Joao Mario Praises Inter Manager Luciano Spalletti Ahead of Milan Derby

​After Winning six of their seven matches in the new Serie A season, Inter Milan see themselves third in the table and prepare to face their San Siro rivals in the Milan derby as the international break comes to an end.

In an interview with Italian outlet ​Mediaset, Inter midfielder Joao Mario gave some words of praise to manager Luciano Spalletti after taking up the role in the Summer.

FC Internazionale v Genoa CFC - Serie A

When asked what Inter’s objectives for this season are, the Portuguese star was unsure of what his team were aiming for.

However, Mario explained that the work rate was indeed better with Spalletti at the helm compared to last season.

“Is the target to get into the Champions League? It’s still early,” he said. “Compared to last year, the organisation has changed. Spalletti has been decisive, he is doing well and his work gives us added strength.”


When asked about the importance of the Milan derby, he said: “The derby is a very special match, we’re fine and we want to win at home. We hope the fans can help us.”

The derby will also give a chance for Mario to face fellow Portugal teammate Andre Silva, who has been one of Milan’s expensive signings in the summer after their financial takeover. 


Mario explains that both himself and his team mate have a winning mindset but Portugal is their primary focus in the World Cup qualifiers. 

“We have spoken about it, naturally he wants to win too. But we are still concentrating on the national team.”

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Man Utd Ready Improved £54m Bid for Inter Star Ivan Perisic Ahead of 2018 Summer Window

​Manchester United are preparing to reignite their interest in Ivan Perisic with a £54m offer for the Inter Milan ace next summer.

Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t the ​Sun) has claimed that the Red Devils have not been put off in their attempts to land the 28-year-old, and will return for him after the World Cup in Russia next July.

Perisic was consistently linked with making a switch to the Premier League from Serie A in the recent transfer window, but penned a new deal with the Nerazzurri after talks broke down between the two clubs.


However, Perisic reportedly has a £54m release clause fee written into his new contract – something that United appear all too happy to stump up to land their man.

Manager Jose Mourinho is an admirer of Perisic’s ability to whip in crosses from either wing, and his expert deliveries would be food and drink for the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Old Trafford if he were to join.

One potential sticking point that may prevent United from moving for the Croatia international would be the lack of resale value if he didn’t work out in English football.

FC Internazionale v Genoa CFC - Serie A

Perisic is edging closer to 30 years of age, and United wouldn’t be able to get much in way of compensation if they did end up selling him on following any perceived failure to adapt to the UK.

Perisic’s arrival could also lead to less game time for wonderkid forward Marcus Rashford, and United fans would be loathe to see the 19-year-old lose his place in the starting lineup if Perisic jetted in. For now, it’s safe to assume that this rumour won’t be going away unless Mourinho or United turn their attentions to other targets.

Perisic has bagged three goals and three assists in seven appearances for Inter so far this term, taking his tally to 23 goals and 21 assists in 86 run outs.

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Inter Considering Surprise Move for Arsenal Forward as Arsene Wenger Looks to Regenerate Side

Serie A giants Inter are considering a move for Theo Walcott as the England international begins to run down his contract at the Emirates. 

Walcott is currently Arsenal’s longest serving player, having joined with a lot of hype around him from Southampton in 2006. Aged just 17, many tipped Walcott to be England’s next big star but he has struggled to find consistency in his decade in north London.

Now 28, he is moving into his final two years of his contact at the Emirates and ​Calciomercato report that Inter are more than ready to go for him if he is made available in January. The move would allow Inter winger Antonio Candreva to leave the San Siro, with Chelsea reportedly interested in him.

The Nerazzuri have reportedly been following Walcott for a while, and are said to be very keen on him. Walcott has for long been a controversial figure amongst Gooners fans, but can boast a respectable enough 107 goals in 388 games. 

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He would be tasked with helping the former treble winners getting back into Europe, having failed to even reach the Europa League last season after a seventh placed finish as Juventus again strolled to the league title.

