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The Archive

May 2006

Chelsea agree Sheva terms?
30.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Reports in Italy this evening suggest Chelsea will present Andriy Shevchenko to the Press on Thursday after agreeing a £35m cash move.

The Ukrainian handed in an official transfer request last Friday and Milan began negotiations with the Stamford Bridge side.

It’s claimed in the peninsula that, despite speculation of William Gallas, Didier Drogba and Hernan Crespo being part of the deal, a £35m cash figure has been agreed.

There is no official word from the two clubs yet, but the reports suggest Shevchenko will undergo a medical over the next two days and will be presented to the British Press on Thursday.

The contract will only be deposited in July, as it includes a clause taking £7m off the price-tag if he should suffer a serious injury during the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

The Rossoneri are already looking to his replacement, with other news sources suggesting that a £8m offer has been tabled for Cagliari hitman David Suazo.

The Honduras international scored a club record 22 Serie A goals this season and has been compared to former Milan hero George Weah.

However, local newspaper ‘Il Sardegna’ writes that Suazo’s contract includes a clause allowing him to move abroad for only a £4m penalty. He has also been linked with Manchester United.

Milan ponder Gerrard bid
30.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan are ready to make Liverpool a mega offer for captain Steven Gerrard, reports in Italy insist on Tuesday.

With the Rossoneri set to net around £35m for Andriy Shevchenko from Chelsea, the Italians are ready to use part of those funds to finance a Gerrard bid.

The England ace is highly rated in Italy and after initial links with Juventus earlier this year, Milan are now being paired with the star.

Milan know all about Gerrard’s quality after he inspired Liverpool’s quite remarkable Champions League Final comeback against the Rossoneri just over a year ago.

Boss Carlo Ancelotti has admitted that he is looking to freshen things up in midfield and had already indicated that Juventus’ Emerson was wanted.

But Gerrard is believed to be his primary objective even if the Anfield outfit have always insisted that he is not for sale.

It remains to be seen whether there is any scope for negotiating, which will now probably only take place after the World Cup Finals.

Meanwhile, Clarence Seedorf is being linked with a San Siro exit after some exceptional years of service.

The Dutchman is reportedly an Arsenal target after they lost Robert Pires to Spanish outfit Villarreal last week.

No Milan deal yet, says Crespo
30.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Chelsea striker Hernan Crespo has cooled rumours suggesting that he is on the verge of a Milan return.

The Argentine spent the 2004-05 campaign on loan at the San Siro and has been paired with the Rossoneri again as a result of Andriy Shevchenko’s impending move to London.

Although Crespo concedes that he’s keen on a return to the peninsula, he maintains that nothing significant has yet to happen.

“There isn’t anything concrete with Milan,” Crespo told Sky Italia. “Unfortunately the present situation in Italy [the numerous football related investigations] are a hindrance to the transfer market.

“However, I would be happy to come back to Italy even though I have to accept that I am content at Chelsea.”

Despite an impressive season in England, Crespo is hoping that he will again be wearing an Italian shirt after appearing for Parma, Lazio and Inter in the past.

“Shevchenko has chosen to join Chelsea for family reasons and family always come first,” continued the South American.

“When somebody makes that sort of decision then there really is no comment to make about it,” he added.

“My situation is the reverse of his though, that’s because I want to come back to Italy for my family.

“Nevertheless, I have to say that I fit in well at Chelsea, with boss Jose Mourinho, the team and the people are great.”

Milan 'want' Van Nistelrooy
29.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan want to replace Chelsea-bound Andriy Shevchenko with out-of-favour Manchester United striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy.

Although linked with a host of Europe’s top strikers, the Sun newspaper insists that the Rossoneri are hunting the Dutchman.

"Van Nistelrooy is the man we want," a Milan spokesman is quoted as saying. "He is one of the few players in the world who could replace Sheva."

Van Nistelrooy is understood to be available for transfer after allegedly clashing with boss Sir Alex Ferguson at the end of last season.

After being regularly dropped to the bench in the business end of the campaign he left the ground before United’s last match of term against Charlton.

“There were a couple of issues during the week that concerned us in terms of the spirit of the club,” Ferguson commented after that match.

Ruud is now expected to be shown the door even if he recently stated that he would not decide on his club career until after the World Cup.

The former PSV Eindhoven star has amazingly netted 150 goals in 200 games for the Old Trafford outfit in his five-year stay.

Inter have also been associated with the player even if they are understood to primarily be tracking Fiorentina’s Luca Toni.

Eto’o rejects Milan option
29.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o has sensationally told Milan that he has no intention of joining them this summer.

The Cameroon international has been associated with the Italian giants who are looking for an Andriy Shevchenko replacement.

The Barca star has been suggested as a valid alternative for the Chelsea-bound ace, but the African is not interested.

“I would suggest that [owner Silvio] Berlusconi signs [Didier] Drogba,” the former Mallorca man stated.

“He is one of the best strikers in the world right now.

“What would happen if Milan called me? I would tell them to not waste their time because my answer would be no.”

Drogba is open to a San Siro switch after recently admitting that he wanted to leave the Premiership champions.

His agent has also suggested that the player would welcome a Milan transfer and he could be included as part of the Shevchenko deal.

Eto’o is understood to have been wanted by boss Carlo Ancelotti who was left impressed by his performances in the two Champions League games against Barca last season.

Gila eager to test Italy
28.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Alberto Gilardino scored five goals in today’s test and is eager to face international opposition next week, while he also makes a Milan pledge.

“The friendly games will be important, because they’ll give us an idea of our general condition and at what point in our pre-tournament preparation we are,” said the striker.

The Azzurri will play two matches in Switzerland next week, facing the home nation on May 31 and taking on Andriy Shevchenko’s Ukraine on June 2.

Gila was the star of the show in this morning’s encounter with local side Sestese, scoring five of his team’s 10 goals.

“It was a good training session and it’s always important to score goals in these experiments. There are another two weeks before the World Cup and I think we can get there in good shape, especially as we all hope to have a strong start.”

Italy will need to be on form from the get-go, as they face a tough Group against the Czech Republic, USA and Ghana.

The former Parma striker will take on a more central role at Milan next season following the departure of Andriy Shevchenko, although the Calciopoli scandal continues to hang over the club.

“I keep reading in the newspapers that every day there is a new story linked to this scandal, but I have always maintained we should wait and let the magistrates do their job,” he noted. “In any case, I’d stay at Milan even if they were demoted to Serie B.”

Rossoneri and Azzurri teammate Rino Gattuso agrees and explained how the players are dealing with this situation.

“At this stage, we have become accustomed to living with controversy, but we are aware that we have to isolate ourselves to perform in the World Cup,” explained the midfielder.

“We must remain united and go to Germany in order to prove the doubters wrong. It irritates me to see some people treating Calcio like a dirty word.”

Drogba runs to Rossoneri
28.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

The race is on to find Andriy Shevchenko’s successor at Milan and Didier Drogba’s agent confirms a deal is on the cards.

“Milan are very interested in Didier and he would be extremely happy to play for them,” Pierre Felot was quoted as saying in the Italian Press today.

The Ivory Coast international, who was signed for £24m only two summers ago, is unhappy at Chelsea and made his desire to leave clear.

“I’m not happy. For two seasons I have been unable to express my full potential,” he told ‘The Sun’.

“As for my future, it does not depend on me alone. I have two years left on my contract and so far have not received any offers.”

This would be a perfect solution for both clubs, as Chelsea could bring down the £35m price-tag for Shevchenko by including Drogba in the deal – thereby providing Milan with a ready-made replacement.

However, there are other considerations, as the Rossoneri are thought to be wary of his untested Serie A status.

This is why they have been heavily linked with swoops for Juventus man Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Cagliari sensation David Suazo and even Inter rival Adriano.

“The newspapers are going crazy with lists of possible signings, but these are just theories,” read a statement on the official Milan website this morning.

“Right now the certainties in attack for next season answer to the names Marcio Amoroso, Alberto Gilardino and Filippo Inzaghi. New space and new responsibility awaits them, especially for Gila.”

Gilardino was signed for £17m from Parma last summer, but struggled to find room in the final months of the campaign, as he was pushed out by the stunning form of Inzaghi.

Now that Shevchenko is moving on, this will allow the Italian international to forge a partnership with Super Pippo.

With that in mind, the Suazo option is increasingly popular, as the Honduras international would be relatively cheap – around £6m – is already proven in Serie A with 22 goals this term and could be content with a spot on the bench.

He also has characteristics the other strikers in the squad do not: blistering pace and the kind of physicality that reminds many of former Rossoneri hero George Weah.

Eto'o to succeed Sheva?
28.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan are facing up to life without Andriy Shevchenko and the list of potential heirs is topped by Samuel Eto’o and David Suazo.

Chelsea are set to hand over £35m to bring the Ukrainian to Stamford Bridge after he officially handed in a transfer request on Friday, although that figure could be reduced if William Gallas were part of the deal.

Hernan Crespo and Didier Drogba are also possible bargaining tools, as both forwards have suggested they would like to leave Chelsea, while the Argentine spent last season on loan at Milan.

The Rossoneri must now find a new striker to fill Sheva’s Ballon d’Or winning shoes and the newspapers in Italy have drawn up a list of options.

The top choice would be Barcelona star Eto’o, fresh from his Pichichi crown as top scorer in La Liga this season with 26 goals.

However, with Thierry Henry extending his Arsenal stay, it’s unlikely Barca would be willing to part with the Cameroon international.

It’s claimed in Spain that Eto’o’s departure would only be agreed if the Blaugrana got their hands on Atletico Madrid starlet Fernando Torres – another Milan target.

Unhappy Inter man Adriano has been named as an outlandish alternative, as to cross San Siro now would surely send shockwaves through the city.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Juventus and even Real Madrid man Ronaldo – another former Inter hero – have also been suggested.

However, rumours are gathering pace that the Rossoneri will snap up Cagliari sensation Suazo for just £6m and invest the remaining Shevchenko cash in strengthening their defence and midfield.

Honduras international Suazo was one of the surprise packages of the current campaign, having broken Gigi Riva’s club record of 22 Serie A goals for the Sardinian side.

“I talk to my agent every day, but for the moment there are no developments,” said the 26-year-old earlier this week.

“I have a contract until 2008 and everyone knows I am in no hurry to run away from Cagliari, as I am very happy here, but at the same time it depends on what offers I receive.”

Meanwhile, Milan are already working on the rest of the squad, as Rennes midfielder Yoann Gourcuff has confirmed he’s in talks with the side.

“I am in negotiations with Paris Saint-Germain, Lyon and Milan, but I haven’t signed anything yet, as I still have to make a decision,” he said. “My future will be decided after the European Under-21 Championships.”

Gourcuff will turn 20 in July but, despite his tender age, has already become a key figure for Rennes and France’s European Championship winning Under-19 side. He is quick, keeps a cool head and scored a hat-trick in that tournament against Norway.

Sheva's message to Milan fans
27.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Andriy Shevchenko has released a personal statement on his website to say farewell to the Milan fans as he prepares to join Chelsea.

“Yesterday was a truly difficult day for me and I thought long and hard before coming to this decision,” he explained.

“Mine was a troubled choice, but I feel the time has come to think about the future of my family and my children, who are the most important things in my life.”

The Ukrainian insists his wish to join Chelsea has been motivated only by his desire to learn English, as his wife – American model Kristen Pazik – is eager to settle down in London.

“A few days ago, I explained my reasons to Silvio Berlusconi, who is a very special person for me, as he is the Godfather to my son. He listened and understood. ‘Do what is best for you,’ he told me. For this, and for all the things he has done for me and my family, I will be eternally grateful. I also thank the club and Adriano Galliani, who did everything possible, and more, to keep me here.”

Shevchenko arrived at Milan from Dynamo Kiev on July 1, 1999, and negotiations will now begin to seal the switch to Chelsea.

Reaction to his departure has been mixed among the Rossoneri fans, with some supporting this lifestyle choice and the honesty with which he went about the process of handing in a transfer request, but others claim it was a ruse to earn more money at Stamford Bridge.

“Above all, I want to speak to the fans and ask them to accept my choice,” continued his statement. “I have read your messages this week and many of them brought a tear to my eye. I also understand your anger and disappointment, but I request that you accept my decision as a man.”

His final appearance at San Siro saw Shevchenko stand alongside the hard-line supporters in the stands for the last game of the season, a 2-1 win over Roma on May 14.

“What you have given me over these years has been unique and you always made me feel at home. To stand in the Curva with you was one of the strongest emotions I have ever experienced in my life. You have a piece of my heart and will be there always. Andriy.”

Rossoneri salute Sheva
27.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Andriy Shevchenko’s Milan teammates hail the departing hero, but Adriano Galliani admits he still has a faint hope of stalling the Chelsea switch.

“It’s a great shame and we’ll start negotiations so that the player can be happy. Maybe, just maybe, we won’t be able to agree terms and he can stay here,” said the vice-President optimistically.

