07/02/2013
 
After a failed bid for Real Madrid's Cavani, Jose Mourinho has turned his sights on AC Milan striker, Stephan El Shaarawy, as reporeted by the Daily Express. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has given the team's new coach a warchest to shop for players who can help bring silverware in the upcoming season. Quite apparently, the Russian billionaire is still willing to splash the cash to boost the club he bought a decade ago.
 
El Shaarawy, who played for Italy in the Confederations Cup in Brazil, is on the radar of many top European teams such as Monaco, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, in addition to Premier league teams, Arsenal and Manchester City. The player who made his Serie A debut in September 2011, signed a five-year contract in June 2012. Three months later, he became AC Milan's youngest ever scorer in the UEFA Champions League, when he netted a goal against Zenit. The 20-year-old scored 16 goals last season for AC Milan, alongside Mario Balotelli, and justifiably commands a high transfer fee of about $45m.
 
The Daily Express has also reported that Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi is also on Chelsea's shortlist and a bid for the player may transpire any time soon. However, Mourinho's shopping spree could do nothing to help keep an important player at Stamford Bridge. Brazil defender David Luiz who starred for his national side in the Confederations Cup appears set to leave Chelsea despite Mourinho's efforts to dissuade the player.
 
Bayern Munich are said to be keen on signing Luiz and are reported willing by the Daily Express to break the bank for the Brazilian. The Bundesliga and European champion club are said to be ready to bid as high as $52m for the player.
 
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06/28/2013
 

Stephan El Shaarawy was one of the brightest young talents throughout the first half of the Serie A season. He only trailed Capocannoniere winner Edison Cavani in goals, and helped Milan find a way to escape their horrendous start of the season. With the club losing stars like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, Milan turned to El Shaarawy to lead the club into the future. However, much of that narrative changed in January when the club signed Mario Balotelli from Manchester City. While Balotelli has been able to flourish since his return to Serie A, El Shaarawy's career has suffered, and now the question becomes "What's next for Stephan?".

     

El Shaarawy had signed a contract extension earlier this year with Milan as the young talent pledged his future to the club. The team ensured that El Shaarawy would not be sold and would be played alongside Super Mario Balotelli, however, neither MIlan coach Massimo Allegri nor Italian National Team coach Cesare Prandelli have found a way to play both of them together. El Shaarawy's goal scoring record disappeared when Balotelli arrived and although Super Mario has been devastating defenses in Serie A, El Shaarawy has found himself searching for a spot. The problem is he likes to play up top like Balotelli does and attempts to play El Shaarawy on the wing have failed miserably.

     

El Shaarawy now finds himself in what seemed like an unimaginable situation earlier this season. The young striker must now look at his options and determine whether he should stay or go. The truth is that with Balotelli at Milan, El Shaarawy may never get the opportunity to play his preferred position or even starting in the biggest games. However, a move away from Milan may see the promising youngster get more playing time, but not for the club that he wants. It has become increasingly clear though that the Balotelli-El Shaarawy experiment probably won't work and Milan has quite the dilemma on their hands now..

 
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06/08/2013
 

AC Milan are considering a reported 40m euro bid from Manchester City for highly-rated striker Stephan El Shaarawy, according to Gazzetta dello Sport Saturday.


El Shaarawy was the Rossoneri's top scorer in the first half of last season but hit a dry patch following the signing of Mario Balotelli. The 20-year-old half-Egpytian, half-Italian, who wears a distinctive mohican-style haircut, is called the 'Little Pharaoh' and is a fans' favourite at the San Siro.


Gazzetta claims Milan could give in to City's "pressing" and let El Shaarawy leave the club. The same report linked Kevin Prince Boateng with a move to Chelsea and fellow forward Robinho with Brazilian side Santos.

El Shaarawy, who alongside club-mate Mario Balotelli played for Italy in a scoreless draw against the Czech Republic on Friday, finished the season with 16 goals in 37 games.


He cost AC Milan approximately 15.5 m euros when the club bought him from Genoa and has emerged into one of the most exciting forward prospects in Italy. El Shaarawy has already been the subject of transfer speculation this season with reports claiming Milan rejected a bid from Napoli in January.


Milan finished third in Italy's Serie A, which ended three weeks ago, and will have to play a two-leg preliminary round tie to qualify for the Champions League group stages.

 
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05/14/2013
 
Milan have almost done what most thought was unthinkable earlier in the season.. qualify for Champions League!  They are currently in third and sit two points ahead of Fiorentina with one game remaining.  Milan missed out on the opportunity of sealing Champions League football last Sunday as they drew Roma 0-0 at home. However, a win away to lowly Siena in the final matchday of the current Serie A campaign will ensure the Rossoneri are competing in Europe's premier club competition next season. 

