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The Archive

July 2010

Emirates Cup: Arsenal 1:1 AC Milan - match report
31.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Chamakh 36 (A), Pato 76 (M)

Alexandre Pato’s glancing header secured Milan’s 1-1 draw with Emirates Cup hosts Arsenal, while they also hit the woodwork twice.

The Rossoneri have disappointed in pre-season so far, losing to newly-promoted Serie B outfit Varese, while Coach Max Allegri warned that the primary concern was achieving a good fitness level.

They began the Emirates Cup in London against hosts Arsenal without injured stars Ronaldinho, Andrea Pirlo and Pippo Inzaghi. David Beckham was in the stands and his sons wore Milan jerseys in honour of his former club.

In this afternoon’s earlier game, Celtic had drawn 2-2 with Olympique Lyon. The Emirates Cup gives each side three points for a win, one for a draw and one point for every goal scored.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos acrobatically hooked the ball away from Jack Wilshere in the six-yard box, while Laurent Koscielny came sliding in to block Alexandre Pato at the byline.

Arsenal would’ve scored the opener on 18 minutes had it not been for a brilliant Christian Abbiati fingertip save at full stretch to deny Thomas Vermaelen’s looping header.

Mathieu Flamini went even closer against his former club moments later. Marco Borriello knocked a long ball down for the midfielder, whose deflected half-volley cracked the top of the crossbar.

However, it was Arsenal who broke the deadlock at the 36th minute when Andrey Arshavin shrugged off Gennaro Gattuso and threaded through for Marouane Chamakh’s cool finish.

It was almost 2-0 soon after, as Samir Nasri got away down the right and pulled back for Tomas Rosicky, but Abbiati parried with his legs from point-blank range.

Pato created a wonderful opportunity with a divine first touch to control a cross-field pass and curl it on to the roof of the net. Lukasz Fabianski also rushed off his line to clear from a Borriello counter-attack.

In the second half Abbiati had his palms stung by Arshavin, while Theo Walcott’s low drive was straight at him. Carlos Vela’s splendid curler whistled just wide of the top corner.

Milan snatched their equaliser with 14 minutes left on the clock. Clarence Seedorf’s free kick was whipped in to find Pato’s glancing header in-between two defenders.

Moments later Pato rode a challenge to have his shot charged down, but at the other end Abbiati performed a remarkable double save on Randall from point-blank range, bouncing back up to deny the second attempt.

Milan could well have won it at the death, as Gianluca Zambrotta combined with Merkel outside the area for a fantastic shot that thumped the crossbar. It was the second time the Rossoneri had hit the woodwork in this match.

Fabianski also had to get a hand to Verdi’s shot across the face of goal.

Arsenal 1-1 Milan
Scorers: Chamakh 36 (A), Pato 76 (M)
Arsenal: Fabianski; Gibbs (Clichy 46), Koscielny, Vermaelen, Ebouè (Sagna 46); Rosicky (Walcott 46), Frimpong (Djourou 69), Wilshere, Nasri; Arshavin (Vela 62), Chamakh (Randall 72)
Milan: Abbiati; Papastathopoulos (Zambrotta 65), Nesta, Yepes, Antonini; Gattuso (Merkel 62), Seedorf, Flamini (Strasser 77); Abate (Verdi 81), Borriello (Baretta 69), Pato (Oddo 82)

Poli is AC Milan's midfield target
31.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan take on Arsenal today and Coach Max Allegri demands a new midfielder, so the number one option is Sampdoria’s Andrea Poli.

The Rossoneri have been reticent to make any new signings this summer and are not in great shape going into this afternoon’s Emirates Cup clash.

On Friday Allegri warned that he needed reinforcements in the middle of the park and the newspapers believe there is a specific target.

Sampdoria youngster Poli is an Under-21 international who impressed last season and proved a crucial figure in taking them to fourth place.

He is valued at around £12m, but his move could be delayed until after the Champions League preliminary round.

If he plays in those games, then Poli will be cup-tied and consequently far less of a reinforcement for Milan.

The other candidate is his Sampdoria teammate Angelo Palombo, but the Azzurri midfielder turns 29 in September.

Tuttosport believes the Rossoneri are also interested in Antonio Candreva, who has returned to Udinese following his loan spell at Juventus and would cost £10m.

Cagliari’s Andrea Lazzari and Real Madrid outcast Mahamadou Diarra are other alternatives.

Andrea Pirlo, Ronaldinho and Pippo Inzaghi are out of the squad for the Arsenal game, which kicks off at 15.20 UK time in London.

“We’ve been working hard for 10 days and cannot pretend we’re in peak physical condition, especially as Arsenal started training long before us,” warned Allegri.

“These friendlies are useful for improving our fitness levels, although clearly we do not want to give a bad account of ourselves.

“I already have my Milan in mind and am convinced we’ll get there for the start of the season.

“I am focusing a lot on Mathieu Flamini, a player with great potential who has done less than he could’ve done over the last two years.”

AC Milan need a midfielder, says Allegri
30.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri would like to sign another central midfielder before the end of the transfer window, but insists he's happy with his squad.

Speaking ahead of Milan's participation in the Emirates Cup, Allegri was asked about his recruitment strategy.

“What we have is fine,” he said. “If someone leaves then someone else will arrive, but right now the squad is fine.

“We speak every day with Galliani. Seeing that we'll be playing with three in central midfield, we'll need at least six players in that position.

“I am convinced that the club will bring home a good player.”

When asked if he intends to raid former club Cagliari for Andrea Lazzari, Allegri was coy in his response.

“It will take a dynamic player,” he said.

Allegri then looked ahead to tomorrow's game against Arsenal.

“We will try to do good things even if we have only been training for 10 days and we are missing some players. But I am convinced that we'll do good things.

“I am not worried. Ronaldinho has stayed at home to work and get into a good condition for the start of the season.

“He is a very important player. He has great technical qualities, so we'll need to try and protect him when he isn't well.”

Abbiati has AC Milan desire
30.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Christian Abbiati would like to end his career at Milan after he signed a new contract with the club last week.

The goalkeeper, born in July 1977, is now tied to the outfit until 2013 after more than a decade of service at San Siro.

“I hope to finish my career at Milan,” he admitted. “As soon as an extension was offered to me I signed. There were no problems at all.”

Abbiati, from Milan, started his career at Monza before making his Serie A debut for the Rossoneri in 1998-99.

Apart from loan spells at Juventus, Torino and Atletico Madrid in recent years, he’s been at the club ever since.

However, Abbiati has never really been an untouchable in the first team and will face competition from new signing Marco Amelia this season.

“I’m calm about the situation,” continued the former Italian international. “I have always fought for a shirt here, which is only right, and I’ll do that for the next three years…”

Palombo on AC Milan radar
30.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sampdoria captain Angelo Palombo is the latest central midfielder to be associated with Milan.

The Rossoneri are thought to be looking for a new option in the middle of the park and Palombo has been linked.

Palombo, part of Italy’s disastrous 2010 World Cup campaign, won’t be an easy target to tempt away from Marassi.

Doria see the former Fiorentina player as a key man and warned Juventus earlier this summer that he wouldn’t be sold.

Milan, who claimed on Wednesday that their market manoeuvres have basically come to an end this summer, have been paired with numerous names in recent weeks.

Fiorentina’s Marco Donadel, Manuele Blasi of Napoli and Real Madrid’s Mahamadou Diarra are all understood to be players who the club have been monitoring.

Ronaldinho injury relief
30.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan breathe a sigh of relief, as tests show Ronaldinho will be out for a week rather than a month.

The Brazilian pulled up during training with a muscular problem and there were fears he would be sidelined for four weeks.

“AC Milan announce that Ronaldinho sustained a left femoral bicep strain. The player will not be available for the Emirates Cup and the prognosis is of around seven days.”

The Rossoneri travel to London this weekend for the friendly tournament against Arsenal, Celtic and Olympique Lyonnais.

Ronaldinho’s thigh muscle has only been extended rather than torn, so he has been prescribed rest and a specialist training schedule.

Ronaldinho out for a month
29.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have suffered a real blow ahead of next season after it emerged that Ronaldinho will be out for a month with a muscle injury.

The 30-year-old Brazilian will undergo a scan later today to determine the scale of the damage.

However, initial indications suggest Ronaldinho will be out for 'at least 30 days'.

The former World Player of the Year had only started training with the rest of the squad yesterday after being told to spend the first week of pre-season in the gym.

He will miss the Emirates Cup, which is due to be held this weekend in London.

Ronaldinho's injury will have done little to ease the concerns of Milan's fans.

The Rossoneri lost 2-0 to Serie B side Varese at the weekend and have been very frugal in the transfer market.

Allegri convinces Gattuso to stay
29.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Coach Massimiliano Allegri has managed to convince Rino Gattuso to stay at the club amid speculation that he might leave this summer.

The 32-year-old, who is in his 12th season with Milan, has been linked with Al-Ahli and Olympiacos over the course of the last two months.

Gattuso didn’t have the best of times last season as Leonardo often left him on the bench.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani persuaded him to stay in January and Allegri has done the same now.

The 42-year-old apparently reminded Gattuso of the time they played together at Perugia between 1995 and 1997 when he was the team’s trequartista, clocking up 41 appearances and 10 goals.

“Why do you want to leave just as I’ve arrived?” Allegri asked. “Don’t you remember when we played together at Perugia? C’mon don’t be stupid!”

If Gattuso stays at San Siro this summer is will almost certainly bring an end to rumours linking Milan with bids for Manuele Blasi and Marco Donadel.

Ambrosini: AC Milan can really fly
29.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan presented their new Emirates-sponsored strip and captain Massimo Ambrosini believes they can “cause problems for Inter in the Scudetto race.”

The Rossoneri begin their partnership with Fly Emirates for the 2010-11 season and the shirt was projected on to the side of an Airbus A380 landing at Malpensa Airport from Dubai.

The strip will be given its debut in the Emirates Cup this weekend, which also involves Arsenal, Celtic and Lyon.

“Milan are certainly a competitive side that did a great deal last season,” said Ambrosini at the presentation.

“If we give just a little bit more this year, then we can cause problems for Inter in the Scudetto race.

“It is beyond doubt that the Nerazzurri are still a step ahead of everyone else right now.”

The captain was also impressed with the arrival of new Coach Massimiliano Allegri.

“The first impressions were positive. He has great ideas and talks to us a lot. Of course it always takes time and patience with a new tactician.”

Ambrosini is one of several veterans waiting to see if his contract will be extended.

“There’s no news yet, but I am in no hurry and neither is the club. We’ll talk it over at the right time.”

10-11 Serie A Fixtures Released: AC Milan Vs. Lecce In Week 1
28.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fiorentina-Napoli, Bologna-Inter, Bari-Juventus, Roma-Cesena and Milan-Lecce are among the Week 1 games in Serie A on the weekend of August 28-29.

The fixtures for the 2010-11 season were drawn up this evening and it was the first since Serie A broke away from the Lega Calcio to form their own organisation.

New Juventus boss Gigi Del Neri faced his former Sampdoria players in the second round on September 12.