It will take in the region of £35m to bring the 2004 Ballon d'Or winner to Stamford Bridge, although Milan could opt to include William Gallas, Didier Drogba and Hernan Crespo as part of the deal.

“We would never have decided to sell Sheva. It’ll be tough to find a replacement. He scored 173 goals for us, although in my mind it’s 174, because I add the perfectly valid strike against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final. That goal is still haunting me.”

The Ukrainian announced his decision to move to London yesterday afternoon, but insisted it was purely in the interests of his family, who speak English thanks to his American wife Kristen Pazik.

Now the Rossoneri are facing up to a life without Shevchenko after his seven successful years at the club, during which he was voted European Player of the Year.

“I’ll never forget the phone call he made to congratulate me on my return to the Italy squad,” revealed Pippo Inzaghi.

“Sheva was injured and had to plan his future, but he still found time to call me. It was a gesture I appreciated a great deal. I’m sorry to see him go, but if this is his desire then we must all respect it. Chelsea will become stronger, but Milan remain a great squad and are inferior to no-one in Europe.”

Azzurri hitman Alberto Gilardino also thanked his strike partner, even though they only spent one season together at San Siro.

“He really helped me to settle down at Milan. Sheva is a champion, but we have other great players and will start the next season with the intention of winning everything – just like we always do.”

Shevchenko had a very strong record in the Derby di Milano, putting 13 goals past Inter in all competitions.

“He is a world class player who can put you under pressure at any moment,” explained Nerazzurri defender Marco Materazzi.

“Milan have other champions and will know how to replace him. Are Chelsea unbeatable with Sheva? Barcelona remain the best in the world, because they have Ronaldinho.”

Shevchenko leaving AC Milan - official
26.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan have announced that Andriy Shevchenko will leave the Italian giants before the start of next season.

The two parties held talks at the outfit’s Via Turati headquarters this afternoon after the player recently admitted that he was pondering an exit.

Milan official Adriano Galliani attempted to convince the former European Footballer of the Year to remain but without success.

“I’m leaving for family reasons,” stated the Chelsea target. “I want to thank the club for what they have done for me.

“I would like to point out that there were no problems in our relationship and this isn’t about money.”

“I am sorry, as I saw the look in the eyes of the fans and the many messages that have come in. My wife has nothing to do with this, as we made the decision together for the good of my family.”

Shevchenko’s wife, American model Kristen Pazik, is thought to be the reason behind this switch to London.

“I don’t speak English, my wife does not speak Ukrainian, so the only language we have in common right now is Italian. The only way to make our children understand how much we love them is through the English language.”

There was tension outside the club headquarters following the announcement, but above all a sense of sadness.

“I thank the club for having listened to me, in particular Galliani and Silvio Berlusconi. This is an important decision for my life. It’s impossible to find another club like Milan, so this choice is purely a family matter. I could never hope to work for a better side.”

Galliani added: “It was a victory for the English language over the Italian one. I did all that I could do to convince him to stay.

“This is the most difficult separation since I have been at Milan.”

Shevchenko is now expected to join the Premiership champions, even if Galliani insists there is still some way to go before anything is agreed.

“We will now start negotiations with Chelsea, but they won’t be easy,” concluded the Rossoneri Vice-President.

Pippo urges Azzurri focus
26.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Pippo Inzaghi insists the Azzurri aren’t burying their heads in the sand, but won’t be affected by the scandal either, as Fabio Cannavaro is jeered.

“We’re not pretending that nothing is happening,” noted the Milan striker when asked about the ‘Calciopoli’ investigation threatening to tear Italian football apart.

“We read the newspapers and talk to each other, but I think the time has come to isolate ourselves from the outside world and think only about preparing for this World Cup. Our duty is to answer our critics on the field of play and maintain an exemplary attitude at all times.”

Yet the tension from the scandal has spread to the Coverciano training ground, where captain Fabio Cannavaro was jeered this morning following his statements in support of former Juventus director general Luciano Moggi.

Bianconeri goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who is under investigation as part of a separate betting inquiry, was also given a harsh welcome by the fans.

“Responsibility tends to make players stronger and this is a great opportunity for us to prove ourselves,” continued Inzaghi in the Press conference.

“I don’t think we’ll find a rough atmosphere in Germany due to the problems afflicting Italian football. As far as I am concerned, our main rivals for the trophy are Brazil and England, as Sven Goran Eriksson’s men have a strong midfield and powerful defence.”

Inzaghi was a late addition to the World Cup party following a two-year injury nightmare that threatened to end his career.

“I haven’t been in this squad for long, but I can already see that the positive results have come from hard work and a great team spirit. I believe that, even if they don’t say so, Italy are among the most feared sides in this tournament. If we’re not among the favourites, then we’ll enjoy the element of surprise.”

Marcello Lippi opted for the Milan hitman after a great campaign, particularly in the Champions League, although it was only Christian Vieri’s knee injury that effectively freed up a place for him.

“The Coach has always followed by progress and we’ve already worked together at Juventus, so he knows my characteristics. This is my third World Cup and I’m ready to lend a hand where needed. To wear this jersey again is the icing on the cake after seven fantastic months in which I recovered from my injury and became a player once more.”

The Azzurri will split into two teams for friendly games against Sestese and Sangiovannese on Sunday.

Rui Costa joins Benfica?
25.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Benfica have signed Manuel Rui Costa after he rescinded his contract with Milan, a Portuguese club official has revealed.

The European giants were expected to net the midfielder who has grown increasingly tired of his bench role at the San Siro.

Rui Costa flew into Lisbon last night and will be officially unveiled to the media at a Press conference this evening.

It’s understood that the former Fiorentina great, who quit international football after Euro 2004, has signed a one-year deal with an option for a second.

The 34-year-old spent three years with Benfica in the early part of his career before moving to Florence in 1994.

"I feel happy with the possibility of returning, an ambition I have had for 12 years,” Rui Costa has said.

Sheva decision put on hold
25.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Andriy Shevchenko’s future will not be decided today after his meeting with Milan chief Adriano Galliani was postponed.

The Ukrainian was set to announce whether he would stay at his present club or go once he had spoken to the Rossoneri chief.

But Shevchenko left the outfit’s Milanello training centre on Thursday without indicating if he was Premiership bound or not.

“I can’t say anything yet as I need to speak with Galliani first,” said the player. “I won’t see him today though, it will happen tomorrow, probably in the evening.”

The Chelsea-target flew back from Kiev last night in order to receive treatment on his injured right knee.

The former European Footballer of the Year spent three hours at the training ground before leaving for his home.

Although Shevchenko has yet to officially announce his departure, whispers in the peninsula insist that he will be joining the Stamford Bridge club.

The London giants, who have been chasing him for years, are ready to offer £35m for the former Dynamo Kiev player.

Some reports in Italy on Thursday claim that Milan are ready to sell, but only if the player signs a statement insisting that the decision to leave was one made by him and not the club.

Shevchenko is believed to be looking for a change of environment at the request of his wife, who reportedly fancies London life.

Ancelotti desires Emerson bid
25.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti has asked his club to make an offer for Emerson if he becomes available for transfer.

The Brazilian is being linked with an exit should Juventus find themselves in Serie B next term as a result of the alleged match-fixing scandal.

And after already being linked with the Rossoneri, Ancelotti has now publicly admitted that he would welcome the South American with open arms.

“We need to modify a few things in midfield during the 2006-07 campaign,” the former Italian international stated.

“The ideal solution would be placing a figure of substance alongside [Andrea] Pirlo. I’m thinking of someone like Emerson.”

The former Bayer Leverkusen ace joined Juve two years ago after following boss Fabio Capello to Turin from Roma.

Meanwhile, Milan’s Manuel Rui Costa has admitted that he is hoping to seal a move to former club Benfica this summer.

“I hope to soon become a Benfica player, even if there is nothing certain at this stage,” stated the Portuguese playmaker.

“I’ve not freed myself from Milan yet. There are a few details to sort out and there should be developments in the next few days.”

The 34-year-old former Fiorentina player wants to leave after spending another campaign on the bench at the San Siro.

Lega clubs stand by Galliani
24.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Despite calls to resign in the wake of Calciopoli, the Serie A and B clubs have supported Lega Calcio chief Adriano Galliani.

“The Lega Calcio has not been touched by this scandal, so it does not need a revolution,” insisted Brescia President Gino Corioni.

“This institution is clean and there are no telephone wiretaps featuring Lega employees, so there is nothing to worry about. What we must do is change some of the rules and we voted unanimously to come back in a month’s time with a new proposal.”

Galliani is one of the only major figures in the Italian football world who has not handed in his resignation during the scandal rocking this sport.

Today’s meeting of the Lega Calcio – a union of the Serie A and B sides – saw Milan representative Galliani given a vote of confidence, but his Vice-President Maurizio Zamparini continues to demand he step aside.

“We need to change the entire governance of the Lega, but even if nothing changes until then, I will certainly quit in August,” said the Palermo patron.

“At the start of the meeting I announced the radical revamp of the leadership had to be completed within two months. What we need is a Lega President who is not also in charge of a club, as that is the only way to avoid a conflict of interests. The only ones who disagree with this statement are Galliani and Lazio’s Claudio Lotito.”

With ‘the system’ now being blamed more than individuals who took advantage of it, there is a race against time to re-write the rule books.

“Like Guido Rossi at the FIGC, we will also change the rules of the Lega Calcio and must do so as soon as possible,” noted Galliani.

“The difference is that we don’t need an extraordinary commissioner to come in for this task, as the current Lega board can achieve it. I won’t resign because the Lega was not implicated in the scandal, although obviously I’ll step aside if the new rules prevent one of the 42 club Presidents to take this role.”

As the scandal continues to spread, Gianluigi Buffon was interrogated by Parma’s public prosecutors for two hours this afternoon with regards to his betting habits.

“There is nothing illegal going on here and we are also relaxed with regards to the sporting regulations,” assured his lawyer, Mario Valerio Corini. “Now Gigi can concentrate on the World Cup.”

Sheva set for Milan talks
24.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan have confirmed that they will hold talks with Andriy Shevchenko on Thursday in a bid to resolve his future.

“We’ll meet with him tomorrow,” Vice-President Adriano Galliani told reporters earlier today. “It is our hope that he wants to remain.”

Shevchenko, currently in Kiev, will fly back to Italy to discuss his options after recently admitting that he was considering an exit.

Chelsea have stated that they would be interested in signing the Ukrainian, with the media speculating that a £35m bid is in the pipeline.

Although the former European Footballer of the Year had previously stated that he wanted to end his career with Milan, he’s now pondering a move for family reasons.

Some reports in Italy on Wednesday have suggested that Shevchenko’s wife is eager to experience London life.

Meanwhile, Barcelona stopper Rafael Marquez has revealed that he would consider a move to the Rossoneri.

“I would like to continue winning here at Barcelona,” he said. “If I had to leave then I would prefer Italy than England. I especially like Milan.”

The Mexican, who is under contract at the Nou Camp until 2007, has been associated with the Italian giants recently.

Gila eyes glory in Germany
24.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Alberto Gilardino and Simone Perrotta are confident that Italy can overcome the Calciopoli scandal to triumph at the World Cup.

“This is a great squad and we can do well in Germany,” said the Milan striker at the Coverciano training complex where the Azzurri are preparing for the tournament.

Several international observers, including Franz Beckenbauer, have suggested that Italy will be adversely affected by the scandal threatening to tear Serie A apart.

“Let Beckenbauer concentrate on Germany’s fortunes. We will think only of playing good football and we cannot wait to give our all for this jersey. You can feel within the squad this anticipation and desire to prove ourselves.”

It will be Gilardino’s first World Cup, but he faces a battle to be in the first team with Luca Toni and Rossoneri teammate Pippo Inzaghi.

“Coach Marcello Lippi called up those who deserved their place. Pippo has returned to his brilliant self this season and really earned his spot, while Luca is another formidable player and a real bonus for this squad.”

There were two hours of training this morning, but Alessandro Del Piero pulled out from the final 30 minutes due to a slight muscular problem.

Roma midfielder Perrotta’s late surge in form earned him a place in the party travelling to Germany and he stood by Gilardino’s sentiments.

“We are aware that this is a great squad with real quality,” said the former Chievo star. “It’s difficult to tell who’ll lift the trophy, as games are won and lost on even the smallest of incidents. Our destiny depends on many factors.”

Lippi has resisted calls from the media to resign due to his part in the investigation into the Italian football world, but Perrotta was not surprised to see this decision.

“I never feared the Coach would quit his position. I know this man and he always faces problems head on.”

Nesta rejects 'tainted' titles
24.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

As the prosecutor who transformed Italy’s political landscape joins the FIGC, Alessandro Nesta insists he wouldn’t want Juve’s ‘tainted’ Scudetti handed to Milan.

The investigation into ‘Calciopoli’ continues to grow and there was an important development today when the Federation appointed Francesco Saverio Borrelli as the new head of the investigating office.

