it substance. We can't make mistakes against the League leaders.

“I don't know Allegri personally, but the good results show him to be right. He is competent and professional.”

Looking ahead to the match itself, Donadoni said: “The absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic can change Milan's attitude on a tactical level. The team loses an advanced reference point and can become more compact and unpredictable. In addition, they have Cassano too.”

Reflecting on his first few months in charge of Cagliari, he added: “Three victories in five games is positive. But now there is work to do to give continuity to our results.

“In January we have Milan, Parma, Palermo and Roma: games that can give a turning point to our season.”

Blackburn admit to bid for Ronaldinho
4.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Blackburn Rovers have made a volte-face by admitting that despite earlier denials, they have bid for Milan star Ronaldinho.

Earlier this week, reports emerged that the Premier League outfit had faxed an offer worth £6.2m to the Serie A leaders, something the club initially denied.

Asked to comment on the speculation, the chairman of Blackburn's news owners Venky's, told BBC Radio Lancashire that the club is doing everything to bring the Brazilian to Ewood Park.

“He is keen to play in the EPL and I think that goes in our favour,” said Anuradha Desai.

“To be precise it is €7.6m for the first year and about €8.5m for the second and third years.”

Blackburn manager Steve Kean also acknowledged Rovers' interest.

“I know there has been contact made by the owners to representatives of Ronaldinho, but I don't know how far down the line it is and whether it will actually happen.

“If any Premier League manager was asked if they wanted to sign someone who has been World Player of the Year twice they would be interested.”

Berlusconi welcomes Cassano
4.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Silvio Berlusconi has welcomed Antonio Cassano and believes a Milan that wins does the whole of Italy good.

The Italian Prime Minister was speaking from Borghesiana in Rome where Milan are due to train this afternoon.

Il Cavaliere was drawn on many things, but started by addressing Ronaldinho's future at the club.

“I am sorry for Ronaldinho who is the greatest player in the world with regard to speed of thought and execution, but it's his decision to return to Brazil.

“I am very happy with the arrival of Cassano who is the greatest Italian talent.

“A winning Milan does Italy good. Milan's players have the responsibility to win, first of all because this way they are happy and also because it makes the club, the fans, the President and even the politicians happy.

“When Milan win you see smiles in parliament, so a Milan that wins does the country good.”

OFFICIAL: AC Milan sign Cassano
3.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have finally made the signing of Antonio Cassano from Sampdoria official after filing the relevant paper work with the League.

The 28-year-old Italy international met up with his new teammates last week and made his debut on Sunday night in a friendly against Al-Ahli in Dubai.

A statement on the club's official website read: “Milan would like to communicate that they have completed the signing of Antonio Cassano.”

Cassano joins on a free transfer, although a €5m sell-on clause, which Real Madrid were entitled to has been split between the player, Sampdoria and Milan.

Allegri satisfied with Cassano
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Source: Football Italia

Milan Coach Massimiliano Allegri insists he couldn't have expected much more from Antonio Cassano last night considering his spell out of the game.

Cassano made his debut for Milan in a friendly against Al-Ahli during the club's annual winter training camp in Dubai.

Milan won 2-1 thanks to goals from Clarence Seedorf and Giacomo Beretta.

“I didn't expect anything more from Cassano,” Allegri said.

“If one doesn't play for 20 days, you lose match rhythm, so you can imagine how it might be if one trains alone for two months.

“Training alone counts for little. But Antonio is now giving a lot. He has the right head on his shoulders.

“I am happy with what I have seen here in training camp.”

Ronaldinho agent: 'Gremio lack cash'
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Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho’s agent has warned Gremio that “there is a lot of money to go” before the deal can go through, so hinted at a Flamengo transfer.

The Milan player is in Brazil as of this weekend to complete a transfer, but up until now Gremio had been the favourites.

“There is a lot of money to go before Gremio can finalise this move. A lot of money,” agent Roberto De Assis told Correio do Povo.

“Other clubs, however, have already reached the necessary sum.

“Who are the other clubs? In your view, what am I doing in Rio de Janeiro?” he grinned.

Although Ronaldinho would prefer to return to the club where he started his career in Porto Alegre, Rio’s Flamengo have also declared they have agreed personal terms.

“There are still many things to resolve, first of all the outstanding issues with Milan. There’s no point saying if anyone is in the lead, as I am an agent and we all need to be very calm during these negotiations.

