Milan need a champion – Gullit

The former San Siro star believes the Rossoneri are still lacking a player who can change the game despite their strong start to the Serie A season

Ruud Gullit has praised a young and in-form AC Milan side, but believes they still need a “champion” in the team.

Milan head into the Derby della Madonnina against arch rivals Inter on Sunday having won eight of their opening 12 Serie A games in a superb start that has left them third in the table, five points adrift of leaders Juventus.

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Teenager Manuel Locatelli scored a superb winner when Vincenzo Montella’s side beat Juve 1-0 last month, while youngsters Alessio Romagnoli, Suso and M’Baye Niang have all established themselves in the side.

Yet while Milan’s relatively inexperienced side have flourished, Gullit – who won three Scudetti and two European Cups in his playing career at San Siro – feels they are lacking a difference maker.

“Milan are a lot better than they have been recently,” Gullit told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“They have young Italians and a style of play. The players know what they have to do, and the games are better.

“What do Milan need? Time. Time for these youngsters to gain experience. After that, a champion who can change the game. But for that you need money.”

Barcelona fume over Gabigol sale to Inter and denounce Santos

The Spanish club are requesting €7.9 million from the Brazilian side after the forward was sold without their knowledge

Barcelona have denounced Santos over their handling of the sale of Brazil forward Gabigol, claiming breach of contract, according to reports.

The Catalan giants should have had first option on signing the 20-year-old, thanks to an agreement with Santos following the acquisition of Neymar, but saw Gabigol transferred to Inter without their knowledge.

Reports in Mundo Deportivo reveal that Barcelona have denounced Santos to FIFA, requesting €7.9 million from the Brazilian club for not sticking to the arrangement between the clubs.

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Gabigol moved to Inter for €27.5 million at the end of August, but has yet to make an impact in Serie A. The forward, who has been dubbed ‘the next Neymar’, has not yet started a league game for the Milan club, playing just 16 minutes from the bench.

However, Barcelona believe that they should have been given the option of bringing him to La Liga, as part of their deal to have preferential options on two other players – Giva, now at Joinville, and winger Victor Andrade who is currently on loan with 1860 Munich.

Barcelona are also in talks with lawyers about the sale of Giva from Santos to Cortiba in late 2014, claiming that they were also undermined during the transfer deal.

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Neymar moved to La Liga in 2013, having won three league titles with Santos, and has continued his impressive form for Barcelona.

The 24-year-old has scored 91 goals in 154 games, linking up with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez to form the famed MSN attack.

On Monday, he also scored his 50th international goal for Brazil, becoming his country’s fourth highest goalscorer.

Cannavaro: De Boer not to blame for Inter woes

The former Nerazzurri defender – who is now coaching in China with Tianjin Quanjian – blames the San Siro board, not ousted Dutch boss, for struggles

Former Inter defender Fabio Cannavaro has said ex-coach Frank de Boer deserved more time to turn the club’s fortunes around, insisting the Dutchman should not be held accountable for their woes.

De Boer was sacked by Inter on November 1, just 85 days into a three-year deal after losing seven of his opening 14 matches.

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He was replaced by former Lazio boss Stefano Pioli, who will take charge of Sunday’s Milan derby at San Siro.

But Cannavaro – now coaching in China with Tianjin Quanjian – has leapt to the defence of De Boer, placing the blame for Inter’s struggles on the board.

“Frank de Boer definitely showed in the Netherlands that he’s a good coach,” Cannavaro said via Sky.

“It’s not his fault. The fault lies with those who chose him and are still there working. It’s a bit of a culture in football, and it’s wrong.

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“A coach needs time to get to know the players, the environment, the fans and the culture of the club. You can’t solve everything in one or two months.”

Inter are ninth in the standings, eight points adrift of city rivals AC Milan.

Inter chief defends De Boer sacking

Although the Dutchman was in charge for only 12 games, an official from the Nerazzurri said it was “impossible” for him to continue

Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio insists that sacking head coach Frank de Boer was the right decision for the club.

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The former Ajax boss signed a three-year contract to take charge at San Siro in August, but was dismissed on November 1 after losing seven of his opening 14 matches.

De Boer’s agent felt he was not given a fair chance to impress at the club before he was replaced by Stefano Pioli, but Ausilio maintains that they had little option.

“If you lose 50 per cent of your games, it’s impossible to go forward,” he told Mediaset.

