September 12, 2009

Milan Set To Move For Valencia’s David Silva - Report

David Silva is set to become the subject of transfer speculation once again.

Valencia will have to brace themselves for another flurry of interest in their star players when the winter transfer market opens, with Milan already mooting a bid for David Silva.The Rossoneri are desperate to revitalise their flagging squad and believe that the highly-rated Spaniard could be the player to add the spark to Leonardo's side.Milan are said to be considering a €30 million offer for the 23-year-old, who interested both Barcelona and Real Madrid in the summer, but will face competition, The Daily Mail states.Liverpool are said to be monitoring the situation and were only prevented from making their interest concrete due to the lack of finances available to manager Rafael Benitez.Sir Alex Ferguson also sees Silva, who can play through the middle and down the left, as someone who could add a lot to his Manchester United team.Valencia fended off interest for both Silva and David Villa throughout the summer, despite their financial problems, and will be prepared to hold out once again in January.

AC Milan Boss Leonardo Considers Copying Italy's Pirlo Idea

The 30-year-old may be going back to his roots at the club level as well, slotting in behind the attack.

AC Milan coach Leonardo is considering a tactical shuffle after Andrea Pirlo's performance in international action yesterday, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.The midfielder has been struggling in recent months in his usual deep-lying role, but excelled when placed in the trequartista position just behind the strikers on Wednesday evening, having a hand in both of Italy's goals against Bulgaria.The Brazilian boss is considering a similar move against Livorno, pushing the 30-year-old further up the field in support of Alexandre Pato and either Ronaldinho or Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.The Italian international began his career in the same attacking midfield position, but was later pushed back into a deeper role due to the presence of players like Kaka and Rui Costa at the San Siro.Meanwhile, the rest of the midfield would consist of Mathieu Flamini, captain Massimo Ambrosini, and Clarence Seedorf.The Rossoneri are eager to make up for their recent humiliating 4-0 loss to city-rivals Inter. They kick-off against Livorno on Saturday at 18:00 CET at the Stadio Armando Picchi.

Clarence Seedorf Keeps His Faith In Milan

The Dutchman is adamant that the Rossoneri will react to adversity and begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Milan resume their Serie A campaign in Livorno this weekend hoping to erase memories of their Derby della Madonnina debacle and Clarence Seedorf has urged the Diavoli fans to remain patient, because the tide will turn.“We know it is a transitional phase and there’s a long way to go, but over the years Milan have always proved to know how to get out of dark periods,” he told Studio Sport.“We have always reacted to difficulties and that’s why I am optimistic.”Seedorf seems to have fallen out of favour under new boss Leonardo and his alleged bust-up with Gennaro Gattuso during the Derby has prompted speculation of friction in the Rossoneri dressing room.“After being a regular for years, I find myself starting in the second row because I am back from an injury,” mused the ex-Real Madrid man.“I consider myself an important player for this team, so there are no problems. And as long as I am here, I will not allow any ‘cracks’ in the dressing room. That would be the evil of all evils.”

Ajax Coach Martin Jol Thinks Luis Suarez Is A Perfect Fit For Inter Or AC Milan

The Ajax gaffer has stated that he considers Suarez as one of the best attackers around and that he is bound to sign for a big club next summer.

Uruguayan international Luis Suarez has developed into an absolute star player at Dutch powerhouse Ajax since joining them from Groningen in the summer of 2007. Head coach Martin Jol is confident that the forward will keep getting better and join a big club in the not so distant future."Luis Suarez is one the best attacker around at the moment, but I am not sure whether he has what it takes to become the best in the world. He is the type of forward that does unexpected things from out of nowhere. He is not a typical striker though," said Jol to Sportweek."He is at his best as a support striker. We have not yet found the perfect position for him at Ajax, but I think he will be great together with Marko Pantelic. Luis and Marko will be a great striker-duo for us."Suarez can still get better as a player. The experience of being a key player at Ajax will only help him in his development. There were no big clubs after him this summer, because Luis revealed that he was not interested in leaving the club."However, it's impossible for Ajax to hold on to a player of his class. He will join a big club such as AC Milan, Inter or Olympique Lyon in the summer of 2010. Those clubs play in a perfect 4-4-2 formation for him. Clubs of a lower statute can not afford him."

