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Juventus, who were in the hunt for both Sergio Aguero and Giuseppe Rossi, now look set to land Mirko Vucinic from AS Roma. Reports out of Italy suggest that the transfer of Vucinic will be completed on Monday, with Roma receiving €15m over three years. Considering that, on Friday, Vucinic was definitely going to Tottenham Hotspur or Manchester United, perhaps it's best to wait until he turns up in a bianconeri kit to mark this one down as officially official.
What is clear that new manager Luis Enrique is determined to make the Roma squad his own. Philippe Mexes, Doni, John Arne Riise, and Jeremy Menez are just a few to have left in this transfer market, while Maarten Stekelenburg completed his move to Rome on Friday, joining Gabriel Heinze, Erik Lamela, and Bojan Krkić. With the sometimes-brilliant, sometimes stupefyingly horrific performances of Mirko last season (remember that miss against Inter? How about against Chievo? I could go on...), it's little wonder Roma are willing to risk letting the Montenegrin go.
Despite rumors swirling about that Fiorentina had failed in their bid for Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani, the Italian is still hopeful of a move to Florence. The problem is that Aquilani wants the Viola to put a ring on it -- apparently his short relationship with Juventus last season has left him feeling a bit burned, and he's looking for more of a commitment than just a season-long loan.
Liverpool, meanwhile, should just come right out and say they've got no use for Aquilani in their already overcrowded midfield, and encourage clubs to buy rather than loan. Fiorentina will be looking to fill a Riccardo Montolivo shaped hole, and considering Aquilani is willing to take a pay cut, it seems like the details should be simple enough to iron out. No wonder his agent is still stating that the transfer will go through. Keep an eye out for Aquilani to return to Italy.
Genoa have had their eye on Palermo goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu since the end of the Serie A season (probably even before that), but appears that they have likely lost out to Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain, who are intent on raiding Italy for a host of new players. PSG are splashing the cash -- the rumor is that Sirigu, who is on €300,000 per week and refused a new contract with the rosanero after they wouldn't pony €850,000, will be paid €1.2m per week in France. It's hard to turn down those sorts of wages.
PSG, who already signed French international Jeremy Menez from AS Roma earlier this week, may also be about to oust Chelsea in the battle-of-the-bucks, possibly completing the signing of Javier Pastore as well. Maurizio Zamparini promises a deal will be done by the end of Wednesday, although he refuses to reveal which big spender will land the Palermo playmaker.
It appears as if Napoli supporters don't have to worry about losing their beloved Marek Hamsik to AC Milan, or anyone else for that matter. The sought-after midfielder has been rumored to be on Milan's radar all summer and at various times it looked like the deal was on the verge of happening, but according to Hamsik that was all nonsense.
Hamsik pledged his loyalty to Napoli and said he was never going to make a move anywhere else. That's good news for a club that will be venturing into the Champions League this season and is a potentially dangerous team at that with Hamsik in the attack alongside Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi.
"I never thought about leaving Napoli," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Over the last two months I was at home in Slovakia and didn't even have the internet at my disposal. I stayed away from everything.
"I decided to take a break by isolating myself. I only thought about my partner Martina and my son Christian. Milan? I never let the reality of Napoli out of my sights. I'm focused on Napoli and the new season ahead. I don't want to think about my long-term future.
"The future doesn't interest me right now, it wouldn't be right with regards to President Aurelio De Laurentiis who believed in me from the start. My heart just can't wait to hear the Champions League anthem at the Stadio San Paolo. I love Napoli, I love the Neapolitans, I love the city. I never thought about leaving."
Rumors continue to swirl about Cavani or Lavezzi leaving Napoli, but there is nothing convincing behind them. It appears as if Napoli will keep their team intact as they look to build upon last year's great season. All looks well for the Partenopei.
Roma look like they might have themselves a new goalkeeper and it's the man they have been after all summer. The club is close to a deal to buy Netherlands international Maarten Stekelenburg from Ajax according to the keeper's agent. Roma had a €5 million bid rejected by Ajax earlier this summer so it is fair to assume that the fee will be higher than that, but how much higher is still a question mark.
"We are working to close the differences," Stekelenburg's agent Franco Parisi told Romanews.eu. "The matter must be sorted within the next 24 hours. If it isn't an agreement may never arrive."
