AC Milan is making headlines but not exactly for all the right reasons. Another disappointing season has gone by but the chaos surrounding the club is almost the same.
For the last few months there have reports Silvio Berlusconi could be willing to sell his majority stake in the club he helped become one of the best in the world. Recently, reports say that Thai businessman Bee Taechaubol has offered 500 million Euros for 51% of the club. Mr. Bee has travelled to Milan this past week to negotiate with Berlusconi. While the negotiations may have hit a minor speed bump, they will likely have another meeting tomorrow. Milanisti hope this new era will help return the club to European success.
After another disappointing performance on Wednesday night, losing to Udinese 3-1, Pippo Inzaghi’s job was reportedly in jeopardy. There were reports Inzaghi could be replaced by youth team coach Christian Brocchi. In his post game conference Inzaghi said, “Whatever happens, Milan will always be in my heart. I have been here for a long time, I am calm and I always try and give my all… Resign? No resignation, I think it is cowardly. I give my all like I always did as a player.”
Yes, Inzaghi hasn’t done so well this season but he had no professional coaching experience before this season. Pippo only coached Milan’s primavera team for 2 years and so Milan’s management has to take some part of responsibility for this failure. Last year Clarence Seedorf retired from playing to take the coaching job at Milan. After some mediocre results and unfair treatment, Seedorf was relieved of his duties and Inzaghi was hired to replace him. Did Milan management hire 2 consecutive coaches with no professional coaching experience and expect to achieve success as a top club in Europe? Milan management also has to take responsibly for the decline in the squad’s quality. Milan were actually the last team besides Juventus to win the Scudetto in the 2010-2011 season. Andrea Pirlo, Thiago Silva, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ronaldinho, and club legend Alessandro Nesta were just a few world-class players on that team. Andrea Pirlo’s contract was not renewed and he joined Juventus for free and is about to lead them to their 4th consecutive Scudetti. Thiago Silva and Ibrahimovic were both sold to PSG for a total of about 65 million Euros but no world-class players were bought to replace them. We could also look at their youth products. The list is really too long to go through it all but many Milan primavera players have found great success at other clubs. Alberto Paloschi is now at Chievo Verona leading the club with 8 goals. Bryan Cristante was sold to Benfica last summer, M’Baye Niang was loaned out to Genoa who has 5 goals and 2 assists this season and Riccardo Saponara is at Empoli on loan with an option to buy and he’s picked up 6 goals and 2 assists. Those are a few of the recent young talents Milan have mishandled. Matteo Darmian and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are two notable former Milan youth players who’ve had great success at Torino and Borussia Dortmund respectively.
Adriano Galliani has also signed many players in their later years who’ve seemed to not have much left in their tanks. Signing Alessandro Matri, Fernando Torres, Michael Essien as a free agent and extending Sulley Muntari’s contract are a few decisions Galliani has taken heat for.
So, it has been a culmination of bad decisions at Milan that has led to their current state. Whatever happens off the pitch and during the offseason, Milan will certainly need to improve next season. The sad part in it all is that the image of two club legends in Seedorf and Inzaghi might be tarnished. Hopefully Milanisti will remember them for their great times on the pitch and not their struggles on the sidelines.
A town of 67,000 people. The Sandro Cabassi stadium that seats only 4,144. That’s only the beginning of the story for the first club to be promoted to Serie A for next season, Carpi Football Club 1909. A local student named Adolfo Fanconi founded Carpi in 1909 and I doubt he ever even imagined his club competing in Serie A.
In 1997, Luigi Di Canio led Carpi to a 3rd place finish in Serie C but they lost the promotion playoff to Monza. In 2000 the club went bankrupt and were relegated to Serie D, the fifth division. The three main shareholders who took over the club are Stefano Bonacini & Claudio Caliumi, who each own 35.83% and the club's President Roberto Marani with a 28.33% share. By 2011 Carpi had found its way up to Serie C1. They defeated Lecce in the 2012 promotional playoff and made it to Serie B. It was the club’s third promotion in just four years. Carpi renovated their stadium in 2012 but they might have to do some work as Serie A rules requires a minimum capacity of 20,000. However, sometimes exceptions to that can be made.
