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The Archive

July 2005

AC Milan 1:1 Chelsea - match report
31.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan concluded their American tour with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Chelsea thanks to a wonder strike from Manuel Rui Costa.

Alberto Gilardino and Christian Vieri started together for the second time and came face to face with former Rossoneri star Hernan Crespo at New York’s Giants Stadium. Paolo Maldini was out with an injury and replaced by Kakha Kaladze – who had been on the verge of a move to Chelsea earlier this month.

The first half was an even affair with chances for Gilardino, Kaladze, Marcos Cafu and Damien Duff, but both goals arrived after the break.

Didier Drogba used his strength to muscle his way past both Gennaro Gattuso and Billy Costacurta for a precise angled drive and Milan thought they’d drawn level when Andrea Pirlo’s free kick came off the crossbar and into the path of Vieri. However, it was disallowed for a very debatable offside flag.

The equaliser eventually came in spectacular fashion, as Rui Costa – one of their most impressive players in pre-season so far – curled a magnificent finish in off the far post to leave Petr Cech stranded. The Portuguese star seemed to be running out of room before flicking the ball up and around the crowd of opposition players.

Drogba and Gilardino also had late chances, but it ends 1-1. This was the second time that the two clubs had met this week, Chelsea beating Milan 1-0 on the first date of their US tour. See below for team sheets.

In other friendly action, Palermo have beaten Greek outfit PAOK Salonicco 1-0 thanks to an early goal from former Samp winger Andrea Gasbarroni.

Udinese warmed up for their Champions’ League preliminary round tie by winning the Berne tournament. Serse Cosmi’s men kept two clean sheets against Giovanni Trapattoni’s Stuttgart – 1-0 with a goal from Vincenzo Iaquinta – and seeing off Young Boys 2-0 with Di Natale and Barreto.

Livorno had no problems taking the Trentino Cup with a 3-0 victory over Mezzana and beating Trentino 1921 with a 2-0 scoreline. Cristiano Lucarelli bagged a hat-trick before Paulinho and a Danilevicius penalty hit the target.


Chelsea 1-1 Milan

Scorers: Drogba 54 (C), Rui Costa 80 (M)

Chelsea: Cudicini (Cech 46); Ferreira (Carvalho 46), Gallas (Johnson 54), Terry (Huth 74), Del Horno; Duff, Makelele (Tiago 60), Lampard, Gudjonhsen (Geremi 69), J Cole (Wright-Phillips 46); Crespo (Drogba 46)

Milan: Eleftheropoulos (Fiori 46); Cafu, Stam (Costacurta 46), Nesta, Kaladze; Gattuso (Vogel 68), Pirlo, Ambrosini (Marzoratti 89); Seedorf (Rui Costa 46); Vieri, Gilardino

Milan expect Vieri good year
31.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Rossoneri director general Ariedo Braida claims that Christian Vieri will take all the headlines away from teammate Alberto Gilardino this season.

“Gilardino is an excellent player, but this will be Vieri’s year,” said the transfer guru in front of the Lega Calcio offices this afternoon.

Milan have considerably boosted their attacking potential by bringing in the two forwards, one a young £17m starlet and the other a free transfer from rivals Inter.

“Gilardino is one of the most consistent Italian strikers around and he shouldn’t have any problem booking his place in the 2006 World Cup squad. Vieri’s situation is different.”

The 32-year-old was released from his contract with Inter a year early and he has hinted that it was a decision prompted by the club rather than by him. Once a free agent, he agreed terms with their ‘enemies’ on the other side of the San Siro.

“Christian has just left a club that perhaps did not appreciate his presence any more,” added Braida. “As if that weren’t enough, his position in the Azzurri is far from secure. He will want to make his mark this season and force Coach Marcello Lippi to take him to Germany next summer as a fitting end to his career. That’s why I believe Vieri will take centre stage for Milan.”

Vieri and Gilardino will start together in tonight’s friendly test against Chelsea. Some other games were played this weekend as clubs warm up for the new season. Sampdoria beat Verona 1-0 with Lamberto Zauli’s strike, while Empoli saw off Massese 2-0 thanks to Francesco Tavano and Bonetto.

Cagliari are having a few problems and were surprisingly defeated by Serie C outfit Cremonese. Chievo thrashed Bassano 4-0 with goals from Franceschini, Bruno, Obinna and Semioli.

Ancelotti has faith in the future
31.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan ended the season empty-handed, but Carlo Ancelotti is confident that his team will improve with Alberto Gilardino and Christian Vieri, starting from tonight’s clash with Chelsea.

“I feel very confident, because I am training a strong squad and have a solid club structure behind me,” said the Coach in a press conference at Central Park. “These are two crucial elements for a tactician. Last year the quality of our play dropped compared to previous seasons, especially on an individual level. This time it will be different.”

The Rossoneri challenged for the Scudetto and Champions’ League, but crumbled towards the end of the campaign and failed to win a single match in May. They have strengthened the squad with the arrival of hitmen Alberto Gilardino and Christian Vieri, who are set to play together against Chelsea in this evening’s friendly.

“The team needs to get used to their characteristics. We have always had strikers who move deep and don’t track back very much, but Vieri and Gilardino do and that represents an extra weapon in our armoury. Andriy Shevchenko can co-exist with all our forwards, as he has different characteristics from the others.”

There have been tactical experiments with the three-man defence during their summer friendlies and Ancelotti admits it will continue against Chelsea.

“We are trying new things out and it’s obvious we’ll find it more difficult at the beginning. We have to improve in winning back the ball in midfield and must learn to take more risks when pushing forward. I will also talk to Marek Jankulovski about playing on the right wing when he recovers from his fractured ankle.”

Paolo Maldini is in doubt to feature in this friendly game due to a slight fitness problem, while Manuel Rui Costa, Clarence Seedorf and Serginho are battling for the remaining midfield position.

Moggi: "We didn't want Gilardino"
30.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juve transfer guru Luciano Moggi insists Juve are still the Scudetto favourites and that they don't regret leaving Alberto Gilardino to Milan.

“I don’t consider the Rossoneri to be superior to Juventus,” said the director general in an interview with Radio Radio. “They are on a par with us and Inter.”

In what has so far been a relatively quiet summer on the transfer front, Milan have been the most active with the arrival of Marek Jankulovski, Johann Vogel, Christian Vieri and former Parma hitman Gilardino. It was strongly reported the 23-year-old striker was on Juve’s wish-list as well as that of Chelsea.

“We did not challenge Milan for Gilardino’s signature because we have Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Adrian Mutu, Alessandro Del Piero, David Trezeguet and Marcelo Zalayeta,” assured Moggi. “It was an excellent move for them, but I don’t think he is any better than our strikers and our best tactic is to avoid clutter in the squad.”

This could well include some stellar departures, as after Enzo Maresca’s move to Sevilla and Alessio Tacchinardi’s switch to Villarreal, now Fabrizio Miccoli is set to leave the Stadio delle Alpi.

“He is a player who always manages to score 13-15 goals per season. There aren’t many of his like around and Miccoli is also very young,” stated the director general. However, it is reported that the former Fiorentina hitman has been offered to Inter in an exchange deal for Cristiano Zanetti.

“Inter have certainly reinforced their squad, especially with the arrival of David Pizarro and Walter Samuel. Milan and Juventus have also brought in champions such as Patrick Vieira, so we’ll see who comes out on top. I think we have created a strong foundation for the squad and we don’t need any other players.”

It looks to be a three-horse race once again for the Serie A title, but Moggi sees the influence of smaller sides increasing this year.

“I believe Juve, Milan and Inter will fight it out for the top spot, but fourth place is a battle between Sampdoria, Palermo and a little further behind Udinese,” he concluded. “Roma could be in there if they didn’t have this transfer embargo, which I consider to be rather over the top. We have a good rapport with President Franco Sensi’s club and all past misunderstandings have been clarified.”

Maldini tinkers with Milan tactics
30.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Paolo Maldini has analysed Milan’s experiments with a three-man defence as the club presented its team strip for the new season.

Fans queued up for autographs as the Rossoneri players modelled the 2005-06 jersey in New York yesterday evening and the most sought-after figure was their captain.

“I am certainly not surprised by the enthusiasm of the American fans,” said Maldini. “We mustn’t forget that the most popular sport practised by the Under-18’s in this country is football. Perhaps it doesn’t yet have the media coverage of basketball or baseball yet, but the passion is growing.”

The 37-year-old defender also took the time to comment on the new tactical direction that Milan are taking after the disappointment of the Champions’ League Final in Istanbul.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti has been using the summer friendlies to try the three-man defence with Marcos Cafu and Serginho or Kakha Kaladze pushing up to more advanced positions on the wing.

“I think it only logical to test out some alternatives to the 4-4-2,” he noted. “We have some certainties within the team, but it is right to consider other systems. However, in order to really make the most of this tactic, we have to play in a very attacking and risky manner.”

It would certainly be an experienced trio at the back, as Maldini, Jaap Stam and Alessandro Nesta forge a fearsome partnership.

“The three-man system is built to defend well. If it isn’t done properly, then it becomes five at the back and you lose that advantage upfront. For the moment we are only performing some experiments, but it isn’t necessarily the case that we’ll adapt to this tactic full-time. We must choose the style that best suits the players at our disposal.”

Shevchenko ‘untouchable’, say Milan
28.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have dismissed ongoing speculation that star striker Andriy Shevchenko is on his way to Chelsea.

Reports in England and Italy have suggested that a £60m deal is in the pipeline for the European Footballer of the Year.

But the Italian giants have this evening insisted that the Ukrainian international will continue his Milan adventure.

"With regard to what has been published by the English media today, Milan categorically deny that we are in negotiations with Chelsea for Shevchenko," read a statement.

"In an effort to put an end to the speculation, Milan would again like to underline that the player is untransferable."

Milan’s denial comes just a day after the Premiership giants issued a very similar statement to the media.