However, his only silverware with Arsenal is three FA Cups, with his best goal tally in a season being 21 back in 2012/13. It’s the only time in his career he’s scored 20+ goals in a season in his career, but a move to San Siro would link him up with free scoring captain Mauro Icardi, who already has six goals in seven games this season, following on from 26 in 41 last year.

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Italy Legend Fabio Cannavaro Insists Milan Clubs Need Time to Adapt After Summer Squad Overhauls

Italian football legend Fabio Cannavaro has insisted that both AC Milan and Inter will require time to become genuine title contenders once again. 

The 2006 FIFA World Player of the Year told Premium Sport (via FourFourTwo) that the two Chinese-backed clubs must show patience after their respective recent squad overhauls, admitting: “They have financial resources and they will always be fighting for the biggest objectives.

“But it will need time in order for them to organise themselves. Napoli, for example, have arrived at their level after 10-12 years.”

Cannavaro now manages Chinese Super League outfit Tianjin Quanjian, and it has been the substantial Chinese investment into Milan’s two biggest clubs that has prompted suggestions one of the pair could lift the Serie A title this year. 

Juventus have commanded Italian football by winning the Scudetto in five consecutive seasons with Inter’s last triumph coming in 2010 under Jose’ Mourinho and Milan’s in 2011 – their first in seven years.

AC Milan v Udinese Calcio - Serie A

Milan’s recruitment policy has been geared towards quick results, with Leonardo Bonucci and Lucas Biglia among the new arrivals in a summer outlay of around £175m for the red and black half of the city, whilst the blue and black half spent a more modest £72m – with Matias Vecino a notable acquisition. 

Napoli’s stellar start to the season and Juve’s experience may prove difficult to content with. But Inter have begun well in Serie A and Milan will be looking to transfer their positive Europe League form into the domestic competition. 

The city rivals actually go head-to-head after the international break at San Siro on October 15th in a star-studded derby.

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Inter Set Sights on Bayern Midfielder Arturo Vidal Ahead of January Transfer Window

Following the sacking of manager Carlo Ancelotti, it seems another exit could be on the horizon for Bayern Munich as Serie A side Internazionale are reportedly planning on making a move for Chilean international Arturo Vidal. 

Italian sports site Corriere dello Sport made the claim on Wednesday that the Chinese-backed side are preparing a January swoop for the 30-year-old midfielder. 

With Ancelotti Vidal’s ‘biggest fan’, his departure leaves a clear path for suitors including Inter to pursue of the tenacious former Juventus star.


Vidal is already a proven commodity in Serie A following his successful spell with Inter’s rivals Juventus between 2011 and 2015. 

The Chilean, who has yet to sign a new deal, will be out of contract in the summer of 2019 and the signs are beginning to point to the end of his spell with his current club.

The midfielder is no stranger to success, being a former four time winner of Serie A and claiming the Bundesliga crown in his two seasons at the Allianz Arena.

Borussia Dortmund v FC Bayern Muenchen - DFL Supercup 2016

For six years in a row Vidal has ended the season as the League champion, so Inter fans will be hoping that his run will continue if he does indeed make the move to the club. 

Luciano Spalletti’s side currently sit just two points off the top of the table, so a high-profile introduction in the shape of Vidal will be a welcome sight to their title challenge.  

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Inter Milan Owners Continue Club’s Resurgence With Plans for a New Headquarters

Suning Group, ​who took over Inter Milan in 2016, are reportedly planning to build a new headquarters at the club in an attempt to develop the club’s infrastructure and youth systems, according to Football Italia

With Inter’s resurgence as a European giant already taking shape, this may be the next step in sustaining the club’s position as title challengers.

It is believed that the Chinese company have been in contact with Invimit, the asset management company of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, which deals with urban construction. The construction is likely to take place in the Piazza d’Armi area, and would cover 450,000m2 of land. 

