Tag Archives: milan

Milan Coach scared Ibrahimovic might leave so soon

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AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic may play his final game for the Serie A giants against Cagliari, but head coach Stefano Pioli hopes that is not the case.

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli hopes Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not be playing his last game for the Rossoneri on Saturday and said the club must have loftier ambitions than sixth place next term.

Future of 38-year-old Ibrahimovic remains unclear
Veteran striker Ibrahimovic signed a short-term contract to return to Milan in January and has scored nine goals in 17 Serie A appearances.

Ibrahimovic’s future beyond their season finale against Cagliari remains unclear, though Milan director Ricky Massara said this week talks are ongoing to extend the 38-year-old’s stay.

Pioli has made no secret of his desire to keep Ibrahimovic beyond this season.

When asked about the Sweden great at a news conference, he merely replied: “I hope that tomorrow will not be Ibrahimovic’s last game for Milan.”

Pioli, who confirmed Rafael Leão will start with Ante Rebic unavailable through suspension, has overseen a 12-match unbeaten run since Italian football restarted amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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“Sixth place won’t be our objective next year, we’ll be aiming higher”
With 11 of those results coming in Serie A, Milan have secured sixth place in the table, but the head coach says the task is now on ensuring they are challenging for elite positions in the top flight.

“We’ll only have a very short break given that we’ll be playing in the preliminary stages of the Europa League on 17 September,” he added.

“We’ve worked really hard to find consistency and establish a playing philosophy. Now, we’re consolidating what we’ll need next season.

“I think that creating a mentality is the most important, complicated and long-lasting aspect. This must provide a foundation from which to work and grow.

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“Many have improved, I knew that I had a quality squad available to me from the beginning. The game played by the team has allowed individuals to develop, while, at the same time, the growth of individuals has allowed the team to play in a certain way.

“We’ve been excellent in 2020 and now we need to finish well. I know that I’m asking a lot of the players and we’re slightly fatigued mentally and physically.

“Sixth place won’t be our objective next year, we’ll be aiming higher.”

It was also confirmed by Milan on Friday that full-back Andrea Conti has undergone keyhole surgery due to a persistent meniscus problem in his left knee. Milan did not put a timeframe on his recovery.

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Ac Milan discusses contract extension with Ibrahimovic and Donnarumma


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Just in : Ibrahimovic to return to Milan after successful surgery

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic is set to return to the AC Milan squad following a calf muscle injury which has kept him out since the season resumed, coach Stefano Pioli said on Tuesday, describing the 38-year-old Swede as a hungry lion.

Pioli said that Ibrahimovic, who returned for a second stint in January and injured his calf in training in late May during the coronavirus stoppage, was likely to be included in the squad for the match away to lowly SPAL on Wednesday.

“Ibrahimovic is doing well. He’s a lion, he’s always hungry. He had a great training session yesterday, if he repeats that today and gives me the all clear then he’ll be in the squad,” Pioli told Milan’s television channel.

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Milan, who dropped to 14th at one point this season, have lost only two matches since the start of the year and have climbed to seventh and may be on course for a Europa League place.

Pioli was appointed in October to replace Marco Giampaolo, who was fired after only seven games of the season, and has slowly but surely begun to turn things around.

“It takes time to build a team and make it grow while implementing your own ideas. But we mustn’t look back, we have to live out these moments with full attention and intensity,” said Pioli.

“There are 30 points up for grabs for us to try and achieve our goal. Our current average of two points a game is an excellent figure. We’re hoping to keep it up, and we’re hoping that it will be enough to qualify for Europe.”

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Ibrahimovic Return on hold


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Happy New Month!!!

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Calhanoglu shines as Milan destroys Leece

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AC Milan kept alive their hopes of snatching a Europa League qualifying berth after Turkey midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu had a hand in all of their goals in a 4-1 Serie A win at relegation-threatened Lecce on Monday.

The result lifted Milan, who were missing forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic with a calf injury, two places to seventh on 39 points from 27 games. Sixth-placed Napoli are ahead of them on goal difference. Lecce stayed 18th on 25 points as they failed to climb out of the drop zone.

“We played well against a Lecce side who preferred to wait for us. We created the space to put them in trouble. It was a good result and performance,” said Milan coach Stefano Pioli, whose future has been the subject of speculation.

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“Ibrahimovic is a fundamental player for us and without him we have to find other solutions.”

Milan dominated the opening half with some crisp one-touch passing and Giacomo Bonaventura come close in the opening exchanges before Samuel Castillejo fired the visitors ahead in the 26th minute with his first league goal of the season.

The Spanish winger turned in a sharp Calhanoglu cross from the right flank and Milan enjoyed a slice of good fortune 10 minutes later as Lecce centre back Biagio Meccariello had a goal disallowed for marginal offside.

