Coco craves Milan return
Monday 4th February 2002
AC Milan wing-back Francesco Coco has admitted
he would jump at the chance to return to the Rossoneri when his loan spell
at Barcelona finishes at the end of the season.
"The thought of going back to Milan really
excites me," explained the Italy international.
"I only left because of my poor relationship
with the coach Fatih Terim. He didn't believe in me, which is why when
Barca came in, I didn't think twice about moving.
"But Terim has gone now so that is no longer
a problem. I have been following the progress of the Rossoneri from Spain
and I still have plenty of friends there," he added.
AC Milan's vice-president Adriano Galliani
insisted that they were keen to bring Coco back, but he admitted that Barcelona
would have the final say.
"Barca have secured an option to sign him
if they want when the loan spell finishes," he explained. "But if they
do want him then they have to let us know before May 31.
"If they don't, then we'll welcome him
back. He is a very good player and a great friend to everyone at the club,"
Coco has struggled to reproduce his form
of last season since arriving at Barcelona in August, and is now concerned
that he will miss out on a place in Giovanni Trapattoni's World Cup squad.
Last month, Coco told Barcelona boss Charly
Rexach that he would return to Italy without delay if he was left on the
substitutes' bench anymore this season.
He soon withdrew the remarks, but it is
clear that the 25-year-old, who watched AC Milan draw 1-1 with Lazio on
television on Sunday, still has his heart set a move back to Serie A.
"I enjoyed the game, although I think Milan
were lucky to get a draw," he said. "Lazio played the better football and
created more chances.
"But my former team-mates clearly believed
in themselves and they kept on going to the end. That impressed me and
I was thrilled to see them take a point," added Coco.
Coco's agent and father, Nino Coco, recently
fuelled rumours that the midfielder was on the verge of a move to to either
Juventus or Internazionale.
"My son's priority is to hold a starting
spot with the Italian national side in the next World Cup so he can't be
ruled out for three months," Nino said in January. "Inter want him right
now while Juventus would rather wait until next June."