Tonali all set to sign for Inter | Football Italia

  Inter might not be entirely clear on their coach, but they are pushing forward with a €35m deal for Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali.

  Antonio Conte is set for showdown talks with the club hierarchy on Tuesday, in which it’s widely believed he will ask to leave the club.

  Regardless of who is at the helm, with Max Allegri the likely replacement, the Nerazzurri are continuing their transfer strategy.

  According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Inter and Brescia have agreed Tonali will move to San Siro on loan with obligation to buy for a total of €35m.

  It is suggested Tonali returned early from his summer vacation


to sign the five-year contract.

  He’ll reunite with fellow Italy international midfielder Nicolò Barella.

  The 20-year-old has only one Serie A season under his belt, but already three senior caps for Italy.

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Ter Stegen doubt for Napoli clash | Football Italia

  Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen is reportedly in doubt to feature in the Champions League Round of 16 with Napoli on August 8.

  According to Spanish newspaper Diario AS, as reported by Football Espana, the German international is struggling with a persistent knee problem.

  He already missed Barcelona’s last Liga game of the season at Alaves and is bound to require surgery to resolve the issue.

  As that would keep him out for up to three months, it’ll probably only be done after the Champions League is completed.

  If Ter Stegen can’t make it, then former Fiorentina and Juventus goalkeeper Norberto Neto will go in goal.

  Barcelona drew the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie with Napoli, 1-1 in February, and are due to play the second leg on August 8.

  The Blaugrana are missing several key players already, as Arturo Vidal and Sergio Busquets are suspended.

  Jean-Clair Todibo, Samuel Umtiti, Ousmane Dembele and even Antoine Griezmann are also carrying injuries.

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Inzaghi: ‘Lazio achieved objective’ | Football Italia

  Simone Inzaghi wants Lazio to face Hellas Verona ‘in the best possible way’ after securing a top four slot. ‘We have reached our main objective.’

  It kicks off on Sunday at 18.30 UK time (17.30 GMT), click here for a match preview.

  “We know this is a tough game and we are up against a Verona side who have done so well this season, but we’ll try to put in a strong performance, regardless of the situation in the table,” Inzaghi told Lazio Style Channel.

  “We have reached our main objective, a top four finish. There are still three rounds to go, so we’ve got to end it in the best possible way.”

  The injury crisis is starting to ease after it hit a peak in the defeat with Juventus, but remains an issue for the Lazio coach.

  “I have a few decisions to make, we have to see how some have recovered from the last game and today’s training session. Francesco Acerbi, Adam Marusic, Denis Vavro and Danilo Cataldi probably will travel with us, but are not in great shape.

  “The others will be ready, except for suspended Manuel Lazzari, while Senad Lulic, Stefan Radu and Lucas Leiva are out for the rest of the season.”

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Official: Pirlo new U

  Juventus have announced the appointment of Andrea Pirlo as the club’s new Under-23 coach.

  Check out the betting preview for Juventus v Roma on

  The former midfielder has been linked with a return to the Bianconeri in recent weeks and the club confirmed the appointment today.

  “A new adventure for Andrea Pirlo and Juventus begins today,” the club wrote in a press release. “After five years we work together again.

  “Andrea is in fact the new coach of the Under-23 team. A challenge is upon us, for a return that can only please. Welcome back, coach Pirlo!”

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Pioli edges Gattuso in coaching battle | Football Italia_3

  Napoli and Milan played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Stadio San Paolo in a match where the tactical aspects of both teams were on display.

  The Partenopei, playing at home and high on confidence after a recent upturn in results, were not about to just let an in-form Rossoneri come into their home and dictate the play, no matter how much their manager Rino Gattuso had connections with the Lombard team. They pressed, harried and created chances that had Gigio Donnarumma being forced into save after save.

  Significantly, the attacks were coming down the right side of Milan’s defence as Andrea Conti was having another shocker at right-back, and it’s no wonder the club are linked with a number of full-backs. Somewhere Donnarumma’s agent Mino Raiola must have been smiling seeing his client’s value increase by the minute with showdown talks with the hierarchy at the club scheduled soon. Milan really can’t afford to let this generational talent go.

  While the youth product kept the scores level, il Diavolo took the lead completely against the run of play. Ante Rebic was once again involved and his growing influence in the team was evident yet again. It was not just that he made a forward run into space, but, like a man brimming with confidence and knowing exactly where on the pitch he could hurt the opposition, he pointed to where he required the ball to be played. Ismael Bennacer promptly obliged and the Croatian’s turn and cross was finished off by Theo Hernandez.

  Quick forward passing, skilful play and vision inside the penalty area and the chance being taken, it has become a staple of this Milan under Pioli since the re-start.