“It's been an extraordinary journey and I'm delighted with this promotion,” coach Fabrizio Castori, who took over at the start of the season, told Sky Sport Italia. "This team has improved step by step and these lads have a great future." The average age of the squad this year is just 23 years old. Their top scorer is Nigerian striker Jerry Mbakogu who has 14 goals this campaign. Carpi have been atop the Serie B table pretty much all of this season.
The club’s annual wage bill is just €3 million, with an additional €1 million for the staff. Their most notable former player was World Cup winner Marco Materazzi who was at the club on loan during the 1996-1997 season. I’ll leave it at this: the entire town of Carpi could fit into San Siro, the stadium shared by AC Milan and Inter Milan.
Udinese kicked off the weekend against Milan. After a scoreless first half, Giampiero Pinzi opened the scoring in the 58th minute. Emmanuel Badu doubled the Zebrette’s lead in the 74th minute. Milan striker Giampaolo Pazzini snatched a late consolation goal in the 88th minute. A disappointing loss for Inzaghi’s side has put the Rossoneri into retreat with an unset timetable.
For the first time since 2003, three Italian clubs have reached the semi-finals of European competition. Juventus are in the final four of the Champions League while Napoli and Fiorentina advanced to the Europa League semi-finals tonight. Napoli impressively defeated Wolfsburg 6-3 on aggregate and Fiorentina beat Dynamo Kyiv 3-1 on aggregate.
This will surely help the Italian coefficient and will hopefully help Serie A’s pedigree in Europe. Serie A also had 5 teams in Europa League’s Round of 16 this season, which was a great feat. Italian clubs have finally valued the Europa League this year unlike the recent past few years. Italian football is slowly but surely progressing back to its status before the infamous Calciopoli scandal. But, while Serie A is getting back on track, it still has its problems.
Former Italian striker Marco Di Vaio, who now works within the Bologna FC organization, had some recent astute observations on Italian football. “I played in three leagues away from Italy,” Di Vaio said, “and the comparisons in terms of the stadia is something that strikes you immediately. Wherever I was, I was amazed at how the matches had a party atmosphere. It was an event for the whole family. In Italy we are lacking on this issue and it means there is a different culture to sport.”
The status of stadiums has been criticized for quite a while now, although that might slowly be changing. Far too often there are empty stadiums and problems of violence and racism that must be dealt with. Most clubs do not own their stadium but rent them every year, which leads to minimal, if any, profits from ticket sales. Juventus built their own stadium, which opened in 2011, and the club has seen enormous success both economically and on the pitch. AS Roma have announced plans to build a new state-of-the-art 52,000 seat stadium scheduled to open in 2017. AC Milan has also announced their intentions to build a new stadium despite recent reports owner Silvio Berlusconi might sell the club. Their proposed stadium would seat 48,000 fans, cost an estimated $340 million and possibly be ready in 2018.
It is a great thing to see Italian clubs succeed in Europe. It would be even better if we can see an Italian team win a European competition this year. It’s not yet a comeback for Serie A but it is definitely a good start to get back to the glory days of the 1990s.
MLS and Canadian based side Montreal Impact travelled to the Estadio Azteca to face Club América in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League Final. The Impact came into the match as huge underdogs as the 12 time Liga MX champions were expected to take care of business rather easily.
Montreal took the surprise lead in the 16th minute when Ignacio Piatti calmly slotted the ball into the corner of the net from about 10 yards out. Club América controlled the ball most of the match but couldn’t find the net before halftime. The most controversial part of the game came right before halftime as Impact striker Domenico Oduro was in on goal when Osvaldo Martinez clearly pulled Oduro’s jersey and took him down right outside the box. It looked like a clear red card since he was the last man but only a yellow was given.
The hosts pretty much dominated the second half but found it hard to score. They had numerous chances but were just unable to find the net. As the half progressed, they kept pushing forward and pressing. Just when it seemed like Montreal might sneak out of Mexico with a shock victory, Club América finally put the ball into the back of the net. In the 89th minute Oribe Peralta headed home a free kick to draw the game level. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.
While Club América were the better team, this result is huge for both the Impact and Major League Soccer. Prior to the game, MLS clubs had a combined 2-32-7 record in CONCACAF matches played in Mexico. The Impact have a chance to make history if they can pull off the improbable feat of winning this competition.
The second leg will certainly be exciting, as Club América will have to score to win and Montreal will have a great crowd behind them. The Impact have already announced the return leg will be played before a sold-out crowd of 59,020 fans. Because of the away goal rule, the Montreal Impact have a slight advantage heading into the second leg, which will take place on April 29th. The winner will go on to represent CONCACAF in the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup later this year.
