Manchester United will not receive a fee for Alexis Sanchez, as the forward closes in on a permanent move to Inter.
Sanchez joined the Serie A outfit on loan last summer, but endured a tough start to life in Italy after a dislocated ankle forced him to miss most of 2019 through injury.
However, since returning to action the Chilean has shown flashes of the form that persuaded United to pay through the roof in wages to bring him to Old Trafford in the first place, with three goals and seven assists in Inter’s final 13 league games.
Sanchez’s performances have tempted the Inter hierarchy to make his switch to the San Siro permanent – in a move that originally was reported to involve United receiving a €15m fee.
However, according to Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, the two clubs have reached a final agreement for the player and a deal is imminent – but United will not pocket a transfer fee for the player.
The 31-year-old will terminate his contract at Old Trafford and sign a three-year deal with Inter.
Although United will not receive a fee, the club will simply be delighted to shift him from the wage bill. By agreeing to terminate his contract, the Red Devils will save over £40m in wages, given the forward had two years remaining on his eye watering deal at Old Trafford.
This will enable the club to free up the wage bill and potentially leave them in a stronger financial position to land long-term target Jadon Sancho.
United and Dortmund are edging closer to agreeing a fee for the England international in what would be the blockbuster deal of the summer.
Sanchez’s move will bring an end to a miserable two and a half years at Old Trafford, where the forward scored just three goals in in 32 appearances for the club.
For the return of the UEFA Europa League, Kia is giving fans the chance to win some exciting prizes, including a very special matchday experience with the opportunity to represent their team ahead of the final.
With the tournament now being played behind closed doors, Kia is encouraging fans to cheer on their team on Instagram, to show their passionate support and help drive their teams to achieve success in the final rounds of the competition.
This is all about how you charge up with passion for your team for the big game. How are you expressing that passion… Are you chanting your team’s songs for everyone to hear? Transforming your house into a shrine, filled with flags and scarves? Celebrating a big moment during the game? Whatever it is, capture the moment and get behind your team.
To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is share a photo or video on Instagram, showing support for your team, and describe in the caption how you’re expressing that passion.
Along with the photo or video, and caption, include two hashtags for your chance to win prizes;
1. #ChargeUpFor 2. # the name of your team (e.g. #ChargeUpFor #Wolves)
If your team qualified for the round of last 16, you’re eligible to enter, as long as you’re a resident of one of the seven countries listed below.
The giveaway closes on 10 August at 7pm GMT, before the quarter finals take place, so make sure to share your post before then! There will then be a random prize draw to select winners once the quarter finals have been played.
Four winners will be chosen in total, one fan from each of the four clubs that qualify for the semi-finals. The amazing custom UEFA Europa League supporters pack up for grabs includes a €550 voucher for UEFA’s online store, tickets to a 20/21 UEFA Europa League match (subject to availability), a replica match ball, along with other items.
From those four selected winners, the two whose teams qualify for the final will have the opportunity to join Kia’s exclusive matchday live event, in which the winners will represent their teams as the best fan with two European football legends. They will be able to have exclusive access to talk to the legends, ask them questions, and take part in fun activities alongside the legends so that they can charge up for their Finalist teams before the final kick-off This event will be held on 21st August ahead of the final and live streamed globally. Participants will be required to speak fluent English to take part.
Good luck! And before you enter, don’t forget to check the full giveaway rules below.
Open to fans of the following teams:
Manchester United LASK Eintracht Frankfurt Basel Sevilla Roma Istanbul Başakşehir Copenhagen Inter Getafe Wolfsburg Shakhtar Donetsk Rangers Bayer Leverkusen Olympiacos Wolves
Inter are closing on the permanent signing of Alexis Sanchez, amid reports that an agreement has been reached with Manchester United over a €15m transfer.
Sanchez joined I Nerazzurri on loan last summer, but was sidelined for much of 2019 after dislocating his ankle. Since returning to action, the Chilean has burst back into life – showing glimpses of his old form – and has directly contributed to ten goals in Inter’s final 13 Serie A games of the season, the majority of those coming post-lockdown.
