MILAN OFFER DESTINED TO FAIL
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Both Milan clubs have been battling it out for the Italian Under-21 international's signature for much of the close season, after the midfielder rejected a new contract offer at Stamford Bridge.
Although the Rossoneri were favourites to snap him up, Inter's recent proposal to include Francisco Javier Farinos in a swap deal would have attracted Claudio Ranieri's attention, as he knows the player well from his time at Valencia.
However, there is now talk in Italy that Brazilian keeper Dida will be used as a bargaining chip by Milan, in a tit-for-tat move to usurp their neighbours.
The giant 28-year-old is best known in England for his calamitous error against Leeds in last year's Champions League clash at Elland Road, but he is on his way out of Giuseppe Meazza after being implicated in the passport scandal that has rocked Serie A.
The one-year ban imposed on the South American shot-stopper only applies to the Italian league so a season's loan is an obvious solution to the problem, with Alaves and Portuguese side Sporting both interested in his services.
Whether Ranieri would be keen on Dida is another matter, particularly due to his passport problems and the fact that he would probably struggle to obtain a work permit in England.
The Londoners have sounded out Roma's Francesco Antonioli, sparking speculation that they want a new keeper, even though Ed De Goey, Mark Bosnich and Carlo Cudicini are all on The Blues' books.