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Is Antonio Nocerino On His Way To MLS?

Antonio Nocerino has been unable to find space in Sinisa Mihajlović's starting XI in the first half of the season. He's been put on the trading block. His next destination? It might be the Montreal Impact.

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When Antonio Nocerino came back from a disastrous loan at Parma, he had to have known it would be difficult to find a spot in Siniša Mihajlović's side. The 30-year-old defensive midfielder has played a meager total of 135 minutes in just two appearances in the Coppa Italia and a single one in the Serie A this season. The writing's on the wall, and it's clear that Nocerino is negligible in Mihajlović's plans for Milan.

For that reason, Adriano Galliani has opted to put him up for sale in the January transfer window, hoping to net as much as possible from his transfer before his contract expires on June 30 of this year. Milan's CEO had been negotiating a deal with Cagliari, who currently sit atop of the Serie B table, but (as is the trend recently) negotiations have stalled.

However, Nocerino has another, somewhat surprising suitor. Various Italian outlets report that Canadian cheese magnate Joey Saputo, who owns both Serie A side Bologna and the Montreal Impact of Major League Soccer, has expressed interest in a deal that would see Nocerino cross the pond. He would be the latest in a lengthy line of Serie A exports who have worn Montreal's bleu-blanc-noir, including his former teammate Alessandro Nesta, Marco Di Vaio, Bernardo Corradi, Matteo Ferrari, Daniele Paponi, Andrea Pisanu, and Marco Donadel (who currently remains on the club's roster.) The move could revitalize his stagnating career, as it did for his countryman Sebastian Giovinco, who's currently plying his trade for the Impact's most hated rivals, Toronto FC.

Talks are in the very early stages, but there's a very real chance that the out-of-favour midfielder could make a real impact in Montreal. (See what we did there?) Nocerino would be at home in Montreal, where Italian is the third most-spoken language after French and English, and would be a familiar face to many of the Impact's passionate fans, a considerable portion of whom are members of Montreal's sizeable Italian community. If nothing else, Joey Saputo's Sicilian temperament and penchant for hiring and firing managers on a yearly basis should remind him of the Serie A's coaching carousel and the old country.