Stekelenburg is in the last year of his contract and with his stellar play for both Ajax and the Netherlands, he has drawn plenty of interest from clubs in Europe's top leagues. While Roma did finish sixth in Serie A last season, only three teams in the league surrendered more goals so they can do with some improvement at the back and Stekelenburg would help with that.
Juventus are reportedly close to signing Villareal forward Giuseppe Rossi -- although you might not want to believe this one until the ink is dry. Rossi's agent has said the Italian international could sign this week. There's just one caveat: Juventus "just need to make the right offer."
Minor detail, then, that money thing. Juve have offered €25m for Rossi, Villareal countered by asking for €30m, plus up to €5m in bonus clauses. But don't worry, a deal is close! Actually, it likely is, with the clubs meeting in the middle and agreeing on €27m. Considering Sergio Aguero has almost certainly priced himself out of The Old Lady's reach, they'll probably spend a bit more in order to land Rossi.
But Juve must be kicking themselves right about now. Turns out Parma, where Rossi had been on loan back in 2007, wanted Juventus to chip in on a co-ownership deal to buy him from Manchester United. The price for Juve? A cool €5m. Whoopsie.
For more on this story, visit Villareal USA.
Despite Fernando Muslera's uncertainty about a transfer to Turkish ex-giants Galatasaray (perhaps the Lazio player prefers a club that finishes fifth and qualifies for European competition rather than a team that ends up eighth) it appears the Uruguayan goalkeeper will be headed to Istanbul. Midfielder Lorik Cana is expected to head the other way.
With the news that Stephan Lichtsteiner has officially signed with Juventus, and Muslera heading to Turkey, the tight Lazio defense of last season looks to be weakening -- Edy Reja may need to find a different tactic beyond scoring one goal and then defending. If Muslera really does go, Lazio will try to capture Gabriel Tamas, of West Bromwich Albion, but those negotiations appear to have hit a snag as well. It seems Lazio are concerned about Tamas's behavior, which is more than a little odd for a team that finished with just nine players at least twice last season.
Just a few days ago, Napoli patron Aurelio De Laurentiis stated that it would require an "indecent proposal" to pry midfielder Marek Hamsik away from the club. Quotes from the Slovak suggested that perhaps he was set to turn his attentions elsewhere, with AC Milan trying to woo him away. However, Milan have now said they won't be the club to make such an indecent proposal -- possibly because they fear the insane ramblings they'll meet from the Napoli president.
Should any other club wish to make such a proposal, it will need to be more than €40m. De Laurentiis has said that Hamsik is an investment, and that he's spent more than that on the player. Perhaps Marek's hair gel bill has contributed to his costs? Whatever it is, the price being paid doesn't seem to matter: Napoli have said Hamsik will remain an azzurri player into next season.
Palermo have received a €50m bid for their shining star, Javier Pastore. It’s been assumed that the Argentine would likely not be with the club next season, and with Palermo president Mauizio Zamparini stating today that there’s only a 10% chance that Pastore will stay, fans of the rosanero might want to consider investing in new kits.
Of course, Zamparini refused to reveal which club place the bid — when asked about their nationality, he answered “Icelandic.” Which seems probable, really. He also mentioned that no Italian clubs had come calling, probably as they don’t have that much cash to splash around.
This comes on the heels of Zamparini’s invitation to Napoli to make an offer for the midfielder. Should Marek Hamsik join AC Milan, the partenopei will need to find another attacker — but such a move would require an “indecent proposal” from Milan.
€50m for Pastore. Sure seems like an indecent proposal.
Marcelo Bielsa has terminated talks with Inter Milan, turning down the opportunity to take over after Leonardo's eminent departure to Ligue 1, where he will allegedly assume the role of sporting director. Inter have denied speaking to former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, although rumors persist that Ancelotti rejected them as well. So who's left for the nearzzurri.
Newspapers in Florence are devoting plenty of space to the idea that Sinisa Mihajlovic will be the one to replace Leonardo, although they might just be looking to make some Euros as practically nothing else is happening with Fiorentina. Mihajlovic only managed a ninth-place finish in his one season in charge at Fiorentina, and despite his pedigree as a former Inter player, it seems unlikely he is the coach Massimo Moratti is seeking. Much of the Viola season -- with the notable exception of the 5-2 win over Udinese -- featured a team that appeared intent on simply not losing. Considering Inter managed the most goals in all of Serie A last season, would the fans accept such a boring style? Or would Mihajilovic spice it up with the different talent available?