“Let’s give time to Pioli to build him team.”
Inter face a derby clash with AC Milan on Sunday looking for what would be just a third win in eight Serie A matches.

They sit ninth in the table, eight points behind Milan, who occupy the third and final Champions League spot.

Milan worry over Romagnoli fitness ahead of derby

The Italian defender could miss his side’s Serie A meeting with city rivals Inter after suffering a groin injury on international duty

AC Milan will likely have to make do without the services of Alessio Romagnoli in Sunday’s derby clash with Inter due to a groin injury.

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The centre-back suffered a knock in Tuesday’s 0-0 international friendly draw between Italy and Germany and made way for Davide Astori at half-time.

It is not yet known how long the 21-year-old will be out of action, but a return in time to face Inter seems unlikely at this stage.
“Milan announce that Alessio Romagnoli suffered a groin injury during the match with Italy on Tuesday night,” a brief statement on the club’s website reads.

“The player will undergo further medical examination in the next few days.”

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Romagnoli has been a key figure for Milan this term, making 11 Serie A appearances.

Milan sit third in the table with 25 points from 12 games, five behind leaders Juventus but eight ahead of this weekend’s opponents Inter.

Chelsea face Premier League competition for Inter's Kondogbia

The Blues have added the Nerazzurri midfielder to their shortlist ahead of the January transfer window, but they face lots of competition.

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Geoffrey Kondogbia looks set to leave Inter in January, with Chelsea “just one of many English clubs that are interested”, Goal understands.
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The 23-year-old is on Antonio Conte’s transfer window shortlist, but Chelsea will look to sell players before buying, with players like Cesc Fabregas, John Obi Mikel and Branislav Ivanovic struggling for game time at Stamford Bridge. 

At least five Premier League clubs have been monitoring Kondogbia, who became a bit-part player under former Inter manager Frank de Boer. 

New coach Stefano Pioli hasn’t offered any assurances to Kondogbia and Inter have begun steps to try to recoup as much, if not all, of the club-record £26.35 million fee they paid to Monaco in June 2015. 
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Kondogbia is one of a host of other midfielders, including Roma’s Radja Nainggolan, Fiorentina’s Milan Badelj and Sevilla’s Stephen N’Zonzi, on Chelsea’s list as they look to add midfielders who can compete for places with Nemanja Matic and N’Golo Kante in Conte’s two-man midfield. 
The France international sees a move to the Premier League as a natural next step in a career which has become stunted since he arrived at the San Siro.

There is a belief that the Premier League suits his attributes and that a move to England can help him to regain his place in the France squad.

Meanwhile, Inter have expressed an interest in signing Oscar from Chelsea, but the Blues are reluctant to sell the Brazilian and still value him highly despite falling out of the starting line-up in recent weeks. 

RUMOURS: Inter targeting Man Utd defender Darmian

The full-back could be on the way back to Italy having made just two Premier League starts for the Red Devils this season

New Inter manager Stefano Pioli is targeting Manchester United full-back Matteo Darmian as one of his first signings in the January transfer window, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

The 26-year-old defender has been surplus to requirements at Old Trafford this season, starting just two Premier League games for Jose Mourinho’s side.

Darmian featured more frequently for United last year, but could be on his way back to Serie A after just two seasons in England.

The Italian international was signed by the Red Devils from Torino at the start of the 2015-16 campaign, having previously spent time with Milan, Padova and Palermo.

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Bolingbroke resigns as Inter CEO

The Serie A side have named Jun Liu as their interim CEO following the resignation of the former incumbent, who previously worked for Manchester United

Michael Bolingbroke has stepped down as Inter’s chief executive officer with immediate effect.

The 51-year-old joined Inter in July 2014 after a stint as chief operating officer for Manchester United, but has now opted to move on again after just over two years with the Serie A giants.

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“Inter confirm that the board of directors met on Monday morning and accepted the resignation of Michael Bolingbroke as CEO with immediate effect,” a statement on the club’s official website reads.

“We wish him best of luck for the future.”
Inter have appointed Jun Liu, vice-president of Suning Sports Group, as interim CEO. Liu already sits on Inter’s board of directors.

“The club believes the arrival of Mr Liu during this period will allow for a clearer and quicker decision-making process by establishing a direct link to the club’s majority stakeholder Suning,” the statement continues.

“A key part of Mr Liu’s role will be to act as bridge between Suning and Inter, thus providing direct access to Suning’s vast corporate support network.”