“I don’t think the matter will be resolved before Wednesday. In any case, tomorrow we will be in Porto Alegre.”

Robinho injured by TV camera
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Source: Football Italia

Robinho has suffered a freak knee injury when clattering into a television camera during Milan’s Dubai friendly.

The Rossoneri beat Al-Ahli 2-1, but the Brazilian had to be stretchered off in the final stages.

He did not spot the television camera on the touchline and fell straight into it during a challenge.

Robinho landed with his knee on the base of the camera and was stretchered off with strapping on the knee.

There is no word yet from the club on whether there has been any serious damage or if it is only a knock.

Milan need their forward, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic is suspended for Thursday’s match against Cagliari.

Friendly: Al Ahli 1:2 AC Milan - match report
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Source: Football Italia

Antonio Cassano has made his Milan debut in a 2-1 friendly victory against Fabio Cannavaro’s Al-Ahli in Dubai.

Although his transfer from Sampdoria is not yet official, the forward has been training with his new club for the past few days and started today’s friendly match at the Rashid Stadium.

Cassano had not played for two months due to his legal battle with Samp, so is not at full fitness, but he and Alexandre Pato played well in the circumstances.

Clarence Seedorf started behind Cassano and Pato with Thiago Silva pushed up into midfield for the occasion.

Cassano set up a good chance for Seedorf early on, then Massimo Oddo drilled just wide. Seedorf opened the scoring just before half-time when Pato pounced on a defensive error to thread through for the Dutchman.

Coach Massimiliano Allegri made numerous changes after the break with Robinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in attack.

Robinho’s cross from the right gave the winning goal to 18-year-old Giacomo Beretta’s header.

However, the Brazilian was unlucky, as he clattered into a television camera and had to come off for treatment.

Late on Al-Ahli got a consolation goal with Hassan’s screamer into the top corner, but there was tension at the final whistle after Ibra’s rough tackle on Hassan.

Al-Ahli: Yousif; Salmeen, Bader, Cannavaro, Ismaeel; Ahmad, A Khamis, Pinga, Tareq; Khalil, Karemi

Milan: Roma; Oddo, Nesta, Yepes, Antonini; Strasser, Gattuso, Thiago Silva; Seedorf; Cassano, Pato

Flamengo: 'We have Ronaldinho deal too'
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Source: Football Italia

The Ronaldinho saga has taken another twist, as Flamengo announce they “have an agreement” with the Milan player.

Gremio have said they have agreed terms with the former Barcelona hero for several weeks, but the €8m price-tag to release him six months before the contract expires has opened the door to other clubs.

Dinho flew out to Porto Alegre this weekend in order to help complete his transfer.

“We have an agreement with regards to Ronaldinho’s wages,” announced Flamengo President Patricia Amorim.

“Now we need to understand what Milan want to do with the final six months of the contract that tie him to the club.

“Our proposal is consistent and we have put what is not a small operation in place. I don’t know if Ronaldinho will end up playing with us, but he will certainly do it in Brazil.

“He is drawn to Gremio due to an affectionate issue, as it is where he started his career, but with us it is more of an economic negotiation.

“We also have in our favour the city, as Ronaldinho considers Rio de Janeiro to be enchanting.”

Gremio 'optimistic' over Ronaldinho
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Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho is in Brazil for negotiations with several clubs, but Gremio “remain optimistic” they’ll sign the Milan man.

His contract expires at the end of the season, but the Rossoneri have set an €8m price-tag to release him in January.

Gremio would struggle to pay that sum, so Flamengo and Palmeiras are back in the race to sign Ronaldinho.

“Nothing has been decided over Ronaldinho’s future, but we remain optimistic,” Gremio Vice-President Antonio Vicente Martins declared.

“I will not comment on certain speculation, but I can say agent Roberto De Assis is not sparking any bidding war. As far as we are concerned, the negotiations continue as normal.”

The player left Milan’s Dubai training camp this weekend so he could participate in the talks in Brazil.

Boateng 'worried' by injury
2.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Bad news for Milan, as Kevin-Prince Boateng has left the training camp. “I am worried at this injury and I fear it’s serious.”

The Ghanaian World Cup star has been one of the most impressive figures in the Rossoneri side since joining from Genoa in the summer.

However, he left the Dubai training camp this weekend in order to receive medical treatment.

“I am worried at this injury, as I feel pain and want to resolve the problem as soon as possible,” Boateng told Sky Sport Italia.