Borrelli has been retired for four years, but was the prosecutor who led the battle against corruption in Italian politics from 1992 to ‘98, a campaign that became known as ‘Mani Pulite’ – clean hands.

With him in charge of the FIGC’s punishments at the end of this investigation into alleged match-fixing, collusion with referees, betting rings and financial irregularities, the football scandal has been jokingly dubbed ‘Piedi Puliti’ – clean feet.

Juventus are at the centre of the investigation and risk anything from docked points to relegation into Serie B and seeing the last two Scudetti stripped from their record.

However, Milan defender Nesta insists he would not want the tainted titles handed to the Rossoneri – who finished second in both contested campaigns.

“I don’t think I’d accept two Scudetto titles if they were revoked from Juventus. I certainly wouldn’t feel like celebrating. It’s best if we just wipe those two seasons off the record books. I hope that justice will be served.”

There are allegations that the now former Juventus director general Luciano Moggi and other figures ‘controlled’ the system whereby referees were assigned to games.

“What disgusted me the most was the entire system in place,” added Nesta. “You could tell something wasn’t quite right, but never imagined it was such a serious problem. You couldn’t say much, though, as you’d get fined or suspended for speaking out. It would be a shame to see Juventus in Serie B, but those who made mistakes must pay and apologise.”

There are fears this inquest could drag on for months and delay the start of next season, but reports today suggest the first verdicts will come from the FIGC in the first week of July. However, there is then likely to be a traipse through the three appeals courts.

Rui Costa set for Benfica
23.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan playmaker Manuel Rui Costa will sign for Benfica on Wednesday, according to reports in Portugal.

The veteran is thought to be unhappy with his bench role at the San Siro and has always insisted that he would like to end his career with his former club.

Talks are understood to have taken place over the last month and a deal has reportedly been reached with the player.

Now the Record newspaper insists that the former international midfielder will sign a one-year contract at some stage tomorrow.

The 34-year-old, who has a year left on his present Milan deal, originally joined Benfica in 1991 from little Fafe.

The attacking midfielder spent three years with the capital outfit before he accepted a switch to Fiorentina in Serie A.

He gained legendary status while at the Artemio Franchi before the club’s financial problems saw him join Milan in 2001 for £27m.

Although a regular for the Rossoneri on his arrival, he’s been omitted from the first team since the landing of Kaka at the San Siro.

I won’t quit, says Galliani
23.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Adriano Galliani has dismissed suggestions that he will resign as President of the Italian Football League on Wednesday.

Whispers yesterday claimed that the Milan director would finally quit given the off-field chaos in the game.

Yet Galliani has silenced the many who are calling for his head by insisting he doesn’t understand why he should go.

“I won’t resign because those that do in this country are seen as culprits,” noted the Rossoneri Vice-President.

“I don’t feel at all responsible for anything that has happened. In fact, I think I have always done well for the Lega Calcio.”

Galliani’s decision to fight on has been approved by his great friend and Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi.

“Adriano Galliani is right to not quit as President of the League,” the former Italian Prime Minister stated last night.

Meanwhile, Berlusconi revealed that he would soon become the President of Milan again after losing control of the country.

“Milan will have a new President, it will be me,” he noted. “Now that I am no longer Prime Minister, there isn’t a conflict of interests.”

The media mogul also dismissed reports that he offered former Juve director Luciano Moggi a job at Milan last September.

Buffon set for Milan
22.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Gigi Buffon will leave Juventus for Milan during the summer, insist reports in Italy on Monday morning.

The Italian international ‘keeper has been linked with the Rossoneri for a few months now and a transfer seems on the cards.

Although any possible Juventus demotion would lead to his sale anyway, stories suggest that he had already decided to leave before the alleged match-fixing scandal broke.

Buffon was supposedly looking for a fresh challenge, especially as whispers allege that he doesn’t share a great feeling with boss Fabio Capello.

Milan would certainly seem to be a perfect fit for the shot-stopper given their problems in between the sticks this term.

Brazilian Nelson Dida hasn’t impressed and there do seem to be problems in negotiations regarding the renewal of his contract which runs out in 2007.

Although the two parties were set to meet in an effort to find an agreement, Dida has still not put pen to paper.

It’s unclear how much Juventus would want for Buffon who they signed from Parma in 2001 for a goalkeeping record of £32m.

Antonio Mirante is expected to be handed the gloves in Turin next term after he spent this season on loan at Siena.

Juventus are also understood to have netted veteran custodian Francesco Antonioli from Sampdoria on a free transfer.

Moggi launches Galliani broadside
22.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Luciano Moggi, the man at the centre of the alleged match-fixing allegations, says he’s been ambushed by Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani.

In his first interview since the scandal erupted, Moggi has looked to defend himself while attacking Galliani and also now former FIGC chief Franco Carraro.

“I was ambushed,” he told the Quotidiano Nazionale newspaper. “It all started last September when I went to see [Milan owner Silvio] Berlusconi at Palazzo Grazioli.

“He offered me a job at Milan. I was surprised but also honoured, I told him that I would think about it.

“We were only at the start of the season and at that time I could only think about Juventus,” he continued.

“But we all know what the Milan owner is like, it doesn’t take too much for him to get excited. He obviously told Galliani of the idea.

“Then, two weeks after my meeting with Berlusconi, the FIGC were sent the documents from the Turin magistrates with the taped telephone conversations between myself and other figures in the Italian game.

“Carraro then informed Galliani, who obviously suggested to the ex-Prime Minister to be careful before he made any decisions, saying that it was perhaps best to forget about me because of the enquiry.

“It all began with that unfortunate meeting with Berlusconi.”

Moggi also blasted Carraro, who resigned as President of the Italian Football Federation earlier this month after being criticised for his handling of the present situation.

“He knew everything,” the former Juventus director general continued. “We know where the first pieces of information came from.”

Moggi is at the centre of a probe which threatens to see his former club demoted to Serie B after a number of his telephone calls to the refereeing designators of 2004-05 led to suspicions of sporting fraud.

“I didn’t invent this type of football, the system has always worked like this,” he maintained. “The designators have received calls on a daily basis from clubs for years.

“And they were certainly not friendly calls because everyone always had a reason to complain about something.

“I, like my colleagues, just wanted to make sure that our games were refereed by serious professionals, impartial ones.”

Meanwhile, Galliani is expected to resign as President on the Italian Football League on Wednesday.

Maldini snubs default titles
22.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan legend Paolo Maldini has rejected the prospect of his club being awarded the Serie A title by default.

There does seem to be the prospect that his outfit could be handed previous Scudetti won by Juventus if the Turin club are found guilty of alleged sporting fraud.

But Maldini has today told the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper that he has no interest in such a scenario.

“I will not celebrate titles that have already been celebrated by others,” said the Rossoneri captain on Monday.

Instead, the former Italian international defender wants the relevant authorities to clean up the game in order to restore some credibility to the sport that he adores.

"The most important thing is that those responsible get punished and in this case, according to the reports, there seem to be a number involved,” he added. “I feel sick, but football is my life.”

Numerous individuals and clubs are under investigation for alleged match-fixing during the 2004-05 season.

All involved have protested their innocence.

The investigation continues.

Berlusconi for President again?
20.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Now that he is no longer Italy’s Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi has announced plans to take back the Milan Presidency.

“After my time in political office, I can say that I will be the future President of Milan,” said the club patron.

Berlusconi was forced to resign his position at the head of the Rossoneri due to a conflict of interests, although no replacement was named, as Vice-President Adriano Galliani effectively ran the outfit.

Having lost the recent general election to Romano Prodi, the coast is clear for the media mogul to take back the role he first took on in 1986, when Milan were on the verge of bankruptcy.

Galliani is also the President of the Lega Calcio and one of the few high-ranking officials not to resign in the wake of the scandal rocking Italian football.

“I don’t think Galliani should resign, especially as in Italy handing in your resignation is seen as an admission of guilt. If Galliani’s conscience is clear, and I know it is, then he should stay where he is.”

The growing investigation into the power exerted by former Juventus director general Luciano Moggi and the GEA agency, run by his son Alessandro, has cast a shadow over the results of the last few Serie A seasons.

“It is necessary that the truth is ascertained quickly so that we can begin the next campaign. I have to confess I was rather innocent with regards to this situation, just like the majority of Italian fans. Every Sunday people complained about refereeing decisions in favour of certain clubs, but nobody really believed it was because Juventus were running the country and that the referees themselves were fans,” he said.

“Now we find out that there was an activity aimed at influencing the decisions of officials and it’s unacceptable. I think the right sanctions will be put in place. Football is among the most beautiful sports in the world and represents a great metaphor for life, so we have to bring back certainty in this game.”

Viola face Brocchi battle
20.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan would like to bring Cristian Brocchi back to San Siro this summer, but Fiorentina warn they don’t want to release the midfielder.

It’s reported in several Italian newspapers this morning that the Rossoneri are looking to call Brocchi back to base as an alternative to Massimo Ambrosini, who is expected to move on.

The 30-year-old was loaned out to Fiorentina this season after four years as a squad player and quickly became a fan favourite in Tuscany for his grit and determination.

However, Carlo Ancelotti wants him in Milan again and it’s claimed the club has offered him a new three-year contract with improved wages.

They won’t take him without a fight, though, as Fiorentina released a statement this afternoon warning that Brocchi’s future should remain at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

“The loan signing in July 2005 gave Fiorentina the right to buy Brocchi at a specified price and the details of the two-year contract were already agreed. We have also informed Milan that this right to buy clause will be exercised in the time and method laid out by the rules.”

It’s believed that the Viola must complete the signing by June 20 for a one-off payment in the region of £700,000, but that Brocchi is unhappy with the decision not to increase his wages after such a positive campaign.

Brocchi began his career at Serie C outfit Pro Sesto in 1995 and first found fame at Verona, spending one season at Inter in 2000-01 before crossing the city for their rivals Milan.

This season he has scored three goals in 39 Serie A and Coppa Italia appearances for Fiorentina.

Sheva sets Chelsea deadline
20.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Andriy Shevchenko has warned he’ll decide by Thursday whether to extend his Milan deal or move to Chelsea.

“I am evaluating the situation,” he was quoted as saying in today’s ‘Gazzetta dello Sport.’ “I’m on holiday now and will return to Italy between May 24 and 25, at which point we’ll immediately get to grips with the issue.”

The Ukrainian’s future is hanging in the balance after he admitted that talks had taken place with the Rossoneri on the possibility of moving to London.

Although he has not handed in an official transfer request, the club has stepped up its work to keep him at San Siro by offering a contract extension until 2011 worth around £4m per season.

“I never said I had decided to join Chelsea,” added Shevchenko. “I only told everyone that I was considering this possibility for my family and the organisation of our future.”

The 2004 Ballon d’Or winner’s current contract expires in June 2009 and he currently earns £3.5m per season, although he has insisted a potential switch to Stamford Bridge would not be fuelled by financial considerations.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho also admitted this week that Shevchenko’s arrival in the Premiership was an unlikely proposition.

“We would like to bring him, but he’s a Milan player and he has a long-term contract with them. Milan have the power, like we have the power with Didier Drogba, and my feeling is that they don’t want to sell and they will keep him. I like the player and would like to have him, but a lot of clubs want Drogba and they can’t have him either.”

Rui Costa awaits Benfica sign
20.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Manuel Rui Costa admits he doesn’t know whether he’ll stay at Milan next season, as he awaits an offer from Benfica.

“I haven’t had any signs from Benfica and I cannot honestly say that everything is fine,” confessed the Portuguese veteran.

“The only thing I can say for certain right now is that I have one more year to run on my contract with Milan.”

Rui Costa became the Rossoneri’s most expensive ever signing in 2001 when he completed a £27m move from Fiorentina.

Although he proved instrumental in their 2003 Champions League winning campaign, ‘Rui’ has struggled to find space in the side since Kaka’s arrival, making just 25 Serie A appearances this term.

“Milan are not any old club, which is why I have to think long and hard before I make any decision on my future,” he added.

The 34-year-old has hinted at retirement this summer or a return to his beloved Benfica, which he left for Fiorentina in 1994, to finish his career.

“I am flying back to Lisbon for my holidays and while I’m there I will give the club my compliments for the results they have achieved.”

Shevchenko 'untouchable', says Milan
19.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan have told Chelsea to forget about signing Andriy Shevchenko. “We will never sell him,” say the Italian club.

The Ukrainian has been strongly linked with a Stamford Bridge switch after admitting that he was considering a future outside of Italy.

But the Rossoneri are set to block his exit as the club’s director general confirmed on Friday afternoon.

“The situation remains the same,” stated Ariedo Braida. “Milan won’t sell Shevchenko, we will never sell him.”

Braida’s comments mirror those of chief Adriano Galliani who stated on Wednesday that the international striker was untouchable.

Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi has also not given up hope of keeping their star man. “It is our aim to keep him,” he said in Naples this morning.

However, the player’s agent has seemed to confirm that negotiations over a move to the Premiership are already underway.

