Serie A outfit Inter Milan have announced the loan signing of defender Lisandro Lopez from Benfica.
The 28-year-old has been with Benfica since 2013, and has spent a spell out on loan in the past, having joined Getafe that same year on a season-long deal.
A statement on Inter’s website reads: “Lisandro Ezequiel Lopez, an Argentine defender, has moved to the Nerazzurri club on a temporary basis until June 30, 2018 (with the right of option for the definitive acquisition).
“Now, the beginning of a new Nerazzurri adventure: welcome to Inter, Lisandro!”
The centre-back had a routine medical with the club on Monday, before joining the rest of the squad for a training session, ahead of the official announcement. The deal is believed to be worth €0.5m, with a €9m option to buy.
Inter should be hoping that Lopez’s presence proves a huge boost after having dropped down the Serie A table. They now trail leaders Napoli by nine points, despite their great start to the campaign.
Atletico Madrid outcast Nicolas Gaitan is nearing a move to Inter, according to reports in Italy.
Gaitan has fallen out of favour with Atleti boss Diego Simeone, having made just one start in La Liga this season and a handful of appearances from the substitutes’ bench. Italian news outlet Corriere dello Sport claim that Inter could be offering Gaitan a way out of the Spanish capital.
The player himself is keen on the move, and is on the search for more regular playing time at his new club. A deal with Inter is reportedly close to being agreed if Gaitain’s agent can confirm with Inter that the 29-year-old will get regular game-time.
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Perhaps Gaitan has one eye on the World Cup in Russia this summer, and sees a move away from Atletico as a chance to be selected for the Argentina squad.
Gaitain previously spent six seasons at Benfica before his €25m switch to Atletico in July 2016. In his time in Portugal, Gaitan won three Premeira Liga titles, one Taca de Portugal, and three Portuguese League Cups.
Outside of Italy, Southampton and West Ham were also said to be considering a move for Gaitan. However, both clubs were reportedly put off the move by Gaitan’s £100,000-a-week wages he is currently paid in Spain.
Inter midfielder Joao Mario has reportedly turned down a move to the Premier League after rebuffing Watford’s advances.
The Portuguese international has been linked with Manchester United in recent times after rumours surfaced of a potential swap deal involving United misfit Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
According to Calciomercato, the central midfielder has now rejected the opportunity to link up with fellow countryman Marco Silva at Vicarage Road, as the Hornets don’t match his European ambitions.
Silva, who enjoyed his greatest success to date whilst in charge of Greek giants Olympiacos, managed Joao Mario for a season during his time at Sporting CP and is reportedly keen to strengthen his midfield options after a poor run of form.
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Joao Mario meanwhile, who signed for Inter in a whopping €40m deal in 2016, is also understood to be on the radar of five-time Europa League winners Sevilla, with a move to Los Rojiblancos said to be more favourable for a player looking to establish himself on the European stage.
Inter are understood to be reluctant to part with the player, but may look to strike a deal with the La Liga outfit as they continue to monitor Joaquin Correa. The 23-year old Argentine has struggled for minutes in Spain this season, with reports suggesting that a player plus cash deal may be offered to the Nerazzurri in attempt to prize Joao Mario away.
The 24-year old has 31 international caps to his name for Portugal, having represented the Euro 2016 winners at every youth level available.
Marcelo Brozovic has found his playing time limited in Milan, and therefore, the Nerazzurri may look to offload the midfielder. The Croatian playmaker has made just 14 appearances for Inter this season, contributing to three goals and a single assist.
Football Italia have reported that to help with their financial situation, Inter have offered Brozovic to Sevilla, who sit 6th within the Spanish league.
The Nerazzurri have struggled with finances within recent seasons, and to bring in new talent, players must be sold in order to create funds.
The 25-year-old has struggled to secure a first-team spot this season. Despite this, since joining the club in 2015 from Dinamo Zagreb, the Croatian has gone on to make 83 appearances for Inter Milan.
Brozovic may be the creative spark that Sevilla are searching for. Vincenzo Montella’s men will look to improve within the second half of the season, as they currently sit two places lower than they finished in the previous campaign.
Despite only featuring in seven Serie A starts, Brozovic has demonstrated his creative ability within his limited time on the pitch. On average, the Croatian produces around 1.9 key passes per fixture and 1.6 shots per game.
