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The Archive

January 2012

AC Milan sign Lucas Roggia
31.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have captured young Brazilian forward Lucas Roggia on loan from Internacional.

Roggia, who has an Italian passport and is signed with Mino Raiola, played against the Rossoneri in the pre-season Audi Cup in Munich.

He is understood to have joined the San Siro outfit from Brazilian outfit Internacional on a year-long loan deal.

The striker’s club, who reportedly initially thought he would be joining Brescia today, are understood to be keen for the 21-year-old to gain experience of European football before then returning to South America.

Inzaghi turns down Siena
31.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Pippo Inzaghi has rejected an offer from Siena, amongst other clubs, in order to continue his career at Milan.

Although he doesn’t feature heavily in the plans of boss Massimiliano Allegri, the veteran has opted to remain at San Siro.

“I’ve decided to stay,” the former Juventus forward, who moved to San Siro in 2001, told Milan Channel. “It was difficult for me to leave the world of Milan in the space of a few hours.

“I’ve received a lot of offers over the last few days and I thank everyone because it is nice to be wanted at the age of 38.

“I want to thank Siena in particular, their President and their directors as they did the impossible to try to sign me.”

Inzaghi, despite his lack of playing time, confirmed that he wanted to hang up his boots in the red and black shirt of the Diavolo.

“I only want Milan,” he continued. “My career here couldn’t finish like this. My last game will be in this jersey and I couldn’t leave.

“I thought about how much I would miss this environment and the fans in the Curva who still provide me with such emotion.

“The club have always had faith in me and they still do today.”

Inzaghi set for Siena?
31.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Pippo Inzaghi could leave Milan after Siena made a transfer deadline day approach for the veteran.

Inzaghi, born in August 1973, is wanted by the Tuscan minnows as they look to avoid relegation this season.

The 2006 World Cup winner doesn’t feature heavily in the plans of Rossoneri boss Massimiliano Allegri. He’s played just 44 minutes across four League appearances so far this season.

Inzaghi joined the Diavolo in the summer of 2001 after four years with Scudetto rivals Juventus.

Muntari completes AC Milan move
31.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sulley Muntari has joined Milan on loan from city rivals Inter, the Rossoneri have confirmed on Tuesday afternoon.

The 27-year-old Ghana international was expected to switch San Siro sides at the end of the season, but the move has been brought forward.

The midfielder, who spent part of last season on loan at Sunderland, joined Inter in 2008 from Portsmouth.

Muntari has also played for Udinese in Italy.

OFFICIAL: Muntari to AC Milan
31.1 || webmaster

AC Milan just announced that Sulley Muntari joined the team on loan from Inter.

No AC Milan move for Palombo
31.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Angelo Palombo has rejected deadline day links with Milan. “He’s staying at Sampdoria.”

Stories this morning suggested that the Rossoneri could make a late swoop for the Italian international.

“Angelo Palombo is not moving,” representative Tullio Tinti told Rete Sport. “He’s in retreat with Sampdoria in preparation for their next game.”

Palombo on AC Milan radar
31.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sampdoria captain Angelo Palombo could end the day as a Milan player, reports in Italy are suggesting.

Rossoneri boss Massimiliano Allegri is understood to have asked his club for a new midfielder and Palombo is at the top of his wish-list.

The midfielder stayed loyal to Doria in the summer after the port outfit were relegated from the Italian top-flight.

However, Samp have admitted in recent times that they are willing to listen to offers for the former Fiorentina player. His €1.5m a season salary is considered as too high for a Serie B club.

After links with Juventus, Napoli, Fiorentina and Lazio, the Diavolo are now being paired with his signature.

Palombo, 30, could arrive on loan with an option to be signed outright at the end of the campaign for around €4m.

Other midfield options for Milan should their move for Palombo fail are Inter’s Sulley Muntari and Houssine Kharja of Fiorentina.

Sacchi: How old are AC Milan's players?
30.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Arrigo Sacchi has lightly attacked Milan, revealed which Coach he recommended to both the Rossoneri and Real Madrid and where Italy are falling short on youth development.

Current technical coordinator with the Italian FA, Sacchi had the opportunity to speak to the media at FIGC’s national training centre at Coverciano, and began with a wry dig at his old team Milan.

The Rossoneri defeated their Sardinian visitors 3-0 in a low-tempo affair on Sunday night to move back to within a point of League leaders Juventus. Despite the ease with which the result was achieved, the San Siro side’s pace of play did not go unnoticed by the club’s former Coach.

“I saw Milan last night and I had doubts that some of the players were not my age,” commented the 65-year-old, who revolutionised how Il Diavolo played its football in the late 1980s.

“With all my affection for the Rossoneri, when I see them I am reminded of a phrase Valdano says: ‘I always hope to see lots of Italian football matches, because they do so few interesting things, that they then see a replay, and for the rest of the game can do no more.’”

However, Sacchi also made it clear he was not criticising Coach Massimiliano Allegri, even if he then suggested that he won’t win the League this year.

“Allegri is a great Coach, he has a squad that is perhaps the most complex, but with many individuals, where Juventus are less complex but have fewer individuals.

“The Bianconeri are going to win the Scudetto because they have an advantage, to not participate in Europe, and there is a big push by all that are there. Juve are playing a continuous, international style of game, with good players but few who are excellent.”

The former national team Coach, who took Italy to the 1994 World Cup final in between two spells with Milan, is now responsible for overseeing the national team’s youth development from Under-16 to Under-21 level.

The 4-4-2 tactician took the opportunity in front of the assembled media to reflect on where he still thinks Italy can improve in supporting its youth.

“FIGC is giving us a big hand on the youth development, but perhaps we could do more, particularly from an economic point of view. No doubt we are behind in terms of investment.

“Suffice to say, Real Madrid invests €40-45m in its youth sector, Barcelona €50-55m, whilst Milan and Inter, who invest the most in Italy, only spend about €14-15m. This fact prevents us from evolving as we should do.”

Sacchi also passed comment on Pescara Coach Zdenek Zeman, who he revealed he holds in high regard.

“Zeman is still a good Coach, one of the best, not only at national level either. He was one of the three Coaches I recommended to Milan after the first time I left Milan and again I said the same thing about Zeman when I left Real Madrid.

“There is a harmony to his game, it seems almost like a utopia, and this is down to the strength of his ideas.

“If he had an orchestra, the tune would be Pescara.”

Reja: Klose better than Ibrahimovic
30.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ahead of visiting Milan to the Olimpico this midweek, Lazio Coach Edy Reja reveals his belief that Miroslav Klose is a better striker than Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Polish-born German international Klose has so far scored 12 League goals since arriving in Italy on a free transfer this summer. Meanwhile, counterpart Ibrahimovic comes into Wednesday night's clash three goals ahead of the 33-year-old in the scoring charts.

However, Reja reflected on the duo’s strengths and declared that the one he works with on a daily basis is the better player.

“They are two different champions,” the 65-year-old Coach told Lazio Style. “The Swede is more spectacular and individualistic, Miro is more practical and prefers the collective.

“He drops back and helps out the team, it is rewarding for him. I did not think he had this fight, but he plays a fundamental part in build-up play as well as in finishing moves.

“Klose works a bit more on the collective strategies of the team and then in the final quarter of the pitch is invincible. He is a smart player, even when looking at where to shoot.”

Galliani 'can't predict next 24 hours'
30.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani says predicting the next 24 hours of the transfer market is too risky, but he still predicts Filippo Inzaghi will stay.

The Rossoneri have secured Djamel Mesbah, Alexander Merkel, Rodney Strasser and Maxi Lopez during the winter transfer window.

Where striker Lopez’ arrival was seen as confirmation of Carlos Tevez remaining at Manchester City, rumours still persist of a late, final move from Galliani.

“The market is extremely dynamic - things can happen in 24 hours that do not happen in a period of months,” reflected Galliani. “The phone rings every 30 seconds, it seems like an action movie.

“I’m not saying Tevez will arrive, this is clear. However, the latest transfer campaigns have taught me better than to make predictions.

“If Manchester City’s chairman calls me tonight and offers me Tevez? I don’t think it will happen.

“I will stay until 19:00pm tomorrow, until the last minute of the transfer market. If we should get an email or a fax, what will happen, we’ll see.”

Galliani is rumoured to be close to shipping Filippo Inzaghi out to Lazio, but he suggests otherwise.

“My prediction is that he will remain. He has won many medals and so if he asks to leave then we will make him happy.

“Until now, however, he has not asked and I think he will stay at Milan.”

AC Milan super favourites, says Conte
30.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus boss Antonio Conte used his Press conference ahead of the Parma game to label Milan as the “super favourites” for the Scudetto.

The Old Lady actually sit at the top of the standings, one point ahead of the Rossoneri, but the tactician has piled the pressure on his rivals.

“Milan’s ability to win so easily is surprising,” Conte noted after the San Siro giants disposed of Cagliari 3-0 last night.

“Yesterday, with so many absences, they took the points with absolute tranquillity. They have a great champion like Zlatan Ibrahimovic who, at times, gives the sensation that he is Gulliver, a giant.

“They are so impressive that they are the super favourites to win the title. Up until now we are keeping up with them and we hope to keep the championship alive until the very end.

“There are still 18 games to go and there are 54 points on offer, so anything can happen amongst the top six or seven sides.”

Nevertheless, Juventus themselves impressed onlookers with a 2-1 win over third-placed Udinese in arctic conditions.

“We knew for two days that it would snow on Saturday night. We now have the means to predict bad weather.

“Football is beautiful if you are given the chance to express yourself at your best in the best possible conditions.

“We are offering a show and to play on snow or ice is not great. I hope decisions are made in the future to protect the interests of the fans.”

The Bianconeri are next in action on Tuesday when they travel to the Stadio Tardini to face Parma and Conte may make changes.

There are question marks over the use of Stephan Lichtsteiner and Arturo Vidal after both were criticised for their displays at the weekend.

“Lichtsteiner plays in a role where he has to give a lot,” added Conte. “As a wide player he has to push and cover a fair amount of the pitch and he was playing his third game in seven days.

“As for Arturo, people see his intercepted pass from which Udinese scored, but he worked hard and I liked his overall performance.

“Saying that, we now have our fourth game in 10 days so I’ll have to evaluate things carefully.

“We didn’t have many midweek games at the start, but the adage that you don’t change a winning team doesn’t apply right now.

“Fortunately I’m able to pick from a squad of players who can offer me certain guarantees.”

Returning to Ibrahimovic, Conte was asked how good his Juve side would be with the super Swede in it.

“I’m happy with the players that I have at my disposal,” he responded. “Ibrahimovic is a player who makes the difference, but my players remain the best in the world.”

Nocerino: AC Milan - Juventus will be key
30.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The February meeting between Milan and Juventus could decide the destination of the Scudetto, says AC Milan ace Antonio Nocerino.

The former Bianconeri midfielder was again on the scoresheet last night as his side beat Cagliari 3-0 to move back to within a point of leaders Juve.

“The championship is still long,” the Italian international told Sky Sport Italia. “However, ourselves and Juve are going strong.

“Let’s hope we can continue on this road until our game against each other. I think that tie will be decisive for both teams in the Scudetto race if we keep up this pace.”

The Italian giants are breaking away at the top of the table after Juve beat third-placed Udinese this weekend, while Inter dropped from fourth to fifth following defeat at Lecce.

Juventus beat Milan 2-0 at the Juventus Stadium earlier this season.

Serie A: AC Milan 3:0 Cagliari - highlights
30.1 || webmaster



Allegri: 'No Pirlo regrets'
30.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri says it was crucial for Milan to stay within a point of Juventus and insists he has no regrets about letting Andrea Pirlo go.

“At this moment the table has stretched out a ban, so it was important for us to win tonight,” he said of the 3-0 victory against Cagliari.

“We’re still close to Juve and have broken away from the chasing pack, as both Udinese and Inter lost this weekend.

“We played a good game, even if it was a struggle up until Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s goal. After that, it was much simpler.”

The Rossoneri are struggling with an injury crisis in midfield that has deteriorated with news Alexander Merkel will be out for eight weeks.

“Do we need to buy another midfielder? No, I wouldn’t say that. I’m not worried because tonight Urby Emanuelson played well and his form is improving. He played with the ‘wrong’ foot, because despite the fact Antonio Nocerino is right-footed, he gives his best on the left flank.”

Some are claiming this just shows Milan were wrong to let Pirlo’s contract expire in the summer, especially as he is doing such sterling work for leaders Juventus.

“Last season I had already decided that the tactics would change. Pirlo is a champion and is having a great campaign, but the split was a mutual decision and also good for us economically.

“It’s true that teams win with champions, but some continue to win even after selling them.”

AC Milan lose Merkel for two months
30.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan announced this evening that Alexander Merkel will be out for at least eight weeks after tests showed a torn knee ligament.

The midfielder was recalled from a loan at Genoa in order to help calm the injury crisis, but has instead joined the long-term absentee list.

This evening the official Rossoneri website confirmed tests had shown a lesion to the collateral medial ligament in his right knee.

Merkel will continue physiotherapy rather than undergo surgery and he is expected to be out “for around eight weeks, save for complications.”

Milan are already without Kevin-Prince Boateng, Alberto Aquilani, Gennaro Gattuso, Mathieu Flamini, Antonio Cassano, Alexandre Pato and Mario Yepes.

Serie A: AC Milan 3:0 Cagliari - match report
29.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Ibrahimovic 32 (M), Nocerino 39 (M), Ambrosini 75 (M)

Milan comfortably swept Cagliari aside 3-0 thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Antonio Nocerino and a rare Massimo Ambrosini strike.

The Rossoneri felt the pressure to win this tie and avoid Juventus running away at the top of the table, but a growing injury crisis ruled out Thiago Silva, Luca Antonini, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Alexandre Pato, Alberto Aquilani, Alexander Merkel, Gennaro Gattuso, Mario Yepes, Antonio Cassano and Mathieu Flamini. At least confidence was boosted by a midweek Coppa Italia quarter-final victory over Lazio. Massimiliano Allegri’s former club were missing Nene, Sebastian Eriksson and Lorenzo Ariaudo, but gave Mauricio Pinilla his debut just days after moving from Palermo.

Milan were unbeaten in their last 18 meetings with Cagliari, home and away, since a 1-0 loss in October 1998. Victor Ibarbo flashed a ball across the six-yard box with Pinilla too late to tap in, while Robinho threaded through for Antonio Nocerino’s shot charged down.

It was a very sluggish start to the match, as Cagliari focused on the counter-attack and the Rossoneri seemed uninspired. Djamel Mesbah fired just over the bar from a tricky angle, while Michael Agazzi smothered a Mark Van Bommel volley.

Only a moment of magic could break the deadlock and Zlatan Ibrahimovic provided it by curling a fantastic free kick into the near top corner where Agazzi could not reach, as it brushed the inside of the upright.

Ibra turned provider for the second goal, chesting down a long Philippe Mexes pass for Nocerino’s left-foot screamer on the volley from the edge of the box, flying into the near bottom corner.

Davide Astori had a good chance for the visitors, but nodded over from a corner.

After the break Agazzi flew to palm another fierce Nocerino effort round the post, while substitute Thiago Ribeiro’s strike was deflected out for a corner.

Stephan El Shaarawy came off the bench and with practically his first touch volleyed a Clarence Seedorf free kick inches past the base of the near stick. Agazzi beat away an Emanuelson effort.

Massimo Ambrosini came off the bench and scored a rare goal, passing it into the net from just inside the area from Emanuelson’s roll across.

Ibarbo sprinted past Mesbah at the byline and his shot whizzed over, just clipping the bar. Ibrahimovic made way for Pippo Inzaghi, who is reportedly leaving Milan during the transfer window.

Agazzi beat away a Van Bommel snapshot, while SuperPippo had a good chance that ricocheted off his thigh.

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Mexes, Mesbah; Nocerino, Van Bommel, Emanuelson; Seedorf (Ambrosini 67); Ibrahimovic (Inzaghi 84), Robinho (El Shaarawy 62)

Cagliari: Agazzi; Pisano (Thiago Ribeiro 54), Canini, Astori, Agostini; Dessena, Ekdal, Nainggolan (Conti 66); Cossu (El Kabir 58); Ibarbo, Pinilla

Ref: Brighi

Serie A: AC Milan vs. Cagliari - lineups
29.1 || webmaster

AC MILAN: Abbiati, Abate, Nesta, Mexes, Mesbah, Seedorf, Van Bommel, Nocerino, Emanuelson, Ibrahimovic, Robinho.

CAGLIARI: Agazzi, Pisano, Canini, Astori, Agostini, Dessena, Ekdal, Nainggolan, Cossu, Ibarbo, Pinilla.

AC Milan make new Tevez offer
29.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

According to today’s Italian papers, Milan are set to resume negotiations with Manchester City for Carlos Tevez.

The talks had collapsed on Friday when a last-ditch bid to take the striker on loan was again rejected, so the club signed Maxi Lopez from Catania instead.

Vice-President Adriano Galliani had always stated it was either Tevez or Lopez, but the Corriere dello Sport claims the Rossoneri are prepared to bring in both.

The key is an €8m penalty Milan must pay to Manchester City if they do not make the Tevez move permanent at the end of the season.

However, President Silvio Berlusconi is not convinced by this deal and it’s reported Galliani will meet with him today in order to state the case.

Manchester City would allegedly be willing to hand over Tevez on loan with an option to buy for €24m, but only if they have the ‘guarantee’ of that €8m penalty.

This sudden push towards signing both Tevez and Lopez may well be tied up in Pippo Inzaghi’s desire to leave in the January transfer window.

The veteran considered it a huge snub that he warmed up during the Coppa Italia quarter-final against Lazio, but never made it on to the pitch.

Inzaghi is wanted by the likes of Novara, Siena and Bologna.

Ballardini changes for AC Milan
28.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Davide Ballardini has already taken points off Juventus, but notes Cagliari “will take a different approach” against Milan.

The Sardinians earned a surprise 1-1 draw at the Juventus Stadium earlier this month and hope to cause another upset on Sunday evening at San Siro.

“It is not going to be the same type of game, because we are talking about two different opponents,” said the Coach.

“Therefore we will take a different approach. Milan have extremely strong individual talents, while Juventus are stronger as a team unit.

“Of course it does still require the utmost focus and concentration. We’re getting some important players back to fitness now, as Daniele Conti is doing better.”

Mauricio Pinilla is in the squad and could make his Cagliari debut after joining from Palermo this week.

“I know him well and Pinilla is a player who will do well both at and for Cagliari. He is a centre-forward capable of playing for the team.”

Cagliari squad: Agazzi, Avramov; Agostini, Astori, Canini, Gazzi, Perico, Pisano; Ceppelini, Conti, Cossu, Dessena, Ekdal, Nainggolan; El Kabir, Ibarbo, Larrivey, Thiago Ribeiro, Pinilla.

Maxi Lopez ready for AC Milan debut
28.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Maxi Lopez is in the Milan squad for tomorrow’s game with Cagliari, but Thiago Silva is still unavailable.

The striker completed his loan move from Catania on Friday evening and is already thrown into the deep end.

The Argentine only had his first training session with his new Rossoneri teammates this afternoon and is expected to be on the bench at San Siro on Sunday evening.

Thiago Silva missed the midweek Coppa Italia match against Lazio and is again sidelined as he nurses an injury.

He adds to a crisis that has ruled out Alexandre Pato, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Alberto Aquilani, Alexander Merkel, Gennaro Gattuso, Antonio Cassano, Mathieu Flamini and Mario Yepes.

However, Christian Abbiati has recovered from a shoulder injury and is back in the side.

AC Milan squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Abate, Antonini, Bonera, Mesbah, Mexes, Nesta, Zambrotta, Ambrosini, Emanuelson, Nocerino, Seedorf, Van Bommel, El Shaarawy, Ibrahimovic, Inzaghi, Maxi Lopez, Robinho.

Maxi Lopez: 'My AC Milan dream'
28.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Maxi Lopez reveals “it was my choice to wait for Milan and I’d do it all again, because playing here has always been my dream.”

The ex-Catania striker was left in limbo for the better part of a month and spent days locked in a hotel room waiting for the transfer to be completed.

It almost fell apart at the last minute, as the Rossoneri went close to securing Carlos Tevez from Manchester City instead.

“It was my choice to wait for Milan and I think anyone would do the same,” the Argentine told Milan Channel.

“I’d do it all again, because playing here has always been my dream. I made this choice with my heart. Of course, everyone has their own dreams and opinions.

“I always trained hard at Catania and continued to train even in the last few days, albeit in a different way. I’d love to step on to the field tomorrow and am ready, so we’ll see what the Coach says.”

However, Massimiliano Allegri has hinted Maxi Lopez will not be in the squad for Sunday night’s encounter with Cagliari, as he still hasn’t started training with Milan.

Allegri welcomes Maxi Lopez
28.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri prepares to face his former club Cagliari and is confident “Maxi Lopez can do well at Milan.”

The last few days have been chaotic in the Rossoneri camp, as a last-ditch bid to sign Carlos Tevez from Manchester City fell through, so they picked up Lopez on loan from Catania.

“Maxi Lopez is a very physically and technically gifted striker, so he can do very well at Milan. Over the next few days he’ll undergo a series of medicals and we’ll see when he can start training with us,” said the Coach in his press conference.

Allegri put the derby defeat behind him by beating Novara in Serie A, then Lazio in Thursday’s Coppa Italia quarter-final.

“The lads put in a good game against Lazio, aside from a few early defensive errors. We created many chances and this bodes well for the future.

“Cagliari are a side who play great football and tend to really raise their game when facing the big clubs.”

Allegri admitted to problems amid an injury crisis that has ruled out Kevin-Prince Boateng, Alberto Aquilani, Alexandre Pato, Alexander Merkel, Mathieu Flamini, Gennaro Gattuso, Mario Yepes and Antonio Cassano.

“Tomorrow we should have Christian Abbiati, but Djamel Mesbah is still in doubt, as he hadn’t played in a while. We’ve got problems, but someone will play, that’s for sure!

“Stephan El Shaarawy is putting in some important performances, so he just needs to relax, play and grow. He’ll probably start from the bench tomorrow, but is becoming a precious element.”

Inzaghi replacing Cisse at Lazio?
28.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are shock reports in Italy that Lazio could hand Djibril Cissè over to QPR so they can bring in veteran Pippo Inzaghi from Milan.

The Biancocelesti signed Cissè over the summer, but the midweek Coppa Italia goal was his first since September.

Even though the longest drought of his professional career has ended, the Frenchman is still considered a flop at the Olimpico.

There are growing rumours that Cissè will be heading to the Premier League for Queens Park Rangers.

The most surprising aspect of the story comes from the Gazzetta dello Sport this morning, who claim Lazio’s replacement for Cissè is going to be Inzaghi.

The 37-year-old hitman has barely set foot on the field for Milan this season and has hinted he could walk away mid-season in order to play more regularly.

Parma and Novara have been mentioned as possible destinations, but Lazio would give Inzaghi the chance to continue his goal-scoring exploits in Europe. He'd also be the second Inzaghi for the club, as younger brother Simone used to play for the Biancocelesti.