He looks to have won the favour of Inter’s hierarchy as a result, and Football Italia have relayed newspaper reports which claim a permanent deal for the 31-year-old is on the verge of completion.
The news would appear to be accurate when you take into account Inter’s Europa League squad submission for the remainder of the 2019/20 competition. Sanchez has been included, indicating that he will be staying on in the fashion capital of the world, rather than returning to the red half of Manchester.
Recouping €15m (£13.5m) from Sanchez might once have seemed like a pipe dream for United – as the player had become a virtual drain on resources at Old Trafford – but it appears that his resurgence may have persuaded the Italian giants to dig into their pockets.
His enormous salary, thought to be close to £300,000 per week, was a stumbling point in negotiations, but Sanchez is said to have agreed on a three-year deal that will spread his €15m annual takings over the course of the contract.
That essentially means the Chilean will take a wage cut of around two thirds to make the deal happen, suggesting he is keen to cut all ties with United and start afresh in Milan.
United will be similarly happy to see the back of a player who has never really performed after his arrival from Arsenal, as part of an ill-fated swap deal that saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan join the Gunners. Freeing up his wages may stand the club in better financial stead to secure a deal for Jadon Sancho, as they remain in negotiations with Borussia Dortmund over the England star.
Sanchez’s deal could be announced as soon as Wednesday, following Inter’s Europa League round of 16 tie with Getafe. His future is not thought to be tied to that of Antonio Conte, who is reported to be on borrowed time after recent controversial comments about Inter president Steven Zhang.
Reports in Italy suggest Inter are likely to part ways with Antonio Conte this summer, with former Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri lined up as a potential replacement.
Conte’s Inter finished the Serie A season with a 2-0 win over Atalanta, ending the campaign just a point behind champions Juve.
The standings fail to tell the full story, however: their title chances had realistically collapsed before lockdown, and they sat seven points behind Juve a week ago, at the point Maurizio Sarri’s team secured the league for a ninth straight season.
Since arriving in the summer, Conte has spent more than £170m on new signings, but has nonetheless been openly critical of the Inter board. CEO Beppe Marotta was forced to publicly distance himself from Conte’s comments in the wake of the Atalanta win, which took aim at president Steven Zhang, claiming that he had been given ‘no protection’ from those above him.
These claims look to have crossed a line with the Inter hierarchy, and Sky Italia report that unless something ‘changes sensationally’, Inter will move in another direction this summer.
Allegri, who has been out of work for more than a year, is said to be in ‘pole position’, as Zhang looks for a new manager to implement his vision for the club.
Speaking to Sky Italia following the Atalanta win, Conte said: “Neither my work nor the players’ work was acknowledged, I found little protection from the club when making comparisons. If you want to reduce the gap with Juventus you have to be strong on the pitch but above all off it.
“We will have to talk to the president who is in China now. I don’t like people jumping on the bandwagon now, we have to be there for the good times and bad and this has not happened at Inter. I understand that, if you are weak, it is hard to protect your team and coach.”
Pretty remarkable stuff from a guy who’s signed Romelu Lukaku, Christian Eriksen, Nicolo Barella, Diego Godin and Alexis Sanchez all in the last year, but each to their own.
Inter and Getafe head to Gelsenkirchen on Wednesday night in a winner-takes-all round of 16 Europa League tie.
The one-legged affair will take place at Schalke’s Veltins Arena, with the winner going on to face either Rangers or Bayer Leverkusen in the quarter finals.
Inter, who are one of the favourites to win the tournament, are coming off an impressive 2-0 victory away at high-flying Atalanta as their Serie A campaign drew to a close. Antonio Conte’s side secured second place, with just one point separating them from champions Juventus.
Getafe ended their La Liga campaign with a 1-0 loss away to Levante, sealing an eighth place finish. The Azulones have been largely unimpressive domestically since their return to action, recording just one win in 11 matches.
