Italian Reports Claim Napoli Have Agreed €30m Fee for Inter Milan Target Lucas Torreira

​Napoli have agreed a €30m (£26m) fee with Sampdoria for Inter Milan transfer target Lucas Torreira, according to reports in Italy. 

The 22-year-old – who has been called up to the Uruguay national squad for the first time recently – has been linked with a number of Serie A sides alongside Nerazzurri, including AC Milan, Juventus and Roma, as well as Primera Division outfit Atletico Madrid.

However, according to Turin-based newspaper Tuttosport, as quoted by ​CalciomercatoPartenopei currently lead the race, with the report claiming a €30m fee has already been agreed with Blucerchiati president Massimo Ferrero. 

Previous reports have claimed that Napoli intend to finance the deal by offloading Amadou Diawara to a Premier League suitor, with Tottenham Hotspur said to be interested. 

Despite the summer still many months away, Napoli are keen to take advantage of Inter Milan’s monetary uncertainties, with a combination of the Financial Fair Play regulations as well as the lack of confirmation surrounding a Champions League spot for next season delaying their bid. 

It now seems, however, that Nerazzurri’s slow pace has cost them a central midfielder who has been a stand out performer for Sampdoria on many occasions during his 28 showings across all competitions so far this season.

But despite the disappointment in missing out on Torreira, Inter boss Luciano Spalletti is reportedly lining up an alternative target in Cagliari ace Nicolo Barella.

Although, both Juventus and Roma will attempt to make their swoop as difficult as possible, with the pairing also showing interest in the 21-year-old. 

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AC Milan & Inter Prepare For Summer Face Off to Sign Real Madrid Forgotten Man Mateo Kovačić

Italian sides AC Milan and Internazionale are preparing to face off in a summer transfer battle, as both sides look to land Real Madrid’s forgotten man Mateo Kovačić.

As reported by Football Italia, the San Siro sides are both keen to sign the Croatian international, who has made just five league starts for his side this season. Kovačić joined Los Blancos from Inter in 2015, but has failed to make an impact since his €29m move to the Bernabéu. 

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Given Kovačić’s former allegiances to Inter, I Nerazzurri are currently the strong favourites to land the 23-year-old. However, AC Milan’s sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli used to work for Inter, and is believed to have a good rapport with the versatile midfielder. Competition is certainly set to be stiff, with Kovačić still regarded as a reliable and talented option.

AC Milan have recovered well from their shocking start to the campaign, and are now seventh in the table after a resurgence under new manager Gennaro Gattuso. 

Inter have experienced a reverse in their fortunes, with their impressive start to the season stopping abruptly midseason, with any hope of a title challenge fading rapidly as Juventus and Napoli stormed ahead.

In other news, ​a sensational report from Spain has made the bizarre claim that Liverpool are set to make a move for Real Madrid’s star right-back Dani Carvajal, as Reds boss Jürgen Klopp looks to bolster his defensive options ahead of the 2018/19 season. 

While Los Blancos may well look to reshape their squad in the summer, selling Carvajal would certainly raise some eyebrows.


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Argentine Starlet Set for Inter Medical as I Nerazzurri Beat Barcelona & Arsenal in Transfer Tussle

​Inter appear to have beaten European rivals Barcelona and Arsenal to the signing of Lautaro Martinez, as reports suggest a medical is underway for the striker.

Sport Mediaset (h/t ​talkSPORT) have claimed that Martinez will undergo the first part of his fitness tests with the Serie A club in his native Argentina ahead of a proposed £17m deal.

The Gunners and La Blaugrana had been monitoring the wonderkid’s situation ahead of potentially making their own moves for him, but the duo are set to be disappointed if Martinez passes his medical and agrees personal terms with Inter.

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Martinez has played down reports that Inter and his current club Racing Club have agreed on a fee that would see him head to Europe, but Inter will be confident that they have snapped up one of the hottest prospects in South America.

If the 20-year-old passes his tests in his homeland, further examinations will take place in Milan upon his arrival before Inter officially sign off on the documents required to make him a Nerazzurri star.

That second round of tests would likely not take place until July, but a deal would be all-but-complete if Martinez doesn’t fail to pass the medical in Argentina.

(You may also be interested in ​Lautaro Martinez’s Father Claims Argentinian Star ‘Turned Down Real Madrid’ for Inter Move)

The Under-20 international has piqued the interest of the European trio in the past 12 months thanks to form that has seen him net 17 times in 43 senior appearances for Racing.

The bulk of those goals have come during a significant purple patch for Martinez, with 11 strikes plundered in just 13 matches so far this term, and will have led Inter to make the first move for his signature.

Barcelona and Arsenal have been interested in him – reportedly at least – since August and December of last year respectively, but both are now set to lose out to Inter in the race to capture Martinez’s services.


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‘Cultural Revolution’: Serie A Announce Changes to Summer & January Transfer Windows

Serie A commissioner Giovane Malago has confirmed plans to close the Italian transfer window early this summer, following a similar move already in place for Premier League clubs in England.