Roma-Inter will be the star game of Week 5 on September 26, followed immediately by a Champions League tie and then Inter-Juventus in Week 6.

Milan-Juventus is in Week 9 on the weekend of Halloween, October 31, at San Siro.

The draw was held at Palazzo Mezzanotte in Milan under the guidance of Lega President Maurizio Beretta.

However, FIGC President Giancarlo Abete was not invited “as a sign of protest against the limit on non-EU players. We wanted to highlight that for us this matter is not over.”

Week 1
29/8/10 and 16/1/11
Bari-Juventus
Bologna-Inter
Chievo-Catania
Fiorentina-Napoli
Milan-Lecce
Palermo-Cagliari
Parma-Brescia
Roma-Cesena
Sampdoria-Lazio
Udinese-Genoa

Week 2
12/9/10 and 23/1/11
Brescia-Palermo
Cagliari-Roma
Catania-Parma
Cesena-Milan
Genoa-Chievo
Inter-Udinese
Juventus-Sampdoria
Lazio-Bologna
Lecce-Fiorentina
Napoli-Bari

Week 3
19/9/10 and 30/1/11
Bari-Cagliari
Chievo-Brescia
Cesena-Lecce
Fiorentina-Lazio
Milan-Catania
Palermo-Inter
Parma-Genoa
Roma-Bologna
Sampdoria-Napoli
Udinese-Juventus

Week 4
22/9/10 and 2/2/11
Bologna-Udinese
Brescia-Roma
Cagliari-Sampdoria
Catania-Cesena
Genoa-Fiorentina
Inter-Bari
Juventus-Palermo
Lazio-Milan
Lecce-Parma
Napoli-Chievo

Week 5
26/9/10 and 6/2/11
Bari-Brescia
Chievo-Lazio
Catania-Bologna
Cesena-Napoli
Fiorentina-Parma
Juventus-Cagliari
Milan-Genoa
Palermo-Lecce
Roma-Inter
Sampdoria-Udinese

Week 6
3/10/10 and 13/2/11
Bologna-Sampdoria
Chievo-Cagliari
Fiorentina-Palermo
Genoa-Bari
Inter-Juventus
Lazio-Brescia
Lecce-Catania
Napoli-Roma
Parma-Milan
Udinese-Cesena

Week 7
17/10/10 and 20/2/11
Bari-Lazio
Brescia-Udinese
Cagliari-Inter
Catania-Napoli
Cesena-Parma
Juventus-Lecce
Milan-Chievo
Palermo-Bologna
Roma-Genoa
Sampdoria-Fiorentina

Week 8
24/10/10 and 27/2/11
Bologna-Juventus
Chievo-Cesena
Fiorentina-Bari
Genoa-Catania
Inter-Sampdoria
Lazio-Cagliari
Lecce-Brescia
Napoli-Milan
Parma-Roma
Udinese-Palermo

Week 9
31/10/10 and 6/3/11
Bari-Udinese
Brescia-Napoli
Cagliari-Bologna
Catania-Fiorentina
Cesena-Sampdoria
Genoa-Inter
Milan-Juventus
Palermo-Lazio
Parma-Chievo
Roma-Lecce

Week 10
7/11/10 and 13/3/11
Bari-Milan
Bologna-Lecce
Fiorentina-Chievo
Inter-Brescia
Juventus-Cesena
Lazio-Roma
Napoli-Parma
Palermo-Genoa
Sampdoria-Catania
Udinese-Cagliari

Week 11
10/11/10 and 20/3/11
Brescia-Juventus
Cagliari-Napoli
Catania-Udinese
Cesena-Lazio
Chievo-Bari
Genoa-Bologna
Lecce-Inter
Milan-Palermo
Parma-Sampdoria
Roma-Fiorentina

Week 12
14/11/10 and 3/4/11
Bari-Parma
Bologna-Brescia
Cagliari-Genoa
Fiorentina-Cesena
Inter-Milan
Juventus-Roma
Lazio-Napoli
Palermo-Catania
Sampdoria-Chievo
Udinese-Lecce

Week 13
21/11/10 and 10/4/11
Brescia-Cagliari
Catania-Bari
Cesena-Palermo
Chievo-Inter
Genoa-Juventus
Lecce-Sampdoria
Milan-Fiorentina
Napoli-Bologna
Parma-Lazio
Roma-Udinese

Week 14
28/11/10 and 17/4/11
Bari-Cesena
Bologna-Chievo
Brescia-Genoa
Cagliari-Lecce
Inter-Parma
Juventus-Fiorentina
Lazio-Catania
Palermo-Roma
Sampdoria-Milan
Udinese-Napoli

Week 15
5/12/10 and 23/4/11
Chievo-Roma
Catania-Juventus
Cesena-Bologna
Fiorentina-Cagliari
Lazio-Inter
Lecce-Genoa
Milan-Brescia
Napoli-Palermo
Parma-Udinese
Sampdoria-Bari

Week 16
12/12/10 and 1/5/11
Bologna-Milan
Brescia-Sampdoria
Cagliari-Catania
Genoa-Napoli
Inter-Cesena
Juventus-Lazio
Lecce-Chievo
Palermo-Parma
Roma-Bari
Udinese-Fiorentina

Week 17
19/12/10 and 8/5/11
Bari-Palermo
Catania-Brescia
Cesena-Cagliari
Chievo-Juventus
Fiorentina-Inter
Lazio-Udinese
Milan-Roma
Napoli-Lecce
Parma-Bologna
Sampdoria-Genoa

Week 18
6/1/11 and 15/5/11
Bologna-Fiorentina
Brescia-Cesena
Cagliari-Milan
Genoa-Lazio
Inter-Napoli
Juventus-Parma
Lecce-Bari
Palermo-Sampdoria
Roma-Catania
Udinese-Chievo

Week 19
9/1/11 and 22/5/11
Bari-Bologna
Catania-Inter
Cesena-Genoa
Chievo-Palermo
Fiorentina-Brescia
Lazio-Lecce
Milan-Udinese
Napoli-Juventus
Parma-Cagliari
Sampdoria-Roma

Galliani: 'No AC Milan reinforcements'
28.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have cleared the air with Gennaro Gattuso, but Adriano Galliani warns the fans. “I doubt there will be reinforcements.”

The Rossoneri lost their opening friendly test with Varese and supporters protested at the lack of changes to the ageing squad, but the club is not taking action.

“Will we work on the market to bring in reinforcements? I doubt it, but we’ll see,” replied Vice-President Galliani.

Among the talents who had been linked with a transfer was CSKA Moscow and Japan star Keisuke Honda.

“It’s a problem, as it will be difficult to get Honda when he doesn’t have an EU passport. You’d have to ask the FIGC about that.

“None of the big stars will be leaving. As Inter’s Massimo Moratti says, if you have to make sacrifices then you have to do it with the players who are requested, not the ones who aren’t sought-after.

“Well, the ones who have been requested will not be sold and the others are not sought-after.”

Among those apparently staying at San Siro for another season is Gattuso, who had been on the verge of walking out.

“We cleared the air last night in a meeting with Coach Massimiliano Allegri. I’d say that the skies are blue again.

“I’d like to thank both Gianluca Zambrotta and Massimo Oddo, who will earn in two years only a little more than they had been earning in 12 months. We believe many players could stay with us in 2011-12 too.”

Serie A and B fixtures tonight
28.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The 2010-11 Serie A and B fixtures will be drawn up this evening with new limits, including no midweek derbies.

This will be the first campaign since the Lega Calcio split so that Serie A and B are separate entities.

The calendar for the 2010-11 season will be drawn up in Milan’s Palazzo Mezzanotte starting from 19.30 UK time.

There are some limitations, for example on the number of games played consecutively at home and away.

The last four rounds will be “perfectly alternated” between home and away fixtures.

There will be no ‘seeds,’ so in theory two big clubs like Milan and Inter could face off in the opening round – a change to the usual Serie A process.

Evening midweek rounds will bar the head-to-heads featuring these teams: Inter, Juventus, Milan, Napoli, Roma or local derbies in Genoa, Milan and Rome.

There are to be no repetitions (same game on the same round) as the 2009-10 calendar, nor can sides meet in the first round who have already played each other in the opener of 2008-09 or 2009-10.

The same applies to the final round of the season.

And finally, the sides that are to play in the Champions League (Inter, Roma, Milan and Sampdoria) cannot meet each other or one of the Europa League participants (Palermo, Napoli and Juventus) in-between continential ties on a Thursday.

The rounds affected by this schedule are Weeks 7, 10, 13, 15 and 16.

Ben Arfa 'would prefer AC Milan'
28.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan and Parma are among the clubs tracking Marseille star Hatem Ben Arfa, says his agent, but the Rossoneri represent his favoured choice.

“Some concrete offers have come in from British and German clubs who showed real interest in my client,” Frederic Guerra told Calciomercato.it.

“The Italian sides have so far only made some enquiries.”

It is well known that the two Serie A teams interested in Ben Arfa are Milan and Parma, while Newcastle United and Werder Bremen are among his suitors.

“I believe he is an important player with great technique who could increase the quality of the Rossoneri midfield,” added the agent in Il Sussidiario.

“Ben Arfa would also benefit by playing for a big club like Milan with 75,000 people in the stadium.

“On a stage like that if someone cannot show their true potential, then they are not a great player and should perhaps go to Qatar instead.

“How much is he worth today? €8m.”

However, the representative denied reports that Milan are also tracking another of his clients, Real Madrid’s Mahamadou Diarra.

“Real Madrid will not sell him and two months ago we discussed a possible renewal. However, a lot will depend on how Jose Mourinho decides to use him in the team.

“I have not been contacted by any Milan director about Diarra, so I cannot confirm interest from the Rossoneri.”

Huntelaar set for Juventus switch?
28.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus would apparently be prepared to do a deal with Milan whereby Mauro Camoranesi and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar would swap places.

Tuttosport understands that Juventus are still planning to sign a target man if their efforts to lure Edin Dzeko away from Wolfsburg fail.

Camoranesi is on the transfer list in Turin, although the 33-year-old has intimated that he will see out the remaining year of his contract unless an attractive offer arrives.

So far, he has turned down a move to Olympiacos, much to the disdain of Juventus' fans who realise that certain fringe players must leave if new talent is to arrive.

However, it's no secret that Camoranesi would consider a move to Milan. In fact, he was linked with the Rossoneri only last month following a meeting between Beppe Marotta and Adriano Galliani.

Huntelaar is on the fringes of Milan's squad after a poor first season at San Siro and the Holland international striker has been linked with moves to the Premier League, Turkey and French champions Marseille.

Tuttosport believes Marotta will offer Camoranesi in exchange to part-own Huntelaar.

Ronaldinho seeks guarantees from AC Milan
28.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho will only stay at Milan beyond 2011 if they can offer him guarantees that they will challenge for major honours, according to Il Corriere dello Sport.

The Brazilian’s contract expires at the end of next season, leading to speculation about his future amid interest from Flamengo and the LA Galaxy.