“I hope it’s nothing serious, although I fear it may well be, and came back to Milan early so I can see the specialists. The medical staff think it’s lumbago, but I hope not.

“In any case, I’ve been told that you can recover fairly quickly from this condition and I hope that will be my experience.”

Ronaldinho has also left the Dubai camp, but he has flown to Brazil to complete a transfer to Gremio.

“We all know what a great player he is and what he can do, so this situation is a little sad,” added Boateng.

“I hope he can be happy, wherever he goes. I told him that I’ll pay a visit, as quite apart from his talents as a football player, he is also a really great person.

“Antonio Cassano has also impressed me. It’s always difficult to change teams in January, but he knows many of the players and it will be easy to settle in at Milan.

“He seemed very calm to me. Let’s face it, we are not lacking in players with a ‘difficult’ character in this team. I’m a bit of a weird guy too, but it’s important to have personality.”

Ibrahimovic: 'Shame Ronaldinho has gone'
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Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic admits he is “disappointed Ronaldinho is no longer with us,” while Antonio Cassano “needed a bit of a diet.”

Milan have effectively sold Ronaldinho, as the player left the Dubai training camp to fly to Brazil this weekend, most likely to complete a transfer to Gremio.

“I’m disappointed Ronaldinho is no longer with us,” commented teammate Ibrahimovic.

“In my view he is one of the greatest champions of all time and it was an honour to play alongside him.

“It’s true that recently he wasn’t very happy on the field, but the important thing is that he’s happy now. Dinho knows what he wants from his career and must follow it.”

Ronaldinho has been replaced in the Milan squad by Cassano, who will officially complete his move from Sampdoria when the transfer window opens, but is already training with his new teammates in Dubai.

“I found him to be in good shape, although he needed a diet,” grinned Ibra. “Cassano is a professional and I doubt we’ll get into arguments. We are all working in the same direction.

“A lot depends on what he wants. Cassano couldn’t have got into a better situation than this, so if he doesn’t want to make the most of it, then he’d make life difficult for himself.”

Ibrahimovic has had a remarkable start to his Milan career and earned comparisons with Marco Van Basten.

“What do we have in common? Nothing, because you cannot compare anyone to a legend. Every player has his own personality and qualities. I certainly would’ve liked to play alongside him.”

Ronaldinho has left AC Milan camp
2.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho has officially left Milan’s Dubai training camp ahead of a transfer to Gremio. “I’m sorry we couldn’t get him back to his best,” said Max Allegri.

The Brazilian has flown out to Porto Alegre for a meeting with his agent, Gremio and Rossoneri Vice-President Adriano Galliani.

"He will arrive in Porto Alegre today in order to negotiate with Gremio, but nothing is decided yet," said agent Roberto De Assis.

"If we don't reach an agreement with a club in Brazil, then he will return to Milan, as he is still a Milan player. We are not ruling anything out."

Although a move to Gremio is expected, there is also interest from Flamengo and Palmeiras, as Milan have set an €8m price-tag.

“There is a great deal of disappointment and I am sorry that we couldn’t get him back to his best,” Coach Allegri told Sky Sport Italia.

“Potentially he is the best in the world. I hoped for a great year from him.”

Ronaldinho may have gone, but Antonio Cassano has joined Milan from Sampdoria and could be ready to play against Cagliari on January 6.

“Antonio has not trained for two months, but is working well and will soon be in good shape. He should be ready for Cagliari,” continued the tactician.

“We are top of the table and can win the Scudetto, as the club has given me a very strong squad.”

No offer yet for Mexes
1.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Philippe Mexes wants to stay at Roma, but he has worryingly revealed that he’s yet to be offered a new deal.

The Frenchman’s contract expires in the summer, but talks over an extension have seemingly been put on hold until the club is finally sold to new owners.

Despite attracting the interest of some of Europe’s top clubs, Mexes is adamant that he wants a capital future.

“I still haven’t received a proposal for a contract renewal,” the former Auxerre defender noted on Friday.

“However, my desire is to stay with this club and there is still plenty of time for discussions to take place between myself and Roma.”

Milan are thought to be monitoring the Mexes situation very carefully as there is some doubt over the future of Alessandro Nesta at San Siro.

The latter, a former Italian international, also has less than six months left on his contract and it’s unclear whether Milan will offer him a fresh deal.

Roma yesterday insisted that Mexes had been offered a new contract.





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