Last September, Premier League clubs collectively voted to prematurely end the English summer transfer window on the Thursday before the start of the 2018/19 season this coming August.

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And, after Serie A dates were announced for the 2018/19 campaign, Malago has revealed that clubs will need to have concluded their transfer business by 18th August, 24 hours before the start of the season, as opposed to the end of the month like before.

Serie A has even gone a step further and will also cut short the January transfer window. With clubs set to play over the Christmas period in 2018/19, including on 26th December, the window will open on 1st January and close 24 hours before the first games after the winter break.

Malago described the changes as a ‘real cultural revolution a real cultural revolution’.

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Last summer, Juventus completed a deal for PSG midfielder Blaise Matuidi on the day before the season started. That would still have been possible under the new rules, but their later capture of German defender Benedikt Howedes on 31st August would not.

It remains to be seen if further European countries will follow suit.

(You may also be interested in ‘Netflix & Skill: 7 Football Movies, Series & Documentaries to Watch This Year’)

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Chelsea and Manchester United on Red Alert as Inter Ready to Sell Winger for the Right Price

​Chelsea and Manchester United have been given a boost in their chances of signing Inter winger Antonio Candreva, with reports suggesting Inter are willing to sell at the right price.

​TuttoMercato are reporting that Inter are more inclined to sell the Italian, as he is falling out of favour under Luciano Spalletti. 

Candreva moved to Inter in 2016 for £19.5m from Lazio and impressed last season, scoring eight goals for the club. However, he is yet to score this season and is really struggling for form at I Nerazzurri.

Chelsea have been known long term suitors of the wide man, and the players agent recently revealed that ​Candreva came close to joining the London club in January 2017.

Whether or not Chelsea and United are still interested in signing the 31-year-old is another question. Failing to score in 24 Serie A appearances is a worrying stat, especially when deployed in an attacking role. 

However, it is worth pointing out that he has provided eight assists this term, which proves that he still poses an attacking threat. 

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A further boost to the English clubs looking to secure his signature came when he openly spoke about his love for the Premier League and his desire to play there. 

He said: ”I really like the Premier League, as it’s an exceptional competition. I’d love to have a go at playing in the Premier League.”

With the winger falling out of favour at his current club, those interested will be hoping they can get Candreva for a cut price figure in the summer.


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Captains of Both Inter & Milan Agreed on Decision to Postpone the 168th Milan Derby

​Following ​the tragic passing of Fiorentina captain Davide Astori over the weekend the footballing world came to a standstill, resulting the cancellation of all Serie A matches that weekend.

Among the fixtures postponed was the 168th instance of the Milan derby, with heavyweights Internazionale and AC Milan set to clash at the San Siro on the Sunday.

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However, as reported by Italian sports outlet ​Corriere Della Sera, the captains of both sides, Leonardo Bonucci of the Rossoneri and Andrea Ranoccia of the Nerazzuri, spoke over the phone and came to an agreement that it would be for the best that the Milan derby didn’t go ahead.

There have already been discussions regarding the reimbursement of ticket prices to fans who planned to be in attendance for the game however, there has been an even greater problem encountered by Italian Football Federation with regards to the rescheduling of last weekends fixtures.

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While five of the postponed matches are set to be played on the 14th March, due to Milan’s participation in the Europa League and the final of the Coppa Italia, their congested fixture list has made it difficult to schedule a suitable date for the fixture to be played while still complying with FIFA regulations.

FIFA has imposed that every league across the world should either come to a conclusion or take a brief hiatus as of 20th May, leaving both Milan sides with a potentially uncompleted season, assuming an amicable solution or compromise cannot be reached. 


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Inter Target Ramires Focused on Success in China But Eyes Chelsea Return Before End of His Career

​Former Chelsea midfielder Ramires has expressed his desire to one day return to the Blues before he calls time on his career, with speculation surrounding the Brazilian’s future after recent links to Inter. 

Ramires is currently in China, playing for Jiangsu Suning. The ex-Blues midfielder was briefly the most expensive signing by a Chinese club when he was bought for £25m, with the club currently headed by former England manager Fabio Capello.

Ramires remains a Jiangsu player, but recent reports claimed he was close to a January move to Inter. The Brazilian spoke to ​UOL Esporte to respond to the rumours.

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“There’s been lots of talk about Inter, but nothing concrete has come my way, at least until today,” said the Brazilian. 

“Everyone knows Inter are a great club and that playing in Europe again is a wish of mine, but for now I’m thinking about helping Jiangsu have a great 2018. Nothing else is going through my head right now.”

Jiangsu Suning finished 12th in the 2017 edition of the Chinese Super League. They finished second the previous year and will be hoping for a stronger 2018 campaign, having won their opening fixture 3-1 against Guizhou Hengfeng.

(You may also be interested in Viaggio in Italia: Inter Eye Summer Swoop for Tottenham Winger Erik Lamela)

Before then Ramires enjoyed six years at Chelsea from 2010 to 2016. He won a league title, League Cup, FA Cup, Europa League and Champions League with the Blues and remembers his time at Stamford Bridge fondly.

