Galliani: Matri will return to Milan

The striker excelled ton his Fiorentina debut at the weekend after struggling to shine at San Siro, but the CEO insisted he will come back in the summer

AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has dismissed speculation linking Alessandro Matri with a permanent switch to Fiorentina after his superb debut on Sunday.

Despite finding the net just once in 15 Serie A matches for AC Milan, Matri, who recently joined Fiorentina on a loan deal, scored a double against Catania for the Florence-based club.

However, Galliani is adamant that the player will return to San Siro next season and is not looking for a permanent move to the Viola.

“Everyone knew that he would go there and score,” Galliani told Sky Sport. “He’s a great finisher and he has always scored goals, sometimes it’s just a matter of form.

“He is still a Milan player, he’s only there on a short-term loan.”

Meanwhile, Fiorentina boss Vincenzo Montella says Matri is just the player they needed following his performance weekend win over the Serie A strugglers.

“Matri is just the kind of player we were looking for in the market,” Montella told reporters..

“He is a great player who can widen our offensive unit and play with both Giuseppe Rossi and Mario Gomez.”

Matri joined the Rossoneri last summer after falling down the pecking at Juventus in 2012-13, with the added arrivals of Fernando Llorente and Carlos Tevez ensuring he would play even more infrequently.

Man Utd interested in Dante

The Brazilian denied reports he is set to leave Bayern, but, while his agent has confirmed the Red Devils’ interest in his client, he maintains there have been no talks

By Sam Lee

Manchester United are interested in signing Bayern Munich defender Dante, though the player’s agent has warned any deal to take the player to the Premier League is far from close.

The Red Devils are long-term admirers of the Brazil international, having previously shown interest before he completed a move to the Allianz Arena from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2012, and continue to monitor his progress with the European champions.

Goal understands that Bayern are receptive to offers for the 30-year-old, having so far been unable to reach agreement on an extension to the defender’s current contract which expires at the end of next season.

After being asked by Fox Sport Brasil if he had already signed for United, Dante said: “Not yet. I am still a Bayern player. I appreciate Manchester United’s interest. At the end of the month it will be resolved.”

“We’ll have to wait until the 31st, but there’s still a lot to come.”

But while Dante suggests a move to Old Trafford is close, his agent was keen to stress that at the moment he has not held talks with any club but Bayern, although he did admit that English football interests his client.

“He has two more years on his contract and we are now in the race to make a new contract, but at the moment we have not found a solution so we are still waiting for Bayern,” Marcus Marin told Goal. “We are not in touch with any other clubs at the moment but in football you never know.

When asked specifically about Dante’s quotes on Brazilian television and Manchester United’s supposed interest, Marin replied: “No, I know that they follow him and we were in touch with Manchester [United] two years ago before [Dante] went to Bayern Munich, but at the moment I know only that they watch him at games, but we haven’t spoken to the club at the moment.

“We have not found a solution [with Bayern], so we are still in the race, but England is very interesting, Manchester United are a big club so you never know.

“Next month [Bayern] play in the next round of the Champions League against Arsenal and it is a good way to present himself in England. In the last game [in England] he played very well so yeah, we will see.”

Dante was part of the Bayern Munich team that won the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, Champions League, Uefa Super Cup and Club World Cup in 2013, as well as the Brazil side that claimed the Confederations Cup last summer.

United’s search for reinforcements has taken manager David Moyes across Europe, with the Scot present at Cagliari versus Juventus earlier this month to run the rule over home defender Davide Astori – as well as Juve midfielder Claudio Marchisio.

The Premier League champions have also held talks with Benfica regarding Argentine defender Ezequiel Garay.

Veteran defenders Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic look set to leave Old Trafford this summer having not been offered extensions to their current deals, which expire at the end of the season.

Inter call off Guarin-Vucinic swap deal

Inter have revealed that a swap deal between Fredy Guarin and Juventus striker Mirko Vucinic has been called off.

The Nerazzurri had seemingly agreed to bring Vucinic from Turin to San Siro on Monday, but fans reacted with outrage at the possibility of Colombian midfielder Guarin going in the other direction and the Milan-based club have done a U-turn.

“Internazionale decided not to continue negotiations with Juventus regarding the transfer of Fredy Guarin and Mirko Vucinic,” the club announced on their official website.

“Club president Erick Thohir, having conferred with [honourary president] Massimo Moratti and the club’s coaching team, did not feel that the necessary technical and financial conditions were in place to come to a satisfactory agreement.

“The president has already instructed the club’s sporting directors to assess other transfer opportunities, with the aim of strengthening the team while respecting the parameters imposed by the Financial Fair Play rules.”

Inter’s withdrawal from the swap deal means that the Bianconeri must go back to the drawing board about farming out Vucinic in the winter transfer window.

Arsenal had been looking at loaning the Montenegro forward, but the Scudetto holders are believed to be keen on making his departure permanent.

Meanwhile, Guarin remains in Inter limbo as the Serie A giants ponder cashing in on the in-demand playmaker but unable to find a deal which works.

Casillas should leave Madrid, says Cazorla

The ex-Malaga man thinks that the Blancos skipper should try his hand away from the Santiago Bernabeu and suggested Juan Mata is bound to leave Chelsea

Iker Casillas should leave Real Madrid in search of first-team football, according to Arsenal playmaker Santi Cazorla.

Mesut Ozil jumped ship from the Santiago Bernabeu for the Emirates Stadium at the start of the season and Cazorla, who left La Liga for England in 2012, thinks Diego Lopez’s deputy at the Blancos should follow suit.

“Casillas should try playing somewhere else,” the ex-Villarreal and Malaga star said of his Spain team-mate to beIn Sport.

“I learn from Ozil every day; having him with us at Arsenal is a great opportunity.”

The 29-year-old also mused that Chelsea winger Juan Mata, another Spaniard who is struggling to get regular game-time, will depart Stamford Bridge in 2014 at this rate.

“If Mata doesn’t play he will want to leave Chelsea, that’s obvious,” Cazorla added.

Cazorla scored both of the Gunners’ goals as they defeated relegation-threatened Fulham 2-0 on Saturday to ensure they stay top of the Premier League with 22 games gone.

Julio Cesar poised for QPR exit, reveals Fernandes

The Loftus Road chief believes the Brazil international is likely to finally seal a move away from the west London club in January

QPR chairman Tony Fernandes expects Julio Cesar to leave the club this month amid reports the goalkeeper is set to return to Italy.

The Brazil international was one of few players to impress in a dismal 2012-13 campaign that saw the club relegated, but an expected summer move away from Loftus Road never materialised and the 34-year-old has since fallen behind Robert Green in the pecking order.

With just one appearance for Harry Redknapp’s side this season, the former Inter shot-stopper is likely to leave as he eyes more gametime ahead of the World Cup – and Fernandes is anticipating a January exit.

When asked if Cesar is likely to leave Loftus Road this month, Fernandes told Sky Sports News: “I think so.

“It’s a waste for someone with such immense talent not playing and I think he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world, so I’m sure someone will pick him up and let’s see how that goes.

“We’ve gone with Rob [Green] because at the beginning of the season we thought Julio wouldn’t be there.

“Rob has come in and done a fantastic job and I think he could be pushing for an England place – he’s played really well.

“Just look at the last game [a 2-1 home victory over Huddersfield Town on Saturday]. He kept us in the game until we came back and won. He’s been superb.”

QPR boss Redknapp had previously said he would not stand in the way of Cesar should he seek a move away, and would even let the Brazilian leave for free.