Ronaldinho’s brother Roberto de Assis, who also acts as his agent, met with Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani on Monday evening to discuss business.

Il Corriere understands that he confirmed Ronaldinho intends to see out the remainder of his contract at San Siro.

De Assis also explained that Ronaldinho would be prepared to take a pay cut in order to prolong his stay at Milan.

The Rossoneri recently implemented a wage ceiling whereby any player can’t receive more than €4m after tax a season.

Ronaldinho currently earns double that figure, but he is apparently quite willing to see his annual salary drop to around €6m and Galliani is happy to oblige.

The crux of the matter, though, revolves around Milan’s long-term ambition. Ronaldinho apparently wants assurances that the Rossoneri will keep challenging for major honours.

Milan have scaled back their transfer expenditure in the last two years leading to fears that they will no longer be competitive.

If Galliani presents Ronaldinho with a convincing project, it’s likely he will extend his contract until 2014.

Zambrotta: 'AC Milan are competitive'
27.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gianluca Zambrotta believes Milan can challenge for honours on all fronts despite investing rather modestly in the transfer market this summer.

The Rossoneri have already been written off following their 2-0 defeat to Serie B side Varese in a friendly match.

“I believe that Inter are still the team to beat,” he said. “They are the strongest around, then we are together with Juve and Roma.

“I believe that this is what it looks like on paper, but on the pitch things can change.”

When asked about Milan's lack of activity on the transfer market, Zambrotta said: “It's not my job to be a director of sport.

“I believe that Milan are already competitive enough to fight on three fronts. I don't believe there is any need for particular investments.

“It was like this last year and then we did well and were challenging for the Scudetto.

“Allegri is a capable young Coach who has a lot to give. He'll do well.”

AC Milan to launch bid for Diarra?
27.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Real Madrid’s Mahamadou Diarra is in Milan’s sights as they search for a quality player to anchor their midfield, according to Il Corriere dello Sport.

Max Allegri is ready to change tactics following Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to Serie B side Varese.

He had hoped to play either a 4-3-1-2 or a 4-3-3, but Il Corriere understands that Allegri is now in favour of a more conservative 4-2-3-1 with two sentinels screening the defence.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani apparently believes Diarra could be a decent option as Real Madrid are keen to offload the 28-year-old Mali international.

Diarra has lost his place at the Santiago Bernabeu, partly because of a checkered injury history.

If Milan fail in their approach for him, they will make inquiries at Napoli about signing Manuele Blasi.

Pato back in the Brazil squad
27.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Alexandre Pato has been called up to Mano Menezes’ Brazil squad after missing out on the World Cup in South Africa earlier this summer.

The 20-year-old didn’t enjoy the best of relationships with Menezes’ predecessor Dunga and reportedly argued with him at the Beijing Olympics two years ago.

Since then his appearances for Brazil have been few and far between, but Menezes’ appointment represents the dawn of a new era for the Selecao.

Brazil are due to face the United States in a friendly match, which will be held in East Rutherford, New Jersey on August 10.

Pato’s Milan team-mate Thiago Silva was also called up, although there was still no place for Ronaldinho.

A number of Serie A’s Brazilian contingent weren’t included such as Julio Cesar, Maicon, Lucio, Doni, Juan, Julio Baptista and Felipe Melo.

“There are no restrictions,” Menezes said. “We don’t have to call up a player just because he plays in Europe. But when one does well, it’s difficult for them to stay in Brazil.”

Ronaldinho is very happy at AC Milan
27.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho won’t be leaving Milan any time in the near future, as he is very happy at San Siro, according to his brother who also acts as his agent.

The 30-year-old’s future has been the subject of much debate in recent weeks with Flamengo and LA Galaxy said to be interested in his signature.

Ronaldinho’s contract expires next summer and the fact he has yet to sign an extension only fuels speculation about his time at Milan.

However, his brother Roberto de Assis has given the clearest hint yet that Ronaldinho is keen to stay in the red and black of Milan.

Interviewed on Sky Italia, de Assis said: “Ronaldinho is happy in Milan. He is a Milan player and he will stay a Milan player. I ask the fans to stay calm.”

When asked if he had discussed a contract renewal with Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani, he replied: “We have been doing it for six months.

“There is still a year to work it out. We will sort this thing out slowly, without hurry,” de Assis concluded.

This morning’s La Gazzetta dello Sport claims that Ronaldinho would like to stay at San Siro until 2014, partly because of the opportunity Milan would give him to play his way back into the national team.

Ronaldinho’s No 1 objective is to play at the 2014 World Cup, which will be held in Brazil.

However, the former World Player of the Year will have to take a dramatic pay cut if he is to stay with the Rossoneri.

He currently earns €8m after tax and Milan’s new austerity budget means they no longer offer more than half that figure.

Zambrotta happy with renewal
27.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gianluca Zambrotta says he had no doubts about signing a new contract with Italian giants Milan last week.

“I’m really happy with the renewal otherwise I wouldn’t have signed,” he stated.

“I felt the belief of the club and Vice-President Adriano Galliani in me so I put pen to paper straight away.”

Zambrotta’s previous deal was set to expire in 2011, but he’s now agreed to stay for a season longer while accepting a reduced wage.

The former Juventus player also spoke about the national side after Italy’s disastrous showing at World Cup 2010.

“Sometimes you need these negative experiences to move forward,” continued the 33-year-old Azzurri full-back.

“We certainly didn’t give a good account of ourselves but in football, as in life, these things help you to improve.”

Zambrotta is still available for his country but it is unclear whether new boss Cesare Prandelli will keep faith with the veteran.

AC Milan linked with Ben Arfa
27.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are reportedly interested in signing Marseille winger Hatem Ben Arfa on loan until next summer.

Il Corriere dello Sport understands that Milan are looking to alternatives for Alexandre Pato and Ronaldinho who often play as outside forwards.

Marseille are prepared to loan out French football’s enfant terrible for €1m with an option to sign him outright for between €7m and €8m.

The 23-year-old former Lyon starlet, who has already won five League titles in France, has also been linked with Newcastle United.

Ben Arfa was a member of France’s provisional 30-man squad for the World Cup in South Africa earlier this summer.

His talent isn’t up for debate, but question marks remain over his temperament.

Friendly: Varese 2:0 AC Milan
27.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri’s first game in charge of Milan didn’t exactly go as planned. The Rossoneri lost 2-0 away to Second Division Varese.

Admittedly, Milan only started pre-season training last week, but Allegri will be concerned his side got turned over so easily given he started with a relatively strong XI.

Christian Abbiati, Massimo Ambrosini, Clarence Seedorf, Mathieu Flamini, Alexandre Pato and Marco Borriello were all among the starters.

However, Milan were under the cosh right from the off, as Daniele Buzzegoli gave Varese the lead after just six minutes.

Buzzegoli was running riot and went close again five minutes later, although his shot soared high over the bar.

Borriello then started hobbling about with a foot injury and would eventually be replaced, but not before Varese had doubled their advantage.

Veteran striker Marco Cellini made a fool out of Kakha Kaladze, leaving the Georgian defender on his backside before finding the right-hand corner of the net.

Allegri made wholesale changes in the second half, handing debuts to Marco Amelia and Mario Yepes, but to no avail.

Seedorf hit a decent free-kick in the 75th minute, but Mathieu Moreau, Varese’s French goalkeeper, made a fine save.

Massimo Oddo was booed as the game finally drew to a close. Milan’s supporters are believed to be unhappy that the veteran full-back was given a contract extension last week. Kaladze also didn’t escape their wrath.

Allegri looked slightly worried when the final whistle was blown, but Milan had a horrendous pre-season last summer and still went on to dispute a respectable campaign in Serie A.

Honda's agent denies AC Milan link
25.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Japanese World Cup star Keisuke Honda is not negotiating with Milan, the player's agent has confirmed.

Press speculation has intimated that the CSKA Moscow star has as good as tied up a deal with the San Siro giants, but the man in the know - agent Kees Ploegsma - has talked down the rumours.

"I know nothing about this", Ploegsma explained. "No one contacted me. A few clubs have asked for information but these have been only informal talks and at the end nothing became concrete.

"Honda signed in January with CSKA Moscow and he has a deal until December 2013. We don't know if the Russian side are ready to sell him. Obviously it's an honour being linked to prestigious sides, but it is not a surprise because Keisuke did good things in the World Cup and with CSKA too."

Sokratis has positive philosophy
25.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

New Milan defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos is looking forward to pulling on the red and black jersey in tonight's friendly match with Varese.

Having played in Greece's World Cup campaign the former Genoa player's previous season only finished a little over a month ago, but he is ready to get going on the 2010-11 campaign.

“We are rather tired after the first days' work, but luckily there are a lot of people who are helping us to make sure our work goes smoothly,” explained the 22-year-old.

“Everything is going well, we are a well-organised team, without any problems. There is a good atmosphere, so it's going well. I can play in the centre of defence as well as full back. I'll do whatever the Coach asks me to do, although I think I am better suited to playing in the middle of defence."

After being a part of the Grifoni's notoriously leaky defence last term he will be expected to step up to Milan's standards quickly - but his time at the port club is remembered fondly.

“My experience at Genoa was very positive. The whole club helped me a lot because it was my first experience in Italy. I didn't know the language and everybody kept an eye on me."

“It was a surprise when I heard Milan were interested because I still had two years to see out of my contract at Genoa. I didn't expect anything like this to happen, but I am delighted it has."

Following the Rossoneri's difficult campaign more is expected from them this year, but the Kalamata-native is ready to live up to the fans' ambition. “I agree with the Coach's words. We must play well and we must finish in the top three in the league."

Gattuso awaits Galliani
25.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

According to Gennaro Gattuso's agent, the player is yet to decide over his Milan future and is awaiting a meeting with Adriano Galliani.

The player may be forced to leave Milan but there are several clubs interested in his services.

“Rino is yet to decide what to do,” said Claudio Pasqualin.

“Next week he will meet up with Galliani and see what to do.

“We have received several offers from important European clubs such as Olympiacos and Milan have been kept informed.

“We will have to see whether they want to exploit these offers but in the end it will be up to Gennaro.

“He is tied to Milan by a contract but is tempted to move above in order to be a protagonist elsewhere.

“Everybody can have doubts which need solving by talking. That is why next week's meeting will be fundamental for him.”

Amelia: 'AC Milan will get the title back'
23.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan's new goalkeeper Marco Amelia has promised the club's fans that he will help wrest the title back from rivals Inter.

The Rossoneri haven't won the Scudetto since 2004 and there is concern that they are dropping further behind the competition.

Amelia joined on loan from Genoa this summer and will compete with Christian Abbiati for the No 1 shirt at San Siro.

Speaking from Milan's training camp, Amelia said: “Our cousins Inter won everything last year. We'll try to unstitch the Scudetto from their jersey and attach it to ours."

When asked about his relationship with Abbiati, the 28-year-old replied: “There are 25 starting players in this squad and everyone must be ready at the right moment.

“Christian has been at Milan for many years and it's probable that he has something extra, but my principal objective is that of convincing the club to sign me outright, seeing that I am here on loan.”

