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Last Updated: Monday, 4 July, 2005, 12:31 GMT 13:31 UK
Inter step up Gilardino interest
Alberto Gilardino
Inter Milan have joined the race to sign Italian international striker Alberto Gilardino from Parma.

Owner Massimo Moratti is interested in the 22-year-old and revealed Inter and Parma had been "talking for a while".

"We don't need to reinforce our attack but we're talking about a very talented player that Inter has a right to bid for," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Chelsea are rumoured to be chasing the highly-rated forward but Gilardino has stated he would like to stay in Italy.

Inter's city rivals AC Milan have previously stated an interest but baulked at the initial 35m euro (24m) asking price.

Gilardino, whose contract with Parma runs until 2008, was the most prolific Italian striker in Serie A during the last two seasons, scoring 46 goals in 72 games.

Inter are already well-equipped in attack, even following the departure of Christian Vieri, whose contract was recently dissolved by mutual consent.

The club's first-choice strike partnership of Brazil's Adriano - another former Parma player - and 20-year-old Nigerian international Obafemi Martins is among the most dangerous in Serie A.

Moratti, however, has a reputation as Italian football's big spender and may find it impossible to resist pursuing the player who, for many Italian fans, has assumed Vieri's mantle of the best Italian centre-forward.




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