The New York Cosmos took on the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Hofstra University on Saturday night in their 2015 home opener. The legendary Pelé and other former New York Cosmos players attended the match to support their former club. James Shuart Stadium was sold out for Spanish legend Raul's home debut, seating 12,550 fans, a Cosmos record since they joined the North American Soccer League (NASL) in 2013. Cosmos head coach and sporting director Giovanni Savarese is in his 3rd season with the club, while Thomas Rongen is in his first season in charge of Tampa Bay.
Juventus defeated AS Monaco 1-0 on aggregate to advance to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2003.
Sampdoria and Cesena kicked off the weekend at the Luigi Ferraris in Genoa. For the most part, Sampdoria dominated the match but couldn’t find a breakthrough. I Blucerchiati are fighting for a Europa League spot and will be definitely be disappointed with the 0-0 draw, while Cesena are currently in the last relegation spot and will be satisfied with the point.
Juventus hosted in-form Lazio on Saturday night. The first half was quite entertaining and Carlos Tevez opened the scoring in the 17th minute. The Argentine striker broke the offside trap and beat Marchetti with a left-footed shot to the far post on the ground. Tevez is currently the leading goalscorer in Serie A with 18 goals so far. In the 27th minute, Pirlo found Bonucci at midfield with an outlet pass and the center-back dribbled into space on a 3 v 2 counter attack. Lazio defenders kept backing off and eventually Bonucci struck the ball into the back of the net from the top of the box. Juve took a 2-0 lead into halftime and saw the rest of the game out. Juventus are 15 points clear at the top of the table with 7 games remaining. Lazio are now tied on points with city rivals Roma on 58 points but have an advantage on goal differential.
Sassuolo and Torino drew the early Sunday morning match 1-1. Domenico Berardi converted a penalty right before halftime before Fabio Quagliarella also converted a penalty in the 2nd half to split the points. Torino are tied with Genoa for 7th place while Sassuolo sit in 12th place.
Roma hosted Atalanta in another game with two penalty kicks that resulted in a draw. Francesco Totti put Roma ahead early in the 3rd minute from the spot. German Denis drew Atalanta level in the 23rd minute on a PK. Rudi Garcia’s side continues to struggle creating going forward and have had a very poor 2015.
Palermo held on to a first half double from Ivaylo Chochev to defeat Genoa in Sicily. Iago Falque cut the lead shortly after half-time but Genoa could not find an equalizer. Paulo Dybala now has 13 goals and 10 assists this season in Serie A, the first player to hit double digits in both categories. Palermo are in 11th place, one point behind Inter.
Chievo Verona and Udinese played out to a 1-1 draw. Sergio Pellissier had fired Chievo into the lead six minutes before half-time but an own goal from Bostjan Cesar in the 71st minute shared the spoils. The match extended Udinese's winless run to six games and sees Andrea Stramaccioni’s side in 14th place. Meanwhile Chievo Verona are one point ahead of Udinese in 13th place.
Empoli and Parma shared the points in a 2-2 draw. Francesco Lodi put Parma ahead in the 19th minute but goals from Massimo Maccarone and Lorenzo Tonelli gave Empoli a 2-1 half-time lead. Ishak Belfodil then scored his first goal in Serie A since May 2013 to tie the game. The point lifts Empoli to 15th place as they sit 11 points clear of the relegation zone with 7 games remaining.
Coming off an emphatic 4-1 Europa League win over Wolfsburg, Napoli eased to a 3-0 victory over Cagliari. Callejon, Gabbiadini and a Balzano own goal secured 3 points for Rafa Benitez’s side. Napoli are now on 53 points in 4th place, while Cagliari are 9 points away from safety and are close to dropping to Serie B.
The hyped Derby della Madonnina ended in a 0-0 draw even though both teams had disallowed goals. Although I didn’t get to watch the game I’m pretty sure this match just lamented the fact both sides have been mediocre this season. Inzaghi has had a rough season and Mancini has had his troubles returning to Inter. There’s been reports that Berlusconi is close to selling shares of Milan as they sit in 9th place and Inter in 10th.
