Domenica, 21 Ottobre 2018

>>>ANSA/ Soccer: Matri, Boateng move in frantic end to trading


(By Denis Greenan).
Rome, August 30 - Juventus striker Alessandro
Matri moved to AC Milan and Milan's Ghana midfielder
Kevin-Prince Boateng joined Schalke 04 in a frantic end to
Italian soccer's summer trading Friday.
Juventus and Milan agreed a deal on Matri Thursday night,
club sources said.
Matri, 29, will move to the San Siro on a four-year contract
worth 9.5 million euros plus bonuses, with an additional 2.5
million going to the player, they said.
Matri scored 27 goals in 69 Serie A matches for Juventus
over the past three and a half seasons.
He began his career with Milan, having gone through the
Rossoneri's youth system, and made his Serie A debut with the
club a decade ago.
Matri, who has scored once for Italy in five international
appearances, was born near Milan.
He passed a medical Friday, telling reporters: "It's a
special thrill to come back to Milan.
"It's such a great set-up I can only see good things in
Boateng, whose terms for the move to Germany were not
disclosed, said he was "a tad sad, and a bit taken aback (by the
deal) but the money's good and Schalke are on the up-and-up".
The Gelsenkirchen-based club finished fourth in the
Bundesliga last year and overcame Greece's Paok FC to get into
the Champions League group stage.
Boateng said he was looking forward to taking on Spurs'
cross-London rivals Chelsea in the Champions League.
"It'll be just like the good old days," he said.
Boateng, brother of Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng,
joined Milan from Portsmouth in 2010 and scored 10
goals in 74 appearances, including a brace against PSV Eindhoven
that helped Milan into the Champions League group stage.
The Ghana star, who gained headlines by leading an
anti-racism walk-off at a low-tier friendly in January, helped
Milan win the league title in his first season there. He has
previously played for Tottenham Hotspur and Hertha Berlin.
Boateng's move came three days before the official close of
the summer transfer market on Monday, with nothing however
expected to happen over the weekend.
It was a huge surprise to Milan watchers - and likely not to
go down too well with the AC faithful, who had taken the
all-action and passionate Ghanaian to their hearts.
AC Milan are also optimistic CSKA Moscow will accept their
latest bid for Japan midfield star Keisuke Honda, once dubbed a
"genius" by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, club sources said.
But the prospect of Brazil forward Kakà coming back from
Real Madrid is fading, they added.
The cash for Matri and Honda became available after Milan
qualified for European soccer's most lucrative and prestigious
club competition, which brings an estimated 30-million-euro
boost to any club's coffers.
The six-foot-tall Matri is billed as an ideal foil for
Mario Balotelli, currently having to do a bit too much of the
grunt work up front rather than latching onto a line-leader's
knock-downs to take more pot-shots at goal with his equally
lethal feet.
"Matri is the right guy to put Mario into positions where
his power-shooting can do the most damage," said Milan CEO
Adriano Galliani.
Galliani met coach Massimiliano Allegri, owner Silvio
Berlusconi and the media-magnate-turned-political-leader's
club-director daughter, Barbara, on Thursday evening to finalise
the club's last-minute trading.
If anything does move on Saturday or Sunday, it would
probably only be Milan digging into their pockets again, pundits
Ajax's midfield starlet Christian Eriksen could arrive to
partner Honda and rev up a department where only captain
Riccardo Montolivo has stood out of late.
Berlusconi, cash-strapped with legal fees and falling
revenue at his business empire, did not spend at all in the
summer transfer window and his last significant catch was Italy
star Balotelli, who arrived from Manchester City in January.
Another possible target with Champions League revenue in the
bag is Cagliari's Italy centre-back Davide Astori, Italian
media have reported.
"I'm fully confident the club is behind me in wanting to
reinforce the squad," Allegri said.
"There's no two ways about it: we have to compete better if
we want to wrest the title from Juve", who are aiming for their
third straight Serie A trophy, the coach added.
Despite the thumping PSV win, speculation that Allegri's
job is lingering
Letting off some uncharacteristic steam after qualifying,
the seemingly unflappable Tuscan said: "I'm fed up with all
these rumours, the season's hardly started yet. I feel like
With the mind of formerly hands-on Berlusconi distracted by
moves to avoid being dumped from the Senate, CEO Adriano
Galliani is "poised to turn the heat up" if the Rossoneri
continue to falter in Serie A after their opening-day loss at
Verona, Gazzetta dello Sport said.
In other transfer news Friday, AS Roma turned down a
12-million-euro bid for Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi after
the Rome native, seen as heir to totemic skipper and fellow
Roman Francesco Totti, made it clear he didn't want to leave the
Italian capital, Roma sources said.
De Rossi, reportedly restless last season after being
underused by ex-coach Zdenek Zeman, has forged a solid rapport
with the Giallorossi's new coach, former Lille manager Rudi
Garcia, they said.

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