“Shevchenko is dealing directly with [Chelsea owner Roman] Abramovich,” Oscar Damiani told PA Sport.

Shevchenko has just enjoyed another prolific campaign at the San Siro after netting 19 goals in 28 games.

Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho has conceded that Milan are the only ones who will decide Shevchenko’s future.

“We would like to bring Shevchenko here, but he's a Milan player and he has a long-term contract with them,” said the Blues' boss.

"Milan have the power, like we have the power with [Didier] Drogba and my feeling is that they don't want to sell and they will keep him.

"I like the player and I would like to have him - but a lot of clubs want Drogba and they can't have him."

Mexes to pen Roma extension
19.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Roma are ready to hand star defender Philippe Mexes a new contract, the player’s agent has revealed.

The Frenchman is a wanted man on the transfer market after a sublime campaign in the Italian capital.

However, the youngster, who has been scandalously left out of France’s World Cup bid, is prepared to extend his relationship with the Olimpico outfit.

“Mexes still has two years left on his contract and he hasn’t asked the club for a thing,” stated Olivier Jouanneaux.

“However, I know that Roma want to see me because they intend to offer the player a renewal of his deal.

“We are ready to negotiate because Philippe is very happy playing his football in this city at this club.”

Mexes joined the Italian giants in the summer of 2004 from Ligue 1 side Auxerre in controversial circumstances.

That transfer led to the player picking up a six-week ban, Roma being handed a one-year transfer embargo and now a six-month suspension for Jouanneaux.

“After two years, FIFA have decided to punish the only person who they hadn’t touched yet,” the representative disappointingly commented.

Mexes has been linked with transfers to Milan, Lyon and Liverpool over the last six months.

Henry staying at Arsenal
19.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Thierry Henry won’t be playing for either Milan club next season after deciding to stay at Arsenal.

Milan and Inter had been associated with the star who had also been strongly linked with Barcelona, but he’s now set to sign a new Gunners deal following their Champions League Final display.

"I hope to stay as long as I can keep running,” he told The Sun newspaper. “I couldn't leave the fans. They're like family.

"I love Barcelona, but on Wednesday Arsenal showed they had heart. I hope to finalise details today."

The Frenchman’s future was in doubt given that his present contract expires at the end of next season.

The 28-year-old joined the Highbury outfit in August 1999 after an unhappy six-month spell at Juventus.

Henry, who is being tipped to net a new four-year deal worth around £100,000 a week, will now probably captain the side in their new Emirates Stadium next season.

Milan were being associated as they ponder a replacement for Andriy Shevchenko who is being tipped to join Chelsea.

Inter were monitoring the situation given the uncertain future of Adriano, even if he now seems likely to stay at the Giuseppe Meazza.

“I spoke to Adriano at length two days ago,” revealed his agent Gilmar Rinaldi.

“He has admitted that he’s had a difficult season, but he’s assured me that everything is fine at Inter and he doesn’t intend to change team.”

Inzaghi declines Totti offer
18.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan striker Pippo Inzaghi has told Francesco Totti that he has no intention of joining him at Roma next season.

The capital captain yesterday revealed that he would like his international colleague to sign for his club in the summer.

Although Inzaghi took Totti’s call as a compliment, he underlined his commitment to his current outfit.

“His words were pleasing to hear, but I’m staying at Milan even if he wants me in Rome,” he told Milan Channel.

The two men will be playing alongside each other for Italy next month, though, after both were included in the Azzurri’s World Cup squad.

“It’s a dream come true for me,” he added. “I would never have believed in this happening at the start of the season.

“That’s because my initial aim was just to become a Milan player again and try to find some consistency.”

Inzaghi, who has now put his two-year injury nightmare behind him, concluded by welcoming Giuseppe Favalli to Milan after he left city rivals Inter earlier this week.

“I’m delighted with his capture,” SuperPippo raved. “I know Beppe well, he is a great player and a great man. People like him are always welcome.”

Milan on the defensive
17.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan transfer chief Ariedo Braida has admitted that William Gallas and Massimo Oddo could join the club this summer.

The pair have been associated with the Rossoneri who are looking to rejuvenate an ageing defence.

And on the day that the club confirmed the arrival of Giuseppe Favalli from rivals Inter, Braida insists more defenders could be on their way.

“Gallas and Oddo are two players who have the right requirements to possibly be in our squad next season,” he told the Guerin Sportivo magazine.

The Frenchman is expected to arrive after he recently admitted that he wanted to leave Chelsea this summer.

There are even some whispers circulating in the peninsula which suggest he has already passed a Rossoneri medical, even if those rumours have yet to be confirmed.

Oddo has been eternally associated with the San Siro outfit but his Lazio departure has yet to take place.

Milan chief Adriano Galliani yesterday claimed that the capital club had informed him that the player was not available for transfer.

Meanwhile, Christian Poulsen is expected to arrive at Milanello in the next few days to have his medical.

The Danish international midfielder, who is available from Schalke 04 on a free, has snubbed a move to Villarreal.

OFFICIAL: Favalli to Milan
17.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan have completed the signing of Giuseppe Favalli from city rivals Inter, the Rossoneri have confirmed.

The left-back was linked with a switch to Milan last month and the outfit have today confirmed his capture.

Favalli, who has represented Italy in the past, has arrived on a free transfer after his Nerazzurri contract came to an end.

The former Cremonese and Lazio full-back, now 34, has committed himself to the Italian giants until June 2008.

Sheva out – Ibra in?
17.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Juventus striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic could replace Andriy Shevchenko at Milan next season, his agent has confirmed.

“A move to Milan would be a solution welcomed by the player,” Mino Raiola told the Guerin Sportivo magazine.

Ibrahimovic could be one of many players to leave the Old Lady at the end of the season given the club’s uncertain future.

Although he was in talks with the Bianconeri over a new contract, the alleged match-fixing scandal has led the whole club’s board of directors to resign.

And with the outfit possibly facing demotion to Serie B if found guilty of sporting fraud, the Swede is assessing his options.

“Under normal circumstances, Juventus would never sell Zlatan and Zlatan would never leave,” Raiola added.

“But now we need to see how events unfold so that we can get a clearer understanding of what could happen.

“We obviously can’t talk about a contract extension at this moment in time,” continued the representative.

“It is my hope that we can prolong the agreement as it would signify that all of the problems are over, but before then Juventus still have to decide who will now run the club.”

However, the agent did open the door to a San Siro switch if the former Ajax man had to pack his bags.

“I have excellent relations with the Turin club and there are only a few sides in Italy who could buy him if they were forced into a sale,” he added.

“Milan are certainly a team who can permit themselves a player of his quality, especially if Andriy Shevchenko leaves.”

Trio in Vucinic chase
17.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Roma, Inter and Milan have all made contact with Lecce with regard to hotshot Mirko Vucinic, the club have confirmed.

The Serbia and Montenegro striker will leave the Stadio Via Del Mare in the summer following their relegation to Serie B.

Although the capital outfit were believed to have been in pole position, the San Siro pair are also in the queue.

“Roma and Inter are the clubs who have shown the most interest in him,” director general Carlo Regalia told the Guerin Sportivo magazine.

“Milan have also asked for information on Mirko too.”

The youngster, born in 1983, initially caught the eye of clubs last season when he netted 19 goals in 28 games under Zdenek Zeman.

Although he has been less prolific this term, the highly-rated player is still very desirable on the transfer market.

“We have set a fee of £8.5m, even if we have yet to start any real negotiations with any club for him,” concluded the Giallorossi official.

Inzaghi dream comes true
16.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Pippo Inzaghi has admitted that his inclusion in the Italian World Cup squad was nothing more than a dream seven months ago.

The experienced forward hasn’t played for the Azzurri in over two years, but has been recalled following a quite remarkable 2006 in which he has put his 24-month injury nightmare behind him.

“I’m delighted at this moment in time,” SuperPippo told Milan Channel. “If I think back to seven months ago then all this is incredible.

“I challenged myself to again become an important player for Milan,” continued the former Juventus forward.

“I knew it wasn’t easy, especially after two years of inactivity and two major [ankle] operations, but I’ve done it.

“This call-up to the Azzurri squad is simply the icing on the cake. Up until recently, I wasn’t even thinking about the national side.”

Inzaghi is one of six attacking players selected by boss Marcello Lippi and the player is eager to thank the fans who have stayed close to him over the years.

“I want to dedicate this call up to the supporters who have been there for me and to those people who backed me for selection,” he continued.

“Italy have a good chance to give some satisfaction to the people who love this sport. We can give something back to the fans.”

Chelsea confirm Sheva desire
15.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan’s Andriy Shevchenko has moved a step closer to joining Chelsea after the London club admitted they are ready to pounce.

Shevchenko revealed on Friday evening that he was entertaining the idea of leaving the San Siro, citing family reasons for his possible departure.

Although the Ukrainian admitted that no decision over his future had been made, the Premiership champions are preparing an offer.

"We have shown our interest in Shevchenko over the last two seasons and had dialogue with Milan,” confirmed chief executive Peter Kenyon.

“Shevchenko is the type of player we would like.

"At the end of the day to improve what we have got, it has to be a great player and Shevchenko certainly comes into that class.

"You stand a chance [of signing him] but there is a long way to go in the summer. It has got to be 50-50, but I would not say that it is any more than that."

Boss Jose Mourinho has also given the probable swoop his blessing, even if he is insisting that the deal is far from done.

"I think the natural thing is that you have a big striker to join us and to make this group stronger," said the Portuguese tactician.

"I cannot say it is Shevchenko though. He is a player that belongs to Milan and Milan have a three or four-year contract with him.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea will announce the capture of one-time Inter target Michael Ballack at a media conference today.

The German international has arrived from Bayern Munich on a free transfer.

AC Milan 2:1 AS Roma - post-match comments
15.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti: “This has been a wonderful season and it was great to see such warmth from our fans today. As for the scandal, we are perplexed and concerned, so there has to be clarity. It’s inevitable we feel penalised in this situation.”

Luciano Spalletti: “Roma deserved a result from this match, even if it wouldn’t have put us in the Champions League. Fiorentina must be complimented for their achievements. Francesco Totti is not match fit yet, but has also been debilitated by a recent flu bout. There are positive signs and he’ll be ready for the World Cup.”

Berlusconi: Give back our titles
14.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi demands the ‘return’ of the Juventus Scudetti under investigation and Franco Carraro warns this title is only provisional.

“We demand the return of the two Scudetti that belong to us,” said the former Prime Minister and media mogul this afternoon. “I don’t think I can be any clearer than that. We are sick of being the victims of injustice.”

A police investigation into match-fixing allegations and collusion with referees is sweeping through Italian football and could potentially see clubs docked points, stripped of titles or even relegated.

While these scenarios are unlikely and it should be noted that at this stage no charges have been made, it casts a shadow over Juve’s celebrations for their 29th Serie A Championship.

“The season ends today and the winner is assigned a provisional Scudetto,” explained former FIGC President Carraro.

“The sporting justice system will investigate and reach its conclusions, but this is not just because of the events from this week. It’s the way it always works, as the results are only ratified after a few days.”

Carraro resigned from his post at the head of the Italian Federation earlier this week after the publication of telephone conversation transcripts between Juve director general Luciano Moggi and several high-ranking officials.

“It’s only right that everything be burned down and started from scratch, as it will take years to wash away what has happened,” he continued.

“I realised that public opinion was very strong and thought it impossible for a figure to be head of the FA who was the subject of so much debate, both inside and outside the sport. I have always considered myself an honest man, but as President it was my responsibility to ensure everything ran smoothly. I was the only person to ask for a commission into GEA’s practices, but after a year the investigation was closed without evidence of wrong-doing.”

Carraro turned against referee Gianluca Paparesta, who was interrogated by public prosecutors this week after allegations Juventus director general Luciano Moggi locked him in his office as ‘punishment’ for disallowing the Bianconeri’s goal in the 2-1 defeat at Reggina last season.

“Paparesta has disappointed me and failed to do his duty, as he should’ve reported this incident. I heard that he said it was because he’d never referee again if he talked. How can he say such a thing, as his father was a respected referee and he has been in this sport for a long time? As for Moggi, what saddened me was his air of arrogance and impunity.”

There are reports that the investigation could take so long that next season, scheduled to kick off on August 27, won’t actually be able to start until October 1. In order to achieve that, the Serie A table could again be reduced from 20 teams to 18.

AC Milan 2:1 AS Roma - match report
14.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Scorers: Kaka pen 5 (M), Mexes 33 (R), Amoroso pen 91 (M)

Marcio Amoroso's stoppage-time penalty gave Milan the win, but both these teams end the season in disappointment, as they miss out on the Scudetto and Roma lose fourth place.

It was Mission: Impossible for both these sides, as there was only a slender hope they could achieve their objectives. Milan could take the Scudetto if they won here and Juventus lost at Reggina, while Roma needed a victory and for Fiorentina to stumble away to Chievo.