"It is our policy not to comment on speculation linking Chelsea to players," read a statement.

"But there are continuing, and totally incorrect, reports regarding Shevchenko that only serve to destabilise those players already at Chelsea.

"We are not seeking to sign a forward and we have total confidence in those we have."

The Blues have been linked with the Ballon d’Or winner since Roman Abramovich took control of the club in 2003.

Speculation of a move gathered pace recently given an alleged bust-up between Shevchenko and boss Carlo Ancelotti.

Milan have also significantly added to their attacking options this term by signing Alberto Gilardino and Christian Vieri.

Meanwhile, Shevchenko won’t travel to the United States to join up with his teammates on their tour.

He will now remain at the Milanello training base after recently having an operation to remove a metal plate from his cheek bone.

Chicago Fire 1:3 AC Milan - match report
28.7 || webmaster

Source: CNNSI.com

CHICAGO (Ticker) - Valerio Fiori helped AC Milan even its record in the World Series of Football.

Fiori made several sprawling saves as the Italian power defeated the MLS' Chicago Fire, 3-1.

Christian Vieri, Alberto Gilardino and Serginho scored for Milan, which lost to English Premier League champion Chelsea on Sunday, 1-0, in the opening contest of the exhibition series.

Vieri opened the scoring in the 21st minute when he took a cross from Paolo Maldini and fired at the Chicago net. Fire goalkeeper Zack Thornton saved the shot, but the rebound landed at Vieri's feet, and the striker fired it into the goal.

Just seconds later, however, Chicago's Chris Rolfe executed a nifty spin move and blasted a left-footed shot past Fiori.

The Milan goalkeeper preserved the tie with numerous impressive saves, including two on close-range shots by Andy Herron in the 57th minute, and Milan took the lead for good on Gilardino's one-timed shot past Thornton off a feed from Andrea Pirlo in the 76th.

Serginho capped the scoring with a shot off the crossbar in second-half stoppage time.

Kaka looks to the future
27.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka has told his Milan teammates that they must put the events of Istanbul behind them and focus on next season.

The classy playmaker was in the side beaten on penalties by Liverpool in the Champions’ League Final, despite leading the game 3-0 at half-time.

He was also a regular starter in Milan’s quest to retain Lo Scudetto, which they eventually lost to Juventus.

“We had good chances in both competitions and we didn't lack the legs," he told the UEFA website.

“Football is unpredictable – that's what makes it such an attractive sport.

“Our motivation to win new trophies is always great and it will stay that way next season."

The Brazilian international then moved on to the historic night in Istanbul.

At the halfway point, he had looked a contender for Man of the Match after two sublime assists.

“It wasn't easy admitting defeat, especially in the Champions’ League,” he continued.

“But I know I did my best. And there is nothing I can do to change things when I am not on the pitch.

“There is no point in worrying once the final whistle goes. I know we will have other opportunities in the future.”

It is this level-headed approach that has made Kaka a popular member of the Milan squad.

He happily discusses his second season in Serie A, which many deemed to be disappointing compared to the first campaign.

“It was different for me last season. The guys who marked me knew me better and I had to alter my style of play a little,” he added.

“I always need to be developing, and that is my motivation – to get better in every way.

“However, I believe that my football has matured a lot and I am looking forward to a great new season."

And what does he predict for the new season?

“Serie A is always difficult. All the teams bring in major reinforcements.

“So making predictions is tough. What I can predict is that this will be a very competitive and exciting season for the fans,” he concluded.

Chelsea deny Shevchenko bid
27.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Chelsea have issued a statement denying that they have made an offer for Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko.

The Blues have linked with the Ballon d’Or winner since Roman Abramovich took control of the club in 2003.

While these have always been seen as rumours, the recent alleged bust-up between Shevchenko and Coach Carlo Ancelotti has added fuel to the fire.

"It is our policy not to comment on speculation linking Chelsea to players,” read a statement.

“But there are continuing, and totally incorrect, reports regarding Shevchenko that only serve to destabilise those players already at Chelsea.

“The club have made it quite clear that we are seeking to bring in one more player and we have also made it clear that this will be a midfield player, if it happens.

“We are not seeking to sign a forward and we have total confidence in those we have."

Reports had suggested that Chelsea would offer around £60m for the Ukraine international.

Chicago Fire vs. AC Milan - match preview
26.7 || Seamus

International Friendly Preview: Chicago Fire v A.C. Milan
7/26/2005 5:05:00 PM
Chicago Fire v A.C. Milan

When: 9:00 pm ET, Wednesday, July 27

Where: Soldier Field, Chicago, IL

The Chicago Fire take on one of the world’s most storied clubs when A.C. Milan comes to town on their World Series of Football tour. Both teams are coming off losses, as well as a delay in travel as each had their flights held up. This will be the first time Milan will take on an MLS side and it they will be the best team the Fire have ever faced.

Chicago’s team will be bolstered now that the Gold Cup is done. Four players will return to the starting lineup including their captain Chris Armas. Even without those internationals and several more due to injury, the Fire have been one of the hottest teams in MLS over the past month. They had been on a seven-match unbeaten streak before a blowout loss in Colorado, a result Milan defender Alessandro Costacurta claims was due to looking ahead to this game.

Milan will be playing just its second game of their preseason, though they are still heavily favored to win. When your roster is filled with names like Cafú, Rui Costa, Paolo Maldini, Andriy Shevchenko and Christian Vieri, there are few teams in the world that won’t be underdogs to the six-time European Champions. While they only lost by one goal to Chelsea on Sunday, they were outplayed by all accounts.

Look for the Rossoneri to exact some revenge on the Fire in preparation of their rematch with Chelsea this weekend. The talent level will not be level and neither will the score. Milan may keep the score respectable if they don’t go on an all-out attack, but play in a similar manner to Real Madrid in their win over the L.A. Galaxy.

Inzaghi welcomes Gilardino
26.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Filippo Inzaghi cannot wait to play alongside new Milan teammate Alberto Gilardino.

The former Parma ace joined the club last week for a fee of £17.2m, linking up with the likes of Inzaghi, Andriy Shevchenko and Christian Vieri.

At 23, it could be argued that Gila still has a lot to learn – and he will get plenty of help from Inzaghi.

“I’m happy that Gilardino is here at Milan now,” said the former Juventus striker.

“I’m happy to have him as a teammate and I will try to help him as much as possible, both on and off the pitch.

“Alberto is only 23-years-old, but he’s very intelligent and he will surely do great things.

“I would like to help not only Alberto, but also all of the other young players we have at the club.”

While his new teammate was helping himself to 23 goals with relegation threatened Parma last term, Inzaghi had a disappointing season.

A series of injuries disrupted most of his season and, despite making a comeback towards the end, he was left out of the Champions’ League Final squad.

However, Inzaghi now feels that he is close to returning to his old self.

“I don’t want my goals just remain in the memories, I want to score more and return to live certain emotions,” he continued.

“The two surgeries I underwent – one on my ankle and one on my knee – have caused some problems to my leg’s muscles.

“The cartilage is fine but have to reinforce myself with some exercises and I feel annoying inflammations. I’m working to stabilise everything.”

And he finished with some encouraging words for the Rossoneri faithful awaiting his return to form.

“I know that all my fans can’t wait for my return, I’m even more eager than them!

“But don't worry, I’ll be back to score plenty of goals again and then I can run under the Curva once more,” he concluded.

Shevchenko dismisses rift
26.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s Andriy Shevchenko has issued another firm rebuke to suggestions that he has fallen out with Coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Reports last week focused on an alleged altercation between the two men after Sheva had surgery on his face.

Immediate denials were made by both Shevchenko and Ancelotti, but the speculation continued to centre on their falling out.

Shevchenko has now issued another statement denying the claims.

“How much foolishness have I heard in the past few days?" said Shevchenko.

“Myself and Ancelotti have spoken about things. I will not change. I have my principles and I always say what I think.

“I made my choice to stay with Milan a long time ago and I will remain here, where I feel really good.”

The bust-up came to light shortly after Alberto Gilardino joined the club for Parma, adding to the intense competition for the striking berths.

Inevitably, the Press linked Chelsea with a record-breaking move for the Ballon d’Or winner, but it seems unlikely that the Ukraine star will exit the San Siro this summer.

Cash carries AC Milan to new heights
26.7 || webmaster

Source: ChicagoTribune.com

Bottomless pockets? Check. Insatiable desire to win? Check. But remember the flak New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner received when he started just one cable television station? Now imagine if he controlled almost all the television stations, giving him nearly limitless power to promote his team and its products.

That's the reality with AC Milan, the Italian soccer powerhouse that has gone on a winning binge that even Real Madrid has to be envious of since billionaire media mogul Silvio Berlusconi bought the team in 1986. The 106-year-old club has enjoyed a dynasty spanning two decades from the time Italy's richest and most influential man took over the franchise.

AC Milan, in town for a Wednesday night friendly with the Fire, is touring the United States for a series of exhibitions in preparation for its 2005-06 season. On Sunday night, Milan fell to English Premier League champion Chelsea 1-0 in Foxboro, Mass.

Despite being upset in the 2004-05 European Cup final, where England's Liverpool FC came back from a 3-0 deficit to win in penalty kicks, AC Milan's recent success is unparalleled.

During the Berlusconi era, it captured seven of its 17 Serie A titles and four of its six European Cups. In the same span, Real Madrid won three European Cups and Italy's most storied team, Juventus, won only one.

At the turn of the century, Real Madrid announced it would assertively pursue the superstars. But Berlusconi always has done that. AC Milan operated at an $8 million loss on 2003-04, when it won its last Italian league title, according to Forbes magazine.

"The first thing he said was `I want to be the No. 1 team in the world,' and he's followed through on that promise," said defender Alessandro Costacurta, who has played for AC Milan since the 1985-86 season.

