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Football | Italy

Luis Enrique © Reuters Images

Enrique happy with Roma move

AS Roma boss Luis Enrique, who could have been in the running for the Barcelona job having been their B coach until last term, is concentrating on the straight fight for European places with Napoli on Saturday.

"I have never regretted coming to Roma," Enrique told a news conference after a string of awkward results for seventh-placed Romans.

"It is a great honour to coach this team, with an incredible support and club structure."

Third-placed Lazio, who visit fifth-placed Udinese on Sunday having lost to relegation-threatened Novara in midweek, are in danger of being distracted by off-the-field issues.

Former striker Giuseppe Signori has lost his appeal against being banned from all football for his involvement in match-fixing and betting while president Claudio Lotito has been banned from the game for 10 months for transfer irregularities.

In reality the ban, handed down by the Italian soccer federation, will have little effect with Lotito getting assistants to represent him in official business while keeping overall control of the Rome-based side.

Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini, whose plummeting side are not safe from relegation with four games left and face Sicilian rivals Catania on Saturday, also received a year ban from the federation for the same offence as Lotito.

Second-placed AC Milan, three points behind leaders Juventus, could be tempted to start with Antonio Cassano for the first time since heart surgery five months ago when they visit Siena on Sunday.

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli visited Milan's training ground this week and was pleased with the forward's progress as he looks ahead to June's European championship.

Juventus are without suspended striker Alessandro Matri for Sunday's trip to Novara, who could be relegated if they do not win.

Inter Milan, still in the hunt for third spot against all the odds after a roller-coaster season, are without injured defender Walter Samuel for the visit of relegated Cesena on Sunday while Javier Zanetti and Cristian Chivu are doubts and Dejan Stankovic is banned.


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