The Giallorossi were also smarting from Thursday's Coppa Italia Final defeat in this stadium, albeit against Inter, with Cristian Chivu, Alberto Aquilani and Samuel Kuffour out of action. Francesco Totti made his comeback from a fractured ankle in that game, but was not ready to start. Italy Coach Marcello Lippi was in the stands to view Totti's progress.

Milan were missing Andriy Shevchenko - who this week confessed he's considering a move to Chelsea - Paolo Maldini, Jaap Stam, Billy Costacurta and Johann Vogel. Sheva watched the match from the stands with his fans and was clearly moved at the warmth of this reception.

After just four minutes the referee pointed to the spot when Leandro Cufre' was judged to have held back Alberto Gilardino in the area. Kaka stepped up to beat his fellow Brazilian, Alexander Doni.

Roma also had a penalty appeal, but it was rejected for Alessandro Nesta's tussle with Daniele De Rossi.

Gilardino ballooned over from a promising position, then Pippo Inzaghi had a goal disallowed for an offside flag and Simone Perrotta's header was just wide. Amantino Mancini was left dazed by a clash of heads with Dario Simic, but was able to continue after treatment.

Roma drew level in curious circumstances, as a free kick went to the back post, where a Philippe Mexes header seemed to be straight at Dida, but the goalkeeper fumbled the ball horribly.

Francesco Totti made his first Serie A appearance since fracturing his ankle on February 19, as he continues to seek match fitness ahead of the World Cup.

Inzaghi couldn't get enough power or accuracy behind his volley, but the Roma defence just about managed to clear from a dangerous counter-attack in first half stoppages.

Cesare Bovo charged down an Inzaghi volley after the restart, then Kaka charged up the field and his shot was deflected just past the post, again by Bovo.

Simone Perrotta's first time strike skimmed the upright, but Kaka burst through the middle and slipped at the crucial moment, allowing Doni to smother the shot.

Milan were pouring forward with Kaka on particularly impressive form, but the Roma defence was attentive. The Brazilian chested down a poor clearance on the edge of the area and ballooned it over the bar.

Totti had penalty appeals when his cross struck Nesta's arm, but the two were so close together that it could not be considered voluntary. On the counter-attack, Kaka was closed down at the last moment.

Roma had a great chance to win it with Rodrigo Taddei, but Dida was able to fingertip it round the post at full stretch.

Milan sprinted down the other end on the counter-attack with Gennaro Gattuso. Gilardino was clearly hauled back by Bovo and the referee dubbed it to be a clear goal-scoring opportunity, as goalkeeper Doni was already out of the running. Marcio Amoroso took the responsibility and scored his first Serie A goal in a Rossoneri jersey.

Milan: Dida; Simic (Cafu 75), Nesta, Kaladze, Serginho; Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf (Rui Costa 69); Kakà; Inzaghi (Amoroso 87), Gilardino

Roma: Doni; Panucci, Mexes, Bovo, Cufrè (Rosi 80); De Rossi, Dacourt (Totti 34); Taddei, Perrotta, Mancini (Alvarez 70); Nonda

Ref: De Marco

Sent off: Bovo 90 (R)

Milan deny Sheva reports
14.5 || webmaster

Sky Sports

Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has denied reports that have suggested Andrei Shevchenko has submitted a formal transfer request.

The Ukrainian hit-man admitted on Friday that he was keen to quit the Serie A giants, with Chelsea known to be suitors and favourites to secure his signature.

Shevchenko remains the jewel in Milan's crown after scoring 28 goals this term and Galliani is understandably loath to lose one of Europe's top marksmen.

Galliani insists the Milan will not be forced to sell and in any case, is keen to reiterate that Shevchenko, contrary to reports, has not issued a formal request.
"Silvio Berlusconi's Milan has never sold a player for money,'' he told the club's official website.

"Shevchenko has a three-year contract and from our point of view he will remain at Milan. We are talking about the player who has scored the most goals for Milan in the last 50 years, we are talking about a great player.

"If Shevchenko asks for a transfer, we will face that problem. I must be clear that Shevchenko will not be sold.

"It's been two years since Peter Kenyon and Roman Abramovich asked for Shevchenko and we said no.

"We don't need the money from Chelsea, we don't need to sell players for money.

"Sheva not only spoke to Berlusconi but to me, there has been no transfer request.

"We continue to hope that Sheva does not leave, Milan does not sell Shevchenko but we'll face the problem when Sheva places it."

Rivera tipped for FIGC chair
14.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Zdenek Zeman and Maurizio Zamparini have suggested Gianni Rivera as the new President of the Italian Federation.

The FIGC is without a chief after President Franco Carraro and Vice-President Innocenzo Mazzini resigned following the investigation into match-fixing allegations.

It’s believed a temporary commissioner will be put in place in an emergency meeting on Tuesday and the race is on to find a candidate who can lead the FA into a new era.

“The Lega Calcio and the FIGC must be placed in the hands of a new person who is alien to the current system. It’s the only possible way,” noted Palermo patron and Lega Calcio Vice-President Zamparini.

“I’m waiting for Lega Calcio President Adriano Galliani to take the first step. We have to resign together, as I’m not quitting to leave him here alone. We need new blood and Rivera would be a brave step in the right direction. There’s also the issue of dividing resources equally, so we should follow the model set up by Denmark and France.”

The latest scandal to have hit Italian football is of little surprise to Zeman, the man whose comments in 1998 sparked the long-running and ultimately fruitless investigation into alleged doping at Juventus.

“When I started talking about what I saw in this sport, I got nothing but whacks on the back of the head,” said the Brescia Coach.

“When I heard about this investigation, my first thought was gratitude that at last something was being done. In this sport there is a problem of men and the general system, which I have been criticising for many years. I hope that football can be cleaned up by this action.”

Politician Daniele Capezzone suggested this weekend that Zeman become the new FIGC President, but the former Lazio and Roma boss laughed it off.

“I am a Coach and my job is to entertain people on the pitch. I’m not interested in other roles. I’d put forward Rivera as a good candidate, because he is a man who has given a great deal to this sport and always acted professionally and cleanly.”

Former Milan hero Gianni Rivera, who is now a politician, also welcomed the investigation into calcio.

“A tsunami has hit the Italian football world, but we hope it’ll wash away the rot and not take so many of the good things about this sport with it,” said the ‘Golden Boy.’

“For a long time we’ve known there was something wrong with this system and had denounced that fact on several occasions. Now there has to be total clarity and, naturally, for the reorganisation of the entire set-up to preserve what remains the most loved sport in Italy.”

Rivera was the first Italian to win the Ballon d'Or in 1969 and played for Milan for 19 years, going on to act as Vice-President of the club until 1986.

He is currently a Euro MP and a member of a consumer's association.

Felipe rejects Milan opportunity
14.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Young defender Dias Felipe has been repeatedly linked with a move to Milan, but has surprisingly stated he wants to stay at Udinese.

“I would like to remain at the Stadio Friuli for another season so that I can improve myself and become a more consistent player,” said the Brazilian.

He had been pinpointed as a potential heir to Paolo Maldini in the centre of the Rossoneri back line, although he has recently been playing as a left-back under Coach Giovanni Galeone.

“I personally prefer to be in central defence and hope that from next season the tactician can see me play in that role more often.”

The Brazilian will turn 22 in July and has attracted interest from Milan, Juventus, Fiorentina and Inter, but he is not satisfied with his season.

“The squad has shown great character and strength, but I don’t think I personally have much to salvage from my campaign. Next year I expect to be more concentrated, as many errors came from the fact I felt the weight of responsibility on my shoulders. I have to work on my game and hope to do so in Udine.”

Ancelotti's Mission: Impossible
14.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan need to beat Roma and hope Juventus lose at Reggina to take the Scudetto, so Carlo Ancelotti knows there’s only a slender chance of success.

“What are our chances of taking this title? I’d say about one per cent,” sighed the tactician in a Press conference.

“This is the final match of the season and we have the opportunity to end it on a high by amassing 88 points. The only way we can have any hope of the Scudetto is by beating Roma, who have had an excellent campaign.”

Under the new rules introduced this season, the Rossoneri would take the title automatically if they finished on level points with Juve, as they have the upper hand in direct confrontations. In their two meetings this term, Milan picked up a 3-1 win and a 0-0 draw.

“Roma play good football, maintain a high tempo and bring back some important players who missed the Coppa Italia Final midweek, so it will be very difficult for us to get that result.”

Simone Perrotta, Rodrigo Taddei and Philippe Mexes were suspended for that 3-1 defeat to Inter on Thursday, but Cristian Chivu, Sami Kuffour and Alberto Aquilani are injured.

“Francesco Totti may not be 100 per cent fit, but he is always able to create something out of nothing. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he scored a goal today. He is recovering well and I think Italy can finish in the top four in the World Cup this summer, although Kaka will be the star of the tournament.”

Ancelotti also has injury concerns, as Paolo Maldini, Jaap Stam, Andriy Shevchenko, Alessandro Costacurta and Johann Vogel are out, so two youth team players – Lino Marzoratti and Aubameyang – are in the squad for the Roma game.

Milan are one of the clubs named by the Naples public prosecutor in the investigation into alleged irregularities from the 2004-05 season, but Ancelotti is not concerned.

“We have no reason to worry. In general, I am sad, upset and bitter to see what is happening. The situation is still evolving and an investigation is continuing, so we should all wait before making accusations.”

Milan squad: Dida, Kalac; Cafu, Kaladze, Marzoratti, Nesta, Jankulovski, Simic; Gattuso, Kakà, Pirlo, Rui Costa, Seedorf, Serginho, Aubameyang; Amoroso, Gilardino, Inzaghi

Milan prepare Sheva future
13.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti and Adriano Galliani aren’t ready to sell Andriy Shevchenko to Chelsea, but say they’ll survive if he goes.

“Milan have never sold a player to make money. Shevchenko has three years left on his contract and, as far as we are concerned, he’ll stay here. However, if he hands in an official transfer request, which he has not yet done, then we’ll deal with the problem when it arises,” explained vice-President Galliani.

Shevchenko shocked fans yesterday when he confirmed he was thinking about leaving the Rossoneri for Chelsea, insisting it was “not a financial issue, but to do with my family.”

Now the club must decide which action to take with a player who has been one of the hottest properties on the transfer market for several years.

“We turned down an offer of £70m a few seasons ago, because before going for Zinedine Zidane, they wanted to sign Shevchenko,” added Galliani in a clear reference to Real Madrid’s record-breaking £48m capture of the Frenchman.

“For the past two years Peter Kenyon and Roman Abramovich have knocked on my door to ask for Sheva and we always turn them away. We don’t need Chelsea’s money and have never sold players purely for cash. Right now it’s only been discussed and I still hope he won’t actually leave, as then we’d have to find an alternative up to his standard.”

The Italian newspapers have scoured Europe for potential replacements and come up with two names: Samuel Eto’o of Barcelona – who is also Chelsea’s second choice if they cannot sign Shevchenko – and Thierry Henry of Arsenal. A third contender is Manchester United’s want away hitman Ruud Van Nistelrooy.

“Shevchenko expressed this desire to go elsewhere and the club is evaluating all the options,” chimed in Coach Ancelotti this afternoon.

“It’s not mandatory to allow players to leave just because they want to. It’s a family issue and therefore we should respect his choices, within limits. There is some sadness here, as we’ve spent some wonderful years together and he has always had a great rapport with his teammates.”

However, Ancelotti is not quaking in his boots at the idea of facing a future at San Siro without their star striker.

“If Shevchenko confirms his desire to leave this great club, then another world class player will arrive in his place. We want him to be happy, but there have to be the right conditions to achieve that first.”

Coppa Italia calendar drawn up
13.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

The calendar for the 2006-07 Coppa Italia has been unveiled, kicking off on August 13 and concluding on May 9.

The competition will begin with 72 clubs – 20 from Serie A, 22 from Serie B, 28 Serie C and two D outfits – in a tennis-style table.

The first three knockout rounds will be single-game affairs with the lowest-placed side in the previous year’s League standings having the home advantage.

The top eight ‘seeds’ will enter the fray from the Fourth Round, led by reigning Champions Inter, at which stage the competition switches to a two-legged format.

The Final will also be in two legs on April 18 and May 9, 2007.

Coppa Italia 2006-07 Calendar

First Round
August 13, 2006

Second Round
August 20, 2006

Third Round
August 23, 2006

Fourth Round
October 25 and November 8, 2006

Quarter-Finals
January 10 and 17, 2007

Semi-Finals
January 24 and 31, 2007

Final
April 18 and May 9, 2007

I could leave, admits Sheva
12.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Andriy Shevchenko has admitted that Sunday’s game against Roma could be his last in a Rossoneri shirt.

The Ukrainian made the shock announcement at a specially arranged media conference this evening after Silvio Berlusconi, the club’s owner, this morning suggested that the player wants to head to England.

Despite previously dismissing links with Chelsea, the former European Footballer of the Year is pondering a sensational and unexpected San Siro exit.

