Sampdoria deny Cassano fight rumours

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Sampdoria have moved quickly to quash rumours alleging Antonio Cassano and coach Domenico di Carlo have come to blows.

The reports surfaced when the striker was surprisingly dropped for Wednesday's trip to Cagliari.

However, Sampdoria issued a statement on their official website, which read: "Antonio Cassano - not picked for the trip to Cagliari - is in Bogliasco, at the 'Gloria Mugnaini' sports centre, to train regularly with the athletic coach Agostino Tibaudi and his companions who are not selected for the game against Cagliari.

"This is all within the context of a normal timetable agreed with the technical staff led by Mr Di Carlo, which - from mid-August to date - saw the player engaged in nine competitive matches.

"Commitments also identified that the timetable for Sampdoria from here to the Christmas break is dense. Then comes a normal break.

"On the other hand, a well-known newspaper, we have to sadly acknowledge, has - once again - carried a story involving Antonio Cassano, in which allegations were made over some kind of dressing-room friction with coach and team-mates.

"With particular reference to the article published in the newspaper in question, we are wondering to what extent the exercise of imagination crosses the borders of shame.

"For all matters relating to the person, it will be up to the player in question - through his lawyers - to protect his image in the places he considers appropriate."