Antoine Griezmann: 6 Elite Clubs Who Must Sign the Forward if He Leaves Atletico Madrid This Summer

Antoine Griezmann reportedly wants to leave Atletico Madrid this summer, less than a year after famously deciding to stay put last June.

A player of his quality, who has scored at least 25 goals in each of the last four full seasons, won the World Cup and twice finished third in the Ballon d’Or will have no shortage of suitors if he really is about to become available on the transfer market.

Here’s a look at six top teams who must try and sign him…


Internazionale

Mauro Icardi

Depending on what happens with Mauro Icardi, who has been stripped of the club captaincy and hasn’t played since early February because of a contentious knee injury, Inter could find themselves needing a new attacking talisman ahead of next season.

Selling Icardi would raise significant funds and with Inter set to improve to third in Serie A and seemingly on an upward trajectory, it may be a project worth considering for Griezmann.


Bayern Munich

Robert Lewandowski,Arjen Robben,Franck Ribery

Bayern Munich will bid farewell to veteran heroes Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery at the end of the season, with James Rodriguez not tipped to stay beyond his loan deal. It means there will be a serious need for fresh attacking impetus at the Allianz Arena.

Griezmann could be the perfect summer addition for a club that has had a wakeup call, both at home and abroad, this season, potentially ushering in a new era of success.


Paris Saint-Germain

Red Star Belgrade v Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League Group C

Paris Saint-Germain could well look to Griezmann in the event that they lose Neymar this summer, with the Brazilian superstar a reported €350m world record target for Real Madrid.

Should that actually happen, PSG would need a replacement and would have the money to make it happen. Griezmann, who has never played professionally in his home country, could also be the more reliable Champions League X-factor the club has long been waiting for.


Barcelona

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Barcelona were infamously snubbed by Griezmann last summer when he made ‘The Decision’ to stay with Atletico. Reports suggest that the Catalans, who were made to look foolish by the whole saga, won’t entertain going back in for him, but perhaps they can’t afford not to.

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez continue to score the bulk of Barça’s goals and it won’t last forever, with the former due to turn 32 years of age in June and latter already there. The attacking unit at Camp Nou therefore needs an injection of slightly younger blood.


Manchester United

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Manchester United wanted Griezmann in 2017 before he pledged himself to Atletico in light of their transfer ban. That interest has never really picked up again since, but the failure of Alexis Sanchez at Old Trafford is reason to think the club would still have a need.

As a second striker, Griezmann could prove to be the creative link player that United have been lacking, while his personal friendship with Paul Pogba is already a big plus point.


Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane

Real Madrid will find it hard to sign number one target Neymar this summer. If that ambitious venture fails, then they too could become one of the clubs interested in Griezmann.

Real are set to make numerous changes at the end of the season after a disastrous 2018/19 campaign and could do a lot worse than focus on a player who is already a proven goalscorer in La Liga and at the highest level in Europe.


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Wanda Nara Insists Mauro Icardi and Inter Are Close to Agreeing ‘Peace’ Following Recent Exile

Wanda Nara, the wife and agent of Mauro Icardi, has insisted that the Argentinean striker is close to reaching an amicable settlement with Inter amid his ongoing exile from the club.

Icardi has been absent for Inter’s previous nine matches in all competitions after the club removed him from the captaincy – inevitably sparking rumours surrounding a potential exit in the summer transfer window.

Mauro Icardi

However, Nara has now played down any speculation surrounding a potential transfer away from ​Inter, telling Tiki Taka (via ​Football Italia): “Will we meet on Friday? With me no, but the club may very well meet him without me.

“If he meets the Coach then I come in… No, I don’t know. I talked to [director Giuseppe] Marotta, there’s no problem.

“We’re close to finding peace, we’re almost there. Mauro is recovering from a knee injury and hasn’t had a day off until [Sunday] because he wants to get back to his best.

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“I talked to Marotta and there are no problems between [​Icardi] and his teammates. He’ll be back once he’s fit.”

Inter sporting director Giuseppe Marotta has also had his say on the current situation, suggesting that Inter are looking to find a solution to the issue as quickly as possible.

“I hope the situation can mend itself,” the general manager told reporters, as per ​Football Italia.