“It is useless to hide this matter any further,” the former Dynamo Kiev man told stunned journalists on Friday.

“I went to see the President [Berlusconi] where we talked about a lot of things, including the possibility of leaving.”

Although Shevchenko’s comments will inevitably lead to talk that he is on the verge of a Stamford Bridge switch, he underlined that anything could happen before the start of next season.

“No definite decision has been made,” he added. “I want people to be aware of the fact that we are only discussing the matter.”

Shevchenko did recently suggest that he wanted to become a Milanista like Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini. So why the change of stance?

“Nothing has broken in my relationship with Milan,” he wanted to underline. “There has always been great affection between us.

“That has been the case with my teammates and the Coach too. I am just considering making this decision for family reasons.

“I also want to tell the fans, who have been and always will be important for me, that this is not about money as that would be absurd.

“I’m finding it hard to talk,” he added. “Now I just have to evaluate things properly after spending seven years at this club.

“Nothing has been decided yet and we’ll see what happens over the next few days.”

The likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona may also become interested in Shevchenko now that he is seemingly available for transfer.

Berlusconi: Sheva wants England!
12.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan chief Silvio Berlusconi has sensationally let slip that Andriy Shevchenko wants to join Chelsea.

Berlusconi made the shock admission to a child fan this morning, thus confirming whispers that the London club are lining up a bid for the Ukrainian.

A number of fans approached the former Prime Minister this morning as he prepared to enter the Palazzo Chigi building.

Amongst them was a boy who asked Berlusconi to send his regards to the former European Footballer of the Year.

That led to a quite remarkable response as Berlusconi said: “Do you know that Shevchenko wants to leave? He wants to go to England.”

Shevchenko has been continually associated with a move to Chelsea ever since the London club became the most powerful outfit on the transfer market.

Those suggestions had previously been dismissed, but recent whispers claimed that the move could actually occur.

Shevchenko met with Berlusconi on Sunday night in which it was alleged that the pair discussed his future.

Today’s developments seem to mirror that stance even if it is unclear at this stage whether Milan are ready to do business.

Any proposed deal with Chelsea could include both William Gallas and Hernan Crespo moving in the other direction.

There have also been claims that Milan could use any cash they receive from the Premiership side to net Arsenal’s Thierry Henry.

Chelsea block Gallas move
12.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Chelsea have this afternoon told Milan that they have no intention of allowing William Gallas to join them this summer.

Gallas this morning indicated that he was interested in a Rossoneri switch after making the decision to leave the Stamford Bridge outfit.

But the Premiership champions have issued a statement in which they have noted that they are ready to block the Frenchman’s proposed exit.

“William Gallas has made a great contribution to Chelsea since he has been here and he has been offered a very good new contract in recognition of that," said the club.

"That contract is still on offer and we would like him to be at Chelsea for the next four years,” they continued.

"If it is not accepted, then William is still under contract for one more year and we will not be encouraging offers for players that we want to keep.

"Under Premier League rules he would be able to leave at the end of next season on a free transfer."

Galliani resists resignation calls
12.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

The Juventus Triade and the FIGC President have resigned over the transcript scandal, but Adriano Galliani resists calls to quit the Lega Calcio.

“Every day there is a new allegation,” said the Milan vice-President who is also President of the League – similar to a union of Serie A and B clubs.

“It’s like hunting season. There is talk in the newspaper of telephone taps, betting scandals and pressure on Coaches to pick certain players, but this makes it difficult to tell the false rumours from the real investigations.”

Juventus are at the centre of the initial scandal, as transcripts of alleged telephone conversations between director general Luciano Moggi and various other people, including refereeing designator Pierluigi Pairetto and his son Alessandro Moggi, the head of the GEA agency, were published in the Italian Press.

“All I’ll say is that if someone has made a mistake, then they will pay, but football will recover from this. Up until now, it’s all rumour and conjecture, not facts. I don’t think anyone should jump to conclusions or rush to condemn. This season’s Scudetto is not sub judice, it will be assigned regularly.”

The entire Juventus Board of Directors resigned this evening over the scandal and over the past few days both FIGC President Franco Carraro and vice-President Innocenzo Mazzini also quit.

Today Lega Calcio vice-President Maurizio Zamparini called for Galliani to follow in what would be a total restructuring of Italian football.

“The Lega has expressed its intention to go towards a radical change, not just in the Federation, but also the Lega itself,” noted Zamparini, who is also patron of Palermo.

“It should be put in the hands of an external caretaker President. We’ve discussed this option many times and everyone agrees on it except Galliani.”

The Milan transfer guru was quick to dismiss these calls to resign his post in charge of the Lega Calcio.

“This is the first I’ve heard of it,” said Galliani. “We have never talked about the possibility of my resignation during the meetings of all the clubs, so this is a personal view taken by Zamparini. I am amazed and don’t see why I should quit, especially as resigning is a sign of weakness in Italy. There’s no reason for me to go now.”

Instead, Galliani proposed a ‘Code of Ethics’ for football, which was approved unanimously by the clubs in today’s meeting.

Sheva proud of Rossoneri
12.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan could end the season empty-handed again, but Andriy Shevchenko is still proud of their campaign and looks ahead to the World Cup.

“This has undoubtedly been a positive year for the Rossoneri,” said the Ukrainian hitman. “Obviously, it is disappointing that we went out in the Champions League semi-finals to Barcelona, but we played on level terms with them in that tie and I had a perfectly valid goal disallowed.”

The San Siro giants could still win the Scudetto if they beat Roma on Sunday and Juventus lose to Reggina, as they have the upper hand in direct confrontations with the Turin outfit.

“I still believe in the title and hope this season can end with our victory. If that’s not to be, then we will still be proud of what we have achieved, as it isn’t easy to recover a 14-point gap from Juventus. Milan have also played great football with plenty of goals and very entertaining for our fans, so we can consider ourselves satisfied.”

He has been repeatedly linked with a summer move to Chelsea and is leading the Champions League scorer charts with nine goals in 12 games.

“My campaign has been excellent, because I know I’ve given my heart and soul to this club. All that matters to me is the team and if goals come for me, then that’s a bonus.”

Sheva will not be taking on Roma this weekend, as he is out for 25 days with a sprained knee, so he’ll only recover a week before Ukraine begin their first ever World Cup campaign.

“I am feeling a little better and the tests showed I didn’t need surgery, so I am confident. After 12 years of my career, it would’ve been a tragedy for me to reach the World Cup and not be able to play. I have to focus on recovery now.”

Gallas opens Milan door
12.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

William Gallas has indicated that he will be leaving Chelsea for Milan this summer. “I’m interested in playing over there,” he said.

The Frenchman has been continually linked with the Rossoneri for months and he’s now admitted that his Chelsea career is coming to an end.

"The directors of Milan are interested in me, and I am interested in the idea of going to play over there,” he told the L’Equipe newspaper.

“I want to leave Chelsea,” continued the former Marseille man after playing over 200 games for the Blues. “My decision has been taken and is definitive.

"I want another challenge. I've been with Chelsea for five years. I want to experience another League.”

Gallas’ decision to ask for a Stamford Bridge exit has surprised many given the London club’s unbelievable spending power on the transfer market.

However, the versatile stopper insists that his decision to leave the Premiership has nothing to do with financial aspects.

Gallas, a target for Barcelona too, is thought to be unhappy with his use as a full-back this term given that he prefers to play centrally.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani also recently hinted at Gallas’ arrival. “All I will say is that French players adapt to the Italian game quickly,” he stated.

Gallas’ current Chelsea contract expires in June 2007.

"Chelsea don't want to let me go," added the player. "That's a big problem. We have to find a solution."

Lazio return for Nesta, says agent
11.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan defender Alessandro Nesta will end his career at hometown club Lazio, his agent has confidently predicted.

The Italian international stopper was considered as a Lazio symbol after graduating through the youth ranks and winning the Scudetto with the side in 2000.

He was tipped to be a one-club man before the outfit’s severe financial difficulties saw him leave the capital for Milan in August 2002.

But Vincenzo Morabito has revealed that Nesta could one day return to the club which is unquestionably in his heart.

“Nesta’s proposed reunion with Lazio is more than a hope,” Morabito told Italian radio station Radio Incontro.

“I’m convinced that in two years, or possibly even at the end of next season, that this move could happen.

“It would allow Nesta to end his playing days in Rome and allow Lazio to aim for some bigger objectives.”

It’s unclear how some sections of the Biancocelesti public will react to the possibility of a Nesta comeback.

Although he remains one of Italy’s top defenders, he has been jeered on his return to the Olimpico with the Rossoneri.

Milan medics reassure Sheva
11.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Ukraine hero Andriy Shevchenko will be in shape for the World Cup despite his injury, assured Milan’s medical staff.

“The latest tests confirmed Shevchenko needs 25 days out for a sprain to his knee,” explained Professor Jean Pierre Meersseman on Milan Channel this evening.

“However, this is to be divided into 15 days of absolute rest and a further 10 days of rehabilitation work. He can train in this latter period and be perfectly ready for the start of the World Cup. I think he has no need to worry about recovering in time.”

This will be Ukraine’s first ever World Cup and they open their account with a crucial clash against Spain on June 14. The other teams in Group H are Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

Shevchenko suffered the knee injury during the opening moments of Sunday’s 3-2 win at Parma, as he slipped and Fernando Couto fell on top of him.

Professor Meersseman also commented on the status of Milan’s other long-term injury worries.

“Paolo Maldini had knee surgery 10 days ago, so it’s still early days. He can walk fine, but we must wait two months before we can tell how his body will react to running.”

There were claims that the Rossoneri captain would hang up his boots this summer after making just 14 Serie A appearances this season due to a series of injury setbacks.

“We joked in the clinic and said if he recovers well from this operation, that he can carry on for another 20 years! In all seriousness, Maldini has a good two years in him, at least. Massimo Ambrosini is still in plaster and we’ll evaluate his situation in a week.”

Milan are looking ahead to next term and there are newspaper suggestions that Ambrosini could leave San Siro for a new stage of his career at Fiorentina on loan.

In exchange, the Viola would hand over Cristian Brocchi, who is still partly owned by the Rossoneri.

Cafu invites 'unhappy' Adriano
11.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Marcos Cafu has advised his fellow Brazilian Adriano to move across the San Siro to Milan if he wants to enjoy his football again.

“As soon as Adriano joins up with the Selecao squad, he changes completely,” revealed the World Cup winner.

“He finds a less ‘heavy’ atmosphere than at Inter and is able to laugh a bit more, which is I think what has been missing for him at club level. It’d be great if he joined us at Milan. I mention it to him every time we speak and he just smiles back at me.”

Adriano confessed last month that he doesn’t enjoy his football with the Nerazzurri and that he needs to laugh in order to play at his best.

While there have been strong reports of a move to Real Madrid, Chelsea or Barcelona, Cafu insists there is the possibility he could cross the San Siro.

“There are plenty of Brazilians here and he’d have no problems settling in. We often talk to him, as we’re all from the same place and want to help Adriano get through his problems. Whoever comes to Milan is welcomed with open arms.”

The Selecao and the upcoming World Cup are on Cafu’s mind and he’s also dishing out advice to other fellow countrymen.

“Serginho has had a great season with Milan and I have told Coach Carlos Alberto Parreira that he should be considered for a place. There’s a real chance Serginho could become part of the Selecao squad.”

Cafu is also maintaining his optimism ahead of Sunday’s Scudetto decider, as the Rossoneri can take the title if they beat his former Roma teammates and Juventus are defeated at Reggina.

“Of course we still believe, seeing as anything can happen in football and there’s still one match left to go,” said the full-back.

“It’ll be difficult to get the three points against Roma, but we realise it all depends on the attitude Reggina take against Juve. The Amaranto have to trust that they can beat the reigning champions. If Juventus win, then it’ll be a deserved Scudetto. If Milan take the title, then it will also have been earned.”

Ancelotti in fresh Real link
9.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti has seven days to accept or decline Real Madrid’s job offer, according to reports in Spain.

Although the tactician has maintained that he is staying at the San Siro, thus explaining why he recently signed a new contract until 2008, one newspaper is not convinced.

Spanish sports daily ‘AS’ today insists that the Italian is still in pole position to land the Madrid hotseat.

The publication claims that Ancelotti penned a pre-contract agreement with Real two months ago and he will arrive in La Liga at the end of this campaign.

“Ancelotti is a professional and it is normal that he won’t say anything until the Scudetto is assigned,” an unnamed Real official is quoted as saying.

“However, we know that he considers his cycle at Milan to be over and he is very attracted by Real Madrid.”

Neither Ancelotti nor Milan have yet to respond to these latest claims even if the chances of such a switch happening, according to large sections of the Italian media, remain slim.

Gallas all set for Milan
9.5 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan have already tabled a bid for Chelsea defender William Gallas, according to reports in France on Tuesday.

The stopper has recently admitted that he will be leaving Stamford Bridge in the summer and Milan were instantly associated.