Amelia then revealed that he left Genoa partly because of differences with Gian Piero Gasperini.

“I accepted his decisions even if I didn't share them. I didn't speak a lot with him or with many of the others.

“He is a very strange kind of guy. I never understood his decisions and I wasn't the only one.

“I didn't speak with him during the season and today I am not interested in doing so any longer.

“When he spoke about technical decisions, everyone asked him questions. Someone said that there was a behavioural problem and this bothered me the most also because if there was a problem of this nature, the club would have intervened.

“I was surprised to get Milan's call because I was certain that I would be staying at Genoa and I wanted to have another positive year and show everyone my worth.

“Then Buffon got injured and there was a market for goalkeepers. When Milan called me I thought it meant I had done something good.”

Ronaldinho: AC Milan for life'
23.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho intends to stay at Milan for the rest of his career, according to his brother who also acts as his agent.

The 30-year-old's future has been the subject of much speculation in recent weeks.

Flamengo President Patricia Amorim even claimed that Ronaldinho had told her that he wanted to play in Rio de Janeiro.

However, his brother Roberto de Assis insists that Ronaldinho is settled in Italy and would like to follow Paolo Maldini's example.

Interviewed in this morning's Il Corriere dello Sport, de Assis said: “He'll finish his career in red and black. Berlusconi's words gave us enormous pleasure. There is always great respect between the President and us.

“The link that has been created with Milan is great. The longer it goes on the better it will be for all of us. Our wish is the same as Berlusconi's.

“Sooner or later I'll see Galliani, hopefully for lunch or dinner. The relationship is also great with him, so we'll finish discussing the contract.

“I don't expect any particular problems, but, in any case, there isn't a hurry to sign.”

De Assis then gave his reaction to claims that the LA Galaxy have offered to exchange Landon Donovan for Ronaldinho.

“My brother is a Milan player, to whom he is tied with a contract for another year. Any clubs who are interested must first talk with the club not with us.”

Meanwhile, Ronaldinho has been given customised training sessions and has yet to work with his Milan team-mates after returning to Italy out of shape.

The Brazilian star isn't allowed to take part in training games and other group work, such as exercises with the ball until he is fit enough to do so.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands that he has spent the first couple of days at Milanello training in the gym.

Milan's new boss Max Allegri told reporters at his official unveiling on Tuesday that Ronaldinho is a phenomenal player, but these days phenomenal players must also run.

AC Milan renew Zambrotta's contract
23.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have continued tying down their veteran players by offering Gianluca Zambrotta a contract extension.

Veteran goalkeeper Christian Abbiati signed a new deal on Monday, which will keep him at San Siro until 2013.

Massimo Oddo joined him on Wednesday. The former Lazio full-back’s contract was due to expire at the end of next season.

He will now be a Milan player until June 2012.

Zambrotta was the next in line for an extension, as his existing deal was also set to come to an end next summer.

The World Cup winner has followed Oddo’s lead in adding a year onto his contract.

Allegri feels no pressure from Berlusconi
23.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s new boss Massimiliano Allegri insists he doesn’t feel under pressure from Silvio Berlusconi after his patron put on something of a show at his official unveiling.

The 42-year-old was presented to the media on Tuesday only for Berlusconi to appear and be the centre of attention.

Italy’s Prime Minister made tactical recommendations while also demanding that Milan challenge for honours in all three major competitions next season.

“Berlusconi hasn’t put me under pressure,” Allegri said. “It’s only right that the President intervenes at the presentation and speaks for a long time. He didn’t ask any questions of me, and if he were to have done, I would have replied.

“Berlusconi has been kind. He was very clear on Milan’s future: we are not here to sit back and let other team’s play. I like Berlusconi because he is direct.

“It went how I expected. Berlusconi is unique as a storyteller and I am quite ironic. I take the positive side of things and I don’t feel like I have my back against the wall. I played with two strikers, a trequartista and another attacking midfielder or sometimes two at Cagliari. If the players are open-minded, we can do anything here.

“It would be presumptuous to revolutionise a team that was in the race for the Scudetto six weeks until the end of last season. I will bring my ideas, but the group has been with Ancelotti for eight years and Leonardo for one, and we need to take this into account.”

When asked if he believes there is a great gap between Milan and Inter, Allegri said: “Last season, before they suffered many injuries, Milan were close to Inter: I believe we can do even better.”

Oddo pens AC Milan deal
21.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Oddo has become the second Milan player in a week to sign a contract extension at San Siro.

The veteran defender, part of Italy’s 2006 World Cup winning squad, was previously only tied to the club until June 2011.

However, after talks with officials, the full-back has now agreed to stay with the giants for an extra 12 months.

Oddo has been at Milan since January 2007 after impressing in the Italian capital with Lazio.

Veteran goalkeeper Christian Abbiati signed a fresh deal with the club on Monday after penning until June 2013.

The 33-year-old ‘keeper will face competition from new signing Marco Amelia for the first team gloves this season.

Abbiati played just nine times in Serie A last season after recovering from a serious knee injury.

AC Milan wanted Donadel swoop
21.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Speculation in Italy is suggesting that Milan were close to signing Marco Donadel last week before talks with Fiorentina collapsed.

Reports claim that the midfielder was practically a Rossoneri player after the San Siro giants made contact with the Viola.

Fiorentina sporting director Pantaleo Corvino was ready to let the former Under-21 international go, but not in the way Milan were suggesting.

Rather than a cash offer, the Giuseppe Meazza outfit offered Marek Jankulovksi in a straight swap deal.

Although a Czech international, who can play on the left in defence and in midfield, Corvino wasn’t interested.

Allegri: 'AC Milan can do well'
21.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s new boss Massimiliano Allegri believes his squad still has a lot to give despite its high average age.

The Rossoneri have been criticised for keeping faith in their veteran players.

Around 3,000 supporters held a protest at training yesterday, bemoaning Milan’s lack of ambition in the transfer market.

“At the moment this squad gives ample guarantees,” Allegri said. “This team still has a lot to give.

“We have all the characteristics and the qualities to do well. The conviction is fundamental to do things.”

Allegri was then asked about his plans for Ronaldinho.

“He has many qualities and must make the difference. Sure, he has to be supported by the team, just as he must put himself at the service of the group.”

When asked if Ronaldinho should take a leaf out of Samuel Eto’o’s book and track back, Allegri said: “They have different characteristics.

“Eto’o didn’t change position, he sacrificed himself for the team. If I’m not mistaken he won the treble at Barcelona and the treble at Inter: you never win titles by chance,” he concluded.

Berlusconi on all things AC Milan
20.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Silvio Berlusconi had plenty to talk about today as Milan started pre-season training – including the future of Ronaldinho and some tactical advice for boss Max Allegri.

The Italian Prime Minister spoke on a wide variety of issues as the Rossoneri began 2010-11 in earnest.

Questioned about whether Ronaldinho was on the verge of joining Flamengo, the Rossoneri owner insisted he was going nowhere.

“There is nothing to discuss about Ronaldinho, there are no doubts about his future,” he proclaimed.

“He will play for Milan until he retires from the game. He is the greatest player of all-time and the number one attraction at this club.”

Berlusconi has been criticised for a perceived lack of investment in the squad by disgruntled fans, but he maintains the Diavolo will be competitive this term.

“The squad is good enough and can compete with everyone else,” he declared.

“I ask any of you to name a team which has more class than ours given that we have Ronaldinho, Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf and Alexandre Pato.

“You can’t win always, but we haven’t done too badly over the last few years. We are second behind a very rich Inter, but ahead of Roma.

“No family in Italy has invested as much money as the Berlusconi one. In the last seven years, we have added €461m – more than €60m a year. In 25 years I have invested a thousand million.

“If there is a buyer with the passion that my family have had for the last 25 years then I would consider selling, but I haven’t found that person. Therefore I will keep Milan with passion.”

Massimiliano Allegri is the tactician who Berlusconi has asked to deliver success and the new man can be in no doubts as to what he is expected to produce.

“He looks like he should be a film star, but instead he is a great Coach,” Berlusconi added.

“We see things in him which make him ideal to lead this team. He has just one mission – to win in every competition that we enter.

“We should always be in command on the pitch, in charge of the game, collecting victories in an entertaining and spectacular fashion.”

Berlusconi also offered the former Cagliari boss some tactical advice ahead of the new campaign.

“I don’t want to see just one striker up front, but two,” he noted before criticising former boss Leonardo.

“Keeping Pato out wide last term was something that I just didn’t understand. Out there he was forced to dribble past three or four players.”

AC Milan fans hold protest
20.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Around 3,000 Milan supporters have held a protest at the club's training ground against the owner Silvio Berlusconi.

Today marks the start of Milan's pre-season training under new boss Max Allegri and Berlusconi is due to attend.

Milan's fans are particularly aggrieved at the club's lack of ambition in the transfer market.

This morning, the Rossoneri formally announced the signing of Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Genoa, although that is unlikely to have appeased the supporters.

A press release was issued in which the Ultras asked the club's directors to change their tendencies and rejuvenate the squad.

“We perfectly understand the general economic situation and the problems big clubs are having in investing and managing budgets.

“But you can still make big signings without spending ridiculous figures. We will continue our protest against those who no longer show love for our Milan and are completely and exclusively involved in extra-football activities.

“For us, nothing has changed in our stances towards Berlusconi. He continues to be an unjustified absentee.”

AC Milan dismiss Ronaldinho departure
20.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan won’t sell Ronaldinho or Klaas-Jan Huntelaar this summer, while there are no negotiations to get rid of Gennaro Gattuso.

Those were the claims of Rossoneri Vice-President Adriano Galliani today as the Rossoneri started their pre-season preparations.

“We have received no offers or requests for Ronaldinho,” Galliani stated. “You can also add to that the fact that he, nor his agent, has asked to leave.”

Flamengo have been hotly linked with the Brazilian in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, Galliani also seemed to rubbish speculation that Huntelaar would be sold despite his problematic first season at San Siro.

“Huntelaar has the desire to remain,” the official added.

Turning to Gattuso, Galliani noted: “No negotiation for his sale currently exists.”

There is growing speculation that the former Italian international is on the verge of leaving the Giuseppe Meazza.

He’s been linked with Al Alhi, Olympiacos and Wolfsburg over the last 10 days or so and owner Silvio Berlusconi wouldn’t block his exit.

“I’d be happy if he stayed,” Berlusconi stated. “But Milan will not stand in the way of a player who is determined to leave – just look at the Shevchenko example.

“It would be the same thing with Gattuso – nobody will be forced to stay against their own wishes.”

Pato believes in AC Milan's title shot
20.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Alexandre Pato believes his side has what it takes to challenge for honours next season.

The Rossoneri start pre-season training today under new boss Massimiliano Allegri.

Milan supporters are expected to hold a protest against the club’s frugal campaign in the transfer market, partly because Silvio Berlusconi is due to attend training.

However, Pato isn’t the least bit concerned about the current state of the squad.

“I am happy to have returned to Milan. I had a good flight. I am ready to start the new season and do well at Milan,” he said.

