On-Loan West Ham Midfielder Joao Mario Declares: ‘Inter Are Part of My Past’

Joao Mario has called his parent club Internazionale ‘part of my past’ despite only being out on loan at ​West Ham.

Inter bought the Portuguese midfielder following his triumph at the European Championships in 2016. However, the 25-year-old struggled to fit in at the Serie A side, before his move to east London in January.


Although the midfielder is only on loan at West Ham, he has clearly decided that his time at Inter is over. Reports claim that the Hammers have a €40m option to make his move permanent at the end of the season, while the player himself seems determined to move on from Italy.

“I’m in a new league and I’m trying to adapt quickly,” the Portuguese international told reporters (via Football Italia).

“I’m happy with my new adventure and I hope to finish the season well. Inter are part of my past now. I could have played more, but football is about that too. Now I’m happy and that’s what matters most.”

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Despite featuring in every fixture for the London side since his arrival, the midfielder’s future remains somewhat ​uncertain. Inter are reportedly keen to sell the 25-year-old in the summer, while one ​report suggests Roma may be his next port of call, with a swap deal involving Kevin Strootman in the works.


Southampton Set to Challenge Juventus & Inter in Summer Transfer Battle Over Sampdoria Star

​Premier League strugglers Southampton are eyeing a move for Belgium and Sampdoria midfielder Dennis Praet during the summer transfer window, according to ​Calciomercato.

However, the Saints will have stiff competition for his signature, as Serie A titans Juventus and Inter Milan are also interested in the 23-year-old. The attacking midfielder had 27 goals and 39 assists in 182 appearances for Anderlecht before joining Sampdoria in 2016, where he’s scored one goal and tallied four assists across all competitions.

Praet, who has one cap for Belgium, has ​been previously compared to Barcelona great Andres Iniesta by former Anderlecht teammate Tom De Sutter, as he claimed: “Dennis plays like Iniesta. He’s got good technique, he’s solid, holds on to the ball well, keeps things simple and doesn’t panic. His vision of the game is incredible.”

Praet’s creativity would aid a Southampton squad that has struggled to find the net this season, scoring just 29 goals (tied for sixth fewest in the league) a big reason why the club currently sits in the relegation zone in 18th place.

In stark contrast to Southampton, Praet’s other suitors Juventus and Inter sit first and fourth in Serie A respectively.

Newcastle United v Southampton - Premier League

​This isn’t the first time Praet has drawn interest from a Premier League side. In August last year, Newcastle had a reported £17.5m bid rejected by Sampdoria, whilst Everton were also said to be interested.

But Sampdoria were able to hang on to Praet, and once the transfer window shut last summer he ​spoke about the saga: “I didn’t want to leave. I love this club and the president is a special person. He has a great approach with footballers and that’s a huge difference compared to [former club] Anderlecht. I know Sampdoria received some offers for me but I didn’t even talk with any other club as there was no agreement between them.”

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However, Praet did add he’d be “happy” to go to the Premier League one day. Whether that means joining Southampton remains to be seen, as the club are currently fighting for Premier League survival, and the lure of Juventus and Inter may be too strong to turn down for the young Belgian.


The 9 Players Who Have Bagged 4-Goal Hauls in Europe’s Top 5 Leagues This Season

A hat-trick is one thing, but a four-goal haul in a single game is even more special.

That is something that has been managed on nine occasions in Europe’s top five leagues.

These are the players that have done it…

1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

19th September 2017 vs Eibar

Lionel Messi’s four-goal haul against Eibar back in September included his second hat-trick of the season having already bagged a treble against Espanyol just a couple of weeks earlier.

Messi leads the way when it comes to La Liga scoring on 25 for the campaign, although he faces stiff competition if he is to retain his European Golden Shoe as the continent’s top scorer.  

2. Ciro Immobile (Lazio)

6th January 2018 vs SPAL

Serie A minnows SPAL were on the receiving end of a four-goal haul from prolific striker Ciro Immobile in January, a game that Lazio won 5-2 as they fight for a Champions League place.

Immobile has rediscovered his best form since returning to Italy in 2016 after disappointing spells with Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla in Germany and Spain respectively.  

3. Neymar (PSG)

17th January 2018 vs Dijon

Having scored regularly in his first few months with Paris Saint-Germain following a €222m move from Barcelona, Neymar stepped things up even more when he bagged four goals in an 8-0 thrashing of Ligue 1 minnows Dijon in January.