The home side levelled with a Marco Mancosu penalty in the 54th minute after halftime substitute Khouma Boubacar was fouled but their joy was short-lived as Milan hit back with two goals inside three minutes.

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Bonaventura restored Milan’s lead barely 40 seconds later when he stabbed in a close-range rebound after Lecce keeper Gabriel parried Calhanoglu’s shot from 20 metres.

Croatia Ante Rebic made it 3-1 after he raced clear from inside his own half as he latched on to a clever Calhanoglu pass and beat Gabriel with a clinical finish from 16 metres with his weaker right foot.

Second half substitute Rafael Leao added the fourth in the 72nd minute with a diving close-range header after Calhanoglu released Andrea Conti and the right back delivered an inch-perfect cross from his flank.

Must Read

Calhanoglu seeks Milan extension to stay for another 5 years


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€20m-rated PSG outcast Draxler offered to Juve and Milan

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AC Milan and Juventus have been offered the chance to sign Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Julian Draxler ahead of the summer, a report claims.

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The Rossoneri have been linked with a move for Draxler over the last few months with suggestions from Tuttosport in January that Lucas Paqueta could be sent to the French capital in exchange for the German international.

According to Calciomercato.com, Draxler’s career has come to a crossroads, and he will make a decision whether he has a future with PSG or whether he will seek new pastures in order to return to playing consistently.

So far this season, the 26-year-old has played just 685 minutes in Ligue 1 and 22 in the Champions League, and for Thomas Tuchel he is not a key figure, therefore he is likely to leave Paris in the summer one year before his contract expires in June 2021.

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Draxler currently earns €7million gross per year and his valuation is €20million. The price is negotiable, but still remains high, with Marseille and Nice having tried in recent months, but now it’s Hertha Berlin’s turn.

All of the aforementioned options though involved reducing his salary, an that Draxler rejected.

His agents are proposing the former Schalke star to various clubs, including Italian ones like Juventus and Milan. The Rossoneri in fact were offered the chance to sign him when Leonardo was the sporting director, but it is not to be excluded that his entourage returns to try and get things done, though his wages are a big obstacle.


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Serie A season ‘to resume in June and could end in mid-July’


Following this evening’s announcement, Serie A clubs can begin preparing to start training in groups from May 18 and playing games from June 2, so the season could end in mid-July.

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Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte held a lengthy press conference this evening, in which he announced Phase 2 of the coronavirus pandemic response will begin from May 4.

This includes the ability to train individually, or at least while maintaining social distancing guidelines.

These have been clarified as one metre if walking, but two metres if running, so squads would be permitted to train in very small groups that kept their distance.

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This is entirely possible for most Serie A clubs, who have several training ground pitches at their camps and can spread the players out.

They could in theory even perform passing routines and practice positioning, as long as they kept at a distance of at least one metre.

The next stage would be from May 18, when teams can train together in groups and truly begin to prepare for the return of the football season.

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Players are already going to be rigorously tested every day initially for COVID-19 with swabs and blood tests, then kept in a training camp for those few weeks to ensure no outside contamination.

This will make it unlikely that any player becomes infected and, if he does, he’ll be quickly identified and isolated.

On May 18, Italy will also open up museums, libraries and art galleries, while bars and restaurants can accept takeaway orders rather than just delivery.

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Finally, PM Conte named June 2 as the third stage of opening up the country, including activities that require people to be in closer contact, such as salons, barbers and massage parlours.

Naturally, this also means that from June 2 there ought to be the all-clear for football matches to resume, one assumes behind closed doors.

If the fixture list were to get back on track from June 2-10, then the Serie A season could feasibly be completed by July 15-30, playing twice a week.

It would then leave August free for the Champions League and Europa League matches.

Over 26,000 people have died in Italy since the first confirmed COVID-19 case on February 20 and the country has been in lockdown since March 10.


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Theo confident to overcome France snub amid Milan success


Without having to think twice, many Milan fans would say that Theo Hernandez has been the Rossoneri’s best player this season. Arriving from Real Madrid in the summer, the left-back has scored six goals and assisted two.

As Gazzetta Dello Sport states this morning (via MilanNews.it), the Frenchman has been the true strength of Stefano Pioli’s Milan. However, despite being the best left-back in Serie A, the national team continues to snub him.


The reason? In the past, Hernandez has made some mistakes, but he’s still a young player and since Paolo Maldini brought him to Italy, he has exploded. After conquering Milan, the 22-year-old has another achievement in his sights.

He wants to earn a spot in France’s squad, continuing on the same path with the Rossoneri. Therefore, the postponement of the Euros until 2021 – due to the Coronavirus outbreak – could work in his favour.


