Italy: Injury blow rocks Di Natale

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Udinese and Italy striker Antonio Di Natale could miss the rest of the season after suffering a knee injury in his country’s 2-0 weekend victory over Montenegro.

The 32-year-old was injured early on in the game in Podgorica and later scans revealed ligament damage in his left knee.

"The fact that it's only a partial tear means the injury is less serious than feared," the Italian team doctor Enrico Castellacci confirmed. "Now we will see various specialists and evaluate if he should undergo surgery or adopt a non-invasive form of treatment. If he went under the knife, the season would be finished for Antonio and he would be out for around five to six months.

"The better-case scenario could see him recover in time for the last few games of the season."


AS Roma midfielder Alberto Aquilani says he is a matter of days away from signing a new contract with the Serie A club.

The 24-year-old Italy international has been linked with a number of other clubs across Europe, but Aquilani is adamant that his immediate future lies with the side from the Eternal City.

He told Sky Italia: "I am happy at Roma, I am a fan of this club and in the next few days we should make it official.As far as I am concerned, the terms are fine and we have an agreement. There are no problems."

Meanwhile, former Internazionale coach Roberto Mancini is set to reach an agreement with the San Siro club to allow him to start looking for work elsewhere.

Mancini was axed by Inter last summer and has been in negotiations over a severance package, with his contract having been due to run until the summer of 2012.

"There have been talks and we have nearly reached an agreement," His agent, Giorgio De Giorgis, told Sky Italia. "In order to get back to work, he has to resolve this contract situation with Inter. We hope he can go to work for the club that is best for him. If he joins the bottom club in Serie B, it will mean he considers that the most interesting opportunity. Evidently he would like to test himself in a league that is different from the Italian championship, but I don't see why he wouldn't work in the peninsula if he considers it a good proposal."