In 2004, Berlusconi's personal assets were worth more than $10 billion, making him the 30th-richest person in the world.

"What Berlusconi did was he brought them a lot of money," said Paul Maidment, editor of Forbes. "They brought in more and more top-flight players. He didn't buy this team as a financial investment. He did it for the love of the sport."Berlusconi, 69, was born and raised in Milan and is serving his third term as Italian prime minister. His riches and power come from his media empire, which started when he founded his first cable television station in 1973.

Between his private holdings and state-regulated media, he controls 90 percent of Italian television, as well as Italy's leading publishing company, according to an April report by the London Times.

In November 2004, the Financial Times in London ranked Berlusconi the fourth-most influential man in the world, behind Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch and George Soros.

What Berlusconi did with his media monopoly was create for AC Milan an image synonymous with glamor.

It's not difficult to buy a successful sports team "if you have a media apparatus surrounding the team to promote and glorify it," said John Theobald, communications instructor and media expert at the University of California-Davis. "That's what Berlusconi did. That makes a sports team a more desirable place to play. You can make people want to play for you."

Look, for example, at AC Milan's forwards, arguably the most lethal corps of strikers in the world.

That group is led by 2004 European MVP Andriy Shevchenko--who has an injured jaw but will make to trip to Chicago--signed for the 1999-2000 season from Dynamo Kiev of his homeland Ukraine. Then, Filippo Inzaghi was brought over in 2001-02 during the prime of his career, after he scored 88 goals in his previous four years with Juventus.

During this off-season, AC Milan recruited Parma's Alberto Gilardino, who led the Italian league in goals the last two seasons, and crosstown rival Inter Milan's Christian Vieri, a longtime Italian national team player who has scored at least 12 goals in eight straight seasons.

Among others, AC Milan's star-studded roster features five Italian, three Brazilian and two Dutch national team players, including Cafu, who joined before the 2003-04 season after captaining the 2002 Brazilian World Cup champion team.

AC Milan historically has been a quality team, but the early 1980s was a dark period. When Berlusconi bought the team, it was wallowing in Serie B, Italy's second division.

He has marketed it into one of the world's most recognizable clubs. Today, AC Milan is valued at $893 million, according to Forbes, third behind Manchester United and Real Madrid.

"Mr. Berlusconi is a unique character who always has been successful in everything he's tried," team organizing director Umberto Gandini said by phone from Italy. "He still follows the team with the same passion and enthusiasm as 20 years ago. I hope we can continue to be good."

Ancelotti accepts Chelsea defeat
25.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti is remaining upbeat despite the 1-0 friendly reverse to Chelsea last night.

"It is true that we lost but it was still a positive test for us," he said following the New Jersey clash.

"We are trying out a few experiments in this period and the game gave me some good indications for the future."

Ancelotti opted to play with a variety of systems against the Premiership champions and was happy with what he saw.

"We did well on the flanks in the first half against a side who have had 15 days more training than us," he added.

"Our rhythm dropped in the second period but we still did fine and kept our shape throughout the game."

Portuguese midfielder Manuel Rui Costa added: "We are satisfied with the performance even if we lost.

"We tired significantly after the break and created few chances as a result. But we did keep possession better than them."

Meanwhile, Paolo Maldini and summer signing Alberto Gilardino have today flown out to the USA to join up with their teammates.

"I’ve worked hard over the last few days," said the £18m striker. "I’m really happy to be here and I now want to prove my worth on the pitch."

Milan sunk by Robben goal
25.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s pre-season tour of America has begun with a 1-0 defeat to Premiership champions Chelsea.

Dutch international Arjen Robben grabbed the only goal of the game as he netted after just 13 minutes in Boston.

The Rossoneri did create numerous chances throughout the game, but actually ended the match with 10-men following the late dismissal of Gennaro Gattuso for a foul on Joe Cole.

Milan started the game with a four-man defence and Serginho was causing real problems for Chelsea, who had Hernan Crespo in their side, on the left.

Boss Carlo Ancelotti then reverted to a three-man rearguard after the break as he did in last week’s Trofeo TIM event.

Clarence Seedorf had the best chance for the Serie A outfit, while Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba went close for Chelsea.

"We didn’t play that badly in all honesty," said Brazilian international Marcos Cafu. "However, I do believe that we need to improve a few things in defence."

The two teams will face each other again next Tuesday in New Jersey.

Chelsea 1-0 Milan
Robben 13

Milan: Eleftheropoulos; Cafu, Stam (Simic 46), Nesta, Kaladze; Gattuso, Pirlo (Vogel 46), Seedorf; Rui Costa, Serginho; Vieri (Ardemagni 35).

Chelsea: Cudicini (Cech 46); Gallas (Johnson 46), Carvalho (Terry 46), Ferriera (Huth 46) Geremi (Del Horno 46); Robben (Wright-Phillips 46), Lampard (Drogba 65), Makelele ( Diarra 80), Duff (Joe Cole 46), Crespo (Carlton Cole 46, Jarosik 79), Gudjohnsen (Tiago 57).

Ref: Vaugn
Sent-off: Gattuso (M) 90

Gilardino dreaming of European glory
21.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s £17.2m signing Alberto Gilardino has spoken of his hopes for the future after he was officially presented to the media.

The Italian international completed his switch from Parma on Monday night and is confident he’s made the right choice.

"Moving here was a dream for me and an objective of mine since last year. I want to win here, especially the Champions’ League," he stated.

"Milan were the only club who really wanted me even if they knew that other clubs were interested.

"There is everything here for me to improve and win. This is a unique side, the strongest in Europe and the one who wanted me the most."

Despite the club paying such a fee for the former Under-21 starlet, he isn’t totally sure of a starting shirt given that he joins Andriy Shevchenko, Christian Vieri and Pippo Inzaghi at the club.

"I know that there is great competition for places at all big clubs but I arrive here with humility and serenity," he added. "It will simply be up to the Coach to decide.

"But I am used to demonstrating my worth. It is obviously different to play for Milan rather than Parma.

"Last year our attack was only composed of me and Domenico Morfeo, whereas there are some great champions here. I’m just sure that I can score for Milan as I did at Parma."

Gilardino also revealed that former Milan great Marco Van Basten was one of his heroes as a child.

"I really admired Van Basten and Gabriel Batistuta, but when I was at Verona I liked Vieri and Inzaghi," he continued.

Meanwhile, Gilardino and Paolo Maldini will meet up with the rest of their teammates on Monday as they start their pre-season tour of America tomorrow.

Boss Carlo Ancelotti has named a 19-man squad but there is no Andriy Shevchenko following his recent minor surgery.

Squad - Goalkeepers: Fiori, Eleftheropoulos, Favaretto.

Defenders: Costacurta, Cafu, Kaladze, Marzoratti, Nesta, Simic, Stam, (plus Maldini).

Midfielders: Ambrosini, Gattuso, Pirlo, Rui Costa, Seedorf, Vogel, Serginho.

Attackers: Ardemagni, Vieri, (plus Gilardino)

Abate joins Sampdoria on loan
21.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Napoli have lost their impressive young midfielder Ignazio Abate to Sampdoria as a result of their promotion failure.

The Italian starlet spent last term in Serie C with the Azzurri but Milan, the club who own him, have now opted to send him to the Stadio Marassi for the new campaign.

"I’m sorry to be leaving Napoli," he stated. "I’ve spoken to the Coach and my teammates and there is disappointment about my departure.

"There was an agreement in place to stay should Napoli have been playing in Serie B but that hasn’t happened. That’s why Milan have decided to send me to Genoa."

Abate did enjoy a good campaign last term and he’s well aware of the task ahead of him over the next 12 months.

"I am going to play for a team in which I will have a lot to learn," continued the 18-year-old.

"Boss Walter Novellino has promised me nothing. I’m joining a club who already have some great players, I’ll just look to find some space in the side."

Doria have good links with Milan after already bringing in striker Marco Borriello on loan earlier this summer.

Inter net the Trofeo TIM
21.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter have lifted the Trofeo TIM after defeating Milan and Juventus in last night’s triangular tournament.

Despite not looking as good as the two other Scudetto contenders, the Nerazzurri topped the table by finishing a point ahead of Milan, while the champions lost both of their 45-minute games.

The evening at the Stadio Nereo Rocco in Trieste kicked-off with the Milan derby, as Christian Vieri made his debut for the Rossoneri following this summer’s city switch.

It was his former club who triumphed though, as they won 5-4 on penalties as a result of Massimo Ambrosini’s miss. The match ended 0-0 after ‘normal time’.

Having lost the match, Milan stayed on the pitch to face Juventus in what proved to be a more lively game.

Milan won 2-1 thanks to a dubious Christian Vieri penalty, taken twice, and Manuel Rui Costa. David Trezeguet got Juve’s consolation goal.

The final tie of the evening saw the Bianconeri again impress with their solidity, especially in midfield where Patrick Vieira settled down quickly.

However, Inter grabbed the only goal of the game in the 43rd minute with their first real effort of the match. Dejan Stankovic crossed for Obafemi Martins to slot home from close range.

Inter won their fourth Trofeo TIM out of five by finishing with five points, Milan netted four, while Juve went home pointless.

"It’s always better to win," stated Inter boss Roberto Mancini. "There is still much work to do though.

"The new players need to be integrated even if I am happy with what they did this evening. Some did more than I expected."

Milan Coach Carlo Ancelotti stated: "We did suffer a little against Inter but we did better against Juventus, especially on the flanks.

"I didn’t have many players at my disposal but I am satisfied with our first outing of the season."

Juve tactician Fabio Capello remained upbeat despite the results. "We have taken a step forward," he stated.

"The work we have done over the last few days has been tough on the players but we will be in peak condition for the start of the season. These results tonight don’t worry me."

Shevchenko staying put
20.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan star Andriy Shevchenko has rejected reports that he will sign for Chelsea.