Fiorentina will surely be disappointing having dropped 3 points at the Artemio Franchi to Hellas Verona on Monday night. La Viola dominated most of the game but were very poor in front of goal. Alessandro Diamanti saw his 67rd minute penalty saved by Rafael. Fiorentina paid the price for not finding the net as Mounir Obbadi scored off a rebound in the 90th minute. Fiorentina drop to 6th place as Hellas Verona move up to 14th.
Parma Football Club have had a disastrous season to say the least. Roberto Donadoni guided I Gialloblu to a impressive 6th place finish last season but the Italian Football Federation refused to grant them the license to compete in the Europa League due to a failure to pay taxes. Owner Tommaso Ghirardi then sold his controlling stake of the club to the Cypriot-Russian company Dastraso Holding Limited on December 19th, 2014. And then in February of this year, Giampietro Manenti bought the club for €1 (yes, only 1 euro), including taking on all the debt. As of February 17th, the club's total debt amounted to €218,446,754 (via @footballitalia). Parma have been sitting in dead last place for most of this season. So what happened to the club that won the UEFA Cup (now known as the Europa League) in 1999 and owned of the most prestigious youth academies in Italy? Parma have been a circus this season. They sold Nicola Pozzi for €1,000 in January, Antonio Cassano, Cristian Rodriguez and Felipe rescinded their contracts in January, they've had to reschedule games and the club has officially declared bankruptcy. Wages of players and the coaching staff haven’t been paid in many months. New owner Manenti was also arrested a week ago for money laundering. On March 7th the other Serie A teams voted to raise an emergency €5 million fund. Not to mention their sporting director Pietro Leonardi resigned in mid-February due to health issues. Former player and now the manager of the youth academy team, Hernan Crespo said in February: “It really hurts to see and live through this situation. We are all working just for the good of the lads and today only played because the gardeners did us a favor. We have cold showers because there is no electricity, so the players keep getting ill. We don’t even have guarantees for cleaning staff in the locker rooms." Gianluigi Buffon and Giuseppe Rossi had trained and developed on that academy team many years ago.The future of the club is very grim as someone will have to buy the club, pay off all the debt and be relegated to Serie B or there is no one to buy the club will start in Serie D with a new name. It's sad to see a club with a rich history that cultivated such players as Sebastian Veron, Hernan Crespo, Fabio Cannavaro, Gigi Buffon, Faustino Asprilla and Lillian Thuram fall from grace. We likely won't see Parma Football Club in Serie A for a very long time.
Juventus (1st place, 50 points) – At the end of January, Juventus now have a 7 point lead over Roma and some people see the Scudetto race almost over already.
Alessandro Matri from Milan on a six-month loan
Stefano Sturaro recalled from loan at Genoa
Redeemed Empoli's 50% of Daniele Rugani for €3.5M (will join in the summer)
Paolo De Ceglie recalled from loan spell at Parma
Matri replaces Giovinco on the forward line. Sturaro provides quality depth in midfield. Rugani is one of the brightest young defending talents in Italy and De Ceglie was recalled to replace Giovinco’s homegrown player status and provide some cover at left-back. Good signings for the future too by the Bianconeri:
Andrès Felipe Tello on loan with option to buy from Envigado
Pol Lirola on loan with option to buy from Espanyol
Filipe on a permanent deal from Gremio
Andrija Filipovic, permanent deal from Rijeka
Sebastian Giovinco to Toronto FC on a free transfer
Their 50% of Manolo Gabbiadini to Napoli for €6.5M
Marco Motta terminated his contract
Federico Mattiello on loan to Chievo Verona
Laurentiu Branescu on permanent deal to Haladas
Alberto Masi on permanent deal to Ternana
Expect Juve to keep the gas on the pedal and lift their 4th Scudetto in a row. Already in the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia where they will face the winner of Roma-Fiorentina. The real question left this season is their performance in the Champions League, as they face Borussia Dortmund in the First Knockout Round this month.
Roma (2nd place, 43 points) - Having drawn their last 4 games in the league, the Scudetto perhaps seems just too far away. They are playing Fiorentina right now in the Coppa Italia semi-final.
Seydou Doumbia from CSKA Moscow for €14.4M.
