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The Archive

August 2011

Braida: 'Nocerino will do well at AC Milan'
31.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Nocerino “has all the qualities to do well” at Milan, said director of sport Ariedo Braida.

The midfielder completed his transfer from Palermo just minutes before the deadline, reportedly for just €0.5m plus youngster Ricardo Ferreira.

“He is an Italy player who always shows great humility on the field,” Braida told the official Rossoneri website.

“He knows how to sacrifice himself for his teammates, has a solid work ethic and every now and then scores goals.

“He has all the qualities to do well here.”

Nocerino effectively replaced Gennaro Gattuso in the Italy midfield and is now brought in as his heir at Milan.

The Rossoneri brought in a new midfielder after Mathieu Flamini was ruled out for up to six months with a knee ligament injury.

Nocerino is on international duty with the Azzurri for the Euro 2012 qualifiers against the Faroe Islands and Slovenia.

This means he will only complete his medical and arrive at the Milanello training ground on September 7.

Nocerino rushes AC Milan move
31.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Nocerino is rushing through a deadline-beating transfer from Palermo to Milan.

The Italy midfielder had already been linked last week after Mathieu Flamini was ruled out for five to six months by a knee injury.

The Rossoneri repeatedly assured their market was completed for the summer, but strong reports suggest Nocerino has been added to the squad.

It is widely believed Milan have bought Nocerino on a permanent basis in exchange for an undisclosed fee plus co-ownership of youngster Ricardo Ferreira.

The player signed a five-year contract that was registered with the Lega Calcio just minutes before the deadline.

OFFICIAL: Antonio Nocerino to AC Milan
31.8 || webmaster

AC Milan just signed Antonio Nocerino from Palermo on loan with a buyout clause. The deal is expected to be made official later today.

Oddo leaves for Lecce
31.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Oddo has left Italian champions Milan by agreeing to a loan stint at minnows Lecce.

The right-back, who was rarely used last term, will spend the 2011-12 campaign at the Via Del Mare.

The 2006 World Cup winner joined the Rossoneri in January 2007 after moving from capital club Lazio.

Oddo, who spent 2008-09 on loan at Bayern Munich, has played in just 56 League games for Milan, scoring two goals.

OFFICIAL: Oddo on loan to Lecce
31.8 || webmaster

AC Milan officially announced that Oddo was sent on loan to Lecce.

AC Milan keep El Shaarawy
31.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have rubbished reports that summer signing Stephan El Shaarawy could be sent back to Genoa.

“El Shaarawy is not going anywhere,” Rossoneri Vice-President Adriano Galliani stated. “He’s not off to Genoa, absolutely not.

“The transfer window is closed for us.”

According to whispers, Genoa were hoping to bring the 18-year-old back to Marassi as cover for Rodrigo Palacio should he be sold.

The attacking midfielder only moved to San Siro a few months ago after a co-ownership deal was agreed between the two clubs.

El Shaarawy impressed on loan at Padova in Serie B last term and is considered as a star of the future.

He’s already represented Italy from Under-16 to Under-19 level and he’s expected to soon break into the plans of Italy Under-21 boss Ciro Ferrara.

Players 'optimistic' strike will end
30.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AIC President Damiano Tommasi is “optimistic” the strike will be called off for Week 2, but clubs within the Lega are still fighting.

The strike was called by the Players’ Association to cancel Serie A’s opening weekend when the union of clubs (Lega) refused to sign the collective bargaining contract.

“Our desire is to get back on the field,” said players’ representative and former Roma star Tommasi.

“I am optimistic, as in my view we have what it takes to reach an agreement before the second round.

“I would be surprised if we failed to find a deal again. It would be an important signal for Italian football if we got together and sorted things out to play the next round.”

However, there continue to be huge problems within the Lega, who voted 18-2 against signing the collective bargaining contract last week.

Cagliari were one of only two clubs who voted in favour and President Massimo Cellino has been extremely vocal in blaming Lega President Maurizio Beretta for the strike.

“I saw the running order of the next Lega meeting and debating the collective bargaining contract is only in penultimate place,” blasted Cellino.

“I consider what has been done to the players to be unjust. There are Presidents who I won’t name and they didn’t want to share this logic. Beretta has another job at Unicredit and he should resign if he can’t focus.”

AC Milan end transfer campaign according to Galliani
30.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has closed the transfer window. “Our market campaign has ended.”

The Rossoneri continue to be linked with numerous players ahead of Wednesday evening’s transfer deadline.

The news that Mathieu Flamini will be ruled out for six months only increased speculation that at least one new player would arrive.

However, talking to La Gazzetta dello Sport’s website, Galliani claimed that their would be no last minute surprise swoops.

“Milan’s market is closed,” the former Lega Calcio chief commented. “I’ve said that many times over the last few days and I confirm as much today.

“The reports linking us with more players, even at this late stage, are without any kind of foundation.

“We are complete.”

Milan had insisted that they would end their summer of spending with the acquisition of mystery man Mr X.

Their last signing was Alberto Aquilani, who joined the outfit on loan from Premiership side Liverpool last week.

Flamini has knee surgery
30.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have confirmed that Mathieu Flamini could be out of action for as long as six months following surgery.

The Frenchman has gone under the knife after suffering knee ligament damage in the Trofeo Berlusconi match against Juventus.

The Italian club released a brief statement on their website today which noted that the player, who had the procedure done in Lyon, is expected to be sidelined for five or six months.

Maxwell in AC Milan link
30.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Reports from Spain are suggesting that Milan are pondering a late bid for Barcelona stopper Maxwell.

The Nou Camp outfit are ready to listen to offers for the left-back who joined the club in the summer of 2009 from Inter.

The Rossoneri already brought in a new left-back this summer in the shape of Marseille defender Taye Taiwo.

Maxwell, a Brazilian Under-23 international, is represented by Mino Raiola – an agent who has helped the Italian club sign numerous players over the past few seasons.

Milan have also been paired with Palermo’s Italian international Federico Balzaretti.

AC Milan rejected Van Bommel bid
30.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan rejected an offer from Manchester City for Mark Van Bommel this summer, the Dutchman has revealed.

Speaking to Voetball International, the January signing from Bayern Munich claims the Premiership club recently revived an interest in him.

"Manchester City first tried to sign me last winter,” the 34-year-old stated.

“They were one of the clubs tracking me back then so their interest has not come out of the blue. However, Milan have a very clear position and I am perfectly happy with that.

“My family feels at home here, while I feel good as a footballer here and feel fully appreciated."

Super agent Mino Raiola, who has helped Milan sign numerous players over the last 12 months, revealed more about City’s efforts to net the veteran.

“City wanted him to cover the absence of Yaya Toure during the African Cup of Nations,” he stated.

“They also know that Van Bommel and Nigel De Jong form an excellent partnership.

“However, Milan were very clear in their message that Van Bommel was not for sale under any circumstances.”

Van Bommel signed a new contract with the Italian outfit at the end of last season.

Montolivo - Inter rumour rejected
29.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Riccardo Montolivo has dismissed suggestions that the Fiorentina man is heading to Inter.

Montolivo’s future is in doubt after he was made available for transfer for failing to extend his contract beyond 2012.

The Viola have insisted that they will only sell the Italian to a foreign club, but Milan and now Inter have again been paired with his signature.

“Montolivo to Inter is fantasy football,” noted representative Giovanni Branchini. “Almost everything is right now…”

Kaka rejects AC Milan return
29.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Real Madrid ace Kaka has rejected speculation that he’ll end this week by joining Milan for the second time in his career.

With the transfer window closing on August 31, there are those in Italy who are convinced that Kaka is set to return.

However, speaking after scoring in Real’s 6-0 win over Real Zaragoza, the South American committed his future to the Spanish outfit.

“I’m happy with the goal and I always said that I wanted to stay at Real Madrid,” the attacking midfielder noted.

“The rumours about a possible exit from Madrid are all lies.”

Kaka has been regularly linked with a return to Milan since his 2009 switch to Liga giants Real Madrid.

He spent six years with the Rossoneri during a time when he was crowned as the world’s best player.

AIC and Lega debate strike on TV
29.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AIC President Damiano Tommasi and Lega chief Maurizio Beretta held a live television debate on the Serie A strike.

The Players’ Association (AIC) called the strike for this weekend after the union of 20 Serie A clubs (Lega) refused to sign a collective bargaining contract.

The sticking points were Article 4, as clubs wanted players to pay the full solidarity contribution for unemployed colleagues, and Article 7 that means all squads must train together even during contract disputes.

“The collective bargaining contract expired on June 30, 2010. Last year we reached a deal in December after months of negotiations and the strike was called off,” explained AIC President Tommasi on Sky Sport Italia.

“We played from December to May on faith that the contract would be ratified, just as the Lega had promised, but then they changed their minds. There have been no negotiations. The deal was done in December, forgotten in May and disappeared in August.”

Lega President Beretta also took part in the televised debate and painted a very different picture.

“The strike was decided by the AIC and only them. The Lega merely asked for an explicit pledge to pay the solidarity fee and a rule allowing Coaches to deal with large squads, organising training sessions based on priorities and not forcibly all together.

“The negotiations could’ve continued even without the strike and in this the Lega has no responsibility. The agreement worked out in December 2010 was a vague one and some details did not correspond with the wishes of the Lega.

“The 800 Serie A players who went on strike all have perfectly legal contracts and played on because they were under contract. Under these conditions, the strike was an enormous deal.”

Tommasi hit back by pointing out the debate over the solidarity payments only emerged over the last few days.

“We never said we wouldn’t pay the solidarity fee and nobody complained. This is being used by the Lega to hide the real reason we went on strike. It’s an attempt to win over the public by misinforming them.”

Vidal: 'Juventus match AC Milan and Inter'
28.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Arturo Vidal reveals why he chose to join Juventus and “we can match Milan and Inter with our champions.”

The Chilean midfielder arrived from Bayer Leverkusen after a deal had apparently already been struck with Bayern Munich.

“I chose Juve because they are an institution,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport. “I am able to work alongside people like Alessandro Del Piero, Andrea Pirlo and Gigi Buffon, so this is a great opportunity for me.

“I am discovering a whole new world and am happy with my choice. Everything is perfect at Juventus, as there is a club structure at the cutting edge, great teammates and a talented Coach who talks to his players.

“Antonio Conte wants tactical perfection and demands the utmost concentration in every training session. He pays me a lot of attention and all I can do is give my best for the team.”

Conte had said Vidal was picked because he can cover numerous midfield roles.

“I am a central midfielder and give my best there, though naturally the team comes before all personal considerations,” responded the 24-year-old.

“We are a little bit behind the Milanese clubs, but working hard to close that gap. We will do it, as we can match Milan and Inter with our champions.

“I can guarantee the fans we’ll squeeze out every last drop of energy we have in each game to bring Juve back to where history has always seen them – ahead of everyone else.”

AC Milan renew Montolivo bid
28.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan need to replace Mathieu Flamini and it’s reported they have made an improved €7m offer for Riccardo Montolivo.

The Rossoneri are looking for a midfielder in the final days of the transfer market after a knee ligament injury ruled Flamini out for five to six months.

According to La Nazione newspaper, this has prompted them to make a new bid for original target Montolivo.

Fiorentina had point-blank rejected the original proposal and declared he would “only be sold abroad.”

However, with time running out and the player out of contract in June 2012, the Viola do not want to risk losing him on a free transfer.

It’s claimed Milan have offered €7m for the Italian international, although that is still below the €10m price-tag.

Montolivo had been their prime target before securing Alberto Aquilani on loan from Liverpool.

Serie A strike to hit Round 2?
28.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

As players warn they could carry on the strike into Serie A Week 2, the FIGC intervenes. “We cannot accept that.”

The opening weekend of the top flight season was called off by the Players’ Association (AIC) after the union of clubs (Lega) refused to sign the collective bargaining contract.

“After a year and a half of waiting, we couldn’t do anything other than strike,” Lazio defender Guglielmo Stendardo told Il Messaggero newspaper.

“It is not about money, but defending our rights and our dignity, particularly with regards to Article 7 ensuring all players can train together.

“Without an agreement we will not play, because we are ready to carry on this strike indefinitely. Every professional has the right to train with the squad and not be marginalised in his working environment.

“We understand it is difficult for a Coach to deal with a squad of 30-35 players, but that’s certainly not our fault. We should follow Spain in limiting squads to 20-25 players.

“It’s a pity the first round of the season was postponed, as we wanted to play, but I hope the fans can understand what we’re trying to achieve.”

Serie A Week 2 is set for September 10 and 11, as there is a break for the Euro 2012 qualifiers, but the AIC warn without a deal they could continue the strike.

“We cannot sit here twiddling our thumbs, nor can we accept the strike calling off Week 2 as well,” slammed Federation President Giancarlo Abete.

The FIGC chief is set to hold separate meetings with the AIC and Lega on Monday in a desperate bid to work out an interim agreement.

The players had offered to negotiate a temporary deal to call off the strike on Friday, but the Serie A clubs refused to even discuss it.

Aquilani 'lucky' to be at AC Milan
27.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alberto Aquilani considers himself “a lucky guy, as not everyone gets to play for Milan. Undoubtedly the system suits me.”

The midfielder was drafted in on loan with an option to buy for around €6m from Liverpool.

“I am happy to be here,” he told Milan Channel after his first training session with the Rossoneri.

“I am a lucky guy, as not everyone gets to play for Milan and I have this great opportunity.

“There are many lads here who I already knew from the Italy squad or from my days at Roma, so it’s a side packed with champions.

“Now it’s up to me to win over the club and the fans.”

Aquilani was brought in as a replacement for Andrea Pirlo, although he was originally behind Riccardo Montolivo on the wish list.

“Undoubtedly the system suits my characteristics. I can play pretty much anywhere in midfield, so I’m at the disposal of the Coach. He will decide where to put me.”

Clubs 'did not want to start season'
27.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Federation will intervene to prevent a new strike on Monday, but some Presidents feel “a few clubs didn’t want to start the season.”

The opening weekend of the Serie A campaign was called off after the Players’ Association (AIC) called a strike due to the collective bargaining contract talks breaking down.

It’s believed the FIGC has already spoken to both the AIC and the Lega to resume crisis talks on Monday, as if the situation is not resolved then the strike could also affect Week 2 on September 11.

Meanwhile, there are surprising comments from Bologna President Albano Guaraldi on the background to the negotiations.

“I think we will go back to the regular schedule in 15 days because I believe that, as always in these situations, everyone will take a step back.

“In my view the interim agreement would’ve been a good option so we could have all the time needed to discuss the contract.