The Ukraine international reportedly had a bust-up with Coach Carlo Ancelotti at Milan’s training camp on Monday.

The topic of discussion was Shevchenko’s decision to undergo surgery, which leaves him unable to partake in the Rossoneri’s American tour.

“I had a discussion with Carlo Ancelotti about the decision to have my face operated on again,” the Ballon D’Or holder told Sky Sports.

“I need to have metal pieces removed from my face and I have done nothing wrong.

“I discussed with Milan's surgeon if it was possible and we decided on surgery.

“There was obviously a lack of communication with the Coach. I thought he had been told but he hadn't.

"Ancelotti was angry about it, and I understood it, because he thought there was a delay.

“I tried to explain everything to him and I think everything is clear now.”

As soon as the bust-up came to light, the inevitable stories linking Shevchenko with a move to Chelsea quickly surfaced.

But he had some reassuring words for the Rossoneri faithful fearing for his future at the club.

“I don't want to go to Chelsea – I want to stay here. I love Milan and Milan loves me.”

Milan considered Emre
20.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Newcastle Coach Graeme Souness has claimed that he had to beat off competition from Milan to sign Emre.

The Turkish international joined the Premiership outfit last week after a long drawn out transfer saga.

It was thought that they had faced the stiffest competition from Fenerbahce, but Souness says that was not the case.

“There were other teams interested in him and we all worked very hard to achieve this signing,” said the former Torino boss.

“He was a player much in demand in his own country and the biggest and most successful clubs in Turkey, Galatasaray and Fenerbahce, were desperate to sign him.

“Even the Prime Minister got involved to try to persuade him to stay in Turkey.

“Milan were interested in taking him as well, but that was obviously going to be a very difficult transfer for him.

“People might not think Fenerbahce were big rivals but Milan certainly were and we're thrilled to be sitting here with him signed.”

The midfielder cost the Magpies around £4m and has agreed a five-year deal.

Had he moved to Milan, he would have joined the likes of Christian Vieri, Clarence Seedorf and Andrea Pirlo in switching from the Black and Blue half of the city.

Ancelotti denies Sheva bust-up
19.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti has dismissed stories that he has had a fall-out with star striker Andriy Shevchenko.

Reports this morning suggested that the two men had a heated discussion during training on Monday.

But the tactician has rubbished whispers that there is a problem between himself and the European Footballer of the Year.

"There was no kind of argument," stated the Coach on Tuesday. "It was a simple conversation.

"If I have to have an argument with somebody then I wouldn’t do so in public in front of everyone.

"A lot of rubbish has been written. Andriy is a Milan player and he will remain at this club for some time to come."

Rumours had suggested that the ‘clash’ had occurred as a result of Shevchenko’s decision to have minor surgery last week.

"That was not the case at all," insisted the former Parma and Juventus boss. "He needed that operation and that is what he did.

"Paolo Maldini has also been dragged into this and he has nothing to do with it. Shevchenko didn’t leave Milanello either."

Ancelotti then cooled talk that the Ukrainian could decide to leave the San Siro this summer.

"There is no risk of that happening at all," he concluded. "Shevchenko is an important and fundamental player for this club."

Gilardino fills Crespo shirt
19.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

New Milan ace Alberto Gilardino says he is proud to have been handed Hernan Crespo’s No 11 shirt.

The striker has been given the jersey following his £17.2m transfer and Crespo’s return to Chelsea.

"I will have the 11 which belonged to Crespo," he told Studio Sport on Tuesday. "This is an honour for me and I hope to repay this gesture with goals."

The now former Parma forward has been linked with the outfit for some months, but his transfer was only confirmed at 9.15pm local time last night.

"It was difficult to get to sleep after such an emotional evening, it was a bit unexpected as everything just happened so quickly," he added.

"I didn’t expect so many fans to be there either but that is a good sign. I want to now do well in the new campaign."

The Rossoneri now have one of the most feared attacking options in Italy with Andriy Shevchenko, Pippo Inzaghi and Christian Vieri also at the club.

"There are some great players here who will provide some stiff competition but that is only normal for a club like this," he explained.

"I’m now at the Coach’s disposal and I will work as hard as I have done in the past."

Boss Carlo Ancelotti is obviously delighted with his capture and is predicting a great future for the 23-year-old.

"I’m very happy with his arrival," he stated. "He represents an important weapon now and for some time ahead.

"He was wanted by a lot of clubs, he is young and enthusiastic. He will allow us to become even stronger."

Ancelotti also announced a new tactical change for the 2005-06 campaign. "One midfielder will do something different, even if I have yet to speak with him about it," he said.

Milan on the offensive
19.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan chief Adriano Galliani believes his club now have the best attacking options in Italy following their capture of Alberto Gilardino.

The striker completed his move from Parma last night after the Tardini outfit finally accepted the club’s £17.2m offer.

"I think we have completed a major swoop," Galliani told Milan Channel. "Juventus have a great midfield but we have a great attack.

"Gilardino is one of the best young strikers in Europe and everybody knows how much we wanted him.

"I think what he has done in these last few years is more than sufficient, he now just needs to confirm himself at this level."

Although the San Siro giants had been linked with the player for some time, Milan had warned that they wanted the deal completed by Monday or they would look elsewhere for a forward.

"The turning point only came today (Monday) when Parma accepted our offer, the one everyone knows about," added Galliani.

"They realised that if they didn’t then we would have gone looking elsewhere for a striker.

"The player has been fantastic because he has demonstrated his desire for the Rossoneri shirt throughout all the discussions.

"He even made a significant financial sacrifice which allowed the deal to be completed.

"But we must also thank (owner) Silvio Berlusconi once again as he has dug deep into his pockets."

Gilardino, who has agreed a five-year contract, will have a medical this morning before joining his new teammates, including strikers Andriy Shevchenko, Pippo Inzaghi and Christian Vieri.

"I’m finally a Milan player," Gilardino, 23, told the club’s website. "It’s taken some time to sort out but both clubs got what they wanted.

"Why did I choose Milan? They fascinate me and they are clearly the strongest club in European football.

"There are some great players at this club. This is a fantastic stage for me where I will be given a chance to impress."

Shevchenko 'clashes' with Ancelotti
19.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

It’s not all smiles at Milan following the arrival of Alberto Gilardino, after reports of a training ground disagreement between boss Carlo Ancelotti and Andriy Shevchenko.

The two men had a lengthy and heated discussion during training on Monday, even if their debate did end with a handshake.

It’s unclear about exactly what the two men talked about, even if there are some ‘informed’ theories being reported in the Italian media on Tuesday.

It’s alleged that Ancelotti was unhappy with Shevchenko’s decision to have surgery last week which has subsequently ruled him out of the club’s tour of America.

The striker had small metal plates removed from his face, after they were inserted by doctors following the horrific injury sustained in the match against Cagliari in February.

Shevchenko then left the club’s Milanello training base following the surgery, two decisions which Ancelotti was supposedly unaware of.

It seems that the former Dynamo Kiev ace, and Chelsea target, has defended his exit by stating he informed captain Paolo Maldini of his departure from the training camp.

Milan are seemingly passing the incident off as a lack of communication but there are some in Italy who believe Shev could be seriously considering an exit.

Chelsea would happily make a bid for the player if Milan decide to make him available for transfer, even if that is unlikely.

Shevchenko also faces stiff competition for a first team shirt this term after the club signed Italian international strikers Christian Vieri and Alberto Gilardino.

Shevchenko to miss American tour
19.7 || webmaster

Source: CNN.com

MILAN, Italy (AP) -- AC Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko will miss the Italian club's tour to the United States later this month after undergoing surgery to fix a previously operated broken jaw.

AC Milan said Sunday that the Ukraine striker will be sidelined for at least one week, leaving the powerhouse short of forwards for friendlies against Chelsea and Chicago Fire.

This year's losing Champions League finalist, AC Milan will also be without striker Filippo Inzaghi, who has a knee injury.

Jon-Dahl Tomasson is also missing having just transferred to Stuttgart.

Milan's offense will be led by newly signed Christian Vieri, who moved from crosstown rival Inter Milan.

Milan is scheduled to play English Premier League champion Chelsea July 24 in Foxboro, Massachusetts, and again on July 31 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

On July 27, Milan will meet the Chicago Fire at Solider Field in Chicago.

Before traveling to the United States, Milan will play a preseason tournament that also features Juventus and Inter Milan on Wednesday.

Gilardino’s Arrival Ends Summer of Discontent
18.7 || jcagney

“All I want is for Gilardino to do what he's done for the last few years - to confirm the great forward that he is,” utters bald-headed Milan VP Adriano Galliani. Without question the news of Gilardino’s arrival is the most satisfying sound Milan fans have heard since Spanish referee Manuel Enrique Gonzalez blew his whistle to signify half-time in the Champions League final in Istanbul on May 25th last.

It’s been a long while in coming, however, for Milan supporters across the globe, it’s been well worth the wait. The arrival of the Italian international striker, for a transfer fee reported to be in the region of €24million (£17m), is certain to be greeted with a collective nod of approval from the Rossoneri tifosi - still smarting from their side’s embarrassing second-half capitulation against Liverpool in the aforementioned Champions League final – and will go a long way towards satisfying the calls for a world class signing to improve a team which spectacularly fell at the last hurdle, both at home and in Europe, last term.

Gilardino, who has scored 23 goals in each of the last two Serie ‘A’ campaigns, is now expected to complete a medical at Milanello tomorrow before flying out with his new team-mates as they embark on their pre-season summer tour of the United States.

The five times capped Azzuri international joins Czech Republic defender-cum-midfielder Marek Jankulovski, Dutch midfielder Johann Vogel and former Internazionale favourite Christian Vieri as Milan’s major, nay main new signings, but it will be the arrival of Gilardino that will be capture the fan’s imagination most.

