PSG Open Negotiations With Inter Over Permanent Mauro Icardi Deal

​Paris Saint-Germain officials have opened talks with Mauro Icardi’s agent, Wanda Nara, to try and finalise a permanent move to the French capital for the Argentine striker.

Icardi sealed a loan move away from Inter in early September having disgruntled the fans and hierarchy in Milan, with PSG negotiating the option to sign the striker permanently if they wish.

Mauro Icardi

Icardi has enjoyed a fantastic start to life with PSG, firing nine goals in his opening ten games, and now ​Nicolò Schira claims that the Ligue 1 giants have met with Nara to finalise a €65m permanent switch for the striker.

PSG want to activate their option in the next few months, with club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi already said to be preparing a five-year contract for ​Icardi.

The French side’s eagerness to conclude a deal is easy to understand. The 26-year-old is one of the finest strikers around and he has quickly adapted to life in Paris, taking ​Edinson Cavani‘s place in the starting lineup as a result of his electric form.

Edinson Cavani,Mauro Icardi

Cavani is 32 years old and will find himself out of contract at the end of the season, so PSG are seemingly eager to move quickly and ensure they have a permanent striker on their books for the foreseeable future.

As for ​Inter, they will likely also be happy to strike a deal. In an ideal world, they would have liked to keep Icardi but, after learning of his determination to leave, they brought in ​Romelu Lukaku during the summer.

Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte’s side have moved on from Icardi. With a forward line of Lukaku and Lautaro Martínez, I Nerazzurri have climbed to second in the ​Serie A standings, just one point behind league leaders ​Juventus.

The chance to recover €65m will likely be well received by Inter, who could use that money to strike January deals for the likes of ​Napoli‘s Dries Mertens and ​Barcelona‘s ​Arturo Vidal, both of whom have been linked with moves to the club.


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Transfer Rumours: Bergwijn Opens Door to Man Utd Move, the ‘Korean Van Dijk’, Kean to Milan & More

​In the biggest piece of transfer news since the summer, Arsene Wenger has signed for FIFA ahead of local rivals Bayern Munich.

That, is some big news. However, Wenger, unfortunately, does not play football.

Yeah, but these guys do! And so well, in fact, that clubs want to sign them!

The usual suspects ​Manchester United feature, but so do a handful of other Premier League clubs. Oh yes, it’s rumour time, and here’s what today has in stall for you all.


Inter to Back Antonio Conte Once More for Swedish Star

Dejan Kulusevski

The decision to appoint Conte and give him a substantial amount on money to fling around appears to be paying dividends at ​Inter. Sitting second in ​Serie A behind Juventus, things are looking up for one half of San Siro.

But that isn’t the end of the resurgence according to ​Gazzetta dello Sport, who claim Parma’s Dejan Kulusevski is next on their wishlist. The 19-year-old midfielder is on loan from Atalanta but has been ripping it up in Serie A with five assists and two goals in his 12 league outings.

With a price tag of €30m he won’t come cheap, but for once he is the right side of 30, with the likes of Arturo Vidal no longer options for the Nerazzurri. 

The report also mentions Christian Eriksen being eyed, but I’m sure we’ll see plenty more of that cropping up in due course.


Andrea Conti’s Agent Reveals Crystal Palace Snub

Andrea Conti,Khouma Babacar

While there was endless talk of Wilfried Zaha’s potential departure from the ​Eagles over the summer, it, somewhat, masked the fact they barely made a signing of note.

​AC Milan’s Conti was supposedly one such target, however, his agent Mario Giuffredi told MilanNews (via ​Sport Witness) that his client wasn’t interested and would rather stay and fight for his place with the Rossoneri.

He said: “Yes, in the summer he had Parma, Werder Bremen, Crystal Palace, Spal, and other teams, at least 5-6 proposals. But he insisted on staying here at Milan.”

Milan are 14th at present and considerably rubbish. Clearly he thought the move was too big for him at this stage of his career.


Watford Facing Issues in Pursuit of Kim Min Jae

Kim Min-Jae

And no, not financial issues, work visa problems or that fact that they’ve won just one match all season. On no, it is that darned Asian Champions League and their blasted rules, that’s what.