Like always, nothing to do but wait and see.
All signs pointed toward Inter Milan coach Leonardo accepting the role of sporting director at Paris Saint-Germain, but the Brazilian was meant to hand over his resignation on Wednesday night. Come Thursday morning, it seems that Leonardo remains with the nerazzurri...thus far, anyway. Inter owner Massimo Moratti mentioned to Sky Sports Italia that, "things could stay exactly as they are."
Well, at the moment, things have stayed exactly as they are, although such stillness might be the calm before the storm rather than the pleasant tranquility after the thunder stops. It's well known that Leonardo wasn't fond of being a coach -- he'd rather have a bit more of a desk job, and sporting director seemed to suit him better. So why the reversal? Is it because talks with Marcelo Bielsa didn't go as expected? It appeared before that Biesla was being courted as a replacement, but perhaps it was Leo being nudged out the door in favor of the Chilean.
Or perhaps it's just that the coaching/sporting director merry-go-round is moving on Italian time, and things will click into place shortly.
Yesterday's Gazetta Dello Sport (which, by the way, has a disturbing tendency to leech ink all over one's hands) had at least four pages dedicated to the rumor that Inter Milan were set to appoint Marcelo Bielsa as coach. Today, fuel's been added to that fire, with the suggestion that Leonardo is on his way to Ligue 1 club PSG, making it all the easier to appoint Bielsa in his place.
Of course, this isn't just about Bielsa becoming Inter's new Mister -- although having him create an even more attacking side than Leonardo would certainly help shush those who find Serie A boring and defensive. No, appointing the coach of the Chilean national team would help the nerazzurri land the biggest fish in the transfer market pond: Alexis Sanchez. With Bielsa on board, the thinking goes, Sanchez will more readily join Inter. And more might follow. Mauricio Pinilla might want to come over from Palermo. Inter could even start collecting an all-Chilean bench. And with Bielsa being both Argentine and the former coach of the national side, well, that gives Inter an advantage both in retaining and obtaining the Argentinians. Genius!
When you draw up a list of the best central midfielders in the world who don't play for Barcelona, Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger's name comes in near the top. The German international might not be plying his trade in the Bundesliga for much longer, however.
According to Corriere Dello Sport, AC Milan are on the verge of entering a formal bid for Schweinsteiger's services, believed to be in the area of €35M. Whether that figure could possibly pry the midfielder away from Bayern remains to be seen - he's probably worth more than that on talent alone and recently signed a long-term deal with the club, keeping him at Munich until 2016 at a fairly monstrous salary.
Would Bayern be keen to get rid of Schweinsteiger, even after a disappointing season? I wouldn't count on that. Milan will probably have to pay far more than a relatively measly €35M to bring him in.
It appears that Fernando Muslera is on his way from Lazio to Turkish club Galatasaray, although the goalkeeper might not be too pleased about leaving a club who challenged for Champions League football to arrive at one that finished eight in the Super Lig. Nevertheless, Lig TV is reporting that after several weeks of negotiations, a deal has finally been made, with midfielder Lorik Cana going the other way.
The Uruguayan did a fine job between the posts for Lazio this season, but more importantly, was immensely entertaining for any and all who don't support the Roman club. "Spastic" might be the best way to describe Muslera, who often looked nervous and distressed when coming out for a save. Possibly because the ball would often slide under his fingertips or wriggle just out of his grasp. Lazio look to Cagliari keeper Federico Marchetti as a replacement after the keeper spent much of last season in a contract dispute, watching the team from the sidelines.
Palermo were more or less resigned to losing star midfielder Javier Pastore, but now the final card has been dealt: the Argentine has said he's ready to leave the Sicilian outfit. He's certainly attracting the attention of some of the biggest clubs, including Chelsea, Barcelona, and Manchester City -- but whoever wants him is going to have to cough up a large chunk of change. Palermo paid €19m for Pastore when he was 18 years old, and are looking for a high return on their investment, asking around €50 million for the 21 year old.
Although Palermo looked to be a legitimate challenger for a European position -- possibly even a Champions League spot -- they ended up finishing eighth in Serie A. Making it to the final of the Coppa Italia brought the club into the Europa League, but such an enticement is apparently not enough for Pastore, who wants to move on to bigger and better things. And possibly a kit featuring less pink.