Victor Ibarbo from Cagliari on a €2.5M loan with €12.5M option to buy
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa redeemed from Newcastle for €7.3M
Nicolas Spolli from Catania on a €1.5M loan with €1.5M option to buy
Doumbia will provide Roma with a central striker who can stretch defenses, has quality pace. Ibarbo will provide cover for Juan Iturbe, who suffered ligament damage to his right knee, and is another speedy winger. Yanga-Mbiwa has played well this season and has been important after the loss of Benatia and illness to Castan. Spolli brought in for depth at center-back. Sabatini made some impressive purchases for down the road:
18 year old Kevin Mendez from Penarol for €2M
17 year old Ezequiel Ponce from Newell's Old Boys for €5M
18 Josè Machin Dicombo aka Pepin from Malaga on a permanent deal
Mattia Destro to Milan on a €500,000 loan with €16M option to buy
Tin Jedvaj to Bayer Leverkusen for €7M
Marco Borriello to Genoa on permanent deal
Urby Emanuelson to Atalanta on permanent deal
Roma have to get back to winning way with Napoli only 4 points behind. If they go on an impressive run and Juve slip up, they might get a shot at the Scudetto.
Napoli (3rd place, 39 points) – After 3 consecutive wins, Napoli find themselves with a nice little 5-point cushion in 3rd place. They play Inter in the Coppa Italia on Wednesday night.
Manolo Gabbiadini from Sampdoria/Juventus for €13M
Ivan Strinic on a free transfer after his contract with Dnipro expired
These two new signings linked up to score the winning goal against Chievo this weekend. Gabbiadini will be looking to continue the fine form he started the season on with Sampdoria. Strinic has played in January as Ghoulam had African Cup of Nations duty and has really impressed so far, he seems to definitely be a quality pickup.
Antonio Rosati to Fiorentina on permanent deal
Napoli will definitely aim to secure 2nd or 3rd place for Champions League football next season. Surprised they didn’t try to improve their central defense with Abiol and Britos being weak links. I would like to see Jorginho have more of an influence in midfield.
Lazio (4th place, 34 points) – Although they’re coming off a very disappointing 2-1 loss to Cesena, they have made it to the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia.
Mauricio from Sporting Lisbon on loan with €2.65M obligation to buy
Brayan Perea recalled from loan at Perugia
Mauricio seems to be a promising signing at the back for Lazio, let’s see how he performs. Perea brought back after striker Dordevic fractured his ankle.
Alvaro Gonzalez to Torino on loan with option to buy
Antonio Rozzi to Virtus Entella on six-month loan
Josip Elez to Honved on six-month loan
Lazio obviously in the race for the coveted 3rd place race but I don’t see them surpassing Napoli. They will face winner of Napoli-Inter in Coppa Italia semi-final.
Sampdoria (5th place, 34 points) – Owner Massimo Ferrero splashed some cash in far-fetched dreams of finishing in 3rd place.
Samuel Eto'o from Everton on a free transfer
Luis Muriel from Udinese on loan with €10.5M obligation to buy
Ezequiel Munoz from Palermo on six-month loan
Alfred Duncan redeemed from Inter for €2.6M
Afriyie Acquah from Hoffenheim on six-month loan
Federico Bonazzoli for €4.5M with €9M buy-back clause (will remain at Inter until summer)
Eto’o and Muriel should be fun to watch up front along with Okaka as Sampdoria found their Gabbiadini replacement (Muriel). Munoz is a solid center back who’s contract expires in June and might join Milan on a free transfer. Duncan and Acquah are both decent signings for the midfield. Bonazzoli is a good prospect with a bright future, good deal for both clubs as Inter also have a buy-back clause.
Their 50% of Manolo Gabbiadini to Napoli for €6.5M
Daniele Gastaldello to Bologna on a permanent deal
Nenad Krsticic to Bologna on loan with option to buy
Gianluca Sansone to Bologna on loan
Fiorentina (6th place, 32 points) –Sold their star player to Chelsea and await Giuseppe Rossi to return from injury. La Viola did make some quality signings. Montella will surely miss Cuadrado but Diamanti and Salah should be able to be productive. La Viola will surely want to claim a Europa League spot.
Mohamed Salah from Chelsea on six-month loan (option to extend loan to 2016 for €1M)
Alessandro Diamanti from Guangzhou on loan with option to buy
Alberto Gilardino from Guangzhou on loan with option to buy
Aleandro Rosi from Genoa on six-month loan
Antonio Rosati from Napoli on a permanent deal
Salah a decent quick-fix replacement for Cuadrado, could see him doing well in Serie A. Diamanti and Gilardino return to Italy, hopefully haven’t lost to much of their class. Gilardino shooting for 200 Serie A goals. Rosi is a nifty little player who can play both RB and RW.