Giuseppe Marotta

“We’re a family and parents must make decisions for the sake of their children, but they’re not punishments. They’re made so the kids can grow and get better.

“That’s how our decision should be interpreted. I hope we can mend this rift as quickly as possible because Icardi is a good lad who has given a lot to Inter and can still give us so much.”

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AC Milan 2-3 Inter: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Nerazzurri Prevail in Thrilling Milan Derby

​Inter earned the bragging rights in Milan, defeating AC Milan 3-2 in a thrilling derby on Sunday evening.

Inter got off to the best possible start, taking the lead inside three minutes through Matias Vecino. Lautaro Martinez latched onto a delicious cross and nodded the ball into the Uruguayan’s path for a simple close-range finish.

Fernandez Suso,Kwadwo Asamoah

Inter continued to push for a second, but they had to wait until the start of the second half to get it. Five minutes after the restart, Stefan de Vrij rose highest to head home with pin-point accuracy, seemingly putting the game to bed. However, Milan weren’t deterred and quickly pulled a goal back through Tiemoue Bakayoko – the Frenchman scoring an equally impressive header of his own.

The action didn’t stop there. Martinez restored Inter’s two goal lead from the penalty spot after Matteo Politano was brought down by Alessio Romagnoli, but that was soon cancelled out as Mateo Musacchio netted Milan’s second minutes later. Milan fought hard to find an equaliser, but their efforts were in vain as Inter held on for the victory.

Check out the full breakdown of the game below.


AC MILAN

Key Talking Point

​Milan couldn’t have been in better shape coming into this one, having gone undefeated in their previous 10 matches in all competitions, conceding just three goals along the way.

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The early goal for Inter seemed to knock the stuffing out of the Rossoneri and it took until midway through the second half for them to spring into life. In fairness, Gennaro Gattuso seemed to recognise that Milan weren’t at the races and did try to change things up to counter the effective Inter midfield, which contributed to their second-half fightback.

Finishing in the top four is still well within Milan’s hands, so the result is by no means disastrous in the grand scheme of things.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Donnarumma (6); Calabria (5), Musacchio (6), Romagnoli (6), Rodriguez (6); Bakayoko (7*), Kessie (5), Paqueta (5); Suso (5), Calhanoglu (6), Piatek (4).

Substitutes: Castillejo (6), Cutrone (5), Conti (5).


STAR MAN – Tiemoue Bakayoko

It’s been well established that Bakayoko has found his feet in Italy and he stood head and shoulders above the rest of his teammates in this one.

The Chelsea loanee was positive with the ball at his feet, constantly looking to drive forward and ask questions of the Inter defence. He combined neat footwork and quick thinking effectively and scored his first Milan goal for his troubles. Without him in the middle of the park, it could have been a whole lot worse.


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INTER

Key Talking Point

​Inter’s season has been full of ups and downs and the latest twist came in midweek as they disappointingly dropped out of the Europa League at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt.

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Based on form alone, Luciano Spalletti’s side were the underdogs, but they certainly didn’t show it early on. They took the lead early on and refused to take the accelerator pedal off, constantly asking questions of the Milan defence with resting runs and dangerous balls into the box.

Finishing in the top four was not the ultimate goal for the Nerazzurri this season, but it wouldn’t be a disaster by any means. Their place in the top four is looking more secure as the weeks go on, so they have to make sure that they remain focused. 


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Handanovic (6);  D’Ambrosio (6), De Vrij (7), Skriniar (6), Asamoah (6); Gagliardini (6), Brozovic (6), Vecino (7*); Politano (6), Perisic (7), Martinez (7).

Substitutes: Vallero (6), Candreva (N/A), Rannochia (N/A).


STAR MAN – Matias Vecino

Vecino is one of the many players who has failed to perform on a consistent basis for Inter so far this season, but the Uruguayan was in inspired form on this occasion – particularly during the first half.

Evidently brimming with confidence after his opening goal, Vecino frequently got on the ball and dictated the tempo of the game, contributing to his side’s impressive showing in the final third. He faded as the game went on, but that doesn’t detract away from how influential he was during the opening exchanges.


