Arsenal open to Torreira loan deal | Football Italia

  Arsenal would be prepared to loan Lucas Torreira out to a Serie A club, claims Fabrizio Romano, with Torino and Fiorentina interested.

  The Uruguay international spent much of his career in Italy at Pescara and Sampdoria until the 2018 move to Arsenal for €28m.

  It had until now been reported that the Gunners weren’t willing to let him go for anything other than a permanent transfer, as he’d fallen down the pecking order under Mikel Arteta.

  However, Sky Sport Italia and Guardian transfer expert Romano now suggests Arsenal are


open to a pure loan without option or obligation to buy.

  That lets Fiorentina back into the frame, even if they already have reinforcements in that area with Giacomo Bonaventura from Milan.

  Torino remain the favourites, as Torreira played the best football of his career under their coach Marco Giampaolo at Sampdoria.

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Serie B: Promotion play

  The first leg of the Serie B promotion play-off is this evening, as Frosinone and Spezia battle to join Benevento and Crotone in the top flight.

  Spezia finished third in the regular season on 61 points, after putting together 17 wins, 10 draws and 11 defeats.

  They had lost the first leg of the play-off semi-final 2-0 to Chievo, but fought back for a 3-1 home victory.

  Frosinone had been one of the favourites for promotion, but slipped down the standings in the final weeks of the campaign.

  Alessandro Nesta’s side ended up in the eighth and final place for the play-offs on 54 points, following 14 wins, 12 draws and 12 losses.

  They therefore had to play a preliminary round, needing extra time to beat Cittadella 3-2.

  They lost the first leg of the semi-final 1-0 at home to Pordenone, but turned that around with a 2-0 away win.

  The first leg


kicks off this evening at the Stadio Stirpe in Frosinone, with the decider on Thursday at the Picco in Spezia.

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Probable line

  Inter coach Antonio Conte looks set to give


the same XI another chance to impress against Shakhtar Donetsk, with Christian Eriksen benched again.

  The semi-final of the Europa League kicks off at 20.00 UK time tonight.

  Danilo D’Ambrosio continues to impress at right for the Nerazzurri, keeping Antonio Candreva out of the side. And with Alexis Sanchez absent, Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez are unchallenged up front.

  Diego Godin, Stefan de Vrij and Alessandro Bastoni are set to continue at the back, recharged after six days of rest, whilst Ashley Young will be found at left, with Nicolò Barella, Marcelo Brozovic and Roberto Gagliardini in the middle of the park.

  Shakhtar Donetsk arrive in their usual 4-2-3-1, where Junior Moraes should be leading the attack as a lone striker.

  David Khocholava and youngster Valeriy Bondar will fight for a place among the four at the back, whilst Marlos, Alan Patrick and Taison seem to have secured a place in the trident behind Junior Moraes.

  Inter (probable): Handanovic; Godin, De Vrij, Bastoni; D’Ambrosio, Barella, Brozovic, Gagliardini, Young; Lukaku, Lautaro

  Bench: Padelli, Ranocchia, Skriniar, Biraghi, Candreva, Moses, Sensi, Borja Valero, Eriksen, Agoume, Esposito

  Shakhtar (probable): Pyatov; Dodo, Krivstov, Khocholava, Matvyenko; Marcos Antonio, Stepanenko; Marlos, Alan Patrick, Taison; Junior Moraes

  Bench: Turbin, Vitao, Fernando, Dentinho, Marquinhos Cipriano, Bondar, Konoplyanka, Maycon, Kovalenco, Solomon, Bolbat, Tete

  Referee: Marciniak (POL)

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UYL: 10

  Inter are out of the UEFA Youth League, losing the quarter-final 3-0 to Real Madrid after going down to 10 men.

  It had been fairly even until the turning point at the 57th minute, when Rodriguez was brought down and Franco Vezzoni received his second yellow card, reducing Inter to 10 men.

  Giacomo Pozzer saved the penalty from Victor Chust, but it was only a brief respite, because Real Madrid took the lead seven minutes later through Marvin Park’s tap-in.

  Inter continued to create chances, but late on another penalty by Miguel Gutierrez and the


Ivan Morante header secured a 3-0 result.

  Real Madrid will face RB Salzburg in one semi-final, with Ajax and Benfica playing the other.

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De Zerbi’s Sassuolo vision | Football Italia

  Atalanta are grabbing all the headlines, but Sassuolo are one of the form teams in Serie A since the restart and much of the credit goes to their coach, Roberto De Zerbi.

  The little club from the Emilia-Romagna region have won four on the bounce heading into their Wednesday night showdown at the Mapei Stadium with league leaders and eight in a row Champions Juventus. Just days after surviving a scare, Juve are now up against another club whose all-attack philosophy has been overshadowed by Atalanta success, but is no less impressive.

  The Modena club have won four, drawn two and only lost one of their seven ties since a 4-1 hammering by Atalanta in June.

  The architect behind the rise of the Neroverdi this term is De Zerbi, who has received plaudits from all corners for the attacking and entertaining style his side tries to play.