Nicknamed both ‘The Monster’ and the ‘Korean Van Dijk’, the central defender has caught the eye of ​Watford with some fine performances for Chinese Super League side Beijing Guoan. 

The issues are, however, that the competition has specific rules regarding the use of foreign players. Each participating club may register four foreign participating players although at least one of these must have the nationality of an AFC Member Association – which just so happens to be only Kim Min Jae, at present.

Therefore, as the ​Watford Observer have said, a replacement will need to be found relatively swiftly in order for a move to take place. And if they don’t, well, they probably won’t let him leave, you’d think. 


Tahith Chong Puts New Man Utd Contract to One Side as Talks Stall

Tahith Chong

One third of the triumphant trio of players with cracking barnets alongside Matteo Guendouzi and David Luiz, the only problem for (Cheech &) Chong is that he isn’t getting a game at Old Trafford. So much so, that ​rumours have been circulating that he will refuse to sign a new deal with the Red Devils after finding first-team opportunities hard to come by.

While not flat out denying this, Chong was a touch candid in his response to being asked when he’ll put pen to paper.

“It’s early right now,” Chong told FOX Sports, via the ​Mirror. “I’m still a player of Manchester United and the season is in full swing. My focus is on that. The contract will come naturally. I am now focusing on this season.”

With a potential free-contract move on the cards, Juventus are thought to be lurking and ready to pounce. And, in other news, water is wet and the Pope wears a pointy hat.


Moise Kean Enters AC Milan Talks After Slow Start to Everton Career

FBL-ENG-PR-BOURNEMOUTH-EVERTON

By that I mean, notorious super-agent Mino Raiola enters AC Milan talks.

Because yes, the young Italian striker has been struggling massively since making the move to ​Everton last summer, with some uninspiring performances and failing to turn up to team meetings painting a rather bleak outlook on Merseyside.

All these issues together have combined to prompt Raiola to speak to Milan, ahead of what could be a January move. That’s all according to ​Calcio Mercato, who also remind us that Milan failed to sign the 19-year-old during the summer as well.

It seems a bit premature for the Toffees to be rid of Kean just yet, although, this is Raiola we’re talking about, so he could just be sh*t-stirring as usual. What the player’s views are on this is unsure, but he won’t be all that chuffed with the lack of game time, that’s for sure.


Steven Bergwijn Open to Man Utd Move in Future

Steven Bergwijn

And now for the piece de la resistance. The crowning glory. The transfer rumour equivalent to a brown paper bag full of dog poo burning on your front porch.

According to the ​Mirror, PSV Eindhoven winger Bergwijn would be open to a Man Utd move if the club were to return to the Champions League.

When in actual fact, a ‘source’ close to the Dutchman (out of absolutely nowhere) has suggested he could leave PSV in search of top-level European football. No mention of United, whatsoever, and the source isn’t quoted or cited in anyway, either.

By that reckoning, the headline could equally read ‘Steven Bergwijn tells Norwich City transfer is on if they return to Champions League’. Pretty sure the Canaries wouldn’t mind snapping the winger up, like any club, for that matter.

Essentially, a half-decent footballer could leave the Dutch league for Champions League football. United are nowhere near that, but sod it, let’s throw them in there, because they want to sign everyone. 


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Nemanja Matic Considering Man Utd Exit in January With West Ham an Option

West Ham are eyeing a move for Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic, who could leave the club as early as January after falling way out of favour with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season. AC Milan and Inter are also potential destinations.

Matic has been ruled out since October with a mystery injury and there is no estimate for his return. Even when fit, the Serbian international has played second fiddle to Scott McTominay, while his only Premier League appearances came in September because of Paul Pogba’s injury.

Nemanja Matic

More recently, Matic has also fallen below Fred in the Old Trafford pecking order, while his own fitness problems have seen Solskjaer turn to home-grown teenager James Garner of late.

90min understands that Matic doesn’t necessarily want to leave United, but his lack of involvement when fit has led him to consider a departure.

West Ham are one possible option for the 31-year-old, who has an affection for London following his two spells with Chelsea is open to returning to the city.