Benevento Calcio v FC Internazionale - Serie A

There are reportedly plans being made for a main headquarters, as well as new training centres for the Nerazzurri youth teams. 

Suning are willing to invest around €100m in the new project which would be seen as bringing the club forward along with the rest of Europe’s heavy investment. They hope to settle a deal by the end of this year, or early in 2018.

Inter Milan currently sit in third, level on points with second place Juventus. After last season’s disappointing seventh placed finish, the club will be delighted with their superb start to the season. 

This project for investment at the core of the club show’s the owner’s ambition for Inter, who will be looking to return to the glory days of European silverware. 

Having fallen down the peck order since Jose Mourinho left the club in 2010, they will be looking to maintain their resurgence this season, but also in the future which is what this project is aiming to achieve.

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Inter Tipped to Wait for Arsenal Star to Become Free Agent in Summer Before Making Approach

Inter Milan are unlikely to make their approach for rumoured target Mesut Ozil any sooner than the end of the season after seeming to accept that the Arsenal play-maker probably won’t be on the move in the January transfer window.

Ozil is due to be out of contract on 30th June and looks no closer to agreeing an extension.

Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League

That could tempt Arsenal to sell him in January to ensure they recoup at least some of their £42.5m outlay. But for the money suitors would be willing to offer with only six months to go, the Gunners may be willing to risk it by keeping him until the end of the season.

“We are studying our squad. We have scouts everywhere and they look at every kind of player,” Inter chairman Erick Thohir told Premium Sport.

“I don’t think players like [Ozil] will be leaving in January. Luciano Spalletti knows this team has room for improvement, that’s what we are working on.”

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Inter director Piero Ausilio said similar on the subject of Ozil at the weekend.

“We are thoroughly evaluating our players and watching foreign leagues at the same time – we are in place. But, anyhow, we do not think operations for players like Ozil are possible before June,” he commented.

News of Inter’s apparent interest in Ozil surfaced last week when Thohir commented on the possibility of pursuing the former Real Madrid star. Even then, though, the chairman warned against anything being expected after being burned in the January market before.

Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League

As things stand, Ozil is eligible to open formal talks with non-English clubs from 1st January and could sign a pre-contract agreement to secure a free transfer in the summer should he wish.

To avoid that, ex-Premier League manager Stuart Pearce believes Arsenal should definitely sell in January when the transfer market re-opens. “Part of me thinks if they get good money for Ozil, take the money and move on,” he told Sky Sports.

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6 Things You May Have Missed From Around Europe This Weekend

Mainland Europe was a feisty place in football this weekend with red cards, hard-fought comebacks and scheduling controversy dominating the headlines from Spain to Turkey.

Here are six things you may have missed from around Europe this weekend.

6. Cold Caldara

Napoli became the outright leaders of Serie A this weekend, with a 3-0 win over Cagliari. I Ciucciarelli are now the first team in the division’s history to score 25 goals in their opening seven fixtures.

Meanwhile closest challengers, Juventus slipped up in Bergamo with a 2-2 draw against Atalanta. 

Massimiliano Allgeri’s side had raced to a 0-2 lead within half an hour courtesy of goals from Federico Bernardeschi and Gonzalo Higuain, before being pegged back by none other than Mattia Caldara – Juve’s €25m January signing who has been loaned back to Atalanta until the summer of 2018.

The young centre-back pounced on a rebound to net the 500th goal conceded by Gigi Buffon in a Juventus shirt. The legendary stopper let in his 501st in the second half when Bryan Cristante powered in a header.  

5. Voting With Their Seats

After much heated debate Barcelona played their controversially scheduled La Liga clash with Las Palmas behind closed doors on Sunday, 

The fixture – which league supremo (and Real Madrid fan) Javier Tebas refused to reschedule so as not to conflict with the Catalan independence vote – suddenly became ‘mes que’ a game, while the visitors to the Camp Nou were permitted to emblazon a Spanish flag on their shirts.