“Bologna were ready to go forward, but other clubs perhaps were not prepared and didn’t want to start the season. They did not act in any way to avoid the protest.”

The AIC claimed the Lega was being unreasonable in refusing to even discuss a temporary deal to get the season started on Friday.

Players warn of extended strike
27.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Players’ Association has warned the Serie A strike could go beyond the opening weekend “if clubs don’t change their attitude.”

The AIC called off the Week 1 fixtures, set for today and tomorrow, after the union of Serie A clubs (Lega) refused to sign a collective bargaining contract.

“If the clubs don’t come together to talk and change their attitude, then it will be difficult to negotiate,” Vice-President Umberto Calcagno told Sky Sport Italia.

“We proffered a hand towards the Lega, including yesterday’s proposal of an interim agreement to avoid the strike.

“It’s difficult to know when we could see each other for talks again. We are available 24/7, but for the moment there are no meetings lined up.”

There are fears the strike could continue, though due to the break for international duty, Serie A won’t kick off until the weekend of September 11.

“We hope the Lega can make a more organic proposal that respects the agreements already reached in recent months, otherwise we risk failing to target the real problem.

“Our interim deal was meant to stand by those agreements for a year so we could sit round a table again, but it was not accepted.”

The Lega have accused the AIC of refusing to accept a solidarity payment to help unemployed players, but the most important issue is that of players in contract disputes being forced to train separately from the squad.

“The players have always said we’d respect the law with regards to the solidarity contribution and there is absolutely no problem there,” assured Calcagno.

Galliani: 'Everyone take a step back'
27.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani urged both the players and clubs to “take a step back out of respect for the fans” after this weekend’s Serie A strike.

The Players’ Association (AIC) called the strike after talks broke down over the collective bargaining contract with the union of top flight clubs (Lega).

“The fans do not deserve to be treated this way,” Milan Vice-President Galliani told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“It is necessary for the Lega and the AIC to take a step back out of respect for the fans.”

The two sticking points in negotiations are the solidarity contribution to go towards unemployed players and the rule barring clubs from forcing certain players to train separately from the squad.

“The AIC has to give up on the solidarity contribution for this season and the Lega give up on the collective deal, but only for this season. Let them resolve their internal problems first.

“Now we must try to calm the tone of the debate and above all avoid this situation turning into a debilitating long-term strike.

“The Lega President has been robbed of his powers to such a degree that now everybody and no-one seems to be in charge.”

A meeting of the Lega is set for September 1 and the clubs will try to work out a temporary agreement to avoid further strike action.

It is also possible the Federation will step in to take control of the negotiations and sign the collective bargaining contract on behalf of the Lega.

AC Milan scramble to replace Flamini
27.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mathieu Flamini is out for at least five months, so Milan look to Real Madrid and Barcelona for a replacement.

The French midfielder damaged knee ligaments during the Trofeo Berlusconi win over Juventus last week and was told he’ll be sidelined for between five and six months.

With the transfer deadline only days away, the Rossoneri must rush to find a suitable replacement.

The Corriere dello Sport suggests the primary target will be Barcelona’s 31-year-old Seydou Keita.

His options are more limited at the Nou Camp now that Cesc Fabregas has joined from Arsenal and Thiago Alcantara has shot to fame.

Another alternative is Lassana Diarra, who is set to leave Real Madrid and has been in advanced negotiations with Tottenham.

Milan must also consider the fact Gennaro Gattuso sits out a four-match Champions League ban for his altercation with Spurs assistant manager Joe Jordan last season.

Blame game in Serie A strike
27.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The players are on strike for the opening weekend of the Serie A season and the finger of blame is pointed in different directions.

The Players’ Association (AIC) declared a strike for Week 1 after the union of 20 top flight clubs (Lega) refused to sign a collective bargaining contract.

“The responsibility lies with Lega President Maurizio Beretta,” blasted Cagliari owner Massimo Cellino.

“He treated the situation superficially. I no longer recognise Beretta as our President and asked him to put in writing what he said to us in the Lega meeting.

“If he continues to control the Lega this way, then he may as well go home. He proved himself incompetent.”

Cagliari and Siena were the only two out of 20 clubs to vote in favour of signing the collective bargaining contract on Thursday.

Last-ditch talks failed to reach an agreement, even when the AIC and the Federation offered a temporary deal to see them through to July.

“This strike is a defeat for everyone, especially the AIC,” said Parma President Tommaso Ghirardi.

“Every time a problem emerges, they threaten to go on strike, so this blackmail is unacceptable. They can defend their rights like all workers, but must also not forget they are privileged.”

The two sticking points are the solidarity contribution for unemployed players, which the clubs do not want to pay, and the rule barring clubs from freezing players out of training with the full squad during a contract dispute.

“At Parma there were some players who were not in our plans, so we made them train at Collecchio while the others were at the pre-season camp in Levico. That doesn’t mean we abandoned them, as they had a fitness coach and full medical staff. I don’t find anything wrong with that.”

The AIC argues forcing players to train separately from the squad is damaging their professional dignity and can be used as a ‘blackmail’ tool during contract negotiations.

Flamini out for five months
26.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan may have announced the signing of Alberto Aquilani today, but they’ve lost Mathieu Flamini for the next five months.

The Frenchman picked up a right knee injury in the Trofeo Berlusconi match against Juventus last weekend.

Tests have now confirmed that the former Arsenal man has damaged ligaments and he’ll be out of action until 2012.

The San Siro giants had insisted that their transfer market campaign had come to a close with the acquisition of Aquilani from Liverpool.

However, the club could now look to replace Flamini just days after links emerged with Cesena’s Marco Parolo.

Round 1 called off – strike goes ahead
26.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The new Serie A season will not kick off this weekend after last minute talks to avert strike action failed.

In an ongoing dispute between the Players’ Association (AIC) and the Lega over a collective bargaining agreement, no resolution was reached.

A strike has been on the cards since Wednesday and, after three days of fruitless negotiations, Week 1 of the new top-flight campaign has been called off.

"We tried right up until the end, but all the attempts were in vain," stated AIC President Damiano Tommasi.

“The players are disappointed as they can’t take to the field. But the Lega has been after this for 18 months.”

The dispute revolves around two key points in the collective contract that all players sign up to.

The first is regarding the wording in the contract that gives Coaches the power to freeze out players from training, with the first team squad, if they are deemed as surplus to requirements.

The second problem is to do with a new solidarity tax that clubs want high earning players to contribute to.

Yesterday the Italian Football Federation offered to hand over €20m to help with the issue of the solidarity payment.

And this morning Tommasi offered to sign a temporary contract until June 2012, with the two key points omitted, in order for the season to start.

Neither step seemed to make any difference in the attempts to find a resolution.

“It is not clear why we should sign an agreement modelled on the bridge of the original dispute,” Lega chief Maurizio Beretta stated.

The campaign is now set to begin in Week 2 on September 10, after the international break, but that is by no means certain.

“The possibility of a longer strike is a problem to be resolved,” stated FIGC chief Giancarlo Abete. “There is that risk when thinking about future games.”

Tommasi added: “I get the impression that if a solution is not found soon then it won’t take 15 days to resolve, the gap in between Week 1 and 2, but months.”

Boateng reveals preferred role
26.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin Prince Boateng has admitted that he’d like to be fielded as a trequartista for Milan this season.

The player was used in a variety of midfield positions last term, but he’s made it clear that he has a preference.

“I want to be used behind the strikers,” the Ghanaian told Sky Sport Italia. “That is my preferred role in the team.

“Coach Massimiliano Allegri knows that too, but I will adapt to whatever is necessary. He’ll decide what to do with me.”

Boateng was a sensation at San Siro in 2010-11 and a major reason behind the Rossoneri’s Scudetto success.

“Not a lot was expected from me in the last campaign,” he admits. “However, I’ll have to confirm myself and improve as I’ll now have the spotlight on me.

“My personal goal for the season is to get into double figures with regards to the number of goals I score.”

Meanwhile, the player has welcomed Alberto Aquilani and blocked a possible exit for Antonio Cassano.

“Aquilani is an excellent player and he’ll give us a helping hand in midfield,” he noted. “Cassano has had a good pre-season and I hope that he can stay with us.”

AC Milan Champions League fixtures
25.8 || webmaster

Round 1: Tuesday, 13 September 2011: FC Barcelona - AC Milan
Round 2: Wednesday, 28 September 2011: AC Milan - Viktoria Plzen
Round 3: Wednesday, 19 October 2011: AC Milan - Bate Borisov
Round 4: Tuesday, 1 November 2011: Bate Borisov - AC Milan
Round 5: Wednesday, 23 November 2011: AC Milan - FC Barcelona
Round 6: Tuesday, 6 December 2011: Viktoria Plzen - AC Milan

Full Champions League schedule here.

Allegri: 'Ready for Barcelona'
25.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri realises Milan “have drawn the strongest team, but we are ready to face Barcelona” in the Champions League.

The Rossoneri begin their campaign at Camp Nou against the trophy holders, while the other sides in Group H are BATE Borisov of Belarus and Czech surprise qualifiers Viktoria Plzen.

“We have drawn the strongest team, but our group includes two teams who we are very confident against,” the Coach told Milan Channel.

“The challenge against Barcelona is fascinating and we have to prepare in order to face it as best we can.

“I think this game provides great motivation and excitement without any further input needed.

“We will certainly be in the best condition and ready to face Barcelona.”

OFFICIAL: Aquilani to AC Milan
25.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

It is now official that Alberto Aquilani has joined Milan on loan from Liverpool with an option to buy.

The midfielder flew in to Italy today and underwent his medical at the Milanello training ground.

“Liverpool FC have reached an agreement, subject to a medical, for Alberto Aquilani to join AC Milan on loan for the remainder of the current season,” read a statement on the official Liverpool website.

“The deal includes an option to make the move a permanent one.”

It is believed the option is worth around €6m.

“I want to pay tribute to the way Alberto has conducted himself during these discussions,” said Reds Director of Football Damien Comolli.

“Throughout the entire process, his only desire has been to play football and he has put this ahead of any other considerations and at personal cost to himself. We wish him well for the season ahead.”

UEFA Champions League draw details
25.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan were paired with Barcelona, BATE Borisov and Viktoria Plzen. Inter face CSKA Moscow, Lille and Trabzonspor, but Napoli have Manchester City, Villarreal and Bayern Munich!

Inter are in Group B along with CSKA Moscow, French outfit Lille and Trabzonspor. The Turks were only included on Thursday after Fenerbahce pulled out.

Milan are in Group H with reigning champions Barcelona, so the toughest possible draw for Massimiliano Allegri's men. It also allows Zlatan Ibrahimovic to face his former club.

BATE Borisov of Belarus and Czech first timers Viktoria Plzen complete Group H, so the Rossoneri hope to split the group and qualify in the top two fairly easily.

Napoli are in Group A, also the worst they possibly could've drawn, but it is an almost all-Italian affair. They face Bayern Munich, the Manchester City of Roberto Mancini and Mario Balotelli, plus Giuseppe Rossi's Villarreal.

The draw for the group phase of the Champions League was held in Montecarlo this afternoon with three Italian clubs taking part, as Udinese were eliminated by Arsenal in the play-offs.

Inter were in Pot 1, while Milan dropped to Pot 2 after both Bayern Munich and Arsenal got through the preliminary round. Napoli were in Pot 4, as it was their first European Cup entry in 20 years.

Trabzonspor were introduced on Thursday after fellow Turkish side Fenerbahce were removed from the draw due to a match-fixing investigation.

Elsewhere, Luciano Spalletti's Zenit St Petersburg face Shakhtar Donetsk, Porto and APOEL.

Group A
Bayern Munich
Villarreal
Manchester City
Napoli

Group B
Inter
CSKA Moscow
Lille
Trabzonspor

Group C
Manchester United
Benfica
Basel
Otelul Galati

Group D
Real Madrid
Olympique Lyonnais
Ajax
Dinamo Zagreb

Group E
Chelsea
Valencia
Bayer Leverkusen
Genk

Group F
Arsenal
Olympique Marseille
Olympiacos
Borussia Dortmund

Group G
Porto
Shakhtar Donetsk
Zenit St. Petersburg
APOEL

Group H
Barcelona
Milan
BATE Borisov
Viktoria Plzen

Serie A strike is still on
25.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Serie A players’ strike still seems to be going ahead this weekend, as the clubs stand firm in refusing to sign the collective bargaining contract.

The Players’ Association (AIC) has warned it will not play the opening weekend of the season unless the clubs sign the contract.

On Wednesday 18 of the 20 Lega clubs voted against accepting the deal. Today the FIGC and CONI are trying to act as mediators, offering a €20m fund to resolve the issue of a ‘solidarity’ payment for unemployed players.

“We confirm that without the signature, the players will not step on to the field on Saturday and Sunday,” declared AIC President Damiano Tommasi.

“Just one minute after pen is put to paper, we are ready to play. We await developments, but what happened over the last couple of days is glaringly obvious. Someone didn’t want this weekend to be played.”

“If there is someone who wants to stop the campaign, then that is the Lega,” added AIC Vice-President Leo Grosso. “They have to take responsibility.”

FIGC President Giancarlo Abete is trying to mediate today and stated he would call off Week 1 if a deal was not struck “before tomorrow.”

It does seem as if the Lega, the collective name for the union of Serie A clubs, is putting up a brick wall in negotiations.

“Our position will not change. The Lega already dictated its conditions yesterday. We wait for the AIC to call off the strike or they will shoulder the responsibility,” said Lega President Maurizio Beretta.

“We negotiated for months and there is no room to talk things over today, because that would mean changing some very clear issues. Either the AIC signs that they will pay the solidarity fee or nothing will happen.”

The AIC version of the contract has been in place since the end of May and up until now the main sticking point had been ensuring all players, even those in contract disputes, could train with the full squad.

However, over the last 24 hours the issue of the solidarity fee for unemployed players has become a big problem. Clubs want the players to pay all of it, whereas the AIC would like sides to contribute.

Even the Federation’s offer of a €20m slush fund to help this issue has not impressed the Lega.

The CONI (the Italian Olympic Committee) released a statement this afternoon “openly condemning the exasperated language used in this debate, which has become incomprehensible and unsustainable.”

UEFA Champions League draw: AC Milan with Barcelona, BATE Borisov & Viktoria Plzen
25.8 || webmaster

More to follow.

Aquilani happy with AC Milan move
25.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alberto Aquilani is confident that a move to Italian champions Milan will get his career back on the right track.

The midfielder is expected to be confirmed as a Rossoneri player later today after he completed his medical this morning.