His debut season has already finished as a result of a broken foot.  

4. Sergio Aguero (Man City)

10th February 2018 vs Leicester

Sergio Aguero scored a Premier League hat-trick for Manchester City against Newcastle in January, but went one better just three weeks later against Leicester by scoring four.

It was his third Premier League hat-trick of this season alone, while the Argentine is also no stranger to mega hauls. He scored four in one game against Tottenham in October 2014, and five in another against Newcastle in October 2015.  

5. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)

28th February 2018 vs Leganes

After a slow first half of the season by his own standards, Antoine Griezmann has stepped up his scoring in a big way since January and has scored 12 goals in his last 10 La Liga games.

Four of those came in just one outing against Leganes at the end of February. Remarkably, the Frenchman had actually scored a hat-trick against Sevilla just three days earlier as well.  

6. Alassane Plea (Nice)

11th March 2018 vs Guingamp

Nice forward Alassane Plea became the first French player to bag a four-goal haul in Ligue 1 in more than 10 years when he was in prolific form against Guingamp earlier this month.

But even after his four-goal haul, Plea has still only scored 10 times in the league in total so far this season and had found the net just once in 10 Ligue 1 outings prior to facing Guingamp.

7. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

17th March 2018 vs Watford

Just when Liverpool fans thought Mohamed Salah couldn’t any better, the Egyptian forward bagged four goals in one game against Watford at the weekend.

Salah now has 28 for the Reds in the Premier League this season and is just three short of matching Luis Suarez’s 31-goal tally in 2013/14. He could also become the first Liverpool player to reach 40 goals in all competitions in a single season since Ian Rush in 1986/87.  

8. Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan)

18th March 2018 vs Sampdoria

Mauro Icardi is having his best season yet in an Inter Milan shirt and saw his Serie A goal tally boosted to 22 after netting four times against Sampdoria at the weekend.

They were Icardi’s first goals since returning from a recent injury absence, while his prolific early season form had largely deserted him in the few weeks before that layoff as well.  

9. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

18th March 2018 vs Girona

Cristiano Ronaldo continued his incredible recent run of goalscoring form when he netted four against Girona in La Liga at the weekend, the eighth straight game in all competitions in which he has found the net.

It was also his 50th career hat-trick. Ronaldo is now onto 22 league goals for the season and has 37 in all competitions, a tally matched by no other player in Europe’s top five leagues.  


Joao Mario Uncertain of West Ham Future as Parent Club Ready Swap Deal With Italian Rivals

West Ham midfielder João Mário is uncertain if his loan move from Inter will be made permanent at the end of the season as I Nerazzurri are reportedly already looking at ways they can offload the 25-year-old this summer.

Mário made a high profile move to the London Stadium in January and fans were excited at the prospect of signing the Portugal international on a full time basis at the end of the campaign.

However, the former Sporting CP star has been unable to find his feet with West Ham and is quickly earning a similar reputation at the club to the one that saw him ostracised at San Siro.

As Inter are still unsure if West Ham will look to make the move permanent this summer, a deal which seems unlikely given the €40m price tag, the Italian giants are eyeing up a swap deal with AS Roma that would see Kevin Strootman join Luciano Spalletti’s side; according to Monday’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport.


(You may also like ​West Ham Academy Star Attracting Interest From Bundesliga Giants Borussia Dortmund)

The Dutch captain has been one of Roma’s most consistent players over the last five years and has firmly established himself in I Giallorossi’s first team, alongside Radja Nainggolan and Daniele De Rossi.

Portuguese midfielder Mário could prove to be a fantastic addition for Eusebio Di Francesco’s side if he can rediscover the form he showed before moving to Italy.

However, Inter will face an uphill battle in trying to sweet talk their Serie A rivals into a swap deal for Strootman if the 25-year-old Mário continues to underperform in east London.

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Borussia Dortmund Ready to Bid for Argentine Striker Who Looked Destined for Inter

​Borussia Dortmund are reportedly interested in making a last ditch attempt to sign Racing Club forward Lautaro Martinez, despite there already being an agreement in place with Inter.

Argentine media outlet ​TYC Sports are reporting that Dortmund are willing to pay up to £40m for the Argentine’s services, eclipsing the prior arrangement with Inter for £33m.

Nothing official was signed with Inter, and Racing Club are believed to be looking to sell to the club offering the most. It is also reported that Martinez would prefer a move to the Bundesliga.