Born on the 5th of July 1982 in Biella (45 miles outside of Turin), Gilardino grew up a Juventus supporter, and even up to last week certain sections of the Italian press were speculating that he would join the club he supported as a child after a last gasp intervention by Juventus GM Luciano Moggi. But It’s been no secret that Milan was the first preference of Gilardino (as recently as last weekend informing journalists that it was either a move to Milan or to remain with Parma until he was a free agent in 2007) and vice-versa, however, an exhaustive bout of executive haggling over the last month or so left some fans wondering whether or not the player would eventually end up at the San Siro, and if so, the possibility that it could have been in a Nerazzuri shirt instead.

Gilardino made his Serie ‘A’ debut for Piacenza on the 6th January 2000 - fittingly against his new employers, Milan – and went on to score 3 goals in 17 league games for the club before moving on to Verona in September of 2001.The subsequent 2 seasons saw a gradually progressing Gilardino score a further 5 goals in 39 league appearances before joining Parma in the summer of 2002.

In the end, it was the six-times Champions of Europe who won the most coveted signature of the close season, and the club can now boast one of the most fearsome front pairings in world football - namely Alberto Gilardino and reigning European Footballer of the Year, Andriy Shevchenko. Waiting in the wings will be the aforementioned Vieri and Filippo Inzaghi while Danish international Jon-Dahl Tomasson, who was sold to German side Stuttgart over the weekend, bids farewell to the San Siro.

Written by John Cagney

OFFICIAL: Milan net Gilardino at last!
18.7 || scharatz

Source: Football Italia


Alberto Gilardino is now officially a Milan player after he finally completed his transfer from Parma.

The Rossoneri have been linked with the striker for months and talks were only concluded late on Monday night.

"I’m finally a Milan player," Gilardino, 23, told the club’s website. "It’s taken some time to sort out but now I just have to pass a medical. I can’t wait to start training."

The two clubs had been in negotiations at Milan’s Via Turati headquarters all day, but a deal was expected to be reached after Gilardino himself arrived just before 9pm local time.

"Why did I choose Milan? They fascinate me and they are clearly the strongest club in European football," added the Azzurri star.

"There are some great players at this club. This is a fantastic stage for me where I will be given a chance to impress."

There is yet to be an official announcement over the figures involved but Parma are believed to have accepted a fee of around £18m.

Gilardino, who has put pen to paper on a five-year contract, is considered as one of Italy hottest strikers after netting 23 goals in each of his last two League campaigns.

Milan now have one of the most feared attacking line-ups in world football as Gila joins Andriy Shevchenko, Christian Vieri and Pippo Inzaghi.

Shevchenko to miss U.S. Tour
18.7 || Seamus

MILAN, Italy (AP) - AC Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko will miss the Italian club's tour to the United States later this month after undergoing surgery to fix a previously operated broken jaw.

AC Milan reported over the weekend that the Ukraine striker will be sidelined for at least one week, leaving the powerhouse short of forwards for friendlies against Chelsea and Chicago Fire.

This year's losing Champions League finalist, AC Milan will also be without strikers Filippo Inzaghi, who has a knee injury, and Jon-Dahl Tomasson, who has just transferred to Stuttgart.

Milan's offense will be led by newly signed Christian Vieri, who moved from crosstown rival Inter Milan.

Milan is scheduled to play English Premier League champion Chelsea July 24 in Foxboro, Massachusetts, and again on July 31 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

On July 27, Milan will meet the Chicago Fire at Solider Field in Chicago.

Before traveling to the United States, Milan will play a preseason tournament that also features Juventus and Inter Milan on Wednesday.

http://msn.foxsports.com/soccer/story/3767282

AC Milan issues ultimatum to Parma for Gilardino
18.7 || webmaster

Source: FOXSports.com

MILAN, Italy (AP) - AC Milan president Adriano Galliani re-issued an ultimatum to Parma on Monday regarding the possible transfer of Italy center forward Alberto Gilardino.

"Today or nothing," Galliani said.

Gilardino has declared his interest in Milan and has been rumored to join the club since January. A financial gap has slowed the process, however, and could ultimately bring the transfer to a halt.

Parma, still recovering from the Parmalat fiasco, is seeking €30 million (US$36.22 million). Milan has offered €24 million (US$28.98 million).

Both sides said the issue should be resolved Monday.

"I have not heard anything from Parma and we will not call anyone," Galliani was quoted as saying by the ANSA news agency. "We'll wait. If they call us, fine. Otherwise we'll start looking for alternatives tomorrow. I repeat, today or nothing."

If the Gilardino deal falls through, reports have suggested Milan will go after Manchester United's Ruud van Nistelrooy, Udinese's Vincenzo Iaquinta, Valencia's Bernardo Corradi and Marco Di Vaio, or AS Roma's Antonio Cassano.

Milan may want to wait until Gilardino's contract is up at the end of this season and get him next summer at no cost.

Milan recently lost forward Jon Dahl Tomasson to Stuttgart and Filippo Inzaghi is still recovering from a knee injury.

The 23-year-old Gilardino scored 23 goals each of the past two seasons. His tally in the second leg of a relegation playoff last month kept Parma in Serie A.

Monday is D-Day for Gilardino
17.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alberto Gilardino’s agent insists the striker’s future will be resolved on Monday – with the player joining Milan or staying at Parma.

"The ultimatum of either joining Milan or remaining will expire tomorrow," said Beppe Bonetto on Sunday evening.

"If no deal is reached over the next few hours then it is not certain by any means that Milan will still be ready to sign him if Parma change their mind in ten days time."

It had looked almost certain that the Italian international would join the Rossoneri in a £17m transfer.

But the proposed switch has been held up by Parma's administrators, who now want the club to sell the star to the highest bidder rather than simply to his preferred destination.

"A judge has decided that an auction was needed. I can't say I am happy because I am not a house or an object, but a person," explained the 23-year-old.

"I have spent three fantastic years at Parma, but everyone knows the situation. For me it is time to leave, and it's fairly obvious that I would go to Milan for professional reasons.

"Between the big clubs - those who are in the Champions’ League - only Milan have made an offer.

"The others have done nothing, probably because football has changed and you have to be very specific in your transfer aims now.

"I want to stay in Italy and go to Milan. They have shown me a plan for the future and how I fit into that."

Indeed, the player’s agent believes that only one other club have made an attempt to land the forward.

"As far as I know, Fiorentina have bid more or less the same figure as Milan," continued Bonetto.

"But talks didn’t get going because the player doesn’t want to move to Florence. He just wants Milan – it is as simple as that."

Costacurta takes Inter swipe
17.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan veteran Billy Costacurta has warned city rivals Inter that they are still only the third best team in Italy.

The Nerazzurri have hopes of finally winning the Scudetto next term but Costacurta believes Milan and Juventus are on another platform.

"Juventus have made an excellent signing in the form of Patrick Vieira," said the 39-year-old defender.

"With his arrival, I think they and can now be considered on the same level as us in terms of quality.

"Inter? If they sign either Walter Samuel or Christian Chivu then they could be viewed as good as us.

"However, they lack the faith in their own qualities which Milan and Juventus don’t after our success over the recent years."

Inter, who have won just one UEFA Cup and a Coppa Italia during the last decade, haven’t won the Italian title since 1989.

The San Siro outfit have brought in the likes of David Pizarro from Udinese and Real Madrid’s Santiago Solari, but they still need a central defender.

Talks over Samuel’s transfer have stalled even though it had seemed likely that the former Roma man would arrive.

Current Roma defender Chivu, who can play both as a central defender and a left-back, is also being strongly associated with the sleeping giants.

OFFICIAL: Tomasson joins Stuttgart
16.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have confirmed that striker Jon Dahl Tomasson has been sold to German side Stuttgart.

The Danish international was expected to sign for Benfica, but the Rossoneri have today announced his departure to the Bundesliga side instead.

"Milan have sold the player to Stuttgart, who are bossed by Giovanni Trapattoni, on a permanent basis," read a statement.

"The club would like to thank Tomasson for his important contribution during his Rossoneri stay."

Tomasson, born on 29 August 1976, joined the San Siro giants on a free transfer from Dutch club Feyenoord in 2002.

He made 75 League appearances for the Italian club, scoring a reasonably impressive 22 goals.

Tomasson has been sacrificed given the capture of Christian Vieri and the imminent arrival of Alberto Gilardino from Parma.

In other transfer news, Messina have signed goalkeeper Massimo Gazzoli and Giuseppe Sculli.

Gazzoli has arrived in a co-ownership deal from Genoa, while striker Sculli arrives on loan from Juventus after spending last term at Brescia.

Vieri defends decision to swap Inter for AC Milan
16.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

ROME, July 15 (Reuters) - Italy striker Christian Vieri says there was nothing unusual in his decision to join AC Milan from city rivals Inter.

The 32-year-old surprised Italian football by signing a two-year deal with the Champions League finalists earlier this month, barely a week after he had dissolved his contract with Inter.

"There's nothing strange about my move to Milan," Vieri was quoted as saying in La Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday.

"I don't harbour a grudge. Inter wanted to change, they asked to dissolve the contract and I agreed.

"I was free, I found out about their (Milan's) offer. There were other clubs interested, but it seemed right to choose the best. I couldn't say no."

Vieri, who joined Inter in 1999 from Lazio for a then world record fee of $50 million, said he had received a warm welcome from his new team mates.

"I'm very happy. I've arrived in a great squad and I have the good fortune to know many of my team mates already."

According to Milan captain Paolo Maldini, the only thing that matters is what Vieri achieves in the red and black colours of his new club.

"The fact that he played for Inter does not interest us," he said.

"We don't let ourselves be conditioned by the past. We only think about winning."

Albertini shown Barca door
15.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Veteran Italian midfielder Demetrio Albertini is looking for a club after Barcelona didn’t offer him a new contract.

The 34-year-old was hoping to stay on with the outfit after signing a six-month contract at the Nou Camp in January.