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Looking Ahead

Both sides take a break for the international fixtures before returning to action at the end of March. Milan travel to face Sampdoria, whilst Inter host Lazio

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Inter Place €80m Price Tag on Mauro Icardi as Real Madrid Lead Chase for Striker

​Inter have placed an €80m price tag on Mauro Icardi amid growing speculation of a move away from the Nerazzurri this summer, according to reports from Spain.

The Argentina international has suffered a dramatic fallout with the Serie A side over his contract renewal and was stripped of the Inter captaincy earlier this year.

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Having not played for the club for over a month, many predict that the striker will be on his way out of Milan this summer, with many of European football’s biggest clubs, including ​Real Madrid, Manchester United and Juventus all linked with a move.

According to Spanish publication ​AS, Madrid representatives have made the first move for Icardi, and were told by ​Inter that the Argentine would cost in excess of €80m.

With Real facing competition from several rivals for the 26-year-old’s signature, the report adds that the potential figure to sign ​Icardi may rise ahead of an expected transfer battle.

AS claim that a delegation from Los Blancos was scheduled to meet the player’s representatives last week, but the announcement of Zinedine Zidane as manager meant that the club decided to postpone their trip to Milan.

Whilst Icardi remains Real’s ‘main target’ for a striker this summer, Tottenham’s Harry Kane is also understood to be on the ‘wanted list’, but a move for the England international seems highly unlikely due to a reported €350m asking price.

Mauro Emanuel Icardi

Before his acrimonious sidelining from the first-team, Icardi had enjoyed another fine goal-scoring season for the Serie A giants, with 15 goals in 28 appearances.

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Luciano Spalletti Claims Inter’s ‘Team Approach’ After Europa League Exit Led to Derby Victory

​Luciano Spalletti claimed that the the exit from the Europa League showed them what they needed to fix, and they implemented those lessons as the Nerazzurri beat Milan 3-2 on Sunday evening.

Goals from Matias Vecino, Stefan de Vrij and Lautaro Martinez proved to be the difference and, despite a late fightback from Milan in the second half, Inter were able to hold on for their second derby victory of the season.

AC Milan v FC Internazionale - Serie A

It was another game for Inter without the presence of talisman ​Mauro Icardi but, when asked if ​Inter are playing better without the Argentinean, Spalletti turned his attention to the rest of his squad.

“We need to say well done to Lautaro for the penalty, well done to Perisic for the runs, well done to everyone for all you did,” he told Sky Sports Italia, as per ​Football Italia. “Bravo, Bravo to everyone in that dressing room.

“I also say Bravo to the fans, because they let the team know that they were behind us even in moments of difficulty. Thank you all.

“Lautaro is powerful, has technique, confidence. You just need to look him in the eyes and you can tell he can take on everything. We’ve found a young striker who can sort a lot of things out for us.”

Inter were recently knocked out of the Europa League by Eintracht Frankfurt and Spalletti claimed to recognise the improvements that have already been made since that defeat.

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“When you put in a bad performance, go out of a tournament and everyone jumps on you, if you don’t clarify what happened and what needed to be fixed, you risked a hangover from that.

“As I said at the time, we had to work on roles and behaviour, a team approach to forget everything that happened before. I saw that transformation.”

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Milan vs Inter: Luciano Spalletti’s Best Available Inter Lineup

Inter face AC Milan on Sunday evening hoping to halt their rival’s form as the battle for Champions League qualification continues to heats up. 

Inter are one point behind the Rossoneri as the season reaches the final hurdle. Inter have the advantage over Milan in recent seasons, remaining unbeaten in seven games played during normal time. Milan, however, are the form team heading into the derby, winning all of their last five league games, which Inter will be hoping to overturn. 

Inter are missing captain and top scorer Mauro Icardi, which is inarguably a blow to their chances. With Radja Nainggolan, Miranda and Sime Vrsaljko also missing, Inter are unable to field their strongest eleven. 

Here’s a look at how they could line up: 


1. Goalkeeper and Defenders

Samir Handanovic

Samir Handanovic (GK) – The former Slovenian international has been a huge success since joining from Udinese in 2012, racking up 246 league appearances for the Nerazzurri. He has remained as consistent as ever this season.

