Italian rivals unite

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The Independent Online
The threat posed by the likes of Manchester United have prompted Milan and the Italian champions, Juventus, for decades bitter rivals, to team up in a joint business venture in order to keep ahead in Europe.

Executives from the two clubs met in Milan yesterday to discuss activities ranging from television and worldwide marketing to the pounds 8m transfer of the 28-year-old international Roberto Baggio from Juventus to Milan, which was completed yesterday. The player signed a three-year deal worth pounds 1.5m a year and said: "I realise Juventus made every effort, as far as their budget and shareholders allowed, to keep me."

The business proposals are "precautionary" and aimed at maintaining the status of Serie A as the best league in the world. "If we don't do something the English and Germans will soon be too far ahead for us to catch up," Adriano Galliani, the Milan general manager, said.