  The away side noticeably dropped at least 10 yards deeper after taking the lead, which would be to their detriment. They conceded the equaliser from a free-kick as their longstanding inability to deal with defending from set-plays came back at them.

  Lorenzo Insigne, who has found a new lease of life recently and came out and said recently that the munity the players created last November was a ‘mistake,’ whipped in the cross of a man in form. None of Milan’s players managed to clear and it was a tap in for right-back Giovanni Di Lorenzo.

  A goal for each side, both scored by full-backs. It highlights how modern players are expected to be all-rounders, with the ability to contribute on both ends of the pitch. The days of the one dimensional footballer are long-gone.

  Stefano Pioli clearly drove home to his team to not be overawed by playing an in-form Napoli. He obviously encouraged his team to express themselves more as they came out after the interval and had the home side on the back foot. But yet again, a goal came against the run of play.

  Theo was tucked in just a bit too much, which allowed Jose Callejon the freedom on the right to pick out the intelligent run of Dries Mertens and Napoli’s all-time top goal scorer made it 125. Having recently extended his contract till 2022, the Belgian will have put great distance ahead of the rest by time his career in Napoli is at its end.

  One of the most significant ways Pioli has improved his team is in his in-game management and he showed his hand after Milan went behind. He immediately brought on Rafael Leao and Giacomo Bonaventura for the under-par Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Hakan Calhanoglu.

  It paid dividends as Bonaventura was fouled by Nikola Maksimovic soon after inside the box to give his team a spot kick. Napoli protested, VAR checked and Frank Kessie scored. For the second match in a row, the Ivorian made the game 2-2 and he is showing the form he displayed at Atalanta on a more consistent basis at Milan.

  There was still 20 minutes to go in the encounter, but it was clear that Milan were happy to sit back and settle for a point while Napoli pushed for a late winner. The entire Rossoneri back four was in their own penalty area, the double pivot of Kessie and Bennacer were on the edge and even Leao was forced to make a tackle or two.

  It is very rare that a Napoli manager had taken off both Insigne and Mertens in the same game, let alone at the same time, but that was exactly what Gattuso did. It was a move most likely brought by necessity rather than change in tactics, with the players having such an intense workload playing every three to four days. They aren’t machines, after all.

  Their replacements, Arkadiusz Milik and Hirving Lozano, couldn’t affect the game much. Given the constant talk about his future, one must wonder if Milik’s head is still with the club, despite scoring the winner in Napoli’s Coppa Italia final victory over Juventus.

  Milan’s backs-to-the-wall approach was made more difficult when Alexis Saelemaekers showed his inexperience by making two unnecessary fouls in quick succession and got himself sent off. But each Napoli attack was defended stoutly by Milan, and while they did get some possession, the pace of Leao could only take them so far. The fixture petered out, Milan happy enough with a point, Napoli probably feeling they deserved more.

  Speaking post-match, Pioli mentioned ‘raising the bar’ while Gattuso bemoaned his side wasting scoring chances. Milan have stepped up, staying unbeaten against Roma, Lazio, Juve and Napoli but the Partenopei need to heed Gattuso’s words. They face Barcelona in less than a month, and have to take whatever chances they get.

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Sarri: ‘Juventus can leave you perplexed’ | Football Italia

  Maurizio Sarri admits Juventus ‘seem to have enormous potential, and at other times leave you perplexed’ after a 3-3 thriller with Sassuolo.

  The Bianconeri went 2-0 up within 12 minutes thanks to Danilo and Gonzalo Higuain goals, but Sassuolo came back to lead 3-2 and could’ve won it at the death if not for Wojciech Szczesny heroics and an Alex Sandro goal-line clearance.

  “A coach expects consistency from his team, it’s something we’ve been lacking both physically and mentally. We have some very strong moments in a match and some moments of passivity that are difficult to understand,” Sarri told Sky Sport Italia.

  This was their third game in a row without victory, after a 4-2 defeat to Milan – where they had also gone 2-0 up – and 2-2 draw with Atalanta.

  “We’ve been up against teams in remarkable form recently and Sassuolo are no different, as they’d won four in a row and if they consolidate, they can become the Atalanta of the future.

  “I do believe that if we resolve the issue of consistency throughout the game, we are on the right track. Any team becomes dangerous if you let them pass it around in our final third.

  “We struggled because they played between the lines with the trequartista and we gave the ball away too many times. It was strange, as our full-backs in the first half were conservative, but then started to push forward and win the ball back early towards the end of the game.

  “It’s not so much something that doesn’t work as it works in fits and starts. At times, I get the feeling this team has enormous potential. At other times, it leaves you perplexed, as it allows the opponents to enter the box far too easily. We need to find the right balance and that is not easy.

