I never said I'm retiring - Cassano to play on after latest U-turn
Antonio Cassano has confirmed he intends to play on, seemingly performing a U-turn on his retirement for the third time in three weeks, as the bizarre saga of the veteran striker's short-term future continues.
The former Italy international signed for Serie A side Verona on July 10 but eight days later told club officials he wanted to retire, only to change his mind hours later.
Cassano then appeared to reassess his future again when he left Verona a week into a training camp, using his wife Carolina Marcialis' Twitter account to confirm his retirement from the game.
However, the 35-year-old, whose former teams include Real Madrid, AC Milan and Inter, is now seeking fresh opportunities and will also consider offers from outside of Serie A, with top-flight club Genoa and Serie B side Virtus Entella among the teams reportedly interested.
"When I spoke with Hellas, I never said 'I'm retiring,'" Cassano told La Stampa. "I would challenge anybody who claims the opposite.
"Other things have been written, but the truth is this: when we terminated my contract, they asked about inserting a compensation clause in the event that I found another club.
"I accepted. It has nothing to do with homesickness. I definitely want to continue and I have more than a few ideas, but no offers. The main thing is I enjoy myself, like I always have done in my career."
— Hellas Verona FC (@HellasVeronaFC) July 10, 2017
Cassano expanded on his decision to walk away from Verona and opened up about his future plans, although he does not have an agent.
"Life is made of decisions and you can make decisions which you think are right and then reconsider them," Cassano added. "It's happened billions of times in the world, but if it happens to a footballer, it makes more noise.
"Then if you add to that it is Cassano, then he's just crazy. I've made a lot [of decisions] in my crazed life, but I am not stupid, and above all I have always been coherent. As for everything else, I am used to living with media pressures. I've become a raincoat - rain just slides off me.
"The spark simply did not ignite with Hellas and I realised that straight away. It's like being with a woman and realising you don't want to spend time with her. It's a question of feeling, of something in the air.
"I felt it was better to interrupt things rather than drag them on. [Entella] would be a big challenge, to try to get a miraculous promotion into Serie A. I was close to joining them in February. I had accepted but I took a night to think about it and then did not feel it was time to drop down to Serie B yet.
"Now, if anybody wants me they have to call me because I don't have an agent. I'll wait until September, otherwise I will just stay at home."