AC Milan miss Merkel for six weeks?
28.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports Alexander Merkel will be out for up to six weeks with a sprained knee, adding to Milan’s midfield injury crisis.

The German midfielder limped off during the 3-1 Coppa Italia quarter-final victory against Lazio this week.

It’s suggested tests have shown a nasty sprain that will sideline the player for 30-40 days.

This would be a particularly bad blow for the Rossoneri, as Merkel was recalled on loan from Genoa – who co-own the player – to help assuage their injury crisis.

Alberto Aquilani, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Mathieu Flamini are all out for around a month, while it is not clear when Gennaro Gattuso will recover from an eye condition.

Merkel out for one month
27.1 || webmaster

Galliani confirmed earlier today that Merkel will be out for about one month following last evenings' injury.

Image courtesy of Capo Ultra from The Red & Black Forums:



Maxi Lopez keen to repay faith
27.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Maxi Lopez is delighted after finally completing his move to Milan and has promised to repay the club’s faith in him.

Lopez joined late on Friday evening after Vice-President Adriano Galliani was unsuccessful in negotiating a deal for the Rossoneri’s first transfer target, Carlos Tevez.

Signing the forward from Catania on an initial six-month loan believed to cost €500,000, the San Siro side have the option to make the deal permanent in the summer for a further €8.5m.

“I’m very happy,” Lopez told Milan Channel after the move was confirmed.

“After everything that has happened, I finally got to join this great team.

“I want to salute all the fans of this great club. I hope that I can return the fans’ affection with my efforts on the pitch.”

His agent, Andrea D’Amico, also spoke about the move and the nervous circumstances that surrounded it.

“It is a chance that he deserves. We knew that everything was on the condition of the Tevez deal, but we accepted the risk because the Milan train passes only once in one’s career and you have to gamble.

“The final minutes were frantic. At 18:55 Tevez was a Milan player, then what happened, happened and the word of Galliani goes without saying and he filed the Maxi’s contract at Milan.

“He cannot wait to make himself available, as he said, he’ll ‘eat the grass from the field’.”

Galliani: 'I thought Tevez would join us'
27.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani has revealed how close Milan were to reaching an agreement with Manchester City over Carlos Tevez.

The Rossoneri Vice-President was in negotiations with Manchester City’s chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak until early on Friday evening in an attempt to break the deadlock over Tevez’ future.

The Premier League side were keen for full payment up front on their want-away striker, but Milan, who have been pursuing the forward for several weeks now, were pushing for an initial loan deal.

Where early reports indicated that Galliani had been successful in twisting Al Mubarak’s arm today, it subsequently emerged that City rejected the offer, prompting the Italian side to instead take up their option on plan B, Catania’s Maxi Lopez.

Speaking to Milan Channel after the news was confirmed, Galliani reflected on the day’s events and what the future may hold.

“At 18:30 I was convinced that Tevez would join us,” the 67-year-old mused. “We were very close.

“The day today was still very important because we have solved some misunderstandings born in recent days with City. Relations with the English club are much improved, but…patience…life goes on.

“Will Tevez stay at City? I don’t know what will happen in these last few days of the transfer window. The market will reopen in four months - we’ll see.

“Tevez was ready to fly to Italy. It’s a shame. I would like to publicly thank him for waiting. We will talk to City again in June.”

Galliani was equally keen to talk about new arrival Lopez.

“I chose to respect and honour the words promised to Maxi. We had a deadline of 19:00 today and since we did not reach an agreement with City we have filed the contract with Maxi instead.

“He waited for us. He is an important player who will be very useful for us and who we can use in the Champions League.

“We will only sign him for now. He has a lot of desire.”

Maxi Lopez in, Tevez deal off
27.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

After a late twist that saw Manchester City reject Milan’s latest attempts to sign Carlos Tevez, the Italians have now signed Maxi Lopez.

Late on Friday reports emerged that suggested Adriano Galliani had succeeded in convincing City to hand over the Rossoneri’s primary target on loan.

However, it has now been confirmed that this proposal was in fact rejected by the club’s chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, affirming Kia Joorabchian’s earlier claims that Tevez would not be leaving City this month.

Subsequently, Milan have now completed a deal to sign Catania’s Maxi Lopez, officially registering a contract with the Italian League this evening. Lopez joins on an initial six-month loan deal that carries an option in the summer to make his move permanent.

OFFICIAL: Maxi Lopez to AC Milan
27.1 || webmaster

AC Milan just submitted Maxi Lopez's contract to Lega Calcio. As of now he is officially our player.

Tevez available on loan
27.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s deadline for a decision on Carlos Tevez and Maxi Lopez looks set to be extended, as negotiations for the Manchester City striker gradually progress.

The Rossoneri originally declared earlier this week that by Friday, 19:00 CET a choice between the two Argentine strikers the club are interested in would have been made and registration handed to the League for whichever player they had agreed a deal with.

However, as La Gazzetta dello Sport are reporting, that deadline looks to have passed without a conclusive decision being made.

This is understood to be because Adriano Galliani is still in negotiations with Manchester City’s chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak and it is thought that the English side have slightly relinquished ground.

Specifically, reports are suggesting Al Mubarak has opened the door to Tevez joining Milan initially on loan, after Galliani raised the final price the Rossoneri would then pay for the 27-year-old in the summer.

The news comes a matter of hours after Tevez’ advisor Kia Joorabchian claimed that his client was unlikely to move this month.

Catania forward Lopez and his agent are understood to have also held further talks with the club today. Lopez is set to join the San Siro side on loan should Galliani be unsuccessful in signing Tevez.

Coppa Italia semi-finals dates
27.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The dates and kick-off times have been confirmed for the first legs of the Coppa Italia semi-finals.

Milan will entertain Juventus on Wednesday 8 February, with the Stadio Meazza tie set to kick off at 20.45 local time.

The following evening, again at 20.45, will see Siena play host to Napoli.

The second leg ties will take place around March 21 – but the actual dates have yet to be confirmed for the return fixtures.

Agent: Tevez to stay at Man City
27.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlos Tevez’s agent has told talkSPORT that the Milan target is unlikely to leave Manchester City this month.

The Rossoneri have made numerous attempts to net the Argentine international, while Inter and Paris Saint-Germain have also made moves.

However, talking to Keys and Gray, Kia Joorabchian has confirmed that no deal has been agreed with City.

“There have been negotiations with three clubs, but they have not reached the figures Manchester City want,” Joorabchian noted.

“Carlos will remain at Manchester City until the summer. City would like to move him on but only at a certain price.

“This summer will open up a lot of markets. All of the big clubs are looking for players who can play in the Champions League.

“Tevez is Cup-tied now and that creates a big obstacle. You’re spending a lot of money on the transfer and his salary and he can’t play Champions League.

“You have three and half months and then you can re-structure your team, and buy Carlos, in the summer.

“PSG? They want to build a long-term project and I think Carlos is six months too early for them. But there is a big chance he will go there in the summer.”

It’s understood that Milan made City another offer this morning in a final attempt to sign the former Manchester United man.

The Rossoneri are now expected to conclude a deal for Catania striker Maxi Lopez who has been lined up as an alternative to Tevez.

Maxi Lopez still on hold
27.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Maxi Lopez is still not a Milan player after he held further talks with Rossoneri officials this afternoon.

The Catania striker, who has been in the city since Monday, spent around 30 minutes at the club’s Via Turati HQ today along with his agent.

“We are closer than before, but we still have to wait,” the Argentine centre-forward was quoted as saying as he left the meeting.

The striker’s agent, Andrea D’Amico, was also present but he too admitted that more patience was needed.

“No matter how this ends up, it has been important for everyone,” representative D’Amico noted as he left the building.

“Now we just have to wait, but we have faith in Milan and we will continue to wait for a little while longer.

“There are strategies like this in the transfer market. We know that this all depends on how another Milan bid ends up.”

Milan have put Lopez on hold as they continue in their pursuit of Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez.

Fulham failed with EUR 9 mil Maxi Lopez bid
27.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Catania have revealed that they turned down a €9m offer from Fulham in order to allow Maxi Lopez to join Milan.

The Argentine is reportedly on the verge of completing a temporary switch to the Rossoneri after waiting patiently in a Milan hotel room for much of this week.

The player will hold talks with Diavolo Vice-President Adriano Galliani this afternoon and Catania believe a transfer will finally be completed.

“We should consider Maxi Lopez as a Milan player, he has been for a week,” Catania director Pietro Lo Monaco told Odeon TV.

“We opted to loan the player to Milan rather than selling him to Fulham who made us a €9m offer.

“We want to have a good relationship with Milan and I have great respect for Galliani.

“We’ll give Milan the player on loan with an option to buy, but I won’t tell you the costs of the operation.”

Milan had put Maxi Lopez on hold as they tried to revive their bid for Manchester City forward Carlos Tevez.

“I think Milan will try to sign Tevez right up until the very last minute of the window,” continued Lo Monaco.

The official added that the Stadio Massimino outfit would not be replacing Lopez with a new signing.

El Shaarawy issues Juventus warning
27.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stephan El Shaarawy has warned semi-final opponents Juventus that his Milan outfit want to lift the Italian Cup.

The two teams will meet in the last four of the competition after the Rossoneri disposed of Lazio at San Siro last night.

“We’re happy that we have made it through,” noted the 19-year-old forward. “We did well to come back from being a goal down to win 3-1.

“It certainly won’t be easy against Juventus in the next round. It’ll be a battle, but we always aim for the maximum.”

The summer signing from Genoa played all of the 90 minutes in the game to confirm his recent good form.

“I’m happy with my performance and that I have the faith of boss Massimiliano Allegri,” he continued. “I’m really satisfied with what I was able to do out there.”

AC Milan were too good, says Rocchi
27.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lazio’s Tommaso Rocchi has no complaints after his side were knocked out of the Coppa Italia by Milan on Thursday.

The Biancocelesti took the lead at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza with an early goal from Djbril Cisse, but the Rossoneri hit back to win 3-1.

“You have to give Milan merit,” the veteran striker noted. “We were not able to put them into difficulty and that wasn’t just down to us.

“It is never easy to play at Milan and we particularly struggled to deal with how they kept possession of the ball.

“Now all that we can do is to turn the page and concentrate on the championship.”

Fifth-placed Lazio are away in Serie A this weekend when they travel to Verona to take on Chievo.

Galliani: 'Tevez, Maxi Lopez want AC Milan at any cost'
27.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

As Maxi Lopez was spotted in the stands, Adriano Galliani confirms the 19:00 CET Friday deadline for Carlos Tevez. “Both want Milan at any cost.”

The club has made it clear that either Catania striker Lopez or Manchester City’s want-away Tevez will be signed over the January transfer window.

“By tomorrow at 19:00 CET, we will deposit a contract with the Lega,” declared the Vice-President on Milan Channel after tonight's 3-1 Coppa Italia victory against Lazio.

“A clue? I’ll tell you our new striker will be from Argentina and his surname ends with a ‘z’...

“Maxi Lopez is a marvellous lad and I don’t know what to say, as the next 24 hours are an enigma for me too.

“It is a new thing for us, locking down a player for several days, but whatever happens Maxi will be a Milan player in July. It is his dream to come and play for us.”

Galliani has made it clear that Tevez is the first choice, but Manchester City are still standing firm on refusing a loan move.

“Both Tevez and Lopez care very much about Milan and want to come here at any cost, so that is pleasing. Catania were very understanding about the situation, more so than other clubs, but we’ll only talk about that when this is all over.”

Allegri has Merkel problem
26.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri praised Djamel Mesbah and Stephan El Shaarawy, but has bad news for Milan’s Alexander Merkel.

The Rossoneri beat Lazio 3-1 at San Siro to set up a Coppa Italia semi-final against Juventus.

“There were several chances in the first half and Marco Amelia did well to keep Lazio at bay,” said the Coach.

“My team did well and we really wanted to reach the semi-final. Hopefully we can keep going and reach the Final, too.”

Allegri reshuffled his squad for the Coppa tie, as Mesbah was given his first start in a Milan jersey.

“Mesbah had a good game and defended in a very orderly fashion. El Shaarawy is improving with every match, while Merkel also played well. It’s just a shame Merkel picked up that injury and it will be evaluated over the next few days.”

German youngster Merkel was brought in to help calm the injury crisis in midfield, but limped off this evening with a sprained left knee.

Catania striker Maxi Lopez was spotted in the stands for this game, fuelling reports he’ll complete his transfer within 24 hours.

“As Adriano Galliani said, we will sign either Carlos Tevez or Maxi Lopez.”

Coppa Italia: AC Milan 3:1 Lazio - goals
26.1 || webmaster







Coppa Italia: AC Milan 3:1 Lazio - match report
26.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Cissè 5 (L), Robinho 15 (M), Seedorf 18 (M), Ibrahimovic 84 (M)

Milan fought back from a Djibril Cissè volley to beat Lazio 3-1 and set up an exciting Coppa Italia semi-final with Juventus.

An injury crisis ruled out Christian Abbiati, Alexandre Pato, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Alberto Aquilani, Gennaro Gattuso, Antonio Cassano and Mathieu Flamini, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva were rested. Stephan El Shaarawy and Alexander Merkel got rare chances to shine, while Djamel Mesbah had his first start since last week’s move from Lecce. Lazio switched to a new three-man defence, as Stefan Radu, Stefano Mauri, Libor Kozak, Emiliano Alfaro, Lorik Cana and Cristian Brocchi were injured.

Djibril Cissè had not scored since the opening round of the Serie A season in this stadium, a 2-2 September draw with Milan, and clearly he is inspired by this fixture. Within five minutes he had given Lazio the lead with a fine volley on the Alvaro Gonzalez cross from the right, ending the longest goal drought of his career, but was given acres of space through the middle of the Milan defence.

Senad Lulic burst between Merkel and Ignazio Abate for his shot to bounce off Marco Amelia’s chest.

However, the Rossoneri equalised when Merkel nodded Abate’s cross into the air, but it dropped beautifully for an unstoppable Robinho volley under the bar.

Milan suddenly turned the game around completely moments later, going from 0-1 to 2-1 in under three minutes. El Shaarawy was instrumental with a delightful backheel flick to send the pass between two defenders, as Clarence Seedorf kept his cool to drive a powerful finish over Federico Marchetti.

It should’ve been 2-2 at the 22nd minute, but Amelia somehow got down in time to fingertip a Gonzalez free header off the line. Robinho pounced on a defensive error to go round Marchetti, but had narrowed the angle too much and only hit the side-netting. The Brazilian was also halted in a promising move by a very tight offside decision.

Cissè had plenty of space again, but this time the volley was well wide of the target. Amelia flew to palm a splendid Hernanes free kick out of the far top corner, then Cissè turned the corner on to the side-netting. At the other end, Merkel just failed to make contact with Seedorf’s pass over the top.

Cristian Ledesma came on for the second half to shelve the three-man defence and El Shaarawy lost a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge with Abdoullay Konko. Seedorf shook off one challenge, but was well tackled in the box before he could pull the trigger.

Andre Dias was remarkably lucky not to get sent off and give away a penalty when he was caught on camera punching Mark Van Bommel in the back of the head as a corner was whipped in. Neither the referee nor assistant saw the incident, so video evidence could well be used against Dias.

El Shaarawy volleyed over from just inside the area and substitute Miroslav Klose’s header was off target. Merkel sprained his knee, so made way for Ibrahimovic. Amelia pushed a Cissè screamer out from under the bar and El Shaarawy held off two defenders only to prod the finish just wide of the upright.

Lazio pushed forward in the closing stages, but this just left space for Ibrahimovic to spring the offside trap from Urby Emanuelson’s through ball and pass it round Marchetti in a one-on-one. Replays suggest the Swede might’ve been just offside.

AC Milan: Amelia; Abate, Mexes, Bonera, Mesbah; Merkel (Ibrahimovic 69), Van Bommel, Nocerino; Seedorf (Emanuelson 74);Robinho (Calvano 89), El Shaarawy

Lazio: Marchetti; Diakitè (Ledesma 46), Stankevicius, Dias;Konko, Gonzalez, Matuzalem (Del Nero 77), Lulic; Hernanes;Cissè, Rocchi (Klose 63)

Ref: Gervasoni

Coppa Italia: AC Milan vs. Lazio - lineups
26.1 || webmaster

AC Milan: Amelia; Abate, Bonera, Mexes, Mesbah; Merkel, van Bommel, Nocerino; Seedorf; El Shaarawy, Robinho (Bench: Roma, Antonini, Nesta, Ely, Ambrosini, Calvano, Emanuelson, Ibrahimovic).

Lazio: Marchetti; Diakite, Stenkevicius, Dias; Konko, Gonzalez, Matuzalem, Lulic; Hernanes; Rocchi, Cissé.

Merkel has no AC Milan fear
26.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexander Merkel is confident that he can make an impact at Milan despite his inexperience.

The 19-year-old returned to the Rossoneri last week after spending the first six months of this season at Genoa.

Merkel featured quite heavily at Marassi, making 13 Serie A appearances, but competition will be tougher at San Siro.

“There are a lot of champions here at Milan and it is possible that a few of them have to sit on the bench,” the German told Stern.

“I had a turbulent week when I returned to Milan and I had no problems being a substitute on Sunday. However, I hope that rarely happens in the future.

“I’m still young, but I already trained and played with the Milan first team before I went to Genoa. I have great respect for my teammates here, but I have no fear of them.”

Spartak rubbish Amelia link
26.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Reports linking Marco Amelia with Spartak Moscow may stop after the club’s Coach claimed to have not even heard of the Milan goalkeeper.

Amelia was linked with a switch to the Russian outfit as they prepare for the second stage of their League season, with the goalkeeper’s agent claiming that the club were tracking his client.

However, Valeri Karpin, acting as Coach and general manager at the club, denied all knowledge of a potential deal, or indeed of Amelia himself.

“A deal for Amelia? Absolutely not, we are honestly not in negotiations and if I’m honest, I do not even know who he is.

“I categorically deny these reports, they are lies.”

Siena target Inzaghi
26.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Siena’s vice-President Valentina Mezzaroma dreams of further Coppa Italia success and of bringing Filippo Inzaghi to Tuscany.

Mezzaroma was speaking after watching her club defeat Chievo 1-0 to reach the semi-final of the Coppa Italia this week.

Napoli now stand between the team and the competition final and having held Walter Mazzarri’s men to a 1-1 draw at the San Paolo in the League last weekend, Mezzaroma believes her side are not phased by this latest Cup challenge.

“We are playing almost every three days,” she declared on Radio Sport. “On Sunday we face Fiorentina, then we are at home to Catania then we are in Turin to face Antonio Conte. It will be a fire in February.

“However, the satisfaction of reaching the Coppa Italia semi-final is really beyond all limits, it is a historic achievement. Last Sunday Napoli did not scare us. We deserved to win and they only scored in the 86th minute.

“I repeat, I do not expect them to make us afraid in our stadium.

“It is an honour to get to play for this target because it is something you would never imagine. Thinking about Europe, it would be a thrill to experience, but we cannot forget that our League campaign is about survival.

“We do not want to reconsider Serie B because it has been a tough year with sacrifices.”

Mezzaroma reflected on choosing Coach Giuseppe Sannino this summer. The 54-year-old had impressed at Varese, but arrived in Tuscany as a novice to Serie A.

“Sannino was a good choice, given we came from a great leader in Conte, who is showing his worth to Juventus.

“I think we bet on another winning horse, a man with great humility, who is stern, but that is greatly accepted in the dressing room. All we need now is a little more up front and a little malice.

“Now there is also the transfer market and Perinetti and my brother are in it. Their ambition is great and as you know, all the surprises come on the last day.

“I really want Inzaghi. I love him because he always finds the net. He is one of our hypotheses, I hope he’ll arrive.”

Inzaghi: 'We're never satisfied'
26.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Filippo Inzaghi has revealed his and Alessandro Del Piero’s secret to extending their respective careers into their late 30s .

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport this week, 38-year-old Milan striker Inzaghi, who could be in action on Thursday in his team’s Coppa Italia quarter-final against Lazio, reflected on the praise 37-year-old Del Piero has received this week.

The Juventus forward scored his first goal at his club’s stadium this week in Juve’s quarter-final 3-0 win over Roma.

“I was happy for him. Ale, like me, lives football with great passion and professionalism. He deserves everything he gets.”

Del Piero’s strike drew him level with Inzaghi on 287 career strikes. The duo find themselves now both four goals behind Roberto Baggio’s 291 haul.

“We will do everything to catch Baggio,” admitted former Atalanta man Inzaghi. “Our secret? We are never satisfied. Now we train so much and play little, but we will still not give up. We always have new objectives.”

Should Milan overcome Lazio tonight then they will face Del Piero’s Juventus in the semi-finals.

“It would be nice to meet in the Coppa Italia semi-finals. Time passes, but we’re still people and the affection for the prize is all the more beautiful.”

AC Milan: 'Tevez decision on Friday'
25.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have not lost hope of signing Carlos Tevez, as Adriano Galliani insists they’ll “make a definitive decision on Friday.”

Manchester City blasted the Rossoneri’s behaviour last night and made it clear they will not release the striker for less than his €30m valuation, especially not on loan.

Catania have agreed terms to sell them Maxi Lopez instead, but he is holed up in a hotel room waiting for news.

“Will Maxi Lopez join as well? Who knows,” said Galliani as he arrived at a dinner meeting with director Ariedo Braida and Lopez’s agent Andrea D’Amico.

“I will just confirm that if he doesn’t arrive, then we will sign Tevez, but they are two alternative options.

“We will make a definitive decision on Friday.”

Catania are also in limbo, as they do not know whether Maxi Lopez will be sold or not.

“As far as we are concerned, Maxi Lopez is already a Milan player,” Catania President Antonino Pulvirenti told TMW.

Reja: 'Best Lazio to beat AC Milan'
25.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Edy Reja prepares Lazio for the Coppa Italia quarter-final with Milan, but warns Djibril Cissè “is not focused” due to his goal drought.

“I will field the best possible Lazio line-up in Milan,” assured the Coach. “Every competition is important and we must always push for 100 per cent. If the players who started on Sunday are in good shape, then they will start tomorrow.

“We’ve got to aim to win every single game, even in the Coppa Italia, where we tend to have a good tradition.”

It is a swift return to San Siro, where the Biancocelesti were beaten 2-1 at the weekend.

“I cannot complain about our performance, as the Nerazzurri didn’t get near the ball before they scored. Then there were the incidents we all know about with the referee. If we keep playing like that, then the results will come your way eventually.

“Maybe we are still not mentally ready to win the head-to-head games. We’ll see in the second half of the season if we can improve on that.”

Cissè has more experience than most of the Lazio squad, but has not scored since September in a 2-2 draw here with Milan.

“I am a bit upset for him, as I’d like Cissè to find his form. He is in any case convinced he can still give an important contribution. I hope he breaks his drought as soon as possible, because he is not focused due to the pressure of feeling he has to score.”

Lazio have brought in Emiliano Alfaro over the January transfer window and are not finished yet with negotiations for CSKA Moscow midfielder Keisuke Honda.

“The club knows what my requests are. I never name names, but I am interested only in players with certain characteristics.”