However, the Spanish champions have opted to not keep hold of the former Milan, Lazio, Atalanta and Atletico Madrid ace.

Albertini, who started just two games in La Liga last term, is reportedly assessing his options and may even decide to retire.

Ancelotti approves of new Milan
14.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti has confidently predicted he has a squad capable of success in 2005-06.

The Rossoneri officially began the new term today and the tactician is happy with what his club have done so far on the transfer market.

"The squad without a doubt has been improved," said the Coach. "I hope that the new players can settle into their new surroundings as soon as possible."

Milan’s major moves so far have included Inter striker Christian Vieri, Marek Jankulovski of Udinese and PSV midfielder Johan Vogel.

"I have a complete squad," added Ancelotti. "It is impossible to delete the past but we want to remember everything from last season and start again.

"The club have done very well this summer, especially as we have all realised how hard it is to buy right now."

Parma’s Alberto Gilardino is also set to sign on Monday, as Vice-president Adriano Galliani has again hinted at.

"We are missing a fourth striker, we’ll have to wait and see who that will be," he smiled.

"However, I want people to remember that Vieri, Andriy Shevchenko and Pippo Inzaghi have scored 750 goals between them."

Galliani also confirmed the whispers, as reported by Football Italia this morning, that Jon Dahl Tomasson is set to join Benfica.

"There are negotiations taking place with Benfica and an agreement between clubs already exists," he added. "There shouldn’t be any problems.

"We start this season as competitive as ever. I would also like to thank the players who have left us such as Abbiati, Pancaro, Brocchi, Dhorasoo, Crespo and Tomasson."

Maldini hails Vieri capture
14.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Paolo Maldini has today started his 21st season as a professional with Milan and has welcomed the arrival of Christian Vieri.

"It is a pleasure to start work again after a lengthy break. I have missed the atmosphere at Milanello, my teammates and training," the 37-year-old told Milan Channel.

"There is a lot of work to do after this period, one in which I have completely rested my body and my mind."

Vieri is the club’s biggest signing so far this summer following his shock exit from city rivals Inter.

"Milan have always been very alert on the market and on what the side requires for the future," he continued.

"Vieri? It will be tough for him after spending six years at Inter. It will be a big change, even for a player like Vieri.

"But he is a strong target man and a left-footed striker, someone who we have been missing in the past."

Despite Milan’s sublime squad, they failed to lift any silverware last term when they came second in Serie A and runners-up in the Champions’ League.

"We will look to live up to our potential as always," said Maldini when asked about next term’s targets.

"We have rarely disappointed even if we had hoped to end last season differently. However, this club is always destined to be a protagonist."

Meanwhile, Vieri spent his first day at Milanello today and instantly impressed the club’s medical staff.

"He was very enthusiastic and willing," said physical trainer Daniele Tognaccini after a routine Milan Lab test. "He left a very good impression."

Some members of the squad have yet to meet up with their teammates though. Marcos Cafu is dealing with family commitments, while Dida and Kaka have a few more days rest after their Confederations’ Cup activity.

Vieri: Inter didn’t want me
14.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Christian Vieri has explained the reasons behind his move to Milan by insisting Inter were to blame for his Nerazzurri exit.

The Italian international shocked many when he signed for the Rossoneri, just days after terminating his contract with Internazionale.

"About 20 days ago, Inter phoned my agent asking for us to rescind the contract," Vieri noted as Milan met up for pre-season training today.

"I thought that I would stay at Inter for one more year (to the end of his contract) and then look for a new club.

"I don’t know why they took that decision even if these things happen in football. I hadn’t asked for any kind of first team guarantee or a contract extension."

Vieri was associated with moves to Juventus and Spain but insists it was easy for him to stay in the northern Italian city.

"I couldn’t stay at a club who didn’t want me anymore," continued the 32-year-old.

"Seeing as I was a free agent and there was no clause blocking a Milan move, I picked the strongest team.

"I instantly agreed to the Milan switch once they came in for me. It took just two hours to sort things out."

Whispers suggest that Inter let Vieri go due to a breakdown in his relationship with boss and former Lazio teammate Roberto Mancini.

"I have no problems with Mancini," insisted the Azzurri star. "Why wasn’t I at the Coppa Italia Final? I was injured and asked for extra holiday time."

Vieri has signed a two-year deal and is already answering questions about a possible extension.

"I’m just thinking about doing as well as possible for now," he replied. "I hope to now finally win something.

"I admit that it is strange to be here after six years at Inter, but I hope to show good things at this club. I’m also still thinking about the national side and the World Cup."

Tomasson off to Benfica
14.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are making room for Alberto Gilardino after reportedly agreeing to sell Jon Dahl Tomasson to Benfica.

Portuguese officials flew into Italy on Wednesday where they allegedly agreed a £3m fee for the Danish international.

Although there is no official confirmation of the move, Benfica do seem to be in pole position for the international.

Tomasson has been linked with an exit given the arrival of Christian Vieri and the imminent capture of Gilardino from Parma.

Tomasson, via his agent Martin Schotts, had indicated that he wanted to remain in Milan but there is seemingly no more space for him at the San Siro.

The former Newcastle flop was also a target for Sampdoria and Fiorentina but they were unwilling to match the Rossoneri’s valuation.

Tomasson, who arrived on a free from Feyenoord in 2002, will return from holiday this evening before moving to Portugal.

Milan are expected to complete the capture of Gilardino on Monday, giving boss Carlo Ancelotti some splendid attacking options next term.

The Rossoneri will have Gilardino, Vieri, Andriy Shevchenko and Pippo Inzaghi all on their roster.

Galliani’s Gilardino frustration
13.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-president Adriano Galliani is becoming increasingly frustrated at the delay in the signing of Parma star Alberto Gilardino.

Talks to sign the Azzurri ace have been going on for a while, with the side’s seemingly unable to agree a fee.

“The transfer is becoming boring,” Galliani told Tuttosport. “We have made an offer and we will not change it.

“The player has agreed to a waive his right to his percentage of the transfer fee, so it is time to close the deal.

“Either he is in, or he is out. Yes or no. If not, then we will look elsewhere.”

However, last night Milan Sporting Director Ariedo Braida told Milan fans waiting outside the club's offices to “relax, we have signed Gilardino,” reports Corriere della Sera.

The paper also quotes Galliani as saying: “I have just spoken to Parma officials, and they have asked that the deal be concluded next Monday. I had to agree.

“Our hands are tied, as the deal depends on the sale of Parma football club. But if it were up to us, Gilardino would have already joined up with the Milan squad.”

Parma meet up for the start of pre-season training this morning and it is thought that Gilardino will not be present, despite the Gialloblu claiming otherwise.

Meanwhile, Christian Vieiri will link up with his new Milan teammates tomorrow, when Milan start their pre-season preparations.

“We are all very happy that we have signed him,” commented Galliani.

“I can sense that the player is charged up for the season, and happy – he was a great buy.”

OFFICIAL: Pancaro released
13.7 || webmaster

Source: acmilan.com

AC Milan have just announced that they have released Giuseppe Pancaro from the club.

Gilardino will train with Parma
12.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Parma have rubbished suggestions that Alberto Gilardino has refused to turn up for pre-season training.

Reports had suggested that the Milan target would not be present when the Gialloblu return to training on Wednesday as he seeks a resolution to his future plans.

“We can announce that Alberto Gilardino has never requested to be left out of the training camp that starts on July 13,” said a Parma spokesperson.

“Therefore, unless he is sold before that the player will answer the club's call-up."

The comments would suggest that the Azzurri ace, who has netted 23 Serie A goals in consecutive seasons, will have his future resolved this week.

Should Gilardino make the switch to the San Siro it is likely that Jon Dahl Tomasson will be the man to make way.

The Danish international has never fully established himself in Serie A and is a target for Portuguese side Benfica.

“Tomasson is a potential star of Benfica if we can bring him here,” said Coach Ronald Koeman.

Capello sees Milan threat
12.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Coach Fabio Capello expects the biggest threat to Juventus’ Scudetto next season to come from the two Milan sides.

"Milan will be looking to bounce back from last season, while Inter will be boosted by their success in the Coppa Italia," he said on Monday.

"Both sides already have strong squads, and both are still looking to strengthen them."

Meanwhile, any hopes of new signings Capello had have been dampened by Juventus transfer mogul Luciano Moggi.

"Everyone keeps talking about the players Juventus will sign, but you are all forgetting that last season we won the League by seven clear points," said Moggi.

"We also had the best defensive and attacking records in Serie A. Why would we want new players?"

Moggi went on: "The Juventus transfer rumours have been blown out of all proportion. We have already signed important players and we don’t need any more.

"The side as it is today is more than OK. But we are still on the look out for some transfer bargains.

"The only deals we are interested in are swap deals. But, whatever happens, we will continue to be a thorn in the side of our rivals next season too."

The Juventus squad met up for pre-season training today with unsettled stars Fabrizio Miccoli and Enzo Maresca also present.

The pair are largely regarded as two of the players Moggi was referring to as pawns in transfer swaps, and was quoted in Italian papers as referring to Miccoli as "our piggy-bank."

On Juventus’ hopes for the season, Capello said: "Our main objective is winning the Champions’ League. We have a good enough squad, both quantitatively and qualitatively to win it."

He went on: "We all know each other better than last year, which is good, as team spirit will be crucial this season.

"The World Cup Finals means there will be five midweek rounds in Serie A, so with all our other commitments, it promises to be a tough season all round."

Capello added that he sees Chelsea and Barcelona as Juve’s main opposition for the Champions’ League.

Chelsea in £60m Sheva bid
12.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Chelsea are today reportedly lining up a £60m swoop to sign Andriy Shevchenko from Milan.

The Rossoneri would be prepared to sell their star striker should Chelsea up their previous bid of £55m for the player, stories suggest.

