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Ronaldinho could be headed to Palmeiras, and the Brazilian club is hoping to make the deal official on Tuesday as part of its centennial celebrations.
Ronaldinho set to join Palmeiras
Cuartos de Final de ida Libertadores

Ronaldinho could be headed to Palmeiras, and the Brazilian club is hoping to make the deal official on Tuesday as part of its centennial celebrations.

The 34-year-old Ronaldinho has been without a club since leaving Atletico Mineiro in July, and talks are under way for him to sign with Palmeiras for the remainder of the Brazilian league season.

The two-time FIFA world player of the year has hinted he may join a Major League Soccer team in 2015, but until then his goal is to keep playing in Brazil.

Palmeiras, the Brazilian club with the most national titles, is celebrating its 100th anniversary on Tuesday.

This is the third time that Palmeiras has been negotiating to sign Ronaldinho since the player returned to Brazil in 2011 after a successful career in Europe at clubs such as Barcelona and AC Milan.

Ronaldinho ended up joining Flamengo after his return, and a year later moved to Atletico Mineiro, which he led to its first Copa Libertadores title in 2013. That same year, Ronaldinho also helped the club win the traditional Minas Gerais state championship and the Recopa Sudamericana. He scored 28 goals in nearly 90 matches with the club.

Ronaldinho didn't clearly explain why he decided to end his stint with Atletico Mineiro. Local media said he was expected to join a club either in Asia or in the Arab world, but no deal was reached.

Ronaldinho's brother and agent, Roberto Assis, reportedly offered him to several Brazilian clubs in recent weeks, including Corinthians, Santos, Gremio and Fluminense, but all negotiations failed. There were also rumors that the player would join Besiktas in Turkey and Boca Juniors in Argentina.

Ronaldinho reportedly didn't accept Palmeiras' initial offer — the club recently installed a salary cap to contain costs — but the club said that negotiations have advanced and a deal was close. Ronaldinho would wear the No. 100 in reference to the team's centennial.

The fourth most-popular club in Brazil, Palmeiras has won 10 national titles — eight Brazilian championships and two Brazilian Cups, the last in 2012 with coach Luiz Felipe Scolari. Palmeiras is considered the first Brazilian team to win a club world title, in 1951. It was the only team able to rival Santos in the 1960s, and its squad represented Brazil in a friendly against Uruguay in 1965.

Palmeiras was demoted to the second division in 2002 and 2012. It is near relegation zone again this year after struggling since taking a chance on Argentine coach Ricardo Gareca in May, but it won its first league match under his command on Saturday.

The team is led by former World Cup champion Lucio and Chilean playmaker Jorge Valdivia. Gareca has brought in several Argentine players since taking over the team, including defender Fernando Tobio and forwards Jonathan Cristaldo, Agustin Allione and Pablo Mouche.

Palmeiras is expected to inaugurate its new 45,000-capacity arena in Sao Paulo in the next few weeks, when Ronaldinho could be an important attraction.

Ronaldinho was Brazil's starter in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, but was left out of the tournament in 2010 and 2014.

Source: Tales Azzoni AP
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M'Baye Niang put the nightmare of the Paris terror attacks firmly behind him with two goals and an assist as AC Milan crushed a sorry Sampdoria 4-1 at the San Siro on Saturday.

Niang admitted last week the events of the past fortnight had left him worried for the safety of family and friends in and around the French capital.

But the 20-year-old from the Paris suburbs produced a confident performance for the Rossoneri, first delivering for Giacomo Bonaventura's opener on 16 minutes and then beating Emiliano Viviano from the spot after the Milan winger had been hauled down in the area seven minutes before the interval.

Niang secured Milan's seventh win of the campaign when he fired under Viviano four minutes after the restart after the 'keeper's fluffed clearance.

When he was replaced by Luiz Adriano 15 minutes from the whistle it took the Brazilian just four minutes to find the net after volleying Alessio Cerci's intelligent cross past Viviano.

The only blot on Milan's copybook was Gianluigi Donnarumma's failure to stop Luis Muriel from the spot after Andrea Pioli had tugged on Eder in the area in the closing minutes.

Milan moved up to fifth place at seven points behind leaders Inter ahead of the remainder of the weekend matches, with Sampdoria's second successive defeat under new coach Vincenzo Montella leaving them 14 points adrift.

"It was an almost perfect performance," said Milan coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, who gave a special mention to Niang.

"He's a big player for us, he was doing really well in pre-season then he got injured. Now he's back in form and he's doing well, but he already showed at Genoa (loan) what he was made of."

For the fifth consecutive match Mihajlovic opted for teenage goalkeeper Donnarumma over the more experienced Diego Lopez but the 16-year-old had to dive low to parry after his messy clearance fell to Roberto 

Soriano 30 yards out in the opening minute.

From then on, it was all Milan with Niang the main protagonist before making way for Adriano on 74 minutes.

Having spent the last half of last season on loan at Genoa, the striker said he in enjoying playing in a pure 

striker's role under Mihajlovic.

"I'm really happy because I've been waiting for this for a longtime, the hard work's paying off and I hope it continues like this," said Niang.

"I played as a centre-forward, the position I prefer and I think that along with our win over Lazio this was our best display this season."

Milan broke the deadlock on 16 minutes with Alessio Cerci, whose eighth minute goal was ruled offside, involved before Niang burst down the right to fire in a weighted delivery that Bonaventura slid in to meet at the back post.

Milan built on their momentum and Niang almost doubled the lead when he collected Juraj Kucka's short delivery on the right to drag his angled shot inches wide of Viviano's far post.

Sampdoria were struggling to find any rhythm and Milan's movement in the final third of the pitch was causing huge problems for the visitors.

Niang left Edgar Barreto behind to burst down the right and fire across the bows, but Bonaventura's first-timer from the six-yard line blasted over.

Samp's only real chance came when Luis Muriel dribbled his way into the area but despite turning Milan's defence his promising strike was blocked by Alessio Romagnoli.

Niang came close twice with flicks that inched wide of Viviano's post just after the restart.

But when the 'keeper fluffed a clearance, Niang collected and strode confidently into the area to fire under his body and secure the second brace of his Serie A career, after hitting a double for Genoa against Verona last season.

A tiring Niang soon made way for Adriano and only four minutes later Cerci was given time and space to the right of the area to pick out the Brazilian with a pinpoint pass which he controlled before firing past a helpless Viviano.

Earlier, Torino moved up to seventh place with a 2-0 home win over Bologna thanks to second-half goals from Andrea Belotti and Giuseppe Vives.