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Romagnoli wants to renew his deal with Milan and stay put at San Siro


Captain Alessio Romagnoli has reportedly made it clear that he wants to renew his deal with Milan and stay put at San Siro.

La Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Nicolò Schira reveals that Atletico Madrid has shown their interest in the Italian defender, but Romagnoli has decided to wait for an offer from the Diavolo.


The centre-back has been an ever-present in Serie A this season after starting all 26 League games under both Marco Giampaolo and Stefano Pioli, and the 25-year-old has played 181 games in total since he arrived from Roma in August 2015.

His performances at San Siro has not gone unnoticed and Schira claims Atletico has tested the waters in Milan, but the defender is adamant he wants to stay at the Rossoneri.


The report claims the Italy international is waiting for the club to reach out as soon as possible to renew his current deal, expiring in June 2022.


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Milan ‘ready to sacrifice Paqueta’ as Tonali has heart set on Milan move


AC Milan are ready to launch a serious attempt to land Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali, a report claims, which the sale of one midfielder could help.

There has been speculation from numerous outlets throughout the week suggesting that the Rossoneri are ready to make their move for Tonali, amid interest from Liverpool and Manchester United as well as Juventus and Inter.


Calciomercato.com even claimed that Milan are ready to offer one of three counterparts plus a cash sum in order to get the deal done and secure the perfect partner on paper for Ismael Bennacer.


According to what is being reported by SportMediaset (via MilanNews), if €30million from the departure of Lucas Paquetà were to arrive in the coffers, Milan would immediately hand this money over to Brescia as part of a deal for Tonali.

In addition to that they would use Alessandro Plizzari as a counterpart to try and seal the signing of the 19-year-old, while the player has given priority to Milan over Inter and Juventus.


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Sevilla desperate for Kjaer to complete permanent move to Milan


Simon Kjaer has very clear ideas about his future: the Danish defender wants to stay at Milan, a report claims.

Kjaer arrived at Milan in January on loan from parent club Sevilla until the end of the season with an option to buy inserted after a difficult first half of the campaign with Atalanta.


MilanNews recalls the statements made by the 31-year-old over the weekend, during which he declared: “I will try to put pressure on the club to use their option of letting me stay. I am working physically and mentally only for that, because my only dream, right now, is to stay at Milan.”

These words are music to the ears of Sevilla who have no intention of standing in the way of Kjaer’s outright transfer to Milan and indeed they are pushing for that solution.


The report also cites Spanish newspaper AS in claiming that the former Fenerbahce centre-back has not been part of the plans of the Andalusian club for some time.

Head coach Pioli gave Kjaer great confidence right away and promoted him to the starting XI alongside captain Alessio Romagnoli, so the player has undergone somewhat of a rebirth with the Rossoneri and for this his only desire is to stay, but it will all depend on Milan.


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Fiorentina ‘rejects offer from Milan’ to trade Paqueta for Castrovilli


Fiorentina have reportedly rejected an offer from Milan to trade Lucas Paqueta for Gaetano Castrovilli.

Fiorentina failed with a last-ditch bid to take Paqueta on loan in January, but Sport Mediaset writes they are still keen on the midfielder.


Aware of the Viola’s interest, the Rossoneri would have tried to use it as a way to tap into Castrovilli, proposing a straight swap for the two players.

However, the broadcaster warns the Tuscan side responded with a resounding ‘no’.


Milan splashed out around €40m on the 22-year-old in January, but he has paid them back with just one goal and three assists in 36 appearances.

They are thought to be demanding €30m for his services, but until now – concludes Sport Mediaset – only Benfica have tabled €20m.


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After defeat from City, Ashley young plan on leaving United.


Manchester United captain, Ashley Young has reportedly rejected the club’s offer to extend his contract at Old Trafford in a bid to move to Inter Milan.

According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Young has personally informed Man United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that he does not want to renew his deal with the Red Devils as he seeks to join Inter Milan.


The Italian newspaper reports that Young has been in advanced talks with Antonio Conte’s side to complete a move to the Serie A giants.

The 34-year-old’s current contract at Man United will expire at the end of the season.


The England star joined United from Aston Villa in 2011.

The winger was left out of Man United’s squad that were defeated 3-1 against rivals, Manchester City in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg on Tuesday night.

Ashley Young


Asked whether Young’s move could happen in the summer, Solskjaer told a post-match after Man United’s defeat to Man City: “I don’t know what you’re talking about, you’ve got to ask Ash.

“For me it’s about focusing on the next game and tonight.”


#Newsworthy…

Napoli Gets New Coach, Trash Ancelotti As Gattuso Becomes Their New Coach.

Italian football legend, Gennaro Gattuso has been confirmed as the new coach of Serie A club Napoli following the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti.

