Thohir excited by Gabigol potential

The young Brazilian attacker is regarded as one of the top prospects in the game, and he has been tipped to emulate the likes of Neymar

Inter president Erick Thohir has backed Gabriel Barbosa to be an integral part of the club’s revival after agreeing a five-year deal at San Siro.

The 20-year-old was one of football’s hottest properties during the transfer window following his exploits for Santos and Brazil, with a host of European clubs reportedly vying for his signature.

Leicester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Juventus were all linked with a move for the striker, but he chose Inter.

Gabriel – who is also known as Gabigol – followed in the footsteps of Joao Mario, Antonio Candreva and Ever Banega in moving to Inter, and Thohir believes the youngster is the final piece of the jigsaw.

He told the club’s official website: “We’re proud that Gabigol has chosen to join us in order to prove what he can do in a new footballing environment, having already showcased his ability in the Brazilian domestic leagues and with the national team.

“He will play a big part in the team both now and going forward.

“Inter have always kept an eye on young talent and we’re sure that Frank de Boer is the right coach to get the best out of stars like Gabigol.”

READ MORE  | Gabigol completes Inter move

After making his Santos debut as a substitute in Neymar’s final match before departing for Barcelona in 2013, Gabriel scored 57 times in 157 appearances in all competitions, winning two Campeonato Paulistas with the club.

He also netted on his Brazil debut in the 2-0 win over Panama in March and has now struck twice in four games for the national side.

The youngster also represented his country at the Copa America Centenario and played an important role in securing Olympic gold at Rio 2016.

Now he has set his sights on performing for Inter.

“Becoming an Inter player on my 20th birthday was a wonderful present,” he said. “It feels amazing to join a club with so much history.

“I’ve already had a taste of the Nerazzurri supporters’ passion and I can’t wait to play in front of them at San Siro. It is a dream come true.”

Chelsea and Inter offer Brozovic contracts as he arrives late for Croatia duty

The 23-year-old could be moving to Stamford Bridge but the Italian giants have offered him a new deal despite allowing the Blues to open talks

EXCLUSIVE

Inter have matched Chelsea’s initial contract offer to Marcelo Brozovic after the Blues had a €25 million bid accepted but the Croatian is demanding more money from both clubs, Goal understands. 

Brozovic’s agent, Miroslav Bicanic, has successfully encouraged a bidding war over his client’s contract, which he believes is below the player’s value to his current club. 

The midfielder has been offered around €2.5m per year by Inter, despite asking for a figure closer to €4m per year, with Chelsea also falling short of his wage demands. 

Brozovic currently earns much less than the majority of the first-team squad at Stamford Bridge and wants an even bigger offer from Chelsea than Inter in order to match the salary of some of his prospective new team-mates. 
READ MORE  | Fabregas committed to Chelsea

Sources close to Inter have told Goal that he is “extremely likely” to make a move to England before the transfer window shuts on August 31 but the Nerazzurri have offered him a new deal, if he decides to stay. 

Inter have decided to accept Chelsea’s bid as they must raise funds after the recent moves for Gabriel Barbosa and Joao Mario put them at risk of breaching Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules

Brozovic, meanwhile, was given special dispensation to spend the morning dealing with his transfer situation as his national team prepare to face Turkey on Monday.

Croatia began their first training session without the versatile midfielder, who featured in 32 games for his club last season and played for his country in Euro 2016. 

'It's still early days' – De Boer encouraged as Inter's wait for win continues

The San Siro side remain without a victory, but the Dutchman felt they showed significant improvement from the loss at Chievo last weekend

Inter coach Frank de Boer claimed his side deserved to take three points from their 1-1 home draw with Palermo on Sunday.

The Sicilian side have never beaten Inter at San Siro in Serie A and had conceded 22 goals in their previous seven matches away to the Nerazzurri in all competitions, but they were on track to end that miserable run when Andrea Rispoli’s deflected effort gave them the lead early in the second half.