When Is Kick Off? Wednesday 5 August What Time Is Kick Off? 20:00 (BST) Where Is it Played? Veltins Arena TV Channel/Live Stream? BT Sport (UK), fuboTV (US)
After a string of injuries hampered his playing time toward the end of the regular season, midfielder Stefano Sensi is targeting a return to the first team on Wednesday night. The 24-year-old has returned to full training following a muscular injury and is believed to be available for selection.
For Getafe, centre back Erick Cabaco is unavailable as he’s not registered to play in the competition. Stoke loanee Oghenekaro Etebo is recovering from a muscle injury and is unlikely to feature.
Despite missing out on the Scudetto in Conte’s debut season, Inter can look back on their domestic form with pride. The Nerazzurri have won three of their last five matches and head into Wednesday’s tie riding a three match winning streak. Conte’s side have also been defensively sound of recent, keeping clean sheets in four of their last five fixtures.
On the other hand, Getafe are suffering through a dismal run of form. The Azulones reached the dizzying heights of third in La Liga before taking their foot off the gas and dropping down into eighth. Getafe’s last win came at the end of June, beating Real Sociedad 2-1, but since then Jose Bordalas’ side have registered just one goal in six matches.
Here’s how the two sides have fared in their last five outings.
Atalanta 0-2 Inter (1/8) Inter 2-0 Napoli (28/7) Genoa 0-3 Inter (25/7) Inter 0-0 Fiorentina (22/7) Roma 2-2 Inter (19/7)
Manchester United are set to offer both Alexis Sánchez and Chris Smalling to Serie A runners-up Inter in exchange for centre-back Milan Skriniar.
The 25-year-old Slovakia international joined Inter from Sassuolo in the summer of 2017 for close to £30m. Skriniar has been a consistent starter since his San Siro arrival and his ability to play on either the left- or right-hand side of three-man defence has made him a vital part of Antonio Conte’s team this season.
Sánchez has been Skriniar’s teammate for this campaign after arriving on loan in the summer. Smalling has also spent the 2019/20 season on loan in Serie A, making 37 appearances for Roma across all competitions.
In an attempt to get two ageing players off the wage bill and bolster their defence at the same time, Manchester United have offered Smalling and Sánchez to Inter, with Skriniar coming the other way according to the Italian publication Calcio Mercato.
This complex swap deal has supposedly arisen after talks to take Smalling to Roma broke down as the two clubs failed to agree on a transfer fee for the former Fulham centre-back. The Serie A side were thought to be offering €15m for Smalling while his parent club was demanding as much as €25m after add-ons.
Manchester United have also been negotiating a separate deal to take just Sánchez to Inter although finances have again complicated proceedings with the Chilean’s sizeable £400,000-per-week salary understandably a sticking point.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are considered to be unwilling to extend the loan deal of either Sánchez or Smalling as Manchester United hold out for a permanent transfer.
All three of Roma, Inter and Manchester United are still in this month’s Europa League. With the registration deadline for the tournament’s squad’s falling on Monday 3 August, Smalling will be unable to compete for Roma in the competition unless the clubs swiftly come to an unlikely resolution.
Barcelona’s pursuit of Lautaro Martínez has been placed on pause as the club attempt to raise funds to sign the Inter striker – who is prepared to wait patiently for a move to Camp Nou.
The Catalan giants have had their eye on Martinez all season in a bid to freshen up their ageing forward line.
However, the forward comes with a hefty price tag, and Barcelona need to fix their own well documented financial issues before entering the transfer market.
According to Spanish news outlet Sport, the negotiations between Barcelona and Inter are currently frozen. The Spanish side need to offload a number of squad players and generate some income in order to meet financial fair play regulations and salary caps before they can consider making a move for Martinez.
The report states that the key would be to sell a member of their forward line for a significant fee before the deal can get the green light.
