AC Milan's Alessio Romagnoli laughs off Leonardo Bonucci fight claims
AC Milan defender Alessio Romagnoli has laughed off suggestions of a row with Leonardo Bonucci by posting a picture of himself pretending to punch his teammate on Instagram.
It had been claimed that the pair came to blows following Milan's 3-2 defeat to Inter in the recent derby, but Romagnoli wrote on the social media post: "Now on to the second round in Milanello after the derby.
"Let's laugh about it...hoping that I don't read such falsehoods again."
It had also been rumoured that Bonucci, who joined from Juventus in the summer, had offered to hand back his captain's armband following last month's 2-0 defeat to Sampdoria, but coach Vincenzo Montella says that too is unfounded.
"I read the news a lot, and I can assure you that Bonucci has never said he wished to stop being the team captain," Montella said at a news conference. "These fake stories intend to disturb us and are created intentionally to do so."
Montella will have to select a new captain for his side's clash with Chievo on Wednesday night and the visit of Bonucci's former club Juventus to the San Siro at the weekend, with the Italy international suspended for both games following his red card in the goalless draw with Genoa.
Former captain Riccardo Montolivo is part of the 23-man squad for that game and could wear the armband, if given his first start since mid-September. The 32-year-old has been left out of the Rossoneri's last six Serie A fixtures, but could return in Verona.
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.