Club Focus – Milan – Filippo Galli: the successor?

Milan are in the midst of a grueling slump which cost the Rossoneri the chance to challenge for Serie A and which might jeopardize a third place finish if the players fail to halt the freefall. Morale has reached the lowest levels in the season with Clarence Seedorf acknowledging the damage done by the rumours pertaining to Leonardo’s future as well as the apparent lack of motivation since the disappointing draw with Catania. The Coach and players are attempting to pick up the pieces in order to secure third spot yet President Silvio Berlusconi appears to have set his mind on an alternative to Leonardo by throwing around the name of Filippo Galli. In Berlusconi’s scheme Galli will be promoted from his role as assistant to ensure continuity along with his former teammate Mauro Tassotti who will continue with the assistant’s job he currently holds with Galli.

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The spread of such claims, regardless of their source, adds further proof to the reports indicating Leonardo will depart once the season is over despite the successful way he has managed the squad and dealt with the egos of players such as Ronaldinho. The unpredictable playmaker has had a fine season overall despite his slow start to the campaign and some erratic performances in recent games, but there are reports Milan might seek to offload the Brazilian and cash in on him in order to make more funds available to bring in some fresh faces to Milanello. The uncertainty involving Leonardo, Ronaldinho and even Alexandre Pato and their future at the club has not helped with the situation on the pitch as Milan have lost to both Sampdoria and Palermo in their previous two games. Leonardo appears committed to doing the right thing at Milan yet his long-term future probably lies elsewhere and his latest spat involving Ronaldinho will do him no good if he does indeed remain with the club. The uncertainty surrounding the Coach has hurt the team because some of the players have begun to doubt Leonardo’s authority as they assume he might be gone at the end of the season while some of the stars, like Ronaldinho, might begin to feel they will not face any consequences for being on bad terms with the boss.

The chaotic situation has extended to other hallways of the club with rumours intensifying about the club’s transfer policy, particularly in attack where a plethora of players have been linked with a move to the peninsula join Milan. From Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema to Wolfsburg’s Edin Džeko and Manchester City’s Emmanuel Adebayor, the list apparently continues to grow yet considering the statements made by the Rossoneri management none of these appears a likely target which leaves the door open for a potentially sensational agreement with Juventus striker David Trezeguet. The Frenchman is Juve’s all-time leading scorer amongst non-Italians and has witnessed the club’s history being re-written with titles followed by demotion due to Calciopoli, and then an impressive return to Serie A prior to the current catastrophic situation. In simple terms Trezeguet has been part of the Bianconeri during some of the club’s most critical years and his name has long become synonymous with the Old Lady, but it appears the successful union between the two sides is nearing the end with the Euro 2000 golden goal scorer’s agent claiming the striker would welcome a move to Milan ahead of a return to France. Trezeguet’s profile would fit with what the Rossoneri are looking for, except his age, but the former Les Bleus international is a proven striker who can score on the biggest of stages and will come without damaging the club’s finances.

If Trezeguet does indeed become a target for the club then what would happen to veteran Filippo Inzaghi, who was earlier this week confirmed as a Milan player for next season? For the Rossoneri to compete on several fronts they cannot have two attackers in the twilight of their career subbing for Marco Borriello, who is injury prone. Simply put, a club with Milan’s stature cannot be relying on fading stars and aging players to carry the team when some of the key starters are injured, with the current season providing ample proof as Pato’s and Alessandro Nesta’s injury have practically accelerated the club’s demise in recent weeks. The current crop of players and Leonardo still have the opportunity of ending the season on a high note provided they can take advantage of wounded Fiorentina side scheduled to visit San Siro on Saturday.

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