  The 41-year-old ex-Napoli midfielder first came to prominence in the top flight when his Benevento side excited fans with a refreshingly open brand of football, despite being relegated in their maiden Serie A season.

  De Zerbi lines his men up in a 4-3-3 formation relying on a deep-lying playmaker to get on the ball and find the two wingers, who tend to stretch the play by staying out wide. The idea then is to cut inside and link up with the striker with some short pass combination moves, which sometimes culminates in devastatingly swift counter-attacking goals.

  In October 2018, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola even stated he was impressed with how Sassuolo play, and the Neroverdi have probably become even better as De Zerbi has honed his craft.

  Sassuolo currently sit in eighth place in the table, four points off a Europa League qualification place, and have the joint fifth best goal-scoring record in the division with 59.

  A front three consisting of Francesco Caputo (16 goals) flanked on either side by captain Domenico Berardi (12) and Jeremie Boga (11) has provided 39 of those goals – in fact the only other team to have three players in double figures this term is Atalanta.

  Some would say that De Zerbi is heavily reliant on his attacking trio and they’d be right, however, players such as Gregoire Defrel (3), Hamed Traore (3) and Filip Duricic (4) have pitched in with goals this season, while former Italian U-19 striker Giacomo Raspadori scored his first Serie A goal and the equaliser in his side’s 2-1 defeat of Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico.

  Manuel Locatelli has blossomed under the tutelage of De Zerbi this year. The 22-year-old has impressed in the deep lying playmaker role, playing 27 times and providing four assists. The former Milan youth product burst onto the scene in 2016 when he smashed a spectacular shot off the crossbar and past the outstretched hands of Gianluigi Buffon in the Rossoneri’s 1-0 victory over Juventus at San Siro.

  The Italian U-21 International has been linked with a big money move to Juventus in recent weeks and will have a chance to show off to his suitors when the two teams face off.

  What will be interesting to see in the coming months is whether De Zerbi can hold onto his prized assets and build an even more competitive team for next season. The coach is hot property now and has signed a new deal keeping him in Emilia-Romagna for another year, despite links with Fiorentina in recent months.

  The Neroverdi have launched the careers of coaches like Eusebio Di Francesco and most notably former Juventus boss Max Allegri, so perhaps De Zerbi can follow on in their footsteps and take over at one of the big clubs.

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Ancelotti: ‘Everton for the long haul’ | Football Italia

  Carlo Ancelotti confirms ‘I’d like to have a very long experience’ at Everton, where he is planning ‘an evolution, not a revolution’.

  Ancelotti has not lasted more than two years in any of his six jobs since his tenure at Milan ended in 2009, but he is hoping to buck that trend at Everton.

  “I feel part of this project, which started for me in December, and I hope it lasts for a long time,” the 61-year-old told Sky Sport Italia.

  “I’ve never had very long experiences in my career, but I’d like to have one here: Liverpool took five years to get to the top.

  “Everton want to build a new stadium and have the ambition of fighting for a place in Europe.

  “I’d like to be part of this project for a long time. Being appreciated gives me a lot of pleasure and motivation, but at the same time it also gives you a lot of responsibility.

  “You’re appreciated for what you’ve done, but you’d also like to be appreciated for what you’re going to do.

  “That’s my objective. Doing it for those who appreciate you is much more stimulating.”

  The former Napoli boss is coming to the end of his first half-season in charge of the Toffees, lifting them to safety amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

  “The balance sheet is a positive one, considering it’s been a very strange season.

  “I came here during the Christmas period with the team in trouble and then there was the pandemic.

  “One of the most positive aspects is the great welcome that the fans reserved for me, plus I have to say that I found a very organised club, with beautiful structures and a fabulous training ground.”

  Finally, Carletto was asked about Everton’s plans in the upcoming transfer window.

  “The club’s ambition is to improve and we’ll focus on the transfer window once the season finishes.

  “It’ll last until 5 October, so there will be plenty of time to improve the team. I’m not thinking of a revolution but maybe an evolution.”

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Highlights: Milan 1

  Milan led Atalanta through Hakan Calhanoglu’s wonder strike, but Duvan Zapata equalised for a share of the spoils at San Siro.

  Calhanoglu hit double-figures for goals this season with a stunning free kick, curling one into the roof of Pierluigi Gollini’s net far out from the left.

  Atalanta ultimately grabbed a point as Zapata finished off from two yards out, but Gianluigi Donnarumma was on hand to save Ruslan Malinovskyi’s penalty.

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Report: Verona get Cetin | Football Italia

  Hellas Verona have reportedly agreed a loan deal with an option to buy Roma defender Mert Cetin ahead of next season.

  Cetin has struggled to find space at the Giallorossi and has only played five games in Serie A since his move from Genclerbirligi last summer.

  Sky Sport Italia report that the 23-year-old will move to Verona on a loan deal for 2020-21, with an option to buy the player for €15m next summer.

  Cetin signed a five-year contract upon his arrival in the capital but seems set to move on after only one season.

  The report claims Roma will include a buy-back clause in the deal worth €15m, should the player move on a permanent deal next summer.

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