Milan was at the bottom of the table early on this season as they struggled to find their identitiy. The club lost star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic as well as their top defender Thiago Silva to Paris St-Germain. The team were able to recover quite quickly though under the guidance of promising young striker Stephan El Shaarawy. Although the young Italian has struggled to find his place since the arrival of Mario Balotelli in January, the team look destined for great things once again.  
  
Fiorentina have not given up hope for Italy's final Champions League spot and will look to defeat Pescara in the final game of the season to keep hope alive.  Fiorentina have had a stellar campaign this season with players like Steven Jovetic, Luca Toni, and Borja Valero all stepping up to the plate. The Viola even went out and brought in Giuseppe Rossi in January. Rossi has yet to feature for the Viola but he will hope to be a key piece for the future of this franchise. Champions League football would be massive for the Florentine side. 

With little else up for grabs this weekend in the Serie A, expect all eyes to be on Milan and Fiorentina Sunday afternoon as they hope to accomplish a berth into next year's Champions League. I can't see Milan going down to Siena, but if football has taught us anything over the years, its that nothing is ever a guarantee!
 
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03/13/2013
 

AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri says the Rossoneri will now reluctantly turn their attention to securing a top finish in Serie A after their Champions League dreams were ended by a majestic Barcelona.


Milan held a 2-0 lead from the first leg of the sides' last-16 tie at the San Siro but their hopes of securing a quarter-final place were ended by a 4-0 second leg defeat complete with a brace of goals from Argentine forward Lionel Messi.


The Italians' best chance of the night came just before half-time when a shot from 19-year-old Frenchman M'Baye Niang hit the woodwork, which Allegri believes was the turning point in the game. "Niang hitting the post was a big chance for us. Sometimes, matches are decided by centimeters and this time it was the post that kept the ball out," Allegri said after Tuesday's defeat. "Now we have to concentrate on the league. It's disappointing as we had a good chance tonight and the players did well to create that chance."


Despite a disastrous start to the league campaign Milan now sit third in Serie A, only two points adrift of Napoli and 11 behind leaders and champions Juventus. While Juventus secured their Champions League quarter-final spot last week with a 5-0 aggregate rout of Celtic, Milan defender Ignazio Abate was scathing of Milan's first-half performance. "We gave them the first half, we didn't play at all and that was a mistake," said Abate. "You can't just give them an entire half of the game. We created three or four chances in the second half but we didn't make the most of them."..."There's a bit of bitterness as we could have managed things better in the middle of the field. It's a shame as we had the chance to do them some damage."


Having lost the bulk of a hugely experienced squad in the summer, Allegri has done well to steer Milan out of the league doldrums with a mixture of youth and experience. And the Italian, who led Milan to the league title on his first season in charge, in 2011, and a runner-up spot last year, believes their humbling in Europe could serve them well in the future. "The players and I have nothing to regret. I'm sorry for the club and the fans but given the young age of the squad that we have now, there'll be time to get to another Champions League semi-final or even the final," he added. "The players should be satisfied with what they did. With a bit of luck we'd be here talking about a completely different result. Now we think about Palermo. The team is in good shape and we'll be ready for Sunday."

 
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03/02/2013
 
Milan has had an up and down season to say the least. They began the season terribly dropping all kinds of points and found themselves sitting in the fifteenth spot.  However, unlike most clubs around Italy, Milan decided not to fire their coach Massimo Allegri and worked out a variety of issues inside the squad.  They seem to have made the right decision as a 3-0 victory over Lazio on Saturday ensured Milan are back in the Champions League for next year. 

For many Milan fans, the season was over before it began with the sale of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva.  Combine those losses with the departures of Gennaro Gattuso, Clarence Seedorf, Filippo Inzaghi, and Alessandro Nesta, and many Milan fans were wondering who was still on their team.  Fortunately for them, a kid by the name of Stephen El Shaarawy was still a member of the Rossoneri and was ready to step up the plate. El Shaarawy has taken Italy by storm as he has had a fantastic season and has helped Milan slowly start to climb up the table. 

Despite El Shaarawy having a breakthrough season, Milan needed additional support if they were going to combat Barcelona in the Champions League and continue to make moves in Serie A.  The team decided to say good-bye to striker Alexandre Pato who had been plagued by injury and needed a change of scenery.  The club shocked the world when they announced that his replacement would be non-other than Mario Balotelli.  The big Italian international was an immediate hit at the club with the fans as he was a hometown kid who had been a lifelong supporter.  He made an impact right away scoring a brace in his debut against Udinese. Milan had again made the right decision. 

Despite Balotelli being out of the lineup for Milan's big clash with Lazio, the Rossoneri were able to get the job done quite easily 3-0.  They have now claimed sole possession of third place which also happens to be Italy's final Champions League spot.  Don't expect to see Milan slowing down either as they have looked more and more impressive every week. It will be a battle right to the finish for Italy's final Champions League spot, however, Milan have emerged as the clear favorites. 
 
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