The blow of losing the Golden Ball winner would be softened by the signing of Parma striker Alberto Gilardino, a deal expected to be announced imminently, as the transfer hinges on the successful sale of Parma to construction entrepreneur Paolo Pizzarotti.

Chelsea feel that the time is right to make a further bid, as the signing of Gilardino would mean Milan have an abundance of striking talent, with the recently signed Christian Vieri, Pippo Inzaghi, Jon Dahl Tomasson and Shevchenko.

However, with the fitness of injury prone Inzaghi again causing concern, Milan are in no rush to sell, and are said to be waiting on their return from a pre-season tournament to make a decision on whether to offload one of their strikers.

Tomasson is tipped as the most likely to be eventually sold, with Portuguese side Benfica, German club Stuttgart, French outfit Marseille as well as Sampdoria and Palermo being touted as possible destinations for the Dane.

No deal has yet been struck, as sides have so far been put off by Milan’s alleged £4m asking price and the striker’s wage demands.

Serie A tops world League table
12.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Serie A is the most competitive League in the world, according to statistics released today.

Italy's top-flight pushed the English Premiership into second place and Spain’s La Liga into third, according to the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS).

The IFFHS looked at how close the race to be crowed champions was, as well as the chase to avoid relegation and for the Champions’ League places.

The Scudetto was decided in Week 37, a week before the close of the season, while the Premiership and La Liga titles were decided well before.

They also looked at the number of foreign players in each League, as well as how highly the League is viewed from abroad, and awarded points accordingly.

AC Milan second string to play in India
11.7 || webmaster

Source: rediff.com

The second-string squad of glamour European club A C Milan will visit India in November to play two matches against yet-to-be-confirmed opposition.

"A C Milan's number two team would be visiting India as part of the 'Festa Italiana', an annual function of the Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industries," a source connected with organising the tour said.

The source said one of the matches is slated for Mumbai, while he is not sure about the venue of the other match.

"The details are being worked out, but the visit is scheduled towards the end of November."

It’s Milan or nothing, says Gilardino
9.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alberto Gilardino says he will join no other club apart from Milan this summer - or remain at Parma until the end of his contract.

The player made the shock announcement in a statement this evening, after dismissing widespread speculation that his proposed transfer to the Rossoneri was now a done deal.

"I have a contract with Parma until June 2007 which I am ready to respect," said the Italian international.

"They will make the final decision but I have indicated from the very start that I want to join Milan, after taking into consideration the characteristics of the players they have there.

"Negotiations between the two clubs have dragged on and I, like everybody else, am waiting for news regarding my future.

"Parma have always maintained that they would satisfy my requests which today becomes explicit by excluding any other options which I considered until the end of my holiday.

"The alternative for me now is to stay at Parma until the natural conclusion of my contract. I have not signed for Milan."

Reports this morning claimed that a £20m deal had been agreed in principal, but Gilardino’s comments make that rumour highly unlikely.

Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi and Parma transfer chief Oreste Cinquini also claimed today that nothing had been decided.

One of Gilardino’s agents, Francesco Romano, added that no progress had been made between the two clubs recently.

"I have nothing more to add to what Milan have already said – the clubs are still distant," Romano noted.

"Milan have said it and so has Cinquini. There have been no significant phone calls and nothing new to report over the last few days.

"Hopefully we can sit round a table from Monday onwards to start talks again. This is possible."

Milan ‘agree’ Gilardino deal
9.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Parma have finally agreed to sell star striker Alberto Gilardino to Milan even if no official announcement has been made.

It is believed that the two clubs have reached an agreement over the fee, even if contracts may not be swapped until Monday or Tuesday.

The Rossoneri have been in pursuit of the forward for some time after allegedly agreeing personal terms with the player months ago.

But getting the Tardini outfit to accept a bid has been the biggest problem for the San Siro side.

After initially asking for £35m, Parma lowered that price tag to a more reasonable £22m even if Milan continued to claim that was too expensive.

Parma rejected a £19m offer last week but it is believed that a deal has finally been sorted out for the Italian international.

The turning point in the negotiations came when Milan agreed to pay Parma’s share of a special clause in Gilardino’s contract.

If Parma sold the player for over £14m, they would in turn have to pay Gilardino a bonus payment of £1.4m.

Milan will now pay that amount to the player and hand his club £18.6m, therefore capturing the 23-year-old in a £20m deal.

Gilardino should net himself a five-year contract worth £2.1m a season.

Although reports insist a deal has been done, Parma have moved quickly to claim that the transfer has not been completed.

"Parma announce that they have sold nobody, on a permanent or temporary basis, except those which have already been made official on the club’s website," read a statement.

Gilardino fee remains at £22m
7.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Parma are refusing to lower their asking price for Alberto Gilardino despite Milan claims that he is too expensive.

Rossoneri chief Adriano Galliani yesterday suggested that his club couldn’t afford the player even though the striker openly wants a San Siro switch.

"There is nothing new to report," said Parma President Guido Angiolini on Thursday. "The Gilardino asking price of £22m remains.

"Have we talked to Milan today? There has been no time even if the player wants to join them and we want to make him happy."

The Italian giants are understood to have offered just over £19m but are so far reluctant to pay more for the Italian international.

That may allow the likes of Juventus, Inter and even Chelsea to make a late bid to hijack the transfer.

However, Milan insist that they are still interested in the 23-year-old. "I did say that he is expensive but I never said that our transfer campaign is over," stated Galliani earlier today.

In other transfer news, Livorno have signed two new midfielders in the shape of Luis Fernando Centi and Stefano Morrone.

The first has left Treviso on a two-year deal, while a three-year contract has been handed to Palermo’s Morrone.

Jankulovski out of US tour
7.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marek Jankulovski is recovering well from his broken ankle but he will still miss Milan’s summer tour of America.

The Czech international picked up the fracture towards the end of last term before completing his £8m switch to the San Siro.

The left-sided player underwent another medical examination on Wednesday and no problems emerged.

Jankulovski will now start an intensive rehabilitation programme until July 14, when Milan’s pre-season training begins.

However, the former Napoli player will still not be fit enough to play in the US and will therefore remain at Milanello.

Rossoneri medics are confident that the 28-year-old should be ready for action by the start of the new season.

Gilardino: Let me join Milan
6.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alberto Gilardino has again asked Parma to sell him to Milan but Juventus could still hijack the deal.

The striker returned from his short break in Mexico today and immediately outlined his hopes for his future.

"At this moment in time I am still a Parma player," said the Italian international, who celebrated his 23rd birthday yesterday.

"I have clear ideas inside of me. Milan is my preferred path but I can’t exclude the fact that other clubs can come forward."

Gilardino was hoping to have his transfer completed by now, but the Stadio Tardini outfit understandably want to get as much money for him as possible.

"I didn’t expect it to drag on like this," added the former Piacenza and Verona youngster. "I thought it would have been resolved after the play-off game against Bologna.

"I hope that Parma help me out because there is great friendship there and I want to leave on the right terms. I know my desire can be decisive."

Although Milan seem to be in pole position, his agent Beppe Bonetto has failed to rule out a Juventus switch.

"Milan remain at the front of the grid and they remain in the thoughts of Alberto," stated the representative.

"Christian Vieri’s transfer to Milan isn’t a problem as he is a replacement for Hernan Crespo.

"Talks are still going on but there is just £2.5m difference between what Milan are offering and the £22m that Parma want.

"However, we often have contact with Juventus even if there has never been an offer from Chelsea."

Inter are another contender to sign Gilardino as Nerazzurri chief Massimo Moratti has again confirmed.

"He is a player worthy of a great club," he stated. "There is just one problem and that is the expense involved.

"A lot has happened in this game and something could occur right at the very end when the costs of the operation may be forgotten."

Crespo key in Vieri capture
6.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan made their move to sign Christian Vieri after it became clear Chelsea would not allow them to keep Hernan Crespo.

The Italian joined the Rossoneri on a free transfer for city rivals Inter yesterday, ending Crespo’s hopes of remaining at the San Siro following his loan stint last term.

"I am saddened for Hernan," Vice-president Adriano Galliani stated.

"But we simply couldn't take the risk of losing precious time because other clubs could have tried to sign Vieri and we couldn't take that risk.

"When it became clear that the Crespo deal was a no-go, I decided to act quickly and with Vieri we have completed our attacking line-up."

The capture of Vieri, who was also being linked with Juventus, was a surprise given that the Argentine striker was confident of remaining in Milan.

"I formally took the responsibility to see that Crespo would remain at Milan," added Galliani. "It was a promise that I was the first to want to fulfil.

"Yet the negotiations with Chelsea have had too many obstacles and nothing was ever completed.

"This was certainly not my fault, the transfer market has certain rules that apply and you cannot lose time.

"Chelsea have no intention of letting Crespo leave their club.

"We waited until the meeting between Crespo's agent Fernando Hidalgo and Chelsea but unfortunately once again we found ourselves without a conclusion."

Milan are now expected to add Alberto Gilardino to their attacking options but only if Parma lower their asking price.

"Parma are still asking for £20m and we will not spend that much on him," continued the chief. "As the days progress this matter gets even more complicated."

Milan still want Gilardino, says agent
6.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan may have brought Christian Vieri but they are still keen on Parma’s Alberto Gilardino, say his representatives.

Gilardino’s proposed move was placed in doubt yesterday following the arrival of Vieri on a free transfer.

But Francesco Romano, an agent of the International Football Agency who look after Gilardino, believes the transfer is still on.

"As far as I know, Milan are still interested in Gilardino," stated Romano.

"Admittedly talks have slowed down over the last few days but that could have been because Milan were in negotiations with Vieri, while Parma were busy with their possible sale."

Romano added that talks for Gilardino could in theory get back on track today, even if Chelsea, Inter and Juventus are still in the race.

Gilardino was also associated with a move to Fiorentina but that has been ruled out by the Viola.

"Alberto won’t come to Florence," said boss Cesare Prandelli, who worked with Gilardino at Parma two years ago.