Martinez has scored 12 goals in 14 appearances this season, and people are already beginning to draw comparisons to the likes of Sergio Aguero and Mauro Icardi. 

The 20-year-old also earned his first international call up recently and will be hoping that a move to one of Europe’s big clubs helps him to make a name for himself.

Dortmund’s involvement in the Martinez deal throws the doubt of current striker Michy Batshuayi into doubt. The Belgian has been on fire since moving to Germany in January on loan from Chelsea, scoring an impressive six goals in six league starts.

Borussia Dortmund v Eintracht Frankfurt - Bundesliga

There have been rumours of Batshuayi signing a permanent deal at the club after his incredible start and his new teammate ​Marco Reus seems particularly keen on a deal.

However, the Martinez links throw a spanner into the works, and he may work out as a cheaper alternative. Also, if the comparisons to the likes of Aguero are accurate, he will surely be a snip at £40m.

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Date Set for Highly Anticipated Milan Derby After Fixture Delayed by Astori Tragedy

Serie A have officially set a date for the highly anticipated Derby della Madonnina – more commonly known as the Milan Derby – after the original game was postponed following the sudden death of Fiorentina’s captain, Davide Astori.

The two sides have already met on two occasions this season. Mauro Icardi was Inter’s star man during their 3-2 league victory over their city rivals, while the Rossoneri’s Patrick Cutrone settled a Coppa Italia meeting in December.

FC Internazionale v AC Milan - Serie A

After some recent uncertainty surrounding when the postponed fixture would take place, it has been confirmed by Italian outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport that the Milan derby will take place on April 4.

The game will kick off at 6:30pm (CET) on Wednesday, and AC Milan will be the home side for the fixture despite both sides sharing the San Siro.

(You may also like Gigi Buffon Returns to Italian Squad After Being Called Up for Argentina & England Friendlies)

Both teams face trips to Turin either side of the erby. Gennaro Gattuso’s side are on the road to Juventus just days before their game against Inter, while the Nerazzurri will take on Torino the following week.

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Gigi Buffon Returns to Italian Squad After Being Called Up for Argentina & England Friendlies

Interim Italy boss Gigi Di Biagio has named his squad to face Argentina and England in upcoming friendlies. 

The Azzurri, who won’t be participating in this year’s World Cup following their failure to qualify, but they will be in action later this month as they look to refocus for Euro 2020 qualifying.

The manager must have been pleased to be able to recall Juventus stopper Gianluigi Buffon, who had announced his retirement from international football last year.

Mattia de Sciglio, Giorgio Chiellini and Daniele Rugani were also summoned from Juve, while AC Milan forward Patrick Cultrone received his first international call-up and will be joined by Rosonerri teammates Giacomo Bonaventura, Leonardo Bonucci and Gianluigi Donnarumma.


(You may also be interested in:  Chelsea Striker Alvaro Morata Misses Out on Spain Call Up While Diego Costa Makes the Cut)

Inter’s Roberto Gagliardini and Antonio Candreva have also made the squad, with Chelsea’s Davide Zappacosta getting the nod as well, despite being used sparingly by Antonio Conte this season.

Milan defender Alessio Romagnoli was surprisingly left out, but Sky Italia have indicated that the player isn’t at full fitness at the moment.

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Sampdoria vs Inter Preview: Classic Encounter, Key Battle, Team News and More

​Inter will be hoping to keep the pressure on those above them in the top four places in Serie A by beating a Sampdoria side who sit just two places below them and eight points behind.

The Nerazzurri sit just one point behind fourth place Lazio with a game in hand and need to pick up three points to keep their hopes of Champions League football next season alive.

Here is everything you need to know before Sunday’s game.

Classic Encounter


These two teams played out a classic when they met earlier on in the season, with Inter edging it 3-2 after a late Sampdoria fight back.

The hosts looked to be in total control after Milan Skriniar and a Mauro Icardi double put them 3-0 to the good with just over 50 minutes gone.

However, two late goals from Sampdoria made for nervous ending for Inter, but they held on for a win that put them top of Serie A after 10 games.

Key Battle

Fabio Quagliarella vs Milan Skriniar

UC Sampdoria v Hellas Verona FC - Serie A

The 35-year-old striker has been on fire for Sampdoria this season and will fancy his chances against the fairly inexperienced Milan Skriniar.