He added: “Chelsea? I’ll always have special affection for them and I want to play for them again before finishing my career. I know the doors of Stamford Bridge will always be open to me and that wearing their jersey again would be spectacular.”


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Mino Raiola Reveals ‘Client Worth €100m’ Will Move to Italy or England This Summer for Nothing

Super agent Mino Raiola has declared that Mario Balotelli is set to leave Nice this summer after spending the last two years in France – to find a new club in either the Premier League or Serie A.

Balotelli, who Raiola believes is worth €100m in today’s market, would be available on a free transfer and his agent claims he has already been talking to suitors on the striker’s behalf.

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“Mario is ready to come back [to Italy or England], Raiola told Italian broadcaster RAI.

“He has matured and is one of the top ten attackers to the world, and the number one Italian. He is worth €100m, but will move for nothing,” the agent added.

“I’m already dealing with many clubs in England and Italy. I spoke with Juventus, Roma, Napoli, Inter,” he continued, before admitting that a third spell at AC Milan is not on the cards.

“Milan? No, because there [sporting director Massimiliano] Mirabelli is there and I cannot talk to him, I’m not at his level.”

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Balotelli had previously also played for Inter, Manchester City and Liverpool before winding up at Nice two years ago after an injury ravaged season on loan at Milan in 2015/16.

The often controversial forward scored 17 goals in 28 appearances in all competitions for the French club. In 2017/18, the 27-year-old has enjoyed his most prolific season to date, netting 21 times in 29 appearances so far, the first time he has ever gone over 20 in a single campaign.

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In talking to Serie A’s title challengers, Raiola is certainly aiming high for his client and it will be interesting to learn over time which Premier League clubs he has been propositioning.

(You may also be interested in ‘9 Players Who Overcame Huge Challenges to Reach the Top’)


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Mauro Icardi Set to Miss Out on World Cup Place Despite Goalscoring Form With Inter

Mauro Icardi will not travel with the rest of his compatriots to Russia this summer despite the stellar season he is having in the league, according to a report from Sport Mediaset.

Icardi has once again been in fine goalscoring form this season and looks set to guide the Nerazzurri back to Champions League qualification, a feat which will largely be thanks to his 18 Serie A goals.

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However, regardless of his goalscoring exploits at the San Siro, it is claimed that Icardi would be snubbed by the Albiceleste’s manager, Jorge Sampaoli, because of his already strained relationship with a number of his teammates.

It is widely understood that Icardi upset the Argentine apple cart after he started a relationship with his former teammate’s girlfriend, Wanda Nara.

As a result of their relationship – where Nara has since become Icardi’s agent – the Inter Milan goal machine has found game time hard to come by with the Argentine national team, making just four appearances.

(You may also like PSG and Real Madrid Ready Summer Bids for Inter Captain Mauro Icardi)

Gonzalo Higuaín will most likely travel with Argentina to the World Cup in what looks set to be El Pipita’s last competition with the national team.

The likes of Sergio Agüero and Lionel Messi will undoubtedly be Sampaoli’s squad, while Ángel Di María, Rodrigo Palacio and Ezequiel Lavezzi could all be chopped from the squad that reached the final in 2014.

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Italy Boss Di Biagio Confirms Gianluigi Buffon Set to Postpone International Retirement

​Luigi Di Biagio has confirmed that Gianluigi Buffon will be part of Italy’s squad for their international friendlies next month.

I Azzurri’s temporary head coach spoke to ​La Repubblica about the legendary goalkeeper among a number of other interesting topics during his first ever press conference.

Buffon had initially decided to retire from international football after Italy’s shock World Cup play-off defeat to Sweden ended their hopes of making it to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

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However, Di Biagio dropped a huge hint that the 39-year-old Juventus shot stopper would play in Italy’s two matches against Argentina and England in March, and discussions about his future would take place after that.

Di Biagio said: “I spoke to Gigi, because for one so important it is not right that he quits with Sweden – it can not be his last blue act. 

“I proposed him to play two or three games with us in March and then decide [on his future] later.”

Buffon has made a national record of 175 appearances for Italy’s national team across a two-decade spell, but he had opted to call time on his career with many expecting long-term successor Gianluigi Donnarumma to replace him.

However, the 18-year-old Milan wonderkid may need to wait a bit longer to acquire the gloves with Buffon electing to stay on for another two matches.

Meanwhile, Di Biagio has been handed the reins of the senior national side following the departure of Gian Piero Ventura after November’s shock Sweden loss thanks to the work he has carried out with the Under-21s set up.

(You may also be interested in ​Gianluigi Buffon ‘Angry’ After Juventus Ask Him to Almost Half Wage for 12 Month Contract Extension)

Asked if he believed he had a proper chance of staking his claim for the job on a permanent basis, Di Biagio admitted that he did harbour ambitions of making the step up if he managed to secure decent results against the Three Lions and La Albiceleste.

He added: “I want to prove something. Call me what you want, I’m the coach and I have to do something good for the national team and for the boys.

“The thought of me is secondary. Call me a ferryman if you want.”


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