A separate report from the Daily Telegraph claims that Matic is ‘ready to leave’ in January if the club will sanction a transfer. It could have happened during the summer, but there were concerns from manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer about being too light in midfield.

FBL-ENG-PR-MAN UTD-BRIGHTON

Marouane Fellaini left partway through last season, while Ander Herrera joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer in July and neither player was replaced.

The Telegraph goes on to name Milan and Inter as possible destinations for Matic, with both Serie A sides thought to have been interested in summer. United have already done recent business with Inter, while Matic formerly played under coach Antonio Conte at Chelsea.

The worries about being short of midfielders has not gone away for United. Such fears could be allayed, however, should a replacement arrive in January.

90min revealed earlier this season the interest from Old Trafford in 21-year-old Genk midfielder Sander Berge. The Norway international is still an option to slot straight into the squad should Matic leave, although there would be little expectation for him to deliver straight away.

KRC Genk v Royal Antwerp FC - Jupiler Pro League

As things stand, Matic is actually out of contract at Old Trafford at the end of the season. In theory, that means he could leave as a free agent in June and is eligible to start negotiating a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club as of 1 January.

However, there is still a clause in his contract that allows United to extend it for 12 months until 2021. The club might yet be expected to trigger that option, but it probably shouldn’t be viewed as a sign they wish to keep Matic. Rather, it would be a measure to ensure he will still command a fee if a sale isn’t arranged in January, as was also once the case with Daley Blind.


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7 Players Who Could Leave Napoli in Wake of Scandal & Where They Could Go

​Napoli are a shambles on and off the pitch these days.

After being held to a 0-0 draw by Genoa on Saturday, Carlo Ancelotti’s side are seventh in Serie A, five points off the Champions League qualification spots and 13 behind leaders Juventus. However, that is far from the biggest issue surrounding the club.

SSC Napoli v Genoa CFC - Serie A

​I Partenopei’s poor run of results saw owner Aurelio Di Laurentiis take matters into his own hands following a stalemate against Red Bull Salzburg on Tuesday, ​scheduling extra training sessions for the squad. However, both the manager and players refused to turn up for the organised retreat and are set to face the consequences which could range from fines, to legal action to being sold…

Here’s a look at who could be forced out or ready to jump ship at Stadio San Paolo in the wake of this ugly mutiny and where they may be headed next.


Dries Mertens

Ories Mertens

It’ll be a tragedy when, not if, Dries Mertens moves away from Naples. He’s fallen for the fan-base and they have likewise fallen for him, but this love affair is set to go the way of Romeo and Juliet.

Having only recently surpassed Diego Maradona into second place on Napoli’s all-time top scorers lisr, the Belgian may be close to joining rivals ​Inter after ​’practically agreeing’ a two-year contract with the Nerazzurri.

It’s a sad, sad end to what had been a heartwarming story for Mertens and his adoring supporters.

Probable Destination: Inter


Kalidou Koulibaly

FBL-EUR-C1-NAPOLI-SALZBURG

If anyone is to depart I Partenopei, it will be Kalidou Koulibaly. It’s very simple – the colossal centre-back is too good to be at a club so deeply embroiled in crisis, and he knows it.

So, where is the Senegalese likely to end up? At another club that’s in the midst of a crisis! ​Manchester United have been tracking him for years and may return with a new bid if they feel they can get a discounted price amid the chaos.

United may have splashed out big on Harry Maguire in the summer, but their defensive issues aren’t quite fully solved. The likes of PSG, Man City Juventus and many may well be interested if word gets out that Napoli are ready to entertain bids but expect the Red Devils to be at the front of the queue.

Possible Destination: Manchester United


Fabián Ruiz

Fabian Ruiz

Back in October, ​Real Madrid representatives ​made contact with Fabián Ruiz as they looked to lure him back to his native Spain. Now, there’s added incentive for Los Blancos to press ahead with a deal.

A player of the midfielder’s calibre will not want to hang around on the sinking ship that is Napoli when he could go and be the heir to Luka Modrić’s throne at the Bernabeu. 

​Barcelona and ​Manchester City are also thought to be interested, but neither can guarantee him a starting berth. Madrid most certainly can as they prepare for life without their ageing Croatian playmaker, whilst Ruiz is also thought to favour Madrid due to it’s proximity to his family home.