Now the L’Equipe newspaper has suggested that the Rossoneri are well on the way to signing the international.

Milan are looking to rejuvenate their defence given the age of Marcos Cafu, Paolo Maldini and Billy Costacurta.

They also require some fresh blood as they will lose Jaap Stam in the summer after he agreed a two-year deal with Ajax.

Gallas, also linked with Juventus and Barcelona, could complete his switch to the San Siro before the World Cup Finals.

Milan to monitor Torres
8.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are reportedly pondering a summer move for Fernando Torres after his agent opened the door for an Atletico Madrid exit.

The talented youngster, known as El Nino in his homeland, has been linked with a switch for some time and he’s edging closer to a big money move.

“There was a strong argument why Fernando needed to stay at Atletico last summer and that is this summer’s World Cup,” Jose Martin Otin is quoted as saying.

“Had he gone to Chelsea, for example, he could have risked his squad place given that he may not have played regularly.

“But what reason is there to stay now? There is none.”

The technically gifted attacker is on a number of clubs’ wish lists given his incredible potential on the biggest stage.

Milan have been watching the starlet for years and are known to have excellent relations with Atletico Madrid.

However, Torres also has admirers in England with Chelsea and Manchester United paired with the international.

Chelsea would have no problem meeting Atletico Madrid’s valuation, while the Old Trafford outfit could offer Ruud Van Nistelrooy in a swap deal.

Shev out for 25 days
8.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s Andriy Shevchenko is in a race against time to be fit for the World Cup after injuring his knee.

The Ukrainian international, who will be his country’s star player at their first major tournament, limped out of the Parma victory after just eight minutes on Sunday.

The striker underwent tests on the problem this morning which confirmed ligament damage even if they ruled out the need for surgery.

The Rossoneri expect the former European Footballer of the Year to be sidelined for 25 days, giving him just under two weeks to prove his fitness before Germany 2006 kicks off.

Shevchenko’s season with Milan is thus over and there are even some whispers on Monday claiming that he’s played his last game for the club.

Shev met owner Silvio Berlusconi last night where it has been alleged that they may have discussed his own future.

Despite constantly stating that he wanted to end his career with the Rossoneri, speculation is again linking him with a move to Chelsea.

Milan will reportedly cope with his departure by buying Arsenal’s Thierry Henry and also use some of the cash from Shev’s sale to sign Chelsea stopper William Gallas and Juve ‘keeper Gigi Buffon.

Barcelona’s Samuel Eto’o, who impressed Milan stopper Alessandro Nesta during their recent Champions League battles, is another name linked with the San Siro club on Monday.

Milan will now start with an attacking duo of Pippo Inzaghi and Alberto Gilardino against Roma next week.

The Rossoneri need to beat the Giallorossi and hope that Juventus lose to Reggina to win the Serie A title.

Henry hopes for Milan move
8.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

While he has been primarily linked with Inter and Barcelona, there are reports that Thierry Henry has his eye on a Milan move.

The 29-year-old striker is expected to leave Arsenal in the summer, as he has not yet signed an extension to the contract that expires in June 2007.

The Champions League Finalist is the hottest property on the transfer market and is a confirmed target for both Inter patron Massimo Moratti and Barcelona.

Italian newspapers today claim Henry is looking for a return to Serie A, where he had a brief spell as a midfielder with Juventus in 1999-00, but not towards the Nerazzurri.

It’s suggested the Frenchman would prefer a switch to Milan, where he could partner Andriy Shevchenko and Kaka in a side that has been at the forefront of European football for several seasons now.

The Rossoneri have been in two of the last four Champions League Finals and reached the last eight every season since their victory in 2003.

Arsenal would release Henry for around £10m, but with Milan focusing on reinforcing their ageing defence, it remains to be seen whether the club will break its financial policy again.

Last summer was already an unusually expensive one for the San Siro outfit, who picked up Alberto Gilardino from Parma for £17m.

They have also been linked with another Premiership hitman, as Ruud Van Nistelrooy is ready to leave Manchester United.

Parma 2:3 AC Milan - match report
7.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Kaka pen 29 (M), Cafu 43 (M), Corradi 54, 88 (P), Seedorf 56 (M)

Milan came out on top at the Tardini in an entertaining game, but it probably won't be enough to take the title.

The Rossoneri knew they had no choice but to earn victory here or wave goodbye to the Scudetto. With a three-point gap from leaders Juventus and just two games left to play, the pressure was on to stay in the hunt.

It was also an emotional return for Alberto Gilardino, who made his first visit to the Stadio Tardini since his £17m summer move to Milan. However, he was initially left on the bench in favour of Andriy Shevchenko and Pippo Inzaghi, while Paolo Maldini, Jaap Stam and Massimo Ambrosini were out of action.

Fabio Simplicio slalomed through the Milan defence in the opening minutes and Dida rushed out to close him down. Andrea Pirlo also needed a well-timed tackle to stop Marco Marchionni's counter-attack, then Serginho's low drive whistled wide.

Gilardino was given his chance at the Tardini after just eight minutes, as Shevchenko tripped over and Fernando Couto fell on top of him, causing an injury to his right leg.

Parma nearly took the lead with a splendid Marchionni stop and volley from the edge of the box that stung Dida's palms, then Mark Bresciano's rocket was controlled.

Yet Milan also went close, as Marcos Cafu's swerving cross took a crucial touch off goalkeeper De Lucia's fingertip.

The referee pointed to the spot when Inzaghi skipped past his marker and De Lucia grabbed his ankle. Kaka stepped up to coolly convert and give Milan the lead at the Tardini.

Fabio Simplicio's free kick was deflected over the bar by Inzaghi. From the resulting corner kick, Bernardo Corradi's header found Daniele Bonera and he nodded it on to the upright, although he was in an offside position.

Milan made it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time with an all-Brazilian move. Kaka sparked the counter-attack and saw Cafu clear down the right flank, threading an inch-perfect pass through for the full-back to score a rare goal.

Parma got back into the game on 54 minutes, as Bernardo Corradi sprung the offside trap on substitute Domenico Morfeo's pass and prodded it past Dida with the outside of his right boot.

It didn't last long as Milan restored their two-goal cushion in spectacular fashion. Pirlo touched on a free kick for an absolute screamer from Clarence Seedorf into the top corner from all of 30 metres.

The Gialloblu also tried a similar effort, but the quickly taken free kick for Fernando Couto stung Dida's palms.

It could well have been 4-1 for Milan in the final 10 minutes, but Kaka's strike on a fine team move slammed the upright.

Parma wouldn't give in and Morfeo's wonderful chipped pass found Corradi's header from seven yards to put them back into the running with two minutes plus stoppages left.

Parma: De Lucia; Bonera, Cannavaro (Ferronetti 73), Couto, Contini; Grella, Simplicio; Coly, Marchionni (Cardone 85), Bresciano (Morfeo 46); Corradi

Milan: Dida; Cafu, Nesta, Kaladze, Serginho (Jankulovski 55); Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf; Kakà; Shevchenko (Gilardino 8), Inzaghi (Rui Costa 71)

Ref: Paparesta

Beretta challenges Gila
7.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Parma boss Mario Beretta has invited Alberto Gilardino to celebrate a goal on his return to the Tardini – if the Milan man can score.

“Should Gilardino celebrate if he scores against his old club? We could avoid the issue entirely by making sure he doesn’t hit the back of the net!”

All joking aside, the Coach tried to create a positive atmosphere for the £17m rated hitman’s first visit to Parma since he completed his summer move.

“If a Rossoneri player absolutely has to score, then I’d rather it was ‘one of our own.’ As I’d already said before the first leg at San Siro, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with celebrating against your old team, as long as there is respect. A goal is the greatest joy in this sport and shouldn’t be repressed.”

In Italy there have been instances when players returning to face their former teammates have chosen not to celebrate out of respect, but Beretta holds no truck with this attitude.

“When there is respect for any fanbase, above all one that supported you for so long, then celebrating cannot be considered a wind-up,” continued the Coach.

“Even an amusing trademark like Gilardino playing the violin, or our Mark Bresciano stopping still like a statue, is perfectly acceptable. Football is under so much pressure nowadays, we really don’t need to take away those tiny moments of joy as well.”

Ancelotti: It's not over yet
6.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have just two games to catch Juventus at the top of the table, but Carlo Ancelotti has no intention of letting this Scudetto go.

“Milan have an objective and that is to challenge for this title until the final minute. To achieve that, we must win at the Tardini,” he said of Sunday’s trip to Parma.

Juve maintained their three-point lead, but with six still up for grabs, all is not lost for Ancelotti’s men.

“Parma are one of those teams who have done better than anyone in the second half of the season. It’ll be a tough match, because they are still on fine form.”

The Gialloblu have impressed to surge up from the relegation zone in Week 20 to tenth place in the space of just 16 rounds.

“We are also doing well and everyone is in good condition,” added Ancelotti. “Alessandro Nesta has trained regularly all week, while Kaka resumed working with the team on Friday and should be able to start.”

There are reports that Andriy Shevchenko will be rested for this tie in favour of Pippo Inzaghi and former Parma hero Alberto Gilardino, fuelled by an alleged row between the Ukrainian and his Coach.

“I have a few doubts on who’ll be the strike partnership and between Marek Jankulovski and Clarence Seedorf in midfield. I’ve spoken to Sheva and everything is fine. I’ve been a player and understand everyone wants to be there for the whole game, but it’s not right to show your anger when a teammate is coming on. I told him that and he understood.”

However, he denied that leaving him on the bench this Sunday would be ‘punishment’ for that incident.

“If someone thinks I could punish him for that, then that’s offensive to me. Revenge is not a part of my character. Sheva worked well on Friday, but still has a few fitness worries, so we’ll see.”

Inevitably, former Juventus boss Ancelotti was asked about the FIGC investigation into the relationship between Bianconeri director general Luciano Moggi and refereeing designator Pierluigi Pairetto.

There are allegations that taped phone conversations saw Moggi discuss officials for summer friendlies and a Champions League tie.

“In general, this is a low blow for the sport and everyone feels sad that this is happening. On the other hand, there are organisations who can take the necessary steps to ensure football doesn’t lose its credibility and the enthusiasm it generates. I have been in this game for 20 years and want to continue enjoying it.”

Peruzzi considers Milan proposal
6.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Angelo Peruzzi is considering his future and today there are reports Milan have offered to give his career another boost.

The veteran goalkeeper admitted this week he was unsure of what to do next season, as his contract with Lazio expires in 2007 and he could buy himself out of that deal early at a reasonable cost.

Despite turning 36 years of age, Peruzzi has been consistently one of the best shot-stoppers in Serie A this term and proved crucial in taking the Biancocelesti to their UEFA Cup place.

He has also done enough to earn a recall to the Italy squad for the 2006 World Cup, where he’ll be the understudy to Juventus man Gianluigi Buffon.

“I’ll decide whether to quit or not after Germany 2006,” the former Juventus hero said at Italy’s Borghesiana training base on Wednesday.

Milan are looking for a new ‘keeper after Dida’s poor form this season and the fact the Brazilian is reportedly hesitating over signing a contract extension could see him pushed out in the summer.

Christian Abbiati will return from his loan spell at Juventus but, according to the latest newspaper claims, he is not set to stay at San Siro.

Ascoli’s Ferdinando Coppola will be a free agent at the end of the season and it’s claimed he has already agreed a switch to the Rossoneri.

The club wants a veteran to help show him the ropes in his first major assignment, so Peruzzi would give Milan the solidity in the short-term and help Coppola grow for the future.

The Lazio goalkeeper certainly has experience of the big clubs, as he started his career at Roma before moving on to Juventus and Inter.

Sheva fears motivated Juve
6.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andriy Shevchenko fears the refereeing scandal will fire Juventus up this weekend rather than force them into a slip.

“I don’t think this whole affair can help us in our Scudetto challenge,” said the Milan hitman.

A FIGC inquest has been opened into unproven allegations that Juve director general Luciano Moggi requested specific referees from designator Pierluigi Pairetto in phone conversations recorded in 2004.

The Bianconeri are still three points clear at the top of the table with two Serie A games to go, but Sheva has not lost hope.

“It depends on us, as we must win our remaining two matches and wait for Juventus to slip up. Everything that has been happening over the past few days with these newspaper allegations could just make them extra motivated, as they’ll want to prove their worth on the field.”

The Ukrainian did not take the opportunity to crank up the already escalating tension in the Scudetto race.

“I don’t read the newspapers and before commenting on this issue you’d have to go through all the evidence carefully. Referees can make mistakes because they are human, like the goal I had disallowed against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final.”

Shevchenko was also in the headlines this week after he reacted angrily to his substitution in the 2-0 win over Livorno on Sunday.

“I am not irritable. It’s only normal to be a little tense at the end of the season when there are so many important games and you don’t physically feel at your best. As for the Livorno incident, I’ve already apologised to the fans, but I was angry at myself, not at anyone else.”