“This is a step forward in my career,” he noted. “I am delighted to have arrived here and I have come to Milan to do well.”

The 27-year-old has joined on loan from Liverpool, but the San Siro outfit will be forced to buy if the player appears in a fixed number of matches.

"The clause of making at least 25 appearances is not a problem for me,” he added. “I'm not thinking about it. I will do everything possible to earn the trust of the club.”

In an odd twist, Aquilani joins Milan as a replacement for Juve’s Andrea Pirlo after the two swapped clubs this summer

"I have different characteristics to Andrea Pirlo, but this is a further responsibility for me. I believe I can play in all positions in midfield.”

Aquilani spent the 2010-11 campaign on loan at Juve, but the Turin giants opted against buying him outright.

Aquilani will reportedly earn €2m in his first season, with that wage rising to €2.5m should he remain at the club.

Montolivo to be sold abroad
25.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fiorentina have again underlined that Riccardo Montolivo will be sold to a foreign club this summer.

The Italian has been linked with both Milan and Roma, but the Viola insist they will not strengthen another Serie A side.

“Montolivo doesn’t believe in the Fiorentina project,” sporting director Pantaleo Corvino noted. “As a result, the player will be sold abroad.”

The Azzurri international has been stripped of the club captaincy after he refused to sign an extension to his contract which expires in 2012.

It’s unclear which clubs are keen on the former Atalanta player at this time, but Bayern Munich have been paired.

Meanwhile, Corvino also commented on the futures of Juan Manuel Vargas and Alberto Gilardino.

“If Vargas leaves then we are already well covered thanks to Andrea Lazzari and the return of Stevan Jovetic,” he added.

“As for Gilardino, we have had no offers for him. There has just been a verbal interest from one club.”

Vargas has been paired with Juventus, while Genoa are very keen on the Italian international striker.

Ambrosini praises Aquilani swoop
25.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Ambrosini has welcomed Alberto Aquilani to Milan, but warned that nobody can substitute Andrea Pirlo.

The latter left the Rossoneri over the summer to join Juventus, the same club who opted against signing Aquilani outright following his loan spell.

However, the midfielder is now on his way to San Siro after an agreement was reached with Liverpool.

“Pirlo can’t be replaced in terms of his character and personality, but it is unjust to make comparisons,” Ambrosini told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Andrea marked an era here, but whoever replaces him can do well by interpreting the role in a slightly different way.

“Aquilani will be useful because he has different characteristics to the midfielders who are already at the club.

“He played with consistency and recovered his fitness at Juventus. I don’t see a reason why he wouldn’t do well here.”

The former Roma youth product is expected to officially complete his move to Milan at some stage on Thursday.

Champions League draw today
25.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan, Inter and Napoli will learn their Champions League fate late this afternoon when the draw for Europe’s premier club competition takes place.

Inter, winners in 2010, are among the top seeds, but Milan are in Pot 2 after Udinese failed to defeat Arsenal on Wednesday.

Champions League new boys Napoli, meanwhile, are among the bottom seeds given their lack of European football over the last few seasons.

Premiership giants Manchester City will be a team that many will want to avoid given their presence in Pot 3.

Due to the withdrawal of Fenerbahce by the Turkish FA as a result of a match-fixing investigation, Trabzonspor have been added to the draw.

No teams from the same countries can be paired against each other at this stage of the competition.

The draw for the eight groups will take place in Monaco at 16.45 BST.

POT 1
Barcelona
Manchester United
Chelsea
Bayern Munich
Arsenal
Real Madrid
FC Porto
Inter

POT 2
Milan
Lyon
Shakhtar Donetsk
Valencia
Benfica
Villarreal
CSKA Moscow
Marseille

POT 3
Zenit St Petersburg
Ajax
Bayer Leverkusen
Olympiakos
Manchester City
Lille
FC Basel
BATE Borisov

POT 4
Borussia Dortmund
Napoli
Dinamo Zagreb
APOEL
Trabzonspor
Genk
Viktoria Plzen
Otelul Galati

Serie A strike likely to go ahead
24.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

This weekend’s opening Serie A round is increasingly likely to be postponed after the Lega rejected a collective bargaining contract.

The Players’ Association (AIC) has threatened to go on strike for Week 1 if the deal was not signed by the Lega (union of Serie A clubs).

“The Lega meeting rejected the agreement with the AIC by a large majority, voting 18 to 2,” revealed Lega President Maurizio Beretta.

The only two clubs who voted in favour of the compromise are Cagliari and Siena.

There is still a small hope of seeing the teams play this weekend, as the Lega proposed two changes to the collective bargaining contract for players.

The first is with regards to Article 4, forcing players to pay the ‘solidarity’ contribution for those who find themselves without a club.

Article 7 will also include a change regarding training, as the players are adamant those in the middle of contract disputes must not be forced to train separately from the main squad.

The clubs claim this could make problems for the Coach in case he has to train the full squad of perhaps as many as 40 players.

Aquilani on his way to AC Milan
24.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alberto Aquilani will fly to Milan on Wednesday evening ahead of his move from Liverpool to the Rossoneri.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, terms have now been agreed between all parties and an official switch could be just 24 hours away.

The Italian international, who spent last term on loan at Juventus, will have his medical on Thursday before putting pen to paper.

The player’s agent spoke to Milan earlier this week and he’s now concluded negotiations with the Premiership outfit.

Aquilani will arrive on a loan deal, but Milan will be forced to buy him outright for around €6m should he play in at least 20 Serie A games for the San Siro outfit this term.

“We’ve signed a player with great quality,” noted Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani. “He’s the right man for Milan.

“Our transfer market campaign has now come to a close.”

AC Milan boss fears Barcelona
24.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri thinks that only Barcelona could end their Champions League dream this season.

The San Siro giants won Serie A last term, but their top priority in the campaign ahead will be to again rule Europe.

Speaking to La Stampa, the former Cagliari tactician insisted his side would be competitive on the continent – so long as they don’t face Barca.

“I am convinced that, with a full squad, we are on a par with Real Madrid,” he stated. “The only exception is Barcelona.

“Last season we went out of the competition against Tottenham because of some bad luck and a number of injuries.”

The Rossoneri failed to get past the last 16 stage, but he’s confident that he has the players to improve on that performance.

“I do not have to build a team, but I have to improve it,” the Coach continued. “Milan are not perfect.

“Let me give you an example – when Barcelona lose the ball, they try to regain possession at a frenetic pace. That is one aspect we have to do better in.”

Milan will be further strengthened in the coming days by the acquisition of Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani.

“We scoured Italy and Europe and we are convinced he will be an asset,” Allegri stated when questioned on the Roma youth team product.

Trio return for AC Milan
24.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There is good news for Milan ahead of their trip to Cagliari after Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Kevin Prince Boateng and Stephan El Shaarawy returned to training.

Ibra was a doubt for the Serie A opener on Saturday because of an ankle problem, while Boateng was struggling with a calf issue.

However, the duo took part in Tuesday’s morning training session at Milanello and are hoping to prove their fitness.

Teenager El Shaarawy is fully operational again too after undergoing a personalised training programme in recent weeks.

'Cassano at AC Milan until 2014'
24.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Antonio Cassano doesn’t expect to be dealing with his client’s future over the next seven days. “He’ll stay at Milan.”

The Italian international has been linked with a Rossoneri exit for most of the summer, but Beppe Bozzo believes he will remain at Milanello.

“Milan are a great club and before you leave you’d have to think about it a thousand times,” the representative noted.

“I imagine that Antonio’s future will be with Milan until 2014 and, although there are no certainties, I hope that he honours his contract.”

Cassano was rumoured to be considering his options given that he isn’t guaranteed a first team shirt at the club ahead of Euro 2012.

Aquilani to AC Milan on Wednesday?
23.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Reports in Italy suggest Milan could complete their swoop for Alberto Aquilani within hours, on loan from Liverpool with a €6m clause.

The midfielder said last week he was “close” to joining the Rossoneri and it’s rumoured that deal could be completed on Wednesday.

The move would be on loan with a €6m fee that becomes automatic at Aquilani’s 25th appearance for Milan.

The payment would be spread out at €2m per year starting from 2012.

He would be handed a contract worth €2.5m per season and could make his debut on Saturday in the Serie A opener against Cagliari.

Allegri: 'Why Ibrahimovic falls asleep'
23.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri reveals why Zlatan Ibrahimovic “falls asleep” and tips Inter for the Scudetto this season.

“I have no doubts on the favourite to take the title. I’d bet on Inter,” smiled the superstitious Milan Coach in the Corriere della Sera.

“Gian Piero Gasperini’s men are my favourites for the Scudetto.”

Allegri took the title last term in his first year at San Siro and got the best out of Swede Ibrahimovic.

“I think a Coach needs to be partly a psychologist. Take Ibrahimovic. He’s not an easy player to deal with, as it requires patience.

“With him you have to use both the stick and the carrot. Ibra is a strong personality and needs to be relaxed at times, while in other occasions he has to be stimulated, otherwise he falls asleep.

“Gennaro Gattuso certainly doesn’t need to be stimulated – quite the opposite! He’s too fired up as it is!”

Gattuso: 'Why I turned down Anzhi'
23.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso explained why he turned down Anzhi’s multi-million pound offer, unlike Samuel Eto’o.

Before they agreed a €27m transfer fee for the Inter striker with a reported €20.5m per season contract, Dagestan club Anzhi had tried to sign Gattuso last year.

“Nobody talked about Anzhi in February, but I went to Dagestan for talks, they offered me a ton of money and I did think about it,” Gattuso told Milan Channel.

“No-one considered going to Dubai either, but after I went there, Fabio Cannavaro decided he’d accept the proposal.

“I opened the door to others! It was a crazy offer, albeit not quite as much as Eto’o has been given. Mind you, he is 1,000 times better as a player, so it’s only right he gets paid more.”

Milan took a back seat at the time and left the 2006 World Cup winner the time to make his decision.

“Adriano Galliani said that for all I had given to the Milan cause, I would be given the chance to decide. He wanted me to stay, but would not stop me in the face of so much money.

“This sparked something within me and I realised how much they cared about me. Besides, my family was not happy about making the move to Russia and my business includes 50 people working for me.

“Putting everything into the balance, I realised it wasn’t easy to leave a side like Milan. I prefer to go when I am no longer needed or even feel like a weight on their shoulders.”

Gattuso is now solely dedicated to the Rossoneri, having retired from the Italy squad after the 2010 World Cup.

“I gave everything to Italy and the Nazionale gave a lot to me. I had reached the point where I had to say enough, just like in a couple of years I could find the moment to stop playing football.

“I mustn’t think about it, otherwise I get anxious and start biting my nails. The important thing is to be prepared, as that way you do not suffer.”

AC Milan hope Arsenal go out
23.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan will be cheering on Udinese tomorrow, as they’ll stay top seeds in the Champions League draw if Arsenal go out.

The draw for the group phase of the competition takes place on Thursday evening at the Grimaldi Forum in Montecarlo.

At this moment the Rossoneri are in Urn 1 for the draw, but if both Bayern Munich and Arsenal get through the preliminary round, then they’ll drop down to Urn 2.

Arsenal’s position is still not secure, as they earned a 1-0 first leg victory over Udinese.

They travel to the Stadio Friuli on Wednesday evening, but manager Arsene Wenger is banished to the stands after UEFA confirmed a two-match ban.

He had been banned for the first leg, but breached the suspension by communicating with his assistant manager.

Kaka or Parolo for AC Milan
23.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan will reportedly make a move for Kaka or Marco Parolo if Mathieu Flamini is ruled out of action for six months.

It’s feared that the Frenchman has damaged knee ligaments which could see him sidelined for the majority of the season.

Although the club are set to sign Alberto Aquilani from Liverpool, he won’t be the only new arrival if tests confirm that Flamini needs surgery.

Stories on Tuesday suggest that the Rossoneri have two options to replace the former Arsenal man in the squad.

One road open to them is to bring in Kaka from Real Madrid, thus allowing Kevin Prince Boateng to be used in a deeper midfield role.

The other route which is being discussed is to get a straight replacement for Flamini in the form of Parolo.

The 26-year-old had a stunning first season in Serie A last term at Cesena and he’s been linked with clubs such as Fiorentina, Lazio and Palermo this term.

Parolo would obviously be keen on the move, especially as he has never hidden the fact that he is a Milan fan.

Five injuries worry AC Milan
22.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Italian champions Milan have some real injury concerns ahead of Saturday’s Serie A trip to Cagliari.

Star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic remains a doubt with an ankle problem which will be re-assessed at some point on Thursday.

Left-back Taye Taiwo, signed from Marseille, is definitely out after he twisted his ankle in the Trofeo Berlusconi against Juventus.

The defender will be sidelined for 30 days.

Midfielder Mark Van Bommel is suffering with a calf injury and is not expected to recover in time for the Sardinian clash.

Mathieu Flamini and Kevin Prince Boateng are also struggling physically.

Aquilani agent in talks with AC Milan
22.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alberto Aquilani’s agent has begun talks with Milan after owner Silvio Berlusconi approved the proposed swoop.

The Rossoneri chief was questioned about the Liverpool player last night and he seemed to OK an approach.

“Aquilani is an interesting player,” the Italian Prime Minister noted while attending the club’s 2-1 win over Juventus.

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri also seems in favour of bringing in the man who spent last season on loan at Juventus.

“Aquilani is a player with great quality,” the former Cagliari boss noted. “He’d replace Andrea Pirlo in the squad.”

Pirlo left Milan in the summer for Juventus.

Franco Zavaglia, Aquilani’s representative, arrived at the club’s Via Turati headquarters this morning for negotiations.

It’s unclear whether the player will be signed outright or if he’ll be taken on loan with the option to buy next summer.

Inter to make Kaka bid?
22.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter will use the transfer fee from Samuel Eto’o’s expected move to Anzhi to make a bid for Kaka, according to reports.

A story in the Spanish Marca paper claims that the Brazilian will be targeted by the Nerazzurri before the window closes.

Inter technical director Marco Branca will reportedly touch down in Madrid at some stage this week to hold talks with club and player.

Real would apparently accept an offer of around €30m for the attacking midfielder who doesn’t feature in the plans of Real boss Jose Mourinho.

Marca adds that Inter will also consider selling Wesley Sneijder as well this summer to make room for Kaka.

The Brazilian would seem to be a better fit than the Dutchman in Coach Gian Piero Gasperini’s 3-4-3 system.

Should the two clubs agree a fee, it does remain to be seen whether Kaka would accept the switch given his Milan links.

The South American spent six years with the Rossoneri before his 2009 move to La Liga.

