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Scot Munroe On June - 28 - 2011

Upheaval At Genoa: Will It Ever End?

Despite finishing tenth last season there seems to be a constant state of upheaval at Genoa. A new coach has been installed and a highly rated youngster has already gone to champions Milan, with more on their way both in and out.

On Monday last week Genoa appointed former Bologna manager Alberto Malesani after the club decided not to renew the contract of Bruce Willis look-a-like Davide Ballardini. Malesani left Bologna earlier in the month after failing to negotiate his own contract extension despite doing a brilliant job leading Bologna to Serie A safety amid financial and organisational chaos. The 57 year old coach has signed a one year deal with a further 12 month option should he do well at the Marassi.

Stephen El Shaarawy, the highly rated attacking midfielder who was on loan at Padova last season, has made the move from Genoa to AC Milan on a co-ownership deal. On the other side Alexander Merkel has made the move in the opposite direction on a permanent basis after failing to hold down a place in Max Allegri plans. The figures in the deal say that Milan paid Genoa £10m for El Shaarawy while Genoa paid £5m for Merkel.

Marco Amiela, another player who was on loan at Milan last season has completed a permanent move to the champions. Ameila only made four appearances in Serie A and three appearances in the Champions league as back up to the Milan number one Christian Abbiati. Going in the other direction is defender Sokratis Papastathopoulous, moving back to Genoa after just one season at San Siro. The Greek international failed to make a positive impact in Milan and only made five league appearances for the club.

Papastathopoulous has seemingly earned the interest of German club Werder Bremen. Their Director of Football Klaus Allofs will hope to get his way and is optimistic a deal can be made. Allofs was quoted in Kreiszeitung as saying “the player lies in the middle and he has a veto. We would not be pushing so hard to sign him if we did not have a clear signal from him that he wants to join us.”

With Stephan Lichtsteiner strongly expected to make his move from Lazio to Juventus this week, the Rome club have chosen Genoa’s Abdoulay Konko as his replacement. Konko recently returned to Italy after a spell in Spain with Sevilla, but the deal appears to be in doubt at the moment. The proposed switch to Lazio is in doubt over s contract issue. His agent Daniele Conte has told Cittaceleste

“There is a notable difference between the offer and what the player wants. The club need to make a bigger sacrifice; otherwise it will be tough to do a deal. If Lazio don’t improve their offer then Konko will be staying at Genoa. He has a contract at Genoa for four years.”

Another player moving on is the Italian left back Domenico Criscito. Over the last week he and his agent have been talking to Napoli after both clubs had agreed a fee but the move collapsed over personal terms. Inter were willing to meet Genoa’s £12m asking price and reunite the player with former manager Gian Piero Gasperini. But Russian club Zenit St Peterburg revealed the player signed for them on Monday for a fee of around 11m€, making him part of Luciano Spalletti’s Champions League entrants.

Genoa themselves have made two signings. Their first is Sweden defender Andreas Granqvist who they signed from FC Groningen for a fee of £1.8m. Granqvist was quoted as saying “I’m very happy with my transfer to Genoa. I think this a club that suits me just fine and will allow me to develop further.” The second signing is the highly rated Uruguayan Striker Sebastian Ribas on a free transfer. The 22 year old was a massive hit in France Ligue 2 last season with Dijon scoring 24 goals and achieving promotion to the top flight.

With all this upheaval at the club the new manager Malesani has a bit of a job on his hands. With a lot more players expected to leave, it looks like he will need to bring in a few fresh players in. If he can get a settled starting eleven playing, he can bring the good times back to Genoa.

Scot Munroe

A Football fan for around 18 years since the age of 6 years old. My first love is Swindon town now managed by the mad man that is Paolo Di Canio. I have been a fan of Italian football for around 10-15 years now since the Channel four days back in the Uk with James Richardson. I am a Roma fan as well and i have been following the club since 2003 with the attack minded football with Totti and Cassano.

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