AC Milan will tell Maxi Lopez tomorrow
25.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Maxi Lopez “will know tomorrow” whether he is going to sign for Milan or not, confirmed his agent.

The Catania striker has agreed terms in every area, but has been holed up in a hotel for the last few days waiting for news.

Manchester City’s refusal to accept a loan deal for Carlos Tevez suggests the Rossoneri will have to opt for their back-up plan.

“There is nothing new to report, but we will know by tomorrow evening one way or another,” agent Andrea D’Amico told Calciomercato.it.

“Are we optimistic? The lad is relaxed and training. We’ll have to wait and see.”

Allegri content with Tevez or Lopez
25.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri says he’ll be happy with a new striker this month – whether it is Carlos Tevez or Maxi Lopez.

The Rossoneri have done a deal with Catania for Lopez, but he’ll only arrive if the club fail in a new bid to net the Manchester City man.

“I consider myself as lucky because the club will provide me with an important player,” the former Cagliari boss noted.

“Lopez? We’ve evaluated a few things and he’s a great player. If he wasn’t then we wouldn’t be considering him.

“I’m living through this period normally. I’m calm, the club are looking after things and we’ll see how it ends up. The club know what they are doing.

“Midfield signings? I have enough midfielders. Mathieu Flamini will soon be back in the squad and Alberto Aquilani is on the road to recovery too.”

Allegri was speaking ahead of Thursday’s Coppa Italia quarter-final tie against Lazio at the Stadio Meazza. The winner will face Juve in the semis.

“I’ll pick the best team possible, but it will be hard to see Zlatan Ibrahimovic start,” commented the tactician.

“Ibra is feeling good, he’s serene, but he’s not a robot and even he needs a break now and again.”

The Diavolo may start with teenager Stephan El Shaarawy in attack after his impressive performances of late.

“El Shaarawy is a different player to the one he was two months ago. He’s unexpectedly grown. He’s important, but he’s young. Let’s not put too much pressure on him.”

Daniele Bonera, Clarence Seedorf and Alexander Merkel are being tipped to start. Allegri added that new signing Djamel Mesbah could be named in the XI.

Mexes is not on Twitter
25.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan stopper Philippe Mexes does not have a Twitter account, the player’s representative has confirmed.

Quotes from Twitter have been attributed to the French international over recent days, but his agent insists the account is fake.

“I want to underline that Mexes has no Twitter profile,” Olivier Jouanneaux told calciomercato.com on Wednesday.

“The statements which have been in the media recently do not belong to him,” continued the representative.

“Milan have already been informed of this and we have already started the procedure with Twitter to close that account.”

Mexes joined the San Siro giants in the summer after his contract at Roma expired.

Man City: 'AC Milan - Tevez not an option'
25.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Manchester City have warned Milan that they are “not an option” for Carlos Tevez unless the £30m price-tag is met, despite their “misplaced sense of confidence.”

Rossoneri Vice-President Adriano Galliani confirmed they are still in negotiations for Tevez, but are only willing to take the want-away Argentine on loan.

“As things stand AC Milan isn't an option for Carlos Tevez,” Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak told The National.

“Mr Galliani and his advisers have developed a misplaced sense of confidence from their premature discussions with Carlos and his advisers.

“If they want to be a consideration in this transfer window they would do better to stop congratulating one another and begin to look at how they would meet our terms.”

Manchester City are making a stand against the player, who has been AWOL in Argentina since November 7. His wages have been frozen as of the end of November and he was fined six weeks’ wages for gross misconduct.

“Carlos remains a player with contractual obligations to Manchester City for the next two-and-a-half seasons,” said Khaldoon.

“Unless we receive an offer that we deem appropriate, the terms of his contract will be enforced. Inter Milan and Paris St Germain approached discussions with us in good faith and it is always a positive experience to deal with people with a professional approach.”

This final broadside at Milan – who very publicly agreed terms with Tevez’s agent over the Christmas break – is further evidence the move is not going to happen.

It is good news for Maxi Lopez, as the Catania striker is holed up in a Milan hotel waiting for news. He will be signed if the Rossoneri fail to capture Tevez.

AC Milan set Tevez deadline
24.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

According to the latest Italian reports, Milan have set a Friday deadline to sign Carlos Tevez or go for Plan B Maxi Lopez.

Adriano Galliani confirmed that negotiations were continuing with Manchester City, but that the Rossoneri would not sign both Tevez and Lopez in the January window.

“Milan and Manchester City have been continuing talks over the last few days and that includes today,” said transfer expert Gianluca Di Marzio on Sky Sport Italia.

“The Citizens are trying to come towards the Rossoneri’s conditions. They are studying a new formula for the transfer.

“However, Galliani has set a deadline. Either by Friday Tevez arrives or they will register Maxi Lopez. They certainly won’t both arrive.”

Maxi Lopez is in a very strange situation, as he is in a Milan hotel room waiting for the call to have his medical.

The contract and transfer from Catania has already been agreed, but as Tevez is the first choice, he is in limbo.

OFFICIAL: Taiwo loaned to QPR
24.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

As expected, Milan have officially sent Taye Taiwo out on loan to Queens Park Rangers. “I’m very grateful to Mark Hughes.”

The full-back, who can also play in midfield, arrived on a free transfer from Olympique Marseille in the summer, but struggled to make an impact.

The deal was secured some time ago, but Taiwo has only now been given a work permit.

“It's a new and exciting challenge for me and one I am very much looking forward to,” the Nigeria international told the official QPR website.

“I'm very grateful to Mark Hughes for bringing me here. It is always nice for a player when you know the manager wants you and I will repay his faith in me.

“I can't wait to play for the club. I know only hard work, good performance, dedication, and passion will connect me with the fans but I'm prepared.

“I'm looking forward to what lies ahead and I'm prepared to give my all to the QPR cause.”

Nocerino: 'Scudetto and Euros'
24.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Nocerino has made his wishes for 2012: “I want to win the Scudetto with Milan, then play Euro 2012 for Italy.”

The midfielder was signed in the final minutes of the summer transfer market for just €500,000 from Palermo, but has become one of the key players at San Siro.

“I want to win the Scudetto with Milan, then play Euro 2012 for Italy. Up until now I have always been called by Cesare Prandelli, so I hope to earn my place at the European Championships,” said the midfielder.

“If I don’t, then it’ll feel like going to Rome and not seeing The Pope.”

Before that, Milan continue to challenge Juventus for the Scudetto, sitting just one point behind the Winter Champions.

“It’s not true that Juve are hungrier than we are. I am starved, just like my teammates who have won it all, but try to give their best every time anyway.

“I don’t know if I am of Milan quality, but I am never satisfied and won’t get big-headed. I hope to be at least 1 per cent of the quality shown by the champions I play alongside.”

AC Milan's Maxi Lopez numbers
24.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The finer points to Milan’s proposed move for Catania’s Argentine striker Maxi Lopez have emerged, even if the transfer is still far from certain to go through.

According to reports circulating this morning and now repeated by Sky Sport Italia this afternoon, Catania and Milan have an agreement in place for a six-month loan deal for the forward.

Lopez will move to San Siro until the end of the season for a cost of €500,000, with the option in place for the Rossoneri to buy the forward outright in the summer for €8.5m.

The 27-year-old is thought likely to earn in the region of €700,000 in wages for the period up to June, and then €1.5m a season on a reported three-year contract.

However, where the terms are said to be agreed and finalised, the player has reportedly yet to complete his medical examinations or sign anything as he waits for Il Diavolo to reach a final decision on the move.

As Adriano Galliani admitted on Monday evening, the club are still interested in pursuing Carlos Tevez, but need Manchester City to relent on their position in negotiations.

Lopez’ agent has intimated that any deal for his client is likely to be concluded over the next few days. The Argentine is reportedly holed up in a hotel in Milan waiting for confirmation from the club either way.

PSG pull out of Tevez chase
24.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan may be back in the race to sign Carlos Tevez after Paris Saint-Germain ended their pursuit of the Manchester City man.

PSG were favourites to net the Argentine after the Italian club seemingly pulled out of negotiations for the striker earlier this month.

However, PSG sporting director Leonardo has told L’Equipe that the former Manchester United ace will not be arriving.

“We’ve ended the talks,” said the ex-Milan and Inter tactician. “There was an opportunity to sign him, but it is over.

“We did our calculations, we made a good offer but we’ve been unable to reach an agreement. We don’t intend to overpay in order to sign him.”

Tevez is currently in his homeland after clashing with Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini earlier this season. He hasn’t played first team football since September.

Milan yesterday admitted that they still hope to land Tevez even if they have done a deal with Catania for Maxi Lopez.

Aquilani and Yepes in Netherlands for tests
24.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan teammates Alberto Aquilani and Mario Yepes have flown out to Netherlands to visit an ankle specialist.

Both men are currently on the treatment table at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza after picking up injuries recently.

Aquilani is expected to be out until February, while the Colombian defender is pencilled in to return in late March following surgery.

Milan are hoping that the medical team in Netherlands don’t uncover any further complications which could slow down their recovery.

Oscar del Calcio winners announced
24.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Italy’s annual Oscar del Calcio awards have been held this evening, with Milan dominating the proceedings.

There were nine categories awarded in the 15th edition of Serie A’s annual Player of the Year awards held in Milan, with the winners chosen from a confirmed list of nominees announced in December. The winner of Best Player then goes to one of the winners of Best Italian and Best Foreign Player.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scooped the Best Foreign Player and Best Player of 2011 awards, whilst Massimiliano Allegri was chosen as the year’s Best Coach.

Thiago Silva was handed the Best Defender prize whilst Stephan El Shaarawy, also now at Milan, was awarded the Best Serie B Player of 2011. The Rossoneri also had the most players in the Team of the Year.

Samir Handanovic picked up the Best Goalkeeper award to avoid a Diavolo clean sweep, whilst Udinese were awarded Best Club and Nicola Rizzoli Best Referee.

Fabio Cannavaro and Alessandro Del Piero picked up lifetime achievement awards whilst Fabio Capello was given a special Critics Award.

Oscar del Calcio winners

Best Coach: Massimiliano Allegri

Runners up: Francesco Guidolin, Walter Mazzarri

Best Goalkeeper: Samir Handanovic

Runners up: Christian Abbiati, Morgan De Sanctis

Best Defender: Thiago Silva

Runners up: Andrea Barzagli, Mehdi Benatia

Best Foreigner: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Runners up: Edinson Cavani, Samuel Eto’o

Best Referee: Nicola Rizzoli

Runners up: Paolo Tagliavento, Paolo Valeri

Best Player: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Best Club: Udinese

Most Points: Milan (80)

Highest Goalscorer: Edinson Cavani (28)

Team of the Year: Handanovic; Maggio, Thiago Silva, Nesta (tied with Ranocchia), Armero; Hamsik, Boateng, Motta (tied with Marchisio); Ibrahimovic, Cavani, Di Natale

Galliani: Tevez words are good news
23.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani has again reiterated Milan’s desire to sign Carlos Tevez and made clear that it is a case of signing either him or Maxi Lopez, not both.

Catania earlier today confirmed that a deal with the Rossoneri was all but complete for the Rossoneri to sign their Argentine forward, with Lopez even pictured today meeting Milan’s sporting director Ariedo Braida.

However, as the Sicilian-based player’s agent later confirmed, any deal is dependent on one for Tevez not going through.

In speaking to the Press on Monday, Galliani took the opportunity to again encourage Manchester City to lower their asking price, in light of Tevez’ reported declaration that he wants ‘only Milan’.

“His words are good news,” reflected Galliani. “The closing of the deal, however, depends neither on us nor on him, but on City. The will of Milan and the player are clear, but not enough.

“In principle too, both cannot join. In fact, I would say that it is not possible. A striker will come, he will be Argentinean and his name will end with a ‘z’.”

The Milan Vice-President was also asked of the theory that Alexandre Pato will follow Ricky Kaka in turning down a January move only to leave the following summer.

“No, Pato has a long contract and he is a great champion. He will remain here.”

Meanwhile, Lopez, when stopped by reporters in Milan on Monday evening, confirmed no deal for his transfer has been agreed yet, but that ‘in a day or two’ it could be.

Maxi Lopez is still a Tevez alternative
23.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Maxi Lopez has admitted that his client’s move to Milan could collapse if Carlos Tevez ends up at San Siro.

Catania chief Pietro Lo Monaco stated that Lopez was “virtually a Milan player” earlier today after terms were agreed.

However, Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani also noted that the club still wanted Manchester City’s Tevez – and that only one striker would arrive this month.

“We still have to wait for a bit more,” Andrea D’Amico told Sky Sport Italia on Monday afternoon. “The player is happy, even if we’ll have to see how the Tevez situation evolves.

“Will the move collapse if Carlitos arrives? You’ll have to ask Galliani even if he’s already responded on that.

“Maxi could certainly be of use with Alexandre Pato’s injury and the Champions League ineligibility of Tevez, but it will be Milan who decide.

“We are just at the disposal of the Rossoneri.”

Milan’s move for Tevez was thought to have been over after Pato refused to join Paris Saint-Germain. His transfer fee would then have been used to sign the Argentine.

Catania: AC Milan have Maxi Lopez deal
23.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Catania have confirmed that “Maxi Lopez is virtually a Milan player” after a deal was finalised on Monday.

The Rossoneri have turned to the Argentine after seemingly missing out on Carlos Tevez of Manchester City and losing Alexandre Pato to injury.

“Maxi Lopez is virtually a Milan player,” Catania transfer guru Pietro Lo Monaco told Sky Sport Italia on Monday.

“We found an agreement over the last few days and everything was made formal today. Milan have a few things to sort out before they can make the move official.

“The player asked us strongly if he could join Milan and we’ve decided to make that happen.”

Lopez was wanted by Premiership club Fulham, but the Sicilian outfit have now told them that the South American is heading to Milanello.

“This has been a beautiful operation,” agent Andrea D’Amico is quoted as saying. “The boy will realise his dream of wearing the Milan jersey.”

However, Milan official Adriano Galliani underlined that the Rossoneri could still bring in Tevez rather than Lopez.

“There is an agreement between Milan and Catania,” he stated. “It’s probable that he will arrive as we are interested in him.

“We’ll wait a few days to close the deal.

“Tevez? We want him. The player and his agent know the situation. A striker will certainly arrive. If that isn’t Tevez then it will be Maxi Lopez – but it won’t be both.”

AC Milan set for Maxi Lopez talks
23.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan will reportedly hold transfer talks with Catania on Monday in an effort to do a deal for Maxi Lopez.

The Rossoneri have revived their interest in the Argentine after Alexandre Pato joined Antonio Cassano on the sidelines.

While Cassano may be out for the rest of the season, Pato, who rejected a move to Paris Saint-Germain this month, is expected to be unavailable for the next four weeks.

With a shortage of strikers and the Champions League close to resumption, Milan are again being paired with Lopez.

The striker, who is also liked by Fulham, was targeted by the Diavolo earlier this month before they decided to focus on Carlos Tevez.

Given Milan’s problems in signing the Manchester City ace, the former Barcelona player is now at the top of the club’s wish-list.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani is expected to meet Catania transfer guru Pietro Lo Monaco later today to discuss a loan switch.

Allegri moves Emanuelson
22.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri concedes Urby Emanuelson is better as a full-back and notes Milan “are favourites for the Scudetto along with Juventus.”

The Rossoneri may not be Winter Champions, but they have reached the half-way stage of the season just one point behind the Bianconeri after their 3-0 victory in Novara.

“We were forced to get the three points today in order to reach 40 points, which was the target we had set ourselves despite a tough start to the campaign,” said the Coach.

“Juventus are for the moment keeping up an impressive pace and are still unbeaten. We are the favourites for the Scudetto along with Juventus, even if one shouldn’t forget teams doing well like Udinese, Roma and Inter.”

It was still goalless at the break with Novara before Stephan El Shaarawy came off the bench, moving under-fire Emanuelson from trequartista to left-back.

“It is not easy for him to play ‘in the hole,’ seeing as he has mainly been out wide in his career. He did decidedly better as a full-back today, but Emanuelson remains a very important player in whatever his position. I think the criticism of this player has been gratuitous.

“El Shaarawy has improved a great deal over the last two months, especially in physical terms. Before he played in a different role, as he just needed a little time to get used to the new situation.”

Serie A: Novara 0:3 AC Milan - goals
22.1 || webmaster







Serie A: Novara 0:3 AC Milan - match report
22.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Ibrahimovic 57, 90 (M), Robinho 73 (M)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic bagged a brace around Robinho’s tap-in, as Milan cruised to a 3-0 victory in Novara.

The Rossoneri were desperate to get back on track after the derby defeat ended their run of 10 wins and 12 draws, not to mention lost their chances of becoming Winter Champions. They also played Novara midweek and were forced into extra time to beat them 2-1 for a place in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals, so confidence was very low.

Kevin-Prince Boateng and Alessandro Nesta were suspended, while the injury crisis ruled out Christian Abbiati, Alexandre Pato, Gennaro Gattuso, Alberto Aquilani, Gianluca Zambrotta, Mathieu Flamini, Mario Yepes and Antonio Cassano. Novara had Massimo Paci and Paolo Hernan Dellafiore out on bans, plus Carlalberto Ludi, Alex Pinardi and Andrea Lisuzzo sidelined.

After 12 minutes Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s fierce free kick from the D was beaten away by Samir Ujkani, but Robinho horribly missed the follow-up from a yard, flashing his shot across the face of goal.

Another Ibrahimovic free kick caused huge problems for Ujkani, who saw it bounce off his chest and out for a corner. From the resulting set play, Thiago Silva had a free header from six yards, but a desperate goalline clearance by Andrea Caracciolo saved Novara.

Ibra forced another unorthodox save from Ujkani, who struggled to parry a snapshot from the edge of the box.

It was turning into a siege on the Novara goal, as Antonio Nocerino spun round to skim the far post with a well-taken strike. Another goalline clearance kept out Philippe Mexes’ angled drive.

Stephan El Shaarawy came on for the second half, moving Emanuelson to left-back, but Novara had a great chance straight away with Caracciolo on the counter seeing his shot fingertipped inches past the back stick.

The ‘Little Pharaoh’ also threatened with his header off target, but Milan finally found a way through the Novara brick wall on 57 minutes.

Ibrahimovic sprung the offside trap on a smart Massimo Ambrosini chipped pass over the top and kept his cool for a stop and flick past the on-rushing Ujkani from six yards.

El Shaarawy should’ve made it 2-0, as he skipped away from his marker and the goalkeeper, but the angle was too narrow and he only hit the side-netting.

Milan did double their lead moments later, as Nocerino pulled back for El Shaarawy’s shot, which turned into an assist for Robinho to come sliding in at the back post. However, Novara were furious, as Nocerino appeared to handle in the build-up.

Ibrahimovic put the final nail in Novara’s coffin when Ujkani flapped an El Shaarawy cross and the Swede pounced, sneakily flicking it back into an empty net with his back to goal.

Novara: Ujkani; Morganella, Rinaudo, Centurioni; Gemiti, Garcia (Marianini 63), Porcari, Pesce (Rubino 62), Rigoni; Mascara (Jensen 69), Caracciolo

AC Milan: Amelia; Abate, Mexes, Thiago Silva, Antonini (El Shaarawy 46); Ambrosini, Van Bommel, Nocerino; Emanuelson; Ibrahimovic, Robinho (Merkel 87)

Ref: De Marco

Serie A: Novara vs. AC Milan - lineups
22.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Novara: Ujkani; Morganella, Rinaudo, Centurioni; Gemiti, Radovanovic, Porcari, Pesce, Rigoni; Mascara, Caracciolo

AC Milan: Amelia; Abate, Mexes, Thiago Silva, Antonini; Ambrosini, Van Bommel, Nocerino; Emanuelson; Ibrahimovic, Robinho

Tevez - Maxi Lopez intrigue
22.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlos Tevez “only wants Milan,” confirmed his agent, but the Rossoneri are ready to snatch Maxi Lopez off Fulham just in case Manchester City hold out.

The latest chapter in the Tevez saga developed this week when the want-away striker effectively turned down a €37m move to Paris Saint-Germain.

“Tevez only wants Milan,” representative Kia Joorabchian said. “We are waiting to find out what Manchester City’s intentions are, but we have already told PSG what they needed to know.

“As for Inter, we never spoke to them, so they are not a viable alternative. In fact, if Carlo Ancelotti hadn’t been at PSG, I wouldn’t even have flown in for talks.”

This forces Manchester City to reconsider Milan’s proposal of a loan with option to buy at the end of the season.

However, City are increasingly frustrated at Tevez’s tactics, as for months now he has been ‘on strike’ in South America. It’s possible they will hold on to the Argentine just to ensure he doesn’t get his way.

Aware of this, the Rossoneri are scrambling towards Plan B, namely Maxi Lopez of Catania.

The hitman has agreed terms with Fulham for a €1.5m loan plus €9m buy-out clause and a four-year contract worth €1.2m per season.

Maxi made it clear he’d prefer San Siro and is continuing to stall, giving Milan a chance to come back in with an offer. He’d also have the advantage of being able to play in the Champions League.

In other news, there are reports Antonio Cassano is recovering quicker than expected from his heart surgery and could well return to the field at the beginning of April.

Tesser's Novara to worry AC Milan
21.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Attilio Tesser already made life difficult for Milan once this week and hopes Novara can do it again tomorrow. “We mustn’t get pegged back.”

The two teams faced off in the Coppa Italia Round of 16 at San Siro on Wednesday night, beaten 2-1 only after extra time.

“We need a performance at the height of our potential,” said the Coach ahead of the home match.

“The important thing is that Novara do attack Milan and are always ready to go on the counter. We mustn’t get pegged back.

“The Rossoneri have such technique that we must be wary not to allow them too much possession, or we won’t be able to get the ball.”

Novara are propping up the Serie A table and have an injury crisis that has ruled out Carlalberto Ludi, Andrea Lisuzzo and Ivan Radovanovic, plus the suspended Massimo Paci and Paolo Hernan Dellafiore.

“Either Simone Pesce or Daniel Jensen will replace Radovanovic, while in attack we’ll field Giuseppe Mascara and Andrea Caracciolo.”

Tevez 'still in AC Milan talks'
21.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlos Tevez’s agent confirms “talks are continuing with other interested clubs,” while Leonardo warns PSG “won’t go crazy” to sign him.

The Manchester City striker reportedly rejected a €37m transfer to Paris Saint-Germain late last night, as he wants to push through the Milan move.

“We are simply half-way through negotiations with PSG,” agent Kia Joorabchian told Le Parisien newspaper.

“I don’t want to give details, but we are still a long way off reaching an agreement. After all, we are continuing talks with the other interested clubs. Do I mean Inter and Milan? I don’t need to confirm what is written in the newspapers.

“All I can say is that if Carlo Ancelotti weren’t the Coach of PSG, then we wouldn’t even be in Paris talking about it. I consider him to be one of the best managers in the world, perhaps even the best.”

However, Milan remain the preferred destination for Tevez and Paris Saint-Germain director general Leonardo is aware of that.

“It is a complex negotiation process, but we are not prepared to go crazy in order to sign him,” Leonardo told French television.

