RUMOURS: Inter want Darmian on loan

The former Torino full-back has featured only once this season after being pushed to the periphery, and he is reportedly keen on a move back to Serie A

Inter Milan are set to make a move for Manchester United defender Matteo Darmian in January, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

It is reported the Serie A giants want the fullback on an initial loan with a view to a permanent move in the summer.

The 26-year-old, who moved to United from Torino last summer, has featured just once this season in the Europa League defeat at Feyenoord.

The Italy international has struggled with injuries and is not part of manager Jose Mourinho’s plans.


Sparta Prague 3-1 Inter: De Boer's men beaten again in Europa League

Rodrigo Palacio supplied the only cheer of a forgettable evening for the Nerazzurri, as they were soundly beaten in the Czech capital

Inter suffered a first-half capitulation and slumped to their second consecutive Europa League defeat as Sparta Prague ran out deserved 3-1 winners at Generali Arena.

Striker Vaclav Kadlec scored twice in the first half of a contest in which Sparta were given an easy ride by an Inter defence that looked vulnerable throughout.

Rodrigo Palacio pulled one back for the visitors in an improved second half, but the game ended miserably for Frank de Boer’s side as Andrea Ranocchia was sent off and Mario Holek scored late on to make it 3-1.

Victory over Inter gave interim Sparta coach David Holoubek a dream start to his time in charge, which began after Zdenek Scasny was sacked in the aftermath of a 2-0 defeat to city rivals Slavia.

Last year’s Czech First League runners-up were billed as a club in crisis ahead of the game but it was Inter who looked out of sorts, and any rapport De Boer had built with Inter fans after three wins in their last four Serie A games felt rather fragile at the end of another sorely disappointing European performance.

Inter were caught out in the seventh minute when Felipe Melo misjudged what looked like a simple interception, allowing Borek Dockal’s pass to roll through to Kadlec, who drilled the ball low into the corner of the net.

De Boer’s side lacked shape and confidence early on and Jeison Murillo twice gave his team-mates a scare, first getting needlessly caught in possession by Dockal and then almost gifting the hosts a penalty after felling Kadlec.

However, with 25 minutes gone, Martin Frydek’s simple free-kick found Kadlec completely unmarked and the striker was allowed to stride into the box unchallenged before slotting past Samir Handanovic.

Only a timely interception from Murillo stopped Ales Cermak making it 3-0 in a nightmarish first half for the visitors, as he raced to meet a Kadlec delivery that flashed across goal.

Daniel Holzer created a similar chance for Vyacheslav Karavayev early in the second half as Inter’s porous defence showed little sign of firming up.

Kadlec should have had a hat-trick when he beat Murillo for pace and clipped a shot over Handanovic only to see the ball clear the crossbar, but Inter at last began to gain a foothold on proceedings.

Antonio Candreva offered some creativity with a good cross that Eder headed over the bar, before Palacio dragged Inter back into the game 19 minutes from time.

The Argentine forward played a one-two with Eder to cut through Sparta’s defence and he placed his shot into the corner of the net, giving Tomas Koubek no chance.

Inter’s comeback was short-lived, however. Ranocchia was sent off for a second bookable offence and when Ondrej Mazuch headed Kadlec’s free-kick back across the face of goal, Holek nodded into an open net to wrap up a fine victory for Sparta.

'Kondogbia doesn't want to listen' – De Boer slams midfielder after Inter draw

The Dutch coach substituted the midfielder after just 28 minutes at San Siro on Sunday and criticised him after the game for continuing to make the same mistakes

Geoffrey Kondogbia’s Inter career is in crisis after coach Frank de Boer slammed his performance in the 1-1 draw against Bologna.
Selfish Cristiano Ronaldo must realise Real Madrid come first after latest tantrum
The French midfielder was caught in possession by Bologna’s Saphir Taider after 14 minutes at San Siro, allowing the visitors to open the scoring through Mattia Destro.

Ivan Perisic scored with a volley to level the match before half-time, but Kondogbia’s part in the game lasted just 28 minutes and he was replaced by Assane Demoya Gnoukouri.

After the game, which ended Inter’s run of three consecutive Serie A wins, De Boer criticised Kondogbia, telling Mediaset Premium: “This morning we talked about it, that he had to play simple and on the Bologna goal he did not do that.

“We already talked about this and he makes the same mistakes often.
‘Pep is a great coach with a s*** personality’
“We cannot accept that from players when we’ve told them many times already. I told him this morning, so if he doesn’t want to listen, then what can I do? It’s not the first time we’ve discussed it.