Allegri happy with AC Milan victory
22.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri was pleased with his side’s display in the 2-1 win over Juventus on Sunday.

The Rossoneri won the 21st annual Trofeo Berlusconi match, in part thanks to an impressive opening 45 minutes at San Siro.

“We were excellent in the first half,” the tactician noted. “After the break, because of the heat, we changed a few roles.

“The boys did really well to bring home the victory. I wanted to see what condition they were in and they seem in great shape.

“We’re happy.”

The former Cagliari boss was inevitably asked about the transfer market and the mystery Mr X signing.

“If someone arrives then it will be an important player who is good enough for Milan,” he continued.

“Andrea Pirlo left and nobody has come in to replace him.

“It would be good if someone arrived, but if that doesn’t happen then we will still be fine.”

VIDEO: Trofeo Luigi Berlusconi - AC Milan 2:1 Juventus
21.8 || webmaster



Trofeo Luigi Berlusconi: AC Milan 2:1 Juventus - match report
21.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sensational goals from Kevin-Prince Boateng and Clarence Seedorf gave Milan the Trofeo Berlusconi, beating Juventus 2-1.

Mirko Vucinic got one back as the Bianconeri improved considerably in the second half, but the home side lost several players to injury.

The traditional pre-season match at San Siro saw Andrea Pirlo return to face his former teammates for the first time since ending his 10-year stay with the Rossoneri.

Antonio Cassano was the only available striker, as Alexandre Pato and Robinho return from Brazil on Tuesday, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pippo Inzaghi and Stephan El Shaarawy are injured.

Boateng was playing in a more advanced role and made full use of it, opening the scoring with a spectacular volley after nine minutes. Ignazio Abate’s cross came in from the right and he managed to keep his right-foot volley low into the far bottom corner past Gigi Buffon.

A smart Cassano through ball released Gennaro Gattuso, but he lost his footing under pressure.

Seedorf made it 2-0 with a perfect right-foot free kick, curled round the wall and in off the inside of the far post with Buffon rooted to the spot.

Juventus finally got a genuine scoring opportunity after 28 minutes with a Claudio Marchisio screamer that swerved round Christian Abbiati only to crack against the upright.

Boateng limped off with a knee problem and made way for Mathieu Flamini, moving Seedorf and Urby Emanuelson to more advanced positions. Alessandro Matri also picked up a knock to be replaced by Alex Del Piero.

Within 30 seconds of the restart, Taye Taiwo sprained his ankle and made way for Gianluca Zambrotta. Abbiati beat away a swerving Pirlo snapshot from distance.

Juventus got back into it when Del Piero threaded through for Mirko Vucinic’s angled drive with the outside of his right foot.

Another Vucinic attempt was charged down in the box, while Abbiati stuck out a leg to parry from Del Piero. Juve piled on the pressure, but Milan had penalty appeals when Flamini’s shot was charged down by a hand.

Teenage striker Kinglsey Boateng – no relation to Kevin-Prince – unleashed a curler that shocked Buffon and thumped the far top post in the final minutes. Cassano then forced Buffon into a crucial save with his outstretched foot.

Milan 2-1 Juventus

Scorers: K-P Boateng 9 (M), Seedorf 22 (M), Vucinic 57 (J)

Milan: Abbiati; Abate (Oddo 89), Nesta (Rodrigo 57), Bonera, Taiwo (Zambrotta 48); Gattuso (K Boateng 66), Ambrosini, Seedorf (Antonini 85); Emanuelson, K-P Boateng (Flamini 30); Cassano

Juventus: Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Barzagli, Chiellini, De Ceglie (Ziegler 85); Pirlo, Marchisio (Pazienza 73); Krasic (Quagliarella 85), Vucinic, Matri (Del Piero 43), Vidal (Pasquato 54)

Bayern deny Montolivo bid
21.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Bayern Munich have publicly denied reports they are showing an interest in Fiorentina’s Riccardo Montolivo, opening the door to Arsenal.

The Germans were expected to make a €10m bid after the Viola stated he would only be sold abroad.

“There is no truth in the rumours linking Bayern with Montolivo,” director of sport Christian Nerlinger told Abendzeitung.

“We will not be signing any more players this summer.”

This leaves the door open for Arsenal to complete their swoop for the 26-year-old Italian international midfielder.

Pirlo prepared for 'emotional' comeback
21.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andrea Pirlo admits it will be “emotional” stepping into San Siro tonight for Juventus against his former Milan teammates.

The midfielder wore the Rossoneri jersey for 10 years and faces them for the first time in this evening’s traditional Trofeo Berlusconi match.

“It will be emotional, but I had to face Milan sooner or later. It’s best to get it over with before the season begins,” Pirlo told La Stampa newspaper.

“Do I miss them? The rapport with your friends is never affected by moving house.”

He joined Juve on a free transfer after his contract with Milan expired.

“Why did I leave? Because I needed a change. Every day had become the same and I needed something to restore my motivation.

“The Juve idea started in February and the final injury reaffirmed my decision. I had never had problems before, but suddenly was having one injury after another. I took it as a sign from destiny.”

Pirlo has also entered into a new tactical system by joining Juventus under Antonio Conte.

“This isn’t the first time I have played in a two-man midfield. Italy also played with a 4-2-3-1 system, even though it’s the arrangement of the strikers that changes things more.

“Conte keeps telling us the pace of passing shouldn’t become an obsession. It must be reasoned and thought-through.”

Arsenal join Montolivo race
21.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Arsenal have joined Bayern Munich in the race to sign Fiorentina outcast Riccardo Montolivo.

The midfielder has refused to sign a new contract and will be a free agent at the end of the season, so the Viola must sell now to avoid losing their investment.

An offer from Milan was rejected and director Pantaleo Corvino warned “he will only be sold abroad.”

Bayern Munich were the hot favourites to provide €10m for Italian international Montolivo, but they have competition.

Today it is suggested that Arsenal are also interested in the midfielder, who they see as a replacement for Barcelona buy Cesc Fabregas.

The Gunners are under pressure to improve their squad after a dismal 2-0 home defeat to Liverpool on Saturday.

Aquilani: 'I'm close to AC Milan'
21.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Liverpool outcast Alberto Aquilani told Italian newspapers, “I am close to joining Milan.”

The midfielder has become their primary transfer target after Fiorentina declared they’d only sell Riccardo Montolivo abroad.

“I am close to joining Milan,” Aquilani is quoted as telling the Gazzetta dello Sport.

The deal could well be a loan with option to buy at the end of the season, despite the fact this uncertainty is what scuppered negotiations with Fiorentina earlier in the summer.

Aquilani is desperate to return to Serie A after Juventus opted not to make his year-long loan spell permanent.

If the Rossoneri were to buy him outright, the price-tag is thought to be around €7m.

Del Piero awaits AC Milan test
21.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alessandro Del Piero is looking forward to tonight’s Trofeo Berlusconi against Milan and the new Serie A season with Juventus.

The Bianconeri step out at San Siro in the traditional August friendly, having already faced each other during Thursday’s Trofeo TIM mini-tournament along with Inter.

“There is a week to go before the start of the season and it seems as if the summer of 2011 has chosen to reserve its hottest weather for the days leading into the official campaign,” wrote Del Piero on his official website.

“For as long as I have been at Juventus, this phase has been marked by an appointment that is almost as traditional as the season itself, even if it is only a friendly.

“I am talking about the Trofeo Berlusconi, which we play at San Siro against Milan.

“We did well in pre-season, training hard and building a new squad with great promise. On Sunday August 21 there will be another important test, then we begin...”

Allegri: 'Is Aquilani AC Milan's Mr X?'
20.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri admits Milan “had found” their Mr X, but are turning their focus on to another midfielder – most likely Alberto Aquilani.

“At the moment there is no Mr X,” he said of the mysterious transfer target who has been touted throughout the summer.

It was believed to be Riccardo Montolivo, but Fiorentina have pledged to only sell him abroad.

“We will stay like this and try to get back the injured players as quickly as possible. We will be competitive on all fronts, including the Champions League, where last season we struggled for various reasons.

“We will absolutely not sign a striker, so if we do bring in reinforcements, it’ll be in midfield. Is Aquilani Mr X? If you say so...”

It is believed the Rossoneri will step up their bid to sign the Liverpool midfielder this weekend for around €7m.

Andrea Pirlo was released on a free transfer to join Juventus, but so far no midfielder has been brought in to replace him.

“There was an alternative, but we were unable to complete the transfer. We had identified a few targets, though some did not make the move.

“In any case, there are still a few days left in the transfer market, so last year at this time we brought in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho. It’s possible someone else can be a late arrival too.”

Milan take on Juventus on Sunday evening in the traditional Trofeo Berlusconi friendly at San Siro.

“On Tuesday Alexandre Pato and Robinho will return from Brazil, while on Thursday they’re joined by Thiago Silva and Mario Yepes. Unfortunately Pippo Inzaghi had a calf problem, so won’t be available tomorrow.

“Stephan El Shaarawy will return in 15-20 days, while it’ll take a little longer for Philippe Mexes.”

Ibrahimovic misses the Trofeo Berlusconi with a sprained ankle, so Antonio Cassano will start against Juventus.

“At the moment he is our only available striker, is doing well and preparing to have a great season. He knows competition at Milan is fierce and he must always be ready to prove himself.”

AC Milan line up EUR 7 mil. Aquilani swoop
20.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are on the verge of completing their €7m swoop for Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani.

Riccardo Montolivo had been the primary target for the summer, but on Friday Fiorentina director Pantaleo Corvino scoffed at their proposal and declared he would “only be sold abroad.”

With this in mind and time running out, the Rossoneri have transferred their efforts to signing Aquilani instead.

The midfielder is an Italian international who has made it abundantly clear he’d like a return to Serie A after Juventus refused to take up their option on his loan spell.

According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, Liverpool are prepared to part with Aquilani for only €7m.

It is a huge drop from the €20m the Reds paid for this player to take him from Roma in August 2009.

Bayern Munich in for Montolivo
20.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fiorentina declared Riccardo Montolivo is only for sale abroad, so Bayern Munich reportedly stepped in with a €10m offer.

The midfielder was stripped of his captaincy when refusing to sign a contract extension, so he’ll be a free agent next summer.

Milan were his most likely destination, but Viola director Pantaleo Corvino declared on Friday “Montolivo will only be sold abroad.”

This apparently alerted Bayern Munich, who have lined up an offer of €10m for the Italian international.

According to Sky Sport Italia, Atletico Madrid are also interested in making a Montolivo swoop.

Milan are instead forced to turn their attention towards Liverpool outcast Alberto Aquilani, who would relish a return to Serie A after his loan spell at Juventus.

Serie A strike threat remains
19.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The opening weekend of the Serie A season could be postponed due to a players’ strike, as talks again failed to reach a conclusion today.

The Players’ Association (AIC) has threatened to strike in protest at the fact the collective bargaining contract has still not been signed by the union of Serie A clubs (Lega Serie A).

It was hoped there would be a breakthrough today during a meeting of the Lega in Milan, but there were not enough directors present to fully discuss the deal.

“In the absence of several Presidents, we decided to postpone the discussion on the collective bargaining contract, but we will continue along our planned route,” said Udinese patron Gino Pozzo.

The sticking point is Article 7, which protects the rights of players not to be frozen out of training with the squad.

“We are waiting to understand how this rule will be interpreted, to avoid the grey area that could lead to both bullying and also players forcing the hand of the club. We hope the season can start regularly without a strike.”

The opening weekend is set for August 27-28.

There is also another issue that the Lega Serie A are not happy with, namely the contribution to be paid to unemployed players.

The clubs want it made very clear in the collective bargaining contract that this contribution is provided by players who earn above a certain wage and will not cost anything to the clubs.

Meanwhile, the opening weekend of La Liga in Spain has officially been postponed due to their own players going on strike because of unpaid wages.

Allegri saw AC Milan positives
19.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri is unconcerned with defeats to Inter and Juventus in the Trofeo TIM.

The Italian champions finished bottom of the three-team tournament on Thursday after suffering a 2-1 loss to Juve and a 1-0 reverse to their city rivals.

“I’m happy with what the boys did in terms of their fitness and the style of play,” the tactician noted.

“We conceded avoidable goals, but it was important to see what shape we are in and I’d say we are there.”

Milan are next in action on Sunday when they will host Juventus during the annual Trofeo Berlusconi match at San Siro.

“We’ll have to see how things go ahead of the Berlusconi Cup tie,” the Coach added. “I only have Antonio Cassano available in attack, but we’ll play somehow.

“I’m happy with what Antonio did, he’s growing in condition and he’s a very important player for us.”

The former Cagliari boss also commented on the performance of Taye Taiwo, the left-back brought in from Marseille over the summer.

“Taiwo did well, even if he made some mistakes. He has to improve like everybody else, he needs to understand Italian football and the language, but he’s on the right path.

“I’m happy with my players. I thank the President and the club for the squad they have built and the champions that we have.”

VIDEO: Trofeo Tim AC Milan highlights
19.8 || webmaster





Inter win Trofeo TIM
19.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter boss Gian Piero Gasperini was relatively satisfied after his side beat Juventus and Milan to the Trofeo TIM.

The Nerazzurri won the three-team tournament at Bari’s San Nicola last night after defeating Juve on penalties and beating Milan 1-0 in the 45-minute matches.

In the other tie, a late Alessandro Matri goal ensured a 2-1 victory for Juventus against the Rossoneri.

"They were the first two micro games played with the whole squad back together and we knew it would be hard for them to gel immediately,” the man who replaced Leonardo in the summer noted.

“However, over the two matches I saw good things – sometimes great things – and other things we still have to work on.

“In fact, many things are still to be done, but that's a good thing, I think, because it means we have a lot of room for improvement.”

Last night’s triumph was Inter’s seventh in the annual pre-season tournament between the three giants.

“This is the first positive step,” continued the former Genoa boss. “There are still a few days before the beginning of the season and still a lot of work to be done, but time is on our side.

“We need to try things, make mistakes and then try again.

“We need to understand a bit of those situations that can occur during a match and, therefore, mistakes can be useful at this point in time."