“Today I’ll speak with Allegri. He is a great Coach.”

Pato was then asked about Ronaldinho’s future amid speculation that the former World Player of the Year might leave for Flamengo.

“I want Dinho to stay, he is a great friend. If we do well this year we can win the Scudetto and the Champions League,” he concluded.

Allegri: AC Milan are contenders
20.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri has conceded that Inter remain the team to beat, but believes his Milan side can mount a serious title challenge.

The former Cagliari boss begins his Rossoneri adventure in earnest tomorrow as the San Siro boys start pre-season and he’s in confident mood.

“Inter have something more than Juventus, Roma and us at this moment in time,” he told the Corriere della Sera. “Nevertheless, I think all four of us will be challenging for the Scudetto.

“I’m very calm and hopeful for the season ahead.

“The season that is about to start is an important one for everybody. For myself, given that it is my first at a big club, and the players, who are obliged to prove that they are good enough.

“There needs to be a capacity to make sacrifices and everyone to be at my disposal to achieve results.”

Allegri also claimed he was happy with the squad he will be working with, despite the lack of a significant summer purchase so far.

“The squad is pretty much as it was last season. Added to that are Marco Amelia, Mario Yepes and Sokratis Papastathopoulos,” he noted.

“I’m convinced that all of the players in the squad still have a lot to give.”

The former midfielder also insisted that Ronaldinho and Gennaro Gattuso are in his thoughts for the new campaign despite their uncertain futures.

“As long as Ronaldinho and Gattuso are Milan players then I will be counting on them. I’ll be happy if they stay.

“Ronaldinho has great technical abilities that you can’t find anywhere else in the world.”

Thiago Silva snubs Real Madrid approach
20.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Thiago Silva has thanked Real Madrid for their interest in him but underlined that he’s committed to Milan.

The Spanish giants are understood to have made the Rossoneri a €20m offer for their talented Brazilian centre-back.

That bid was subsequently turned down by the Italian giants and the player himself has now also snubbed a switch to the Bernabeu.

“I don’t have any intention of leaving Milan right now,” said the South American. “I’m very happy, I’ve adapted well to life in Italy and I hope to have an excellent season.”

Although the international has pledged his immediate future to his current club, he admits that he was pleased to have been courted by Real.

“It is an honour to know that one of the best clubs in the world are interested in me,” he continued.

“As is the fact that Jose Mourinho, one of the best Coaches in the world, also likes me.”

Real are understood to have turned their transfer attention to a centre-back after refusing to meet Inter’s €35m asking price for Douglas Maicon.

Mourinho originally wanted to move Sergio Ramos from the right into the middle in order to accommodate the Brazilian.

However, the plan is now to keep the Spanish World Cup player as a full-back and sign a new stopper instead.

Ronaldinho price set at €10m
20.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan will not allow Ronaldinho to leave this summer unless any interested club makes an offer of at least €10m.

The Brazilian’s future is in doubt after claims from Brazil that he is ready to leave the Rossoneri for Flamengo.

The South American outfit are hoping that the player’s contractual situation with the Italian giants will benefit them in their chase.

Ronaldinho has less than a year left on his contract which means he could move on a Bosman next summer.

Despite the risk of losing him on a free transfer in 2011, Milan are not willing to sell him this year for nothing or even a nominal fee.

Flamengo have already stated that they don’t have the funds to make a multi-million pound offer, while LA Galaxy, another interested party, are not ready to sign him for a fee either.

Milan are expected to hold contract talks with the former Barcelona player in the near future regarding an extension.

The Rossoneri are ready to offer him a new deal but only if he agrees to a substantial wage cut, given that the club don’t want to offer any player more than €4m a season.

Ibrahimovic closes Italian door
20.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Barcelona sensation Zlatan Ibrahimovic has rejected continuing speculation that he could be on the way to Milan.

The Swede has been reported as a possible target for the Rossoneri if they were to sell Ronaldinho this summer.

However, the man who only left Inter last summer for the Nou Camp insists he's going nowhere.

“I was a Barcelona player before I left for my holidays and I will still be one when I return,” said the former Ajax and Juventus ace.

“I have four years to run on my current contract.”

The centre-forward's future was cast into some doubt after a problematic end of season during the last campaign.

Barcelona's swoop for Valencia and Spain hotshot David Villa also fuelled reports of an Ibra departure.

Papa delighted with AC Milan move
16.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sokratis Papastathopoulos is excited about his move from Genoa to Milan and can’t wait to learn from his new team-mates at San Siro.

The 22-year-old Greece international had a medical yesterday and joins on loan until the end of next season when Milan have the option to buy him.

Interviewed in La Gazzetta dello Sport, Papastathopoulos was asked how he should be referred to by Milan fans.

“You can do it how you like,” he said. “Papastathopoulos is my surname, but it’s too long and it won’t fit on the back of my shirt, so I have chosen to put Sokratis on it instead. But my friends call me Papa and I like it.

“I am young, I have a lot of desire to learn and work. I will put myself at the service of the team. I am a central defender who, if there is the need, can play at right-back no problem.”

Papastathopoulos then gave his initial reaction to joining one of the biggest clubs in the world.

“Apart from the satisfaction, because I have touched the highest point of my career, I feel the responsibility of having shown who I really am.

“I will find a group of champions. I will have to integrate, listen, study and learn.

“First of all, I would like to thank my family: papa, mamma and my brother who have never left me and have allowed me to do what I wished for since I was a child and become a footballer.

“I admire Paolo Maldini, Nesta and Cannavaro. They are the greatest players that I have seen in action,” he concluded.

Galliani: 'Ronaldinho is staying, Dzeko won't come'
15.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani has reiterated that Ronaldinho will stay at Milan while also dismissing claims that he is preparing a bid for Wolfsburg's Edin Dzeko.

Earlier this week, reports in Brazil suggested that Ronaldinho had a verbal agreement to join Flamengo possibly in January next year.

However, Galliani has rubbished the reports, insisting that he will hold talks with Ronaldinho to discuss his contract in the autumn.

“Ronaldinho is a Milan player and he will definitely play for Milan next season,” Galliani said.

When asked about Flamengo's interest, he said: “No one has ever been in touch.

“Ronaldinho is coming back to Italy with his brother and up till now there has been no request to leave on his part and no offer in his regard.

“He has a contract with Milan and one without any fanciful clause that I read recently in the newspapers. I repeat: Dinho is a Milan player and he will play for Milan next season.”

Galliani then gave his reaction to claims in this morning's La Gazzetta dello Sport that Edin Dzeko is waiting for a bid from Milan.

“No, there isn't any deal,” he said.

Finally, Galliani responded to speculation that Milan are about to sign Genoa's Greece international defender Sokratis Papasthatopoulos.

“Yes, it's underway, but it's yet to be concluded.”

AC Milan set to sign Papa
15.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have practically tied up a deal with Genoa to sign Greece international defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

Earlier this week there were reports that the transfer would be a simple exchange with Marek Jankulovski or Kakha Kaladze moving the other way.

However, the need to do a deal quickly without complications has led Milan and Genoa to agree to a season-long loan.

That way, Milan's new Coach Massimiliano Allegri will have Papastathopoulos available for training camp in five days' time.

Papastathopoulos will become Milan's fourth signing of the summer and their third at practically no cost after Mario Yepes joined as a free agent and Marco Amelia arrived on loan also from Genoa.

Milan's biggest piece of transfer business this summer involved Crotone defender Elia Legati who cost £360,000.

Dzeko wants to wait for AC Milan
15.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko has asked the club to wait for a bid for Milan, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The 24-year-old Bosnia international is the most wanted player in Europe this summer with six of the continent’s biggest clubs chasing his signature.

Juventus have made inquiries about him, but when you consider Dzeko’s €40m asking price the most likely destination is Manchester City.

However, Dzeko dreams about joining Milan, the club he supported as a boy.

Last summer, Milan made him their No 1 transfer target, but Wolfsburg weren’t obliged to sell having just won their first ever Bundesliga.

La Gazzetta understands Dzeko hasn’t forgotten the efforts Milan made to sign him and hopes that they will come up with a bid.

“I am bombarded by offers, but I will wait another week for Milan,” Dzeko reportedly told his friend.

Milan are in no financial position to compete with City and will have to sell before they can buy.

Ronaldinho looks like the first casualty while Klaas-Jan Huntelaar will be offered in exchange with a lump sum.

Gattuso set for AC Milan talks
14.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso’s representative has refused to rule out a summer move for the Milan warrior.

The 2006 World Cup winner endured a problematic campaign last season, where injury and Leonardo’s tactical ideas saw him miss out on regular first team football.

Although the Brazilian has now left the club, Gattuso is keen to hear what new boss Massimiliano Allegri has in his mind.

“He wants to understand what type of project the new Milan and the new Coach are planning,” Andrea D'Amico stated.

“He wants to play all of the time and he’s not content when he doesn’t get the opportunity to get on the field of play.

“After spending a year on the bench he wants to know where he figures in the new Milan project. Once we know then a decision will be made.”

The 32-year-old, who has now retired from international football, has admirers in England, Germany and in the UAE.

Galliani admits Podolski interest
14.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani admits he is interested in signing Germany international striker Lukas Podolski, but only if Klaas-Jan Huntelaar leaves this summer.

The Rossoneri have been linked with several strikers in recent months, most notably Luis Fabiano and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

However, their attention now seems to have shifted to Podolski who could be available for €12m, according to Il Corriere dello Sport.

Milan are relatively cash-strapped at the moment as they continue their move towards becoming completely self sufficient. That means they will have to sell before launching a bid for Podolski.

Huntelaar has been flaunted on the market since January, but so far there have been no takers.

Aston Villa and Tottenham are said to be interested, although it remains to be seen whether they will match Milan's €14m asking price.

Speaking to Sky Italia, Galliani said: “Podolski will arrive on only one condition: Huntelaar's sale to the Premier League would open several different scenarios from a financial point of view.”

AC Milan will block Ronaldinho move
14.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan don't intend to lose Ronaldinho amid reports that he has a verbal agreement to join Flamengo.

Brazilian website Globoesporte claimed yesterday that the 30-year-old's brother who also acts as his agent had held talks with Flamengo President Patricia Amorim and that personal terms had been sorted out.

Flamengo are now said to be preparing a bid for Ronaldinho, although there are claims that a clause in his contract would allow him to walk away from Milan for free in January.

Ronaldinho's existing deal expires next summer and Milan have yet to agree an extension, partly because they want the player to take a pay cut.

Quoted in this morning's La Gazzetta dello Sport, Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani said: “There are no opt outs of any nature. But above all Ronaldinho has never shown that he is thinking about leaving.

“Actually there is an agreement in principle to evaluate his contractual position in the autumn.”

However, Il Corriere dello Sport claims Milan are prepared to let Ronaldinho go, as his exit would create space on the payroll for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

AC Milan linked with Podolski
13.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are considering launching a bid for Koln's Germany international striker Lukas Podolski according to Il Corriere dello Sport.

The Rossoneri are reportedly in the market for an attacker capable of playing across the forward line.