Quagliarella has scored a remarkable 17 goals in 26 appearances in Serie A this season, registering five assists as well. He is one of the top scorers in the league and will be one to watch for sure.

His years of experience may give him the edge over Skriniar, who is just 23. He will not have the same understanding of the game that the Italian does.

If Inter can stop Quagliarella, they are likely to stop Sampdoria.

Team News

FC Internazionale v Benevento Calcio - Serie A

Inter go into the game fairly injury free with Andrea Ranocchia the only injury concern. The Italian centre back is suffering from a thigh injury and is unlikely to return to the side on Sunday.

Sampdoria on the other hand will be sweating over the fitness of multiple first team players. Bartosz Bereszynski is a doubt with a leg injury but may return to the bench, whilst first choice goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano is also a doubt with a back injury.

Midfielder Karol Linetty will miss the game as he serves a one match suspension.

Potential Sampdoria lineup: Viviano, Sala, Silvestre, Ferrari, Murru, Terreira, Barreto, Praet, Ramirez, Quagliarella, Caprari

Potential Inter lineup: Handanovic, Cancelo, Skriniar, Miranda, D’Ambrosio, Gagliardini, Brozovic, Candreva, Perisic, Rafinha, Icardi


FC Internazionale v UC Sampdoria - Serie A

Although Sampdoria possess a serious threat going forward in the form of Quagliarella, Inter will be confident that they have enough experience at the back to keep him quiet.
They will be hoping that captain Mauro Icardi can continue his goal-scoring form and fire Inter to victory.
Prediction: Sampdoria 1-2 Inter


Inter Close to Reaching Agreement Over Transfer of Coveted Lazio Star Stefan de Vrij

​Internazionale are in the advanced stages of reaching an agreement with Lazio over the transfer of defender Stefan de Vrij.

Apparently the club are working ‘meticulously’ to add quality to their squad ahead of next season, but for as little money as possible.


According to Gazzetta dello Sport, as quoted by ​Sempre Inter: “Stefan De Vrij and Inter have reportedly finalised an agreement and the deposition of the contract is down to the last details.”

Should things go through as expected then Inter will have secured themselves a top defender. The Dutchman is highly coveted and has been ​linked with a host of other European clubs such as Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Barcelona.

The Nerazzurri are also after a new left back for next season. The club have been keeping a close eye on Zenit star Domenico Criscito but have also identified Juventus fringe player Kwadwo Asamoah as an alternative signing in case Criscito joins another interested party in Genoa.


The Ghanaian is understood to be willing to sit down and talk about signing a new deal with the Old Lady, but Inter are ready to swoop if they need to; they would likely be able to offer the player a better chance of regular game time.

It could be that Inter make a grand return to the Champions League next season and will need to add quality over the summer to prepare themselves if they qualify. They currently sit fifth in Serie A, just four points behind third placed Roma who have played a game more.

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Man Utd & Liverpool Handed Huge Boost in Pursuit of Lazio Star As Inter ‘Cannot Confirm Deal’

Premier League duo Manchester United and Liverpool have been handed boosts in their pursuits of Roma centre back ​Stefan de Vrij after it emerged that – contrary to reports in Italy – Inter have not secured a pre-contract arrangement with the player. 

Inter tried to sign De​ Vrij in January but a deal collapsed over owner Suning’s desire to slow the negotiations down. The Lazio defender will be out of contract in the summer and, with under six months left on his contract, is allowed to listen to summer offers. 

“I cannot confirm something like that,” Piero Ausilio told Mediaset (via Talksport). “I can only talk about Inter and our players.”

Both Manchester United and Liverpool are reportedly interested in signing the Dutchman on a free in the summer. 

De Vrij could partner up with compatriot Virgil van Dijk in the centre of the Reds’ defence should he move to Anfield. At Old Trafford, centre backs Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof have all struggled for form this season and – with De Vrij set to cost nothing – Mourinho could be tempted into making a move

SS Lazio Training Session

The Netherlands international joined Lazio from Eredivisie side Feyenoord in 2014. Since his move to Stadio Olimpico, the centre back has made a total of 83 appearances in which he has scored six goals for the Biancocelesti.

A number of clubs were put on alert when it was announced that he would not extend his stay in Rome. Inter were subsequently rumoured to have agreed a deal for the 26-year-old, a claim which has since been refuted by sporting director Ausilio. 

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