Inter 1-1 Juventus (7-6 on penalties)

Goals: Vucinic 9 (J), Ranocchia 16 (I)

Inter (3-4-1-2): Castellazzi; Ranocchia, Samuel, Chivu (Zanetti 10); Jonathan, T. Motta, Stankovic, Obi; Sneijder; Pandev, Pazzini

Juventus (4-2-4): Storari; Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Barzagli, De Ceglie; Pirlo, Marchisio; Krasic, Del Piero, Vucinic, Pasquato

Milan 1-2 Juventus

Goals: Cassano 13 (M), Vidal 20 (J), Matri 45 (J)

Milan (4-3-1-2): Roma; De Sciglio, Nesta, Ely, Taiwo; Gattuso, Van Bommel, Antonini, Boateng; Cassano, Comi (Ganz 32)

Juventus (4-3-3): Storari; Motta, Barzagli, Bonucci, Ziegler; Pazienza, Pirlo (Marrone 23), Vidal; Krasic (Ruggiero 11, Vucinic 32), Matri, Pasquato (Spinazzola 27)

Milan 0-1 Inter

Goal: Milito 28 (I)

Milan (4-3-1-2): Amelia; Abate, Oddo, Bonera, Zambrotta; Ambrosini, Van Bommel (Flamini 20), Emanuelson; Fossati; Boateng, Cassano (Ganz 25)

Inter (3-4-3): Castellazzi; Lucio, Ranocchia, Zanetti; Jonathan, T. Motta (Sneijder 30), Cambiasso, Faraoni; Alvarez, Milito, Castaignos

No Cassano-Borriello swap
18.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have again made it clear that they have no intention of selling Antonio Cassano after links with Roma.

There have been suggestions of a possible swap deal with Marco Borriello, but Adriano Galliani has rejected those claims today.

“We’ve never made such an offer and I know nothing of these stories,” the Vice-President told Sky Sport Italia.

“Cassano is staying with us.

“I speak on a daily basis with his agent, Beppe Bozzo, and he’s never mentioned this possibility to me at all.”

Borriello, meanwhile, is being linked with a move to Paris SG by some sources on Thursday afternoon.

Bari ready for Trofeo Tim
18.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Almost 60,000 fans are expected to be at Bari this evening for the Trofeo TIM tournament between Milan, Inter and Juventus.

The Stadio San Nicola will be sold out for the three 45-minute matches between Serie A’s biggest clubs.

Inter and Juventus will meet in the first game at 20.45, local time, with the losers of that tie then facing off against Milan in match two an hour later.

The final game, set for 22.45, will see the Rossoneri take on the winners of the opening tie of the annual event.

AC Milan reject Antonini interest
18.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have rejected an approach from Juventus for Luca Antonini, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The Old Lady are still looking to strengthen their squad and full-back Antonini is known to have an admirer in director general Beppe Marotta.

The Bianconeri are said to have enquired about the defender’s availability, but were told that he is not for sale.

Antonini, 29, has been at Milan since his 2008 switch from Empoli. He’s played 55 League games for the Rossoneri ever since.

Bayern join Montolivo queue
18.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Bayern Munich are ready to make a bid to Fiorentina for Riccardo Montolivo, reports are suggesting.

Montolivo is available for transfer after refusing to extend his contract which currently expires in June 2012.

Milan were thought to be in pole position for the Italian international, but it seems that the Bundesliga outfit may now table an offer.

The Viola, who could lose the player on a free transfer next summer, want around €10m for the ex-Atalanta player.

The World Cup midfielder, who has been stripped of the club captaincy, was born in 1985 to an Italian father and a German mother.

Reports yesterday claimed that the Viola were keen to make a decision on Montolivo’s future by the end of this week.

Fiorentina issue Montolivo ultimatum
17.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clubs interested in signing Riccardo Montolivo have been given until Friday to do so by Fiorentina, reports are suggesting.

The player is available for sale given that his contract expires next June and he’s refused to sign a new deal.

Although the Viola could lose him for nothing next summer, the club are keen to put an end to the uncertainty over his future.

The Viola are understood to have rejected a number of offers for the player which they deemed as too low.

It’s understood that Milan are keen on netting the Italian international, but they’re being patient in an effort to sign him for as low a fee as possible.

Ibrahimovic out for two weeks
17.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a major doubt for Milan’s opening Serie A game of the season at Cagliari later this month.

The Swede twisted his ankle in Sunday’s 2-2 friendly with Malmo and is expected to be sidelined for two weeks as a result.

The international striker has undergone a series of tests which confirmed a distortion trauma.

The Italian champions open their campaign away to Cagliari on Saturday 27 August.

AC Milan rule out Kaka
16.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have again made it clear that re-signing Real Madrid’s Kaka is virtually impossible due to the costs involved.

The Brazilian has been constantly associated with a return to Milanello, pretty much ever since he left the club in 2009 for close to €70m.

"When he went to Madrid I was moved," Vice-President Adriano Galliani told Sky Sport 24 on Tuesday.

"But his costs are too high for Milan. He would have to take a much bigger wage cut than Cesc Fabregas did to go to Barcelona.

The official added: "We would have to sign Kaka permanently, otherwise, due to the Spanish fiscal system, a loan move would create huge cost problems.

“Kaka can only move on loan within Spain. For us to sign him would mean doing so permanently and not on loan.

“I'm sorry to disappoint the fans, but the Kaka hypothesis is unfeasible.”

The attacking midfielder spent six glorious years with Milan after a switch from Sao Paulo.

Schweinsteiger in AC Milan link
16.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are again being associated with a summer move for Bayern Munich ace Bastian Schweinsteiger.

The Rossoneri are expected to sign a midfielder before the window closes and the 26-year-old could be their Mr X mystery signing.

According to reports, the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza outfit are ready to offer €25m for the German international.

“Milan are a great club,” the player is quoted as saying. “Never say never, so we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Milan’s other midfield options are believed to be Fiorentina’s Riccardo Montolivo and Alberto Aquilani of Liverpool.

AC Milan almost signed Xavi in 1999
16.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan chief Adriano Galliani has revealed that he came close to signing a teenage Xavi from Barcelona.

The Spaniard is now regarded as one of the world’s top players and a Barca legend given that he’s only played for the Nou Camp outfit.

Nevertheless, in 1999, he was on the verge of accepting a move to the Rossonero side of the San Siro.

“We had basically signed Xavi,” Vice-President Galliani told Sky Sport Italia.

“However, the operation was not completed for family reasons – his mother got in the middle of it.”

Xavi was 19-years-old at the time and had only just completed his first season with Barca after graduating from Barcelona B.

Instead of moving to Italy, Xavi signed a new contract with his Spanish side and he’s gone on to win every major trophy for club and country.

Ibrahimovic suffers ankle scare
15.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will undergo tests on Wednesday after he picked up an ankle injury in the 2-2 draw with Malmo.

The Swede was forced off in the second half of a friendly tie which the Rossoneri went on to win on penalties.

“At one point in the game I twisted my ankle and I was in pain,” he stated. “I played on for a while longer by gritting my teeth.

“Now we have two days off and we’ll see how I’m feeling when we get back to training.

“The Milan doctors are confident that it is nothing serious.”

Sunday’s problem was on the same ankle that he injured in the game at Roma on May 7 when the Rossoneri lifted the Scudetto.

The Rossoneri will be back at Milanello later this week where Ibrahimovic will have a number of precautionary examinations carried out.

Fabregas isn't AC Milan's Mr X
15.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s mystery Mr X signing won’t be Cesc Fabregas after he completed his expected move from Arsenal to Barcelona today.

The Spaniard has joined the Nou Camp outfit for £30m, but that fee could rise by a further £5m depending if bonus clauses are activated.

Fabregas, who has signed a five-year contract with the European champions, was associated with the Rossoneri earlier this summer.

Some were suggesting that he could be the midfielder which the Italian champions have promised to sign before the campaign starts.

Allegri backs Cassano
15.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has insisted that Antonio Cassano will have an important role to play in 2011-12.

The Italian international’s future is in doubt given that he isn’t guaranteed a first team shirt, but Allegri is adamant that he wants to keep him.

“He is a player that both the club and myself are counting on,” Allegri said after Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Malmo in which Cassano scored.

“Cassano did very well against Malmo and he’s reaching a good physical condition. He just needs to stay calm because he doesn’t have any exams to pass here.”

The Azzurri attacker gave his side the lead in a game that the Rossoneri eventually won on penalties following a 2-2 draw.

“I thought that the team would be a lot more tired after the work we had done over the last few days, instead I saw a good performance,” the tactician added.

“I made a lot of changes and at one point there were a host of players who were playing out of their natural position.”

Allegri was also asked to comment on an ankle injury to Zlatan Ibrahimovic. “I’m not worried as I don’t think it is anything too serious.”

VIDEO: Malmo 2:2 (4:5) AC Milan
14.8 || webmaster



Friendly: Malmo 2:2 (4:5) AC Milan - match report
14.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan beat Malmo on penalties in Sweden after Antonio Cassano had helped them to a 2-2 draw.

The Rossoneri got off to a strong start with Kevin-Prince Boateng drilling just wide and forcing a tough save.

Cassano impressed for Italy midweek and seemed to be improving his fitness levels again, as he scored the opening goal.

FantAntonio only had to be in the right place to nod in a splendid Urby Emanuelson chip over the goalkeeper.

However, the defence was caught out by Durmaz with a left-foot finish from the edge of the box to equalise for Malmo.

The Swedes turned the game around after the break, as youngster Rodrigo Ely accidentally passed it straight to Malm, who beat Christian Abbiati in a one-on-one.

Milan finally snatched the 2-2 result in the final minutes when Cassano provided the assist for Kingsley Boateng’s header.

It went to penalties and Milan emerged 5-4 winners, as Abbiati parried Nilsson’s spot-kick.

Malmo 2-2 Milan (4-5 on pens)

Scorers: Cassano 26 (Mi), Durmaz 35 (Ma), Malm 47 (Ma), K Boateng 90 (Mi)

Malmo: Melicharek; Holsti, Andersson, Jansson, Hamad; Mehmeti, Pekalski, Mutavadzic, Durmaz; Figueiredo, Larsson

Milan: Amelia (Abbiati 46); Antonini (K Boateng 61), Rodrigo Ely (Abate 72), Bonera, Taiwo (De Sciglio 73); Gattuso (Van Bommel 46), Ambrosini, Emanuelson; K P Boateng (Oddo 46); Cassano, Ibrahimovic (Comi 61)

Ibrahimovic: 'I wouldn't accept Eto'o move'
14.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic reiterated his commitment to Milan, suggested they need another couple of players and hopes Inter sell Samuel Eto’o.

“I am very happy at Milan. Last year Robinho and I arrived in the final days of the transfer market, so we didn’t have time to train with our new teammates. This time we’re in our best shape and are inferior to nobody,” said the striker.

“My arrival from Barcelona was important, as I had to prove I was still alive. There was so much stress and pressure to win, while I also had something to prove to my former club, Inter.

“The Coach, Massimiliano Allegri, had also just arrived, so it was a new experience for all of us. The situation has changed radically this summer.”

He is currently in his home country of Sweden for the Rossoneri’s friendly match against Malmo, where he again starts alongside Antonio Cassano.

“Antonio is a great player and a wonderful teammate I really get along with. We talk a lot and I really hope he will stay with us. However, if someone isn’t happy, then there’s nothing to be done. We’ll see what happens.”

Despite his faith in the squad, Ibrahimovic admitted the Rossoneri could do with some new signings.

“In my view we could do with a couple more players. The transfer market isn’t closed yet and anything is still possible, but even as we are now, Milan have nothing to fear.”

Rivals Inter could be transforming their squad next week, as Eto’o is considering a €40m transfer to Russian club Anzhi.

“I cannot judge, as anyone would be tempted when faced with so much money,” said Ibra of the rumoured €20m per season contract.

“If Inter lose Eto’o, then it’s natural they’d also lose a lot of quality. He is one of the best in the world.

“Would I accept an offer from Russia? I am happy at Milan, so I’d say no. Just to be on the safe side, here’s hoping I never receive such a proposal!”

Allegri: 'AC Milan can beat anybody'
14.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri feels Milan’s Italian Super Cup win over Inter was the perfect start to the season. “We know we can beat anybody.”

The Rossoneri fought back from a goal down to defeat their rivals in Beijing on August 6 and are in Sweden today for a friendly with Malmo.

“We are facing an important side that we could well be paired with in the Champions League,” said the Coach.

“The Super Cup victory allows us to prepare for the start of the season in the best possible way. I have an exceptional squad with more motivation than last year and I’m sure we’ll be protagonists.

“Unlike last season, when we brought in new players on transfer deadline day and again in January, this team is already a solid unit. When winning the Scudetto, we needed the first six months just to build the team.

“The lads know each other now and we are all convinced of our strength. When we are highly motivated and ready to play good football, we know we can beat anybody. Milan proved that in the Super Cup against Inter.”

AC Milan aim for Kaka deadline deal
14.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan continue to deny their interest in bringing Kaka back to San Siro, but the Real Madrid man could complete his comeback in late August.

Vice-President Adriano Galliani insists the Rossoneri cannot have Kaka back for a second stint in Serie A due to his wages and any huge transfer fee that would come along with him.

The media in both Italy and Spain believe a deal is possible, but only in the final hours of the summer transfer market.

It’s believed this time will give Kaka a chance to evaluate his position within the Real Madrid ranks.

If he doesn’t start any of the first four games of the season, including both Cup meetings with Barcelona, Kaka could request a transfer to Milan.

A loan is also possible, which would be a big step down considering Madrid paid £56m for the Brazilian in 2009.

Mexes impatient for AC Milan debut
13.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Philippe Mexes thinks he’ll be ready for his Milan debut in three weeks. “I’m getting frustrated. I can’t take it anymore.”

The defender has been out of action for four months after undergoing knee ligament surgery when he was still a Roma player.

“I am slowly getting back in shape and tried touching the football for the first time this week,” he told Milan Channel.

“It was nice to have that feeling again, as I hadn’t gone near a football in four months, but I feel a bit frustrated. I know what I’m like and this much time away has been tough. I can’t take it anymore.

“But I know I have to go slowly and avoid relapses. Once the pain has gone, I will be at Coach Massimiliano Allegri’s disposal, which I think will be within two or three weeks.”

Mexes has already missed out on the Italian Super Cup, in which his Milan teammates beat Inter 2-1.

“The season started very well and it was important to see how we were doing. It’s very gratifying to win a title, especially if it’s in a derby. We’re on the right path.

“This is an honest squad and everyone works very hard throughout every training session. My fellow Frenchman Mathieu Flamini is really helping me through this time, but I can’t wait to be with my teammates in the locker room and on the pitch!”

Boateng reveals AC Milan changes
13.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin-Prince Boateng hints at a big change in Milan this season. “The Coach told me I won’t be playing as a trequartista for much longer...”

The Ghanaian international played behind the two strikers during their Scudetto-winning campaign, but the transfer market could bring changes.

“My preferred role is trequartista and I’m enjoying it, albeit not for much longer. Coach Allegri already told me in future I’ll have to play in midfield, on the right or the left,” Boateng said in Tuttosport.