Reports have so far associated Milan with a move for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but the Swede doesn't want to leave Barcelona and even if they were to sell him it would be difficult for the Rossoneri to meet his asking price.

Matters are further complicated by the fact that Ibrahimovic's agent Mino Raiola is currently preoccupied with the future of his other high profile client, Mario Balotelli.

All of which has persuaded Milan to pursue alternatives, the favourite being Podolski who had a very good World Cup in South Africa, helping Germany reach the Semi-Finals.

Podolski is apparently worth €12m, which is currently outside Milan's price range.

However, if they manage to sell Klaas-Jan Huntelaar for a similar figure, Milan will apparently reinvest the money in 'Poldi'.

AC Milan to swap Jankulovski for Papa?
13.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have offered to swap Marek Jankulovski for Genoa's Greek international defender Sokratis Papastathoupolos according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The two clubs have already done business this summer with Milan signing Genoa goalkeeper Marco Amelia on loan until the end of next season.

It's thought that part of the reason Milan and Genoa are working so closely together is to improve the relations between their supporters who have been at war since the death of Vincenzo Spagnolo, a fan who was stabbed before a game between the two sides in 1995.

Last year Milan and Genoa had to play behind closed doors at Marassi because of the threat to public order and both clubs wants to avoid a repeat of that action ahead of the Primavera Super Cup between their two youth teams on September 8.

La Gazzetta understands that Milan administrator delegate Adriano Galliani has been in constant contact with his opposite number at Genoa, Alessandro Zarbano, in recent days.

Galliani is keen on signing 'Big Papa' but it depends on whether Jankulovksi will accept a move to Liguria.

The Czech full-back rejected the chance to join Inter in January when Milan were negotiating the purchase of Amantino Mancini.

Milan are keen to extract some benefit out of Jankulovski while they still can as his contract expires at the end of next season.

However, if he turns down the proposal, Milan will apparently offer Kakha Kaladze instead.

Ronaldinho is the key to Ibrahimovic
12.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan will step up their efforts to sign Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic if Flamengo make a tempting offer for Ronaldinho, according to Il Corriere dello Sport.

Yesterday Flamengo President Patricia Amorim revealed that Ronaldinho would like to move back to Brazil where he is currently on holiday.

“Ronaldinho said it to me personally, as my own ears heard it from his mouth: he wants to join us,” she gushed.

The former World Player of the Year has a year left on his contract at Milan and could walk next summer unless he signs an extension.

Milan would like to prolong Ronaldinho's stay at San Siro, but at reduced terms, which could greatly influence his decision.

If he isn't prepared to accept a new deal, Milan will sell him this summer so they don't run the risk of losing him next summer.

Il Corriere understands that the sales of Ronaldinho and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar would put Milan in a position to sign Ibrahimovic.

Barcelona are apparently willing to sell the Swede just a year after his move from Inter.

Milan would like to make something of a splash in the transfer market in order to placate their fans who have grown impatient with the club's prudent approach to signings.

Huntelaar heading for England
11.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan may finally have a solution for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar after the flop admitted he’d welcome a Premier League move.

The Dutchman has struggled in Serie A since his £12m transfer from Real Madrid last summer and it’s no secret the club must sell him before bringing in a new striker.

“Moving to England would be a great thing for me,” he told the Sunday Mirror.

“It is a league I always watch. It’s exciting and the football would suit my game because teams attack.

“A lot of great Dutch players have played in England - players I have admired like Dennis Bergkamp - and everyone wants to play there. It is one of the best leagues in Europe,” continued the 26-year-old.

He is of interest to the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa, while Huntelaar reportedly rejected moves to Olympique Marseille and the Bundesliga.

“I have been close in the past to coming to England with some clubs very interested in me but I chose to go to Milan.

“We will see what happens. Of course the Champions League is important but the most important thing for me is to play.

“My first focus is on the World Cup final and then after that it will be on AC Milan, so we will see what happens when I get back from Italy.

“I want to play in Milan, but I don't want to sit on the bench.”

Flamengo: 'Ronaldinho wants us'
11.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

“Ronaldinho said it to me personally: he wants to join us this year,” declared the President of Flamengo.

The Milan star has been repeatedly linked with a return to Brazil this summer, but one club in particular insists it is more than mere rumour.

“Ronaldinho said it to me personally, as my own ears heard it from his mouth: he wants to join us this year,” said Flamengo President Patricia Amorim.

It’s claimed he met with Amorim at a restaurant on Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro, where Dinho is currently on vacation.

The Flamengo patron says she is already in negotiations with Ronaldinho’s brother and agent, Roberto de Assis.

The wages would be worth around £300,000 per month and paid for in part through sponsorship deals.

His contract with Milan expires in June 2011 and so far there have been no developments in a renewal.

The Rossoneri risk losing him on a free transfer if he is not sold now.

Borriello blasts Lippi's methods
11.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Borriello is furious with Marcello Lippi over his World Cup snub. “I wasn’t convinced by his methods and he never explained himself.”

The Milan striker was one of the long-listed candidates for the trip to South Africa, but was eventually cut from the final 23-man squad.

“I am not complaining about the choices made, as I was prepared to be dropped, but I wasn’t convinced by his methods,” Borriello told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“You don’t leave five players hanging there for a week without giving them an explanation.

“It’s especially galling, as afterwards it became clear that the decisions had already been made beforehand. There was no great difference in quality between those who went to South Africa and who stayed behind.

“The problem was the group dynamic. All good lads, but they were missing leaders. We felt the absence of charismatic players like Marco Materazzi, Massimo Ambrosini, Francesco Totti or Alessandro Del Piero.

“I say all this without even touching upon the Antonio Cassano issue.”

Italy crashed out in the group phase without winning a single game, so Borriello hopes new boss Cesare Prandelli can change direction.

“I am 28 years old and feel at the top of my game. In fact, I am certain that I can give more and I believe in my chances at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Hopefully I’ll be there up front with Mario Balotelli and Cassano.”

There is a new Coach on the Milan bench as well, with ex-Cagliari boss Max Allegri replacing Leonardo.

“I owe a great deal to Leo, as he always believed in me and we have a special rapport,” continued Borriello.

“Allegri seems to me like the new Carlo Ancelotti. He’s meticulous in tactical issues, but also when dealing with people.

“The time of ruling with an iron fist has passed. A Coach must be in the engine room of the team, not standing on a pedestal.”

Pato option to release Ibrahimovic?
11.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

According to Tuttosport, Milan could prise Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Barcelona in exchange for an option on Alexandre Pato.

It is well known that the Rossoneri would like to bring ex-Inter star Ibra back to San Siro, but his price-tag is considered too high.

At the same time, the arrival of World Cup hero David Villa at the Nou Camp means there is precious little room for the Swede.

Milan hope to spread the payment over a three-year period, but even that might not be enough to convince the Catalans.

It is reported in today’s edition of Tuttosport newspaper that the key to the deal is offering Barcelona an option on Pato.

If the Italians choose to sell ‘The Duck’ in future, then the Blaugrana would get first choice on his services.

This is a valuable incentive, as it’s claimed Pato has already rejected offers from Chelsea and Manchester City.

Ambrosini: 'AC Milan are getting old'
11.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Ambrosini has a stark warning for Milan. “Either we all play until we’re 40 or the club has to do something...”

The 33-year-old midfielder is one of several veterans in the squad and there don’t seem to be many new faces coming through.

“There are 10 of us whose contracts are set to expire,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “That’s the entire historic centre of the team.

“I think the club is forced to consider 10 situations. They have a year to think about how to react. Either we all play until we’re 40 or the club has to do something...”

So far Milan have been linked with players like Luis Fabiano, Miroslav Klose, Miguel Veloso, Eder and Keisuke Honda, but consider them all too expensive.

“Something will happen, but clearly we cannot expect too much right now,” added Ambrosini.

“The squad remains secure because we won’t see too many adjustments, as our directors have said. If they don’t sell, then they won’t buy. It’s all linked to that.”

The Rossoneri have reassured that Alexandre Pato and Ronaldinho will not be sold.

“This season Ronaldinho will make the difference. He is a player who in a certain situation, physical and psychological form is on another level.

“All the big clubs want Pato for his quality and his young age, which sets him apart from others on the market right now. I don’t think Pato will leave Milan. I hope not, anyway.”

Genoa and AC Milan fight for Miguel Veloso
9.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sporting Lisbon midfielder Miguel Veloso is the subject of a transfer battle between Genoa and Milan, according to the Portuguese Press.

The 24-year-old Portugal international has been repeatedly linked with a move to Italy over the last year with Inter and Fiorentina also reportedly interested.

Portuguese newspaper A Bola understands Veloso is Genoa's No 1 transfer target this summer.

The Rossoblu have already been shopping in Portugal this month brokering deal with Braga for their goalkeeper Eduardo.

They apparently face competition from Milan although it remains to be seen whether Silvio Berlusconi will finally open his cheque book.

'Ronaldinho will stay at AC Milan'
9.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho will stay at Milan this summer, at least according to respect transfer adviser Ernesto Bronzetti.

Bronzetti has worked for Milan in the past and now consults Real Madrid about the Italian transfer market.

Speaking to Diretta Stadio, Bronzetti was asked about reports linking Ronaldinho with a move to Palmeiras.

“I spoke to Ronaldinho's brother who acts as his agent and I know that both of them will be at Milanello for the start of training camp on July 20,” Bronzetti said.

“As for the rest, it's just rumours.”

Bronzetti was also confronted with pictures of Ronaldinho on the beach in Brazil sporting a belly.

“It's normal after a month of holidays, but he will get back in shape.”

Ronaldinho was back to somewhere near his best last season, silencing some of his critics.

Pato commits to AC Milan
9.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato says he would like to see out his contract at Milan amid speculation that he could leave the club.

The Brazilian striker has been frequently linked with moves to Chelsea and Real Madrid in recent months.

However, his comments to TV EBAND will reassure Milan's supporters.

Pato wasn't included in Brazil's 23-man squad for the World Cup, something that has reared its head again after the Selecao's exit from South Africa.

“I would prefer not to comment on the Selecao's performance in South Africa,” Pato said

“I am only concentrating on getting ready for Milan's training camp on July 20 and working hard so the next Brazil Coach, whoever it may be, will take me into consideration.

“Today I am only thinking about getting back to playing for my country with the green and gold shirt. I have a contract with Milan until 2014 and I intend to respect it.

“In 10 years' time I would like to return to Brazil and close my career with Internacional, the team of my heart.”

'AC Milan yet to move for Eder'
9.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan haven't made an offer for Empoli striker and Serie B Capocannoniere Eder, according to the player's agent.

Earlier this week, Empoli's President was quoted as saying that Milan had made inquiries about the Brazilian.

Embarrassingly Milan were said to have told Empoli that they needed to sell before they could mount a bid for the Serie B star.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani swiftly denied the reports but he didn't rule out his interest in Eder.

Speaking to MilanNews, Eder's agent, Eugenio Ascari said: “An official statement from Empoli followed Galliani's denial, in which the club clarified that there was never a real deal, so there is little to add.