Mauro Icardi levelled things up for Inter 18 minutes from time, however, and De Boer felt his players created enough chances to have won the game comfortably.

“I think we played much better than last week, so we are all disappointed with the result,” he said. “We could’ve won 4-1 considering the way we played in the second half.  We are not 100 per cent happy, but it’s still early days. 

“We changed some little details and I am confident we can get three points in the next games.

“We were unlucky to concede a goal with Palermo’s first attempt, but today the team created a great deal.”
READ MORE  | OFFICIAL: Inter seal Joao Mario signing

Inter improved upon the performance they produced in a shock opening-day defeat at Chievo and, like De Boer, defender Jeison Murillo felt the hosts should have claimed the victory.

“We’re disappointed that we didn’t manage to pick up the three points in front of our own fans, but we worked hard and kept fighting,” he said. “There’s room for improvement and that’s what we’ll work towards.

“Credit to Palermo tonight, but we gave everything and created several chances.”

Antonio Candreva impressed during his cameo off the bench, providing the cross for Icardi’s equaliser and going close to scoring a late winner with a volley that flew narrowly over the bar.

And De Boer was quick to praise the impact made by the Italy international.

“We have a lot of quality in the squad and he could’ve started,” he said.

“He did very well, you can see he wanted to make the difference.”

Palermo coach Davide Ballardini, meanwhile, knows the visitors came close to bringing their San Siro hoodoo to an end.

“We threatened to win here,” he said, “because after going 1-0 up we could’ve closed it [out].

“I compliment my team, as a draw is a creditable result in Milan. 

“Our performance was also decent against Sassuolo, despite the defeat, so I expected similar.”

Next on the agenda for Palermo, following the international break, is a home clash with Napoli, while Inter visit Pescara.

De Boer is building something at Inter – Morratti

Despite a stuttering start to the season under the Dutchman, the Nerazzurri’s board must back the new man, according to the club’s honorary chairman

Former Inter president Massimo Moratti believes new coach Frank de Boer is attempting to “build something” at the club, despite a slow start to the campaign.

Now Inter’s honorary chairman, Moratti relinquished full ownership of the club in 2013 after overseeing a successful period for the Italian giants, who claimed five Serie A titles, four Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana triumphs, as well as winning the Champions League, Club World Cup and UEFA Cup during his 18 years at the helm.

Roberto Mancini’s second spell in charge came to an end in the close season and Moratti has urged the board to fully support De Boer, who won the Eredivisie four times in succession as a coach with Ajax.
READ MORE  | De Boer encouraged by winless Inter

“De Boer is trying to build something. I think he needs time and it is too soon to comment on that,” Moratti told Italian publication ANSA after Inter’s 1-1 draw with Palermo, which followed a 2-0 opening-day defeat to Chievo.

“I imagine that he has his own objectives and his own strategy. Perhaps he is doing tests to see what is the best tactical solution.

“To replace Mancini has complicated things, of course, but once you do you have to help the new coach.”

The next match for Inter, who spent big to sign Joao Mario from Sporting CP, is away to Pescara on September 11, following the international break.

Inter 1-1 Palermo: Icardi rescues Inter as fans grow frustrated with De Boer

Nerazzurri came from behind to pick up their first point of the season under their new manager, though fans were frustrated it was not all three

Mauro Icardi spared Inter’s blushes with the equalising goal in a 1-1 draw against Palermo at San Siro on Sunday. 

Andrea Rispoli might have earned Palermo their first Serie A victory at Inter’s famous stadium when he struck the opener just after half-time, and the visitors defended bravely for 25 minutes thereafter.

But Icardi, who missed a simple chance just before netting the leveller, scored a near-post header to earn Frank de Boer his first point as Inter coach.

Inter’s struggle to claim a share of the spoils against a side that finished 16th in Serie A in 2015-16 will not have impressed De Boer, but Palermo were good value for the draw and had chances to win the game despite coming under intense pressure at the back.

