Pioli: Gabigol will play when I decide

The Brazilian, who has been generating plenty of transfer talk, was an unused substitute for the 11th time in Serie A this season as Inter faced Genoa

Inter boss Stefano Pioli says he will not be pressured into playing Brazil international Gabriel Barbosa.

The 20-year-old moved to San Siro from Santos in August, a major deal that was reportedly worth €29.5million.

However, the striker nicknamed ‘Gabigol’ has only played 16 minutes of football under both former head coach Frank de Boer and his replacement Pioli, all of which came in one substitute appearance against Bologna in September.

‘Santos dream of Gabigol return’

But after Gabriel was again an unused sub in the 2-0 Serie A win over Genoa on Sunday, Pioli stressed he will not be rushed into starting him.

“He will get to play when there are situations that I consider to be opportune,” Pioli told Mediaset.

“My only objective is what is best for the team. 

“If I think Gabi is in better shape than his team-mates, then I will play him.”

Felipe Melo, though, is one player who has been brought in from the cold by Pioli having barely featured under De Boer.

“It was a choice made by the coach and I respect that,” he said about his spell out of the side.

Agent: Gabigol will not join lesser club

“In truth, that experience helped me to grow, because it was the first time I wasn’t even chosen for the bench. It was difficult and people even said I caused trouble in the locker room, but that was not true.

“I am no longer 22 years old, I am 33 and can always help the squad with my experience.

“We are on the right track. It might not have been a great performance, but we worked hard and did what Inter need to do: win.”

Pioli: Inter victory a stepping stone

The Nerazzurri won for the second time in Serie A under their new boss and the head coach is prioritising steadying the ship

Stefano Pioli says Inter’s victory over Genoa is an important stepping stone as the club look to turn their season around.

The Nerazzurri won their second league game in four since the former Lazio boss replaced Frank de Boer, Marcelo Brozovic scoring in either half to secure a 2-0 win, their fourth consecutive top-flight triumph at San Siro.

It was a solid result after a 3-0 loss at Napoli last time out in Serie A, with Pioli making five changes from that line-up – including leaving out Ivan Perisic.

Inter too strong for Genoa

Inter struggled for much of the first half despite the victory, but Pioli feels points are more important in the early stages of his reign after Inter moved from 11th to eighth in the table.

“We did suffer in some situations where we should have been more focused, but it was an important stepping stone because we won,” Pioli said to Mediaset.

“We want to be in a better position by the Christmas break and right now is the time for determination, humility and playing an efficient style.

“It is a long season and we will certainly improve. Naturally there is pressure, we are in a difficult moment and playing at San Siro, but I see a positive attitude and the desire to prove we don’t belong in 11th place.

“In the first half we should have attacked the space better. Genoa were doing it well and our strikers struggled to get good service. We need to be more efficient both when defending and attacking.

Hart could have ‘helped Liverpool win title’

“We got it wrong against Napoli, partly due to our approach, but the other games have been decent. That means there is quality here. 

“We cannot be satisfied with the season so far, so we must accept the criticism and give our best. We are working to get the best out of our potential.”

Inter are back in action away to Sassuolo Sunday, December 18.

'We were focused and sharp but lacked balance' – Pioli eyes further Inter improvement

After winning their final Europa League group game with elimination already confirmed, the manager urged his side to improve further

Inter coach Stefano Pioli believes it is clear his side must continue to improve, despite their Europa League win over Sparta Prague on Thursday.

RUMOURS: Chelsea move for Sanchez

Ahead of the game at San Siro, Inter were already guaranteed to finish bottom of Group K, while their visitors had secured top spot.

However, Eder’s brace fired the Serie A side to a 2-1 victory – with Pioli later reflecting on the positives alongside the areas in which his team must still get better.

“We tried to take the initiative, and we were focused, sharp and created some good situations,” he told Sky Italia.

“Clearly, at the moment, we still need to improve. [We must] be quicker and more effective.
“We are seeking a more balanced outfit [with a 3-4-3 formation] that can be more efficient both defending and attacking. We’ll see what system is the most effective.

“All it takes is a negative incident – which can happen, because we are not the best side in Italy and are recovering from a difficult situation – and everything becomes more difficult.

