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Benitez Rekindles Old Flame

A host of Premier League clubs – including Man United, Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea – have reportedly been tracking him, but he now looks set for Serie A and calico Italia, so who the devil is Milos Krasic?

Born in Kosovska Mitrovica, Kosovo, Krasic joined FK Vojvodina in 1999. He spent the next four and a half seasons in Novi Sad, the capital of the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina, where he gradually progressed to captain the side. His aptitude and potential attracted the attention of Russian heavyweights CSKA Moscow and the Serbian midfielder made the move in January 2004. His time at CSKA has been particularly productive; winning the Russian title in 2005 and 2006, the Russian Cup four times, and the Russian Super Cup on three occasions. Man United fans will also recall him putting in an impressive display at Old Trafford last season, scoring during the thrilling 3-3 Champions League draw.

His spell at CSKA also allegedly saw him stalk the Moscow streets, kidnap the conveniently passing Pavel Nedved, take him to a darkened basement, pierce his flesh, slit his face right off and glue it over his own, before yanking poor Pavel’s hair out and sewing it onto his own scalp; thus the DIY face transplant was complete (i.e. he looks a bit like Pavel Nedved). Indeed, this also offers a functional comparison as he not only looks physically similar but adopts a similar style. Playing primarily as a winger, Krasic is a quick-footed and tricky attacking midfielder. Often roaming across the midfield, drifting deep or cutting inside, he can be difficult to track. Moreover, his balance and precision on the ball, in conjunction with sufficient speed and deft close-control, means he can be an awkward proposition.

Unsurprisingly, he’s forced his way into the Serbia national side and established himself as a key asset; notably setting-up a flurry of goals during the 5-0 demolition of Romania in qualification for the World Cup. His actual World Cup campaign commenced this week, in a disappointing 1-0 defeat against Ghana. Indeed, having talked them up all week, and included them in an accumulator, Serbia didn’t just let their fans down, the nation down, and themselves down, but most importantly they let me down. Krasic himself was quiet, largely disappointing and seemed uncharacteristically sloppy in possession. But, it’s only one game and the whole team disappointed so let’s not throw him to the lions just yet. Hopefully he’ll put on an improved display during the remaining fixtures; given Germany’s ominous destruction of (an admittedly poor) Australia, Krasic will have to be at his best if Serbia are to stand a chance.

Following the World Cup, his future looks certain to be away from Moscow. The 25-year-old has made it clear he wants a new challenge and, with his contract ticking down, CSKA will be looking to cash-in. There appears to be no shortage of potential suitors. Liverpool were thought to be closing-in – the departure of Benitez halting progress – whilst both Manchester clubs and Chelsea have reportedly shown acute interest. However, it now seems Krasic is set for Italy. Last week Juventus appeared to be the most likely destination, but negotiations have decelerated and Benitez has reignited his interest as he sets about making his mark at Inter Milan. Thus, Benitez looks set to drive the deal through, thought to be in the region of €15million, and scupper the advances from England.

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