This suggests there will be a new trequartista joining the club during the summer, with names like Alberto Aquilani of Liverpool or Fiorentina outcast Riccardo Montolivo heavily linked.

Another option is that Antonio Cassano will be redeployed in that position to ensure he has more playing time.

“I think our team is complete, so a new buy isn’t crucial, although obviously I don’t make those decisions,” continued Prince.

“If a player arrives who can help us to win, then he’s very welcome. Competition is healthy for individuals and the group.

“We have become a team now after our first year together. We all know Thiago Motta never loses a tackle, that Zlatan Ibrahimovic wants the ball a certain way and Alexandre Pato in another. This is why I’m convinced we will do very well.”

Boateng scored the winning goal in Milan’s 2-1 Italian Super Cup triumph over Inter in Beijing, then celebrated with a kung fu flying kick.

“The goal was Pippo Inzaghi-style, as I was in the right place at the right time. Everyone says it’s worth double because it was against Inter and it brought us the Super Cup. I add a third reason, as the win showed the path we need to follow in the next few months.

“As for the celebration, I was in China and it seemed a nice homage to the local fans. I am passionate about martial arts, as Bruce Lee was my idol and as a kid I studied Kick Boxing for two years.”

Abate waits for Azzurri chance
13.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan full-back Ignazio Abate is determined to earn his place in the Italy squad. “I don’t have as much quality, so always have to go 100kph.”

The 24-year-old started his career as a winger and was transformed into a full-back with the Rossoneri, but is yet to earn a call-up from Cesare Prandelli.

“I am a lad who has to give 100 per cent at all times to improve, because perhaps I don’t have as much quality as Alessandro Nesta or Thiago Silva, so I always have to go 100kph,” he told Sky Sport.

“I have ambitious targets with this team and haven’t won nearly as much as my Milan teammates, so I and the other youngsters in the side have 3,000 more reasons to seek trophies, including the Champions League.

“There are many great full-backs who are doing well at club level and therefore the Italy squad. I just need to keep working and make it difficult for the Coach to drop me every Sunday.”

Abate has had a remarkable career progression considering he has only recently become a full-back.

“This position means you need to be concentrated for all 90 minutes and see many things from another angle.”

Allegri set for extension
12.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan chief Adriano Galliani has suggested that he will extend the contract of boss Massimiliano Allegri.

The tactician signed a two-year contract with the Rossoneri last summer following his arrival from Cagliari.

But having started his Milanello adventure so well, it seems just a matter of time before the Coach puts pen to paper on a longer deal.

“Here at Milan, verbal agreements are much more important than a signature on a piece of paper,” Vice-President Galliani noted.

“In his first year at Milan, Allegri has been able to win the Scudetto and the Italian Super Cup. That’s what Arrigo Sacchi and Fabio Capello achieved here.”

Cassano told to stay fit
12.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has told Antonio Cassano what he has to do to make sure of his place at Euro 2012.

There were suggestions that the attacker could consider a summer move seeing as he isn’t guaranteed first team football at Milan.

However, the Azzurri tactician has told him that he doesn’t necessarily need to play in every game to win his call.

“It’s not important whether he is guaranteed a first team shirt or not,” the former Fiorentina boss stated.

“What is key is that he maintains a good physical condition. If that happens then I wouldn’t be surprised if he is always playing by the end of the season.”

Cassano has some real tough competition for a place at Milanello given the presence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alexandre Pato and Robinho amongst others.

Chiellini respects favourites AC Milan
11.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus stopper Giorgio Chiellini concedes that Milan will start the season as the team to beat in Italy.

The Rossoneri won the Scudetto last term and have started this campaign by lifting the Italian Super Cup.

“It’s right that Milan will start ahead of everyone else,” the Italian international told milannews.it after the 2-1 win over Spain.

“Behind them I see Inter a step below. We at Juventus though are a team who can do very well in the new season.”

While Juventus have made some important signings, it seems that rivals Inter are ready to sacrifice Samuel Eto’o.

“Even if they sell Eto’o, Inter will just go out and buy someone just as good,” added the defender. “Therefore I don’t think they will be weakened.”

Eto’o is set to be sold to Russian outfit Anzhi.

Buffon: 'Why Cassano was captain'
11.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gigi Buffon explains why it was “natural” to give Antonio Cassano the captain’s armband against Spain.

The Bari native revealed he was surprised when coming back from the warm-up at his hometown stadium, the San Nicola, to find the armband on his locker.

“In all honesty, these are natural gestures and it came to mind yesterday. It seemed fairly normal considering it was a friendly and he’d care about this,” smiled the goalkeeper after Italy’s 2-1 victory.

“For me it’s an honour to wear the armband, but this squad has many captains. If we can give this honour to someone else on a special occasion, then I’m happy.

“It was such a natural issue that there’s no need to even comment on it. There’s mutual respect and affection between us all. If we had played in Brescia, then Andrea Pirlo would’ve had the armband.”

However, Buffon admitted there was also something more to giving Cassano a sense of responsibility.

“Behind that gesture there was also the meaning of what he can do for this team. Maybe even Antonio doesn’t know how much he matters to us in the locker room and on the field.

“He must know it’s up to him to be strong, do the work and be ready for Euro 2012.”

AC Milan happy to keep Ibrahimovic for life
10.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan chief Adriano Galliani is happy to keep Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the club for the rest of his career.

The Swede committed his future to the Rossoneri yesterday just a year after leaving Barcelona for the Italian champions.

“If he is happy to stay here with us for life then we will be happy to keep him here for life,” Galliani noted.

Ibra, born in October 1981, has previously never spent more than three years at one club during first team spells at Malmo, Ajax, Juventus, Inter and Barcelona.

The striker, who has won a League championship for the last eight consecutive seasons, has scored 22 goals in 42 games across all competitions for the San Siro giants.

Berlusconi: 'I love Pato, but...'
9.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Barbara Berlusconi is the daughter of the Milan President, on the Board of Directors and girlfriend of striker Alexandre Pato. “He’s no different.”

Berlusconi gave an interview to the Italian edition of Vanity Fair about her status at the club and her romance with one of their star players.

“All the players in the squad are for sale at the right price, including Pato. He’s no different to the others,” she insisted.

“This relationship is not a sudden whirlwind. If I wasn’t in love with him, then I wouldn’t be by his side.

“I am happy, as Alexandre is a person it’s good to share with. I wasn’t ready for a new love after my divorce, but it happened and here I am.

“I feel like a normal girl who has fallen in love with a nice guy. I wouldn’t make a status issue out of it.

“If I have made a mistake, then I’ll be the one to find that out. I certainly can’t live by the criteria others decide are best for me.”

Chievo happy with Paloschi swoop
9.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Chievo have expressed their satisfaction after completing a swoop for Milan youngster Alberto Paloschi.

The Italian Under-21 international has joined the Verona minnows on loan for the season. Chievo will also have the option to buy a 50 per cent stake in him next summer.

“Paloschi was our first choice,” Chievo sporting director Giovanni Sartori told MilanNews.it on Tuesday.

“We have been chasing him for some time and we are extremely satisfied that we were able to get him.

“Is Paloschi happy? I think and I hope so. After all, he agreed to the operation.”

The former Parma player only returned to Milan this summer after joining Genoa during the January transfer window.

Ibrahimovic makes AC Milan pledge
9.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has committed his future to Milan. “I’ll stay here for life unless they sell me…”

The Swede joined the club from Barcelona last summer and immediately helped them to win the Scudetto.

“I was perhaps in the best team in the world at Barcelona, but that doesn’t matter if you are not happy,” he told Aftonbladet. “I feel a part of a family here.

“When you have a negative experience as I had at Barcelona, you appreciate things more when they go right.

“I don’t want to say too much about the Milan camp, all I will say is that it is fantastic and that is the truth.

“At no other club have I felt like I do at Milan. I’ll stay here for life, at least until 2014. I won’t ever leave Milan unless they decide to sell me.”

Ibra has started pre-season well after he was allowed to join the squad at a later date following an extended summer break.

“They gave me an extra week off because they understood that I needed a longer holiday. I needed to rest physically and mentally too.

“I feel really strong right now. I’m happy because Milan understand me and they listen to me.”

Chievo to get Paloschi on loan
8.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Alberto Paloschi will reportedly spend the new season trying to keep Chievo Verona in Serie A.

According to speculation this afternoon, the two clubs have agreed a deal for the Italian Under-21 striker.

Paloschi will move to the Stadio Bentegodi on loan for 2011-12, with Chievo having the option to buy next summer.

The 21-year-old, who grew up in the Rossoneri youth ranks, has only just returned to Milanello after six months at Genoa.

He’s also spent time at Parma from parent club Milan.

Thiago Silva happy at AC Milan
8.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Brazilian international Thiago Silva has committed his future to Italian champions Milan.

The centre-back has been linked with a move to Barcelona previously this summer, even though he extended his contract with the Rossoneri at the end of last season.

“I’m content here, I’m happy, I have a contract until 2016 and I’ll stay,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport on Monday.

“Only after that time will we see what happens because you just never know in football.”

Milan have started the season well after they added the Italian Super Cup to last term’s Scudetto success.

“We played with some fear in the first half against Inter,” Thiago Silva said of Saturday’s 2-1 win over Inter in China.

“Then boss Massimiliano Allegri walked into the changing room at the break and reminded us that we won the Scudetto last term.

“He told us that we could turn the game around.”

Aquilani unsure of AC Milan offer
8.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have made no firm move for Alberto Aquilani, the Liverpool player’s agent has stated on Monday.

The Rossoneri did recently open the door to the midfielder when Vice-President Adriano Galliani admitted that he is the type of player they’re looking for.

However, talking to calciomercato.it, agent Franco Zavaglia noted that the Italian champions had not been in touch.

“The Rossoneri, for now, haven’t stepped forward for him,” Zavaglia commented. “There were the words of Galliani, but no other signal.

“As a result, I can’t tell you what kind of offer the club could potentially make for my client – in regards to a loan or a permanent switch.

“We’ll have to just wait.”

Aquilani is back at Liverpool after he spent the 2010-11 campaign on loan at Juventus.

Serie A captains threaten strike
7.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

All 20 Serie A captains signed a letter warning they’ll strike for the opening weekend of the season unless the collective bargaining contract is signed.

There were threats of a strike last year over this same issue and they agreed to postpone the action to give more time for negotiations.

However, the season is set to begin on August 27-28 and the Lega Serie A (the union of clubs) has still not signed the deal with the Players’ Association.

“The Serie A players want to make the public aware of the disconcerting situation around the collective bargaining contract,” read the open letter released by the AIC.

“The agreement reached by the delegation of the AIC and the Lega Serie A, certified by the FIGC in December 2010, were ignored by the clubs with a surprising and unacceptable decision.

“As a consequence, the inadmissible period of deregulation around our world continues to drag on. It threatens our rights and could even put our contracts in jeopardy.

“It may seem absurd, but Italy are today the only developed football nation in which there are no precise contractual norms for all players.

“We therefore consider that without a signature on the collective bargaining contract, we cannot begin the new season. This is why we are certain the Lega Serie A will stand by its commitments and sign the contract that was already drawn up by the Players’ Association on May 30, 2011.”

The letter was signed by all 20 Serie A captains, including Javier Zanetti, Francesco Totti and Alessandro Del Piero.

Gattuso: 'AC Milan need an Aquilani'
7.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso warns Milan they need to bring in “Alberto Aquilani or Riccardo Montolivo, someone with quality.”

The Rossoneri fought back to beat Inter 2-1 in the Italian Super Cup on Saturday, but their sluggish first half performance raised questions.

“The way I see it, Milan need a new man in midfield,” Gattuso told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“We more or less all have the same characteristics in that area. We need a player who can get the team moving a bit more.”

Following Andrea Pirlo’s move to Juventus, they have been linked primarily with Liverpool outcast Aquilani and Fiorentina’s want-away former captain Montolivo.

“Perhaps Aquilani pushes up more, while we all know Montolivo, as he has been an Italian international for years.

“Aquilani and Montolivo are both players of great quality.”

Boateng: 'I was in the right place'
7.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin-Prince Boateng is still buzzing after he got Milan’s Italian Super Cup winner in Beijing. “I was in the right place.”

Inter had been leading 1-0 at the break, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic equalised and when Alexandre Pato hit the post, Boateng was ready to tap in.

“I was in the right place, because Pato had the shot and I was able to get on to it,” said the Ghana international.

“I feel really good and it was important for us to win the first game of the season. The first half was tough, but after the break we focused perfectly on to our objective and did what we wanted to.

“All we had to do was wait for their mistakes and that’s how we got them.”

Galliani: 'Better than the Scudetto'
7.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani maintains beating Inter to the Super Cup in Beijing “was better than the Scudetto, but I punched a board and cut my hand open.”

The Rossoneri fought back from a goal down to win 2-1 at the Bird’s Nest Stadium on Saturday.

“It was a stronger emotion than I felt when we won the Scudetto against Roma, as we were almost prepared for that result,” said the Vice-President.

“At the second goal I punched an advertising board and cut my hand open. We must also thanks the Chinese fans, who were absolutely fantastic throughout our stay.

“I had a few reservations about playing the local derby so far away, but it was a wonderful experience.”

Milan have won the Italian Super Cup six times – more than any other club – although they hadn’t lifted it since 2004.

“This is our 15th Italian piece of silverware, plus 13 internationals, which means Milan have won 28 trophies in 26 years of President Silvio Berlusconi’s rule. I called the President and he was very happy.”

Ibrahimovic: 'AC Milan's winning mentality'
6.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic thanked his teammates for the Super Cup goal. “Winning is in the Milan mentality.”

The Swede’s diving header from a Clarence Seedorf assist drew level before Kevin-Prince Boateng secured their 2-1 win over Inter in Beijing.

“We begin the campaign with a great victory,” Ibrahimovic told Milan Channel.

“This was a very important game for us and we’re all happy. We worked hard for a month, but can do much better and return home with this trophy to spur us on.

“I’m trying to do my best and work hard to get where I want to be, but I admit that I’d be dead in the water without my teammates. Once again I scored today thanks to Seedorf and my teammates. What else could I do after their hard work?”

Inter dominated the first half, but Milan emerged as time wore on to secure their sixth edition of the Italian Super Cup.

“I think that if we won this game despite not being in peak form, we can consider that a show of great quality.

“We want to win it all, as we are Milan and it is our duty to be successful. Winning is in the Milan mentality.”

