x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Podolski piques Milan's interest

AC Milan confirm the club's interest in the German striker but any deal depends on offloading players, in particular Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, to finance the move.

Lukas Podolski is getting admiring glances from the Italian Serie A club AC Milan.
Lukas Podolski is getting admiring glances from the Italian Serie A club AC Milan.

Adriano Galliani, the AC Milan vice-president, has confirmed the club's interest in Lukas Podolski, one of the star performers of Germany's impressive World Cup run. But any deal for the Cologne striker is dependant on offloading players, in particular Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, to finance the move. Galliani told Sky Sport 24: "Podolski will arrive only if one condition is met and that is the transfer of Huntelaar to the [English] Premier League, which would then open a few paths from a financial standpoint."

Huntelaar joined Milan last summer from Real Madrid but failed to make an impact and Enlgish clubs Tottenham and Aston Villa are reportedly interested in the Holland frontman. Podolski has struggled in the German Bundesliga over the past four years, scoring just 17 goals in 98 appearances. Those figures are in stark contrast to his international form though, where the 25-year-old has scored 40 goals in 79 matches. He is under contract with Cologne until June 2013.

Meanwhile, the agent of Ronaldinho has denied suggestions that his client will leave Milan this summer. Reports in Brazil claimed the playmaker was in talks with Flamengo, the South American giants, and that a verbal agreement had been reached between the club and the player. "Ronaldinho has never expressed a wish to leave Milan," said Roberto de Assis, Ronaldinho's agent and brother, to Gazzetta dello Sport.

Fiorentina, say they have no intention of letting Sebastien Frey leave the club this summer despite the arrival of Artur Boruc. The signing of the Polish goalkeeper Boruc from Celtic on Tuesday has increased speculation in Italy that Frey could be on his way out. But Sandro Mencucci, Fiorentina's club administrator, said: "The arrival of Boruc doesn't change anything. Sebastien is not for sale and Fiorentina does not wish to see him leave."

Frey has been the Viola's No 1 since 2006 and is under contract at the club for another three seasons. "It's a delicate situation, although I believe Fiorentina have not signed Boruc to replace Frey but to give the latter an added motivation," said Carlo Pallavicino, Frey's agent. "I believe Sebastien will remain in Florence. He has not asked to leave the club." In Spain, Pep Guardiola has signed a new contract to remain with Barcelona for one more season following a meeting with Sandro Rosell, the new club president, yesterday. Guardiola had already agreed the deal verbally back in January with Joan Laporta, the former president. The new deal keeps Guardiola at the club until June 30 of next year.

Yesterday, Barcelona secured a ?155 million (Dh720m) loan from a group of banks. Just over a week ago, Rosell revealed the Catalans had been forced into the move for cash flow reasons, as they were struggling to pay important commitments such as the salaries of players, coaching staff and club employees. * Agencies