‘Arsenal disappointed me’ – Vieira

“When there’s a setback we tend to lose our shape and get stretched out.”

With their European campaign over, 10th-placed Inter can turn their attentions back to Serie A, where they host Genoa on Sunday.

Chelsea miss out as Brozovic extends Inter stay

Inter have agreed a new two-year contract with the midfielder that ensures the Croatia international remains at San Siro for the time being

Chelsea have received some bad news on their transfer hunt as Marcelo Brozovic has agreed a two-year contract extension that will keep him at Inter until 2021.

The 24-year-old arrived at San Siro on loan from Dinamo Zagreb in January 2015, with the Serie A side having since taken up their obligation to sign him permanently.

REVEALED: World’s best paid player

Under the terms of his previous deal Brozovic was tied to the club until 2019, but Inter have moved early to extend his stay in Milan.

Brozovic has made 11 appearances in all competitions for Inter this season, scoring twice and providing two assists.

BREAKING: Marcelo #Brozovic has signed a contraction extension until 2021! #ForzaInter #FCIM pic.twitter.com/lFtJlH87XR
— F.C. Internazionale (@Inter_en) December 7, 2016

The Croatia international had been the subject of a transfer bid from Antonio Conte’s side in August, but agent Miroslav Bicanic admitted that he was happy to stay in Serie A.

“Yes, it is official Brozo will stay in Inter,” he told Goal. “Otherwise, he would have been on the plane to London and not with national team in Sisak. After he returns from Croatia, Marcelo will sign a new, improved contract with Inter.”

Zola: Chelsea will find new John Terry

Having made eight league appearances for Stefano Pioli’s side this season, Brozovic will continue to play for Inter, meaning Conte will have to turn his attentions elsewhere in the transfer window.

Pioli not concerned by Simeone's Inter comments

The new Nerazzurri boss is determined to pull his side out of their current funk, and is not thinking about the possibility of a former hero returning

Stefano Pioli is not concerned by Diego Simeone’s desire to coach Inter in the future and is focused on revitalising their fortunes this season.

The current Inter boss has come under pressure as the Nerazzurri have been dumped out of the Europa League and are struggling down in 10th in Serie A.

48-team World Cup would be a disaster

To add to that pressure former Inter midfielder Simeone – along with his son Giovanni – has reiterated his desire to return to the club where he won the UEFA Cup as a player in 1998.

His interest does not worry Pioli, though, and he has told the Atletico Madrid manager to focus on his own team, rather than looking into the future.

“I just think about the real situation,” Pioli told a media conference.

“That [situation] is that I coach Inter and he coaches Atletico. We both have to stay focused and concentrate on our work.

“I’m the coach of Inter and I’m focused on my work here. I’m determined and keen to be successful, along with my team.”

#Pioli looks ahead to #InterSpartaPraga: “We must get straight back to winning ways” https://t.co/HcrsmFn5qu #UEL #FCIM pic.twitter.com/ywHhyj9L0T
— F.C. Internazionale (@Inter_en) December 7, 2016

Inter are already guaranteed to finish bottom of Group K after a miserable European campaign, so Thursday’s home clash with Sparta Prague – who will finish top – is a chance for Pioli’s squad to restore some pride.

“This match is an opportunity for us to return to winning ways and honour a continental competition,” he added.

“We are disappointed to have missed out of qualification because it’s a prestigious trophy and the team put a lot of effort in last season to achieve European football.

“I believe in the team and we have the potential to be successful. We have to work hard and give 100 per cent until the last.”

Arsenal receive boost as Gabigol agent hints at Inter exit

The Gunners could be in line to seal the Brazilian on a loan move after the player’s agent indicated he was not happy in Serie A

Arsenal target Gabigol is “not happy” due to a lack of playing time at Inter, according to the player’s agent.

The 20-year-old, who has been labelled as the ‘next Neymar’ after moving to Europe from Santos, has played just 16 minutes of Serie A football this season.

Firmino’s bizarre anti-Arsenal clause

Gabigol was left on the bench at the weekend as Inter lost 3-0 to Napoli and is eager to move away from Stefano Pioli’s side to get more match experience.