Luca Antonini: AC Milan Have Started From Scratch After Losing Ancelotti, Kaka & Maldini

The Milan defender admits it feels like going back to square one after losing major influences at the club.

AC Milan defender Luca Antonini admits the high-profile departures of Kaka, Carlo Ancelotti and Paolo Maldini this summer have forced the team to go back a step and basically start over.The Rossoneri have enjoyed a mixed start to the season as Leonardo gets to grips with his new responsibilities as coach. Antonini believes the players have had to go back, rather than forward following the squad overhaul."We have started from zero because we changed coach and lost players like Kaka and Maldini," Antonini told Milan Channel."Therefore we have had to begin new things with a new coach. New training and work on the pitch. I am sure we will see the results though."Antonini is hoping to take to the field in the Armando Picchi when his side travel to Livorno, but he has warned not to downgrade the opposition."We head to Tuscany and I hope to prove my value, but the coach will decide," added the defender."Livorno have a good squad with players such as Francesco Tavano and Cristiano Lucarelli that can hurt us."We need to watch them. In any case, we are aware of our qualities."

Milan Striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar: I Want To Play Against Livorno

The Rossoneri striker is eager for more playing time.

Milan striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has asked coach Leonardo for more playing time and his hope is to be on the park against Livorno this weekend.After being suspended for the season opener against Siena, Huntelaar made a cameo appearance against Inter in the derby. The hitman is currently on international duty, but he is eyeing a starting role when he returns to the San Siro."I want to be given an opportunity to do what I was bought to do, and that is to play," Huntelaar told Tuttosport."I was used very little at Real Madrid, but I have found a different situation here at Milan. However, I can only show my quality if I am given space in the team."I know there are not guarantees, but I hope to be used more when I return to Italy. There is a need to change after the derby, and I am ready to have my chance," concluded the hitman.

Milan's Adriano Galliani: I Will Spend More Time With The Team This Year

The bald-headed chief is eager to rally his troops this season.

Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has revealed he will be spending more time with the team this term, and less time in his office.The chief is less than pleased with the shaky start to the season. Galliani wants to stay close to coach Leonardo to ensure his side move in the right direction. The Italian dignitary has traditionally taken a step back from the action, but he has promised to be more involved with the work at the club's training headquarters."I am from Brianza territory where there are lots of factories. I have decided that I will spend more time in the workshop, the Milan workshop in Milanello that is," Galliani is quoted as saying on"I want to stay close to my friend Leonardo. There will not be any rapport with the team, there's no need."The Rossoneri clash with Livorno on Saturday evening, hoping to bounce back from their 4-0 loss to Inter in the derby last time out.

Massimo Ambrosini: Milan Needed To Play Straight Away After Derby

The skipper says that the Rossoneri have been suffering ever since their humiliation in the Milan derby.
Milan midfielder Massimo Ambrosini, who just extended his contract with the club until 2009, believes that the two-week break has done more harm than good for the team.Ambrosini would have preferred to jump straight into action following the 4-0 hammering at the hands of Inter in order to try to silence the critics, but 15 days without club football has not helped at all."With regards to the derby, the problem is that we have been 15 days without playing,” explained the Rossoneri’s captain to Milan Channel.“If there were few days after the derby until the next game, we would have had straight away the chance to redeem ourselves. With the break, we carried forward this result for 15 days and we still carry it.“In any case, we have worked well, even though it's always particular to train without many players, like in every national team break. We remain optimistic, like before Siena and after Siena. We need, like in everything, the right balance to evaluate the situations.”Milan will now visit Livorno on Saturday as they try to get back on the winning track and keep themselves within touching distance of the teams at the top of the table in this early part of the season.