“We know that taking the player means making sacrifices, but if we don’t achieve a deal then there’s no problem. The team remains competitive and that’s the important thing.

“We have to protect the club, which means buying only players who believe in our project and are truly interested in coming here.”

Allegri: 'AC Milan must win'
21.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri tells Milan they “have no choice but to win” away to Novara after their derby defeat.

If Juventus win against Atalanta this evening, then their status as Winter champions will be secure, but the Rossoneri want to keep up the Scudetto pace.

“Tomorrow, more than on any other occasion, we have no choice but to win and it matters little whether we play well,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

Milan already played Novara on Wednesday night in the Coppa Italia and were forced into extra time before eventually winning 2-1.

“After Wednesday’s victory it is now also necessary to bring home the three points in Serie A. I am sure Novara will put in the performance of a lifetime.

“We had the opportunity to go top of the table with a win over Inter, but had a far tougher test than Juventus against Cagliari.”

That 1-0 defeat to their local rivals ended a run of 10 victories and two draws in the League. Now the Rossoneri have a massive injury crisis on their hands.

“We hope Alexandre Pato and Kevin-Prince Boateng won’t be out of action for too long, while Mathieu Flamini is also recovering well,” continued Allegri.

“We could see Robinho, Stephan El Shaarawy and Zlatan Ibrahimovic together, but ‘The Little Pharaoh’ will certainly feel the strain of Wednesday’s Coppa game. He can play as both a second striker and outside left, but at the moment I see him better in the former role.”

The Coach stated that Luca Antonini is more likely to start than new signing Djamel Mesbah, while he defended Urby Emanuelson from post-derby criticism.

“The way I see it Emanuelson is doing well as a trequartista. To be at the top he is still missing a goal and for a few more tricks to go his way.”

Naturally, Allegri was asked about the latest developments in the Carlos Tevez saga.

“I know people are going to talk about this until the end of the transfer window, but as I have said many times before it’s an issue for the club and not for me.”

AC Milan injury crisis intensifies
21.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have a decimated squad for Sunday’s trip to Novara, but new buys Djamel Mesbah and Alexander Merkel are thrown straight into the fray.

The Rossoneri have both Kevin-Prince Boateng and Alessandro Nesta suspended on top of an injury crisis.

Ruled out for this game are Gianluca Zambrotta, Christian Abbiati, Alexandre Pato, Alberto Aquilani, Mario Yepes, Mathieu Flamini, Antonio Cassano and Gennaro Gattuso.

It means Coach Massimiliano Allegri has only 19 players at his disposal to face Novara, with Mesbah likely to be given his debut just days after the transfer from Lecce.

Merkel was recalled on loan from Genoa last week and already played against Novara in the 2-1 extra time Coppa Italia victory on Wednesday evening.

Milan squad: Amelia, Roma, Abate, Antonini, Bonera, Mesbah, Mexes, Thiago Silva, Ely, Ambrosini, Emanuelson, Merkel, Nocerino, Seedorf, Van Bommel, El Shaarawy, Ibrahimovic, Inzaghi, Robinho

Maxi Lopez closer to Fulham
21.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports that Fulham have accepted Maxi Lopez’s personal terms, but Milan are still hoping to snatch the Catania striker.

It was already confirmed last week that Fulham had made an offer for the Argentine, thought to be worth €1.5m for the six-month loan plus a mandatory option to buy for €9m.

This is considerably more than the deal struck with Milan over the winter break, which was €0.5m for the loan and a buy-out clause worth €8m.

“Maxi Lopez’s future is still up in the air, but the player would be very happy to wear the Rossoneri jersey,” agent Andrea D’Amico told SportItalia.

It is rumoured Catania could use the Fulham offer as a ruse to force Milan into raising their initial bid.

Agent: 'Tevez only wants AC Milan'
21.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

PSG have sensationally dropped their bid for Carlos Tevez and Inter are frozen out too, as his agent confirms “he only wants Milan.”

It was widely reported on Friday evening that Paris Saint-Germain had finally agreed terms for the Manchester City striker.

They were ready to sign him for €37m plus a contract worth €11m for the player, as even a page on the official club website momentarily flashed up announcing the deal.

“There is no deal and there might never be a deal,” Paris Saint-Germain director general Leonardo told the Gazzetta dello Sport late Friday night.

The French outfit were the only club willing to buy Tevez outright, so Manchester City face the possibility they’ll have to accept a loan with option to buy.

This lets both Milan and Inter back into the race, but agent Kia Joorabchian points out there is only one destination in his mind.

“We never spoke to Inter and they do not represent a viable path,” the representative told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

Tevez and his representative agreed personal terms with Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani over the Christmas break, but City have repeatedly rejected their offers.

AC Milan move excites Mesbah
20.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Djamel Mesbah has revealed his delight in joining title-chasing Milan from relegation-threatened Lecce this January transfer window.

The Algerian international completed a move from the Salentini earlier this week, signing a contract until June 2016.

After his first day of training at his club, the 27-year-old versatile left-sided player reflected on the move with Milan Channel.

“I am pleased and proud to have signed with Milan. I arrive with great humility and desire to grow. Arriving at Milanello was impressive, my new teammates have all been very kind to me on my first day too.

“I hope to fit quickly so as to make myself immediately available to the Coach.

“I’ve scored a few goals in my career, especially when playing wide in midfield. In Lecce, I have been working mainly as a defender, but I also like to play in the opponents’ half.”

AC Milan back in for Maxi Lopez
20.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan may re-awaken their interest in Catania’s Maxi Lopez after Alexandre Pato was again sidelined with injury.

The Brazilian international picked up a muscle problem in the Italian Cup win over Novara this week which will see him ruled out of action for up to a month.

The Rossoneri now only have Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho, youngster Stephen El Shaarawy and veteran Pippo Inzaghi available.

Antonio Cassano is in their squad but he may be out for the rest of the season after undergoing minor heart surgery late last year.

With the Champions League close to resuming, it is being claimed on Friday that the Diavolo may now opt to bring in a new striker.

Maxi Lopez is again the man being linked after the club did a deal with Catania for the Argentine – only to then snub their option to sign him.

Lopez was initially targeted as a back-up should the club have failed in their attempt to sign Carlos Tevez from Manchester City this month.

However, they then pulled out of the Lopez move even before the Tevez deal finally collapsed last week after Pato snubbed a switch to Paris Saint-Germain.

Lopez, formerly of Barcelona amongst other clubs, would be eligible to play in the Champions League.

Fulham have been in talks with Catania for Lopez over the last 14 days.

Pato out for a month
19.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have announced that Alexandre Pato is out of action for three to four weeks after his latest injury setback.

The striker has suffered from numerous muscular problems over the last couple of seasons and suffered a relapse during last night’s 2-1 Coppa Italia win over Novara.

Pato, who scored the winner in that tie, “underwent tests with specialists. He has been diagnosed with a muscular lesion that is not too serious to the femoral bicep in his left thigh.

“The prognosis is three to four weeks, save for complications.”

It’s another heavy blow for the Rossoneri, who are already without Kevin-Prince Boateng and Alberto Aquilani for a month, Mathieu Flamini for two months and Antonio Cassano until June.

Taiwo to QPR on loan
19.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have handed full-back Taye Taiwo to Queen’s Park Rangers on a six-month loan, confirmed his agent.

His agent had told Italian media he expected “important developments” sometime today and it seems the breakthrough has arrived.

It was initially believed QPR had agreed a fee to buy Taiwo outright from the Rossoneri, though he needed to agree personal terms and undergo a medical.

However, this evening agent Fabio Parisi wrote on his Twitter feed "Taiwo has just signed a six-month loan with QPR" and posted this picture.

The 26-year-old was a free transfer from Olympique Marseille, but has managed only eight appearances in all competition for Milan.

Taiwo is set to be the first signing for new QPR manager Mark Hughes.

Taiwo to QPR an almost done deal
19.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are strong reports in Italy and England that Milan have sold full-back Taye Taiwo to Queen’s Park Rangers.

His agent had told Italian media he expected “important developments” sometime today and it seems the breakthrough has arrived.

It’s believed QPR have agreed a fee to buy Taiwo outright from the Rossoneri, though he needs to agree personal terms and undergo a medical.

The 26-year-old was a free transfer from Olympique Marseille, but has managed only eight appearances in all competition for Milan.

Taiwo is set to be the first signing for new QPR manager Mark Hughes.

Taiwo confirms AC Milan exit
19.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan benchwarmer Taye Taiwo hints he could be leaving during the January transfer window. “A move abroad is certainly the most likely.”

The full-back arrived in the summer on a free transfer from Olympique Marseille, but has managed only eight appearances in all competition.

“Yes, it is possible that Taiwo will leave and we are looking for a solution,” agent Fabio Parisi told MilanNews.it today.

“There could be some developments today and we’ll see what happens. A move abroad is certainly the most likely.

“I can categorically rule out any interest from Genoa, as they simply did not request him. In January we often see associations between clubs and players that are in reality unfounded.

“The lad is certainly disappointed at the way things are going. He arrived with a great deal of enthusiasm, but was unable to express himself to his full potential. Now we will seek what is best for the player.”

Ancelotti: Tevez wants PSG
19.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti has stated his belief that Inter and Milan target Carlos Tevez now wants to play for his Paris Saint-Germain team.

Tevez saw a move to Milan collapse last week after Alexandre Pato pulled out of a reported €35m switch to the Parisian side.

With both parties having lost out on their first-choice transfers, PSG had an initial €29m bid for Tevez accepted on Tuesday with it believed that the player and his representatives will work out a contract in the coming days.

Speaking at a Press conference today, former Milan Coach Ancelotti, who took over at the Ligue 1 side at the turn of the year, intimated that he believes an agreement will be reached, in spite of continued reports that Tevez is not keen on playing in the French League.

“I think that if we talk to Tevez we will find that he wants to come here. He wants a change of situation, he is not playing with Manchester City.

“He is a great player and I think that within two weeks he can return to his best condition.”

El Shaarawy vs Novara - video
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Maldini: AC Milan don't want me
19.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The legendary Paolo Maldini wants to work in football – but claims somebody at Milan doesn’t want him.

Maldini, who spent 24 years in the Rossoneri first team squad, was expected to be handed a role by the Diavolo following his retirement from the game in 2009.

However, he’s told the Gazzetta dello Sport today that a proposed return to the outfit has been blocked on two occasions.

“Berlusconi mentioned my name numerous times, as did Barbara Berlusconi, but the reality is that nothing was ever offered to me,” the former defender noted.

“Leonardo wanted me close to the side, while Allegri would have liked me as a middleman between the squad and the club.

“A lot of my ex-teammates would have wanted me back at Milanello too. But they always found that the door was closed by the club. I really don’t know what is behind this decision.

“As far as I am concerned, there is no reason why Galliani and myself would be incompatible. I can’t speak for him though.”

Maldini, whose father Cesare played for and coached the Rossoneri, won everything there was on offer while with the Stadio Meazza outfit. And he’s keen to return in some capacity.

“Milan are in my heart and I want to repay the club,” he added. “I feel a strong and unconditional love for the Rossoneri jersey.

“The only condition would be that I was able to do my job according to the ideas of my life.

“I’m not looking for visibility, but over the years I have acquired intellectual independency that I’m not ready to give up.

“I would not have any other purpose apart from the goodness of Milan – and this could possibly be a problem for someone. I’m not afraid to tell it like it is, even if this can be a problem.

“But I want to point out that I’m not demanding a role within the club and I would not be presumptuous enough to try to teach people who have been there for 40 years, or winning for 25, their job.

“I’d go there to learn and try to give something back to a club that gave me so much.”

Maldini also revealed that he could have joined Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea following his retirement three years ago.

“I had an offer from Ancelotti at Chelsea, but I had only just stopped playing. The Cosmos also contacted me, but it wasn’t clear enough.

“I’m in love with football and sooner or later I’ll work in this environment. If that is not at Milan then I don’t want to be seen as a traitor.”

Reports this week have suggested that Maldini may be offered a post with Paris Saint-Germain – where he could team up with sporting director Leonardo and Ancelotti.

“Now there is talk of Paris Saint-Germain, but the reality is that I went to Paris to see two friends like Carlo and Leo, as well as meeting their President.

“There is no offer right now, but I know what I could give – experience, love for this sport, a desire to work for a serious project. But I haven’t asked anything from anyone.”

El Shaarawy commits to AC Milan
19.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stephan El Shaarawy has again committed his future to Milan after scoring in Wednesday’s Italian Cup win versus Novara.

The young striker netted the opener in the Rossoneri’s 2-1 victory before insisting that he’ll remain at San Siro.

“I’m staying at Milan,” the 19-year-old stated. “Coach Massimiliano Allegri has said so and so has Vice-President Adriano Galliani.

“I’m happy at this club.”

El Shaarawy, who is part-owned with Genoa, moved to the Stadio Meazza in the summer from Marassi.

It has been suggested that the Italian youth international could be loaned to a smaller club for the rest of the season.

AC Milan youngsters delight Allegri
19.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri was happy with the impact made by teenagers Stephan El Shaarawy and Alexander Merkel in the Coppa Italia win against Novara.

The Rossoneri set up a quarter-final clash with Lazio last night after disposing of Novara at San Siro – even if they needed extra-time to do so.

“I’m happy for all of the team, but especially El Shaarawy who scored and Merkel who proved that he is an important player,” the tactician noted.

El Shaarawy joined the Rossoneri from Genoa in the summer, but he’s found first-team opportunities hard to come by.

Merkel, meanwhile, was recalled from Genoa only this week given the Rossoneri’s injury problems in midfield.

El Shaarawy gave Milan the lead in the 24th minute, before Ivan Radovanovic equalised late on. Alexandre Pato then netted a 100th minute winner before coming off with a fitness issue.

“We unfortunately conceded a goal a minute from the end from a free-kick that was avoidable,” Allegri continued.

“We suffered, but it was important to qualify. We did well to remain united and calm and almost made it 3-1 in the end.

“Pato? He felt a twinge in his thigh and I wanted to avoid any potential problems by bringing him off.”

Milan will host Lazio on January 26.

Coppa Italia: AC Milan 2:1 (a.e.t.) Novara - highlights
19.1 || webmaster



Coppa Italia: AC Milan 2:1 (a.e.t.) Novara - match report
18.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: El Shaarawy 24 (M), Radovanovic 88 (N), Pato 99 (M)

Milan were punished for a docile second half performance and taken into extra time by Novara before eventually winning their Coppa Italia clash.

Both sides went into the Last 16 clash in need of a good performance after respective disappointing League defeats at the weekend.

Massimiliano Allegri rang the changes after his team’s derby defeat, notably bringing in the likes of Philippe Mexes, Massimo Ambrosini, Stephan El Shaarawy and Filippo Inzaghi for starts. Alexander Merkel was also handed a first-team chance after his midweek loan return from Genoa.

Similarly, Attilio Tesser made seven changes to his line-up after their Week 18 defeat to Cesena.

Milan carved open the first opportunity of the tie after seven minutes. El Shaarawy’s quick release of the ball in the penalty area found Inzaghi, but his clever turn was followed by a tame shot.

The Rossoneri dominated possession in the early stages and it was Inzaghi who again popped up for their next two chances.

Whilst Novara’s goalkeeper Alberto Fontana was quick off his line to prevent the veteran springing the offside trap, the striker guiltily missed a headed effort at the far post moments later.

Soon after that Simone Pesce tested Marco Amelia’s alertness with a stinging effort that forced a corner.

El Shaarawy demonstrated his potential with a well-taken strike, taking possession outside the area on the left to cut in an unleash an outward curling effort low and past Fontana.

Granoche almost equalised immediately, latching on with a toe-poke to try to finish a clever passing move through Milan’s defence, but the effort was straight at Amelia.

With 10 minutes of the first half remaining, El Shaarawy almost doubled his tally on the night after latching on to a long pass down field that caught Novara’s high line of defence out. However, his cut inside and high effort was tipped over by Fontana.

A quieter second half was peppered by roving runs through Novara’s defence by both El Shaarawy and Urby Emanuelson, but on each occasion to no distinct end product. Indeed, the second 45 was characterised by the home team’s comfort in possession matched with a wastefulness in the final third.

Emanuelson forced a routine save from Fontana midway through the period after neat work down the right from substitute Alexandre Pato.

At the other end, Michel Morganella’s dangerous cross forced an improvised and careful clearance behind by Mexes.

Some skill in the middle of the pitch by El Shaarawy, followed by a run down the pitch with the ball from Robinho lifted the atmosphere heading towards the closing stages, before Pato’s subsequent effort on goal thundered over the bar by some distance.

From nothing, Radovanovic equalised with two minutes to go when his low 30-yard free-kick found its way through the Milan wall and easily past a rooted Amelia.

In his side’s immediate attacking at the other end, Luca Antonini received a nasty blow to the head from Jeda’s boot after the Novara player’s acrobatic attempt to clear a cross on the edge of the penalty area. Pato shot wide from the resulting free-kick.

Radovanovic and Robinho picked up yellow cards for clashing after the Brazilian’s challenge on the midfielder. Milan returned to dominating possession in extra time having dropped off towards the end of the original 90. Ignazio Abate’s cross was met with a close-range half-volley from Pato for the team’s first clear-cut chance, but Fontana’s outstretched hand proved enough to keep the scores level.

Minutes later though, Pato did get the better of the ‘keeper, flicking it over his run off his line to then casually volley it into an empty net. Pato, who narrowly beat the offside trap, had been put through one-on-one from Robinho’s slide-rule pass.

Robinho then almost made it three, controlling a loose ball in the box, only to see his volley shave the outside of Fontana’s right post. Pato then almost got a second with an acrobatic bicycle kick just before the end of the first half of extra time, controlling an El Shaarawy cross before swivelling on the spot and lashing just wide.

Bonera did well to block a late, point-blank effort from Jeda that would have forced the tie into penalties. It came during the final few minutes when Milan were playing with 10 men. Having used all three substitutions, Pato’s withdrawal for what looked like a slight hamstring injury left the team a man down.

Milan: Amelia; Bonera, Nesta, Mexes, Antonini (Abate 91); Merkel, Ambrosini, Nocerino; Emanuelson (Robinho 82); Inzaghi (Pato 58), El Shaarawy

Novara: Fontana; Morganella, Dellafiore, Paci, Centurioni (Jeda 77), García; Marianini (Jensen 54), Radovanović, Pesce; Granoche, Morimoto (Rubino 63)

Ref: Danilo

Coppa Italia: AC Milan vs. Novara - lineups
18.1 || webmaster

AC Milan: Amelia, Bonera, Nesta, Mexes, Antonini, Merkel, Ambrosini, Nocerino, Emanuelson, Inzaghi, El Shaarawy.

Novara: Fontana, Morganella, Dellafiore, Paci, Centurioni, Garcia, Marianini, Radovanovich, Pesce, Granoche, Morimoto.

Thiago Silva in UEFA Team of the Year
18.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Thiago Silva is Italy’s only representative in UEFA’s Team of the Year for 2011, which was announced earlier today.

The Brazilian lost out to Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic and Barcelona’s Gerard Pique in the FIFA World XI that was unveiled earlier this month during the 2011 FIFA Ballon d’Or gala.

However, where that was the result of votes cast by his fellow professionals, UEFA’s team has been chosen based on 4.5m votes cast by visitors to the organisation’s website.

The Milan centre-back is the only representative from Italy in another award that was otherwise dominated by names from Spain’s Primera Division.

UEFA.com's Team of the Year:

Coach: Josep Guadiola

Team: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid); Dani Alves (Barcelona), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Thiago Silva (Milan), Marcelo (Real Madrid); Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich), Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona), Gareth Bale (Tottenham); Andres Iniesta (Barcelona); Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

OFFICIAL: Djamel Mesbah signs for AC Milan
18.1 || webmaster

Djamel Mesbah signed for AC Milan today for an undisclosed fee. The news was made official by Lecce's official site and will shortly be announced by AC Milan.

In the same deal, Rodney Strasser will return from loan and Davide Speziale (group of 1994) will join Lecce on co-ownership starting next season.

No January move for Montolivo
18.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

One of the agents representing Fiorentina’s Riccardo Montolivo has rejected talk of a January move to Milan.

The Italian international, whose contract expires in June, has again been paired with the Rossoneri given their problems in midfield right now.

“As far as I know, there has been no type of request at all from the Rossoneri during this period,” Carlo Pallavicino told Lady Radio.

“It’s true that there are still 10 days to go in the transfer market, but an operation of this kind would take some time.

“I also think that Montolivo would like to leave Florence in a better manner than the unhappy reality that he is going through right now.”

The Viola are struggling this season. They are currently 13th in the standings, but only six points above the relegation zone.

Montolivo, signed by Fiorentina from Atalanta in the summer of 2005, has refused to extend his contract at the Stadio Franchi.

Milan remain the favourites to sign him on a Bosman at the end of the campaign.

Sacchi: Pato should have left
18.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Former Milan and Italy boss Arrigo Sacchi thinks Alexandre Pato made a mistake in snubbing a San Siro exit.

The Italian club had agreed to sell him to Paris Saint-Germain this month, but the Brazilian opted to remain at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.

“Pato is a great player, but he would have made a better decision had he left Milan,” Sacchi told the Corriere della Sera.

The Rossoneri were ready to sacrifice Pato in order to net the necessary funds to then sign Carlos Tevez from Manchester City.

“It did seem strange to me that Berlusconi liked Tevez as a player,” Sacchi continued.

“For someone who loves Ronaldinho like he does, it would be hard for him to pick Tevez over Pato.”

Sacchi was also asked for his thoughts on Juventus boss Antonio Conte and Claudio Ranieri, the Inter tactician whose defensive tactics he has been critical of.

“Conte is really good,” Sacchi, who bossed him at World Cup 1994, added. “For his Juventus to play well they will have to express themselves at a level that many of the squad are not used to.

“Ranieri? He’s an expert tactician and he’s done something important by creating a squad with strong motivation.

“Now let us see if he is able to get them to play a different type of football.”

Genoa explain Merkel exit
18.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Genoa President Enrico Preziosi admits that he did “Milan a favour” by allowing Alexander Merkel to return to San Siro.

The 19-year-old will spend the rest of the season on loan at San Siro just six months after he left the Diavolo for Marassi.

“I think that Merkel will become a champion,” Preziosi told Radio Mana Mana 24. “If the boy remains humble then he could become a great.

“We did Milan a favour seeing as we have a relationship of collaboration with them and that they do have a few problems in midfield.”

Merkel moved to Genoa in the summer after the Rossoblu bought a 50 per cent share in him. As part of the deal, Milan signed a half share in Stephan El Shaarawy who moved to the Meazza.

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri is without Mathieu Flamini for the next two months, while Alberto Aquilani, Kevin Prince Boateng and Gennaro Gattuso will be sidelined for the next four weeks.

The German Under-20 international has impressed in his 13 League appearances for Genoa so far this term.

Taiwo eager to prove worth
18.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Taye Taiwo is disappointed that he has so far been unable to prove himself worthy of the Milan jersey.

The 26-year-old moved to San Siro in the summer on a Bosman after his contract with French outfit Marseille expired.