Possible Destination: Real Madrid


José Callejón

Jose Maria Callejon

While the Chinese Super League has been suggested for Callejon, Italian journalist Ciro Venerato has claimed ​AC Milan are looking to secure the Spaniard’s signature once his deal with I Partenopei expires in the summer, as reported by club news outlet ​Sempre Milan.

The Rossoneri were keen on bringing him to San Siro over the off-season, yet they couldn’t come to an agreement with his current employers. 

However, they won’t need Napoli’s good graces after his deal runs out and it’s understood Milan goalkeeper Pepe Reina could play a part in convincing Callejón to move up north.

Possible Destination: AC Milan


Lorenzo Insigne

Lorenzo Insigne

Until they got slapped with a one-year transfer ban, ​Chelsea had rather fancied the idea of bringing Lorenzo Insigne to west London. 

​The Blues wanted the forward to come in for Madrid-bound Eden Hazard at Stamford Bridge and – obviously – haven’t been able to purchase any replacements as of yet.

Christian Pulisic is beginning to blossom under Frank Lampard, but Pedro will surely be on his way soon, whilst it can’t hurt to have a make-shift back-up for Tammy Abraham, despite the clear differences in his and Insigne’s style of play.

Like with Koulibaly, expect many of Europe’s major players to take an interest in local hero Insigne is made to leave his hometown club.

Possible Destination: Chelsea


Kostas Manolas

Konstantinos "Kostas" Manolas

​Arsenal were allegedly ​close to signing Greek centre-back Kostas Manolas before his switch from Roma to San Paolo in the summer – who’s to say they won’t resurrect that interest?

No one is pretending David Luiz is a long-term fix for the Gunners’ defensive woes and Napoli may hold the answer to their problems.

He has just been backed by the Arsenal board, but there’s only so much more poor form the club’s hierarchy can tolerate before sacking Unai Emery. Whoever they appoint after him, the new man would probably look to sort out that leaky backline immediately.

Possible Destination: Arsenal


Allan

Marques Allan

At the back-end of the 2018/19 campaign, numerous reports surfaced suggesting Allan ​had his heart set on joining Paris Saint-Germain, the Brazilian informing Ancelotti and co of his desire to go.

Apparently, his compatriots at the Parc des Princes had spoken to him about the prospect of a transfer to Ligue 1, with the midfielder swiftly deciding he wanted a new challenge in France.

A deal never materialised, yet the situation is different following the latest Neapolitan scandal. Di Laurentiis could be looking to start afresh and Allan could be getting his wishes met.

Possible Destination: Paris Saint-Germain


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Italy Unveil Stunning New ‘Crafted From Culture’ Away Kit Ahead of Euro 2020

​Italy have revealed their new away kit for 2020, taking inspiration from the country’s rich and diverse history.

2020 is set to be a turning point in Italy’s recent footballing history, with Gli Azzurri set to compete at their first major tournament since 2016 after embarrassingly missing out on qualification for the 2018 World Cup.


To try and inspire the team to greatness, Italy took to their ​official website to reveal their new away shirt, which will be on show for the first time during Friday’s clash with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

With the tagline ‘crafted from culture’, the kit has been designed to celebrate Italy’s influence on world culture. Manufacturers PUMA have combined a modern design with Renaissance inspiration, creating a stunning white shirt with subtle patterns.

Blue accents around the collar and sleeves stand out and add a splash of colour, with blue being the dominant colour on Italy’s home shirt as well.


The goal was to create something which blended Italy’s culture with their international team. Italy hope that this design, which will be on full show at Euro 2020, will represent the country’s style and values.

Italy are keen to move on from the humiliation of failing to qualify for the World Cup. Manager Roberto Mancini has ushered in a new wave of younger talent, including Sandro Tonali and Nicolò Zaniolo, in the hope of inspiring a new era of success.

Roberto Mancini

Having won all eight of their qualification games, Italy have looked back to their best, and they will head into Euro 2020 feeling confident of a strong showing.

Mancini’s side have already qualified as group leaders, so the two remaining fixtures against both Bosnia and Armenia will give them a chance to rotate their squad and continue their momentum heading into the new year.