Barcelona have been keen to sell striker Martin Braithwaite in the summer, just five months on from his controversial move from Leganes. However, the former Middlesbrough man will likely be loaned out or sold for little more than the €18m Barcelona paid for him in January, which would not be sufficient to fund a move for Martinez.
Teenage starlet Ansu Fati has been linked with a big money move elsewhere, with Manchester United reportedly interested. However, Barcelona have no intention of selling the 17-year-old.
There has also been speculation about an exit for Ousmane Dembele. The Frenchman endured has endured an injury plagued three years at Camp Nou, with Barcelona reportedly valuing him at €60m.
Philipp Coutinho looks likely to depart the club in the summer, with a return to the Premier League on the cards.
Despite his Barcelona move now dependent on whether they can generate funds, Martinez remains keen to join the club, and would be willing to wait a further year before securing a move to Camp Nou.
Let’s face it, Italian clubs are usually skint. No matter who they are, what they’ve won and who they’re owned by, they love a deal that doesn’t involve a fixed transfer fee (or better, a swap deal disguised as an unrelated purchase and sale that puts money on the books, see: Arthur/Pjanic).
With Daniel Levy equally as keen to keep the budget tight where possible at Spurs, a deal between themselves and Inter could either be a match made in heaven. Or a complete disaster.
With Antonio Conte’s Inter are beginning to look like one of Europe’s most dangerous sides, pushing Juventus closer than ever in this season’s race for the Serie A, a move for Spurs’ record signing – and, more recently, outcast – Tanguy Ndombele could be the final piece of the jigsaw.
Ndombele only signed for the last summer in a club-record £62m deal, but the chances of him leaving after just one season are high, with Jose Mourinho replacing Mauricio Pochettino mid-season and…not overly keen on the midfielder.
Inter have a wealth of talent themselves that Spurs could poach in return. Such as…
It wouldn’t be a Jose Mourinho team if he didn’t try to improve the defence somehow. Skriniar would no doubt bolster Tottenham’s options at the back, and prove an ideal replacement – upgrade, even – for the outgoing Jan Vertonghen.
Skriniar allows them to shift to a back three if necessary, too, and would likely put Toby Alderweireld in a fight to keep his place in a side. A solid addition.
Spurs fans are borderline desperate for a new starting right-back, and they could do with some extra legs in their ranks.
They’ve been linked with a move for young Max Aarons, but with the way Ryan Sessegnon’s career has gone in north London as a young full-back, he might be inclined to head elsewhere. D’Ambrosio, at 31, is an experienced head and again an ideal Mourinho signing, who would offer quality in rotation.
Of course there would be money involved here, too. There’s no way Levy swaps a 23-year-old record signing for a 31-year-old full-back.
Reports suggested that Spurs had a longstanding interest in Roma’s Nicolo Zaniolo, but look set to miss out as I Giallorossi have no intentions to sell.
If Ndombele was to leave, another midfielder would need to come in. Barella is only 23 and an energetic presence in the centre of the park. He’d run his socks off in a Mourinho side and would get stuck in with the physicality of the Premier League, while also being able to set through Spurs’ forwards with long balls.
Barella has only just joined the club permanently though, meaning the deal would be a difficult one to pull off.
Mourinho tends to build teams with players at their peak rather than developing younger talents, and Marcelo Brozovic could be the ideal candidate.
At 27, he’s more experienced than Ndombele and Barella, and would support the younger duo of Gedson Fernandes (yeah, remember him?) and Giovani Lo Celso.
Brozovic would provide Tottenham with creativity from deep, going forward and taking on a long-range shot or creating a chance for others. With the age difference, however, perhaps Spurs could demand a little bit of cash alongside him for Ndombele’s services.
Atalanta take on Inter on Saturday evening in a huge clash to decide who takes second place for the 2019/20 Serie A season.
The third-highest scoring team in Europe, La Dea have been unbeaten since the league’s restart and will be determined to finish off the domestic season strongly ahead of their upcoming Champions League quarter final against Paris Saint-Germain.