However, the left-back has failed to break into the first team plans of boss Massimiliano Allegri. He’s played just four games in Serie A and four in the Champions League.

“He’s saddened that he hasn’t been able to demonstrate how much he is worth,” representative Fabio Parisi told Radio Sportiva.

“A lot of clubs wanted him and he chose Milan.”

The defender has been linked with a January exit given his lack of playing time and Genoa are the latest club paired with his signature.

“There has never been any kind of negotiation with Genoa,” Parisi continued. “Let’s see what solutions are possible.

“At the moment there is nothing concrete. Taye just wants to play.”

Tesser: 'Novara can upset AC Milan'
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Attilio Tesser is confident Novara can cause another upset against Milan in the Coppa Italia tomorrow. “Our game against them made us famous.”

The Piemontesi famously faced the giants at the same stage in January 2010, only squeezed out 2-1 at San Siro.

“It was two years ago when people started talking about Novara, as our game against them made us famous.

“That was a very important point in our story, as the great atmosphere that surrounds us now really began back then,” said the Coach.

By a strange coincidence, Novara and Milan also play each other in Serie A on Sunday.

“We are fully aware that tomorrow’s match will count for the Coppa, while on Sunday there are three very important points at stake.

“But it doesn’t matter what competition you are in, as we must always give our all to achieve the best possible result. We’ll face Milan with our utmost potential.”

Mino Raiola on Ibrahimovic and Balotelli
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will end his career at Milan and Mario Balotelli “realises Manchester isn’t as bad as he thought.”

Agent Mino Raiola spoke to Sky Sport Italia about some of his top clients in the world of calcio, starting from Ibra.

“He has no bellyache about staying with the Rossoneri, as he has always said he’ll end his career at Milan.

“There is a very strong rapport with the club, directors and teammates. Therefore, all reports of problems are untrue.

“It’s a shame for me, as it means I won’t be able to hold any more negotiations for him!” joked Raiola of the well-travelled ex-Ajax, Juventus, Inter and Barcelona striker.

“I was the one who advised Milan to go for Carlos Tevez, as Ibra has always said he wanted to play alongside great champions.”

Raiola also represents Manchester City star Balotelli, who has made no secret of the fact he supports Milan.

“Will Balotelli be Ibra’s future teammate? That would be great, as it’d mean Ibra will carry on playing for many years.

“Mario has no intention of leaving City. He has started to understand certain systems on how to get along there.

“Strangely for him, he is admitting that Manchester isn’t as bad as he thought or said. Is Milan a better city? It depends on your point of view, but right now Manchester is better for him.”

Boateng out for a month
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s injury crisis in midfield gets even worse, as they confirm Kevin-Prince Boateng is out for at least a month.

The club released a statement this evening announcing that Boateng suffered a left thigh strain with lesion to the muscle during the 1-0 defeat to Inter on Sunday.

“The prognosis is around four weeks, save for complications.”

The same statement added that goalkeeper Christian Abbiati is suffering from a muscular problem in his left calf and “will be evaluated again in seven days.”

Boateng’s absence is very bad timing for the Rossoneri, as Alberto Aquilani and Gennaro Gattuso are also out for a month, while Mathieu Flamini is sidelined for another two months.

They scrambled for reinforcements today by recalling Alexander Merkel from Genoa, who co-own his contract, on a six-month loan spell.

Changes to Serie A fixtures
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Lega Serie A released a statement this evening for changes to the Serie A fixture list in Week 22.

Cesena-Catania and Roma-Inter will be played on Saturday February 4, while Genoa-Lazio is the Sunday lunch-time kick-off.

A huge Milan-Napoli showdown concludes the round on the evening of Sunday February 5, 20:45 CET.

AC Milan take back Merkel
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have officially announced that Alexander Merkel has returned from Genoa for a six-month loan spell.

The 19-year-old German midfielder was part of the Rossoneri youth team when half his contract was sold to Genoa as part of the deal to sign half of Stephan El Shaarawy this summer.

This evening Milan released a statement on their club website confirming Merkel has come back to San Siro temporarily.

He will wear shirt number 37 and is an important reinforcement, as Alberto Aquilani and Gennaro Gattuso are out for a month, while Yepes is sidelined for another eight weeks.

OFFICIAL: Merkel returns
17.1 || webmaster

AC Milan just announced on the official site that Alexander Merkel is back. He is going to wear shirt number 37.

Ancelotti still wants Pato at PSG
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato may have turned down a €35m move to Paris Saint-Germain, but Carlo Ancelotti believes “we’ll see” about a new offer in June. "It was a strange tale."

Milan had agreed terms with the French side last week only for the striker and President Silvio Berlusconi to pull the plug on Thursday afternoon.

“It was a strange tale and there’s something in there that we don’t know about,” commented PSG Coach Ancelotti in the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“As for the future, we’ll see. I can certainly say that we won’t discuss it any more in January.”

Instead, the Parisians are battling Inter to sign Carlos Tevez from Manchester City, although there are other options.

“Various agents are trying to offer us players like Tevez, Fernando Torres, Dimitar Berbatov, Roman Pavlyuchenko, Edinson Cavani and Fernando Llorente.”

Allegri: Pato and Ibrahimovic compatible
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri has dismissed fears that Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alexandre Pato cannot play together and promised an instant reaction to the derby defeat.

Ibra and Pato started for the Rossoneri in the weekend’s 1-0 reverse to rivals Inter, in a game that proved to be a frustrating evening for both forwards.

Even as Ibrahimovic is second in the Capocannoniere charts with 12 strikes to his name, Pato’s run of one goal in 10 League appearances has Allegri taking questions on the duo’s compatibility.

“There is no problem between Ibrahimovic and Pato. It is only a matter of the best fit and an understanding between them will grow as they play together,” Allegri declared to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“The boos Pato received in the derby have not affected him. Yesterday and today it is clear, I think Pato just needs to find the goal for his confidence.”

Allegri also promised that the Rossoneri will show a reaction to Week 18’s derby defeat in the midweek Coppa Italia tie.

“The defeat against Inter does not change the approach of Milan. We have absorbed it and tomorrow the challenge of the Coppa Italia with Novara allows us to turn things around very quickly.

“If we had drawn and Juventus had won then it would have been worse, but Milan is not afraid of direct confrontation. Perhaps in the return legs we will win all five of them.

“We came from 10 wins and two draws, conceding few goals. Sunday was a bad game, we paid for a mistake, but Milan remain on course and we aim to finish the first half of the league fixtures with 40 points.”

Boateng and Nesta suspended
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan duo Kevin Prince Boateng and Alessandro Nesta will sit out the Rossoneri’s next League match after being handed one-game suspensions.

The energetic midfielder and experienced centre-back were both booked in their side’s 1-0 home defeat to city rivals Inter on Sunday evening. Having accumulated yellow cards, it has been confirmed that both will now be forced to miss the Week 19 fixture with Novara.

Il Diavolo’s Piedmont opponents will also have two men suspended for that fixture in the form of Paolo Dellafiore and Massimo Paci, who both also accumulated bookings this weekend.

Other suspensions for Week 19 include Genoa’s Marco Rossi, Bologna’s Archimede Morleo and Nicolo Cherubin, Atalanta’s Stefano Lucchini and Carlos Carmona, Siena’s Alessandro Gazzi and Luca Rossettini, Lecce’s Guillermo Giacomazzi and Inter’s Thiago Motta.

Mesbah very close to AC Milan
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Djamel Mesbah will reportedly complete his move from Lecce to Italian champions Milan by Thursday.

According to Sky Sport Italia, Lecce sporting director Carlo Osti will meet with the Rossoneri on Wednesday to conclude a deal for the defender.

Mesbah is an Algerian international in possession of a French passport who can also play in midfield.

Lecce and Milan have already held preliminary talks for the player and the final details will be wrapped up in the next 48 hours.

Mesbah, 27, joined the Stadio Via Del Mare outfit in 2009 after a loan spell in Italy with little Avellino.

The player is expected to put pen to paper on a Milan contract until June 2015.

Van Bommel believes in Pato
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mark Van Bommel is confident that Alexandre Pato will make the difference for Milan after rejecting a January transfer.

The Brazilian snubbed a switch to Paris Saint-Germain after the two clubs had already agreed terms for the striker.

“We should stop talking about that now,” the Dutch international told Milan Channel. “Pato is staying here with us.

“If he can stay calm and relaxed then you will all see that he will produce some great things,” the former Bayern Munich man noted.

“It was hard for him against Inter on Sunday,” Van Bommel continued. “Inter defended well and it wasn’t easy to find the right kind of space to do damage.”

Pato, 22, has scored just one Serie A goal in 10 appearances for the Diavolo so far during this campaign.

AC Milan to recall Merkel?
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan will ask Genoa to hand them back midfielder Alexander Merkel for the rest of the season, reports the Gazzetta dello Sport.

The 19-year-old moved to Marassi in the summer after Genoa bought a 50 per cent share in him and the Rossoneri signed a co-ownership deal for Stephan El Shaarawy.

The Italian champions are concerned about the high number of injuries that have affected their midfield so far this season.

Presently, boss Massimiliano Allegri is without Mathieu Flamini for the next two months, while Alberto Aquilani and Gennaro Gattuso will be sidelined for the next four weeks.

According to the report, the Marassi outfit have already agreed to hand over the youngster who has made six top-flight appearances for the Diavolo.

The German Under-20 international has impressed in his 13 League appearances for Genoa so far this term.

Materazzi: 'Inter must sign Pato'
16.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Materazzi has urged a shock January transfer strategy. “If I were Inter, I’d immediately sign Alexandre Pato” from Milan!

The Treble-winning defender, who was also a key figure in Italy’s 2006 World Cup triumph, spoke to RMC Radio about the all-San Siro battle for Carlos Tevez.

“Tevez? If I were Inter, I’d immediately sign Pato,” insisted Materazzi.

“He is one of the strongest strikers in circulation right now. I don’t think Tevez will arrive.”

Last week Pato turned down a €35m offer to join Paris Saint-Germain and President Silvio Berlusconi helped pull the plug on that move.

AC Milan want Merkel back
16.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have an injury crisis on their hands in midfield, so are trying to persuade Genoa to return Alexander Merkel.

The German talent was one of the shining lights of the Rossoneri youth team, but half his contract was sold to Genoa over the summer as part of the Stephan El Shaarawy deal.

“Merkel is an important element for us and he is going to become a champion,” said Genoa President Enrico Preziosi.

“I will talk to the lad to figure out what his aspirations are.”

The Rossoblu are unwilling to simply hand back Merkel mid-season unless El Shaarawy makes the same journey in the opposite direction.

“We will see how the situation evolves over the next few days,” agent Fabio Parisi told Calciomercato.it.

“For now he remains a Genoa player.”

Ibrahimovic: 'Inter only defended'
16.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic concedes Milan “didn’t put in a great performance, but Inter focused only on defending themselves.”

The Rossoneri had 67 per cent of the possession in Sunday night’s clash, but were still beaten 1-0 by a Diego Milito strike.

“We didn’t put in a great performance, especially as we were unable to get many shots on target,” he told Swedish newspaper Sportbladet.

“We always had the ball at our feet, but struggled to become dangerous with it. In any case, I got the feeling Inter stepped on to the field looking only to defend themselves. They sat and waited for our mistake to punish us. It worked.

“I didn’t get much service and at one stage decided to stay more within the penalty area. We lost, but are still five points ahead of Inter in the table.

“I do not consider the derby to be a decisive match, as there are so many more to come. The key was that Inter defended and Milan didn’t play their best game in attack. You can’t perform at 100 per cent all the time.”

The result ended their 12-round unbeaten Serie A run.

El Shaarawy happy at AC Milan
16.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stephan El Shaarawy is prepared to stay at Milan despite a lack of playing time at San Siro so far this season.

The 19-year-old has been linked with a January exit given that he has made just eight League appearances since his summer switch from Genoa.

However, after appearing in last night’s 1-0 derby loss to Inter, the Italian youth international is prepared to be patient.

“A loan move did enter my thinking,” the attacking midfielder, who has an Egyptian father, commented.

“However, although I am not playing, I am improving by training alongside so many champions on a daily basis here.

“I’m being included in a lot of things and I am very happy at this club. I hope to stay here forever.”

The talented youngster, who spent last season on loan at Padova in Serie B, is actually part-owned by Genoa. He was linked with a Marassi return last week.

Galliani: AC Milan still above Inter
16.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s Scudetto bid is still on course despite Sunday’s loss to city rivals Inter, says Vice-President Adriano Galliani.

The Rossoneri lost 1-0 to the Nerazzurri last night to allow their city rivals back into the title race, but Galliani is remaining optimistic.

“The League table is what talks in football,” he noted. “At the minute, with 20 games to go, we have five more points than Inter.

“There are five teams from Inter’s 32 points to Juventus’ 38. The three points against Inter are as important as those against Novara and Cagliari.

“We need to end the first half of the season with 40 points as we did last season – that possibility remains.”

Diego Milito scored the winner for the Nerazzurri in a tight game after he capitalised on an error by Ignazio Abate.

“We dominated possession,” the Rossoneri official added. “There were not a lot of scoring opportunities and it was clear that whoever opened the scoring would win.

“We conceded during the best moment of the tie for us. Games are won and lost thanks to certain incidents – and we lost this one.

“That’s life, that’s football.”

Milan, second on 37 points, will now play Novara twice in a week – once in the Coppa Italia and then in the championship.

In Week 19, Juventus will travel to Atalanta and Inter will host Lazio.

Abate says sorry for derby loss
16.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ignazio Abate has conceded that he was the man responsible for Milan’s 1-0 defeat to city rivals Inter on Sunday.

The right-back’s individual error allowed the ball through to Diego Milito who was then able to ripple the net.

“I had the feeling that I could get to the ball,” the defender told Sky Sport Italia after the Stadio Meazza encounter.

“However, the ball squirmed away from me and that was how the goal that decided the game was born.

“Perhaps I could have held my ground and then decided to take on Milito with my speed…

“However, in that fraction of a second on the field of play, I did think that I could intercept the ball. I take full responsibility and I apologise to the fans.”

The defeat saw Juventus move a point clear of Milan at the top of the table, but also allowed the Nerazzurri to close to within five points of the Diavolo.

“The loss today doesn’t change things,” Abate continued. “We’ll fight until the very end for the Scudetto even if we know it will be tough.

“Today we were not able to recover after going a goal down because they closed us down well at the back and we couldn’t open up their defence.”

Allegri: 'Only AC Milan played'
15.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri was left to rue poor finishing, but felt “Milan played and Inter defended with 10 men behind the ball.”

The Rossoneri ended the game with 67 per cent possession, but were beaten 1-0 by a Diego Milito strike.

“I don’t think this changes anything. This weekend the two joint leaders managed a point between them, so little really changed. What did happen is that we lost the derby and Inter are back in the Scudetto race,” said the Coach.

“If you look at the game, Inter just waited to strike on the counter-attack and played with 10 men behind the ball, so it wasn’t easy for us to find space. We had to score early or face a brick wall.

“Milito did very well, as he only had a tiny corridor to get the ball in and he placed it perfectly. We could’ve scored many times, but instead were caught on the counter-attack. Ignazio Abate also made a similar mistake two years ago against Milito and I could see in his face that he was heartbroken.

“Inter are a very physical side who defend better in tight spaces. Perhaps I could’ve put Robinho on straight after the break, but we were playing well and Pato’s pace was important in the one-on-one against Lucio and Walter Samuel.
“We had a few chances to equalise, but weren’t sharp enough and the goalkeeper performed some fine saves. Ultimately Milan played and Inter defended.”

Allegri admits the lead-up to this clash was not the best for Milan, as on Thursday Alexandre Pato rejected a €35m transfer to PSG, destroying the bid for Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez.

“It was a chaotic week, an unnecessarily chaotic one. Up until a few hours ago we were top of the table, yet the media painted it as if Milan had a thousand and one problems. The Rossoneri will continue to fight for the Scudetto till the end.

“It was a decision made by the club and Pato. I never said I wanted to send Pato away, especially as we had already lost Antonio Cassano, so Tevez was meant to replace Cassano.

“Is it over for Tevez? I don’t know, you’d have to ask the club.

“Now I have to put together the few midfielders I have left for the next game.”

Gattuso: 'Tevez can still join AC Milan'
15.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso has fired up the fans during the derby by claiming “Carlos Tevez can still come to Milan.”

The midfielder is in the stands for tonight’s game with Inter and gave an interview to Stadio Sprint.

“Tevez can still come to Milan through a similar formula to the one that brought Mark Van Bommel here,” said Gattuso.

Manchester City rejected their offer to take Tevez on loan with an option to buy at the end of the season.

They were ready to sell Alexandre Pato in order to raise €35m, but on Thursday the Brazilian turned down a move to Paris Saint-Germain.

“President Silvio Berlusconi was decisive in the Pato affair. After all, he’s only 22 years old and has scored 50 goals…

“I was also not remotely surprised that Massimiliano Allegri signed a contract extension. That was obviously going to happen.”

Serie A: AC Milan 0:1 Inter - match report
15.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Milito 54 (I)

Diego Milito has given Inter the Derby della Madonnina victory and put them right back in the Scudetto race!

The derby is always a huge game and rarely more than on this occasion. The Rossoneri needed a result to keep up with leaders Juventus, while the Nerazzurri could burst back into the Scudetto race with a victory. Both were on fine form, Milan unbeaten in 12 Serie A games and Inter with five wins on the bounce. Alexandre Pato was thrown into the starting XI just days after he rejected a move to PSG, while Kevin-Prince Boateng went deeper to make way for Urby Emanuelson as Alberto Aquilani, Gennaro Gattuso, Antonio Cassano, Mathieu Flamini and Taye Taiwo were out. Inter missed Dejan Stankovic and Africa Cup of Nations man Sulley Muntari, while Wesley Sneijder was back on the bench for the first time since November 2.

Thiago Motta nodded in after five minutes, but the goal was flagged offside for his two teammates Walter Samuel and Lucio.

Julio Cesar smothered a Zlatan Ibrahimovic snapshot at the near post, while Boateng’s deflected volley was followed up over the bar by Pato. The Inter goalkeeper was somewhat nervous on a Yuto Nagatomo backpass and fumbled a corner off Thiago Silva’s head.

A corner found Boateng unmarked only to balloon over the bar, but Alessandro Nesta had to intercept a smart one-two from Douglas Maicon in the box. At the other end, Samuel did the same as Pato pulled back for Emanuelson.

Ibrahimovic attempted an audacious scorpion flick with his back leg that landed on the roof of the net.

Inter had a great chance on 40 minutes, as Nagatomo’s cross found Ricky Alvarez unmarked, but the young Argentine hesitated and aimed a weak effort at the on-rushing Christian Abbiati’s legs from six yards.

Milan went even closer when Mark Van Bommel passed it on to the crossbar from the edge of the box, then as the move continued Julio Cesar turned Emanuelson’s volley off the line.

Inter broke the deadlock after the restart. Ignazio Abate’s slip allowed Javier Zanetti’s cross-field pass to reach Diego Milito, whose precise angled drive went in off the far post. El Principe found the net for the third game on the trot.

Nagatomo’s screamer from 30 metres took a deflection to whizz just past the upright, while Julio Cesar flapped an Ibra chipped pass off the head of Pato.

Robinho replaced Gianluca Zambrotta for a trident attack, moving Emanuelson to full-back, while Cristian Chivu came on for Alvarez. Sneijder also made his comeback after two and a half months.

Ibra’s pull-back was turned back across by Antonio Nocerino, but Pato’s first touch was heavy and allowed Julio Cesar to smother from point-blank range.

Clarence Seedorf also came off the bench and his blockbuster from distance that Julio Cesar flew to palm away. Robinho then burst through the Inter defence only to fire straight at the goalkeeper at the near post.

The final stages were a siege on the Nerazzurri area, but Ranieri’s men held firm.

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta (Robinho 66); Boateng, Van Bommel, Nocerino (Seedorf 80); Emanuelson; Pato (El Shaarawy 83), Ibrahimovic

Inter: Julio Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Nagatomo; Zanetti, Thiago Motta, Cambiasso, Alvarez (Chivu 67); Milito (Sneijder 76), Pazzini (Forlan 90)

Ref: Orsato

Serie A: AC Milan vs. Inter - lineups
15.1 || webmaster

AC Milan: Abbiati, Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Boateng, Van Bommel, Nocerino, Emanuelson, Ibrahimovic, Pato (Subs: Amelia, Mexes, Antonini, Ambrosini, Seedorf, Robinho, Inzaghi).

Inter: Julio Cesar, Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Nagatomo, Zanetti, Thiago Motta, Cambiasso, Alvarez, Milito, Pazzini.

Galliani has derby fever
15.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani praised rivals Inter ahead of tonight’s huge Milan derby and said Massimiliano Allegri “deserved his contract renewal.”

The joint Serie A leaders are unbeaten in 12, while the Nerazzurri have won five on the trot, so the pressure is on at San Siro.

“We are going to play an incredibly important game against a very strong side. Inter have a wonderful squad,” Vice-President Galliani told Milan Channel.

In the last few days the Rossoneri have extended Coach Allegri’s contract to June 2014, as it was set to expire this summer.

“I remember saying a long time ago that Allegri was the right fit for Milan. He deserved his contract renewal for all the great work he did, winning the Scudetto in his first season. Of course there were negotiations about money, because everyone is in a financial crisis, then we reached an agreement.”

Some star names will be forced to watch the derby from the stands, as Antonio Cassano is recovering from a minor stroke and Gennaro Gattuso is still struggling with an eye condition.

“I spoke to Antonio earlier and we hope he can return as soon as possible. As for Gattuso, he will overcome this latest setback.”

Berlusconi: 'I stopped Pato'
14.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan President Silvio Berlusconi reveals why Alexandre Pato stayed. “It was my decision, as I was not convinced by the whole operation.”

The Brazilian was all set to join Paris Saint-Germain for €35m on Thursday, raising the funds to buy Carlos Tevez from Manchester City, but at the last minute he pulled the plug.

However, now it has been confirmed that it was not just Pato’s choice, but also President Berlusconi’s.

“I decided to keep Pato because I consider him a player of great talent,” said the patron.

“I was not convinced by the whole operation, not from a tactical stand-point nor an economic one. It is a decision that I made autonomously.

“I am convinced this was the best thing for Milan.”

Berlusconi has particular affection for Pato, who is dating his daughter Barbara.

Thiago Silva a derby doubt
14.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have bad news ahead of Sunday’s showdown with Inter, as Thiago Silva and Clarence Seedorf are major injury doubts.

The Rossoneri are already without Alberto Aquilani and Gennaro Gattuso for the match tomorrow evening.

Although reports from the club medical staff suggest they are optimistic Thiago Silva will be fit in time, he is struggling with a muscular problem.

The Brazilian defender did not take part in the final training session due to a thigh twinge and was already having problems on Friday.

Meanwhile, Seedorf is suffering from flu symptoms and is also a doubt for the big game. Taye Taiwo has not been called up due to the same illness.

Antonio Cassano was along with the squad for their run-out at San Siro this afternoon and amused teammates by continually asking to join in the game between ranks.

