Adriano Galliani

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Milan hoping to woo “great champion” Zlatan next week

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Serie A mainstays AC Milan are trying to woo Zlatan Ibrahimovic back to the San Siro.

The full-court press makes sense, as it will take some financial sacrifices for Ibrahimovic to join the side given Financial Fair Play problems in Milan.

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Coach Stefano Pioli called Zlatan “a great champion” while admitting he has to focus on the table and not transfers, while former AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani issued a glowing call for the Swede to return to town.

From Football-Italia.com:

“It would be romantic if he returned. But I have a rule, I don’t talk about teams I’m not involved with anymore. I’m only a fan of Milan now. Still, his arrival would enrich Italian football, similar to when Cristiano Ronaldo came to Italy.”

Man, they know how to speak this guy’s language, don’t they?

Sky Sports says Ibrahimovic’s agent will meet with Milan again next week in the hopes of convincing him to take a lower wage deal, and the 38-year-old showed he’s willing to take one for the team during his stint with the LA Galaxy.

The move makes too much sense, with Milan’s 11 goals well below its expected goal number. They need a finisher, and Zlatan sure does that. And if lower wages means Zlatan gets to play mercenary for five months while proving he’s got the goods for a big wage for 2020-21, that’s an easy concession for the striker.

Report: Berlusconi reaches deal to buy 3rd-division Monza

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MILAN (AP) Silvio Berlusconi is reportedly getting back into football.

The Gazzetta dello Sport says Berlusconi’s family holding company Fininvest has reached a deal to purchase Serie C club Monza in a deal worth between 2.5 and 3 million euros ($3-3.5 million)

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The 81-year-old Berlusconi, a three-time Italian premier, last year sold AC Milan to a Chinese-led consortium for $800 million. U.S.-based hedge fund Elliott Management then took over control of Milan two months ago after the Chinese owner missed a deadline to repay part of a loan.

The Gazzetta says the Monza deal should be signed by the end of the month.

Former Milan vice president Adriano Galliani is slated to be Monza’s CEO.

Berlusconi and Fininvest did not immediately comment.

Monza is located just outside Milan.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Eyeing France national team call-up, AC Milan’s Jérémy Ménez keeps showing off his skills

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Jeremy Menez has been the brightest attacking star on AC Milan this year.

While the Rossoneri have struggled to break the top five in Serie A, the French international has tallied eight goals in 16 games, and he’s on pace to set a career-high scoring total, with his greatest goal sum being nine when he performed at Paris-Saint Germain in the 2011-2012 season.

On a more noticeable level than previous years, Menez’s pace, alongside a inherent touch for finding the back of the net, have the near ambidextrous, technically-gifted midfielder burying opposing defenses.

The most recent testament to this observation was clear in a near goal he scored, and even though it was called offside, his sheer skill was clear in the sequence below.

And Milan could’ve missed out Menez because the 27-year-old was approached to stay at PSG following the end of his three-year contract. Instead of renewing a deal immediately, though, he sought a new environment, and he gladly accepted an offer to met with the Devils’ vice president Adriano Galliani and manager Filippo Inzaghi on the wealthy party island of Ibiza.

“In December, PSG offered me a contract, but I already decided to leave to do something else,” he said, per FOX Soccer. “It was not about money, my biggest pleasure is to play football. When the phone rang, I learned that Inzaghi and Galliani wanted to see me and it was an honour. I was on vacation in Ibiza and they came to see me, that was proof that they wanted me.”

It’s evident that Menez has grown comfortable in Italy quickly, and if his form continues to remain spectacular, he is hoping to strive for playing time on the French national team ahead of the 2016 UEFA European Championship.

“I haven’t done anything for Les Bleus yet and I want to open a new chapter with the French national team,” he said. “I didn’t give my all on the pitch and that is why I wasn’t called this year. I want to come back and show my qualities to help France. I came to Milan to play all the games and come back to France.”

AC Milan CEO gives the latest on Balotelli bids, Robinho’s move to MLS

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It’s been quite a summer for Italian striker Mario Balotelli. Perhaps you could say that about every season of the controversial soon-to-be 24-year-old’s life, but we’ll worry about that some other time.

Just a few days after Balotelli posed for a photo next to an Arsenal logo — and days after AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi ripped the forward for his World Cup — there were stories that his move to London was forthcoming.

But AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani said i Rossoneri has not received a bid for Balotelli, before shifting gears to the rumored move of Robinho to Orlando City.

From Sky Sports:

Reports on Sunday suggested Arsenal had agreed a £15.8million fee with Milan for the 23-year-old but Galliani stated there had been no bid.

“We have not received any offer (for Balotelli) and at this time, there is nothing from Arsenal,” said the Milan chief.

Galliani also said that Milan and Orlando City are some way off in their negotiations over another former Manchester City forward, Robinho.

“We are trying to arrange with him (Robinho) a similar path to Kaka, but we are still distant with Orlando City,” added Galliani. “Tomorrow morning (Monday), we will talk with him and his lawyer to find a solution.”

Earlier this summer, Berlusconi said Balotelli was “going nowhere“, so the president’s speaking of his sale price was a nod to a move. And Balotelli’s gun-aiming photo for his “haters” may not exactly inspire confidence in his mental state.

As for Robinho, it would be interesting to know what fee AC Milan requests for the attacker in comparison to what Orlando City is ready to offer the Italian club.

The former Brazilian superstar-in-waiting has seen his production drop precipitously even from his disappointing time at Manchester City. With 7 goals over his last 59 games, it’s a bit of a wonder Orlando is interested at all.

Report: Filippo Inzaghi set to take the head job at AC Milan

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Serie A and AC Milan legend Filippo Inzaghi is set to take the reins at San Siro despite precious little experience as a manager

According to Goal Italy, Inzaghi will take over the No. 1 slot at AC Milan after two seasons running their U-19 side.

AC Milan stumbled this season under Massimiliano Allegri and Clarence Seedorf. While the club improved under the latter, it wasn’t enough to keep the Dutchman employed as Milan’s boss.

From Goal.com:

Milan has been searching for a replacement but has been put off its pusuit of Sevilla coach Unai Emery thanks to the high costs involved.

Club management figures, including owner Silvio Berlusconi and CEO Adriano Galliani, met Monday afternoon and have decided that Inzaghi is the only viable candidate to train the team next season.

Berlusconi and Galliani are expected to inform the former Italy international of their decision to promote him imminently.

AC Milan finished in eighth place in Serie A this season, three points back of No. 5 Inter Milan, 18 points back of No. 2 Roma and 45 back of scudetto-winning Juventus.