Inter appoint Pioli as De Boer successor

The 51-year-old has been in charge of the likes of Bologna, Lazio and Palermo and replaces the Dutchman who was sacked less than three months into his reign

Inter have turned to former Lazio head coach Stefano Pioli as the man to turn their stuttering start to the season around.

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The Nerazzurri sacked Frank de Boer last week following their 1-0 Serie A defeat to Sampdoria, the Dutchman having only overseen two wins from their previous eight matches in all competitions.

Marcelino and Pioli were heavily linked to take over as De Boer’s replacement, but it is the latter who has been tasked with reviving their fortunes.

Pioli, 51, has agreed a two-year contract at San Siro and will be presented to the media on Thursday before  Inter for the first time in the Milan derby after the international break.

Inter become Pioli’s 11th club, with his previous tenure at Lazio having seen him guide the club to third place in his first season, but his second campaign was not as prosperous and he was sacked in April after a 4-1 defeat to city rivals Roma.
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Despite significant investment ahead of the 2016-17 season, Inter have struggled to live up to expectations with only five wins in 12 league matches. They currently sit 13 points behind Serie A leaders Juventus, and 12 ahead of bottom side Crotone, who they beat 3-0 on Sunday.

The latest was a 3-0 victory over Crotone under the guidance of interim boss Stefano Vecchi, but that only lifted Inter into ninth position.

Hopes of a strong European campaign are also hanging in the balance as they sit bottom of Europa League Group K after three defeats in four matches.

Inter 3-0 Crotone: Icardi nets two as hosts leave it late

Perisic popped up in the 84th minute to give the Nerazzurri the lead before Icardi got two as they secured just their second Serie A win in seven games

A late double from Mauro Icardi helped Stefano Vecchi sign off on his temporary spell in charge of Inter with a 3-0 victory over Serie A’s bottom side Crotone.

Inter Primavera coach Vecchi was handed the first-team reins for two matches following the dismissal of Frank de Boer last week, and, after overseeing a 2-1 Europa League defeat at Southampton on Thursday, at least departed on the back of a victory.

Inter announced prior to kick-off that a permanent replacement for De Boer would be confirmed in the next 48 hours, with former Lazio boss Stefano Pioli and ex-Villarreal coach Marcelino believed to be leading the race, and whoever takes charge may now find a more confident set of players than originally anticipated.

Goalkeeper Alex Cordaz impressed against his former club as Crotone defended stoically, but he was finally beaten in the 84th minute when he failed to stop Ivan Perisic’s late strike slipping beneath him.
Icardi supplied the assist for Perisic and then got on the scoresheet himself, drawing a foul from Gianmarco Ferrari inside the box and slamming the resultant penalty into the bottom-left corner.

Inter captain Icardi completed the scoring when he volleyed home his fifth goal in his last four outings in all competitions from substitute Eder’s cross as the Nerazzurri returned to winning ways.

After Banega forced an early save from Cordaz, Inter lost Andrea Ranocchia to a thigh injury in the 20th minute following a collision with Marcello Trotta and Vecchi sent Jeison Murillo on in his place.

Crotone’s counter-attacking focus failed to produce a serious threat in the first half, and they could have been behind had Danilo D’Ambrosio’s goal not been chalked off for a marginal offside decision.

A blistering 25-yard strike from Antonio Candreva was parried back into danger by Cordaz, but D’Ambrosio was deemed to have tucked the rebound home from an illegal position.

Cordaz produced a far better save in the 32nd minute when he got down to his left and turned Miranda’s powerful header behind for a corner, while Marcelo Brozovic curled wide from 20 yards before the break.

Inter started the second half positively and Murillo spurned a great opportunity when he appeared to send Banega’s free-kick over with the back of his neck.

Banega had an effort from the edge of the box deflected narrowly wide in the 50th minute and then saw his 25-yard free-kick clawed away by Cordaz.

Inter struggled to create chances to score until Icardi’s raking cross-field ball found Perisic in space on the right, and the Croatian raced into the area to fire home the pivotal opener.

Icardi made sure of the three points when he won and converted a penalty with two minutes of normal time remaining, relieving the pressure that had been building around San Siro.

There was further reason to cheer in the third minute of stoppage-time, when Icardi was found in space on the penalty spot to round off an ultimately comfortable victory that ensures Inter head into the international break in the top half of the table.