Sampdoria hoping not to sell Cassano

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The Independent Football

Sampdoria chief executive Giuseppe Marotta is adamant that his club will not sell star forward Antonio Cassano in the January transfer window.

The 26-year-old Italy international has rebuilt his career with Sampdoria over the last 18 months, having suffered some tough times with Real Madrid.

That has drawn interest from the likes of Internazionale, but Maratto insists that former Bari starlet Cassano is going nowhere until next summer at the earliest.

"We will try to keep him with us. Our intention is not to sell him," Marotta said. "Cassano is doing very well and he is a player who can perform well in any tournament in the world. Yes, he is being observed and a lot of attention has been placed on him by many teams.

"But at this point of the season we have no intention to enter into negotiations. It will be an issue that we can discuss at the end of the year. Eventually, Cassano will have the final decision of whether to stay at Sampdoria or move elsewhere. But unless anything surprising happens, I don't see how Cassano will leave in the winter transfer market."

Elsewhere, Alessandro Del Piero has warned Internazionale not to write off Juventus' challenge for the Scudetto just yet.

The Turin club are currently six points off the pace set by leaders Inter, but veteran forward Del Piero doesn't believe the destination of this year's Serie A title is a forgone conclusion.

"We are confident that we can catch them," he said. "We have the right weapons to fight it out until the very end and one thing is for certain, it's now time for us to step on the gas as we believe we can start reducing the gap."

Meanwhile, Internazionale are anxiously awaiting the results of scans after midfielder Dejan Stankovic limped out of training on Thursday with a knee problem.

The Serbia international has already been ruled out of the Saturday evening meeting with Cagliari. The Serie A leaders are now hoping the problem proves to be nothing more than a twisted knee.

"Dejan Stankovic has undergone examinations with club doctor Franco Combi as a result of a twisted knee sustained during the afternoon training session," read a club statement. "The conditions of the player will be evaluated over the next few hours and we cannot rule out a possible rehabilitation programme."

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