September 04, 2009

It's Too Early To Talk About The Scudetto Race – Juventus Midfielder Felipe Melo

The Brazilian hardman says that any talk of the title is premature.

Juventus midfielder Felipe Melo claims that despite the club's opening results, it is too early to be discussing the Scudetto race. The Bianconeri have won their first two matches, and currently sit two points ahead of Inter, who have won the past four Serie A titles.“It’s been a really good start to the championship, we’re happy to have played well in these first two matches, especially against a strong team like Roma,” he said, according to Italia. “I think it’s too early to talk about a battle between Inter and Juventus. There is also Milan.” The player scored on his Serie A debut for the Bianconeri in the 3-1 victory over the Giallorossi and is considered one of the top midfielders in Serie A after a successful campaign with Fiorentina in 2008-09. Juventus visit the Stadio Olimpico to face Lazio on September 12, after play resumes following the international break.The 26-year-old is currently on international duty with Brazil.

AC Milan Have Turned The Corner - Marco Storari

The shot stopper believes his side are ready to challenge this season after being humbled at the Giuseppe Meazza last weekend.

AC Milan goalkeeper Marco Storari is confident that the club can start a new chapter of success following the disappointing 4-0 derby loss to Inter."We regret the outcome of the match against Inter, but we already turned the corner on Saturday night," he told Milan Channel."We are ready for Livorno. The important thing is to stay serene and compact. Certainly we want to succeed, it will be key to start off on the right foot. This is a strong team, rich with champions."Meanwhile, he commented on Milan's Champions League draw which saw them placed in Group C, alongside Spanish giants Real Madrid, Marseille, and FC Zurich."It does not seem easy," the former Cagliari and Messina player admitted. "In the third pot I think Marseille was one of the best teams, it will be a tough match, like all the others."Since joining the Rossoneri in 2007, the 32-year-old has endured a number of loan spells - at Levante, Cagliari, and Fiorentina. However, he has deputised for the injured Dida and Christian Abbiati in the starting XI for the Rossoneri's first two league matches in 2009-10.

AC Milan Vice-President Galliani: Leonardo Refused To Sign Mahamadou Diarra

The Rossoneri opted not to sign the Mali international.

AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has revealed that the club had the chance to sign defensive midfielder Mahamadou Diarra from Real Madrid this summer, but that coach Leonardo felt it would have been an unnecessary expenditure."There was a chance to take Diarra from Real Madrid, but Leonardo told us that we were already OK in midfield," he said, according to Italia.The 28-year-old was widely expected to depart the Bernabeu this summer after the arrival of Xabi Alonso, but has remained at the club after being sidelined for a majority of last season with a knee injury.Meanwhile, he also discussed left-back Aly Cissokho, who nearly joined the club this summer from Porto before failing a medical due to a dental problem."The excellent performance of Cissokho at Lyon shows that we were right [to try and sign him]."

Adriano Galliani: Milan Are Searching For A New Kaka

The Rossoneri chief executive has reiterated that they could look at the South American market in January in the hope of unearthing a new Kaka.

Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani hinted yesterday that the non-EU spot vacated by Tabare Viudez, who has mutually rescinded his contract with the club, will be filled again during the January transfer window and further elaborated on the topic this morning as he stepped into the Lega Calcio headquarters.“We have a free non-EU place, which is something we could not boast last season. We’ll see…” he told the assembled media pack.A similar situation presented itself in 2003 when Milan released Nigerian striker Aliyu Datti and consequently signed a certain Kaka…“I want to remind everyone that Aliyu is the player that was sold to Standard Liege and allowed us to free up a non-EU spot for Kaka,” he smiled.“Who will be the next Kaka? It’s hard to say, but we are working on it.”Milan sold the Brazilian international to Spanish giants Real Madrid earlier this summer for a reported €67.5 million.