Danilo D’Ambrosio (RB) – The 30-year-old struggled to hold down a regular starting place for the first two years of his ​Inter career, but since 2016 has been a mainstay at full-back. 

Milan Skriniar (CB) – A revelation since his 2016 transfer from Sampdoria, the Slovakian has continued to impress at the heart of Inter’s defence. 

Stefan de Vrij (CB) – The 27-year-old joined on a free last summer after an impressive campaign with Lazio, where he has been steady despite not reaching his previous lofty heights. 

Kwadwo Asamoah (LB) – A long-serving member of a dominant ​Juventus side which won Serie A in every season the Ghanaian was there, the 30-year-old joined for free last summer – where he has predominantly been deployed as a left back, although equally capable of playing in midfield. 


2. Midfielders

Marcelo Brozovic


Matias Vecino (CM) – The tough-tackling Uruguayan is in the team to clean up defensively, a hard-worker who allows his teammates the freedom to attack. 

Marcelo Brozovic (CM) – The talented Croatian is the key player in the Inter midfield, linking the defence to the attack with his passing, contributing energetically without the ball and chipping in with goals. 

Matteo Politano (RM) – Still only on loan from Sassuolo, Politano is likely to be purchased permanently in the summer. Less prolific than in the 2017/18 season, the Italian has nonetheless impressed with his technical quality. 

Joao Mario (AM) – Injury to Nainggolan allows Mario a chance to impress, with the ex-​West Ham United loanee never quite justifying the ​£36 million it took to acquire him from Sporting CP in 2016, the 26-year-old always impressing more at international level than for his clubs. 

Ivan Perisic (LM) – A vital player for Inter since his transfer from Wolfsburg in 2015, ​Perisic’s output has dropped this season, having scored double figures in the league in both the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons. He remains a dangerous player, capable of clinical finishes with either foot. 


3. Striker

Lautaro Martinez


Lautaro Martinez (ST) – The 21-year-old was a deadly goal scorer in his homeland of Argentina, scoring 22 goals in 48 league games, mostly as a teenager. With ​Icardi injured, Martinez has a major opportunity to display his talents. 

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Radja Nainggolan Reveals the Reason Why He Left Roma for Inter Last Summer

​Inter midfielder Radja Nainggolan has revealed that a clash with director of football Monchi led to him leaving Roma last summer.

Despite being one of Roma’s star players in previous years, Nainggolan made the switch to the San Siro in a player-plus-cash deal which saw Davide Santon and Nicolo Zaniolo move in the opposite direction.

Radja Nainggolan

Speaking to Eleven Sports Belgium, Nainggolan opened up on his departure from the Giallorossi. He is quoted by ​HLN as saying: “I had a difference of opinion with the sporting director [Monchi]. He did not behave professionally towards me. Again proof that football is a false world. 

“If he had said as a man: ‘We want to sell you’, I would have replied ‘fine’. But he sent intermediaries to try and sell me in Turkey without my knowledge. 

“I realised, ‘I can’t stay here’. It was him or me. Because if I had stayed, I could – with my personality – have unleashed a world war every day.”

Ramon Rodriguez Monchi

Monchi recently hit the headlines as he left Roma following their elimination from the ​Champions League at the hands of Porto. He was heavily linked with a move to ​Arsenal to become their new director of football, but ultimately opted for a return to Sevilla, with whom he began his behind-the-scenes career.

The Spaniard helped Sevilla recruit the likes of ​Dani Alves​Sergio Ramos and ​Ivan Rakitic, before moving to Roma in 2016. The ​Serie A side had hoped for Monchi to replicate his scouting success in Italy, but he instead found himself facing intense criticism from unimpressed fans.

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With Monchi leading their transfer dealings, Roma sold the likes of Nainggolan, ​Mohamed Salah, Alisson and ​Antonio Rudiger, but they failed to suitably replace any of these stars, with many fans publicly berating Monchi for his failures.

Nainggolan has endured an injury-hit campaign with ​Inter, but has remained a regular part of their matchday squad. The Belgian has managed 26 appearances in all competitions, registering four goals and three assists from the heart of midfield.

