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AC Milan cool Eto´o interest as row erupts over Suazo

19 June 2007 13:50

ROME (AFP) - City rivals AC Milan and Inter were involved in a bitter tug-of-war over Cagliari striker David Suazo on Tuesday, with both clubs claiming to have signed the Honduras international.

AC Milan issued a statement on Tuesday morning saying Cagliari had agreed to sell Suazo to them after a deal with Inter had fallen through, and that all that was left to resolve was the player's terms.

AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani said if they did snap up Suazo, the Champions League winners were almost certain to drop their interest in Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o.

"We have reached an agreement with Cagliari for Suazo, but the transfer is not yet complete as we don't have the player's signature," Galliani said.

"He is on holiday at the moment, and he may not want to come to Milan right now.

"If we close the deal for Suazo, it is highly unlikely that Eto'o will arrive this summer, and it will probably be the end of our buying."

Cagliari president Massimo Cellino, who last week said he had agreed to sell Suazo to Inter, performed a dramatic u-turn on Tuesday by confirming he had signed him over to AC Milan instead.

"I've signed a deal with AC Milan," Cellino said.

"I have been trying to contact (Inter president Massimo) Moratti since Thursday, but I haven't been able to speak to him."

Moratti hit back angrily at Cellino, saying the Cagliari president had not tried to contact him.

"Suazo has signed for us," Moratti insisted.

"I see no reason for all of this as we had a deal. Cellino never called me, that's a lie. There is no justification for Milan's behaviour, either. But then, I know them well..."

Suazo, who was close to joining AC Milan a year ago, scored 14 goals in Serie A last season. His best return was 22 goals in 37 matches in the 2005-06 season.

Galliani insisted Milan did not move for Suazo - who joined Sardinian side Cagliari from Honduran club Olimpia in 1999 - just to irritate their neighbours.

"There was no intention to be spiteful," he said. "We have tracked Suazo for more than a year, and Cellino told us that talks with Inter had broken down. That's when we opened negotiations."

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