Zanetti wanted AC Milan goal disallowed
6.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Javier Zanetti believes Milan’s equaliser should’ve been disallowed, but also notes Inter “lost our way in the second half.”

The Rossoneri cancelled out Wesley Sneijder’s opener with a Zlatan Ibrahimovic diving header following several charged down shots in the Italian Super Cup.

“We protested because there was a free kick in our favour that wasn’t seen by the referee,” Zanetti told Inter Channel.

The Inter players were furious, claiming Kevin-Prince Boateng had clattered into Dejan Stankovic during the chaotic build-up.

Just eight minutes later, Boateng turned the game around completely for Milan’s 2-1 victory.

“It’s too late to complain now. It’s better to keep hold of the positive aspects of the game and work on the negative ones,” continued Zanetti.

“The first half was good, as we approached it the right way, were comfortable on the field and controlled the opening stages.

“Then we lost our way a little bit and became more confused, especially in the second half. This can happen when a team like Inter is setting out something important and very new.

“It will take time to assimilate Gian Piero Gasperini’s tactical changes. The important thing is to look back over the mistakes we made and fix them so we can be ready for the start of the season.”

Barbara Berlusconi: 'Victory worth double'
6.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan director Barbara Berlusconi admits it was particularly satisfying “to win this trophy by beating Inter. It’s a victory that’s worth double.”

The Rossoneri secured the Italian Super Cup with a 2-1 victory in Beijing, meaning with six editions they are the most successful club in this tournament’s history.

“I compliment the team, Coach Massimiliano Allegri and Vice-President Adriano Galliani, who got our first objective of the season,” said Berlusconi.

She has only recently joined the Board of Directors, but is the daughter of President Silvio Berlusconi and is dating Milan striker Alexandre Pato.

“I’m glad 2011 continues to bring us success and this is a day of celebration for the Milanisti, because we’re adding another piece of silverware to the CV and it’s particularly satisfying to win this trophy by beating Inter.

“This means it’s a victory that is worth double to the supporters.”

Wesley Sneijder’s goal had put Inter in front before Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Kevin-Prince Boateng turned it around. Pato had a hand in the second goal, as his shot came off the post for the Boateng tap-in.

“We started a little too tense, then the real Milan emerged in the second half,” continued Berlusconi.

“Aside from the result, this Italian Super Cup was a positive advert for Italian football, which can still capture the interest of millions of fans on an international level.

“Our football is a quality product and that’s inevitable for a nation that has won the Champions League twice in the last five years.”

The last time Milan won the Italian Super Cup was in 2004, when Andriy Shevchenko’s hat-trick saw off Lazio 3-0.

Their other victories were in 1989, 1992, 1993 and 1994.

Stankovic: 'I'm very angry'
6.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Dejan Stankovic is “very angry” at Inter’s Super Cup defeat to Milan. “We were doing so well in the first half.”

The Nerazzurri were leading thanks to a Wesley Sneijder free kick, but two goals in eight minutes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Kevin-Prince Boateng turned the game around in Beijing.

“I feel very angry at losing this match after what we did in the first half,” raged Stankovic.

“We hardly allowed Milan anything except when they hit the post, while in the second half we fell away and were pegged back.

“In any case, the game was decided by small incidents. We have only been together for three weeks and you could see in the first half what we’re capable of.”

VIDEO: AC Milan 2:1 Inter Milan
6.8 || webmaster







Gasperini: 'Inter had game in hand'
6.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gian Piero Gasperini concedes Inter lost their way in the Italian Super Cup. “It’s a real shame, as we had the game in hand. Wesley Sneijder? We’ll see.”

The Nerazzurri were 1-0 up at half-time with Wesley Sneijder’s goal, but Milan fought back to win 2-1 thanks to two goals in eight minutes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Kevin-Prince Boateng.

“We played less well after the break in defence, especially compared to what we had done in the first half,” said the Coach.

“It’s a real shame, as we had the game in hand and deserved to be in that position. If only we had known how to control the tempo better at the start of the second half...

“In any case, this was a wonderful experience, especially for the enthusiastic reception we received from the people who follow Inter and Italian football in China.

“In general, we had a good game, especially in the first half, so there is even more regret at not being able to win.”

Gasperini was asked about Sneijder, who seemed very tense in Beijing and has been heavily linked with both Manchester United and Manchester City.

“I don’t know. We’ll think about it next week if there is this development.”

Allegri: 'AC Milan deserved it'
6.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri feels “Milan deserved this win” after a bad start, but improved their courage to defeat Inter in the Super Cup.

“We knew this was a difficult game and starting the season with a derby was not easy,” he said of their 2-1 victory in Beijing.

“We didn’t get a good start, mainly thanks to Inter, who wouldn’t let us keep hold of the ball.

“After Wesley Sneijder’s goal we improved and hit the woodwork, then scored twice and wouldn’t let Inter back in the game.

“I think at the end of the day we deserved this win.”

The Rossoneri couldn’t get into gear during the first half, but found their way after the break to turn the tie around.

“In the second half we put the pressure on and played with more courage. This is the spirit I want to see in football at Milan,” Coach Allegri told RAI.

The tactician was asked if the Rossoneri are the favourites to retain the Scudetto after this success.

“This is a one-off game, whereas over a Serie A season you need greater consistency. We’ve proved that we need to win on the field with the right attitude.

“At this moment I’m happy with the squad at my disposal. There’s a month to the end of the transfer market, but I think everyone will remain. The side is very motivated, has character and can do well this season too.”

Italian Super Cup: AC Milan 2:1 Inter Milan - match report
6.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Sneijder 22 (I), Ibrahimovic 60 (M), Boateng 68 (M)

Milan fought back from Wesley Sneijder's opener to win the Italian Super Cup 2-1 with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Kevin-Prince Boateng in Beijing.

This was the first ever Derby della Madonnina in the Super Cup and to spread the word of Italian football it was hosted by the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing. Dejan Stankovic was a shock starter despite missing the last few training sessions with a knee problem and played with a 3-5-1-1 system. Javier Zanetti and Julio Cesar were recalled early from their Copa America vacations after injuries to Yuto Nagatomo and Emiliano Viviano.

Milan opted to start with Robinho and Kevin-Prince Boateng supporting Zlatan Ibrahimovic, while Ignazio Abate recovered from a flu virus. Philippe Mexes and Stephen El Shaarawy were injured, while Taye Taiwo still had a ban to sit out from his Olympique Marseille days.

It certainly was not friendly, as within 120 seconds Mark Van Bommel got a talking to from the referee for a tackle from behind on Thiago Motta. Robinho fired over after exchanging passes with Ibra, while Thiago Silva did well to block Samuel Eto'o following an intercepted Alessandro Nesta pass.

Gennaro Gattuso was booked after 19 minutes and just 60 seconds later went into two diving tackles on Alvarez and Joel Obi. Inter players crowded round the referee demanding a second booking, but calm was restored and he was given a final warning.

From that free kick, Inter took the lead with a classic Sneijder free kick. It curled in off the inside of the near post to beat Christian Abbiati, a lucky ricochet ensuring the goalkeeper had no chance.

Milan struggled to get into gear and a rare chance went begging thanks to Robinho's misplaced pass in a give-and-go with Ibrahimovic. Instead, Sneijder and Alvarez exchanged quick passes for the Argentine to fire over, while an Eto'o angled drive was smothered at the base of the near post.

Julio Cesar did well to block a Robinho snapshot, but moments later Milan had their best chance of the game so far. On 40 minutes Abate's cross went over Boateng to find Ibra's diving header, looping the ball past Julio Cesar and on to the back post! The Nerazzurri goalkeeper was grateful the bounce took it back away from the line.

In first half stoppages Cristian Chivu brought down Boateng on the outside right edge of the box, but Clarence Seedorf's free kick was insipid.

There were no substitutions, but Gasperini switched Inter to a four-man defence after the break. Chivu went to left-back, Zanetti to the right and Alvarez on the right side of midfield for a 4-4-1-1.

Clarence Seedorf drilled just over the bar from the D in a good opportunity, as did Sneijder. Ibrahimovic combined passes with Boateng to burst into the box before running into Walter Samuel. Milan wanted a penalty, but the referee awarded a free kick against the Swede.

Milan got their equaliser at the end of a chaotic move. The Inter defence charged down a series of efforts before Seedorf chipped a pass at the back post for Ibrahimovic's diving header from six yards, anticipating his marker for an open goal. Inter were furious about a supposed foul in the lead-up, which earned Sneijder a booking for dissent.

Alexandre Pato replaced Robinho with Marco Davide Faraoni on for Alvarez. Ibrahimovic had a good chance on the edge of the box, but the first touch let him down and Zanetti was on it like a hawk.

Thiago Motta's dangerous tackle on Thiago Silva, stamping on the Brazilian when he had the ball between his legs and sparking a furious brawl, particularly with an infuriated Nesta. Thiago Motta risked a straight red for that unnecessary challenge on Silva's knee.

However, as soon as play resumed, Milan went 2-1 up! A long Abate pass found Pato's angled drive, which was fingertipped on to the back post by Julio Cesar, but Boateng dived on to the rebound for a tap-in.

Giampaolo Pazzini replaced Stankovic for a more attacking end to the game from Inter, while Massimo Ambrosini came on for Gattuso. Urby Emanuelson took over from Boateng, while Luc Castaignos replaced Obi. Within 60 seconds Castaignos' cross had been volleyed wide by Eto'o.

Abbiati was almost caught napping by Eto'o and had to kick the ball out of touch under a great deal of pressure. Eto'o put the ball in the back of the net at the 94th minute, but the offside flag was raised.

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Gattuso (Ambrosini 75), Van Bommel, Seedorf; Boateng (Emanuelson 81); Ibrahimovic, Robinho (Pato 62)

Inter: Julio Cesar; Ranocchia, Samuel, Chivu; Zanetti, Thiago Motta, Stankovic (Pazzini 74), Alvarez (Faraoni 63), Obi (Castaignos 81); Sneijder; Eto'o
Ref: Rizzoli

Italian Super Cup: AC Milan - Inter Milan - line-ups
6.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Gattuso, Van Bommel, Seedorf; Boateng; Ibrahimovic, Robinho

Reserves: Amelia, Bonera, Yepes, Ambrosini, Emanuelson, Pato, Cassano

Inter: Julio Cesar; Ranocchia, Samuel, Chivu; Zanetti, Thiago Motta, Stankovic, Alvarez, Obi; Sneijder; Eto'o

Reserves: Castellazzi, Bianchetti, Faraoni, Muntari, Pazzini, Pandev, Castaignos

Huge AC Milan discount for Kaka?
6.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Spanish media claim Real Madrid are prepared to hand Kaka back to Milan for just €11m.

There have been many reports that the Brazilian would return to San Siro, but Vice-President Adriano Galliani always ruled it out because of the player’s wages.

However, El Mundo Deportivo newspaper suggests today that Real Madrid could release Kaka for just €11m.

It would be a huge drop in value, as the Spanish side broke world transfer records to sign him for €65m just two years ago.

Ricky has barely played over the last season due to a series of injuries and never quite settled at the Bernabeu.

According to another Spanish paper, As, Milan have instead offered to take Kaka on loan.

Galliani: 'It's like a sauna!'
6.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani reveals some of the problems Milan and Inter are encountering in Beijing. “It’s like a sauna!”

The San Siro rivals face off for the Italian Super Cup at 13.00 UK time today, but the competition has been moved to the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing to help spread the sport.

“It will be a very important game and more silverware for the trophy cabinet, but will not decide our season, as there are another 38 matches in Serie A after that,” said the Rossoneri Vice-President.

“The climactic conditions are difficult, as it’s like a sauna in the stadium! The humidity level is above 90 per cent, but then Inter will be having the same problems as us, so it evens out.”

Milan won their first Scudetto in seven years and are now turning their focus towards Europe.

“Last season Mark Van Bommel, Urby Emanuelson and Antonio Cassano were cup-tied for us, so we can say that we are a stronger side in the Champions League this time round.”

Seedorf respects Gasperini's Inter
6.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf warns Milan not to underestimate Gian Piero Gasperini’s Inter in today’s Italian Super Cup. “He caused us problems in the past.”

The two teams come face to face in Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium, kick-off at 13.00 UK time, for the first official trophy of the campaign.

“It will be more important for us to start strong psychologically. Inter could start with a three-man defence, then maybe move to four,” noted the veteran midfielder.

“We know that we’re facing a great side with a Coach who has caused us problems in the past. It will be an even match and we are prepared for the challenge.”

Traditionally the Scudetto winners are the favourites in this match against the Coppa Italia holders, while the fact Inter have a new Coach and are missing many of their South American stars also leans the odds towards Milan.

However, Seedorf is not fooled by the change in tactics for his rivals.

“Wesley Sneijder can play in any midfield role. At Ajax we are taught to play absolutely anywhere,” said his fellow Dutchman.

“Inter did well for four years, while before that it was the Juventus era. Now we hope it will be the time for Milan. I’ve been here for 10 years and had a lot of fun, winning many trophies, so I hope to continue like that.”

Rossoneri Coach Max Allegri admitted he is unsure which striker to use as a partner for Zlatan Ibrahimovic today.

Antonio Cassano seems fairly low on the list, fuelling reports he could leave this summer.

“New players get some very important support here at Milan from the club, the squad and the staff,” explained Seedorf.

“Cassano brings with him some fairly hefty baggage that everyone on the outside is ready to judge. Inevitably, this means he isn’t so calm, but we are trying to help him. He is improving his condition.

“Would I be surprised if he left Milan this summer? At the moment that’s not a real issue. In football nothing is impossible, but I hope he and Milan will make the right decision for all parties.”

Galliani: 'Cassano staying with AC Milan'
5.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani has reiterated “Antonio Cassano will stay with Milan” despite Fiorentina declaring their interest today.

Viola Coach Sinisa Mihajlovic said in a Press conference that FantAntonio would be a welcome addition to his squad.

“The player has not asked to be sold, nor do Milan have any intention of releasing him, so I can confirm Cassano will stay with us,” said Vice-President Galliani on Milan Channel.

Reports continue to suggest Cassano will either be sold or loaned out this season in order to have more first team football.

This is because Italy Coach Cesare Prandelli warned only those who play regularly at club level will be picked for Euro 2012.

Fiorentina are the favourites to land Cassano, but other options include Genoa, Palermo and Napoli.

Allegri has Ibrahimovic conundrum
5.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri admits he’s got a tough choice on who’ll partner Zlatan Ibrahimovic against Inter.

“Robinho, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Antonio Cassano and Alexandre Pato are battling it out for two starting spots,” said the Milan Coach ahead of tomorrow’s Italian Super Cup in Beijing.