Milan ‘Keeper Christian Abbiati Resumes Training

The shot-stopper has almost recovered from knee surgery, returning between the posts at Milanello on Wednesday.

After the Derby della Madonnina debacle, Milan fans received some good news on Wednesday as goalkeeper Christian Abbiati finally resumed training following his serious knee injury last March.The 32-year-old ruptured the anterior cruciate ligaments in his right knee at Siena and went under the knife in Antwerp on March 30, with the Rossoneri medical staff expecting his recovery process to take between five and six months.The ex-Juventus net-minder was spotted training with the rest of the Diavoli squad yesterday morning, albeit working alone in the gym in the afternoon.It is still unclear whether Abbiati will be available for selection after the international break, when Leonardo’s men will try to bounce back from the 4-0 humiliation suffered at the hands of cross-city rivals Inter against Livorno.Meanwhile, Marco Borriello and Clarence Seedorf trained on their own yesterday, as did Filippo Inzaghi, who is expected to be at the coach’s disposal for the trip to the Armando Picchi. Gennaro Gattuso is still recovering from his ankle sprain suffered in the derby.

Carles Puyol Stalls Over New Barcelona Deal

First team football is foremost in the captain's mind.

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol is stalling over a contract renewal offered by the club as doubts persist over his role in the first team, according to AS.The 31-year-old Blaugrana defender is said to be mulling over a two-year extension that would keep him at the club until he is 34-years-old but there is a suggestion now that the player may consider finishing his career overseas with Premier League big spenders Chelsea and Manchester City and Italian giants Milan identified as clubs keeping tabs on the progress of contract negotiations.Puyol is said to have the backing of coach Pep Guardiola who said he wants to hold onto the captain because he can play any position in the back four. The veteran defender, who played his 300th league game for Barca in Monday's 2-0 win over Sporting Gijon at Camp Nou, is reportedly unconvinced about his future role at the club.Puyol, who has lifted three La Liga titles and two European Cups as captain, is said to be in no hurry to sign a deal and wants to see how this season develops with Rafael Marquez and new-signing Dmytro Chygrynskiy vying for the centre-back positions and Pep Guardiola's position at the club yet to be set in stone. It is understood that a role on the substitutes bench would most likely diminish the likelihood of him signing an extension.

AC Milan To Swap Jankulovski For Tottenham Starlet Gareth Bale

The Rossoneri are after the young Welsh international.

According to English newspaper the London Times, AC Milan and Tottenham Hotspur are negotiating a deal that would see Marek Jankulovski and Gareth Bale swap clubs.The Rossoneri are willing to give the Spurs the Czech international plus an additional €5 million for the services of the Welsh starlet during the winter transfer window that opens in January.The 20-year-old has a boatload of potential and can also play as a left midfielder similar to Jankulovski. The report insists that negotiations are already well advanced.Bale made 30 appearances in all competitions for Tottenham last season, but with the excellent form of Benoit Assou-Ekotto he may have a tough time breaking into the starting XI.Meanwhile, Jankulovski has been a first team member of the Rossoneri since 2005.

Inter Director Ernesto Paolillo Suggests AC Milan Are Still In Scudetto Race

The club official says the Diavoli are not dead and buried, despite their humiliating derby defeat.

After Inter mauled AC Milan 4-0 in the city derby this past weekend, many pundits now believe it's a two-horse race for the Scudetto between the Nerazzurri and their rivals Juventus.However, Inter director Ernesto Paolillo will not count out their city rivals and claims the Rossoneri can recover. "The title race is only between two teams? There may be surprises," he told"First of all, beyond the outcome of the derby, Milan is able to address the league in a strong manner and should not be underestimated."Meanwhile, he claimed that teams outside of the 'big three' in the peninsula could also challenge for the title after positive starts to the 2009-10 campaign."Plus, we must not forget other teams such as Genoa, Sampdoria, and Fiorentina. They could cause a shock," he concluded.

