Maccarone move snag
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Despite some English media reports claiming an announcement of his signing is imminent, the deal is on hold.
With Benni McCarthy's transfer to The Riverside breaking up in acrimonious circumstances, it seemed likely that Boro were banking on Maccarone completing his proposed switch to Teesside.
Yet Empoli are unhappy about some of the financial aspects of the transfer, and the delay is certain to alert other interested clubs, particularly the giants of Italy's Serie A.
The £8 million fee was agreed some time ago, and the Italian Under-21 may even have already signed a five-year contract, but the method and guarantee of payment has proved to be a stumbling block.
Boro are reportedly keen to pay four installments of the total sum, and Empoli are seeking sufficient guarantees in the wake of the economic crisis sweeping the game.
"There are problems," admitted sports director Pino Vitale.
"But we hope to be able to resolve them."
Fabrizio Corsi, the president of the newly-promoted Italians, was a little more sceptical.
"There is much money involved and we want to be absolutely sure and guaranteed to receive them," he affirmed.
"We must find the right formula.
"The guarantees Middlesbrough have provided us with are not sufficient."
Boro are still believed to be confident of wrapping up the exciting deal, and have revealed they hope to make an announcement before the weekend.