For more from Tom Gott, follow him on Twitter!

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Chelsea Set Asking Price for Wantaway Striker Olivier Giroud in January

​Chelsea will demand £5m from any interested side to sell wantaway striker Olivier Giroud once the January transfer window opens.

The 33-year-old has started just twice in all competitions this season and has regularly struggled to make the matchday squad, with both Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi ahead of him in the pecking order at Stamford Bridge.

Olivier Giroud

He will be out of contract at the end of the season, but ​The Express claim that ​Chelsea will demand £5m if they are to sell ​Giroud before he can walk away for free. 

Giroud can begin discussing a free transfer overseas as soon as the January transfer window opens, but English sides must wait until closer to the end of his contract before they can make contact with him.

​Crystal Palace are believed to be keen on Giroud. The Eagles have struggled greatly in front of goal this season, having netted just ten goals in their 12 appearances – the second lowest tally in the ​Premier League behind ​Watford.

Roy Hodgson

If they want Giroud as soon as possible, Palace will have to meet Chelsea’s demands of £5m. Roy Hodgson may well feel pressured to do so, especially considering there is interest in Giroud from abroad.

Antonio Conte is believed to be keen on a reunion with Giroud at ​Inter, while ​Major League Soccer side Vancouver Whitecaps are also said to have expressed an interest in the World Cup-winning Frenchman.

Back in France, Nice, Bordeaux, Marseille and Lyon have all been monitoring his situation, so there is expected to be plenty of options for Giroud to choose from.

Olivier Giroud

Given all of those overseas sides can agree a contract with Giroud in January, Palace may need to act quick to try and get themselves to the front of the queue for his signature, meaning they will have to part with £5m.

A move away from Chelsea certainly seems inevitable for Giroud, and £5m is a very reasonable fee for a veteran striker with plenty of Premier League experience. That figure should not be a problem for Palace, who still have almost the entirety of the £50m raised by Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s departure burning a hole in their pocket.


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Dries Mertens ‘Practically Agrees’ Sensational €6m-a-Year Deal With Inter

​Inter are ‘one step’ away from an agreement with Napoli striker Dries Mertens to bring the Belgian to Milan for the 2020/21 season, according to one report in Italy.

The forward has been one of the standout players in Serie A for several seasons, scoring 88 times in the Italian top flight since moving from PSV in 2013.

His conversion to centre forward under Maurizio Sarri in 2016 saw him develop into one of Europe’s top goalscorers, while he has 86 caps for Belgium and starred in the 2018 World Cup as the Red Devils placed third.

Dries Mertens

However, it seems unlikely that Mertens will remain at Stadio San Paolo beyond the end of his current contract, which finishes next summer. 

Outspoken ​Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has made it clear previously that Mertens would only be re-signed on reduced wages, while the player’s part in the ​recent squad protest during a training camp makes a new deal even less likely.

Step forward Inter. According to ​Corriere dello Sport on Sunday, Mertens has already worked out basic personal terms with the Milan giants and an official deal is ‘one step’ away and ‘practically closed’.

The contract would be for two years, with the option for a third, while Mertens would earn €6m a year – a significant pay rise on his current €4m-a-year terms at Napoli.

Dries Mertens

However, ​Gazzetta dello Sport are seemingly less convinced of an imminent ​Inter deal. In their Sunday piece, they write that, while Mertens is a good friend of Inter striker Lukaku, there is a ‘coldness’ from the club at the moment.

Gazzetta do add that Inter are ‘tempted’ by the prospect of Mertens but question whether, at 33 next summer, he is worth the outlay. 

It is also noted that Mertens, who has previously been linked with a huge-money move to the Chinese Super League like former Napoli teammate Marek Hamsik, could even be allowed to depart in January, such is his poor relationship with the club’s hierarchy at present. It would be a sad end for a player that has brought a lot of joy to the club. 

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Inter 2-1 Verona: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Nicolo Barella Stunner Earns Hosts Late Victory

Inter earned another hard-fought three points in Serie A, battling to a 2-1 victory over Hellas Verona thanks to a late strike from Nicolo Barella, which temporarily returned the hosts to the summit of the Italian top flight. 

