Milan must seal Cassano deal quickly

MILAN - Serie A leaders AC Milan looked a shadow of their recent dominant selves in Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat by AS Roma but a mid-season break now offers the chance for rest and the quick capture of Sampdoria’s Antonio Cassano.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Sun 19 Dec 2010, 11:19 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 3:58 AM

Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has carried the side to the top, looked jaded at the San Siro as injuries to Filippo Inzaghi and Alexandre Pato has meant he has had to play every minute of Milan’s recent games.

“In the second half, we dropped our intensity a bit. It’s a shame because it was a game we had under control,” coach Massimiliano Allegri told reporters.

Out-of-favour Ronaldinho has been on the bench for nine consecutive league games, making the signing of Cassano before Serie A resumes on Jan. 6 a priority, especially since Ibrahimovic is banned from the game at Allegri’s former side Cagliari.

Samp are keen to offload Italy forward Cassano after he fell out with the club president, and Milan Chief Executive Adriano Galliani wants to do a deal if former owners Real Madrid drop or reduce a 5 million euro ($6.66 million) sell-on clause.

Negotiations will go on over the festive season but the rush would not have been necessary if Milan had kept forward Marco Borriello instead of loaning him to AS Roma in August when Ibrahimovic arrived from Barcelona.

Borriello netted the winner against his old side and the jeers he received from the Milan fans were as much for the ironic situation the club finds themselves in.

“I’m upset a bit by the boos,” Borriello told Sky after fifth-placed Roma moved seven points behind Milan, who could see their lead cut to three points if Juventus, Napoli or Lazio win on Sunday.

“We have an exceptional squad and I’ve always thought Roma are worthy of the scudetto.”

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