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Man Utd & Arsenal Alerted to Potential Availability of Star Inter Duo Mauro Icardi & Ivan Perisic

​Premier League rivals Manchester United and Arsenal have been alerted to the potential availability on Inter duo Mauro Icardi and Ivan Perisic ahead of the summer transfer window.

Both attacking stars are apparently edging towards the exit at San Siro, with former club captain Icardi having endured a major falling out with the Serie A club which saw him stripped of captaincy and has been in a self-imposed exile from the Nerazzurri’s setup ever since.

With ​Icardi having not played since 9 March, ​Manchester United are apparently among those interested in a move to lure the Argentine away from Milan, according to the ​Mirror. La ​Gazzetta dello Sport also suggest that ​Real Madrid are in the mix to sign the striker.

However, it is said that ​Inter’s apparent desire to replace Icardi with United forward ​Romelu Lukaku could work in the Red Devils’ favour, with a potential swap deal in the offing, though the Belgian’s recent upturn in form is likely to see United hold onto their number nine.

Icardi is apparently valued at £90m, meaning that the Argentine could complete a high-expense strike force alongside Lukaku at Old Trafford.

Meanwhile, ​Perisic’s future at San Siro was clouded with uncertainty amid widely-reported interest from ​Arsenal in January, though Unai Emery’s side ultimately failed to recruit the Croatian in their pursuit of reinforcements in the wide areas.

However, the Mirror also suggest that the winger could be made available for between £30m and £35m in the summer, and Arsenal could launch yet another move for their long-term target – though they would face competition from ​Atletico Madrid in the summer.

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However, the Gunners may hold the upper hand in any potential bidding war, as it is suggested that the 30-year-old would prefer a move to the Premier League. Financial restrictions at the Emirates halted the move last time, but such a fee should not be an issue for Arsenal in the summer.

Perisic has found his way back into Luciano Spalletti’s starting XI since his January move failed to come to fruition, and has scored seven goals in 34 appearances this term.

Inter appear set for a summer of upheaval, with the Nerazzurri apparently contemplating sacking Spalletti on the back of a poor season which recently saw them knocked out of the Europa League by Bundesliga side Frankfurt. The Nerazzurri are also fourth in Serie A, 25 points adrift of leaders ​Juventus ahead of Sunday’s Milan derby.

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Edin Džeko Race Hots Up as Inter Prepare to Rival West Ham for Signature of Roma Striker

Edin Džeko won’t be short of suitors if he does decide to leave Roma this summer, with Serie A rivals Inter the new frontrunners for his signature. 

The Bosnian international looks set for a summer departure from I Giallorossi, and he has previously been linked with a move back to the Premier League with West Ham.

Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini worked with Džeko at Manchester City, where the pair successfully combined to win the Citizens a league and cup double. That prior relationship was believed to have put West Ham in pole position, with the duo reportedly eager to link up again. 

Lorenzo Pellegrini,Edin Dzeko

But Calciomercato now report that Inter are interested in securing a deal for Džeko, with the future of star striker ​Mauro Icardi still up in the air.

The Nerazzurri’s captain is currently at loggerheads with the club following a bitter falling out with the club’s hierarchy, and he has been frozen out of the first team picture as a result – despite his sensational goalscoring record.

Džeko looks likely to leave Roma this summer, with the club unwilling to extend the 32-year-old’s current contract. He is understood to be the highest earner at the club, and the club are eager to reduce the average age of their squad after a disappointing Serie A campaign.

His strike rate remains impressive despite his advancing years, with 12 goals this season following on from the 63 strikes he had racked up in his previous two campaigns.

Marko Arnautovic

That ratio could still perk the interest of West Ham, with Marko Arnautovic’s future again being called into question despite signing a new deal in January.

If the Hammers do revive their interest though, they have to outbid Inter in a bid to persuade Džeko to choose a return to the Premier League.

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AC Milan vs Inter Preview: How to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

AC Milan will host city rivals Inter in name alone on Sunday, as both sides call San Siro home. Derbies don’t come much bigger than this in Serie A, and with both sides having undergone a resurgence of late it’s one of their most significant clashes in recent history.  