The visitors took the lead on the 20-minute mark, Valerio Verre converting a penalty after Inter’s Samir Handanovic was penalised for a late lunge in the box. Inter thought they’d equalised soon after, when goalkeeper Marco Silvestri appeared to carry the ball over his own line, but the referee confirmed that the shot-stopper had done enough to prevent the goal. 

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-INTER-VERONA

Matias Vecino equalised for the hosts 20 minutes into the second half with a towering header, breathing life into a struggling Inter side. Antonio Conte’s men continued to push for a winner, and Romelu Lukaku wasted a glorious chance with ten minutes left on the clock, latching on to a shocking back-pass but only managing to head the ball directly at a stranded Silvestri. 

With the game heading towards a dismal draw, Barella curled a stunning strike into the top corner from 20 yards to send the home crowd into absolute delirium, earning a valuable three points for the hosts in their quest for title success. 


​INTER

Key Talking Point 

What an absolute beauty! The seconds were ticking by for ​Inter, who seemed destined to drop two crucial points in their Serie A title chase. 

Step forward, Nicolo Barella!

The tenacious midfielder is known for his biting tackles and rough-and-tumble style of play, but the Italian was about to pull something spectacular out of the fire. 


Picking the ball up on the left-hand side, Barella drove at the Verona full-back, dropped his shoulder and stepped inside before unleashing a vicious, curling effort from his right foot. The ball evaded the futile dive of Silvestri and crashed into the top corner to cause pandemonium in the stands. The 22-year-old responded by ripping off his shirt and running around the San Siro pitch like a maniac. 

His best moment yet in an Inter shirt.


Player Ratings 

Starting XI: Handanovic (5); Skriniar (6), De Vrij (5), Bastoni (7); Lazaro (7), Vecino (7), Brozovic (6), Barella (7), Biraghi (6); Lautaro (8), Lukaku (5).

Substitutes: Candreva (7), Esposito (6), D’Ambrosio (6).


STAR PLAYER – How much work does this guy get through in 90 minutes? Lautaro Martinez is an unbelievable talent, but his work-rate matches his natural ability admirably. The Argentine star does the running of two strikers, freeing up the likes of ​Lukaku to concentrate on his own game, but the forward still has the energy to provide some much-needed quality in the final third.

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-INTER-VERONA

Nothing was going right for I Nerazzurri during a frustrating first 60 minutes, but Martinez did not let this adversity affect his tireless game. It was a limp display from the Serie A hopefuls, but with players like Martinez in their ranks, they will always have the heart and skill to get over the line in difficult matches.


HELLAS VERONA 

Player Ratings 

Starting XI: Silvestri (7); Rrahmani (7), Gunter (6), Empereur (6); Faraoni (7), Pessina (6), Amrabat (6), Lazovic (7); Verre (7), Zaccagni (6); Salcedo (8).


​Substitutes: Tutino (5), Henderson (5), Stepinski (5).


Looking Ahead 

Conte’s men follow up their lumbering display against Verona with a difficult trip to Turin as I Nerazzurri take on Torino after the international break. 

Verona will be inspired by their spirited and organised display against Inter, and they’ll be hoping to pick up some points when they entertain Fiorentina in two weeks time. 

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Inter vs Hellas Verona: 8 Key Facts & Stats to Impress Your Mates Ahead of Serie A Clash

Inter go in search of their third consecutive Serie A victory as they host Hellas Verona at San Siro.

​Inter threw away a 2-0 lead in midweek to lose 3-2 to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League. However, their Serie A form has been superb having won three of their last four and drawing the other. They sit second in the table and are pushing Juventus hard at the top of the table.

I Nerazzurri have a great record against this weekend’s visitors, who currently sit ninth in ​Serie A having won their last two against Brescia and Parma, and will be looking to continue their impressive form with yet another win.

Antonio Conte

But you’re obviously here because you want to know more ahead of this clash. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Here are eight stats, courtesy of ​Opta, to impress your mates with ahead of this Serie A fixture…


Inter on Top

FC Internazionale v Hellas Verona FC - Serie A

As mentioned, Inter have a great record against Verona. They’re unbeaten in their last 16 games (winning 13, drawing three), their longest ongoing unbeaten run against any of the other Serie A teams.

