Adriano Galliani, the AC Milan vice-president, said negotiations over the transfer of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Barcelona striker, to the Serie A club are ongoing. Galliani emerged from a lunch with Sandro Rosell, the Barcelona president, to tell Spanish media that "negotiations are open but there's still a long way to go from them being open to being closed". Milan are reportedly prepared to take the Sweden striker on loan while Barcelona want to sell him in a full transfer.
Ibrahimovic played for Juventus and Inter Milan before joining the Spanish champions last season in a US$66 million (Dh242m) deal that sent the striker Samuel Eto'o to Inter. He scored 21 goals in all competitions but often struggled to fit into Barcelona's intricate passing system. Meanwhile, Franck Ribery, the France midfielder, will not appeal the decision by the French Football Federation (FFF) to ban him for three matches for his role in the team's World Cup revolt, the player's lawyer said yesterday.
The Bayern Munich player was one of four banned after the French squad boycotted training in South Africa in support of Nicolas Anelka, who was banished from the team for insulting Raymond Domenech, the then coach. "Franck Ribery, even though he regards the sanction taken against him by the disciplinary commission [of the FFF] as unfounded and unfair, has decided not to appeal," his lawyer, Jean-Didier Lange, said.
Anelka was banned for 18 France matches, Patrice Evra, the World Cup captain, for five, Ribery for three and Jeremy Toulalan for one. A fifth player, Eric Abidal, had also been summoned by the FFF but he escaped without sanction. Laurent Blanc, France's new coach, today names his squad for the 2012 European Championship qualifiers against Belarus and Bosnia next month. * Agencies