Straight from the dark heart of Italy
Have we all missed something here? Why does Alexandre Pato want to speak to Carlo Ancelotti before he discusses his future with AC Milan?
And why is he speaking to the Chelsea coach when he is under contract at Milan – until 2012, if he cares to read the less than fine print?
NEWS: Pato plans pow-wow
Yes, once again when a player is on international duty his head is filled with all manner of voices promising riches beyond his wildest possible dreams.
"I wish I could fly..."
For Brazilians in particular, their international get-togethers are a vibrant Aladdin’s cave of untold treasures.
And having witnessed Ricky Kaka time his exit to Madrid just when he happens to be as far away from Italy as possible, the teenager and those around him are ready to board the gravy train as well.
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It now remains to be seen where they will get off – and worryingly it looks ever more likely that it will be London and not a return ticket to Milan.
Pato is only 19, and speaks as if he is still in short trousers: during a press conference at the start of the week it was “Professor” Ancelotti this, “Professor” Ancelotti that every time he opened his mouth.
“Before I speak to Milan I will talk to Professor Ancelotti,” he had the temerity to reveal. “He’s an extraordinary man… yada, yada, yada… it would be an honour to play for Chelsea.”
His nickname is ‘The Duck’ and he sure knows how to quack.
"Alex! Take the A4 to Malpensa Airport and a flight to Heathrow"
He even slipped into calling Brazil coach Dunga “Professor” - demonstrating that whatever the classroom, he’s the teacher’s pet.
Where does this leave the teenager and his relationship with Milan – and in particular Leonardo, who has helped the kid overcome his almost chronic shyness and settle into the hurly-burly of life in Italy?
He obviously did too good a job, but hopefully Leo has been on the phone to his protégé to inform him that he will also be a “Professor” very soon when he gains his coaching badge come early July.
BLOG: Leo settles Pato
But it’s all very unsettling; no wonder fans are becoming disillusioned with the game when many Italians cannot afford a bucket and spade for the beach this summer.
Milan will now have to either accept another star is off or use part of the Kaka fee to hand Pato an improved contract – threatening Silvio Berlusconi’s plans for a wage-cap on all new signings.
BLOG: Berlusconi plans wage-cap
Earning less than a teenager can’t be a big draw for a potential new signing – unless it happens to be Edin Dzeko.
Post-Kaka, the Rossoneri have set their sights on the strapping Wolfsburg striker who was voted best player in the Bundesliga last season.
NEWS: Galliani admits Dzeko meeting
Hardly a household name outside Lower Saxony and certainly not worth the 30m Euro asking price – especially as he is Bosnian and would thus fill the squad’s final non-EU slot, which could be better taken up by, let’s say, the Brazilian Hernanes if Andrea Pirlo also decides his future lies on the Kings Road.
However, Dzeko only (only!) earns 600,000 Euro a year in Germany and Milan will more than triple that to offer him a five-year contract at 2m Euro per season – £33,000 per week.
"Yay! I can buy some Brasso!"
It’s all relative, of course, as a Chelsea reserve player probably brings home somewhere in the region of that amount – something that Pato and his agent, Gilmar Veloz, are no doubt well aware.
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I said a few weeks ago on one of these blogs that Pato would be looking for a move to England soon if Kaka left and Milan continued to stagnate like they have over the last few years. What I didn't expect was that he could be leaving this summer. Although I would have preferred Kaka to stay, I can understand Milan selling a 27 yo for 60m. Fair enough. But selling a 19yo is a different situation entirely. If Milan sell Pato to Chelsea it will prove once and for all that Italian teams are finished, for now at least, as a power in European football. Pato is a player for Milan's future and must be kept. However, if he wants to go then I suppose there is no point keeping him.Milan must make sure they fleece whoever buys him though. Milan's terrible transfer poicy of the last few years seems to have really come back to bite them this summer. Now instead of Kaka, Pato and Gourcuff up front next season Milan's fans could be stuck watching jokers like Ronaldinho and Shevchenko. God help season ticket sales for next year. It's sad to see a great club in this state, now incapable of competing with nothing tams like Chelsea and Man.City. As for Pirlo, if they can get 12-15m from Chelsea, then take it, he's past his best and exactly the type of player Milan should be looking to offload. Here's my cure for the summer:
G dida f G cudicini f
G kalac f G storari -
D maldini - D agger 15m
D senderos - D silva t. -
D kaladze 4m D mattioni 4m
M kaka 60m M sammarco 5m
M gourcuff 12m M silva d. 19m
M emerson - M abate -
M pirlo 12m M lucho g. 12m
M seedorf f M/S di natale 3m
M ronaldinho 12m S dzeko 22m
S shevchenko - 100m S paloschi - 81m
silva d-di natale- vuidez
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