“We told him many times, he doesn’t want to listen.”
De Boer made three changes to the side that beat Empoli 2-0 in Inter’s previous match, replacing injured duo Jeison Murillo and Danilo D’Ambrosio with Andrea Ranocchia and Ever Banega.

Brazilian striker Gabriel Barbosa made his debut as a second-half substitute, but he was unable to affect a result that De Boer admitted was disappointing.

“We did drop two points, yes,” said the Dutchman. “This morning we found out that we had to change two players. In the opening 20 minutes we were tense, then Bologna’s goal changed the game.

“Effectively, we lost it in those opening 20 minutes, because the chances we created did not go in. After 20 minutes, I saw a team that wanted to win and played pretty well.

“However, in the final 20 minutes we suffered a little because we got stretched out and many players were tired. It was not our best performance, but I am content with the work we’ve done.”

On Gabriel’s performance, he said: “It wasn’t easy to come on with all that pressure of a 1-1 situation, but in my view he did pretty well.

“We know he can play better. This is only his first appearance.”

Bologna coach Roberto Donadoni was pleased to see his side collect their first Serie A point of the season away from home, saying: “We held out, battled and had two incredible chances at the end that we could’ve taken to even win.

“Overall I am satisfied, as it’s not easy for anyone to get a result at San Siro.”

Gabriel needs time to get used to Serie A – Ausilio

The Brazilian made his debut for the Nerazzurri during Sunday’s draw with Bologna, and one member of the Serie A team’s board has backed him to succeed

Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio has stressed Gabriel Barbosa will need time to get used to his new surroundings, but is confident the Brazilian forward will be a success at San Siro.

Gabriel joined Inter from Santos in the closing stages of the transfer window and made his debut for Frank de Boer’s men in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Bologna.

The 20-year-old failed to find the net as Inter spilled points after three wins on the trot and Ausilio has called for patience with the young attacker.

“Gabigol needs time to get used to Italian football,” Ausilio told reporters. “Plus he needs time work more with Frank de Boer and his new team-mates.
“He’s got a great attitude and is keen to learn. We are delighted with his ability and he is capable of playing anywhere in attack.

“He offers something different compared to our other attackers.

“It’s now up to De Boer to get the best out of him.”

Inter 1-1 Bologna : Perisic rescues point for hosts

Frank de Boer’s side had to come from behind to secure a point while it was another miserable afternoon for Geoffrey Kondogbia who was substituted after just 28 minutes

Inter’s run of three straight Serie A wins came to a halt in a 1-1 draw against a stubborn Bologna at San Siro on Sunday.

The Nerazzurri had recovered from a slow start to Frank de Boer’s tenure by recording victories over Pescara, Juventus and Empoli, but were unable to overcome a stubborn Bologna side on their home turf.

Hunting for a first away win of the season, Bologna made the most of a sloppy Inter start when Simone Verdi robbed Geoffrey Kondogbia of possession and played in Mattia Destro to score the opener.

De Boer is still impressing his brand of attacking football on his Inter squad and it took the home side half an hour to settle into the match, but when they did the impressive Ivan Perisic volleyed home a superb equaliser.

The script appeared to be written for Brazilian striker Gabriel Barbosa to come off the bench and win it for Inter on his eagerly awaited debut, but his 18-minute appearance yielded very little and Inter squandered the chance to move three points clear of nearest rivals Roma in Serie A.

Andrea Ranocchia asserted himself on the game early on, winning key battles against dangerman Destro, but Inter’s long-ball approach proved ineffective against a Bologna side happy to sit deep.

Bologna capitalised on Inter’s uncertain start when Kondogbia gave the ball away cheaply and Verdi jinked his way into the penalty area where he played in Destro, who slotted his third goal of the season under Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.

De Boer barked instructions from the touchline and Inter responded with some improved passages of play, while Perisic volleyed wide after Davide Santon’s cross found him unmarked at the far post.

Perisic was at the heart of Inter’s improvement and the Croatia international made a telling contribution in the 37th minute when he showed great technique to expertly volley Antonio Candreva’s long pass into the bottom right-hand corner.

Ever Banega went close early in the second half and Candreva’s deflected cross tested Angelo da Costa as Inter pressed for a winner.

Bologna stemmed the flow of attacks and became more difficult to break down, although Perisic carved out an opening when he beat three defenders before playing a one-two and heading the ball wide.

De Boer recognised the need for fresh legs in attack and sent on Gabriel.

The Brazilian striker played to the crowd, gesturing for Inter’s fans to roar them to victory, but Andrea Ranocchia missed with a free header in the last few seconds of injury time and Bologna deservedly ground out their first away point of the season.