“If the President of one club and the Vice-President of another have confirmed that there was never a deal and that we are probably only talking about interest, I have little to add.”

When asked if Milan had made contact with him, Ascari said: “No. I am also certain that there has been no contact between the two clubs.

“I think it's superfluous to ask if Eder would be attracted to Milan. It would be the best that could happen to the player also because he would find a colony of compatriots who would allow him to overcome any problems of adjustment.”

AC Milan set sights on Ledesma
8.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are the latest club to show an interest in signing Lazio midfielder Cristian Ledesma, according to Il Corriere dello Sport.

The 28-year-old Argentine has a year left on his contract and hasn't renewed it after talks went sour this time last year.

However, Ledesma will meet Lazio President Claudio Lotito this month to discuss the prospect of extending his stay at the club.

Lotito values Ledesma at around €7m, a price Milan are willing to pay if Gennaro Gattuso leaves for the United Arab Emirates.

Milan's new boss Massimiliano Allegri apparently plans on playing a 4-4-2 with a diamond in midfield and intends to use Andrea Pirlo as a trequartista.

Il Corriere understands that such a move would free up a space for Ledesma to play in front of the defence.

Galliani denies Eder approach
7.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Eder’s agent confirms interest from Milan, but Adriano Galliani insists “there is no truth in it.”

The Brazilian was top scorer in Serie B with 27 goals for Empoli and today President Fabrizio Corsi suggested he had been in talks with the Rossoneri.

“Empoli hold negotiations with the clubs and they warned us of interest from Milan, but as it stands there has only been an initial contact,” agent Ascari told Il Sussidiario.

“Eder is admired by many Italian clubs, like Palermo, Sampdoria, Genoa and also Lazio, who had some discussions.

“Obviously these are all big sides and it’s pleasing to know their interest for the player.”

However, when asked about both Empoli and the agent’s comments, Milan Vice-President Galliani was adamant.

“There is no truth in it.”

Adiyiah considers AC Milan exit
7.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ghana’s World Cup youngster Dominic Adiyiah admits he could leave Milan on loan this season with interest from England and Germany.

He was snapped up in January after he was crowned top scorer in Ghana’s Under-20 World Youth Championship triumph and played briefly in South Africa.

However, he is yet to make his full Milan debut and now admits he could push for a loan spell.

“I am a Milan player, it is true I want to play more games which is not easy at a very big club for youngsters, but I will push hard,” Adiyiah told skysports.com.

“Sunderland? I know our captain John Mensah played there last season, but he said nothing to me about the club.

“I heard from newspapers there are three or four clubs interested in taking me on loan, let's wait and see.”

It is also reported that German outfit Hoffenheim are ready to welcome the 20-year-old talent.

AC Milan make move for Eder
7.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are giving serious thought to signing Empoli's Brazilian striker Eder according to Il Corriere dello Sport.

The 23-year-old was Capocannoniere in Serie B last season, scoring 27 goals for the Tuscan outfit.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani apparently spoke with Empoli's director of sport Pino Vitale about Eder a couple of weeks ago.

Lazio have also shown a strong interest in the precocious young goalscorer.

“Actually Lazio have not contacted us. We have not been called, neither I nor my director of sport, but I don't rule out being alerted to talks with the player's agents,” said Fabrzio Corsi, the Empoli President.

“A month ago, Milan knocked at our door. Milan said that they would like to invest in the player because they consider him to be important. However, they need to sell to buy and I have been on stand by.

“For me, Eder is like Enrico Chiesa. He is a second striker who can play very well as a third attacker in a 4-3-3.”

Tassotti: 'Difficult to leave AC Milan'
7.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mauro Tassotti says he will help Milan's new Coach Massimiliano Allegri fit in at the club despite feeling he was entitled to the top job.

Tassotti was the initial favourite to replace Leonardo after serving as his assistant and working as Carlo Ancelotti's deputy for several years.

However, Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani eventually decided to go with Allegri who was voted Serie A Coach of the Year last season.

Interviewed in La Gazzetta dello Sport, Tassotti was asked if he had spoken with Allegri: “Yes, we have talked on the phone and saw each other on Monday in Milan.

“We clarified some things. I asked him what my job would be and he wanted to know everything about Milan.

“Allegri wants great intensity not only in the athletic side of things, but also when you use the ball in tactical sessions and mini-games in training. Last year with Leonardo we tried to introduce the ball into our fitness exercises, but we realised that it's not simple to do it.

“Allegri won't need a hand in the dressing room. The Milan dressing room is united and composed of great players and good people. I have only presented the situation to Allegri who seemed calm and serene. Milan are an important club, but it's easy to be a part of.

“I believe that Gattuso and Ronaldinho will stay. Huntelaar is someone who has more marketability right now, but I don't know if he wants to leave.”

Tassotti was then asked if he felt snubbed at not being given the chance to lead Milan himself.

“For me it's not easy to detach myself from Milan after 30 years. If interesting offers were to arrive in the future, I would take them into consideration, but Milan is Milan.

“I perceived that the club saw me in a certain way, but this doesn't bother me.”

Mexes up for sale
7.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Roma have put Philippe Mexes up for sale in the hope that his departure will raise the necessary funds to sign Nicolas Burdisso and Luisao.

Il Corriere dello Sport understands Roma's official position is that Mexes is “unsellable”, partly because of the relationship he enjoys with the fans.

However, the Giallorossi's directors are prepared to part with the French centre-back, who only has a year left on his contract.

He lost his place to Burdisso last season and doesn't appear to enjoy Claudio Ranieri's confidence.

Ranieri has made signing Burdisso on a permanent basis from Inter his No 1 priority this summer, but Roma currently don't have the money to realise that objective.

Il Corriere claims that Roma will offer Mexes to Juve, Milan and Inter in the hope that one of them will bite and pay in excess of €10m for his services.

Roma believe just €4m or €5m would be enough to conclude a deal for Burdisso, leaving some spare change to pursue other targets.

Benfica's 29-year-old centre-back Luisao is apparently available and would add strength in depth to the Roma backline.

'Balotelli could join AC Milan'
6.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter striker Mario Balotelli could eventually end up at rivals Milan, according to the player's agent Mino Raiola.

The 19-year-old's future looks anything but certain at the moment with this morning's La Gazzetta dello Sport even claiming that Inter would prefer to sell him rather than Maicon.

Speaking to Gr Parlamento, Raiola said: “Balotelli's situation is calm. He is an Inter player, but anyway I don't believe that there are unsellable players in the world.

“If Inter were to tell me that Balotelli is for sale and therefore becomes sellable, he would be [available] to all clubs. If Inter want to sell him and Milan can acquire him then it can be done.

“I repeat, when the club says that a player is for sale, he is so in absolute. There mustn't be limitations. If Inter want to sell him and Milan are available I don't have any particular distaste in doing it.

“For me, it's not impossible. But it's difficult considering the figures Inter would ask for to sell him to Milan.”

AC Milan put foot down for Honda
6.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are giving serious thought to a bid for CSKA Moscow's Japan international Keisuke Honda, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The Rossoneri are already in the process of making contact with Honda's representatives to sound out a possible agreement.

Milan's board are convinced of the 24-year-old midfielder's technical capabilities after watching him drag Japan to the Last 16 of the World Cup.

They have also never lost sight of the commercial opportunities a player like Honda could present.

In fact, such is his following in Asia, Milan could start charging €1.5m for friendly matches while shirt sales would go through the roof.

However, Milan face significant competition for Honda as he is attracting interest from Valencia, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City.

For this reason, La Gazzetta dello Sport understands that Milan's new sponsor Fly Emirates could figure in the deal, as there would be a synergy in signing Honda.

AC Milan: 'Ronaldinho won't leave'
6.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

“Ronaldinho will stay at Milan,” assured director Ariedo Braida amid reports of Olympiacos and Flamengo.

The Brazilian has been linked with a series of clubs this summer, including in Greece and his homeland.

“Ronaldinho will stay at Milan,” Braida told Lancenet. “He wants to stay and we want him to remain.

“Milan do not intend to sell any of their players, especially not Ronaldinho.

“The player will be with us until June 30, 2011 – the date his contract expires. All the rest is just rumour and speculation.”

This comment is somewhat at odds with Vice-President Adriano Galliani, who reiterated Milan “will not sign anyone until there have been some sales.”

Huntelaar makes way for Honda?
5.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

As Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s agent admits “we don’t know what the future holds,” it’s reported Milan could have financial help to sign Keisuke Honda.

It is well known that Huntelaar is surplus to requirements at San Siro, but so far the club has struggled to find him an alternative arrangement.

He has been linked with Olympique Marseille, Turkish side Fenerbahce and Portuguese duo Sporting Lisbon and Benfica with a rating of between £13m and £20m.

“He is a Milan player,” agent Arnold Oosterveer told Portuguese newspaper Record.

“I have seen there are many stories circulating on his future, but so far it is only rumour.

“Nobody from Benfica has contacted Milan, but we are talking about a big club. We don’t know what the future holds for Huntelaar.”

It is reported in Japan that the Rossoneri have already pinpointed his replacement.

Japanese international striker Honda shone at the World Cup and is currently plying his trade at CSKA Moscow.

According to Sports Nippon newspaper, Milan could be given a large helping hand to pay for the 24-year-old.

Their new sponsors Emirates are considering investing in the transfer so that Honda could play in the Champions League with a prestigious and high-profile side like Milan.

He is also of interest to Valencia, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City.

Gattuso unaware of Wolfsburg bid
5.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan's talismanic midfielder Rino Gattuso is unaware of interest from Wolfsburg, according to his agent Claudio Pasqualin.

The German outfit are particularly active in the Italian transfer market, at least according to the papers on the peninsula.

Steve McClaren's side have already been linked with Edinson Cavani and Simon Kjaer, the latter having apparently agreed a move.

When asked to comment on speculation linking his client with Wolfsburg, Pasqualin told Calciomercato.it: “I don't know anything about it.

“No one has called me.”

Pasqualin was then pressed on whether that meant Gattuso would be staying at San Siro.

“At the moment yes. He has the same chances of leaving Milan as any other player.”

Huntelaar tempts Marseille
5.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

French champions Marseille are interested in taking Klaas-Jan Huntelaar off Milan's hands, according to Le Parisien.

Didier Deschamps has been looking to bolster his attack in the summer transfer window, profiling several big names.

Earlier this month, Marseille were strongly linked with Fiorentina striker Alberto Gilardino, but the Italy international appears to be out of their reach.

Le Parisien understands Deschamps has since turned his attention to Huntelaar who flopped in his first season at Milan.

The Rossoneri insist that they don't intend to sell Huntelaar, but the Italian media believe he will be allowed to leave if the right offer arrives.

The 26-year-old Holland international is being valued at between €15m and €18m, partly because he still has three years to run on his contract.

Galliani: 'Ibrahimovic is too expensive'
4.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

“Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not come to Milan. He is just too expensive,” declared Adriano Galliani.

Rumours were swirling in the Italian media this morning that a deal to pay £30m over four years would bring the Barcelona star back to San Siro.

