x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

More look to follow Kaka out of Italian league

Andrea Pirlo, the AC Milan midfielder, and Inter Milan defender Maicon have cast doubts over their Serie A futures.

Andrea Pirlo, the AC Milan midfielder, and Inter Milan defender Maicon have cast doubts over their Serie A futures following Kaka's move to Real Madrid. The Brazil playmaker left Milan on Monday, prompting protests from Rossoneri fans, while Inter striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is hoping to join Barcelona. The loss of possibly the two best players in Italy would be a huge blow for the league, which has slipped well behind Spain and England in terms of appeal and financial clout.

Now Pirlo, who has been linked in the media with former Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea, has expressed doubts about whether he will stay. "We have taken Kaka's exit badly," he said in South Aftica where he is with the Italy team for the Confederations Cup. "We'll see if I leave. For now, no, but looking ahead we will see." Brazilian Maicon, who is among Serie A's best players, is even more unhappy. "For three years Inter have treated me with indifference, maybe because they are worried about keeping Ibrahimovic happy," he told the Gazzetta dello Sport. "I'm searching for joy, at Inter or another club."

The Milan striker Alexandre Pato has said he is considering his future but club bosses have said there would be no more big departures with the focus shifting to a replacement for Kaka. The chief executive, Adriano Galliani, said Wolfsburg's Edin Dzeko was a target and the Bosnian seems keen to move from the German champions. "It is still not done but I hope so. The Rossoneri, along with Real Madrid, are the essence of soccer," he said.

* Reuters