Cassano was given the all-clear this week to start personalised training as he continues his recovery from a minor stroke caused by a congenital heart defect.
Milan squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Abate, Antonini, Bonera, Mexes, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Ambrosini, Boateng, Emanuelson, Nocerino, Seedorf, Van Bommel, El Shaarawy, Ibrahimovic, Inzaghi, Pato, Robinho

Allegri hints at AC Milan trio
14.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri sees the derby as a chance to end Inter’s Scudetto hopes, reveals what really happened with Alexandre Pato and proposes the trident attack.

It has been a chaotic few days for Milan, who on Thursday abandoned negotiations with Carlos Tevez after Pato turned down a €35m move to Paris Saint-Germain.

“This week has been rather eventful,” confessed the Coach who also signed a contract extension to June 2014.

“We continued our work in a relaxed manner despite the many reports swirling round the team. I never said that I wanted to sell Pato. It was simply a transfer operation to replace Antonio Cassano. It’s also not true that I have a cold rapport with Pato. With him and the other players I have a perfectly professional relationship.

“It is only normal that he’ll be on the bench sometimes, as everyone is. It’s impossible to play every single game and nobody ever doubted his quality. Will Tevez arrive anyway? I don’t know, I’m just focused on the derby. As for my contract, that was never a problem, it was just an issue of timing.”

Allegri has won all the Milan derbies since coming to San Siro and hopes to continue that record against a revived Inter coming off five consecutive victories.

“I think after the change of management from Gian Piero Gasperini to Claudio Ranieri that Inter changed their style of football. They are in good shape and have found a balance to their team.

“The derby is always a tense affair and one that requires great concentration. We are not too far away from them in the table, so must try to win at all costs. After all, a victory would mean cutting down their chances of fighting for the Scudetto, so it is an important crossroads.”

Alberto Aquilani is out for a month and Gennaro Gattuso suffered a relapse of his eye condition, so Allegri must again reshuffle the midfield.

“Kevin-Prince Boateng did well there against Atalanta, while Urby Emanuelson is an option for the trequartista role. In fact, I could also field Pato, Robinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic together.”

Ranieri: 'Derby is a game apart'
14.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Claudio Ranieri notes Inter “are in favourable form” going into the Milan derby on Sunday night, “but it’s always a game apart from the others.”

The Nerazzurri have won five consecutive Serie A matches and a win tomorrow evening could put them right back in the Scudetto race.

“It’s always a game apart from the others, outside the context of the League, and particularly emotional for fans and players,” said the Coach preparing for his first Derby della Madonnina.

“Milan are up there, unbeaten in 12 rounds. We respect them a great deal, but will aim to beat them. We’ve prepared for this match, are in favourable form and Inter are ready.”

Julio Cesar is in the squad despite a back problem, while Wesley Sneijder and Diego Forlan also return.

“I don’t know how many minutes Sneijder has in his legs, as he hasn’t played since November. I am very pleased to see him back, along with Cristian Chivu and Forlan. It’s a shame about Dejan Stankovic, as he was training very well, but today felt pain in the tendon.

“I am certainly not going to complain at having a large squad to choose from, as a Coach only begins to have problems when he is forced into decisions.”

Ranieri had some very specific warnings for the Nerazzurri with regards to tactics and approach.

“We always tend to concede at the first counter-attack, so we have been warned. Milan know more than anyone how to hurt teams on the counter.

“Is the derby a crossroads? As we already said against Juventus, Napoli and Udinese, the three points are the important thing. We lost three head-to-heads this season and it seemed as if we’d never be able to get back into the race.

“If we win, then Milan will lose precious points and start to believe we’re back. If we lose then we stay where we are with another 20 matches to climb back up.”

The Inter boss concluded by wishing Milan Coach Massimiliano Allegri well after signing a contract extension.

“It wasn’t easy for him to come in to a big club without much experience. He worked and earned the respect of everyone. I am very happy he renewed his contract.”

Cosmi: 'Mesbah will join AC Milan'
14.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lecce Coach Serse Cosmi has dropped Djamel Mesbah from tomorrow’s match with Fiorentina “because he is going to join Milan.”

The tactician revealed the successful conclusion of transfer negotiations during his Press conference this afternoon.

“Mesbah is not in the squad because he is going to join Milan. There is nothing official yet, but he should make the move at the start of next week,” said Cosmi.

“Plus his wife is set to give birth at any moment, so it is better that he stays at home during this time.”

Lecce lose their star full-back ahead of Sunday’s tricky encounter with Fiorentina.

Tevez agent: 'Man City - AC Milan still talking'
14.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter and PSG resume the chase for Carlos Tevez, but his agent confirms “conversations between Milan and Manchester City are not over yet.”

The matter came to a head on Thursday when the Rossoneri sensationally pulled out of the deal after Alexandre Pato turned down a €35m move to Paris Saint-Germain.

This has prompted both Inter and the French side to get back into the €30m race for Tevez, but agent Kia Joorabchian reveals the situation is still up in the air.

“Carlitos owes a huge debt of gratitude to Corinthians, but they have to accept the fact he will play for Milan,” he told Brazilian media.

“The conversations between Milan and Manchester City are not over yet. There will be more meetings. We’ve all still got to wait, wait, wait...”

Rossoneri Vice-President Adriano Galliani left England on Thursday evening, having failed to broker a deal following the Pato pull-out.

However, it’s reported Milan are counting on Tevez to dig his heels in by refusing all other transfers until the final days of the window.

At that point, Manchester City would be fairly desperate to be rid of the troubled striker and accept the loan offer with an option to buy.

It is also reported that Tevez is prepared to accept a 40 per cent wage cut in order to join Milan.

Allegri joy at AC Milan extension
14.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri is “happy with the opportunity to work for another two years with Milan” after signing his contract extension.

The negotiations had been dragging on for many months, but were finally put to bed on Friday when he penned a new deal until June 2014.

“I am happy with the opportunity to work for another two years with Milan,” he told Milan Channel.

“I thank President Silvio Berlusconi and Vice-President Adriano Galliani for their faith in me. I believe we have everything we need to continue the work started a year and a half ago.”

The deal comes just before Sunday’s huge Serie A clash against local rivals Inter.

“The derby is always a delicate encounter and I think this edition is particularly important, about as much as last season.

“Our objective now is to have a great derby and reach the end of the season trying to win the Scudetto, do great things in the Champions League and going forward in the Coppa Italia.”

Cassano to begin training
13.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Cassano has been assessed and passed fit to recommence his playing career with Milan and begin training again from tomorrow.

The 29-year-old has been out of action since the end of October after suffering a mild stroke that doctors found was the result of a minor heart condition. Since undergoing surgery, the former Bari and Roma man has been on a specialised routine of mild exercise - generally walking - and tests to assess his recovery.

After the latest round of examinations held at Milanello this week, it has been confirmed through a Press release on Friday evening that doctors have now given Cassano the green light to begin ‘progressive individual athletic’ training from tomorrow.

Ibrahimovic: AC Milan ready for derby
13.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic spoke of the anticipation that he feels ahead of the weekend’s Derby della Madonnina and the respect he feels for his teammates.

The 30-year-old began a lengthy interview with Milan Channel by revealing what it feels like heading into the Milan derby from a player’s perspective. The Rossoneri’s current top-scorer has already experienced the occasion playing for both teams.

“When we approach the derby there is always so much tension, all the newspapers talk about it, prestige is at stake for both clubs. It’s a great game and even more a challenge. The whole world watches and it is great to be able to play. It is also important for the Scudetto.

“The players are thinking about the game of course. What happens outside and with transfers is a thing for the directors, we read the newspapers and know everything, but we think only of Sunday’s game.

“We need to focus only on our game and not think about what Juventus are doing either. We are all prepared and waiting for the derby.”

The tall Swede offered his views on three teammates who have endured different fortunes during this season.

“When I see Thiago Silva I see me, but as a defender. There is no defender in the world more complete than him.

“Although I have had strong defenders as teammates, such as Thuram, Pique, Cannavaro and Puyol, I think that Thiago is on another level.

“Abate has grown so much in my opinion. When I arrived I didn’t know him. Now I know if he is not on the field. He is a great person and has become an important player for the team.

“He has to be given the chance to play for the national team. For a player this is the best thing that can happen, it is a great honour to play for your country. If he continues then he will become a starter for the Azzurri.

“Robinho has missed a few goals, but I have gone wrong, even Pato and Inzaghi have also gone wrong. there are times when the ball doesn’t go in, but the important thing is that the opportunity is created.”

Ibra also reflected on the Rossoneri’s long-term absentees.

“Cassano came to Milanello two days ago to do some testing, he is always close to the team, even if he is not here every day he is always close. He is a great player who we all love.

“I know that Rino Gattuso is still enduring some problems and I’m sorry because he is a great person, a great player for the team and he serves on the pitch and off it, because he is a great leader.

“For me especially it is important that he is okay first as a person and then as a footballer.”

Ancelotti: Pato made PSG U-turn
13.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Paris Saint-Germain boss Carlo Ancelotti has revealed why Milan’s Alexandre Pato won’t be joining his club. “He changed his mind.”

Pato was expected to sign for the French giants this month, with Milan set to use the reported €35m transfer fee to fund their move for Carlos Tevez of Manchester City.

However, both deals collapsed on Thursday after the Brazilian youngster committed his future to the Rossoneri.

“There was an agreement with Milan for the transfer of Pato to PSG,” Ancelotti, a former Milan player and boss, is quoted as saying.

“However, unfortunately, Pato changed his mind and decided to reject the move in favour of staying at Milan.”

OFFICIAL: Allegri signs new contract
13.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Coach Massimiliano Allegri has extended his contract with Italian champions Milan, the club have confirmed.

Allegri met Vice-President Adriano Galliani this afternoon and a compromise was reached after a few previous rounds of talks.

Allegri, who won the Scudetto last term as his first San Siro attempt, is now tied to the outfit until June 2014.

Negotiations had previously stalled over personal terms.

AC Milan suffer double blow
13.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan midfielders Gennaro Gattuso and Alberto Aquilani will be sidelined with injuries for the next month.

Sky Sport Italia is reporting the news this afternoon ahead of the Italian champions’ derby against Inter on Sunday night.

Gattuso was close to a comeback after being out since last September because of an optical nerve problem.

He was making real progress in recovering, but he’s now picked up an eye infection during the club’s recent winter tour of Dubai.

Aquilani, meanwhile, will be in the treatment room for four weeks after the Italian international picked up an ankle injury.

There were fears that the former Liverpool, Roma and Juventus man could need surgery, but an operation has been ruled out.

AC Milan favourites, says Thiago Motta
13.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter may have won five games in a row, but Thiago Motta insists that Milan will start Sunday’s derby as favourites.

“Milan will go into the game in better shape,” the Nerazzurri midfielder told the Corriere dello Sport. “The League table says that.

“They are top and they are the ‘home’ team. However, they also have the most to lose as it is hard to pick yourselves up after a derby loss.”

The Rossoneri are joint-leaders with Juventus, eight points clear of fifth-placed Inter who could get back into the title race with a win.

“Right now I’d say that the Scudetto isn’t possible,” the Brazilian-born Italian international added. “However, in two or three months…”

The Beneamata started the campaign in a disastrous fashion and new boss Gian Piero Gasperini was replaced by Claudio Ranieri in September.

“Ranieri looked to put everyone in their right place,” Motta stated when questioned about the former Roma boss.

“The side which won the treble here no longer exists as that was three years ago – which is a long time in football.

“In three or four seasons from now Barcelona will no longer be Barcelona…”

Boateng targets Inter KO
13.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng is eager to end Inter’s Scudetto chances in this weekend’s derby.

The Nerazzurri are presently in fifth place and a loss to the Rossoneri would see them fall a massive 11 points behind the leaders.

“We are the strongest team and we want to take Inter out of the Scudetto equation,” the midfielder told Tuttosport.

The San Siro showdown is being eagerly awaited in Italy as, despite the gap in the standings, the Nerazzurri are in form having won their last five in Serie A.

“I’m loving the atmosphere in the city ahead of the derby,” continued the Ghana international. “Everyone is crazy for it.”

Milan are presently joint top with Juventus and the former Portsmouth man has been impressed by the Bianconeri.

“I really enjoy myself when I watch their games,” he continued.

AC Milan to resume Allegri talks
13.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

After ending their interest in Carlos Tevez, Milan will now turn their attention to extending the contract of boss Massimiliano Allegri.

The tactician’s present terms expires in June 2012 and talks over a new deal have yet to reach a compromise.

Both parties want to continue their relationship, but there is a difference of opinion when it comes to salary.

The Rossoneri want to offer the former Cagliari boss a deal worth €2m a season with bonus incentives that would see the tactician possibly net a further €500,000.

Allegri, however, wants a flat deal of €2.5m which is not dependant on achieving certain results.

The 44-year-old moved to San Siro at the start of last season and delivered the Scudetto at his first attempt.

Galliani: 'Tevez won't join AC Milan'
12.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani has confirmed Alexandre “Pato decided to stay, so we have given up on Carlos Tevez. He won’t be coming to Milan.”

The Vice-President was in London for final negotiations with Manchester City and was all set to use the €35m from Pato’s sale to Paris Saint-Germain in order to prise away the Argentine.

However, late this afternoon Pato turned down the PSG transfer, so Galliani flew back to Milan this evening.

“Pato decided to stay, so we have given up on Tevez. He won’t be coming to Milan,” Galliani told Sky Sport Italia at the Linate Airport.

“The two transfer operations were linked and all of them had various clauses. I believe in fate and remember that when Gianluca Vialli said no, then we brought in Marco Van Basten. If Pato wants to remain, then we hope he will do well with Milan.

“We have the utmost faith in the strikers at our disposal, also trusting in Antonio Cassano’s swift return, as he will become our big new signing.”

Cassano is expected to be out until the end of the season after surgery on a congenital heart defect.

“Will Tevez go to Inter? I have considered this as a possibility, but prefer to keep it to myself. I am in any case very happy that Pato has made this decision.

“I do know what is happening with Tevez, but don’t want to comment right now. Will we call Manchester City again? We’ll see.”

Maxi Lopez back on the map
12.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Now that Alexandre Pato’s refusal to join PSG has scuppered the Carlos Tevez move, Milan are running back to Maxi Lopez.

It has been a whirlwind day for the Rossoneri, who had apparently agreed to sell Pato to Paris Saint-Germain for €35m, raising the funds to buy Tevez from Manchester City. Pato’s refusal to leave San Siro terminated the negotiations.

Instead, Milan are going back to their original plan to replace Antonio Cassano during his recovery from heart surgery.

Maxi Lopez had been the first target and a deal was reached with Catania in December, but their option expired when waiting to go heavily after Tevez.

Now it’s reported Maxi Lopez is back on top of the wish-list and the swoop could be completed within hours for a loan with option to buy worth €7m.

The Argentine brings Serie A experience and, unlike Tevez, he is eligible for the Champions League.

Tevez deal off
12.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have sensationally “interrupted” negotiations for Carlos Tevez after Alexandre Pato decided not to join PSG, confirmed Adriano Galliani.

The turnaround late this afternoon appears to have had a massive knock-on effect for the transfer strategies of Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City.

“Pato’s decision to stay at Milan is entirely personal,” said Rossoneri Vice-President Galliani to the ANSA news agency.

“At this moment the negotiations for Tevez have been interrupted. This is because of Pato’s decision.”

Galliani is in England for face-to-face talks with Manchester City, as the €35m from selling Pato to PSG was set to be used in order to sign Tevez.

Paris Saint-Germain director Leonardo said as much during today’s Press conference to present new signing Maxwell.

“I am optimistic and believe the Pato deal will be completed over the weekend.”

However, Pato has wrong-footed everyone with his announcement on the official Milan website.

Pato denies PSG move
12.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato has issued an immediate denial to reports this afternoon that suggested he had agreed a €35m transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.

A report by French news agency AFP claimed that the 22-year-old had agreed terms on a three-and-a-half-year contract worth upwards of €6m a year.

However, within hours of that story emerging, Pato offered an official communication through Milan’s website.

“Milan is my home. I did not want to interrupt my career with the Rossoneri after winning my first two trophies with this shirt.

“I want to contribute to the writing of Milan’s history and to the future success of this club, in perfect harmony with everything.

“This joy gives me the energy to face future matches with more enthusiasm, with the desire to win and to score goals.

“Today is a special day for me. I thank the Prime Minister Berlusconi, the club and the fans who have always believed in me.”

Meanwhile, Pato’s agent, Gilmar Veloz also confirmed to Tuttomercatoweb.com that the player’s intention is to remain at San Siro.

“Pato remains at Milan, he is a Milan player and there is no intention to change that.

“Alexandre stays with Milan, he has a contract and wants to respect it because he is linked to Berlusconi, the club and the fans.

“I thank Leonardo. We spoke about it too. But Pato has Milan in his mind, he wants to stay.”

From France: Pato to sign for PSG?
12.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

A report in France is claiming that Milan striker Alexandre Pato has agreed to a transfer to Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain.

The Parisian side have reportedly been in negotiations to reunite the Brazilian forward with former Rossoneri Coaches Carlo Ancelotti and Leonardo in the French capital since the end of December. Such action came after Pato revealed his discontentment at Milan under current Coach Massimiliano Allegri.

French news agency AFP are now running the line that talks are in their final stages, that the player has agreed personal terms and that the transfer will be completed tomorrow, just days before the Milan derby.

It is understood that PSG will pay Milan €35m and that Pato will join on a three-and-a-half-year deal with an annual wage in the region of €6-7m. Pato’s agent will reportedly fly out to Paris tomorrow to sign off on the deal and complete the formalities.

The news broke in the same hour that Inter President Massimo Moratti admitted defeat to Milan in trying to sign Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez. That transfer and Pato’s are thought linked by the Rossoneri’s reported requirement to raise funds to be able to afford to bring in the Argentine striker.

The 22-year-old Pato has scored 51 goals in 111 League appearances for the San Siro side since making his debut in January 2008. Leonardo, who is PSG’s director of sport, played an instrumental role in originally bringing the player to Italy.

News of his reported departure comes within hours of Coach Allegri’s claims that he believed Pato would be staying with the Serie A defending champions.

Moratti: Tevez will join AC Milan
12.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Moratti has admitted defeat in Inter’s pursuit of Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez and believes that the Argentine will now join Milan.

The Nerazzurri reportedly contacted and agreed a fee with Man City for the striker earlier this month, whilst the player and his advisor agreed personal terms with Milan’s Adriano Galliani.

Reports today place Galliani as arriving in England to counter Inter’s accepted bid and as Moratti admitted this afternoon, it now looks like the final advantage is with Il Diavolo.

“I think Tevez will go to Milan,” answered the President when quizzed by journalists outside his offices in the city. “That’s football.”

Taiwo won't leave AC Milan
12.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Taye Taiwo will remain with Italian champions Milan for the rest of the season, it has been confirmed.

The Nigerian, signed on a Bosman in the summer from Marseille, was being paired with a January exit after playing in just four Serie A games.

However, agent Fabio Parisi has told Milan News on Wednesday afternoon that his client isn’t heading for the exit.

“There is nothing new to report on Taiwo,” the representative noted. “As a result, he will be staying at Milan.

“The proposed arrival of Djamel Mesbah from Lecce? It’s only normal to face competition for a shirt at a big club.

“However, the player doesn’t fear that.”

Taiwo is a left-back.

Allegri believes Pato will stay
12.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri insists that Sunday’s clash against Inter won’t be Alexandre Pato’s last derby.

The Brazilian is still being paired with an imminent move to Paris Saint-Germain, but the tactician expects the striker to remain at San Siro.

“I really don’t believe that this will be Pato’s last derby,” Allegri told the Corriere della Sera in an interview.

“He did well at Bergamo on Sunday despite the fact that I took him off. I just needed an attacker with different characteristics.

“He won us the penalty, he hit the post and he was a protagonist in two or three situations.”

The Rossoneri will go into Sunday’s San Siro showdown eight points clear of Inter, but Allegri respects their city rivals.

“The next derby will be different from the others,” the former Cagliari tactician noted.

“Unless something extraordinary happens then Inter will be obliged to win to get back into contention for the Scudetto.

“Inter are in good shape and they showed that against Parma. This is the best Inter of the season, but we are in good form as the results show – 10 victories and two draws.

“I’m sure it’ll be a great game with an excellent Milan.”

The Nerazzurri started the campaign sluggishly, but they’ve been revived under new boss Claudio Ranieri and they’ve now won five League matches on the trot.

“A few of their players, like Ricky Alvarez, have grown. The squad is good and they’ll have returning players like Wesley Sneijder and Diego Forlan too.

“Inter started the season with a squad built to fight for the Scudetto and their technical merits remain.

“Perhaps they were penalised by certain aspects such as injuries. Nevertheless, Inter will finish in the top three without a doubt.”

Allegri joined the Milan giants at the start of last season and he instantly delivered the title. However, his contract expires in June and extension talks has stalled over salary demands.

“There are not any problems with my contract, it’s just a question of time,” said the man who reportedly wants €2.5m a season.

“We’ve already spoken on two or three occasions about it. I want to stay and the club want to keep me. I think that we’ll sort it out soon, but probably not before the derby.”

Allegri was also asked about the transfer market where he praised the ability of Vice-President Adriano Galliani.

“Galliani has worked in a great manner. Since I have been here excellent players have arrived.

“The squad has changed a lot, players with an average age of 25-26 have arrived. Kevin Prince Boateng is 24, Stephan El Shaarawy has a great future, as does Alex Merkel who is currently at Genoa.

“The club is working well to make sure the team is competitive at a high level for the next three or four years.”

AC Milan fly out for Tevez
12.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan official Adriano Galliani will fly to England on Thursday to make Manchester City a fresh offer for Carlos Tevez. But will Alexandre Pato be sacrificed?

According to reports in Italy, the Vice-President is ready to alter the club’s original request in order to net the Argentine after Inter joined the race for him.

Milan, having agreed personal terms with the striker, wanted Tevez on loan with the option to buy at the end of the season. City rejected that request.

However, the champions are now ready to accept a mandatory buy-out at the end of the season with that fee set at €25m. That figure could rise by another €3m if certain bonus conditions are met.

Nevertheless, in order to finance that deal, it is being claimed that Milan will sell Pato to Paris Saint-Germain.

Although links between the Brazilian and the French club have been denied by all parties recently, sources in Italy claim a switch is on the horizon.

It was claimed yesterday that Milan had rejected a €28m offer from PSG for the young striker. PSG are now said to have upped their approach to €33m.

Fiorentina's Natali calls AC Milan
12.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cesare Natali’s agent has confirmed “he will not sign a renewal with Fiorentina,” advising Milan to pounce on the defender.

The Rossoneri will be without Mario Yepes for around 10 weeks due to a right ankle injury, while Philippe Mexes and Alessandro Nesta continue to have their own fitness concerns.

“I can say that the lad has not accepted Fiorentina’s conditions for a contract renewal,” agent Mino Raiola told La Nazione.

“Would he like to join Milan? Well, certainly his wife is from Milan. We will have to wait and see what happens.”