"He will wear the shirt of a big club who are involved in European competition next season.

"It will probably be Milan because when they launch an attack on a player they rarely allow him to slip through their fingers."

Crespo’s Milan dream dashed
6.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Chelsea striker Hernan Crespo’s hopes of remaining with Milan next season are over, says his agent.

"Hernan will play with Chelsea and he wants to have as good a season as he had at Milan," Fernando Hidalgo told the Daily Mail.

The Argentina international spent last term on loan at the San Siro and was keen to remain with the Rossoneri.

A deal with Chelsea had been agreed in principal, to extend his loan for another 12 months, but talks stalled after the London club failed to bring in a new striker.

Milan already seem to have replaced Crespo, 29, in their squad by netting Christian Vieri on a free transfer yesterday.

The Italian giants are also still interested in signing Alberto Gilardino from Parma which will complete their attacking options for the new term.

Crespo, who signed for Chelsea in 2003 for £16.8m, was a success last term and his failure to stay at Milan will be a big blow.

"I'm having the worst summer of my life because I don't know at what club I will be at in two weeks time," he said recently.

"Since losing the Champions’ League Final the only good thing that has happened has been my wedding."

Crespo was linked with a move to Juventus recently, as part of a deal that may see David Trezeguet move to Stamford Bridge.

OFFICIAL: Dhorasso joins PSG
5.7 || webmaster

Source: acmilan.com

AC Milan have announced earlier today that they have sold Vikash Dhorasso to PSG.

Abbiati has Azzurri dream
5.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Christian Abbiati is hoping his decision to quit Milan for Genoa will be rewarded with an international recall.

"I hope to do well in the new campaign so that I can return to being the second or third choice ‘keeper for the national side," he said on Tuesday.

"(First choice Gigi) Buffon today phoned me and said he would see me at the World Cup in Germany next summer.

"Staying at Milan would have been tough for me to find some space in the squad as I had a great ‘keeper in front of me."

Abbiati has been called into the Azzurri set-up on a number of occasions, but he has been left out recently after spending the last few seasons as No 2 behind Nelson Dida at the San Siro.

"I am very tied to Milan and I leave my heart behind," continued the former Under-21 international.

"After all, the Rossoneri had extended my contract for five years until 2010 but Genoa are also a great club.

"They have some important results that they want to achieve and a great fan base, while the rivalry with Sampdoria is really stimulating."

Abbiati was desperate for a move and admits he even accepted to reduce his wage demands to sign.

"I decided to cut my salary," added the 28-year-old. "I need to taste the atmosphere of a game again, play in front of the fans.

"I really missed those sensations last year, more than ever."

OFFICIAL: Vieri joins Milan
5.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have today announced the capture of Italian international striker Christian Vieri on a two-year deal.

Vieri, who had his contract at city rivals Inter terminated on Friday, is tied to the San Siro outfit until 30 June 2007.

Vieri ‘agrees’ Milan deal?
4.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Christian Vieri is reportedly just days away from signing a contract with Milan following his shock Inter exit.

Whispers in the peninsula this evening insist that the striker has agreed a two-year deal after he became a free agent on Friday.

Vieri, who terminated his Nerazzurri terms by mutual consent, will allegedly sign next week once he passes his medical.

The Italian international is currently on holiday in Sardinia but will reportedly swap one San Siro club for another, despite interest from numerous other clubs across Europe.

Vieri could be joined by Alberto Gilardino in the new campaign, whose proposed transfer from Parma may be closer to completion tomorrow.

"The player will return from his holidays on Tuesday," his agent Beppe Bonetto told the Fiorentina.it website.

"That is when we will get a definite answer from Milan regarding their intentions towards him."

Should a Rossoneri switch collapse, the 23-year-old could still be heading to the city of Milan after Inter confirmed they were keen on him too.

"We’ve been chasing Gilardino for some time," owner Massimo Moratti told the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.

"We admittedly don’t really need to make any big changes to our offensive options but we are talking about a really good player."

OFFICIAL: Eleftheropoulos sings for AC Milan
4.7 || webmaster

Source: acmilan.com

Dimitrios Eleftheropoulos signed a one-year contract with AC Milan. The Greek goalkeeper was born in Athens on August 7th 1976 and played the previous season for Messina.

Abbiati goes out on loan to Genoa
4.7 || webmaster

Source: EuroSport.com

AC Milan's second string goalkeeper Christian Abbiati has been loaned out to newly promoted Genoa for one year. The deal includes an option to buy at the end of that term, and the goalkeeper is likely to jump at the chance of first team football.

The Italian international has spent the last three seasons playing second fiddle to Brazilian Nelson Dida at the San Siro, but is keen to play regularly next season in a bid to make it to the World Cup with Marcelo Lippi's Azzurri next summer.

Genoa have beaten off competition from Palermo, Arsenal and Fiorentina for the stopper's signature, and if all goes well for Abbiati, he could sign a permanent deal with the port club for £2.2m next summer.

Gilardino chase wide open
4.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Parma have admitted that Milan, Inter and Chelsea are all still in the running to sign star striker Alberto Gilardino.

The Italian international was believed to be on the verge of joining the Rossoneri, but talks stalled over the Tardini outfit’s £25m asking price.

"The situation is still open even if it is clear that only the big clubs can afford the costs involved," sporting director Oreste Cinquini said.

"I have spoken a few times to (Inter owner Massimo) Moratti, while (Milan chief Adriano) Galliani has given us the freedom to talk to other clubs.

"Something could happen at Chelsea too because they have been left unsatisfied with Didier Drogba’s year.

"He is a great player but his strike rate isn’t very high. Chelsea have a defensive set-up and need a striker who can take chances."

Cinquini refused to reveal exactly how much Parma were expecting for the player but did confirm it was a sizeable amount.

"I won’t mention figures but he is an important player," he added. "Despite Parma’s problems in the past season, he confirmed his potential which is a tough thing to do in football."

However, Cinquini did go on to add that the player could still be at the Stadio Tardini next term.

"If someone important buys the club then they could block his sale but that isn’t the case at the minute," he said.

"We just want to be realistic. We know certain figures are out of reach for some clubs but we are talking about a young champion."

PSG close in on Dhorasoo
3.7 || webmaster

Source: SoccerWay.com

PARIS, June 30 (SW) According to newly-appointed president Pierre Blayau, PSG are only a step away from securing the signing of AC Milan midfielder Vikash Dhorasoo.

In an interview given to French newspaper �Le Parisien�, PSG president Blayau revealed the future of the former Olympique Lyonnais ace would be sealed before the end of the week, the player now expected to complete his move from San Siro to the Parc des Princes in the coming days.

�Everything will be finalized by the end of the week. AC Milan are more demanding than expected, and we do not want mess up this deal. The negotiations are slightly longer than initially thought but the player wants to sign. There are only a couple of details to sort out,� Blayau told the French newspaper.

Should Dhorasoo�s PSG deal be confirmed, the France international midfielder would be leaving the Seria A after only one season spent with AC Milan, mostly on the bench.

Gilardino closer to Milan
2.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The apparent failure of Parma’s takeover bid could have jump-started Alberto Gilardino’s long-awaited move to Milan.

It was believed that the new owners – Swiss Internet company Ticino Holding – would aim to keep hold of their star striker in order to build a new winning era.

However, the proposed takeover did not go through on Friday and the club is plunged back into uncertainty.

“I have said from the start that if I take charge of the club then none of our stars will leave,” said potential new owner Gaetano Valenza.

“That includes Gilardino. However, the current set-up has already loaned Sebastien Frey out to Fiorentina without telling me. If they want to sell Gilardino, then the consequences will be on their heads.”

The need for ready cash could therefore push them into accepting the Rossoneri’s offer for Gilardino, even if it falls below the £25m price-tag.

Other reports in the Corriere dello Sport-Stadio have also suggested that Chelsea have dived back in with a £34.5m bid, but the player has made it perfectly clear he wants to join the San Siro outfit.

“There is no news yet, but everything revolves around the takeover bid,” explained Gilardino’s agent Ciccio Romano.

New claims in Italy state that the key to completing this switch is to hand Pippo Inzaghi over to Parma. It would be a return to the Stadio Tardini for the striker, who has already played for the team in 1995-96, scoring two goals in 15 appearances.

Dalla Bona joins Sampdoria
2.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sampdoria have completed the loan signing of Samuele Dalla Bona from Milan on Friday afternoon.

The 24-year-old arrives at Doria after scoring six goals in 36 games while on loan at Lecce last term.

The former Chelsea player, who will be presented to the media next week, will provide competition for central midfielders Sergio Volpi and Angelo Palombo.

Altobelli sees Vieri at Milan
2.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter legend Alessandro Altobelli says he wouldn’t be surprised to see Christian Vieri sign for Milan following his Nerazzurri split.

The striker mutually agreed to cancel his Inter contract on Friday and the race for his signature has already begun.

"If he has decided to terminate a deal worth £17m then it is because he has received an interesting offer, perhaps from Milan," the former striker told Datasport.

"Am I joking? No, I’m being very serious and ready to put a wager on it. I don’t think he’ll join Juventus, I doubt he’ll move to Spain or England. Vieri will go to Milan!"

The Rossoneri could in theory make a bid for Vieri, seeing their problems in trying to keep Chelsea owned Hernan Crespo and signing Alberto Gilardino from Parma.

Vieri scored 122 goals in six seasons for the club, just six less than Altobelli, but his exit hasn’t surprised the former Azzurri ace.

"A love-hate relationship had developed over the past few years and it was clear that it would end like this," added the 1982 World Cup winner. "He was also contested by some fans."

The Coppa Italia holders have undoubtedly lost a good player but Altobelli still sees life after Vieri.

"Inter won’t have a problem in attack without Christian," he added. "Boss Roberto Mancini still has Obafemi Martins, Alvaro Recoba, Julio Cruz and Adriano."





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