They’re unbeaten in their last 28 (yes, 28) home Serie A games against Verona – only against Palermo do they have a better record (29).You wouldn’t bet against them making that 29 this weekend – sorry to all you Verona fans out there.


Verona’s Very Good Defence

I bet you didn’t expect this – Verona have the best defence in Serie A. They’re tied with ​Juve in conceding the fewest goals this season (nine).

Only in 1984/85 did they concede fewer goals after the opening 11 games of the season (four). Maybe this won’t be as easy as Inter might expect.


Unstoppable Inter

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-BRESCIA-INTER

On the other hand, Inter have scored in every single one of their Serie A games this season (the only Serie A team to do so).

The only other time that Inter scored in each of their opening 12 Serie A games was in 1997/98. Antonio Conte and his side have a great chance to equal that record.


Defensive Shut-Out?

Rafinha,Marcel Buchel

There is a chance that this stat might tempt fate – it might. Verona and Inter have kept the most clean sheets this season in Serie A with four clean sheets each.

It could be 0-0 – and don’t blame us if it is.


Key MenRomelu Lukaku

Why did Manchester United sell Romelu Lukaku? He’s been in great form for Inter since his move in the summer scoring nine Serie A goals in his first 11 games. He has a chance to break a Serie A record this weekend as only one player has ever scored ten goals in his first 12 Serie A game – that was Stefano Nyers in 1948/49.

On top of this, Inter are one of only two teams (Atalanta the other, if you were interested) to have two players who have scored at least five goals this season: Lukaku (nine) and Lautaro Martinez (five).

Eddy Salcedo is one for the Football Manager geeks. He scored in Verona’s win last time out at the age of 18 years and 33 days. The only player to score at a younger age for Verona was Moise Kean (remember him?) who was 17 years and 215 days. Interestingly, Salcedo was at Inter last season, but didn’t play a single minute of football.


Inter’s Lineup


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90min’s Definitive European Power Rankings: Week 12 – The Office (US) Edition

Did any of the European giants actually try to play well over the last week?

The past seven days have been full of disappointments, with so many of the heavy hitters deciding that they just weren’t feeling it anymore.

How do we respond?

Well, by ranking the top 15 teams by using quoted from The Office (US). What else are we supposed to do?


15) Bayern Munich (Down 7)

Alphonso Davies

“I am running away from my responsibilities. And it feels good.”

Goodbye, Niko Kovač. The 5-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt wasn’t exactly the best parting gift, but it’s the thought that counts.


14) Barcelona (Down 9)

Arturo Vidal

“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”

Can we go back to a time when we weren’t losing 3-1 to Levante, or falling to a 0-0 draw with Slavia Prague?

Nope, those days are gone.


13) Ajax (Down 1)

Erik Ten Hag

“I don’t hate it. I just don’t like it at all and it’s terrible.”​

Even Ajax fans have to admit that the 4-4 draw with ​Chelsea was an outrageous game. Even if they had two centre backs sent off within the space of 30 seconds. And even if they threw away a three-goal lead.

It’s all about the memories.


12) Chelsea (Re-Entry)

Jorginho Filho

“Sometimes I’ll start a sentence and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope to find it along the way.”

1. Turn up.

2. Start awfully.

3. Go 4-1 down.

4. Decide to actually play well.

5. Draw 4-4.

A recipe for success.


11) Benfica (Down 1)

FBL-EUR-C1-LYON-BENFICA

I know that patience and loyalty are good and virtuous traits, but sometimes I just think you need to grow a pair.”

Having finally toppled minnows Famalicão in the Primeira Liga, Benfica went and got thumped against Lyon in the ​Champions League.

Domestic dominance is all well and good, but they have looked completely out of their depth in Europe. Time to step up.


10) Real Madrid (Re-Entry)

FBL-EUR-C1-REAL MADRID-GALATASARAY

“You know what they say. ‘Fool me once, strike one. But fool me twice… strike three’.”​

Are ​Real Madrid good? Are they bad? It doesn’t seem like anybody really knows these days.