The 32-year-old is a free agent at the end of the season, so the Viola do not want to risk losing him for nothing.

Natali would represent an experienced temporary reinforcement for the back four at San Siro and is eligible for the Champions League, should he be needed.

It would still be a cheap transfer operation, costing under €1m.

Meanwhile, there was more bad news for Milan, whose youth team star striker Kingsley Boateng has torn both the anterior cruciate and lateral ligaments in his left knee.

It is particularly worrying, as the teenager already underwent surgery for a similar problem to his right knee.

Mesbah 'flattered' by AC Milan talks
11.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lecce confirm their talks with Milan are on-going for Djamel Mesbah. “Undoubtedly it is flattering, but I am focused on the present.”

The defender has been pin-pointed as the ideal replacement for Taye Taiwo and negotiations began on Tuesday.

“It was a good meeting. They like the player and both clubs respect each other,” said Lecce director of sport Osti.

“Over the next few days we will have another meeting.”

Algerian left-back Mesbah himself was asked about the potential mid-season move to San Siro.

“Undoubtedly it is flattering, but I am focused on the present. You’d have to ask the club about this sort of thing.

“At the moment I cannot think about the transfer market. My attention is based only on daily work and specifically the upcoming game against Fiorentina.”

Chelsea ask about Cristante
11.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

It’s reported in Italy that Chelsea have made enquiries after Milan’s youth team starlet Bryan Cristante.

The 16-year-old midfielder made his Champions League debut against Viktoria Plzen this season and already impressed overseas.

According to TMW, FIFA agent Giuseppe Riso visited the Rossoneri headquarters today in order to negotiate on Chelsea’s behalf for Cristante.

However, Milan replied that the teenage talent is not for sale, as he will get his opportunities in Serie A.

PSG make Pato bid
11.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Gazzetta dello Sport is today claiming that Paris Saint-Germain have made Milan an offer for Alexandre Pato.

Milan recently insisted that the Brazilian would be remaining at the club despite speculation that all is not well in his relationship with boss Massimiliano Allegri.

The Italian champions have also previously claimed that they’ve not been contacted by Paris SG for the attacker.

However, the Gazzetta is suggesting that PSG, now bossed by former Milan tactician Carlo Ancelotti, have tabled a €28m bid for the youngster.

That fee is said to be considered as too low by the San Siro giants who value the 22-year-old at around €40m.

Milan, it is claimed, may be tempted to sell if a decent offer arrived in order to then use that cash to sign Carlos Tevez.

They’ve agreed personal terms with the Argentine striker, but Manchester City have so far refused to hand over the player on a loan with a right to buy option.

Nevertheless, not everyone agrees with the potential decision to sacrifice Pato for Tevez.

“If I had a choice between Tevez and Pato then I would go for the Brazilian,” former Brescia boss Mario Beretta commented.

“Pato is still young and he has margins for improvement.

“There are a few problems in his strike partnership with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but I think it could be a psychological one which can be resolved.”

AC Milan confirm Mesbah talks
10.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are in confirmed negotiations with Lecce for versatile full-back Djamel Mesbah, revealed his agent.

“At the moment we are in talks, but that is all. I can confirm a meeting this afternoon between Lecce and Milan to talk about Mesbah,” agent Alessandro Lucci told Milannews.

“I am acting as an intermediary for Lecce so the lad can find the right solution. The chat with the Rossoneri went well and he’d certainly be enthusiastic about such a move.”

The 27-year-old Algerian international can play as an attacking full-back or in a more advanced position.

He is seen as the replacement for Taye Taiwo, who failed to impress during his first six months at San Siro.

Mesbah’s contract expires in June, so he would be available for €1.5m and Milan are reportedly offering a four-and-a-half-year deal.

Abbiati's derby highlights
10.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati looks back over his favourite derby moments, including the Champions League semi-final.

The San Siro rivals go head-to-head in the Derby della Madonnina on Sunday night as Inter try to break back into the Scudetto race.

“I think one of the most exciting derbies I experienced was the 2-2 draw in 1999,” said the shot-stopper.

“Clearly it is impossible to forget the Champions League semi-final in 2003. My save on Mohamed Kallon was undoubtedly the most important of my career.”

With a 1-1 draw in the second leg, Milan qualified on ‘away’ goals, where they went on to beat Juventus on penalties to lift the trophy.

Inter target Tevez 'only wants AC Milan'
10.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports that Carlos Tevez’s agent told Inter “he only wants to play for Milan,” causing problems for Manchester City.

The Rossoneri agreed personal terms with the Argentine last month, but City have so far rejected their offer to take the striker on loan with an option to buy at the end of the season.

Inter have dived into the race and started negotiations with Manchester City on Monday, but Italian media suggest a battle is brewing.

“Carlos told me he only wants to play alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Milan,” agent Kia Joorabchian is said to have told Nerazzurri director Marco Branca.

The quote was provided by Sportmediaset.

Moratti: Inter serious about Tevez
9.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Moratti insists Inter’s interest in Carlos Tevez is for the potential the move may represent, not for the opportunity to rile neighbours Milan.

The Rossoneri were thought in December to be in prime contention to secure the want-away Argentine striker’s services from Manchester City.

However, where Adriano Galliani has already held discussions with the player and his agent and reportedly come to an agreement, Inter’s Marco Branca has equally achieved the same with officials at the English club.

Outside his offices in Milan today, President Moratti was quizzed by journalists about the club’s motives for disrupting the plans of their San Siro rivals.

“Tevez? If we do something it is not in jest but because we think it will be a good move,” he made clear.

“We received information on how things stood and that there was room to act, we’ll see if we can do it or not.

“There are still 20 days left. Am I optimistic about a deal for Tevez? It’s not a matter of being optimistic, we’ll just see how things are.”

The comments come as Inter prepare to face Milan in the derby this coming weekend.

“It is an important week, I was glad to see the team do well on Saturday because it gives us greater confidence in the coming days.”

Amelia of interest to Spartak Moscow
9.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Spartak Moscow are pondering a January bid for Milan and Italy goalkeeper Marco Amelia, his agent has revealed.

“I can confirm that Spartak are following him with interest,” representative Carlo Pallavicino told Milan News.

“They have been monitoring his performances and they even sent some observers to watch him when Milan were in Dubai last week.

“Spartak wanted him four years ago and Amelia had already had his medical until [Livorno President Aldo] Spinelli changed his mind and the deal collapsed.

“However, over these years the admiration from their club officials for Marco has continued.”

Amelia, who was part of Italy’s 2006 World Cup winning squad, is the No 2 at Milanello behind Christian Abbiati.

“The Russian market closes later than the Italian one so this situation could go on for a while longer,” Pallavicino continued.

“We’ll have to consider a lot of things and, right now, it is difficult to predict what will happen.

“Marco has always been ready when called upon and that fact hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Rossoneri.”

Amelia has appeared in just four Serie A games for the Italian champions so far this season.

Allegri: Inter are back in race
9.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri fears that Inter – their next Serie A opponents – are back in the race for the Scudetto.

“I hope I’m wrong, but I think that Inter could be in contention for the title until the very end,” he noted on Monday.

The Nerazzurri had a desperately poor start to the season, but results have picked up since Coach Claudio Ranieri replaced Gian Piero Gasperini.

Inter have won seven of their last eight League games which have seen them move up into fifth place behind Lazio, Udinese, Juventus and Milan.

Although they are still eight points behind Juve and the Rossoneri, they could get to within five points of their San Siro rivals with a win in Week 18.

Manchester City reject AC Milan's Tevez bid?
8.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Italian media claim Manchester City have rejected Milan’s latest offer for Carlos Tevez, as they are “irritated by their attitude and that of the player.”

Rossoneri Vice-President Adriano Galliani met with Tevez and agent Kia Joorabchian this week in Brazil, flying back to confirm the striker had agreed terms.

However, City are unhappy with the proposal to take him on loan with a €24m buy-out clause that is activated only if he plays the remaining 50 per cent of Milan’s games this season.

“City are ready to say no to Milan’s offer for Tevez,” reported Sky Sport Italia transfer guru Gianluca Di Marzio.

“The English club are hardening their position because they are irritated by their attitude and that of the player. They feel Milan are doing all their talking through the media.”

City are also thought to be annoyed with Tevez, who rather forced this move upon them and seems eager to take the least financially advantageous deal for the club.

“Therefore they await Inter’s written proposal for the player. The Nerazzurri would take Tevez on loan with an unconditional pledge to buy for €25m at the end of the season.

“Now it is up to the Rossoneri to either match Inter’s offer or let the player escape from their clutches.”

Allegri hails important win
8.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri admits it was crucial for Milan to begin 2012 on the right foot, but won’t discuss Carlos Tevez.

“It was an entertaining and physical game. Atalanta could’ve caused us problems on the counter and that proved to be the case, but my lads adapted very well in midfield,” he said of their 2-0 victory in Bergamo.

“The team fought hard and made a very difficult test seem simple. It was important to win coming back from the winter break and we achieved that.

“I am happy with Alexandre Pato’s performance, as he earned a penalty and created several chances, having also hit the woodwork. I like Kevin-Prince Boateng in midfield and began using him there when he first arrived.

“Next up is the derby with Inter and we hope to make it four wins in a row.”

The last few weeks have been dominated by talk about Tevez and the offer to Manchester City, but Allegri is tight-lipped.

“I am not accustomed to discussing players belonging to other teams. It is only normal to admire Tevez, as he is a champion anyone would like to train. At the moment he is at Manchester City, so I’d have nothing to say to him.”

Colantuono blames 'non-existent' penalty
8.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stefano Colantuono believes the “non-existent penalty proved decisive” in Atalanta’s defeat to Milan.

The Orobici were beaten 2-0 on home turf by a Zlatan Ibrahimovic spot-kick, awarded for Thomas Manfredini’s tackle on Alexandre Pato, and a Kevin-Prince Boateng strike.

“The non-existent penalty proved decisive,” insisted the Coach. “If anything, it was a foul on Manfredini. He had the advantage and Pato barged into him with his hip. I think the images speak very clearly. You can see Pato change direction mid-run.

“It’s obviously disappointing, as we had prepared this game very well and it was other than that incident a balanced encounter.

“It remains a positive performance, as we work hard and create good football. We were facing champions like Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva who are without rivals in Serie A. The penalty changed the game.

“Ibra did cause a lot of problems by peeling off outside the box, allowing players like Antonio Nocerino, Pato and Boateng to burst in behind him. He is an incredible player.”

There was a large banner before the game from the Atalanta fans aimed at ex-captain Cristiano Doni. He had until recently insisted he was innocent in the betting scandal, but confessed to police he had some minor involvement ‘for the good of Atalanta.’

The club was docked six points because of the scandal and the banner read: ‘Judas. We are and always will be behind clean football. Doni, as far as we’re concerned you are finished.’

Serie A: Atalanta 0:2 AC Milan - goals
8.1 || webmaster



Serie A: Atalanta 0:2 AC Milan - match report
8.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Ibrahimovic pen 22 (M), Boateng 82 (M)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored one and created another for Kevin-Prince Boateng as Milan ended Atalanta’s unbeaten home record.

This was a Lombardy derby and a very difficult test for the Rossoneri, as Atalanta would be in sixth place without their six-point penalty. That betting scandal reared its head again over the Christmas break with ex-captain Cristiano Doni’s arrest, so the team wanted to wipe away those off the field issues. Milan had to completely revamp their midfield, as Massimo Ambrosini was suspended with Clarence Seedorf, Alberto Aquilani, Gennaro Gattuso, Mathieu Flamini, Antonio Cassano, Mario Yepes, Ignazio Abate were injured. Therefore Kevin-Prince Boateng went into a deeper midfield role with Urby Emanuelson as trequartista.

Thomas Manfredini just about did enough to stop Zlatan Ibrahimovic tapping in from close range, while German Denis fired over the bar and Simone Padoin blasted off target from an improbable angle.

There was controversy when Manfredini went diving in through the back of Alexandre Pato and Atalanta were furious, insisting the Brazilian had taken a step backwards. The referee awarded a penalty, which Ibrahimovic converted as a daisy-cutter into the near bottom corner.

Atalanta tried to fight back, but struggled to create chances, as Federico Peluso’s pass for Padoin was a touch too heavy.

Milan came so close to doubling their lead after the restart, but Pato nodded Emanuelson’s cross on to the woodwork from six yards!

Moments later, Luca Cigarini unleashed a blockbuster from distance that almost propelled Christian Abbiati back into his own net. Ibra went on the counter from that Atalanta corner, but lost it at the last second.

Atalanta also hit the frame of the goal, as a corner got a glancing touch off Simone Tiribocchi and found Denis at the back post, but he only prodded it on to the upright from less than a yard!

The Orobici were pouring forward with remarkable determination, but this left gaps at the back and Manfredini flung himself at Ibrahimovic’s shot like a human shield to force the corner.

The Rossoneri made it 2-0 with Boateng, though much of the credit goes to Ibrahimovic. The Swede chested down a long ball, got to the by-line and pulled back for Boateng to blast in off the underside of the crossbar.

Ibrahimovic was on a roll now, as he nutmegged Ferri to test Andrea Consigli at the near post, while Antonio Nocerino failed to finish off Robinho’s assist.

Atalanta: Consigli; Masiello, Ferri, Manfredini, Peluso; Schelotto (Gabbiadini 80), Cigarini, Carmona (Bonaventura 71), Padoin; Marilungo (Tiribocchi 56), Denis

Milan: Abbiati; Bonera, Mexes, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Boateng, Van Bommel, Nocerino; Emanuelson; Pato (Robinho 68), Ibrahimovic

Ref: Rizzoli

Inter beat AC Milan to Tevez?
8.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

It’s reported Inter are surging ahead of Milan in the race for Carlos Tevez by offering €27m to sign the troubled striker.

The Rossoneri reiterated this weekend after a meeting in Brazil that “Tevez accepted our proposal and is in agreement with us. Now it’s up to Manchester City whether they want to accept it or not.”

However, it’s widely rumoured that City are irritated at Milan’s refusal to make the buy-out clause mandatory at the end of the season and even then offer only €24m.

This has allowed Inter to fly ahead in the race and director Marco Branca is set to fly back to England on Monday for further negotiations.

The Nerazzurri are proposing a mandatory buy-out worth €27m at the end of the season, which is only €3m away from City’s asking price.

“Tevez is not an Inter player, despite the newspaper talk,” said assistant manager Beppe Baresi.

“This is our squad, then we’ll see, as there is a long way to go before the transfer window closes. Tevez is an important player who has had a great career and possesses real character.”

Meanwhile, President Massimo Moratti was asked about the Tevez reports ahead of last night’s 5-0 win over Parma.

“Tevez? I have nothing to say.”

Colantuono: 'How to beat AC Milan'
8.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stefano Colantuono warns Atalanta “need a perfect performance, but we can do it” to beat Milan in today’s derby.

The Rossoneri make a short trip from Milan to Bergamo in order to play at the Stadio Azzurri d’Italia.

“We are determined and ready to go into a great challenge,” said the Coach. “We need a perfect performance, but we can do it. We cannot afford to get anything wrong.

“The way to beat Milan is by keeping concentrated and also of course hoping for some errors from our opponents.

“I expect to see a united Atalanta, capable of holding out under pressure and showing more grit than anyone else. Of course everyone can see Milan have better players compared to Atalanta, but that doesn’t mean everything in football.”

Atalanta squad: Consigli, Frezzolini, Polito; Bellini, Ferri, Lucchini, Manfredini, Masiello, Peluso, Raimondi; Bonaventura, Carmona, Caserta, Cigarini, Ferreira Pinto, Minotti, Padoin, Schelotto; Denis, Gabbiadini, Marilungo, Moralez, Tiribocchi

AC Milan: 'Tevez accepted, now for City'
7.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani confirmed “Carlos Tevez accepted our proposal. Now it’s up to Manchester City.”

The Rossoneri transfer chief flew back from Brazil this afternoon, where he had been in negotiations with Tevez and agent Kia Joorabchian.

“Tevez accepted our proposal and is in agreement with us. Now it’s up to Manchester City whether they want to accept it or not,” Galliani told Sky Sport Italia at the airport.

He also commented on the reports that Paris Saint-Germain are ready to pay €45m to take Alexandre Pato.

“There are absolutely no negotiations. Pato is our player.”

It is rumoured that Milan used this trip to Brazil in order to formulate a proposal that City would find more suitable, having previously rejected the offer to take Tevez on loan with an option to buy for €24m.

As Inter are now in the race along with PSG, the Rossoneri are changing their approach slightly.

It’s believed they are sending a formal offer to make the buy-out clause mandatory if Tevez plays at least 50 per cent of the remaining matches this season.

It is similar to the deal already in place with Liverpool, where Alberto Aquilani is on loan with a clause securing his buy-out if he makes a certain number of appearances.

Allegri juggles Pato, Tevez and injuries
7.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri “really hopes” Alexandre Pato stays and ignores Carlos Tevez questions, as Milan have an injury crisis against Atalanta.

The Rossoneri returned from their winter training camp in Dubai, but continue to have their attention dominated by transfer gossip.

“I really hope Pato stays at Milan, as he’d be a precious ‘new’ January signing, seeing as in the first half of the season he had so many injuries,” said the Coach.

“There is no problem between us and I hope he doesn’t leave. Of course there are always going to be rumours in the media, but we have to work hard and try to ignore it all.

“That also goes for Tevez, as I have not spoken to Adriano Galliani about the transfer market. For now Tevez is a Manchester City player and I do not talk about players from other teams. If he arrives, then I’ll think about him, but for now he’s not even remotely in my thoughts.”

Allegri has other issues to contend with, as Massimo Ambrosini is suspended, while Alberto Aquilani joined Ignazio Abate, Clarence Seedorf, Gennaro Gattuso and Mathieu Flamini on the treatment table for Sunday’s Lombardy derby against Atalanta.

“I only have Mark Van Bommel, Antonio Nocerino and Kevin-Prince Boateng for midfield. I can use either Robinho or Urby Emanuelson in the trequartista role. As for the full-backs, I could play both Daniele Bonera and Gianluca Zambrotta, but I have to evaluate the situation.

“It is going to be a tough game against an Atalanta side who so far have picked up 26 points, the same as Inter. Playing in Bergamo is never easy and this team reflects the characteristics of Coach Stefano Colantuono.”

Aquilani injury worry for AC Milan
7.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have a midfield emergency on their hands against Atalanta, as Alberto Aquilani picked up an ankle injury.

The former Liverpool and Juventus man had the problem during yesterday’s training session and is thought to be out of Sunday’s trip to Bergamo.

As Massimo Ambrosini is suspended and Gennaro Gattuso still unable to play in a competitive match, this means Kevin-Prince Boateng could be pulled back into a deeper role with Antonio Nocerino, Mark Van Bommel and Urby Emanuelson.

This too is a risk, as Boateng is not 100 per cent fit. However, the Ghanaian and Alessandro Nesta took part in the full training session.

Inter infuriate AC Milan over Tevez
7.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The tussle for Carlos Tevez is getting bitter, as Milan are reportedly furious at Inter for raising their offer to Manchester City, while PSG are still there too.

The Rossoneri agreed personal terms with the striker in December, but City turned down their proposal to sign him on loan with an option to buy for €24m.

Talks are continuing with a reported offer to make the buy-out mandatory if Tevez plays 50 per cent of Milan’s matches from here to the end of the season.

However, Inter have dived into the fray this week and today’s Italian newspapers all claim Milan are “furious” at the interception.

The Corriere dello Sport suggests President Massimo Moratti ordered his staff to get him Tevez at all costs, taking advantage of a good rapport with Manchester City.

They would also take him on loan, but with the option to buy raised to €27m, providing much higher wages than Milan at around €7m per season plus bonuses.

There are other reports that the Rossoneri are planning a final desperate bid to sign Tevez by offering to sell City either Alexandre Pato or their own former player Robinho.

Paris Saint-Germain are also still in the race by proposing €35m up front, but Tevez is not thought to appreciate the option.

At this stage, Milan have to hope the player continues to turn down any alternative to the red and black jersey.

Meanwhile, Milan and Inter are also fighting on the transfer market for another Manchester City player, Aleksandar Kolarov.

Boateng: Atalanta harder than derby
6.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin Prince Boateng has preached caution ahead of Milan's trip to Atalanta, suggesting it is more of a challenge than Week 18’s derby with Inter.

In an interview with Milan’s official television Channel, Boateng urged his Rossoneri colleagues to focus only on this weekend’s challenge with Stefano Colantuono’s men, in light of they capability to upset proceedings.

Il Diavolo face Inter in the first Milan derby of the season next weekend, but this weekend travel to Bergamo to face an Atalanta side that but for a six-point penalty over the summer, would be level on points with their fellow Nerazzurri.

“The match against Atalanta will be more difficult than the derby,” suggested the attacking midfielder. “They defend very well against us and play a defensive game, so it will be more difficult.”

Recently retired from international duty with adopted country Ghana, Boateng outlined his ambitions for the season, as the Black Stars prepare for the Africa Cup of Nations without him.

“For me it is important to win the League title. I train at Milanello every day for the Scudetto. Then, we will see if we can challenge for the Champions League.

“If we win it, maybe I’ll get another tattoo.”

AC Milan to rest Boateng?
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Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri could rest Kevin Prince Boateng on Sunday ahead of the Week 18 derby against Inter.

The Ghanaian international is being troubled by a few niggling fitness issues and Allegri may not risk him against Atalanta this weekend.

Boateng, 24, has had his problems with injuries this season and he’s been restricted to starting just nine Serie A games.

In 14 appearances across all competitions this term, the former Portsmouth player has scored five goals.

Schelotto: Let's press AC Milan
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Source: Football Italia

Ezequiel Schelotto is hopeful that Atalanta will be able to get a positive result against League leaders Milan on Sunday.

The Rossoneri will start the game as favourites, but the Bergamo boys have been a revelation in Serie A this season and are so far unbeaten at home.

“Milan are a great team who are fighting for a different objective to us,” the former Italian Under-21 told the club’s official website.

“We can’t afford to let them play their own game, we have to press them all of the time and give 100 per cent.

“It’ll certainly be a special game and because we are playing at home we’ll be able to count on the support of our fans.

“Hopefully we’ll put in a great performance.”

Atalanta are currently 11th in Serie A, but without their six point penalty they would actually be joint fifth with Inter.

Milan are co-leaders with Juventus.

Milan clubs fight for Tevez
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Source: Football Italia

The Milan derby for the signature of Carlos Tevez is heating up after Inter are said to have agreed a deal with Manchester City, but the player wants the Rossoneri.

While Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani met the striker and his agent in Rio on Thursday, Nerazzurri official Marco Branca was in London talking to the English club.

According to reports in Italy this morning, Inter made a successful €25m offer to the Premiership giants for the South American.

However, it’s unclear whether they will agree personal terms with Tevez seeing as he already has a deal with their San Siro rivals.

Nevertheless, a move to the Italian champions has yet to be completed because Milan and City have still not reached a compromise.

While City want to sell outright, Milan are pushing for a loan move with the option to buy at the end of the season.

According to whispers, Galliani has now tweaked the club’s offer in two possible ways.