Juan Cuadrado to Chelsea for about €31M
Marko Marin ended his loan spell
Joshua Brillante to Empoli on 18-month loan
Oleksandar Iakovenko to Den Haag on six-month loan
Rafal Wolski to Mechelen on loan
Palermo (7th place, 30 points) – Have had a great start to their return to Serie A. A very well disciplined squad who will look to continue their good form. Wonderkid Paulo Dybala has been terrific. Very entertaining team to watch. Will want to keep a good league position and maybe just maybe snatch a Europa League spot if they keep playing well.
Danilo Ortiz from Cerro Porteno on loan with option to buy
Mato Jajalo from Rijeka on a permanent deal
Andrea Rispoli from Parma on a six-month loan with option to buy
Ezequiel Munoz to Sampdoria on six-month loan
Eros Pisano to Hellas Verona on loan with option to buy
Sol Bamba to Leeds on loan with option to buy
Granddi N'Goyi to Leeds on loan with option to buy
Milan (8th place, 29 points) – Very busy last few days of the mercato for the Rossoneri. After two very disappointing performances against Lazio, Inzaghi was almost sacked but seems to have dodged the bullet for now. Milan has been hit with many injuries including El Shawarawy, Abate, De Sciglio, Bonaventura, Bonera and De Jong. Hopefully with some qualities signings Milan can get a Europa League spot.
Mattia Destro from Roma on a €500,000 loan with €16M option to buy
Alessio Cerci from Atletico Madrid on an 18-month loan
Luca Antonelli from Genoa on a six-month loan with €4.5M obligation to buy
Salvatore Bocchetti from Spartak Moscow on six-moth loan with option to buy
Suso from Liverpool on a permanent deal
Gabriel Paletta from Parma with a reported fee of €1M
Destro was one of the biggest signings in Italy this mercato as he will provide Milan with much needed quality at center forward. The Torres-Cerci loan swap deemed as a success by almost all Milan fans. Cerci had struggled to regain his form but played very well against Parma this past weekend, now it’s time to see him perform against quality opposition. Antonelli and Bocchetti will certainly provide an upgrade at LB over Armero, even though Bocchetti was poor in his debut. Suso is a skillful player who might find it tough to get playing time but certainly has good potential. Paletta is a low risk, low reward signing but could prove to be quite a bargain.
Fernando Torres to Atletico Madrid on an 18-month loan
Alessandro Matri to Juventus on a six-month loan
Antonio Nocerino to Parma on loan
M'Baye Niang to Genoa on a six-month loan
Riccardo Saponara to Empoli on loan with option to buy
Andrea Petagna to Vicenza on loan
Kingsley Boateng to Bari, on a permanent deal
I expect to see more of a strategy/purpose from Inzaghi and his tactics. Milan played well (in the 2nd half) against Parma but didn’t seem to have much of a gameplan. Will be interesting to see how Destro settles in and if he can get back to his scoring ways. Milan had a very good mercato and now let’s see how they perform, their aim should be for a Europa League spot.
Genoa (9th place, 29 points) – After an impressive start to the season, they’ve gone winless in their last 7 matches and have slid down the table. Gasperini will look to get back to winning ways.
Tino Costa from Spartak Moscow on 18-month loan
Marco Borriello from Roma on a permanent deal
Lorenzo Ariaudo from Sassuolo on six-month loan
M'Baye Niang from Milan on six-month loan
Leonardo Pavoletti from Sassuolo on six-month loan with option to buy
Diego Laxalt from Inter on 18-month loan with option to buy
Tino Costa has been injured and should return in about two weeks, should be a solid signing. Borriello replaces Matri at striker. Niang and Pavoletti also provide decent options going forward.
Luca Antonelli to Milan on six-month loan with €4.5M obligation to buy
Mauricio Pinilla to Atalanta on loan with €2M forced option to buy
Stefano Sturaro ended his loan spell ad joined Juventus
Ioannis Fetfatzidis to Chievo Verona on loan with option to buy
Leandro Greco to Hellas Verona on a six-month loan
Aleandro Rosi to Fiorentina on a six-month loan
Torino (10th place, 28 points) – On a nice 3 game winning streak and coming off an impressive 5-1 romping of Sampdoria. Will look to maintain a respectable league position.
