David Beckham may revel in the limelight and he enjoyed plenty of it ahead of his AC Milan debut last weekend but he has had to take a backseat behind team-mate Kaka ahead of this weekend's visit of Fiorentina.
Beckham will make his first appearance for Milan at the San Siro in a crucial clash that the Rossoneri must win if they are to harbour any hopes of claiming the Serie A title this season.
But Brazilian superstar Kaka's on-off transfer to Manchester City has been more than a simple distraction from the Italian giants' preparation. Kaka has been Milan's key player over the last few seasons but on Thursday night his club revealed they were considering a world record 150 million euro bid from the mega-rich English Premier League team.
The constant rumours cannot have helped Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti's preparations as his team try to cut the nine-point gap to leaders and bitter city rivals Inter Milan. And their task won't be helped by highly-charged opponents who would have moved above Milan into third place in the table had they won at home to lowly Lecce last weekend.
However their abysmal offside trap cost them two goals and a 2-1 defeat and midfielder Riccardo Montolivo revealed they are eager to make up for that. "We are going there with anger and the desire to show that what you saw against Lecce wasn't the real Fiorentina," he said. "We're playing against one of the best teams in the world and the only way we'll earn some points is to play our own game."
Another team hoping to take advantage of the turmoil at Milan is Juventus, one of the most in-form teams in the league who are looking to consolidate second place and even close the four-point gap to Inter. Claudio Ranieri's team face a stern test of their title credentials when they travel to high-flying Lazio, themselves fighting for a place in the top four and Champions League football next season.
Juve qualified for the Coppa Italia quarter-finals in midweek and are also through to the second round in the Champions League, where they will face Chelsea. Returning midfielder Cristiano Zanetti, who could be in line for his first league start of the season in the Italian capital, believes his team can challenge on all three fronts.
"Things are going well and so we shouldn't set any limits on ourselves. We can go all the way in all competitions because we're a strong and complete team," he said. "We've had some important players missing but those who've replaced them have done a fantastic job. The whole squad is competitive and when we get all our players back we'll be even better."
If Juve want to stay in contention with Inter then they will need to match the results their two Milan rivals achieved against Lazio.
Milan beat them 4-1 at the San Siro while Inter won 3-0 in Rome and for Juve to demonstrate they are serious scudetto challengers a victory is a must. Inter travel to Bergamo to face Atalanta for whom former Inter striker Christian Vieri will start on the bench.
Resurgent AS Roma face a trip to struggling Torino with their midweek match winner Julio Baptista claiming fourth spot is in their sights. Despite a disastrous start to their season, Roma's 2-0 win over Sampdoria moved them to within six points of fourth-placed Napoli in the final Champions League qualification position.
"If we play the way we should then we'll finish fourth. It's in our own hands, we have to win our matches against our direct rivals," said Julio Baptista.