Thiago Silva Urges Milan To React After Derby Defeat

The Brazilian defender admits the derby thrashing is hard to swallow, but he is insistent that the Rossoneri have what it takes to turn things around.

Thiago Silva, who is in his maiden season in Italy with Milan, is adamant coach Leonardo will be able to get the side back on track in no time after a bad weekend.After a positive start to the Serie A campaign, the Derby della Madonnina brought the Rossoneri back down to earth, hammered 4-0 by bitter rivals Inter on Saturday night.“It’s hard to digest such a defeat in the derby, but the team is strong,” the Brazilian centre-back told the club’s official website.“We will talk about the game and analyse the mistakes we committed on the pitch after working intensely for a week to prepare for this clash.“We played well at the beginning up until the moment we conceded a goal: we needed to remain calm to try and turn the situation around, but instead we got nervous.“Everyone knows that in these situations you have to keep calm. Now we have to work a lot on tactics, but Leonardo is a very good coach.”Milan will travel to Tuscany after the international break to face newly-promoted side Livorno, who gave a good account of themselves at Napoli last weekend, despite suffering a 3-1 loss.

Arsenal Should Sign Milan's Gennaro Gattuso - Ian Wright

The ex-Gunners man feels Gattuso is the player most needed at the Emirates.

Former Arsenal hitman Ian Wright believes Gunners manager Arsene Wenger should sign Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso to add some fighting qualities to the team in an attempt to save their title bid this season.The Gunners lost 2-1 at the weekend to title rivals Manchester United following a hard-fought game at Old Trafford, and Wright doesn't feel Arsenal have the tenacious qualities to battle with the very best.The former striker feels players who aren't afraid to stick their feet into the opposition are needed, and he has picked Gattuso as the one who would intimidate other sides with aggression."Arsenal need to sign someone like AC Milan's Gennaro Gattuso, an experienced, tough-tackling midfield enforcer who would not have allowed himself or his team-mates to be bullied by a player like United's Darren Fletcher," Wright told The Sun.Landing Gattuso is unlikely, as he is tied to the San Siro-based club until 2011. In addition, Wenger's philosophy has always been to bring in youngsters, rather than players who are reaching the end of their careers.

Clarence Seedorf Explains Substitution Delay During Milan Derby

The player has become annoyed by some of the accusations in the press.

AC Milan were defeated in the city derby by Inter on Saturday, to the tune of a humiliating 4-0 scoreline.One of the key moments of the match was the sending off of Gennaro Gattuso, which happened just before the player was about to be substituted for Clarence Seedorf.The Dutchman took some extra time to get ready, as he had to change from sneakers into football boots and some have criticised the veteran for the delay."I think this is an insult to my professionalism. It's very simple, [I was wearing the sneakers because] I returned from an injury that lasted 40 days and I had some soreness in my calf," he explained to Sky Sport 24."If I have to apologize for that, I also ask your pardon, it is not a problem. I believe that I demonstrated in the second-half by playing well."Indeed, the former Real Madrid man was one of the few bright spots for the Rossoneri on the evening."In my career I've always acted like a professional or at least like someone who is willing to give his all to the team," he concluded.

AC Milan Send Kaka's Brother Digao On Loan To Lecce

The centre-back will once again be loaned out for the duration of the season.

AC Milan have loaned out defender Digao to Serie B outfit Lecce, as confirmed by the club's official website, statement released by the club read, "A.C. Milan communicate that the footballer Rodrigo Izecson dos Santos Leite 'Digao' has been loaned out to U.S. Lecce until 30 June 2010."The 23-year-old is the brother of former Milan talisman Kaka, who left for Real Madrid in a mega-money move this summer.Despite, joining the Rossoneri in 2005, Diago has often been deemed surplus to requirements, having had loan spells at Rimini and Standard Liege.The Salentini will be hoping that Digao can assist the club in regaining their top flight status, after they were relegated at the tail end of last season's Serie A campaign.