The forward’s agent, Wagner Ribeiro, revealed that he is likely to leave in January, with Premier League giants Arsenal among the sides linked with the Brazil international.

“Gabriel is not happy at the moment,” Ribeiro told Radio Bandeirantes. 

“It’s not a case of being in conflict with his team-mates; the problem is that he never gets a chance to play. In January we want the situation resolved.

“Just before he left, Frank de Boer said there was no problem but now with Pioli the situation is the same. If he doesn’t get a chance to play when his team are 3-0 down to Napoli, when will he get a chance?”

Hummels was ‘close’ to joining Man Utd

Ribeiro confirmed that there has been interest from clubs in Brazil, but indicated that Gabigol is likely to stay in Europe if he leaves the San Siro outfit on loan in the January transfer window.

“This possibility exists and he could return to Brazil in 2017, even if that would be seen as a step backwards,” Ribeiro continued. 

“There is, however, the situation concerning the non-EU slot that Gabriel takes in the team. If he goes out on loan to Brazil they would lose this place so it would be easier for him to head out to another club in Italy.”

Simeone: Some day I will coach Inter

The Argentine has never hidden his hopes of taking over at San Siro at some point, and his words were echoed by his son who expects a move to Italy

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone says there is no problem with his son Giovanni stating he will coach Inter in the future because he has often spoken of a desire to lead the Nerazzurri later in his career.

Simeone has made no secret of the fact he plans to return to San Siro to coach a club he represented as a player and with whom he won the UEFA Cup in 1998.

LEAKED: Barca’s new 2017-18 kit

Giovanni, who plays for Genoa in Serie A, told Onda Cero last week that he expects his father to move back to Italian shores in the future.

And the Simeone senior defended his son’s comments at a news conference ahead of Atleti’s final Champions League group stage game against Bayern Munich.

“It is normal that my son, my father, my sister, my wife would say that I will train Inter in the future, because they know someday I will lead Inter,” he said.

However, Simeone insists that does not place his immediate future at the Vicente Calderon in doubt, adding: “I have nothing to say about my future. It is abundantly clear.”
When Atleti travel to the Allianz Arena, Simeone will come up against a familiar foe in Carlo Ancelotti, who led Real Madrid to Champions League glory at Los Rojiblancos’ expense in 2014.

Bayern have not been firing on all cylinders under Ancelotti, though, and cannot overhaul Simeone’s men at the top of Group D, while they trail surprise package RB Leipzig by three points in the Bundesliga.

But Simeone rejected suggestions Ancelotti is facing a crisis.

“I do not think they’ve had a crisis,” he said. “During the season there are always difficult situations.

“Sometimes you and sometimes you lose touch. Knowing Ancelotti, I have no doubt that they will fight for the Champions League.”

De Boer: Nobody is in charge at Inter

The Dutchman was fired after just 85 days of his spell in charge of the Serie A side and has opened up about what is going on in the hierarchy

Inter are in complete disarray and lacking leadership in the club’s hierarchy, according to former coach Frank de Boer.

Forget Bale – Salah is the biggest derby absence this week

De Boer was hired as Nerazzurri coach in August as Roberto Mancini’s replacement less than two weeks before his side’s first game of the season. The Dutchman was sacked just 85 days into his three-year deal, with Inter languishing in 12th place in Serie A at the time.

Stefano Pioli has been appointed as De Boer’s successor, but Inter’s struggles for form and consistency continue as they were humbled 3-0 by Napoli on Friday, while the Milan side are also out of the Europa League.

De Boer has criticised Inter for their lack of patience and organisation, insisting they need to evaluate the situation carefully.
“It’s very simple. Internazionale have Chinese people who are the boss, an Indonesian chairman and then there is the board of directors, which are all Italians,” De Boer told Ziggo Sport.

“They all have the power, but none of them really has the power. That is the biggest problem of Internazionale.

Marotta laughs off Pogba’s holiday comment

“They seem to really like this situation, but first there ought to be a good look at internal organisation.

“Everybody wants to get back at the top, but that takes time. Look at Napoli, who are playing Champions League now. But it took them eight years to reach that level. At Inter they wanted to be at the top in two weeks and it just doesn’t work like that.”

