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Offside - 29 March

29 Mar 2013 | 12:33

While talk mounts that Jose Mourinho will strut his way back to Serie A, it seems only a matter of time before Edinson Cavani exits stage left.

Prandelli wants more help

Italy defeated Malta 2-0 to take another step towards the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

However, Azzurri coach Cesare Prandelli is not satisfied with the support, or lack of it, shown by Italian authorities and pointed out what happens in Brazil - where every activity will be suspended for a month when the 2013 Confederations Cup is on in June.

Prandelli’s contract with FIGC, the Italian Football Federation, expires in 2014.

Assuming he will last that long, it will be interesting to see whether he’ll go back to club football. Financially more rewarding but open to the whims of club chairmen.

Football and religion are inseparable

What about Italy versus Argentina as a homage to the Pope, given that Jorge Mario Bergoglio is a keen football follower?

The suggestion comes from the very religious Prandelli. Any chance of fixing the result?

Milan leads the way - sort of

I appreciate it’s a big “if”. But if Serie A had started in January, AC Milan would be the runaway leader.

Gazzetta dello Sport published a Serie A competition table, considering only results from January 2013. The Rossoneri are the only unbeaten team, having collected 27 points in 11 matches (eight wins, three draws.

Milan would be six points ahead of Juventus (21 points: six wins, three draws, two losses) and seven ahead of Napoli (20 points: five wins, five draws, one loss).

If only Massimiliano Allegri’s men had not started the season with a relegation-threatening record in the first three months of the season.

Adios, Cavani

If you are a Napoli supporter, start mourning now. Nobody has passed away, just moving on.

I refer, of course, to the imminent departure of Edinson Cavani. The Uruguayan is sought by Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Chelsea, PSG (have I missed anyone?)

Most importantly, his contract has a buy-out clause of about $86 million, which no doubt won’t scare away very rich clubs.

Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis has already chosen Cavani’s successor. He is 23-year-old Leandro Damiao - Brazil's national team centre-forward.

Having scored 81 goals in 139 games for Internacional, he comes 'cheap' at around $30 million.

A year to remember

Happy anniversary, so to speak, to Inter Milan coach Andrea Stramaccioni. This week he celebrated his first year at the helm of the Neraazzurri.

Quite an achievement for a rookie coach but now it remains to be seen whether he will be able to celebrate a second anniversary.

Rumours of a hot line between chairman Massimo Moratti and Jose Mourinho sound quite credible. In which case Stramaccioni would not stand a chance.

He fought the law, but the law one

You do not try to out-smart Sardinian authorities. This is the lesson for Cagliari Chairman Cellino.

Last month, with typical arrogance, he decided to force the issue of availability for the club's new stadium. The result is that local authorities have once again declared the stadium out of bounds for local supporters.

The match against Fiorentina will be played behind closed doors. A very bad outcome for fans. Not to mention holders of season tickets.

Sign of the times

If you want to see some progressive moves in Italian football, all you have to do is look at Serie B.

In Serie A finding an agreement on anything is close to impossible but in the second tier, major reform has been approved.

From July this year, the league will adopt a salary cap - of $185,000 a season and the same figure for variable bonuses - for new contracts.

The only question mark is whether clubs and players will abide by the rule. Currently there are third division players earning that amount, and more.

About this blog

TONY
PALUMBO

Tony Palumbo

A journalist with decades of experience on TV and radio, Tony is an expert on all things Italian - including football. Read More.

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