De Boer will hope the addition of Joao Mario – who joined from Sporting CP earlier in the day for a fee that could reach €45 million – will render his midfield more dominant as the Nerazzurri seek to improve on their slow start to the season.

Joao Mario was paraded before the fans ahead of kick-off, but the Portuguese midfielder joined too late to feature and the home side struggled in the game’s early stages.

Palermo should have been ahead inside seven minutes when Oscar Hiljemark’s free-kick found Edoardo Goldaniga unmarked in the Inter penalty area, but the defender’s shot went wide when it seemed the slightest of touches would have taken it past Samir Handanovic and into the net.

Inter’s best chance of the half fell to Gary Medel, who found himself unmarked and on the end of Icardi’s flick-on, but the Chilean midfielder’s shot was blocked bravely by Sinisa Andelkovic.

Ivan Perisic twisted and turned his way into the box to fire a shot that forced Palermo goalkeeper Josip Posavec to palm the ball out for a corner, which Ever Banega whipped onto the head of Miranda but the Brazilian’s effort went just wide of the post.

Banega then teed up Jeison Murillo for a similar chance, but the defender’s powerful header flew wide, and Medel missed a golden chance from close range after good work by Eder to leave the game goalless at the break.

Inter’s momentum was punctured after half-time, when Hiljemark’s cross into the box was poorly cleared by Davide Santon and the ball fell to Rispoli, whose shot deflected off Santon’s leg and squirmed into the net.

Perisic almost put Inter back on level terms within seconds of the goal, but he could only head Danilo D’Ambrosio’s cross straight into the arms of Posavec.

Banega and Eder led Inter’s charge for an equaliser, and the latter sent over a cross for Medel to loop a header just wide, and D’Ambrosio had claims for a penalty dismissed when he took a tumble in the box.

Posavec made an excellent diving save to palm away D’Ambrosio’s low drive moments later, and the San Siro crowd began to jeer when Icardi spurned the kind of chance he would normally bury, sending a free header over the crossbar with 20 minutes to go.

Icardi made amends two minutes later, meeting Antonio Candreva’s cross at the near post with a close-range header that gave Posavec no chance. And Candreva then missed a chance to grab the winner in the closing stages, dragging his shot wide and the points were shared.

Joao Mario posts heartfelt thanks to Sporting after record-breaking Inter move

The Portugal international, who emerged through the Primeira Liga side’s academy, has paid tribute to the club after completing a switch to the Serie A giants

Joao Mario has thanked Sporting and their fans after completing a €45million transfer to Inter.

The midfielder, one of the star performers in Portugal’s triumphant Euro 2016 campaign, has moved to the Serie A club for a record fee for a Portuguese player sold by a Primeira Liga outfit.

It also equals the highest amount received for a player by a Portuguese club, set when Monaco signed James Rodriguez from Porto in 2013.

Joao Mario joined Sporting at the age of 11 after a spell with Porto and progressed through their highly respected youth academy before making his debut in a Europa League defeat to Lazio in 2011.

And he was eager to pay tribute to everyone at the club after departing to Inter.

“Where to start…,” he wrote on his official Instagram page. “A wonderful 14 years that I won’t forget, no matter what happens!

 

A photo posted by Joao Mario (@joaome17) on Aug 27, 2016 at 2:31pm PDT

“At this time, only the word ‘thanks’ comes to mind. I thank Sporting for everything they did for me. From my first day, I knew I had made the right choice, and I thank all the people who were part of this story.

“To all the directors, all the coaches I have had, all the people who worked for years at the academy, I say THANK YOU! You will all be in my heart, like all the sportinguistas.

READ MORE  | ‘Maksimovic is dead to me’

“From today, I am more of a fan who will cheer on Sporting, and it starts tomorrow!

“Thanks to Inter for this opportunity and for all the affection I have had during today. I’m eager to start.”

OFFICIAL: Inter seal Joao Mario signing

The Serie A club have splashed out to sign the midfielder from Sporting, following his tournament-winning exploits for Portugal at Euro 2016 in France this summer

Inter have completed the signing of Euro 2016 winner Joao Mario from Sporting.

