Botta enthused by imminent Inter switch

The highly-rated 23-year-old attacker is to leave Tigre this summer and make the move to San Siro, where he is looking forward to linking up with Javier Zanetti

Ruben Botta has expressed his excitement at his imminent move to Inter and informed his new club’s fans that he is similar in style to Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria.

The Tigre attacker is set to make a summer switch to San Siro and the uncapped Argentine cannot wait to line up alongside some of his idols.

“I will have the opportunity to be in a team with [Javier] Zanetti, [Esteban] Cambiasso, [Diego] Milito,” Botta told the Corriere dello Sport.

“It will be a source of pride and honour for me to wear the shirt of Inter, one of the biggest clubs in the world.

“Captain [Javier] Zanetti is an example for any player to follow, while the Nerazzurri are one of the 10 biggest clubs in the world and after having said this, there is no need to say more.”

Some pundits have compared Botta with Paris Saint-Germain winger Ezequiel Lavezzi but he feels he is more similar to another of his compatriots.

“‘Pocho’ is a great player but he relies heavily on his physical strength and his speed,” Botta explained. “In contrast, I count on my technique and skill.

“In Argentina, many journalists equate my style to that of Angel Di Maria and, in fact, I think he and I have a lot in common.”

The 23-year-old Botta is a product of the Boca Juniors youth system but ended up joining Tigre as a teenager.

Pazzini: Napoli wanted me last summer

The forward has revealed that he has a “great relationship” with Walter Mazzarri and that there was an outside chance he could have moved to the San Paolo

Giampaolo Pazzini has admitted ahead of AC Milan’s crunch Serie A clash with Napoli that he could easily have been lining up for the away side at San Siro this Sunday.

The Italy international only joined the Rossoneri from city rivals Inter during last year’s summer transfer window but he has revealed that there was the possibility of him moving to the San Paolo before the start of the current campaign.

“I have a great relationship with [Napoli coach Walter] Mazzarri and there was something during the summer, but it was a road that didn’t lead anywhere,” he explained in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport.

As it is, Pazzini now looks certain to lead the Milan attack this weekend, with Mario Balotelli ruled out through suspension.

With the Rossoneri currently four points adrift of their second-placed rivals, the striker is under no illusions about the enormity of the game.

“A team like Milan must always be in the Champions League. Always,” Pazzini declared. “And I have said this: if we lose against Napoli, second place would become almost impossible.

“Simply put, we have to win. But we’ll be ready.”

Pazzini is also desperate to prove his worth – not only to Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri but also Azzurri boss Cesare Prandelli.

“If I can do well next season, like I have done this year, the World Cup will come for me,” he reasoned.

“So, I would still make the decision to come here 100 times over.”

Milan’s eagerly-awaited meeting with Napoli at the Giuseppe Meazza will get under way at 20:45CET.

Juventus & Bologna discuss deal for Diamanti

The former West Ham United man with 10 Italy caps to his name has attracted the interest of the Bianconeri, who are looking to bolster their attacking options in the summer

By Romeo Agresti

Juventus have held informal talks with Bologna about a possible deal for Alessandro Diamanti, can exclusively reveal.

The Bianconeri have an excellent working relationship with the Rossoblu and have been in constant contact this season, with Manolo Gabbiadini currently on loan at the Renato Dall’Ara, and Frederik Sorensen co-owned by the two clubs.

During a recent discussion between the two clubs, Bianconeri officials raised the idea of acquiring the services of Diamanti.

The Italy international still has some four years to run on his current contract with the Rossoblu but Juve are keen to land a versatile attacking player who could fulfill a number of roles, as well as facilitate a return to 4-3-3, a system that has been abandoned by coach Antonio Conte this term in light of the ongoing injury-enforced absence of Simone Pepe.

Even at this early stage, though, the fee is a potential stumbling block, with Juve unwilling to spend extravagantly on a player who will turn 30 in May.

However, the merits of negotiating a deal for Diamanti will continue to be considered in the coming months as Juve look to bolster their attacking options for next season.

Eriksen open to summer departure from Ajax

The highly-rated Denmark international has indicated he is looking to move away from the Dutch giants in the summer with England, Italy and Spain listed as possible destinations

Ajax midfielder Christian Eriksen has admitted he is looking at the possibility of leaving the Dutch giants for one of Europe’s top clubs.

The 21-year-old’s contract with the Eredivisie leaders is set to expire at the end of next season and it is thought the club will cash in on their highly-rated youngster during the summer.

Eriksen has spent his entire professional career at Ajax having made his debut four seasons ago, yet the player now believes the time is right for him to move on and develop his career.

“If I could play for clubs like Manchester City and PSG – why not? For me it is important that I have a good feeling at the club,” Eriksen told Algemeen Dagblad.

“I should be able to play football and then I could develop. I will be a better football player.”

The Denmark international was given the opportunity of signing for Manchester City two seasons ago but turned their advances down in favour of first-team football with Ajax.  

But the player has hinted he may now be ready for a move to the Premier League but would also consider any offers from Italy and Spain.

He continued: “There is plenty of room in the Premier League so it may well be. Should I change, I choose mainly from the club.

“It may also be in Italy or Spain. I went to Spain two years ago with Nicolai Boilesen but we were too busy and dropped it again.

“I think the Dutch league has a mixture of football from Spain and England.”

Inter's Milito could return to Racing

The 33-year-old has enjoyed an illustrious career, particular in his four years at Inter, and a return to the club where he began his career looks on the cards

By Fabrizio Romano

Inter striker Diego Milito has revealed that he could be tempted by a return to former club Racing Avellaneda.

The 33-year-old started his career at the Argentinian First Division side between 1999 and 2003, before earning a move to Genoa in Serie A, and it is believed he would like to end his career there.

The peak of Milito’s career came in his debut season at Inter in 2009-10, where he played a decisive role in their treble-winning campaign. He scored the winning goals in the Coppa Italia final against Roma, the 1-0 win over Siena on the final day of the league season and both goals in the Champions League final win over Bayern Munich.

He is currently sidelined with a cruciate ligament injury he suffered in February, and it is highly likely he will not feature again until the start of next season.

The four-year-deal that he signed with Inter in 2010 runs out at the end of next season, and it is likely he will leave the Nerazzurri and potentially join Racing when his contract is close to expiring.

The Argentine scored 37 goals in 148 appearances for Racing, while at Inter he has found the net 73 times in 152 games.