“Ibrahimovic will not come to Milan,” Vice-President Galliani told Sky Sport Italia.

“We simply do not have the economic conditions to complete the signing. He is just too expensive.

“Barcelona can afford certain wages that we cannot deal with and with these figures, it just isn’t going to happen.”

The Rossoneri are also haggling with Sevilla over Luis Fabiano’s price-tag and fans are beginning to grumble.

“This will not be a transitional year, because we are not a team in transition,” insisted Galliani.

“We won trophies up until 2008 and the structure of the squad will remain the same as last season, the team that fought for the Scudetto almost until the end.”

Joe Cole admires Serie A style
4.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan transfer target Joe Cole admits he’d prefer the Serie A style of play. "Every team I played for want to hit the front players as early as possible.”

The England midfielder is now a free agent after Carlo Ancelotti opted not to keep him on at Chelsea.

“I'm thinking about my own future now. I want to play in a more central position, like I did at West Ham,” he told Sky Sports.

“I feel I've got a lot more still to offer and my best days are ahead of me. I want the right kind of manager - a manager who loves me, who will put me in the team.

“At Chelsea there were players who could have two or three dreadful games before they were left out. I only had to have a dreadful 20 minutes and I was out.”

Cole is also of interest to Tottenham, West Ham, Manchester United and Arsenal, but Milan could provide him with a new approach.

“Every team I have played for - from West Ham to Chelsea to England - want to hit the front players as early as possible,” added the 28-year-old.

“You won't get away with that at international level. It's about technique, keeping control of the ball, passing and moving.

“Chelsea do that more than other teams in the Premier League, and that's why we've been successful, and it's the same with Manchester United and Arsenal.

“I was brought up that way and that's always been the way forward. Maybe it's time to really look at how we are teaching kids to play. Is there talent coming through? To be honest, I don't know.”

AC Milan's £30m Ibrahimovic plan takes shape
4.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is increasingly close to joining Milan, as the £30m would be paid over four years.

The Swede is a confirmed target for the Rossoneri, as declared by Vice-President Adriano Galliani, but his price-tag had seemed too much of an obstacle.

Luis Fabiano was a more likely signing, but with Brazil’s exit from the World Cup, he has now stated he wants to remain with Sevilla.

“The President and director of sport know full well my intentions to stay at Sevilla,” he told Brazilian television.

“It has been said that I wanted to play elsewhere, but I never made any such statement. Now we’ll sit around a table and discuss the situation.”

The Corriere dello Sport claims today that a plan is forming to bring ex-Inter striker Ibrahimovic back to San Siro just a year after his move to Barcelona.

Ibra has been valued at around €36m - £30m – and Milan would be allowed to spread the payment over a four-year period.

The biggest obstacle remains his wages, but it’s reported that Barca could help out with this situation.

The Spaniards will save around €50m over the next few years if they take Ibrahimovic off their payroll.

Therefore they would provide a £8m ‘golden handshake’ deal and that money would balance out the drop in salary for the transfer to Milan.

Barcelona have just signed Spain’s World Cup sensation David Villa, so there is precious little room for the Swede in this team.

Gattuso considering Dubai move
4.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports Gennaro Gattuso is reconsidering his future after a renewed offer from Fabio Cannavaro’s club Al-Ahli.

The Milan midfielder retired from international duty after the World Cup, but had insisted he would carry on in Serie A.

However, Datasport claim that he has taken a few days to think about his options, as playing time at San Siro could be very limited.

It is rumoured he could follow Azzurri teammate Cannavaro to end his career in Dubai.

Veteran Cannavaro has signed for Al-Ahli and hopes to convince Gattuso and even Coach Marcello Lippi to join him.

Gattuso has been at Milan since 1999 and the 33-year-old also played for Perugia, Glasgow Rangers and Salernitana.

AC Milan arrange Barcelona match
3.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have announced they will play the prestigious Gamper Trophy against Barcelona on August 25.

Every summer the Nou Camp hosts the match to celebrate the founder of the club.

“We invited Milan because they are one of the most powerful teams in the world,” explained President Sandro Rosell.

“Ronaldinho is nothing to do with it. However, we must not forget that in a difficult moment for the club, Dinho helped us transform Barcelona.

“He aided our transition from a losing side to a winning one.”

In 2009 Manchester City paid a visit to the Nou Camp and earned a surprise 1-0 victory.

Other recent opponents include Boca Juniors, Inter, Bayern Munich and Juventus.

Milan’s last visit for the Gamper Trophy was in 2004, losing 2-1.

AC Milan sacrifice Ronaldinho for Ibrahimovic?
3.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan could be willing to part with Ronaldinho and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to raise funds for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Keisuke Honda.

Vice-President Adriano Galliani has confirmed that the Rossoneri are interested in Ibra, but “we must sell before we can bring in any new players.”

According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, the two stars sacrificed to bring in the Swede will be Huntelaar and Ronaldinho.

The Dutch striker, currently at the World Cup, flopped in his debut Serie A season and is surplus to requirements under new Coach Massimiliano Allegri.

After turning down Fenerbahce, it’s reported Huntelaar could be talked into accepting a transfer for Bayern Munich worth €15m.

The rest of the cash for €40m-rated Ibrahimovic would be raised by selling off Ronaldinho, who has not yet extended his contract amid a row over wages.

The clubs willing to splash out the personal terms he requires include Manchester City, LA Galaxy and Olympiacos.

Another alternative is Marco Borriello, who could be pushed out of the side if Ibrahimovic does join Milan, and is valued at around €18m.

The Rossoneri are keeping an eye on a World Cup revelation with a reported €10m offer for Japanese star Honda.

The free kick specialist is currently owned by CSKA Moscow and they consider the bid to be too low, especially after his exploits in South Africa.

AC Milan change gear with Honda
2.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s transfer campaign has taken an unexpected turn after they were linked with Japan’s Keisuke Honda.

The 24-year-old currently plays his football in Russia with CSKA Moscow but is reportedly looking for a transfer.

Milan are understood to have been impressed with the midfielder’s performances at the World Cup and are assessing a bid.

Honda, born in Settsu, began his career in his homeland with Nagoya before moving to Europe in January 2008 with Dutch side Venlo.

He later moved on to CSKA where he has gained international experience by playing in the Champions League.

Milan are now in a position to make a bid given that they have a free non-EU place in their squad after Nelson Dida’s exit.

Bayern Munich monitor Huntelaar option
2.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

German giants Bayern Munich are the latest club to be associated with Milan flop Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

The latter is available for transfer after a problematic first campaign at San Siro last term following his switch from Real Madrid.

It’s understood that Turkish outfit Fenerbahce are more than keen too but the Dutchman, on World Cup duty, isn’t interested.

Premiership side Tottenham are also believed to be in the hunt, but Bayern are reportedly pondering a bid.

Bayern boss Louis Van Gaal knows all about the former Ajax striker’s ability and may green-light an offer.

Should Milan sell Huntelaar then they are expected to make a move for Sevilla and Brazil forward Luis Fabiano, although Barcelona’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Mario Balotelli of Inter are also being associated.

Dida: 'Goodbye AC Milan!'
2.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Nelson Dida has said goodbye to Milan with a moving message on the club website. “For the first time in 10 years, I am an ex-Rossonero.”

The Brazilian goalkeeper’s contract expired yesterday and he wanted to say goodbye with a personal note.

“For the first time in 10 years, I can say that I am an ex-Rossonero. I wanted to wait until the end of my contract to give an affectionate salute to the Milan fans.

“You all stood by me and we shared both joy and pain, winning everything there was to win.

“A big thanks to President Silvio Berlusconi, Vice-President Adriano Galliani and director of sport Ariedo Braida. Without them I would never have had such a gratifying and wonderful experience, both on the field and off.

“I would like to thank so many people. All my teammates, directors and employees of Milan and the personnel at the Milanello training ground.

“I particularly wish to give a special salute to Carlo Ancelotti. He is the Coach who allowed me to play in this fantastic team and I spent a great deal of my Rossoneri career with him.

“Also William Vecchi, the goalkeeping coach who put up with me for all these years, and Valerio Fiori.

“Thank you from the heart and... Forza Milan!”

Galliani: 'No for Luis Fabiano, but Ibrahimovic...'
2.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan transfer guru Adriano Galliani confirms no talks for Luis Fabiano, but hints at a bid for Zlatan Ibrahimovic. “First we need to sell.”

Brazil hitman Luis Fabiano has repeatedly told the media that he wants to leave Sevilla this summer for either Milan or Manchester United.

However, formal negotiations have not even started and the Rossoneri risk leaving it too late.

“We will not be signing any new players unless some of the current squad leaves,” Galliani told Sky Sport Italia.

“At the moment there are no negotiations for Luis Fabiano. Let’s leave him be to focus on the World Cup.”

The Vice-President did react in a different way when asked about the possibility of signing Ibrahimovic from Barcelona.

“He is a great player, truly a great player, but first of all we need to sell...”

Luis Fabiano: 'It's AC Milan or nothing'
2.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Brazil striker Luis Fabiano has apparently given Sevilla an ultimatum, telling them that he wants to go to Milan or he will run down his contract and leave for nothing.

Fabiano has a year left on his existing deal at Sevilla and the Spanish club will be reluctant to let such a valuable asset walk out of the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan for free next summer.

Il Corriere dello Sport understands Fabiano's agent Jose Luis Fuentes has told the Andalusian outfit: “Either Fabiano goes to Milan and fast or he stays at Sevilla for another year…”

Earlier this month, Fabiano expressed his wish to play alongside Alexandre Pato and Ronaldinho at San Siro.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani also encouraged his interest, although it remains to be seen whether the Rossoneri can afford his transfer.

Speaking to Tutto Mercato Web, Sevilla's director of sport Ramon Rodriguez Verdejo Monchi said: “For now, we haven't had any contact with Milan.

“I don't know [if his agent is pushing him towards Milan]. I can say that as of today Milan haven't spoken with us.

“We will meet the player after the World Cup and talk. I still don't know if he'll stay at Sevilla. We'll see after the World Cup,” he concluded.

Berlusconi in for the long haul
2.7 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Silvio Berlusconi has denied reports that he intends to sell Milan by telling journalists that he plans to be in charge of the club for another 25 years.

Last month, La Gazzetta dello Sport claimed Berlusconi had agreed to sell a significant stake in Milan to Russian gas giants Gazprom. His holding company, Fininvest rejected the claims.

Speaking in Panama of all places, Berlusconi said: “I will be the President of Milan for another 25 years, so I will increase the distance between the other Presidents who have won less than me.

“I have promised President Martinelli that I will bring Milan to Panama, the team that has won the most international trophies.

“The second most successful President is [Santiago] Bernabeu and they even dedicated a stadium to him, but he won half as much as me. This is history.”

Berlusconi bought Milan in 1986, ushering in an unprecedented era of success first with Arrigo Sacchi and then Fabio Capello.

The Rossoneri have struggled for silverware in recent seasons and are implementing a number of budget cutting measures, which have angered the fans.





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