Are you an Inter Milan fan worried that Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder will run off to the Premier League this summer? Well, worry no more. Or at least, worry less. Sneijder has been quotes as questioning just why he'd want to leave a club he's been so successful at, saying he loves the city and is very happy to be playing for Inter. Hit it, Wesley:
There is a family atmosphere at Inter and there are all the ingredients to aim high. Milan is marvellous, picturesque and full of elegance. I love it. At the moment I am very happy here and I don't see why I should leave.
Sneijder, of course, had been linked heavily to both Manchester United and Chelsea as the two English giants attempt to restock their respective midfields, with Chelsea reportedly being willing to pay in the area of €35M for the World Cup finalist. This should kill off the rumours for now.
It's been an on again, off again summer for Udinese's Swiss midfielder Gokhan Inler, who's been linked to midfield vacancies at both Napoli and Juventus since the middle of last season. Just when we thought that everything had quieted down, Udinese owner Giampaolo Pozzo has announced that Udinese has done a deal with Napoli - and it's been in place for two weeks:
So what's the delay on Napoli's end? They could still be discussing personal terms or something, but Inler's reportedly very keen on a Napoli switch and i can't imagine that it would present much of a problem for him to be moving. Chairman Aurelio de Laurentiis has previously said that whenever player a comes in, he'll announce it, and according to Pazzo he's the man with whom the deal's been conducted.
I don't think I'll ever work out Serie A transfer rumours.
Despite the flutter about Alexis Sanchez being thisclose to packing his bags and heading off for Barcelona, Udinese patron Gianpaolo Pozzo is insisting that there's a chance the trequartista will remain in black and white stripes next season. After all, Udinese want €35m for Sanchez, and although it is rumored that Barcelona have offered €30m plus Bojan, Pozzo insists that no meetings have been held with the Catalan club.
It may seem like an exaggeration to say, but for the bianconeri to have any hope of advancing out of the qualifying stages of the Champions League, they'll need to keep Sanchez. The Chilean was instrumental in creating chances (and scoring them himself), helping to make Udinese one of the most formidable attacks in Serie A last season. There's a reason he's sought after, certainly, but keeping him at Udinese for another season could enhance his abilities and drive his price up even higher.
Napoli midfielder Michele Pazienza has had an interesting season. For much of the year, he was expected to mosey on off to Genoa at the close of Napoli's campaign, now that no longer appears to be the case. Perhaps the Partonapei finishing third in the league has convinced Pazienza that he's actually far too good for Genoa (I don't know) - but no matter what the cause it's clear that he's probably not going to be heading to the Rossoblu anytime soon. Instead, it's sounding like his destination is Juventus, with his agent Vincenzo D'Ippolito saying a deal is very close:
The deal with Juventus is done. Pazienza will undergo a medical later this week.
It's not clear just how Pazienza would fit into Juventus' midfield, and his signing seems like it would have an interesting effect on the fortunes of Gokhan Inler, who had been pursued by both Juventus and Napoli. It won't come as any surprise if he ends up at the latter club now.
It's been known for quite some time that Juventus are interested in Atletico Madrid striker Sergio Aguero, and ever since the Argentine expressed his desire for a move away from the club, rumors have abounded that the bianconeri will sign him up. Now, Atleti have made it known that Juve are in fact seeking to negotiate for Aguero -- but should they wish to actually sign him, the price tag is hefty: €45m.
Atletico have also made it known that Real Madrid have not put in an offer for Aguero, despite his desire to play for Los Merengues. Right now it's only Juventus who have stepped up to negotiate, further demonstrating the club's desire to land a big signing during the summer. However, another twist remains: with Aguero insisting his desire to leave Atleti is a "sporting decision," it appears that a move to a team that failed to qualify for European competition is not exactly what he's dreaming of. He just doesn't want to join Juventus.
Just when Napoli fans thought their favorite Slovakian was immune from being snatched up by the transfer market, it appears that now AC Milan have their sights set on Marek Hamšík. The scudetto winners are looking for a midfielder to replace Andrea Pirlo, who completed his transfer to Juventus on Tuesday -- although to be fair, Milan managed to cope just fine without Pirlo for most of the season, so why they absolutely need Hamšík is a bit of a mystery.