After Sporting confirmed they had sold the 23-year-old for a fee that could reach €45 million on Saturday, the Serie A side have now announced the deal and revealed he will be presented to the club’s supporters later on Sunday.

Joao Mario played in all seven games as Portugal secured Euro 2016 glory last month and his arrival is set to be followed by that of Brazil striker Gabriel Barbosa.

Inter did not reveal the length of the midfielder’s contract as president Erick Thohir revealed he had been watched at San Siro for a long time.

OFFICIAL: @joaome17 is an #Inter player! He’ll be at the Meazza tonight https://t.co/TgBQA8lvrN #WelcomeJoaoMario pic.twitter.com/X4gtadyyk0
— F.C. Internazionale (@Inter_en) 28 August 2016

Thohir said: “We are delighted to have Joao Mario at Inter. He is a top player and we had been tracking him for a long time.

“He will further reinforce what is already a very strong squad.”

Club owner Jindong Zhang was impressed by what he saw of Inter’s new signing at the Euros.

He said: “I followed Joao throughout the Euros and saw Portugal’s victory in the final. Now I hope to see him achieve more success in an Inter shirt.”

Chelsea and Arsenal want Brozovic, agent says

The Serie A side are hoping to sell the 23-year-old midfielder ahead of the close of the window, with London being the preferred destination, his representative says

Marcelo Brozovic’s agent claims Chelsea and Arsenal are trying to bring the Inter midfielder to the Premier League.

With Gabriel ‘Gabigol’ Barbosa and Joao Mario about to join the Serie A side, they are reportedly open to selling Brozovic to raise funds.

The Croatia international’s representative, Miroslav Bicanic, said the 23-year-old has plenty of choices before the close of the transfer window.

“It’s true, there are many options and we are talking about some big European clubs,” Bicanic told Index in Croatia.
READ MORE  | Chelsea will struggle to reach target – Conte

“I heard that Chelsea representatives are in Milan and that Arsenal are also prepared to sign him.

“Inter are pushing to sell to one of these two clubs who are prepared to pay a sum that satisfies all concerned.

“However, I am currently in Zagreb and there’s plenty of time before transfer deadline day.

“The matter is not so urgent and until Marcelo signs a contract with another club, he remains an Inter player.”

Brozovic came on as a substitute in Inter’s 2-0 defeat to Chievo in their first Serie A game of the season. He made 32 league appearances for the Nerazzurri last term.

Inter close in on Gabriel Barbosa and Joao Mario signings

The Nerazzurri have confirmed on Twitter that they are set to land the star duo as Frank de Boer sets about strengthening his squad before the transfer window closes

Inter have confirmed they are set to seal the double signing of Gabriel Barbosa and Joao Mario.

The Serie A side announced on Friday that Santos and Brazil striker Gabriel – known as ‘Gabigol’ – had touched down in Milan, with Joao Mario also en route.

Inter wrote on Twitter: “Gabigol has landed in Milan. Joao Mario is on his way too.”

They also sent a follow-up video which showed Gabriel arriving at the airport to huge fanfare.

Ecco @gabigol al momento dello sbarco a Malpensa! #ForzaInter #FCIM pic.twitter.com/p70Z5VZMKH
— F.C. Internazionale (@Inter) August 26, 2016

Goal reported on earlier on Friday that the two transfers will cost Inter in excess of €75 million.

Sporting midfielder Joao Mario, 23, played in all seven games as Portugal secured Euro 2016 glory last month.

READ MORE  | Birsa double downs Inter

Gabriel has also enjoyed an impressive close-season, with the 19-year-old playing six times as Brazil won the gold medal at their home Olympic Games. 

Speaking at the Europa League draw, Inter vice-president Javier Zanetti said the club are expecting a busy week in the transfer market.

He said: “There will be news in this last week and we will see what happens. Whoever comes will be a reinforcement and will be welcome.”