Cassano verdict held up by Marchetti hearing

MILAN - Antonio Cassano will have to wait a few days longer to see if his contract with Sampdoria will be cancelled after a verdict from an arbitrational panel was delayed on Monday in order to hear another case.

The Italy forward has been suspended by Samp since late October for swearing at the club president Riccardo Garrone, who has gone to league arbitration to seek the resolution of Cassano's contract which would make him a free agent.

"The decision will come in a couple of days, definitely before Thursday," panel chairman Paolo Giuggioli told reporters having indicated on Friday a verdict would come on Monday.

"We had a hearing for a separate case so it's tricky. It's also a delicate issue."

That second hearing involved Italy World Cup goalkeeper Federico Marchetti, who wants to escape his Cagliari contract having been dropped all season for asking for a transfer.

The Serie A player's union called a strike for last weekend over whether clubs should be allowed to drop players from the squad but the industrial action was averted after a late deal.

Cassano became a key player in Cesare Prandelli's new-look Italy side before his banishment but his explosive character has meant several top clubs are not interested in signing him even if he becomes a free agent.

Juventus and Lazio both said on Monday that Cassano does not enter into their plans while Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti said last week that media reports linking the 28-year-old with the treble winners was "fantasy football".

Serie A leaders AC Milan want a new forward in January but the club have never mentioned interest in the ex-Real Madrid man. Fiorentina failed in a bid for Cassano last season.


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