Still, Hamšík remains top of Milan's must-have list, although Udinese's Kwadwo Asamoah and Fiorentina's Riccardo Montolivo were also mentioned by club president Massimiliano Allegri. Considering that Udinese are trying their best to keep as many of their players as possible as they head into the Champions League qualifying rounds, and Napoli obviously want to keep the attacking force of Hamšík, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani, perhaps it's best if Milan concentrate on Montolivo. Monty's come right out and said he wants to leave the Viola when his contract is up, so here we go -- everything sorted.
Unfortunately, transfers are never as tidy as that, are they? Stay tuned.
Despite the rumor that Juventus have come up with a subversive plan to convince Udinese to sell Alexis Sánchez, Gino Pozzo, the son of owner Giampaolo, insists that the club's priority is to keep hold of the Chilean. Although Udinese are regarded as a selling club, well known for their ability to sign young, relatively unknown players and then sell them on at a profit, their second-ever Champions League qualification has caused the ownership to re-evaluate their strategy. Pozzo acknowledge that players would have to be sold, but at the same time, he stated that the goal for next season was continuity.
Considering just how integral Sánchez was in securing fourth place for Udinese, and thus entry into the Champions League qualifying rounds, it's hardly surprising that the zebrette want to keep hold of their trequartista. But with attentions from the likes of Manchesters United and City, Inter Milan, and Juventus, will Udinese manage to achieve such a goal?
In order for Juventus to make a bid for Udinese marvel Alexis Sánchez feasible, they're going to have to think creatively. After all, it seems every club in the known universe has its eye on the Chilean international (if we're being honest here, clubs in universes we've yet to even contemplate are likely watching goals such as this one, and tallying up just how many intergalactic spaceships they'd need to sacrifice to land Sánchez).
But back on earth, Juventus are rumored to have thought of an easier solution: submit a €35m bid for El Niño Maravilla, but add a promise -- Sánchez will be allowed to stay with Udinese through the qualifying stages of the Champions League, before shedding his black and white stripes to don...other black and white stripes.
Juve may not have the most cash to splash around right now, but if they give such assurances, it might put them ahead in the race for the trequartista's signature.
Yesterday, we brought you the news that, despite rumors to the contrary, AC Milan had not made any offers for Napoli forward Marek Hamšík. However, Milan's cross-town rivals did put in a bid for the Slovakian. The response from Aurelio De Laurentiis to Inter Milan's offer is quite illuminating:
I told him [Massimo Moratti] that we were at the start of an era and asked him to not make any more offers for the player.
The statement could be read to say that the Napoli owner simply wants Inter to keep their grubby little hands away from Hamšík. Or it could be interpreted more broadly: this is a club looking not to simply make it out of the group stages of the Champions League, but to be a genuine competitor. To make a run at the scudetto. Despite the histrionics, ADL managed to put aside his issues and keep coach Walter Mazzarri at the club. There's a five year plan in place.
And that plan doesn't involve selling the likes of Hamšík. So hands off, all you dreamers. De Laurentiis plans to buy four Gokhan Inlers instead.
The world is abuzz with the rumor that Marek Hamšík will be on his way from Naples to Milan in the summer, but Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis has said: "I met Galliani 3 times this week and he never spoke to me about Hamsik. I've had no offers." It's not clear whether ADL means no offers from AC Milan specifically, or no offers from any club (Manchester United are also thought to be interested in the Slovakian).
While Milan have no shortage of attacking players, Hamšík would certainly be an upgrade on the players currently slotting in for the trequartista role. Clarence Seedorf might not even be staying with the rossoneri. Kevin-Prince Boateng's Milan future remains up in the air. And while Hamšík may not always be the most precise finisher, he's an improvement over Robinho's wonder-misses, which seem to occur any time the Brazilian gets a clear chance at goal.
While Edinson Cavani has been the star in Napoli's crown this season, any absence of either Hamšík or Ezequiel Lavezzi has shown just how important all three are to the Napoli attack. Napoli fans are crossing their fingers that De Laurentiis is well aware of this, and doesn't elect to sell a member of the holy trinity.
After over ten years together, Andrea Pirlo and AC Milan parted ways last week, after Milan refused to offer the midfielder more than a one-year contract extension. In fact, Milan have now announced that they intend to offer extensions of no more than one year to any player aged thirty and over. Juventus, however, are perfectly happy to give the veteran not one but three years (insert your preferred La Vecchia Signora quip here) pending the medical he is reportedly having with the club today.