Maxi Lopez from Chievo Verona on a permanent transfer
Alvaro Gonzalez from Lazio on loan with option to buy
Salvador Ichazo from Danubio on loan with €2.3M option to buy
Struggled to score goals before the Sampdoria match but now have Quagliarella, Amauri and Maxi Lopez up top who can certainly score provided the service
Antonio Nocerino end of loan spell from Milan
Jean-François Gillet to Catania on a permanent deal
Marcelo Larrondo to Tigre on loan with option to buy
Ruben Perez end of loan spell from Atletico Madrid
Sassuolo (11th place, 28 points) – Coming off a quality 3-1 win over Inter. Eusebio Di Francesco has done a very impressive job with the Neroverdi the last two seasons, the clubs first ever stint in Serie A. Refused to let Simone Zaza move to Juve in January.
Dejan Lazarevic from Chievo Verona on a six-moth loan with option to buy
Anatasios Donis from Juventus on a 18-month loan
Lorenzo Ariaudo to Genoa on a six-month loan
Leonardo Pavoletti to Genoa on a six-month loan with option to buy
Alessio Vita to Vicenza on loan
Udinese (12th place, 28 points) – Coming off a solid performance in a 0-0 draw with Juventus. Club legend Toto Di Natale has received a lucrative offer from a MLS club and may leave for the United States this summer. Strammacioni has done a decent job in his first season.
Stipe Perica from Chelsea on 18-month loan
Rodrigo Aguirre end of loan spell at Empoli
Michal Pechacek from Teplice on six-month loan
Luis Muriel to Sampdoria on six-month loan with €10.5M obligation to buy
Zeljko Brkic to Cagliari on six-month loan
Andrea Coda to Sampdoria on six-month loan with obligation to buy
Marco Davide Faraoni to Perugia on six-month loan
Inter (13th place, 26 points) – It’s been a very disappointing season for the Nerazzurri. Roberto Mancini has replaced Walter Mazzari on the sideline but Mancini has yet to set out his blueprint for this team. A Europa League spot is very unlikely and Inter are only 8 points above the relegation zone. I’m expecting Inter’s performances to get better as Mancini starts to implement his system, especially with some good signings.
Xherdan Shaqiri from Bayern Munich on loan with €15M forced option to buy
Lukas Podolski from Arsenal on a six-month loan
Davide Santon from Newcastle on loan with €4.5 option to buy (becomes forced option after he starts 10 games)
Marcelo Brozovic from Dinamo Zagreb on a two-year loan with obligation to buy
Italo from Vasco da Gama on a permanent deal
Inter won the race to sign Shaqiri beat Liverpool and Juventus, who eventually dropped out of race. He’s a quality player who could definitely use playing time to develop into a better player. Podolski is a nice little pick up for the rest of the season. Santon returns to his homegrown club and will be a decent versatile signing. Brozovic is a quality midfielder who could be a very good signing.
Alvaro Pereira to Estudiantes on a six-month loan
Alfred Duncan to Sampdoria for €2.6M
Rene Krhin to Cordoba on a six-month loan
Diego Laxalt to Genoa on 18-month loan with option to buy
Ibrahima Mbaye to Bologna on loan with obligation to buy
Hellas Verona (14th place, 24 points) – Mandorlini looks to avoid regulation for the 2nd consecutive year. 37 year old Luca Toni has 6 goals on the season.
Leandro Greco from Genoa on loan
Eros Pisano from Palermo on loan with option to buy
Fernandinho from Gremio on loan
Alejandro Gonzalez to Cagliari on loan
Nene to Spezia on a six-month loan
Matteo Bianchetti to Spezia on six-month loan
Antonio Luna to Speiza on six-month loan
Michael Rabusic to Crotone on a six-month loan
Atalanta (15th place, 23 points) – The Bergamo side have had a mediocre season so far. They did beat Milan 1-0 at the San Siro two weeks ago. They’ll look to avoid relegation and maintain a decent league standing. Made two solid lowkey signings in Emanuelson and Pinilla.