Gabigol explains choosing Inter over Juventus

The Brazilian says the challenge of helping the club back to the top was a key factor in his move to San Siro and he also admits he was keen to play with Mauro Icardi and Eder

Gabriel Barbosa says he preferred Inter over Juventus due to the exciting project on offer at San Siro.

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The Brazil international could make his Inter debut at home to Bologna on Sunday after he was an unused substitute for their 2-0 win at Empoli on Wednesday.

The striker nicknamed ‘Gabigol’ was in demand prior to his move from Santos last month, with Barcelona and Juventus also among the clubs reportedly chasing him.

Gabriel, though, was tempted by the challenge of helping Inter return to the top of the European game.

“I moved for the project,” the 20-year-old said to Fox Sports.
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“Inter want to return to being a very strong team and because of that, I decided to go to Italy with my family.

“There are great players like Antonio Candreva and Mauro Icardi who score a lot of goals. And also Eder, who is Brazilian like me.

“I had a crazy welcome at the airport in Milan and at that point I did not know I would be an Inter player.
“I am happy with my choice, I think I have come into a great team which I have always heard good things about. This is why I preferred Inter to Juventus.

“I was told that the strongest rivalry is with Juventus and not AC Milan.

“I decided to leave Santos because I thought I had stayed for quite a long time and learned quite a lot of things. I did what I felt was right.”

After initially making a shaky start to Frank de Boer’s reign, Inter have won three consecutive Serie A matches.

Gabriel: Inter are Italy's biggest club

The Brazil international, who joined the Nerazzurri from Santos in the summer, also claims he turned down several clubs to seal a move to the San Siro

Gabriel Barbosa believes Inter are Italy’s biggest club and says he turned down offers from a number of other sides to join them.

The Brazil international was also heavily linked with moves to Barcelona and Juventus, while there was interest from China.

Nevertheless, Inter’s project convinced the 20-year-old to make the move to Milan instead.

“I’m very happy to be part of the history of this club. The whole project at Inter convinced me, from the coaches to the players. This is the biggest club of Italy,” Gabriel told reporters.

“I turned down a big offer from China in favour of Inter. Other clubs wanted me as well, but the fans’ affection made the difference for me. I’m here to help them win.

READ MORE | De Boer pleased with Inter progress

“Everyone has been so kind to me. I can’t wait to play with my new team-mates. I want to give my contribution. I feel in good shape and I’m available for selection for this weekend’s match against Bologna. 

“It was an intense summer but Inter gave me time to rest and ease myself into the squad. I want to help my team-mates and I can’t wait to start.

“My position isn’t important, helping the team is. The treble-winning Inter gave everything in games. That’s what I want to do. We have great players here.”

Gabriel made the bench for Inter’s 2-0 win over Empoli on Wednesday, but Frank de Boer opted against bringing on the former Santos forward for his debut.

How far could Ronaldo have gone without his injuries?

The Brazilian legend is turning 40, and while he achieved incredible things during his career he could have gone even further if it were not for his chronic physical problems
Ronaldo Nazario de Lima amazed the world, and more than earned his nickname of ‘O Fenomeno’ as he assured his place in football’s hall of fame. He is one of the greatest No. 9s in Brazilian history, and holds the title of second-highest World Cup scorer of all time after travelling to no less than four competitions.

READ MORE: How Brazil have changed under Tite | A second chance for Thiago Silva | Brazil’s World Cup qualifying campaign


The World Cup; the Confederations Cup; the Copa America; La Liga: all feature amongst the now-retired striker’s trophy collection. If one takes his individual prizes into account, the list would grow even longer.


(Foto: Getty Images)

Ronaldo was chosen as the best player in the world on three occasions, in 1996, 1997 and 2002. He also picked up seven top-scorer awards, in tournaments as varied as the Copa Libertadores, La Liga, the Copa America and the World Cup.


But all of those achievements seem almost insufficient bearing in mind the promise of the superstar when he was taking his first steps in the world of football. Strong and rapid, he drove defenders mad with his skills and at just 25 he scored eight goals in a single World Cup: two of them in a spectacular final to down Germany. It is even more impressive considering that O Fenomeno was returning from two years of inactivity following a serious knee injury.


(Foto: Getty Images)

At Barcelona Ronaldo smashed 47 goals in 49 games, surpassing the records of legends like Romario and Johan Cruyff. Not satisfied with being Catalunya’s prime hitman, Ronaldo went on to do the same at Inter, inspiring the Italian giants to the UEFA Cup. 


