Agent: ‘Brahim Diaz looks for leading role at Milan’ | Football Italia

  Agent Pedro Gonzalez seems sure Brahim Diaz can claim a starting position at Milan and believes the 21-year-old will ‘quickly adapt to his new reality’.

  Diaz moved from Malaga to Manchester City in January 2014, but returned to Spain in 2019, but has struggled to convince Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid.

  The youngster will move on loan for 2020-21 and agent Gonzalez reveals Diaz chose to move to Milan, hoping to find first-team football and ‘bring out his full potential’.

  “Brahim returned to Spain in January 2019, but in Madrid they didn’t give him the required space and above all the confidence he needed,” Gonzalez told Tuttomercatoweb.

  “He’s a young player and he needs to play continuously to bring out his full potential.”

  Gonzalez thinks Milan provide a great opportunity for the former Manchester City youngster.

  “Absolutely, yes. I’m convinced of the Rossoneri choice,” he added. “Brahim has already lived abroad and will therefore adapt quickly to his new reality.

  “His future teammate Samu Castillejo, another great player I brought to Malaga, will help him. I say this with great pride.”

  And despite his young age, Gonzalez believes Diaz can fight for a place in coach Stefano Pioli’s starting line-up.

  “In my opinion, yes. If Brahim Diaz has chosen Milan, it means he already knows he can help the team


by carving out a leading role.

  “I have no doubts about this. As soon as he has finished his growth path, we will talk about an absolute champion and not a promising youngster anymore.”

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Report: Roma reject Spurs’ request for Zaniolo | Football Italia

  Tottenham have, according to Sky Sport Italia, approached Roma about Nicolò Zaniolo, but La Lupa rejected the request by reiterating the player is not for sale.

  The broadcaster reveals a representative of the Premier League side arrived at Trigoria with Zaniolo’s agent Claudio Vigorelli, formally requesting information about the Italy international’s situation in the capital.



Londoners, prepared to make an offer for the player, were stopped at the door by Roma, who shut down the approach for the 21-year-old immediately.

  Sky reveals the Giallorossi intend to keep Zaniolo and have told Spurs the player is not for sale.

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Report: Mandzo offered to Roma | Football Italia

  Former Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic has, according to Tuttosport, been offered to Roma and could move on a free transfer this summer.

  The former Croatia international has been linked with a move to Inter in recent weeks, but the newspaper reveals his representatives have offered him to the Giallorossi in the Italian capital.

  Mandzukic wants to return to European football after a stint in Qatar and the report claims he will ask for a lower wage than captain Edin Dzeko.



34-year-old, who had highly successful stints at Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and Juventus before his move last summer, wants €4m plus bonuses a year and would allegedly accept a two-year contract.

  The details in the deal match the proposal for Arkadiusz Milik and could provide a high-quality alternative should Dzeko leave the Olimpico this summer.

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Conte finding his Inter team | Football Italia_4

  Whilst the 4-0 destruction of SPAL was impressive, it was also needed. There is still a feeling that Inter are always one game away from a crisis at present and if they had managed to lose in Ferrara, then it is likely that this would have been the case. Consistency is the buzzword for the Nerazzurri these days and now they are showing signs of this, Antonio Conte wants to make sure people know about it.

  In truth, SPAL did not even muster a shot on target and Inter ran out clear winners. Since the break, the Milanese giants have had a Jekyll and Hyde persona in certain games, but coming off a good win against Torino, the ‘mister’ was quick to point out that this result ‘sent a signal’. One thing is for certain, the coach knows how he wants his team to play and when they do so, it can be devastating. The problem has been, however, that when they have dropped off the pace, they’ve been so far from the way Conte wants them to play that it has been quite baffling.

  There is no doubt Antonio is a stubborn man, but this has led many to criticise his tactics and insist that he bangs his head against a wall trying desperately to enforce his standard 3-5-2 formation. This was something he is desperate to dispel and last night he felt he had. He was keen to point out that the first goal was very much down to himself, as Inter did outwit SPAL when they rushed forward with four attackers and bamboozled their backline. Conte pointed out this was a direct instruction and something that he had employed whilst at Bari and Siena, when his tactics were 4-2-4. He also spoke of the improvement of Christian Eriksen and that he has now been employed between the lines as a type of trequartista behind the front two. This makes the formation a fluid 3-4-1-2 and said that this transition certainly involves more of the team in the attacking areas.

  On the face of it, as Inter sit six points off Juventus and look far more consistent than The Old Lady and Lazio, one could almost argue that a title challenge is still in the offing, but one has to think this is unlikely. Conte made it clear last night that second place was the aim and when you look at the upcoming fixtures, you can see why. Roma, Fiorentina, Genoa, Napoli and finally the in form Atalanta stand in their way, and despite recent performances, the Nerazzurri need to prove that they can go for long spells at this tempo.

  Whilst all that may sound negative, there are many positives for Inter. After the game against Torino, the coach was clear that he was brought to Inter to embark on a three-year project, and when you look at it like that, Inter have come a long way. They are financially secure and have deep pockets to help Beppe Marotta and Conte achieve this. They are purging the club of its bad apples and Mauro Icardi is gone, soon to be followed by Ivan Perisic, Dalbert, Joao Mario and others. He has formulated possibly the best partnership in European Football with Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez looking unstoppable and they look like they may even keep hold of their Argentinian. Alexis Sanchez is reborn and looking like he may stay, whilst some of the squad players have been trusted and are repaying the faith.