The eventual decision to play in front of an empty stadium came just 25 minutes before kick off leaving thousands of fans jeering outside. 

The club and police denied there were security concerns around the fixture, while club president Josep Maria Bartomeu claimed the decision was made as a protest against the scheduling.

Home-grown Catalan star Sergio Busquets opened the scoring in the eerie atmosphere, while Lionel Messi took his league tally to 11 with a brace to hand Barcelona a 3-0 win.

4. Heated Derby

Barça’s victory in front of 100,000 empty seats wasn’t the only odd piece of scheduling on match day seven in La Liga.

Tebas also caught flak for organising the Andalusian derby (between Sevilla and Malaga) to be played in the searing afternoon heat, rather than in the evening.

The game, which Sevilla won 2-0 with second half goals from Ever Banega and Luis Muriel, was halted in each half for a water break, while reports claimed some fans were overcome by the heat at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. 

3. Hassled Hoffenheim

Hoffenheim, the last undefeated team in Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues in 2016/17, lost their unbeaten status somewhat sooner this campaign with a 3-2 away defeat to Freiburg.

The unexpected victory is Freiburg’s first of the season. The visitors took the lead through Robin Hack early on, but manager Julian Naglesmann had his celebrations cut short with a quickfire double from the hosts.

Freiburg added a third late on in the second half, before an own goal gave Hoffenheim some unfulfilled hope at the death.

Meanwhile, Willy Sagnol’s first game in charge of Bayern Munich ended in disappointment, as the interim coach’s side were pegged back after going 0-2 up away in the German capital.

Former Chelsea man Salomon Kalou scored the equaliser to add to a difficult start for the Bundesliga champions, who are now five points off early pace setters Dortmund.

2. Fenerbahce See Red Again

After one of the most heated Istanbul derbies of all time against Besiktas last week (in which five players were sent to queue for an early bath), you might reasonably think Fenerbahce manager Aykut Kocaman would tell his players to calm it down just a tad in the next few fixtures.

However, Fenerbahce ended the 1-0 defeat to Akhisarspor with nine men (once again) as Alper Potuk and former Liverpool hard man Martin Skrtel picked up reds in the final ten minutes as the visitors chased the game.

Ex-Spurs duo Vincent Janssen and Roberto Soldado also picked up yellows to take the club’s card count for the season to 19 yellows and four reds in seven games.

1. Angers Management

While Fenerbahce are racking up quite the disciplinary record in the Turkish Super Lig this season, none of their sendings off have been quite as unusual as Marcelo’s dismissal in Lyon’s 3-3 draw with Angers in Ligue 1.

A goal fest in the Loire Valley caught international attention when the Brazilian defender had his yellow turned into a red for flicking the card out of the referee’s hand.

On repeat viewing it appears as though the action was unintentional, but the match official Mikael Lesage was apparently not in the mood for insubordination (deliberate or otherwise) and immediately reached for this red.

The moment appeared to change the game with Angers (who were 1-3 down at the time) fighting back for a point.


Inter Director Casts Doubt Over January Move for Arsenal Star Despite Confirmation of Interest

Internazionale ​sporting director Piero Ausilio has cast doubt over a move for Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil in the January transfer window, believing that the Gunners will not consider selling the player.

Ozil has entered the final year of his contract in north London, and despite talks being opened over a new deal for the German international last year, it’s expected that he will see out the remainder of his contract and leave for free next summer. 

Arsenal’s lack of progress over recent years has seen both Ozil and Alexis Sanchez hold off on penning extensions. Sanchez is out of contract at the end of the season too, and has been linked with the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, while Ozil’s options are believed to be more limited.

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Inter chairman Erik Thohir, however, last week confirmed the club’s interest in the playmaker, saying he was “definitely one of those players we are looking at”, but Ausilio’s quotes have now cast doubt over Ozil’s potential move to Italy during the current season. Instead, it’s expected that they’ll attempt to lure him to Italy next summer.