“These are never easy decisions, especially for a game that could go to extra time, so I need everybody.”

The Rossoneri are relatively unchanged from last season, especially as Philippe Mexes and Stephen El Shaarawy are injured with Taye Taiwo suspended.

“I don’t know if Inter will take on a new tactical approach, as only Gian Piero Gasperini knows that.

“If Dejan Stankovic recovers from that knee problem, he’ll be an important player for this match. He’s a warrior, so I expect him to be there. If I could take anyone away from Inter, it would be Samuel Eto’o and Wesley Sneijder.

“We’re starting on a par in this game and have the same hunger to win this Super Cup. Mind you, I felt less nervous ahead of the derby that sent the Scudetto our way last season.”

Allegri was asked about the continuing transfer speculation around the squad, most notably Cassano’s future and the mysterious Mr X target.

“None of us are thinking about the transfer market, as tomorrow’s game requires a great deal of concentration. We want to be competitive in the Champions League and at least reach the quarter-finals, but this is for later.

“Cassano? He needs to be helped the same way as everyone else in this squad. Since we have been here, Cassano’s fitness has improved.”

Galliani fears demise of Italian football
4.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani is concerned about Italian football’s future at club level. “We’re like a pizzeria.”

Serie A clubs were once a force to be respected in European competition during the 1990s and 2000s, but that is no longer the case.

Italy have now fallen behind England, Spain and Germany in the UEFA club rankings which means that only the top three this term, instead of four, will qualify for the 2012-13 Champions League.

“Thanks to the new stadiums being built for Euro 2016, I predict that the French will also overtake us," the Rossoneri director and former Lega Calcio chief told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"We could be competitive with equal factors and situations, but unfortunately that's not the case,” he continued.

"Spain has the advantage that they don't have collective TV rights, Germany have overtaken us thanks to the wonderful new stadiums they built for the World Cup in 2006.

"It's like theatres and restaurants. There are beautiful theatres and ugly ones, there are luxury restaurants and then pizzerias.

"But we can't do anything. Without stadiums we can't do anything and without a new law we can't construct new stadiums.

"Even the politicians have understood that, but the design of the law has remained blocked between the two branches of parliament."

Juventus will become the first top-flight Italian club to actually own their own stadium when their new arena opens for 2011-12.

Despite Galliani’s pessimistic overall look of the future, he did add that he hopes his Milan could get Italy back on the right track this term.

"We've become outsiders but there are always surprises in the Champions League,” he noted.

“Look at Schalke last year, they got to the semi-finals. I hope Milan can be the next surprise.”

Genoa: 'Gilardino-Cassano is possible'
4.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Genoa have hopes of fielding a strike force containing Alberto Gilardino and Antonio Cassano in the new campaign.

Both players have been paired with the Marassi outfit and the club have failed to rule out their swoops.

“Could we see Cassano and Gilardino together? Nothing is impossible,” Rossoblu sporting director
Stefano Capozucca is quoted as saying.

Genoa, who have already signed Sebastien Frey from the Viola, are also very interested in the Italian international striker.

However, it remains to be seen whether the Grifone can afford to buy the €15m rated striker and accommodate his contract requests.

Meanwhile, Cassano is a possible target should he decide to leave Milan in search of regular first team football.

Montolivo agent confirms AC Milan talks
4.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo’s agent confirms Milan-Fiorentina negotiations have started. “The two clubs made contact.”

The former Viola captain is on the market after refusing to extend his current contract, which expires in June 2012.

“Yes, it’s true, the two clubs made contact,” Giovanni Branchini told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“It’s up to Fiorentina now to decide what to do. We have taken a decision, which is not to renew the contract with the Viola, but we are not putting any pressure on them to leave Florence now.”

The club does not want to risk losing Montolivo as a free agent in 12 months and hopes to pick up at least €12m from a summer sale.

His position has become increasingly difficult, as fans hurled insults at the midfielder during training and he was stripped of the captain’s armband.

“I do not understand the bitterness of the fans,” insisted his agent. “If Riccardo were to stay here for another season, he would always guarantee the utmost effort. It wouldn’t be a problem for him to remain with the Viola for a year.”

Milan are the hot favourites to sign Italy international Montolivo, but Genoa are also showing an interest.

Nesta has no intention of retiring
3.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alessandro Nesta sees Thiago Silva as his Milan heir, but warns “I intend to keep playing as long as possible.”

The veteran defender had been considering his retirement and it’s widely believed he’ll hang up his boots next summer.

“I intend to keep playing as long as possible and to keep the date of my retirement far in the distance,” smiled the 35-year-old.

He was given a warm welcome by the fans in China ahead of Saturday’s Italian Super Cup against Inter.

The Rossoneri will be without the injured Philippe Mexes and suspended Taye Taiwo for that clash.

“Last season our defence did very well, especially in the second half of the campaign,” continued Nesta.

“Now we have players like Mexes and Taiwo as well, while we kept the best defender in the world, Thiago Silva. Therefore our defence is absolutely solid.”

No Kaka or Balotelli for AC Milan
3.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have cooled fresh links with Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli and Kaka of Real Madrid.

Both players have again been associated with the Rossoneri, but chief Adriano Galliani insists neither will arrive.

“Balotelli is certainly a talent, but Milan are full of attackers right now,” he stated ahead of Saturday’s Italian Super Cup Final against Inter in China.

“As for Kaka, that is impossible. The difference in tax laws between Spain and Italy would make such an operation very expensive.

“If someone arrives then it will be in the last few days of the transfer market and, as I have said for some time, it will be e left-sided midfielder.”

Milan have a wide range of attacking options available to them this term in the shape of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alexandre Pato, Robinho, Antonio Cassano, Pippo Inzaghi, Alberto Paloschi and Stephen El Shaarawy.

Kaka has been regularly linked with a return to Milan since his 2009 switch to Liga giants Real Madrid.

Pato committed to AC Milan
3.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato has committed his immediate future to Milan after reports of a possible Chelsea bid emerged.

According to transfer speculation, the London club have made a cash plus player bid for the Brazilian – £20m plus Nicolas Anelka or Salomon Kalou.

“I have a contract until 2014 and I want to respect it,” the striker said in China on Wednesday. “I don’t know yet what will happen after that.”

Pato, who could feature in Saturday’s Italian Super Cup Final against Inter, joined Milan in 2007 from Internacional.

The 21-year-old has scored 50 Serie A goals in 102 appearances for the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza outfit. He has 57 in a total of 125 games across all competitions for the Italian side.

Allegri: Mr X has X factor
3.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s mystery Mr X is a player of the highest quality, insists boss Massimiliano Allegri.

The League champions have been teasing the media all summer with regard to the man they intend to sign before the transfer window closes.

“If a Mr X does arrive then it is obvious that he will be a player of value, an important one,” the tactician noted.

The presumed identity of the transfer target has evolved over the summer to include the likes of Marek Hamsik and Cesc Fabregas.

Mr X is believed to be a left-sided midfielder, but former Rossoneri sensation Kaka has also been suggested as a possibility.

“Kaka remains a great player for me,” Allegri added of the Real Madrid playmaker who has had his struggles in Spain.

“But everyday a different name comes out in relation to Milan. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”

Milan left it late in the window last summer too when they swooped for Robinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Cassano offered Genoa chance
3.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Genoa will make a move for Antonio Cassano next week once he returns from Milan’s Italian Super Cup trip.

The Italian international’s future remains in doubt ahead of the 2012 European Championship.

With first team football at San Siro not guaranteed, there is a possibility that he could move on in order not to jeopardise his place in the Italy side.

The former Bari player has been linked with Fiorentina and Palermo so far this summer, but it seems that Genoa are keen.

Despite Cassano’s past at rivals Sampdoria – he left the club for Milan in January – Preziosi is dreaming of bringing him back to Marassi.

According to reports on Wednesday, Preziosi will meet with Cassano within the next 10 days to discuss the Genoa project and contract terms.

Milan have stated that they will be willing to sell the attacker should he ask for a transfer this summer.

Milan play Inter in the Italian Super Cup Final on Saturday afternoon in Beijing.

AC Milan hatch Balotelli plan
2.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli’s public appeal for a return “home” from Manchester City could see Milan make a transfer deadline day loan swoop.

It’s reported the Rossoneri are hatching a plan to wait it out until the final days of the summer to make their proposal.

SuperMario would arrive on loan with an option to buy at the end of the season, providing him with both a return ‘home’ and the chance to play for the club he always supported.

“I’m not happy at Manchester, I don’t like the city,” he told Sky Sport Italia after scoring in City’s 3-0 win over Inter on Sunday.

“I’m happy with the Coach and within the team, but you can’t have everything in life,” he continued.

“I don’t miss Milan, I miss Brescia, my home. I miss my family and my friends. I don’t know if I will stay until the end of my contract,” he added. “I’m here for now and then we’ll see.”

This is not the first time the Rossoneri have taken advantage of a player who is unhappy in his situation, but too expensive for a permanent switch.

They also snatched Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Barcelona on loan with a mandatory buy-out clause at the end of the season. Ibra was also a former Inter player who crossed the San Siro divide.

Agent: Aquilani to AC Milan 'for EUR 10 mil'
2.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Liverpool man Alberto Aquilani’s agent has confirmed he’ll talk to Milan. “I think an agreement could be reached for €10m.”

The midfielder wanted to stay on at Juventus after his year-long loan, but the club did not take up its option to buy for around €17m.

He is not part of Liverpool’s plans this season and has made it clear he would like a permanent return to Italy.

“When you talk about negotiations like this, there is always an element of truth,” agent Franco Zavaglia told Il Sussidiario.

“Adriano Galliani is currently in China for the Italian Super Cup, but I expect to talk to him when he returns to Milan.

“I think an agreement could be reached for €10m.”

This week Rossoneri Vice-President Galliani admitted Aquilani was the type of player they were looking for to strengthen the midfield.

It would be a huge loss for Liverpool, who paid £20m to take him from Roma two years ago.

“Aquilani is still tied to a three-year contract with Liverpool and before his eventual departure we will talk with those in charge of Liverpool.

“It seems clear to me that the player is not part of the Coach’s plans, so the suggestion he could leave is concrete.”

Super Cup squads announced
1.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan and Inter have revealed their squads for Saturday’s Italian Super Cup encounter in China.

The traditional season opener between the League champions and the Coppa Italia winners will take place in Beijing. The kick off is at 1pm British time.

Inter will have Julio Cesar and Javier Zanetti at their disposal after they were recalled early from holiday following injuries to Yuto Nagatomo and Emiliano Viviano.

Milan have included Taye Taiwo in their party despite the fact that he will be suspended for the game.

Fellow new boy Philippe Mexes, signed on a Bosman from Roma, is not part of the squad as he recovers from injury.

The game will be refereed by Nicola Rizzoli of Bologna.

Inter squad – Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar, Castellazzi, Orlandoni.
Defenders: Cordoba, Caldirola, Ranocchia, Walter Samuel, Chivu, Faraoni, Santon, Bianchetti, Zanetti, Natalino.
Midfielders: Stankovic, Thiago Motta, Sneijder, Alvarez, Mariga, Obi, Crisetig, Muntari.
Attackers: Pazzini, Eo’o, Pandev, Castaignos.

Milan squad – Goalkeepers: Abbiati, Amelia, Roma.
Defenders: Abate, Antonini, Bonera, Nesta, Taiwo, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Yepes, De Sciglio. Midfielders: Ambrosini, Boateng, Emanuelson, Gattuso, Seedorf, Van Bommel, Valoti.
Attackers: Cassano, Ibrahimovic, Paloschi, Pato, Robinho.

Allegri fears city rivals Inter
1.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri expects Inter to be their biggest title rivals in 2011-12.

Earlier today Marcello Lippi picked the Rossoneri and Napoli as realistic Scudetto contenders, but Allegri has other views.

“Despite the fact that other sides have strengthened, I think that Inter and ourselves will be favourites for the championship,” he stated on Monday.

Allegri made the claim before his side’s departure for China ahead of the Italian Super Cup clash against Inter on Saturday 6 August.

“We’ve worked reasonably well in these weeks,” continued the former Cagliari tactician.

“It will be important to have the right concentration in Beijing, because we are playing for the first trophy of the season and because it is against Inter.

“It’ll be tough, mentally and physically, but it wouldn’t be a bad start to the season if we win this one…”

Motta unaware of AC Milan move
1.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Thiago Motta has reacted with surprise to rumours that the Inter man could join city rivals Milan.

It’s not been the first time this summer that the Rossoneri have been linked with the player, but Dario Canovi insists nothing has been discussed.

“I read about it in the newspapers too, but I don’t know anything,” the representative told calciomercato.it.

“At the moment, there is nothing new to report about the future of Thiago Motta.”

The Brazilian-born Italian international has two years left on his contract at San Siro. He joined the club in 2009 from Genoa along with Diego Milito.

AC Milan open Aquilani door
1.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have failed to rule out a bid for Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani. “He could be of interest.”

Aquilani’s future is in some doubt given that he wants a return to Italy after being told that he doesn’t feature in the future plans of the Anfield club.

Having seen moves to Juventus and Fiorentina seemingly fall through this summer, he’s now been paired with Milan.

“We could talk about Aquilani,” Rossoneri Vice-President Adriano Galliani noted on Monday morning.

“He’s a midfielder with the characteristics that we are looking for so, like with other players in his role, he could be of interest.”

Aquilani spent last season on loan at Juve, but the Turin giants decided not to buy him outright after picking up Andrea Pirlo from Milan.

Meanwhile, the club official has also discussed rumours of an Antonio Cassano exit and the proposed arrival of Thiago Motta from Inter.

“There is nothing in these stories,” Galliani continued. “Cassano is a Milan player.

“A move to Genoa for Antonio could only occur if he asks to leave. If he doesn’t do that then he will definitely stay here with us.”

Lippi favours AC Milan and Napoli
1.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Italian World Cup winning boss Marcello Lippi thinks Milan and Napoli will start on the front row of the Scudetto grid.

With the Serie A season set to start at the end of this month, Lippi thinks the two clubs have a major advantage over their likely rivals.

“Milan and Napoli have not changed Coach and this will benefit them,” the Viareggino told Sky Sport Italia.

“Behind them are Juventus, Inter and Roma.”

There is great anticipation as to how well Roma will play under new boss Luis Enrique and Lippi can’t wait to see how they perform.

“Everyone is curious about Roma, even myself,” the former Juventus Scudetto winner continued.

“They have decided to change their footballing philosophy and players, players who will have a great future.

“Despite that though, Milan and Napoli still have the advantage.”





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