  With Inter, the issue is always, what constitutes a success? This season a second-place finish would be an improvement, and these wins against Torino and SPAL do suggest that there is a change and that they are becoming more consistent. A victory against Roma and this would really start to make Serie A sit up and look, but many also know that the Nerazzurri have a way of shooting themselves in the foot.

  For now however, as the likes of Sanchez and Eriksen get better week on week and the rotation continues to pay dividends, things look positive. Conte’s vision is taking shape and perhaps the most positive element is that Inter have shown on numerous occasions that when they listen and do what he wants, it works. Practice as they say, makes perfect.

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No Juve party at Villar Perosa | Football Italia

  Juventus have been forced to cancel their traditional party at Villar Perosa for the first time in 61 years.

  The Bianconeri have officially announced the cancellation of the event through a letter sent by President Andrea Agnelli to the mayor of Villar Perosa.

  “I inform you with much regret, since the conditions aren’t there this year, that you will not be able to hold the traditional ‘family party’ at the sports centre of Villar Perosa,” Agnelli wrote.

  “I’m sure that you will understand that the rules dictated by the COVID-19 security protocol and the new competitive calendar of 2019-20 season unfortunately don’t allow us to confirm the usual summer vernissage, an event we all care about.”

  The party has been an unmissable event for the Agnelli family and the thousands of fans who attended the pitch where the last friendly usually was held before the start of the new campaign.

  Juventus have commitments in the Champions League this August and furthermore must comply with the current security protocol in Italy.

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De Zerbi: ‘Lesson for Sassuolo’ | Football Italia

  Roberto De Zerbi hopes Sassuolo learn the lesson of ‘taking nothing for granted’ as they prepare to host Milan in Serie A tomorrow.

  Sassuolo have lost just once since the season restarted but were held for the second game running at the weekend, drawing 1-1 with Parma despite dominating for spells.

  “Nothing can be taken for granted. That’s the lesson we need to learn,” De Zerbi said at a press conference.

  “I don’t know if it’ll act as a lesson because every game is different. In a match like the one against Cagliari, there’s a lot of rage if you don’t come away with all three points, but football is also like this.

  “We’re on a good run, we’ve picked up from where we left off before lockdown. In these last four games, we have to take maximum points.”

  The Neroverdi face a Milan side in similarly-hot form and with ambitions of Europa League qualification too.

  “They have several top individuals and are doing well. We have to be absolutely wary of Pioli, who’s done an amazing job.

  “We’ve scored lots of goals at Inter, Juve and Lazio and we can cause anyone problems.

  “We’ll still need to rotate. Some who played at Cagliari have played for 90 minutes in 3-4 games on the trot.

  “We can still qualify for Europe. It’s not easy and there are still 12 points up for grabs, but even finishing eighth would be a good result, given the teams who are near us.”

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Ibrahimovic: ‘If this is Milan, I won’t stay’

Zlatan Ibrahimovic confirms his confrontation with CEO Ivan Gazidis. ‘If this is the situation, it’s unlikely you’ll see me at Milan next season. I am practically playing for free.’


In a snippet of the full interview Ibra gave to La Gazzetta dello Sport magazine Sportweek, which is released on Saturday, the Swede tore down the club’s current chiefs.

“Ibra plays to win something or he stays at home,” he replied when asked about his future.

“They told me that retiring in America was too easy, so I came back to Milan. I am here purely for passion, because I’m basically playing for free… Then this COVID situation stopped everything and I thought, maybe there’s something trying to tell me that I should retire…

“Fortunately, we got back on the pitch. My calf managed to get involved too, but after two days I was ready to come back into the team. Ibra is like that. But they told me to take it slow.”

The 38-year-old has lost none of his verve, nor his tendency to talk about himself in the third person, but is he considering retirement?

“Ibra was born to play football and is still the best at playing football. We’ll see how I feel in two months. We’ll also see what’s happening with the club. If this is the situation, to be honest, it’s unlikely you’ll see me at Milan next season.

“Ibra is not a player for the Europa League and Milan are not a club who belong in the Europa League.”

The response was similar when questioned on those reports of the infamous face-to-face confrontation with CEO Ivan Gazidis at the training ground just before the Coppa Italia semi-final.

“I spoke for me and for the team. I needed to have some explanations on the future, both mine and of Milan. I said that this is not the Grande Milan I once experienced, that is true, but we must do the best we can even in this situation. All the way to the end.

“Ibra is here, Ibra takes care of it. I have to be here or you’ll lose the fans. I don’t know if there will be another club after Milan, I never like to close doors to opportunities.

“I will only go somewhere I have some control, not where words are worth nothing. I still have too much passion for what I do.”

Coach Stefano Pioli is getting strong results, but Milan have given up trying to deny they are in talks with Ralf Rangnick. Is Ibrahimovic impressed?

“Who is Rangnick? I don’t even know who he is.”

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