Mauricio Pinilla from Genoa on loan with €2M forced option to buy
Urby Emanuelson from Roma on a permanent deal
Frank Kessie from Stella Club on loan with option to buy
Salvatore Molina to Carpi on a six-month loan
Alberto Almici to Avellino on a six-month loan
Matteo Ardemagni to Perugia on a six-month loan
Mario Pugliese to Carpi on a six-month loan
Empoli (16th place, 20 points) – Maurizio Sarri has done a commendable job with the newly promoted side and they played well to draw Roma 1-1 this past weekend. Daniele Rugani has been fantastic at the back this season without receiving even one yellow card. 35-year-old striker Massimo Maccarone is still performing well. Juventus redeemed their 50% of Rugani for €3.5M but he will stay with Empoli for the remainder of the season. I think they’ll avoid the relegation drop.
Riccardo Saponara from Milan on loan with option to buy
Joshua Brillante from Fiorentina on an 18-month loan
Michele Somma from Roma on a six-month loan
Matteo Bianchetti end of loan spell from Hellas Verona
Diego Laxalt end of loan spell from Inter
Rodrigo Aguirre end of loan spell from Udinese
Cagliari (17th place, 19 points) – Gianfranco Zola replaced Zeman on the bench in late December. M’Poku brought in to replace Ibarbo. They will be battling hard to avoid relegation.
Josef Husbauer from Sparta Prague on loan with option to buy
Duje Cop from Dinamo Zagreb on loan with option to buy
Zeljko Brkic from Udinese on loan
Alejandro Gonzalez from Hellas Verona on a six-month loan
Paul-Josè M'Poku from Standard Liege on a six-month loan with option to buy
Victor Ibarbo to Roma on a €2.5M loan with €12.5M option to buy
Sebastian Eriksson to Goteborg on loan
Antonio Loi to Carpi on a six-month loan
Nicholas Muzzi to Sampdoria on a permanent deal
Chievo Verona (18th place, 18 points) – The Flying Donkeys will have to play well and pick up some points to avoid relegation. Milan youth product Alberto Paloschi leads the team with 4 goals. Fetfatzidis is a good signing who can help to create up front. Even though they’ve avoided the drop the last few seasons, I think they will get relegated.
Ioannis Fetfatzidis from Genoa on loan with option to buy
Nicola Pozzi from Parma on a six-month loan with €1,000 option to buy
Anders Christiansen from Nordsjaelland on a permanent deal
Armando Vajushi from Litex Lovec on a permanent deal
Federico Mattiello from Juventus on a six-month loan
Maxi Lopez to Torino on a permanent deal
Dejan Lazarevic to Sassuolo on a six-moth loan with option to buy
Thomas Mangani to Angers on a six-month loan
Edimar to Cordoba on loan
Nicola Bellomo to Bari on loan with option to buy
Cesena (19th place, 15 points) – Coming off a surprising 2-1 victory over Lazio in which Gregoire Drefel scored a great long distance goal. I see them as an almost definite to drop back down to Serie B.
Alhassane Soumah from Juventus on a six-month loan
Hugo Almeida terminated his contract
Antonio Mazzotta to Catania on loan with option to buy
Manuel Coppola to Catania on a permanent deal
Parma (20th place, 9 points) – It’s been an absolute disastrous season for Donadoni’s side. After a very impressive 6th place finish last season, it has all went downhill for Parma. Tommaso Ghirardi sold the club to an Albanian businessman before the year but the club is still in debt and the players haven’t been paid in months. 14 players left the club in January and the future looks very bleak and the club is a definite to be relegated. Cassano terminated his contract. Rodriguez, Varela and Nocerino are decent signings but it won’t be enough.
Cristian Rodriguez from Atletico Madrid on six-month loan
Silvestre Varela from Porto on a six-month loan
Antonio Nocerino from Milan on a six-month loan
Zouhair Feddal recalled from loan at Palermo
Andi Lila from Pas Giannina on a six-month loan with option to buy
Antonio Cassano terminated his contract
Gabriel Paletta to Milan for reported fee of €1M
Felipe terminated contract
Paolo De Ceglie ended loan spell from Juventus
Afriyie Acquah ended loan spell from Hoffenheim
Nicola Pozzi to Chievo on a six-month loan with €1,000 option to buy
Andrea Rispoli to Palermo on six-month loan with option to buy
Matti Destro in his Milan debut
Muriel and Eto'o joining Sampdoria
Fiorentina star Juan Cuadrado moved to Chelsea
Shaqiri and Podolski at Inter