Simeone will manage Inter eventually, claims son Giovanni

The Genoa striker insists his dad is currently “very happy” at Atletico Madrid but has tipped him to take charge of the Nerazzurri one day

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone will eventually become Inter manager, his son Giovanni believes.

Simeone, 46, has established himself as one of the finest coaches in world football at Atletico, having led them to the Spanish title in 2013-14 as well as two Champions League finals.

But although Giovanni – who currently plays for Genoa – claims his dad is “very happy” at Atletico, he has backed his father to manage the Nerazzurri one day.

Atletico held by stubborn Espanyol

Giovanni told Onda Cero: “He will sign for Inter Milan at some point. I hope that [happens].

“He is very happy in the Atlético de Madrid, I see it as well. But Inter may occur in the future.”
Simeone famously played for Inter between 1997 and 1999, helping them win the 1997-98 UEFA Cup.

Ramos the hero again for Real Madrid

He fuelled speculation surrounding his position at Atletico after admitting he was considering his future at the club following their defeat against Real Madrid in last season’s Champions League final.

And the Argentine confirmed in September that his contract at the Vicente Calderon had been cut by two years to expire in June 2018 instead of June 2020.

Goal reported the same month that Simeone is likely to take over at Inter in 2018 when his contract runs out at Atletico.

Napoli 3-0 Inter: Hamsik and Insigne on target as Pioli's men flounder

The hosts scored twice in the opening six minutes as they eased to a win that keeps them in touch with the Champions League chasing sides

Stefano Pioli suffered his first Serie A defeat as Inter coach as they were put to the sword in a 3-0 loss at Napoli on Friday.

Tasked with overseeing a recovery following the end of Frank de Boer’s brief and underwhelming stint at San Siro, former Lazio boss Pioli picked up his first victory in Inter’s 4-2 triumph over Fiorentina on Monday.

But he and Inter were emphatically brought back down to earth at the Stadio San Paolo, as two goals in the opening five minutes effectively put the game beyond their reach.

Piotr Zielinski opened the scoring inside two minutes and then set up Napoli captain Marek Hamsik to double the hosts’ advantage.

Napoli had been held to a 1-1 draw by Sassuolo last time out, but there was never any danger of an Inter comeback and Lorenzo Insigne’s 51st-minute volley made sure of the points.

Samir Handanovic performed heroics in the Inter goal to limit Napoli’s margin of victory as Maurizio Sarri’s men moved up to fifth in the table, just a point behind second-placed Roma.

The deadlock was broken after 107 seconds when Jose Callejon nodded Hamsik’s lofted ball across the box back to Zielinksi, whose first-time shot found the bottom-left corner.

Zielinksi then turned creator as Napoli quickly doubled their lead, Hamsik beating Handanovic at the near post with a precise low after being brilliantly played in by the Pole. 

Napoli continued to dominate and pressed to try to put the game to bed early, Manolo Gabbiadini heading narrowly wide of the right-hand post from Insigne’s left-wing cross.

Inter did finally manage to craft an opportunity and it unsurprisingly came through Mauro Icardi, who fired high and wide on the turn.

Possession was squandered by Napoli immediately from the resulting goal-kick, but Pepe Reina raced off his line to prevent Icardi from pulling one back for Inter.

Eder replaced Ever Banega – who had been struggling with an injury – for Inter at the start of the second half.

But that change did little to alter to Inter’s fortunes as Napoli made it 3-0 six minutes after the restart.

Faouzi Ghoulam saw a curling effort turned over by Handanovic, yet hewas helpless as Insigne capitalised on the Inter goalkeeper’s failure to successfully clear Ghoulam’s inswinging coner by looping a snapshot volley into the bottom-right corner

Handanovic was called on again to Hamsik from close range after the Slovakian played a neat one-two with Insigne, and he continued to be the only thing stopping from the game from developing into a rout, thwarting Gabbiadini at the near post.

Not to outdone, Napoli keeper Reina produced a fine fingertip save to stop Antonio Candreva giving Inter a glimmer of hope.

Napoli evidently took their foot off the gas in the closing stages, but there is no time to relax for Pioli, who has plenty to think about with Inter remaining eight points adrift of the Champions League places.