  “We had to keep the ball more, as there are times when the passing move will help you to control the tempo and stay in the opposition half. We sometimes feel too rushed in trying to get to the goal in a couple of passes, which creates a situation where you go from end to end.”

  Giorgio Chiellini was given a surprise start, but had to be substituted by Daniele Rugani at half-time.

  “Giorgio seemed to be in good shape over the last three or four days, he felt his calf muscle hardening before half-time and asked to come off. We were without Leonardo Bonucci, so it was important to have a player with experience and character.”

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Conte: ‘Attitude key at SPAL’

  Antonio Conte wants to see ‘enthusiasm and desire’ against SPAL on Thursday, to help Inter secure ‘three important points’ in a congested top four battle.

  Inter bounced back with a 3-1 win against Torino last time and sit two points behind second-placed Atalanta with one game in hand.

  With Lazio and Inter on 68 points so far, Conte stressed that his players must continue to give everything to win in Ferrara tomorrow.

  “Absolutely. We must arrive with the same enthusiasm and desire that we have been showing, doing our best and try to get the three points that would be very important.”

  Inter sit eight points behind Juventus but have picked up the most points after 32 games since 2008-09, have 18 different goalscorers and match the Old Lady on only four defeats all season.

  “These are numbers that testify the excellent things this team are doing. They must stimulate us to continue like this and do even better going forward.”

  But Conte is wary of the possible pitfalls ahead of the match against SPAL, who sit rock-bottom in Serie A.

  “The pitfalls are those of facing the match without the right determination and focus from the off. We face a team that has a poor position in the table, but let’s not forget that they will have great motivation because they play Inter.

  “We must pay close attention and our attitude will count a lot.”

  The Nerazzurri are playing their ninth match in just over a month and Conte has thanked his staff for helping him with the preparation.

  “It’s a big task, for which I have to thank all my staff who prepare the videos on the opponents and beyond.

  “We need great collaboration and a quality staff, which, luckily, is what I have.”

  Conte confirmed that Victor Moses will be back against the Biancazzurri tomorrow and revealed that Nicolò Barella could return against Roma.

  “Moses is available, Barella has started training with the ball and we hope to have him back against Roma,” Conte explained. “[Stefano] Sensi is healing, [Romelu] Lukaku is getting rid of the contracture and we hope to have him back as soon as possible.

  “[Matias] Vecino still struggles with his knee and I can’t give any information on that.”

  SPAL coach Luigi Di Biagio, who was the Italy Under-21 coach during Conte’s spell at the helm of the Azzurri, is under pressure in Ferrara and the Inter tactician thinks he will learn from the difficulties.

  “We are talking about a very serious and prepared man, who knows what he wants. He found a rather delicate situation, but I have also been through these experiences and he did the right thing.”

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Who is Manchester United new-boy Daniel James?

Manchester United paid £15 million for the winger and supporters are excited about what the Welshman can do at Old Trafford.


The 21-year-old starred for Swansea City scoring four goals and adding nine assists in 33 Championship matches last term.

James will offer Manchester United a creative threat down the flanks, which is something that was missing last term. Midfielder Paul Pogba led the Red Devils with nine assists while Marcus Rashford contributed six.

The two played far more centrally preventing Manchester United from having a dangerous wide attack. James can provide speed in wide areas and challenge full-backs which the Red Devils lacked.

Former manager Jose Mourinho had sought more wide players to challenge Anthony Martial and Rashford for a starting place in the team. James’ signing could mean Rashford is played more centrally while consistent competition brings out the best in Martial.

Rashford scored 10 goals which was joint-third most during the season with Martial.

James has been likened to a “cross between Usain Bolt and Ronaldo”. It is a bit of a strange comparison but that is what Hungary manager Marco Rossi said after seeing James play over the weekend.

Some supporters may be underwhelmed by Manchester United’s signing of a Championship player. Swansea did finish 10th in the second division 14 points off the playoffs.

It is alleged Manchester United are seeking to copy Liverpool’s money ball model to sign undervalued players that can become stars. James could be a great summer signing for the Red Devils if he can produce goals consistently..

His £15m price tag is a fraction of the price most top six teams pay these days for players.

James will make a big step up in competition when he arrives at Old Trafford. Perhaps the positive of James’ signing is it represents a hungry unproven player which is a contrast to the likes of Pogba and Romelu Lukaku.

Manchester United are still in the market for further additions this summer and most supporters would expect the club to spend far more on players during the transfer window.

Last summer, the Red Devils bought just three players with only two, Fred and Diogo Dalot, making any sort of contribution to the first team.

Supporters will hope the club can spend more wisely and James could be some indication they will.

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