He’ll have the chance to prove his form at the Stadio Tardini this weekend when Milan visit Parma.

“The team is in good shape and we absolutely have to come home with all three points,” said the Ukrainian.

Gila believes in Scudetto
5.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Alberto Gilardino believes that there’s still all to play for at the top of Serie A.

While Juventus still lead the Rossoneri by three points with only two fixtures remaining, Fabio Capello’s side have struggled of late, leaving Gila to ruefully remember Milan’s shock defeat at Lecce in Week 32.

“We’ve thrown away some points along the way,” admitted the 23-year-old hitman. “It happened mostly away from home. It’s a shame we lost to Lecce.”

This weekend Milan travel to Parma, a fixture that pits Gilardino against the side he worked wonders for last season – scoring 23 goals.

Despite the cold reception that Luca Toni received at his ex-employers Palermo, Gila insisted that he doesn’t fear the Ennio Tardini faithful.

“I have a great relationship with the club and I’m happy to be going back there,” claimed the Azzurri ace. “There’s no gratitude in the football world. When someone changes team they are seen as an enemy.”

Although his thoughts are now on the Scudetto race, the Biellese striker admitted that Milan’s exit from the Champions League is still haunting him.

“It hurts that I didn’t score in Europe, but we went out to a great side in Barcelona,” Gilardino maintained. “I still think about how I hit the post in the first leg.”

Simic signs Milan extension
4.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have made the surprise announcement that Dario Simic has today renewed his contract with the club.

The Croatian was expected to be heading for the exit after recently criticising boss Carlo Ancelotti for his lack of use.

But the versatile defender has been persuaded to remain and has signed a new deal until June 2009 as a consequence.

The Zagreb-born stopper moved to the peninsula in January 1999 when he made his Serie A debut for Inter.

However, he later switched sides of the Giuseppe Meazza and made his first appearance for Milan in a September 2002 win at Modena.

The 31-year-old has won a Scudetto, the Champions League, a European Super Cup, an Italian Cup and an Italian Super Cup in the Rossoneri jersey.

Numerous clubs in England were believed to be pondering a bid for him at the end of this campaign.

Dida in Rossoneri dispute?
4.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports that Dida has run into a contractual row with Milan, putting his future at the club in doubt.

The goalkeeper’s current deal expires in June 2007, but today there are claims in the Italian Press that he has hesitated in coming into the club office to discuss a renewal, preferring to discuss terms at the end of the season.

It’s said this attitude has irritated the Rossoneri, who have had to defend Dida’s form this year after a series of howlers.

If the contract is not extended soon, it’s likely Milan will opt to sell the Brazilian rather than risk losing him on a free transfer next summer.

They already have a replacement lined up, as Christian Abbiati returns from his loan spell at Juventus, where he impressed during Gianluigi Buffon’s injury lay-off.

There have also been reports this week that the Rossoneri are trying to prise Buffon away from Turin, but his agent and Milan vice-President Adriano Galliani have laughed off these rumours.

Nonetheless, with Dida looking particularly shaky between the sticks all season, his future at San Siro is far from secure.

The 32-year-old had a patchy start to his Italian career, joining Milan from Corinthians in 2000-01 and making only a handful of disappointing appearances – including a costly slip in the 1-0 Champions League defeat at Leeds United – before returning to the Brazilian club on loan.

He had become the undisputed Number 1 at Milan upon his return in 2002, proving decisive in the 2003 Champions League Final win over Juventus, but has stuttered this term.

Oddo desires Milan move
4.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Oddo confirms he is the latest Lazio player looking for a more prestigious summer move, with all likelihood to Milan.

“I have a contract with Lazio, but a player always needs new motivation,” said the right-back from Italy’s get-together at the Borghesiana training ground.

“I want to play for an important club, one that is challenging for the Champions League, and be able to win some silverware in my career.”

Oddo has been repeatedly linked with Milan over the past few months as the heir to Marcos Cafu, although there is also interest from Juventus.

President Claudio Lotito has made it clear on several occasions that he does not wish to sell the defender, but there is hope for a consensual parting of the ways.

“It would be great to achieve that career advancement, but it all depends on Lazio. I do not feel like a prisoner here, even if there is a general feeling of uncertainty.”

The Biancocelesti are in turmoil, as Fabio Liverani is heading towards Fiorentina on a free transfer, Ousmane Dabo is in advanced negotiations with Manchester City and Paolo Di Canio aimed a furious radio tirade at Lotito over delays in his contract renewal.

Meanwhile, Oddo is on track to be part of Marcello Lippi’s Azzurri party going to the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

“I am happy to be here and Lippi knows what I can give to the side. There’s not long to wait now for the full squad to be announced, so I’m only focusing on working hard.”

Italy Coach Lippi must unveil his list of 23 World Cup names on May 15.

Parma vs. AC Milan - match preview
3.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

All eyes will be on Milan when they travel to Parma’s Ennio Tardini Stadium. With the race for Lo Scudetto hotting up, there will also be special focus on Alberto Gilardino as he returns to his most successful hunting ground. After scoring 23 goals for the Crociati last term he will be keen to add to this year’s tally of 17 to show he didn’t lose any of his scoring touch in the high profile move.

Milan’s run of six wins in seven games has seen them put Juventus back under pressure at the top of the table. With only three points now separating the Rossoneri from a historic last gasp Scudetto triumph, they will be doing everything they can to maintain that pressure in anticipation of any more Juve slip-ups.

As well as Gilardino, Filippo Inzaghi will also be keen to impress after forcing his way into contention for a World Cup place and returning to scoring ways with both goals against Livorno last week. But Coach Carlo Ancelotti will be concerned by the injuries to Massimo Ambrosini, Paolo Maldini and Jaap Stam as he tries to keep his players focussed on the game at hand rather than keeping one eye on the Juventus score.

Parma may be relieved that they have guaranteed their Serie A status and will be eager to prove they are on the way back to their former glories by finishing as near to the European places as possible. A top eight finish is still a possibility if they win here and that will certainly be something they are aiming for in the final two matches. Despite earning their survival thanks to results elsewhere the Gialloblu will also be keen to bounce back from last week’s disappointing 3-1 defeat at the hands of Cagliari. However, they will once again be without Jorge Bolano and veteran hitman Marco Delvecchio.

Parma: De Lucia; Ferronetti, Cannavaro, Contini, Bonera; Grella, Simplicio; Marchionni, Cigarini, Bresciano; Corradi

Milan: Dida; Cafu, Nesta, Kaladze, Serginho; Gattuso, Pirlo, Jankulovski; Kaka; Gilardino, Inzaghi

Stam goes under knife
3.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Jaap Stam has played his last game for Milan after the Dutchman underwent shoulder surgery on Tuesday.

The giant stopper picked up the problem on Sunday as he fell awkwardly in the 2-0 win over Livorno.

Rossoneri medics were hoping to avoid an operation, but tests picked up ligament damage which required the player to go under the knife.

“The procedure carried out at Varese by professor Cherubino was a success,” read a note on the club’s website.

Stam won’t wear the Rossoneri jersey again as the former Manchester United and Lazio man will leave Milan in the summer.

Stam signed a two-year contract with Ajax in January after telling the club that he was keen on a return to his homeland for family reasons.

Buffon agent slams exit talk
3.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gigi Buffon’s agent has rubbished rumours insisting that his client would be leaving Juventus at the end of this season.

Some reports in recent weeks had associated the goalkeeper with a switch, Milan being one of his possible destinations.

But Silvano Martino has today told the Guerin Sportivo magazine that there is no divorce on the cards.

“I’ll start by saying that Juventus have no intention of depriving themselves of Buffon and Gigi hasn’t manifested a desire to join another club,” he stated.

“It’s also the case that I am unaware of any proposed offers which Juventus have received for my client.

“Unfortunately I keep reading absurd stories, untruths, even inventions of disagreements with [boss Fabio] Capello and the club.”

Whispers had claimed that Buffon would be allowed to leave given the impressive form of understudy Christian Abbiati this term.

“All the rumours are false,” added Martino. “Gigi is happy in Turin and has no problems with Capello, his teammates or the directors.

“That is why he will remain in between the sticks for the club for some time to come yet.”

Juventus landed Buffon in the summer of 2001 after they had a £33m offer, a world record fee for a shot-stopper, accepted by Parma.

Inzaghi makes Milan pledge
3.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Pippo Inzaghi and his agent have both dismissed whispers suggesting that he could quit Milan at the end of this season.

“I don’t see any reason why he would leave,” representative Tullio Tinti stated on Tuesday afternoon. “The club and the player are happy with each other.

“In terms of the offers received from other sides, it’s clear that players of his level are wanted, but they don’t move on,” he concluded in an interview with Centro Suono Sport.

SuperPippo has been reborn in 2006 and he’s been a major star for the Rossoneri since he finally got over his two-year injury nightmare.

He’s won the faith of boss Carlo Ancelotti and he seems ready to give the rest of his footballing life to the San Siro giants.

“I’ll end my career at Milan,” he told Sky Italia. “This is a club which has given me a lot in the past and I have a splendid rapport with everyone there.”

Inzaghi’s form has also understandably been noted by Italy Coach Marcello Lippi who has called him up for a two-day training session ahead of the World Cup Finals.

And Inzaghi is glad to be back in the national fold after an absence of two years away from the Giro Azzurro.

“To put on the Italian tracksuit again is an indescribable moment,” the former Juventus striker continued.

“To see [former Juve boss] Lippi again too is a great joy. I’ll just look to give my best and not make any plans for the future.

“These two days that I will be spending here are a reward to Milan who were patient enough to wait for my return.”

Gallas opens Italian door
3.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan and Juventus are monitoring William Gallas’ situation after he admitted that he could leave Chelsea this summer.

Despite winning another championship with the Stamford Bridge outfit at the weekend, the Frenchman is looking for a new adventure.

"I have been here for five years and maybe that's enough,” said the stopper. “I am a man who wants to win everything and I want to do that in different countries.”

Both Italian giants have been closely linked with the versatile defender in the past with the Rossoneri reportedly the player’s preferred choice.

However, Juventus are hoping that their French influence in their squad could persuade the 28-year-old to move to Turin instead.

Chelsea seem ready to sell the international after chief executive Peter Kenyon did admit that three players would be released this summer.

Gallas joined the London club in the summer of 2001 after a £6m transfer fee was agreed with Ligue 1 outfit Marseille.

Ancelotti snubs Real – again…
1.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan's Carlo Ancelotti has rubbished continuing speculation that he will become the next Real Madrid boss.

The tactician is still being linked with the Spanish hotseat for the new campaign even though he signed a contract extension with the Rossoneri just last month.

Now he’s poked fun at the Spanish journalists by categorically denying that he will be leaving the San Siro in June.

“The fact that I am being linked is a positive, but there is no chance of it happening,” stated the former Juventus boss.

“It is clear, very clear, what will happen,” he continued. “You will all see that I will be still coaching Milan next season.

“You will all just have to be a little more patient to see that happen, but the Spaniards have no chance.”

Ancelotti’s statement has already been felt around La Liga with Spanish newspaper Marca suggesting that Sven Goran Eriksson is the new favourite.

The former Lazio Coach is available for hire once his World Cup adventure ends with England this summer.

Getafe boss Bernd Schuster is also believed to be a man which the Madrid outfit are monitoring with interest.

Marquez wanted by Milan
1.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan and Chelsea are fighting it out on the transfer market for Barcelona’s Rafa Marquez, according to reports.

The Mexican international is understood to be hot on the wish lists of both clubs who are said to be willing to spend up to £7m for the player.

The Rossoneri like the look of the Central American who can play both in central defence and central midfield.

He would therefore provide cover for the San Siro giants at the back, but may also be used as an alternative for Andrea Pirlo in midfield.

The club have no natural replacement for Pirlo who sits in front of the defence and orchestrates the play from a deep midfield position.

It’s unclear at this stage whether either Marquez or Barcelona are pondering a separation at the end of this term.

Sheva cools rift rumours
1.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko has denied stories of a rift between himself and boss Carlo Ancelotti.

The latest speculation of possible problems between the pair erupted on Sunday afternoon after Shevchenko’s controversial exit from the Livorno game.

After seeing his side go 2-0 up, the Ukrainian international was substituted and reacted by mouthing vulgarities towards the Rossoneri bench.

However, the former European Footballer of the Year has quickly diffused the situation by apologising for his foul-mouthed behaviour.

“I was upset with myself,” he stated on national television last night. “I was a little agitated with the fact that I didn’t take advantage of two or three scoring chances.

“We’ve had a hard season and it is clear that we are all a little tired and it’s hard to keep in charge of our emotions.

“The game was important and I always look to do my work in the best possible manner, I expect a lot from myself.

“Ancelotti? We didn’t speak after the game because there really was no need to discuss anything,” he added.

“I really didn’t think that this controversy could be born out of what happened this afternoon during the game.

“I have great respect for Carlo as a Coach and also as a man. We have a great relationship.”





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