As for Antonio Conte’s side, they’ve only lost once after returning to action. The Milan side have recently produced their best football of their campaign and just need to avoid defeat to ensure a first top-two finish for nine years, given that they currently sit a point ahead of their opponents.
When Is Kick Off? Saturday 1 August What Time Is Kick Off? 19:45 (BST) Where Is it Played? Gewiss Stadium TV Channel/Live Stream? Premier Sports 2
The hosts will be without star player Josip Iličić, who is sidelined with physical discomfort. They’ll also not have the services of centre back José Luis Palomino, who misses out with a muscle injury. Gian Piero Gasperini otherwise has a full squad to choose from, with Albanian defender Berat Djimsiti set to return to the starting lineup.
As for the Nerazzurri, midfielder Matías Vecino is absent, while Stefano Sensi is a doubt having just returned to training after recovering from a muscle problem. Conte has a big dilemma up front, with Lautaro Martínez making a strong case to be picked alongside one of Romelu Lukaku or Alexis Sánchez.
Atalanta have not lost a single game since Serie A’s restart, making them one of the most in-form teams on the continent. They were made to work for their recent 2-1 win at Parma, with captain Papu Gómez scoring late on to keep them in contention for a runners-up finish.
Their visitors this weekend picked up a very good 2-0 win at home to Napoli and have kept three consecutive clean sheets in their last three matches. All three of their star forwards in Lukaku, Martínez and Sánchez have scored in their last two games, setting them up nicely for Saturday’s clash.
Here’s how both sides have fared in their last five fixtures.
Inter 2-0 Napoli (28/7) Genoa 0-3 Inter (25/7) Inter 0-0 Fiorentina (22/7) Roma 2-2 Inter (19/7) SPAL 0-4 Inter (16/7)
This is an incredibly hard game to call, given the excellent form of both sides and their star players.
Atalanta’s attack have made them a joy to watch, and given they’re on the verge of scoring a century of goals within a single Serie A season, they appear unstoppable at the moment.
But if any team is going to keep them out, Conte’s Inter has a strong chance. The Nerazzurri boast the best defence in the league having conceded just 36 goals, and will be determined to perform well against their potent opponents. With their forwards also in great form, they’ll likely score themselves.
It promises to be an exciting, high-scoring draw for both sides to round off their domestic campaigns with, before they look to topple Juventus next season.
Are you aware of Tanguy Ndombele? Perhaps not, since he has barely featured this season since Jose Mourinho took charge at Tottenham, which has prompted very early talk of him leaving the club just 12 months on from joining.
It was rightly deemed an almighty coup for Spurs to sign the highly rated midfielder from Lyon last summer, a deal that cost the club £54m, making him their record signing.
Arriving to much fanfare under previous boss Mauricio Pochettino, he was used in some capacity for much of the beginning of the season, but talk of a fall out with the new manager and public criticisms of his form and injury record have cast a dark cloud over his future.
So much so that clubs across Europe are taking note of the situation, namely Inter. Fabrizio Romano has revealed the Serie A club are ‘ready’ to begin talks over signing the Frenchman, with Antonio Conte a big admirer.
It’s even suggested that a swap deal could be on the cards in the coming weeks, an avenue that has more potential given the strong relationship between the two clubs following the amicable January departure of Christian Eriksen to San Siro.
However, in a lovely, classic transfer window style twist, the Evening Standard’s Dan Kilpatrick has thrown a spanner in the works by claiming Spurs are not in talks to sell the 23-year-old Ndombele, with chairman Daniel Levy ‘determined’ not to let him leave prematurely.
There is an acceptance in the Spurs camp that Ndombele needs more time to adjust to life in the Premier League and grow accustomed to the culture, while his injury record has also hampered his progress thus far.
Talk of a move away for Ndombele has been heightened by the heavily reported interest Spurs have in fellow midfielder Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, who is edging closer to a Southampton exit.
For more from Ross Kennerley, follow him on Twitter!