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Milan clubs submit $1.3 billion stadium plan

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MILAN (AP) – AC Milan and Inter Milan formally want to build a new stadium.

The storied Milan soccer clubs jointly asked city officials Wednesday for permission to go ahead with a 60,000-seat stadium replacing the iconic, publicly owned San Siro.

The clubs said they plan to pay for a $1.35 billion project to become a “sports, entertainment, and shopping” hub creating 3,500 jobs.

“This is a comprehensive project that foresees private investments of over 1.2 billion euros,” the clubs said, adding it was “essential in bringing Milan’s football back to the elite of the European and global football arena.”

A new stadium would be a symbol of regeneration after periods of decline since AC Milan won the last of its seven European titles in 2007, and Inter won its third and most recent European title in 2010.

After years of speculation and analysis about the 80,000-capacity San Siro’s future, the clubs decided building a new arena next to the city-owned Guiseppe Meazza stadium is a better option. Playing through, and paying for, a complete stadium renovation offers less certainty.

The technical and economic study submitted Wednesday comes 16 days after Milan was picked as the 2026 Winter Games host in a joint bid with Alpine ski resort Cortina d’Ampezzo.

San Siro was proposed by bid leaders to the International Olympic Committee to stage the opening ceremony.

Still, there are more stages to pass before this feasibility study becomes a detailed stadium plan.

The clubs said their formal request “aims at obtaining the declaration of public interest from the Municipality of Milan.”

A detailed architectural design would follow later that “honors Milan’s reputation for innovation and internationalization.”

“The proposal to the local institutions marks a first official step by the clubs,” they said, “beginning a shared journey together with the Municipality toward constructing a modern, sustainable and accessible urban district in the San Siro area, built around a new world-class stadium.

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AC Milan banned from European competitions

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AC Milan have agreed a one-year ban from UEFA competitions due to breaching financial fair play rules.

The Serie A side were due to compete in the group stage of the Europa League during the 2019-20 campaign but they have now been disqualified over failing to address FFP breaches over a three-year period.

Last summer Milan appealed a two-year suspended ban for breaching rules in 2015-17 successfully as they appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) that new ownership would solve the issues. However, UEFA opened up proceedings against Milan in April once again about overspending, and they have now agreed to not play in European competitions next season.

CAS released the following statement on Friday.

“AC Milan is excluded from participating in the UEFA Club Competitions of the sporting season 2019/2020 as a consequence of the breach of its FFP break-even obligations during the 2015/2016/2017 and the 2016/2017/2018 monitoring periods.”

Milan finished fifth in Serie A last season and their place in the Europa League group stage will now go to AS Roma who finished in sixth, while Torino will now play in the Europa League qualifiers after finishing seventh in Italy’s top-flight in 2018-19.

Is this news that damaging to Milan?

No, not really. A club of their size doesn’t have a problem attracting players to join them, even with their recent struggles, and losing the Thursday-Sunday grind of long trips to play in the Europa League may actually help them focus on finishing in the top four of Serie A after a five-season absence in the UEFA Champions League.

New manager Marco Giampaolo will also have more time to work with his players on the training ground each week and overall, it seems like this ban will actually be beneficial for Milan in the long run.

Having a European ban on your record isn’t a great look, but Milan’s new ownership have promised a new stadium, have Ivan Gazidis in charge and the team only narrowly missed out on reaching the Champions League last season. Despite this ban, things are moving in the right direction.

Report: Torreira not pushing to leave Arsenal

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According to a report by Sam Dean of The Telegraph, Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira is not actively looking to leave The Emirates, contradicting reports from Italy over the past week that have claimed the Uruguayan is unsettled in England and hoping to return to Serie A.

The Telegraph report cites “sources close to the player” and says that Torreira is “happy” at Arsenal.

There have been heavy links with Torreira to AC Milan, as the new manager Marco Giampaolo was his old boss at Sampdoria before he moved to London last summer. While Torreira himself admitted that he has struggled to adapt to life in England and has faced significant adversity with the language barrier, The Telegraph report calls any suggestions that the player is looking to force his way out “wildly exaggerated.”

However, the report also admits that AC Milan sees Torreira as a “priority” this summer and will hope to make a compelling move, led by former Arsenal sporting director Ivan Gazidis who is now employed by Milan. The 23-year-old has a whopping four years left on his contract, so the club still holds significant power over his future, and with the player supposedly yet to force a move, Milan would likely need to blow Arsenal out of the water with a bid to have a chance. The Telegraph notes that a successful offer would need to provide Arsenal with a significant return on investment of the $32 million they paid Sampdoria a year ago.

Torreira performed well in his first season at Arsenal, endearing fans with his no-nonsense style and a technical ability to help the team play out of the back. He made 32 Premier League appearances, struggling at first to earn a place in the starting lineup with Unai Emery unsure how to fit both he and Granit Xhaka in the formation together, but as the Arsenal boss began to pivot the two, Torreira found more time on the pitch, sometimes at the expense of Mateo Guendouzi.

Iconic San Siro stadium to be demolished

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It has been announced that the iconic San Siro will be demolished.

AC Milan had previously released plans to build a new stadium on their own, but it now appears that they will share a new $800 million stadium with Inter Milan on land next to their current home at the Giuseppe Meazza (known commonly as the San Siro).

Speaking with ANSA, AC Milan president Paolo Scaroni confirmed what is happening to the stadium which they have occupied since it was built in 1926.

“Everything is proceeding. We will make a new San Siro together, next to the old one in the same area of land. The old man will be knocked down and in its place there will be new buildings built,” Scaroni confirmed.

Inter Milan, who moved in 19 years after the stadium was built, were said to favor a renovation of the San Siro compared to AC’s plans for a brand new home. However, CEO Alessandro Antonello said that Inter and AC are “absolutely” on the same page about the plan for the San Siro.

The fact that the new stadium will be built on land directly next to the current venue means they can play there for the upcoming years until the new venue is completed.

Reports suggest that if plans are approved by Milan City Council in the coming months, the clubs will aim to move into their new 60,000 capacity stadium for the start of the 2022-23 campaign.

One of the truly great soccer stadiums in history, the brutalist architecture of the San Siro is still breathtaking to this day and losing that sight in the Milanese skyline will be a blow.

The San Siro is an iconic venue and will always have a place in soccer history.

Ex-Sampdoria coach Giampaolo takes over at AC Milan

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MILAN (AP) Former Sampdoria coach Marco Giampaolo has been named the new coach of AC Milan.

Milan announced Wednesday that Giampaolo signed a two-year contract with an option for a third season. Giampaolo guided Sampdoria to a ninth-place finish in Serie A last season. He has also coached Cagliari, Siena, Catania, Cesena, Brescia and Empoli.

[READ: Barcelona, Napoli coming to USA this summer]

Gennaro Gattuso stepped down as Milan coach after a fifth-place finish meant the Rossoneri missed out on the Champions League.

A seven-time European champion, Milan is under pressure to return to the lucrative Champions League as it deals with a UEFA financial fair play investigation. Milan last played in the Champions League in 2013-14.