One option is that Milan would be forced to sign Tevez if he plays in at least 50 per cent of the club’s remaining games this season.

Another possibility is that the Italian outfit will be obliged to hand over €24m to City should they sell Robinho or Alexandre Pato to another team before the end of August.

AC Milan's 'creative' Tevez offer
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Source: Football Italia

There are reports Milan are preparing a new “creative” offer for Carlos Tevez after Inter met with Manchester City.

The Gazzetta dello Sport claims Rossoneri Vice-President Adriano Galliani had lunch with agent Kia Joorabchian today in Brazil and by this evening they will present a “creative” proposal to City directors.

Milan had been adamant they would only take the striker on loan, but may well be seeking other alternatives to tempt them into the move.

It’s rumoured this would represent a similar deal to the one that has taken Alberto Aquilani from Liverpool to Milan.

Essentially, it is a loan with obligatory buy-out clause if he plays 50 per cent of the official games from here to the end of the season.

The Gazzetta also claims Tevez joined in with Galliani and his agent in a video conference call with City.

"I am confident that soon Milan and City will reach an agreement," Koorabchian is quoted as saying.

The San Siro giants have stepped up their attempts to sign Tevez after news Inter sent director Marco Branca to England for negotiations with Manchester City representative Brian Marwood today.

Inzaghi committed to AC Milan
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Source: Football Italia

Filippo Inzaghi has again intimated his willingness to remain in Milan and fight for a place in Massimiliano Allegri’s plans.

The veteran striker has struggled with fitness this season, has missed long periods of training and subsequently fallen off the radar at Milanello. Allegri did not include Inzaghi in his Champions League squad earlier this season and is unlikely to again should Carlos Tevez arrive.

Nevertheless, Inzaghi is keen to remain a fixture at the club, despite reports linking several clubs as interested in a January move.

“I love this shirt too much to consider leaving.

“I do not need promises to play, I know what I have to do - work. I’m fine and I want to play here.”

The 38-year-old played a part in the Rossoneri’s 1-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday afternoon.

Don’t sell Pato, says Van Basten
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Source: Football Italia

Milan legend Marco Van Basten has told his former club to forget about the possibility of selling Alexandre Pato.

The Brazilian’s future has been placed into some doubt after he admitted to a few problems with boss Massimiliano Allegri.

Pato was subsequently linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain, with reports suggesting that a €50m offer could be tabled.

Van Basten, however, has urged the Rossoneri to not be tempted into the sale of the South American talent.

“Pato is young, strong and he’s someone who scores goals,” the Dutchman is quoted as saying. “It would be a mistake to sell him.

“Only some serious financial problems at the club could justify his sale, otherwise letting him go wouldn’t be an acceptable decision.”

Pato, 22, has had his issues with fitness and form so far this season. He’s scored just once in eight Serie A games, but he’s netted twice in three Champions League ties.

Denis snubs Ibrahimovic battle
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Source: Football Italia

German Denis has no interest in outscoring Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic this weekend. “I just want Atalanta to win.”

Serie A’s top two scorers will clash in Bergamo as Denis, with 12 goals, comes up against a Rossoneri side who have been pushed up the table by Ibra’s 11 strikes.

“The game is Atalanta versus Milan and not Denis versus Ibrahimovic,” said the former Napoli and Udinese striker.

“It will be great if I do manage to score on Sunday, but the important thing is that Atalanta actually win the match.”

Denis has fond memories of playing against the Diavolo and his late strike almost secured a famous win for Udinese in last January’s thrilling 4-4 draw.

“I know how to score against Milan as I have already done that,” continued the South American striker.

“Last year I put Udinese 4-3 up in the 89th minute at San Siro, but then Ibrahimovic invented that goal in minute 93.”

Milan are joint top of the table with Juventus, while Atalanta are 11th. However, if you discount their six point penalty, the Nerazzurri would actually be joint fifth with Inter.

El Shaarawy staying at AC Milan
5.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The list of clubs interested in signing Stephan El Shaarawy continues to grow, but he’ll see out the season at Milan.

“Vice-President Adriano Galliani and Coach Massimiliano Allegri have already said that the boy will not be leaving,” agent Roberto La Florio told TMW.

“Despite the fact that he continues to be liked by a lot of Serie A sides, he will remain with the Rossoneri.”

The attacker, co-owned with Genoa, moved to Milanello during the summer but has struggled to feature regularly.

A temporary move away from San Siro has been mentioned as a possibility for January in order to give the 19-year-old more playing time.

El Shaarawy, born to an Italian mother and Egyptian father, has scored one goal in seven Serie A appearances so far this season.

He caught the eye last term in the Italian Second Division after netting nine times in 29 games for Padova.

Ancelotti: 'We don't want Pato'
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Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti admits it was “emotional” facing Milan, but insists Paris Saint-Germain are “not interested” in Alexandre Pato or Kaka.

The former Rossoneri Coach made his debut on the PSG bench during today’s 1-0 defeat in Dubai.

“We played well and I’m happy with the way we faced Milan,” he told Eurosport.

“We fought against a top team and it was emotional taking on my old club. It was a very special way to begin this adventure.”

Pato scored the winning goal and he has been heavily linked with a €45m swoop from PSG, while another target is former Milan hero Kaka.

“There is no chance that Kaka could come to PSG as things stand because he has a contract with Real Madrid,” continued Ancelotti.

“We will buy players, but the clubs have to be ready to sell them. Pato is a Milan player and has a contract, so we are not interested in him.”

Pato: 'I spoke to Ancelotti'
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Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato insists he “did not talk about transfers” with new Paris Saint-Germain Coach Carlo Ancelotti after scoring Milan’s winner.

The Duck netted the decisive goal just four minutes into the Dubai 1-0 result, which marked Ancelotti’s debut on the PSG bench.

“I am in good shape and only played half the game, but still feel fine,” Pato told Sky Sport Italia.

The last few days have been full of speculation that PSG are planning a €45m January swoop for the Brazilian hitman, especially now Ancelotti has arrived.

“Before the game I said hello to Ancelotti, which was only right and normal, but we did not talk about a transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.

“Is my agent in Dubai? I don’t know, the media seem to know more about this than I do... I’m just happy to have scored and won the first game of 2012.”

Gattuso joy at comeback
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Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso expressed his joy and relief at playing his first game since September. “It’s not easy when you’re seeing triple or even quadruple.”

The midfielder has been out of action for four months after he was diagnosed with a rare eye condition, the paralysis of the optic nerve, which affected his vision.

“It was tough staying off the field for that long. Now I just need to improve my fitness and my position on the pitch,” he said after making his comeback in Milan’s 1-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain.

“The most difficult thing in all these months was facing the everyday challenges. It’s not easy to get up in the morning when you’re seeing triple or even quadruple.

“My family and friends gave me the reassurance to carry on and were always close. Milan are like my family. I’ve done good and less good things in my career, but the club has always helped me out.”

This friendly match in Dubai also represented ex-Milan Coach Carlo Ancelotti’s debut on the PSG bench.

“Ancelotti is the perfect friend and always chooses the best cities to work in, like London and Paris. Maybe the next will be Moscow! I hugged him, but didn’t crush his ribs, as I’m not in good shape...”

Alexandre Pato scored the winning goal and has been heavily linked with a €45m move to Paris Saint-Germain.

“Pato has to stay,” continued Gattuso on Milan Channel. “The club and Coach said it, so I’m confirming the message. He is a player with such a strong goal average and people always expect something more because he’s capable of it.

“In order to retain the Scudetto we have to rediscover that solidity that we occasionally lacked.”

Friendly: AC Milan 1:0 PSG - highlights
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Friendly: AC Milan 1:0 PSG - match report
4.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Pato 4 (M)

Alexandre Pato’s goal has given Milan victory against Paris Saint-Germain on Carlo Ancelotti’s debut, as Gennaro Gattuso also made his comeback.

The two clubs clashed in Dubai during training schedules over the winter break and all eyes were on The Duck, who has been heavily linked with a €45m move to PSG.

It was also the debut on the bench for former Milan Coach Ancelotti, who was given a nasty surprise by one of the players he brought to San Siro during his Rossoneri tenure.

It took just four minutes for Pato to break the deadlock, making the most of a splendid Zlatan Ibrahimovic assist.

The French side pushed forward, but Antonio Nocerino came closest to getting a second goal during the first half, as he rattled the woodwork after 18 minutes.

After the break Coach Massimiliano Allegri completely revamped the line-up and gave Gattuso his first appearance since September, when he was diagnosed with a rare eye condition.

Pippo Inzaghi also returned as a partner for Stephan El-Shaarawy, but Paris Saint-Germain were more effective in this half and Nene forced Christian Abbiati into two tough saves.

AC Milan First Half: Amelia; De Sciglio, Mexes, Thiago Silva, Taiwo; Aquilani, Van Bommel, Nocerino; Robinho; Ibrahimovic, Pato

PSG: Sirigu; Ceara, Sakho, Bisevac, Tiene; Sissoko, Bodmer; Jallet, Pastore, Nenè; Hoarau

AC Milan Second Half: Abbiati; Zambrotta, Nesta, Bonera, Antonini; Gattuso, Ambrosini, Emanuelson; Valoti (Carmona); El Shaarawy, Inzaghi

Inter dive into Tevez race
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Source: Football Italia

There are reports Inter are stepping up their bid to snatch Carlos Tevez away from Milan by sending emissaries to Manchester for negotiations.

According to goal.com sources suggest “talks are going through a very delicate phase” for the Argentine’s future.

Manchester City have rejected the offer to take Tevez on loan with an option to buy, so the Rossoneri may well cough up the €25m necessary for a January swoop.

Paris Saint-Germain have shown an interest, but now rivals Inter are also diving into the fray.

It is reported Nerazzurri director Marco Branca is due in England over the next few days discuss Tevez with City representatives.

Friendly: AC Milan vs. PSG - lineups
4.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan: Amelia; De Sciglio, Mexes, Thiago Silva, Taiwo; Aquilani, Van Bommel, Nocerino; Robinho; Pato, Ibrahimovic

PSG: Sirigu; Ceara, Bisevac, Sakho, Tiene; Jallet, Bodmer, Sissoko, Nene; Pastore; Hoarau

Zambrotta respects weaker Juventus
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Source: Football Italia

Milan’s Gianluca Zambrotta rates former club Juventus as a Scudetto contender despite them not having the most competitive squad.

The Rossoneri and the Old Lady currently lead the Serie A standings as the championship resumes this weekend following the winter break.

“On paper, Juve have fewer champions than ourselves and Inter, but that is only a relative disadvantage,” Zambrotta told La Stampa.

“Apart from the two years under Fabio Capello when we had a really strong squad at Juve, my side wasn’t always the best team but we won because of our spirit.

“I saw that again in them three months ago when we went to Turin and lost.

“However, we at Milan have the Scudetto shield on our shirts and I agree with Zlatan Ibrahimovic when he says that we are better than last season.”

Although the two giants lead the way, Zambrotta is refusing to rule out any other side from entering the Scudetto race.

“It’s like we have gone back in time,” the former Italian international noted. “In the sense that Juventus have completed their path to become a great side again.

“The difference is that in the past there was a big difference between teams, now Inter, Lazio, Udinese and Napoli are in the position to fight until the very end.”

The full-back was also asked for his opinion on the possible January arrival of Carlos Tevez from Manchester City.

“People said that Antonio Cassano would unbalance the dressing room and that Ibra was hard to manage, instead they have integrated well.

“The same thing would happen if Tevez joins.”

Robinho guarantees Tevez success
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Source: Football Italia

Robinho insists that former Manchester City teammate Carlos Tevez would be a success at Milan.

The Italian champions are attempting to sign the Argentine this month after his relationship with City broke down.

“I’ve played with Tevez,” Robinho told the Corriere dello Sport on Wednesday. “I can guarantee that he is a great.”

The Rossoneri have turned to Tevez as cover for Antonio Cassano, the Italian international who is currently sidelined following minor heart surgery.

“I agree with Zlatan Ibrahimovic when he says that we miss Cassano,” the Brazilian international continued.

While talk of Tevez coming in has dominated the transfer rumour mill, there are whispers that Alexandre Pato may soon be leaving the club.

Pato has been linked with a switch to Paris Saint-Germain after revealing problems with boss Massimiliano Allegri.

“I would advise Pato to stay here at Milan,” the former Real Madrid attacker continued. “He could win the Golden Ball one day…”

Nesta won't quit just yet
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Source: Football Italia

Alessandro Nesta will turn 36 in March, but the Milan defender has insisted that he intends to play on for at least one more season.

The World Cup winner has had his injury problems over the last few years, but he’s rubbished talk that he may hang up his boots in June.

“I have no intention of quitting just yet,” the stopper told the Gazzetta dello Sport on Wednesday. “I don’t have that desire.”

Nesta, who joined the Rossoneri in 2002 from hometown club Lazio, signed a new one-year deal with Milan in May.

The veteran played a part in the club’s Scudetto victory last season and he’s sure that more honours are on the way.

“I’m convinced that Milan will win something important again this season,” Nesta continued.

“We are the favourites to win the Scudetto and we would be favourites in the Champions League too if Barcelona weren’t in it…

“We have Zlatan Ibrahimovic who, like Lionel Messi, is an extraordinary player and one who can draw three opponents away on the field of play.”

Milan are joint top of Serie A with Juventus and will face Arsenal in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Gattuso to play against PSG
3.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso is set to resume his Milan playing career this week as reports indicate he is in line for a start against Paris Saint-Germain.

Gattuso has been training with his teammates since mid-November but has not played since the opening round of League fixtures at the start of September.

Coming off after just 19 minutes against Lazio with blurred vision, the World Cup-winning midfielder has since had to undergo treatment for a rare eye condition.

However, he has been given the all-clear to make a return to action and confirmed to reporters that he will appear on Wednesday. The Rossoneri face Carlo Ancelotti’s new team PSG as part of both clubs’ mid-season training retreats in Dubai.

“I will play against PSG, but it won’t be for a long time. I have to take it slowly in the beginning, step by step.”

Meanwhile, Massimiliano Allegri commented that he will likely try to give the No 8 at least 45 minutes of game-time.

Ibrahimovic's retirement plans
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Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has failed to rule out the possibility of becoming a Coach as he contemplates a sooner-than-expected retirement from the game.

The tall Swede’s declaration that he is considering remaining in the game at the end of his career came at the same time that he hinted that he might not be more than three years away from retirement.

“It is very likely,” Ibra told Sportbladet on the possibility of becoming a tactician. “Even if I have previously said no to the idea.

“I remember that Henrik [Larsson] said that, when he played, he would never become a Coach. Now, however, he is a Coach. So I do not know what will happen in two or three years.”

Asked to expand upon the hint of a fast-approaching retirement, the 30-year-old obliged.

“Yes, I hope to be in the business for two or three more years. Then we will see what will happen in the future.

“Anything is possible. We just have to wait and see.

“I think that to be a Coach takes great responsibility, so it’s easier to be a player.”

Ibrahimovic’s recently released autobiography details his various run-ins with previous Coaches, including most notably his 12 months alongside Pep Guardiola at Barcelona.

Allegri doesn't fear Juventus
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Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri has declared that Milan do not fear Juventus going forward in the League, as Serie A resumes with the two level on points.

Speaking in Dubai during the Rossoneri’s winter training retreat that includes a friendly against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday, Allegri revealed that he and his players are resilient in the face of Juve’s title challenge.

“Juventus are going very well. I believe they are the only unbeaten team in Italy, but we aware of our own strength and are ready to fight to win back the title again.

“In the first five League games we collected only five points, while they were almost never wrong. Now that we have wiped out the [points] disadvantage we will see what will happen from January 8 onwards.

“Do not forget the injuries we had at the start of the season, we have incurred a certain preparation given the significant commitment required in Beijing against Inter. That was the first trophy of the season and we wanted to win it.

“Without doubt, Juventus has had the advantage of not playing Europe, but we have others ourselves - we’ve known each other for a year and a half, we’ve been together in this time and know what to do every day, then our new arrivals have been perfectly integrated.

“In this period, now, there is increased self-esteem.”

The Coach finished with a lighthearted reflection when prompted about comparisons between his first season with Milan and Antonio Conte’s with Juventus.

“Is Conte the new Allegri? I hope not…I won….I hope that he does a good job, but finishes second.”

Allegri also again commented on Alexandre Pato’s situation at the club. Pato’s comments late last month initiated strong rumours of a fall-out with Allegri and an imminent departure out of San Siro.

“Pato’s declarations? I think they are just an outburst. Here in Dubai he has been laid back, in the best way and just with the desire to train well.

“My way of being is this. I try to talk to him as much as possible, as with others. There was a time when Pato was injured and he could not always be with the group and this has perhaps left him feeling a little sidelined.

“When he always played he was happy. I hope he stays here at Milan because he is an important player for us.”

Schelotto issues AC Milan warning
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Source: Football Italia

Ezequiel Schelotto has warned Milan to expect a battle when they take on Atalanta this weekend.

The Rossoneri will look to maintain their League leadership, which they currently share with Juventus, when Serie A resumes.

However, Atalanta ace Schelotto has told the Gazzetta dello Sport that his side won’t make it easy for their opponents.

“Milan are training in Dubai, we’re at our usual base in Zingonia, but on Sunday the game is in Bergamo,” he noted.

“And those 90 minutes will be a battle.

“The Rossoneri will be favourites, but they shouldn’t take the game for granted as we are afraid of nobody.”

Atalanta are unbeaten at home this term with four wins and four draws, but Schelotto knows that Milan have a real threat in attack.

“It’ll be better for us if Zlatan Ibrahimovic doesn’t play,” the Argentine-born former Italian Under-21 international added.

“He is someone who can make the difference. Let’s hope that he’s not on form.”

Ancelotti: 'Strange to face AC Milan'
2.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti admits it will be strange to face Milan on Wednesday for his debut as Paris Saint-Germain Coach.

Ancelotti, who recently signed a deal to replace Antonio Kombouarè on the French club’s bench, has now begun work with the his new side during their winter training camp in Dubai.

Part of these mid-season preparations for the table-topping Ligue 1 side see them take on Milan in a friendly on Wednesday afternoon UK time. Ancelotti spent five years as a player and eight years as Coach with the San Siro side.

“Milan are a team I know very well,” reflected the 52-year-old in a Press conference in Dubai today. “It will be a great test to improve ourselves.

“It will be strange to meet Milan. I’ll be emotional, because I have good memories with everyone there. We hope for a good game.”

Vucinic: Juventus - AC Milan for title
2.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mirko Vucinic says that the fight for the title will be a two-horse race between his Juventus side and champions Milan.

The pair went into the Christmas break joint top of the standings, two points clear of Udinese and four ahead of Lazio. Inter, Napoli and Roma follow.

“In my opinion, the title will be limited to just us and Milan,” he told the Corriere dello Sport on Monday.

“I think we have more desire to improve and work than Milan, while we also have Andrea Pirlo in our team.”

Pirlo left the Rossoneri for Juve during the summer and he was followed to the club by Vucinic after he opted to leave Roma.

“Juventus, compared to Roma, is something totally different,” the Montenegrin continued. “I’m not saying that there was no organisation in Rome, but here you feel the weight of history.

“I’ve also never trained so hard as under boss Antonio Conte.”

Vucinic could soon be joined at the Juventus Stadium by Marco Borriello, his former colleague at the Stadio Olimpico.

“He’s an excellent striker and a good lad,” the former Lecce man continued. “Everyone knows about his characteristics.

“Competition for places? I don’t fear for my place in the side and the more options we have then the better it will be for the club.”

All OK with Pato, says Allegri
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Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri insists there is no breakdown in his relationship with Alexandre Pato.

The Brazilian’s future was placed into doubt last week after he admitted in an interview that not all was well with his tactician.

That outburst then led to reports that French giants Paris Saint-Germain were lining up a €50m offer for the international.

However, speaking to Sky Sport Italia, Allegri has maintained that the working rapport between the two of them is just fine.

“There is no problem between Pato and myself,” the former Cagliari man noted. “The boy’s outburst was just down to a moment of frustration.

“You can’t always start every game, but this is not a serious issue and these things do happen from time to time.

“There are no problems and there wasn’t a clear-the-air talk between us because there was no need for a discussion.

“He is training hard and isn’t giving any signs of unhappiness.”

Pato, 22, has scored just one League goal in eight appearances so far this season.

Turning to the Serie A race, Allegri was optimistic that his reigning champions could beat co-leaders Juventus to the title this term.

“We are not afraid of them,” he argued. “They remain a great club with great value, but Milan currently have all that is needed to win the Scudetto.”

Serie A will resume at the weekend with Milan away at Atalanta and Juventus travelling to Lecce.

Ibrahimovic: I miss Cassano
2.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic thinks it will be tough for prospective new boy Carlos Tevez to fill in for Antonio Cassano at Milan this season.

The Manchester City man is wanted given that the Italian may be out for the rest of the season following heart surgery.

While the Swede rates the Argentine international, he has outlined just how important Cassano is to the team and himself.

“Tevez is a great player, an ace, ” the former Juventus and Inter striker told the Gazzetta dello Sport on Monday.

“However, we miss Cassano. Without Antonio on the pitch we have to play in a different way and I have to sacrifice myself much more.”

Reigning champions Milan had a slow start to the season, but recovered to go into the winter break joint top with Juventus.

“Juve are doing well, but let’s wait until May and see,” he added. “Inter and Roma are also there…”

Inter are in fifth, eight points behind Milan and Juve. Roma, meanwhile, are 10 points adrift of the leaders.

Inter join Tevez race?
2.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter have emerged as a rival to Milan in the chase to sign Carlos Tevez from Manchester City this month.

The Rossoneri looked to be in pole position to net the Argentine after agreeing personal terms with the striker.

However, the Italian champions have so far failed to do a deal with Manchester City. Milan want the player initially on loan, whereas City want to sell outright.

Those problems in reaching a compromise could favour Inter as, according to the Corriere dello Sport, the Nerazzurri are ready to launch a Tevez bid of their own.

The report suggests that Inter director Marco Branca has already opened negotiations with officials at the Premiership club.

Unimpressed by Mauro Zarate following his loan switch from Lazio on transfer deadline day, Tevez may potentially answer some problems for the Nerazzurri in attack.

Inter could make a €25m offer for the player who hasn’t appeared for City since September following a breakdown in his relationship with boss Roberto Mancini.

Aquilani forgives Juventus
1.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s Alberto Aquilani insists he has “absolutely no bitterness towards Juventus,” but notes the huge changes since he left.

The midfielder spent last season on loan in Turin, but the club decided not to take up its option to buy permanently from Liverpool, so he moved on to San Siro.

“I have absolutely no bitterness towards Juventus, because they are the side who brought me back to Italy after an unfortunate period in the Premier League,” said Aquilani.

“Of course, compared to when I was there, Juve have changed a lot. Many of the players who were in the starting XI now no longer even find space on the bench. There has been a huge transformation.

“Was it a change for better or worse? Well, if they are still unbeaten, then there must be a reason.”

Milan and Juve are joint Serie A leaders going into 2012 and both are in Dubai for their winter training camps.





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