(Foto: Getty Images)

Ronaldo’s career path brought one great surprise. He joined the ranks of Real Madrid’s Galacticos and won over one of the most demanding supports in the world, even with the added handicap of having shined for their bitter rivals. At the Santiago Bernabeu Ronaldo overcame the initial doubts, gained the affection of the stands and is remembered fondly by the Blancos.


(Foto: Getty Images)

Amongst so many goals and memorable moments, however, one question remains unanswered. Could the superstar have been even better without the chronic injuries that dogged him? The first appeared at the dawn of his career, back in 1995 when he was just 19. 


A scan showed inflammation in both knees and damaged cartilage in the right joint. His most serious injury came in the 1999-2000, when a snapped tendon forced him out for five long months.


After his recovery, the No. 9 suffered another devastating setback when in his first game back he suffered a complete rupture of the tendon in his knee. The image went around the world via television, and was embedded in supporters’ memories. That injury kept the Inter forward out for another 15 months.


(Foto: Getty Images)

From that point onwards Ronaldo was forced to live in constant pain, often missing games to recover. In total he missed almost three years of play due to injury, and finally hung up his boots at 34.


But even with all those serious problems, O Fenomeno enthralled the world and carved out a deserved place in history as one of the best ever to take the pitch. If it were not for injuries, more goals and more titles would surely have come. 


(Foto: Getty Images)

But the injuries also helped him become the person he is today: a man that overcame those difficulties, who after more than a year out of the game returned as a king to deliver the World Cup and be chosen once more as the world’s best player. It was a comeback worthy of Hollywood. 


(Foto: Getty Images)

The star also helped transform the role of the centre-forward in modern football. He brought together skill, strength and speed in a way few had previously, ending the idea that a No. 9 was tasked merely with hanging off the defence and putting the ball into the net. 


Other great Ronaldos would come, such as his 2002 partner in crime Ronaldinho and the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo. But both of those owe a great debt to the original R9, who left his example for the world and influenced the pair more than even they could imagine. 

De Boer pleased with Inter progress

The Nerazzurri have managed to put together a two-game winning streak since their shock Europa League defeat against Hapoel Be’er Sheva under the Dutchman’s guidance

Frank de Boer has put down Inter’s strong response to their shock Europa League defeat against Hapoel Be’er Sheva to his players getting a better grip of his philosophy.

In the six days since the 2-0 reverse to the Israeli champions at San Siro, the Milan club have beaten Serie A champions Juventus and won comfortably at Empoli on Wednesday.

Speaking after the latter victory, De Boer – who took over the Inter reins in the summer – explained that his charges are starting to adapt to his methods better.

“What has changed from the Europa League match? My players,” he said in quotes reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I’ve been coaching this group for only a month, and players are assimilating my methods and are beginning to understand what I want from them.

READ MORE | Icardi double seals Inter win over Empoli

“Ours is a project that cannot be implemented within days and requires a lot of energy. Over time, you will see it bear fruits.”

“It was a good match [against Empoli,” he added. “After the two goals, we did well to control it, despite a small decline in the second half.

“That was only natural after spending so much energy against Juventus [on Sunday].

“The attitude, however, was the right one and I am glad to see that the boys have the same philosophy as the coach. This is important.”

AC Milan considered De Boer as new coach – Galliani

Inter’s Dutch boss was one of the candidates for the managerial position at their city rivals, with Vincenzo Montella getting the job in the end

AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani admits his side considered appointing current Inter head coach Frank de Boer ahead of the 2016-17 campaign, before eventually opting for Vincenzo Montella instead.

De Boer was available after stepping down as Ajax boss and was heavily linked with a move to the Rossoneri, only for Milan to opt for ex-Fiorentina and Sampdoria head coach Montella on a two-year deal.

The Dutchman eventually ended up in Serie A after all, replacing Roberto Mancini at Inter last month, but could very well have been in charge of their city rivals had things turned out differently.

“Montella, De Boer and [Sampdoria boss Marco] Giampaolo were all candidates to become our coach,” Galliani told Milan Channel.

“There were six options in total, including [Cristian] Brocchi and two giants with great experience.
READ MORE | Niang: Montella will lead Milan to Europe

“We then decided to sign Montella and we are pleased with our choice. 

“Montella’s teams play good football and this is something Silvio Berlusconi, myself and fans appreciate. We have to continue playing like this.

“We have faced strong teams but there’s still a lot to do. The match against Udinese shows how unpredictable Serie A can be.”

Milan – who have nine points from their first five Serie A matches – travel to Tuscany to play Fiorentina on Sunday.