Ausilio said Inter are looking at potentially making some signings in January, but likely in other positions. He said to Premium Sport, via the ​Mirror

“We are studying our squad, we have scouts everywhere and they look at every kind of player. I don’t think players like him (Ozil) will be leaving in January.

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“Luciano Spalletti knows this team has room from improvement, that’s what we are working on. We are looking for new opportunities (at centre back) but we have Danilo D’Ambrosio and other Primavera team players.”


Benevento 1-2 Inter Milan: Brozovic Double Sees Inter Go Above Juventus Into Second Place

Inter Milan saw themselves rise above Juventus into second place in Serie A thanks to their 2-1 victory over a spirited Benevento side at the Stadio Ciro Vigorito on Sunday.

A fine brace from Inter midfielder Marcelo Brozovic either side of the 20 minute mark saw Inter race into a 2-0 lead, before Marco D’Alessandro struck back for Benevento on the stroke of half time

In what was a rather slow quarter of an hour, where Inter largely dominated the early stages of possession, the game burst into life on the stroke of 20 minutes.


Following a fine, flowing move from Inter, Antonio Candreva found himself on the left-hand side of the 18 yard box, pulling off a neat inside step-over to evade his marker, shortly followed by a lovely chipped ball into the box where Brozovic, making a late run from midfield, was there to meet it with a powerful header into the top corner.

Just three minutes later, it was 2-0 Inter. Brozovic made a mazy run into Benevento’s half, being taken down by Costa after a swift pirouette by the Croatian near-enough 25 yards out from goal. Brozovic duly stepped forward for the resulting free-kick, and what a free-kick it was. 

In what was a wonderful showing of technique, Brozovic struck it powerfully with the inside of his right foot, with the ball flying into the top right of Belec’s goal.


However, this sparked life into Benevento, with the Italians refusing to lie down. Just two minutes after the goal, Benevento had the ball in the back of Inter’s net. 

Ledian Memushaj hit a wonderful strike from long distance which Handanovic could only watch, but it cannoned back off the crossbar. It fell to D’Alessandro, who dispatched the ball into the bottom right corner, but it was ruled out for offside.

Benevento came close a couple more times. There was a scramble in the Inter box following a corner, but Costa and Memushaj could only flap at their opportunities. D’Alessandro also came close, being played in behind Inter’s defence, but he steered his shot just wide of Handanovic’s left post.

Before you knew it, Inter had the ball in the back of Benevento’s net for the third time. Brozovic had the opportunity of a hat-trick denied by Belec, with the rebound being met by Icardi who placed it into the keepers net, only for it to be ruled offside.

On the stroke of half-time however, Benevento got what they deserved. Piettro Iemmello was well placed for a shot on goal, but decided to play in D’Alessandro, who beat Handanovic with a precise shot off the inside of his right post.

Benevento Calcio v FC Internazionale - Serie A

Benevento came out in the second-half frustrating Inter, looking to take the game to the Italian giants with a spirited display, and nearly got their reward with half an hour left to play. 

After a lovely passing move from Bene, the ball went out to the right-hand side for Lombardi, who sprayed in a ball to the back post for D’Alessandro, who’s header came back of the post.

The game was much less open in the second compared to the first half, with Inter seeming more concerned with conserving their lead rather than adding to it. 

There were a few opportunities for them to extend their lead, with Icardi blasting over a Perisic cut-back which he really should have done better with. Perisic also came close with a goal-bound curling effort, but the keeper managed to tip it over the bar.

Icardi, again, should have added to Inter’s lead, after being played through in behind the defence with a bouncing ball, but when faced one-on-one with Belec, his attempted chip went straight at the keeper.

Ultimately, Inter were able to hang on to their lead, despite a brave Benevento display, and retained their unbeaten start to Serie A this season.