Gattuso harbours Premier ambition

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The Independent Football

The Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso says he wants to play in the Premier League. Rumours that he was considering leaving have been circling for weeks and the Italy international, who played in Scotland with Rangers in 1997-98, said: "It's a dream I have always had and never hidden. I think I have the characteristics to play in that league."

Fifth-placed Milan face Serie A leaders Internazionale tomorrow and Gattuso said: "We are concentrated on the derby. Our objective is fourth spot and afterwards I will have time to talk about my situation."

The Milan coach, Carlo Ancelotti, said the tough-tackling midfielder was too important to the club and would not be able to leave whether he wanted to or not.

In Spain, Real Madrid – 10 points clear at the top of La Liga with four games to go – will win the title if Villarreal fail to beat Getafe tomorrow afternoon or if Madrid win at Osasuna in the evening. The Osasuna midfielder Javad Nekounam, for one, does not foresee title celebrations just yet. "They aren't going to be crowned champions when they play here," the Iran international said.

The Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, meanwhile, is still hoping the club's coach, Frank Rijkaard, and Ronaldinho will not leave at the end of the season.

"For me there is no one better than Rijkaard and he can start again from scratch next season," Messi said. "It would be a shame if Ronaldinho left after all he has done for the club."

Barça, who are four points adrift of Villarreal in third place, are at home to Valencia tomorrow.

In Germany, Bayern Munich can get over Thursday's Uefa Cup elimination by Zenit St Petersburg by winning the Bundesliga title if they avoid defeat at VfL Wolfsburg tomorrow.