Cassano to join AC Milan

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The Independent Football

Italian news reports say AC Milan has reached a deal to sign Italy forward Antonio Cassano from Sampdoria.

The ANSA news agency says on Tuesday the deal will be made official when the market reopens in early January.

However, Cassano might be allowed to begin training with AC Milan after Christmas, according to ANSA and other reports.

Gazzetta dello Sport says the contract would link Cassano to AC Milan until 2014.

News that Milan was on the verge of signing Cassano fueled speculation that Ronaldinho might be leaving.

Cassano joined Sampdoria from Real Madrid in 2007. But the 28-year-old forward has fallen out of grace with Sampdoria after he insulted the club's president with a profanity-laced tirade.

AC Milan leads Serie A by three points.