The former Milan manager signed a six-month contract with Napoli and took training on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after Carlo Ancelotti was sacked after their Tuesday’s 4-0 victory over Genk which confirmed their place in the Champions League knockout stage.

On joining, Gattuso said: ‘The aim is to recoup points and get back into the Champions League positions.

‘We need to work hard, win back points and come through this tricky period. It’s embarrassing to see Napoli where we currently are in the table.

Gennaro Gattuso confirmed as Napoli new coach after Carlo Ancelotti sacking

‘The team is aware of the difficult situation and wants to do well. I’ve been encouraged.’

Gattuso is expected to bring in his close friend and former teammate Luigi Riccio as his assistant at Napoli.

The legendary midfielder also revealed that Ancelotti spoke to him on the phone, wishing him well in his new role.

Gattuso said: ‘Carlo Ancelotti is like a father to me. He’s always been close to me and supported me. He’s won it all and I still have a lot to prove.’

Gennaro Gattuso confirmed as Napoli new coach after Carlo Ancelotti sacking

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Inter Milan draw match with Roma deprive them of their four points upward.

Serie A leaders Inter Milan missed the chance to move four points clear at the summit after being held to a goalless draw by Roma at the San Siro.

The build-up to the fixture had been overshadowed by Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport’s ‘Black Friday’ headline, which was accompanied by images of Roma defender Chris Smalling and Inter striker Romelu Lukaku.

Lukaku condemned the headline as “one of the dumbest” he has ever seen while Smalling said it was “wrong and insensitive”.

Antonio Conte’s Inter were denied a seventh-minute opener after Lukaku drew a good save from Antonio Mirante.

Inter’s Marcelo Brozovic then blazed an attempt over following Mirante’s scuffed clearance shortly before half-time, while Mirante – in for Roma’s injured Pau Lopez – frustrated Inter further after the interval.

England manager Gareth Southgate was in attendance, alongside assistant Steve Holland, as Roma’s Manchester United loanee Smalling stuck tight to former Old Trafford team-mate Lukaku throughout in what was an assured display.

The result, which ends Inter’s five-match winning run, means reigning champions Juventus can move top with victory over third-placed Lazio on Saturday (19:45 GMT).

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Former star of AC Milan and United, Ibrahimovic becomes co owner of “Hammarby”.

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Former Manchester United and AC Milan striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been announced a co-owner of Swedish football club, Hammarby.

The Swedish legend first posted a picture of a Hammarby shirt to his Instagram account on Tuesday, prompting speculation that he may seal a move to the club as a free agent after leaving LA Galaxy recently. But it was later revealed by Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) that half of their stake in Hammarby have been sold to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

“Hammarby is a fantastic club with passionate supporters and has great respect in both Stockholm and Sweden,” Ibrahimovic told the club’s website.

“I have always liked the club and the fans, since then I am impressed with what the club has done in recent years, both on and off the pitch.

“Being able to join and develop Hammarby forward feels both fun and exciting.”

Hammarby chairman Richard von Yxkull added: “This is still new to us, but of course very exciting.

“Spontaneously the timing feels good, we have had a strong development in recent years and next year we play in Europe.

“To then get a person like Zlatan Ibrahimovic? into the club, with the passion and winning mentality he stands for feels right.

“It is too early to say anything in detail about how Zlatan can contribute to Hammarby Football, but there is clearly very great potential in the collaboration.”

The former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain forward who is currently a free agent following his departure from LA Galaxy at the end of the MLS season has been linked with a number of European clubs, including Italian sides Tottenham, Napoli, AC Milan, and Bologna.

#Newsworthy…

18-years-old Daniel Maldini Continues Family Tradition As His Grand Father And Father At AC Milan..

Daniel Maldini is continuing the family tradition at AC Milan as the teenage son of club legend Paolo and grandson of Cesare was called up to the senior squad for the first time for Saturday’s 1-1 Serie A draw against Napoli.

The 18-year-old Maldini, however, will have to wait for his first start as he remained on the bench at the San Siro for the former seven-time Europan champions.

An attacking midfielder Maldini, who had already participated in Milan’s summer tour and was on the junior team, recently extended his contract until 2024.

He is the third generation to play for the 18-time Serie A champions after his grandfather Cesare, who died in 2016, played for 12 seasons, winning four league titles and the European Cup.

Cesare also coached the team twice in 1973-1974 and 2001.

His son Paolo — considered among the best defenders of all time — holds the record for matches played in Serie A with 647, all for AC Milan, winning seven Scudetto and five Champions League trophies.

The 51-year-old Maldini is currently technical director of the northern Italian side, who are currently struggling 13th in the league.

#Newsworthy…