After all, how many teams could draw 0-0 with Real Betis before thumping Galatasaray 6-0 just four days later?


9) Inter (Down 3)

Antonio Conte

“And I knew exactly what to do. But in a much more real sense, I had no idea what to do.”

Antonio Conte was ready for greatness, but then his ​Inter side capitulated and lost 3-2 to ​Borussia Dortmund, after which Conte decided that it was everyone else’s fault but his.

Can you really blame the club for not providing for you after they brought in the likes of ​Romelu Lukaku and Diego Godín?

At what point is it time to accept that maybe you got something wrong?


8) Paris Saint-Germain (Down 6)

Angel Di Maria

“And I’m optimistic, but every day I get a little more desperate.”

We all know PSG are (probably) still going to win Ligue 1. Their 2-1 loss to strugglers Dijon isn’t going to change that.

However, is that the form that’s going to bring PSG that elusive Champions League title? 

The PSG chiefs will still feel as though anything is possible, but something just doesn’t seem right this year.


7) Leicester City (-)

Brendan Rogers

“Would I rather be feared or loved? Easy. Both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.”

No strangers to a feel-good story, ​Leicester are continuing to impress. They followed up their emphatic 9-0 win over ​Southampton with a less-phatic 2-0 win against ​Crystal Palace, and they’re sitting pretty in the top four.

You love to support them, but you hate the idea of playing against them.


6) Borussia Dortmund (Re-Entry)

Achraf Hakimi

“Oh, it is on, like a prawn who yawns at dawn.”

Borussia Dortmund look to have moved on from their poor form. Their 3-0 win over Wolfsburg was big, but their dramatic comeback against Inter was even bigger.

Make no mistake about it, Dortmund are coming for the ​Bundesliga title, and they’re here to make some noise in Europe as well.


5) Borussia Mönchengladbach (Up 8)

Marco Rose

“Oh my God! OK, it’s happening. Everybody stay calm! Stay f*****g calm!”

Surely the wheels on the Gladbach express are going to fall off soon, right? Right?!

A 2-1 win against Bayer Leverkusen. A 2-1 win over Roma. Marco Rose’s side are not messing about this year.


4) RB Leipzig (Up 7)

Zenit St. Petersburg v RB Leipzig: Group G - UEFA Champions League

“I am fast. To give you a reference point, I am somewhere between a snake and a mongoose… and a panther.”

Imagine having Timo Werner in your team. The lightning-fast German bagged three goals and three assists in an 8-0 mauling of Mainz 05, and he’s pretty much the entire reason RB Leipzig climb up these rankings.

To be fair, they did beat Zenit St Petersburg largely without Werner, but it’s all about that double hat-trick.


3) Manchester City (-)

Kyle Walker

“Guess what, I have flaws. What are they? Oh, I don’t know. I sing in the shower. Sometimes I spend too much time volunteering. Occasionally, I’ll hit somebody with my car. So sue me.”

So, ​Manchester City’s week was…interesting.

Everything looked to be going so well against Atalanta, only for ​Claudio Bravo to turn things into a car crash by getting sent off. ​Kyle Walker stepped up to unconvincingly save the day, which was perhaps the highlight of the entire week.


2) Juventus (Up 2)

FBL-EUR-C1-LOKOMOTIV-JUVENTUS

“Do I need to be liked? Absolutely not. I like to be liked. I enjoy being liked. I have to be liked, but it’s not like this compulsive need to be liked, like my need to be praised.”

Believe it or not, that’s not a quote from ​Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo was left fuming as ​Aaron Ramsey stole his goal in the 2-1 win over Lokomotiv Moscow but, apart from that, it was all smiles for ​Juventus.

Sitting pretty atop both the ​Serie A and Champions League Group D, it was a good week for Maurizio Sarri’s men.


1) Liverpool (-)

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

“I’m not superstitious, but I’m a little-stitious.”​

​Liverpool fans had turned to superstition, myth and ancient rituals as their side were trailing ​Aston Villa. Whatever they did, it worked, as two late goals saw their unbeaten start to the ​Premier League season continue.

The lead over City is still intact. The dream is still alive.


For more from Tom Gott, follow him on Twitter!

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