Juventus have all but wrapped up the title for another year but there’s plenty of competition for the remaining Champions League places. Inter have endured a wobble in form recently and handed the momentum to their rivals AC Milan who now occupy that third place.

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Just a point separates the two sides going into this clash and with second-placed Napoli currently in the worst form of anyone in the top eight, it’s all to play for in the run in. 


How To Watch

When is Kick Off?  Sunday 17th March                             
What Time is Kick Off?                                 19:30 (BST)
Where is it Played? San Siro Stadium
TV Channel/ Live Stream? Premier Sports 1 /  Bet 365
Referee? Marco Guida

Team News

AC Milan should be able to field a fully fit squad with long term absentee Giacomo Bonaventura the only player believe to be ruled out for this clash. Their opponents Inter haven’t been so lucky with injuries this year, with four first-team players expected to be missing. 

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Sime Vrsaljko will be out until midway through next season whilst the troubled Mauro Icardi is also expected to be sidelined. Officially the wantaway star is listed as injured, but rumours of a rift have led to talks he will never play for Inter again. 

Miranda and Radja Nainggolan also picked up knocks this month and are both expected to miss out.


Predicted Line-Ups

AC Milan Donnarumma; Laxalt, Romagnoli, Musacchio, Calabria, Paqueta, Bakayoko, Biglia, Borini, Piatek, Suso.
Internazionale Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, de Vrij, Skriniar, Cedric, Vecino, Brozovic, Candreva, Politano, Perisic, Martinez.

Head to Head Record

One of the most contested rivalries in football, Milan and Inter have met each other 222 times in history. There’s not much to chose between them in the 110 years they’ve contested this fixture, Inter just edge it with 79 wins to Milan’s 76. 

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Incredibly just three goals separate the total scoreline, Inter’s 300 to Milan’s 297. It’s the hosts who have the record victory though, beating their opponents 6-0 back in 2001. Inter have won this fixture by four or more goals on five separate occasions.

There’s been little to choose between the sides in recent history too with Inter just edging in again. The blue side of Milan has won three of the previous 10 fixtures, with AC Milan winning two and the other five ending in stalemates. 


Recent Form

Milan’s form has been red hot in 2019, they haven’t tasted defeat in Serie A since before Christmas when they lost to Fiorentina. Between then and now they’ve lost just once to champions elect Juventus in the Supercoppa Italiana final. 

A draw away at Lazio at the end of last month ensured they remain firmly in the race for the Coppa Italia and is their only blip on otherwise perfect form. Problems began to arise for Inter from the end of January, dropping points to Sassuolo and Torino before crashing out of the Coppa Italia. 

Keita Balde

Talisman and captain Icardi has been out since mid-February following a reported refusal to travel to a Europa League tie against Rapid Vienna. Their form has continued to suffer since, dropping points to Fiorentina and Cagliari before a shock Europa League exit to Eintracht Frankfurt. 

Here’s how each team has performed in their last five fixtures.

AC Milan Internazionale
Chievo 1-2 AC Milan (9/3)                          Internazionale 0-1 Eintracht Frankfurt (14/3)    
AC Milan 1-0 Sassuolo (2/3) Internazionale 2-0 SPAL (10/3)
Lazio 0-0 AC Milan (26/2) Eintracht Frankfurt 0-0 Internazionale (7/3)
AC Milan 3-0 Empoli (22/2) Cagliari 2-1 Internazionale (1/3)
Atalanta 1-3 AC Milan (16/2) Fiorentina 3-3 Internazionale (24/2)

Prediction

They may be as close in the league table as they are geographically but these are two teams heading in opposite directions. At the start of the new year, Inter had an eight-point lead on their city rivals and looked on course to consolidate Champions League football for another year.

They were still in the running for the Coppa Italia and looked one of the stronger sides left in the Europa League with plenty to play for. It’s all gone wrong since then and the Icardi situation has certainly not helped, it looks a tall order to finish the season strongly now.

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AC Milan, on the other hand, can’t put a foot wrong, they’ve overtaken their rivals and can put some real distance between the sides with three points here. It could be a tough evening for Inter as we expect AC Milan to do just that on course to beating Inter to a Champions League place. 

Prediction: Milan 2-1 Inter

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