Although the negotiations are in the early stages, Brozovic is likely to be on the move in the near future should he want to play football on a more regular basis.
Former Chelsea midfielder Ramires has announced he hopes to make a return to European football this January, with a switch to Serie A high flyers Inter in the pipeline.
The Brazilian has been plying his trade in the Chinese Super League for the past two seasons since making the move from Chelsea to Jiangsu Suning in 2016 however, at 30 years old he is now keen on making a return to European football.
Speaking to Sky Italy (via Sky Sports) Ramires said: “If I had to go back to Europe and do it in a big club like Inter, it would be a happy moment for me and my family, and if it happens I will be ready.
“The question of the hiring not only depends on me, there are different parties involved – the negotiations must satisfy both clubs. I hope we can reach an agreement and go to Inter. I must continue doing well here to hope to return to Europe.”
Since moving to Jiangsu Suning, Ramires has made 70 appearances for the club, scoring 11 goals across all competitions however, he was unable to deliver any silverware throughout his time in China, coming close in 2016, finishing second in the league behind Guangzou Evergrande Taobao.
The Chinese Super League has become home to a number of high-profile Brazilians over the past few years, with the likes of Paulinho, Hulk, Oscar, Renato Augusto and Alex Texeira all making China their home
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Should his move come off, the former Chelsea man will follow his old Premier League adversary Paulinho in forging a path back into top European football from China – perhaps hinting that the cash-rich league is no longer the footballing graveyard is has proven to be in the past.
Internazionale are closing in on a loan deal to sign Barcelona midfielder Rafinha in the January transfer window, according to one Italian report.
The Nerazzurri currently sit third in Serie A, nine points behind leaders Napoli. However, their current run of form has been poor and Luciano Spaletti’s side haven’t won a single game in their last seven outings.
According to Gianluca di Marzio, the loan deal for Rafinha includes an offer of a €20m future fee clause for the Brazilian midfielder – who hasn’t played since April 2017 after a series of injuries has seen him sidelined for la Blaugrana.
The 24-year-old will struggle to find playing time in Catalonia from now until the end of the season. His injuries have hindered him to few chances, and the recent signing of Philipe Coutinho will only push him further down the pecking order.
Di Marzio has also reported that the future fee offered by the Italian side could be deemed to be too low by the La Liga leaders, but a deal to bring him in is still likely.
Inter have picked up just two points in their last five Serie A games after a surging start to the season which saw them unbeaten up until mid-December.
The Nerazzurri manager Spalletti will be looking to invest further and strengthen the squad in order to qualify for the Champions League.
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Inter’s next outing is a mouth-watering fixture against fifth-placed Roma – who sit just three points behind Spalleti’s men.
Former England boss Fabio Capello has advised midfielder Ramires to remain in the Chinese Super League, amid rumours Inter want to bring him to San Siro.
Capello manages the Brazilian at Jiangsu Suning and concedes he would be a ‘great reinforcement’ for the Italians, but perhaps for selish reasons reckons the 30-year-old would be better off staying put.
Ramires has been plying his trade in the Far East for the past two years following a shock £25m move from Chelsea, and recently expressed a desire to return to Europe, which would see him follow in the footsteps of compatriot Paulinho, who joined Barcelona last summer.
Capello told Sky Italia, as quoted by FourFourTwo: “We are waiting for him [Ramires] at pre-season training. He is a really serious lad who works hard – he is not a surprise.
“He is really strong and is very important to us. If he remains with us in China, then we will be happy.
“If he moves to Inter, I think he will be a great reinforcement for them, but it doesn’t depend on Inter or on us, rather many other factors like Financial Fair Play. I recognise Inter’s problems, but I also want to make Jiangsu stronger.”
Paulinho’s move to Barca is certainly a suggestion that a player can still come back and perform well in a ‘big five’ European league.
The former Tottenham flop has surprised everyone with his performances this season at the Nou Camp, and could definitely serve as evidence to Ramires that a move could work.
Santos president Jose Carlos Peres says his club are ‘reaching an agreement’ with Inter Milan to bring Gabriel Barbosa back to the Brazilian club.
