Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has confirmed that he is very close to completing the signing of Antonio Cassano, although Real Madrid are stopping the deal going through because they are owed money that has been unpaid so far.
Cassano wasn’t allowed to be a free agent, the league’s arbitration panel ruled, so Sampdoria have agreed to sell him to Milan immediately for no transfer fee.
However, the striker’s former club Real Madrid inserted a clause into his Sampdoria contract stipulating that if he was sold on again before 2013, the Spanish giants would be due €5 million. It is this payment that is postponing Cassano’s transfer to Milan.
Cassano posed with a Milan shirt yesterday, but alongside him Galliani said: “The negotiations for Cassano are at an advanced stage, but are not completed yet.”
“The problem is the money owed to Real Madrid. Who is going to pay it? Milan are not prepared to do so, neither are Sampdoria, so it’s a real problem.”
“We have done two out of three: there are agreements with the player and with Sampdoria. But who gives the €5m to Real Madrid? Milan are not prepared to do it.”
Galliani also denied that Cassano’s impending arrival would pave the way for Ronaldinho’s exit. He continued: “This has nothing to do with Ronaldinho. If Cassano arrives, then he is replacing Pippo Inzaghi, even if they have different characteristics.”
Milan are expected to continue negotiations with Real to find a solution to the payment that is preventing the 28-year-old’s transfer.