Should all go as planned, Juve will snap up Pirlo on a free transfer, and announce the signing later this week, possibly as early as Wednesday. It may have been only a few days since the season ended, but the bianconeri have already been mentioned in relation to several splashy signings, included Atletico Madrid's Sergio Aguero and Manchester United's Nani. Given the finances of the club, however, taking on an established veteran who comes with no transfer fee seems a much more logical step.
Alexis Sánchez, the lynchpin behind the attack that brought Udinese into fourth place and a Champions League berth, is undoubtedly one of the most sought after players this summer. The league seems irrelevant: clubs from Spain, England, and Italy are all chasing the Chilean international.
Today's hot rumor involves the president of Inter Milan, Massimo Moratti, holding talks with Gino Pozzo, the son of Udinese owner Giampaolo. The bianconeri recently turned down a €35m offer for Sánchez, thought to have been made by Manchester City, so Inter had to come to the table ready to play. In addition to €20m, it is thought that the nerazzurri tacked on midfielders McDonald Mariga and Joel Obi, as well as the loan of Philippe Coutinho.
While Coutinho is already quite good, and has the potential to be an excellent attacking midfielder, his loan, plus the contracts of two perfectly adequate players, and some pocket change -- is that enough for Udinese to give up one of the best trequartistas in the world?
On Monday, Sergio Aguero announced via his official website that he wanted a move away from his current club, Atletico Madrid. The 22 year old striker indicated that the move wasn't based on a desire for more money, but it was simply a "sporting decision." In other words, he wants a chance at top-class football, something that Atleti, who finished seventh in La Liga this season, won't be able to provide.
Despite the fact that almost everyone with any knowledge about Serie A is aware of the fact that Juventus could never afford Aguero, the announcement that he wants away from Atletico once again fired up the rumors that the Old Lady would be pursuing the Argentine. Juventus have met with Aguero's agent, but considering his price tag, it's more likely that Chelsea, Liverpool, or Real Madrid will end up with the player. With Jose Mourinho intent on outdoing Roberto Mancini for the world's strongest bench, it seems most likely that Aguero will end up across the city.
Despite Fiorentina's desire to offer Riccardo Montolivo an improved contract, worth of the star's gilded signature, the club and player could not come to an agreement on a deal that would extend his stay at the club until 2016.
Fiorentina have always been my priority. I love this shirt, but the doubts that saw me take time to reflect have still not gone away.
In other words, dude wants some Champions League football, and the Viola certainly aren't giving it to him. Which is understandable, after the underwhelming season Fiorentina had -- but at the same time, Montolivo missed a bit due to injury, partially causing this unimpressive form.
Montolivo does say he'll "stay with joy" if Fiorentina wish to keep him through the end of next season. It is also thought that Juventus and Inter Milan want the playmaker, but then again, it's almost certain every player who might possibly switch clubs in Serie A will be linked with one of those two clubs.
Reports abound that Udinese rejected a €35m bid for Alexis Sánchez, thought to be offered by Manchester City. Although with rumors that City aren't looking to splash the cash this off season, even for the amazingness that is El Niño Maravilla, the offer could have very well come from Inter Milan. Both clubs were thought to be preparing an offer for the trequartista, who has had a terrific season in his new position, both scoring goals and being the creator of many more for his partner in tiny crime, Antonio Di Natale.
Udinese secured a fourth place finish with a scoreless draw against AC Milan on Sunday, and are fully aware that, even though this is a club with a great scouting network and the ability to piece together a squad from many unknown players, to let Sánchez go easily would be Champions League suicide. That's not to say he won't be off to another club -- Chelsea, Manchester United, and probably scores of others are dreaming Alexi-shaped dreams -- but that club is going to need to pay through the nose.
With the 2010-2011 season done and dusted, it's time for the Calcio Mercato to shine. Which players will stay? Which players are off for a ridiculous price to have a ridiculous season (or, quite frankly, to sit on the bench and wither)?
Scudetto holders AC Milan will clearly look to maintain their squad, although they'll only offer one-year contract extensions to those over 30 years old. Napoli will want to add some depth to enable them to compete in both Serie A and the Champions League, although Walter Mazzarri's sacking could lead to a couple of the mister's favorite players leaving the club. Juventus and Roma desperately want to be able to compete for Champions League positions next season. Udinese have to take care not to sell every player that helped them reach the coveted fourth position. And Atalanta, Siena, and whichever Serie B club wins the third position will, of course, need to find players to help them stay up.
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