Barbosa, better known by his nickname ‘Gabigol’, joined Inter in a €29.5m deal in 2016 following an impressive 56 goals in 146 appearances in Brazil. However, since his move to Europe things haven’t worked for him after just one goal in 10 games for Inter.
A loan spell at Benfica this season hasn’t gone any better and now Football Italia reports that Barbosa’s former club are preparing a deal to take him back to his homeland. According to Santos chief Peres, an agreement has been reached with the striker and they are now waiting for Inter to seal the deal.
He said: “There’s a dialogue underway with Inter. We made our offer and now we’re waiting for a response. It’s all done between ourselves and the player. Now it all depends on Inter, who are owned but he Chinese. We’re moving toward an agreement.”
Rumours of a return to Santos begun last month after just one goal in 15 games for both Inter and Benfica in the last 18 months. The deal is likely to be a loan to begin, with the Brazilian outfit paying a large portion of the striker’s wages.
Barbosa is a full Brazil international, winning a gold medal with his nation at the 2016 Olympics on home soil.
La Masia graduate and Brazilian midfielder Rafinha has consistently been on the fringes of the Barcelona’s first team. Since breaking into the first team in 2014, the 24-year-old has never been able to hold down at starting place. Now, at long-term knee problem has prevented him from making an appearance for the club this season.
In a quest for more game time, and the desire to be selected for Brazil for the 2018 World Cup, Rafinha could be considering a move away from Catalonia.
The notorious Spanish rumour site Don Balon are claiming that Arsenal are keen on the Brazilian and could make a move for the midfielder in this transfer window.
This is not the first time that Rafinha has been linked with a move to the Gunners. The Brazilian was reportedly offered to Arsenal last summer for a fee of at least €30m. Eyeing a move himself, Rafinha reportedly said that his future was open and was willing to listen to offers.
With the form of fellow countryman Paulinho, as well as the arrival of Philippe Coutinho at Barcelona, Rafinha may continue to struggle for find regular first team football at Barcelona. A move away may be ideal, if the midfielder wishes to stake a claim in Brazil’s squad for World Cup this summer.
A number of spots may also be opening up in Arsenal’s midfield. The departure of Alexis Sanchez looks increasingly imminent at the Gunners, and the future of Mesut Ozil also remains in doubt. Arsenal also look set to sell Francis Coquelin to Valencia this month.
However, Arsenal are set the face stiff competition for Rafinha from Inter, who are reportedly close to sealing a loan deal for the Brazilian. Gazzetta dello Sport claim that a deal between Inter and Barca is close, pending further medical checks on Rafinha.
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After numerous problems, Rafinha would need to focus on staying fit and Arsenal have enough injury problems already. But there may well place space for a player like Rafinha in North London. The Gunners will need to replace their outgoing stars should they lose Sanchez and Ozil in this window.
Daniel Sturridge is planning to secure a move away from Anfield this month as the striker looks to rekindle his form ahead of the World Cup in Russia.
The England international has struggled for game time this season, making just 14 appearances across all competitions and reports claim that he will be allowed to move in the January window.
With the knowledge that Inter boss Luciano Spalletti is looking to bring someone to San Siro to relieve some of the pressure off of Mauri Icardi, Sturridge has reportedly offered his services to the Nerazzurri on a short-term loan deal, according to Tuttosport (via the Daily Mail).
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Sturridge has become a fan favourite since moving to Anfield in 2013, forming an outstanding partnership alongside Luis Suárez and nearly guiding Liverpool to a Premier League title.
However, the 28-year-old has been forced down the pecking order at Liverpool. The form of Roberto Firmino, since ditching Hoffenheim in 2015 has been incredible, while the arrival of Dominic Solanke and competition from the fit again Danny Ings appears to have pushed Sturridge further down the pecking order.
Although England manager Gareth Southgate will know that a fit and healthy Sturridge is probably England’s best striker behind Harry Kane, the Three Lions boss could favour taking a promising young player instead.
Although a proposed move to Inter may look like a good switch on the surface of it, the chances of Sturridge getting regular game time in Milan are not going to improve.
With Icardi currently scoring goals for fun, and a plethora of options in wide areas for the Nerazzurri, the England international isn’t going to walk into Spalletti’s first-team anytime soon.