Standings implications: Juventus topped Lazio, not without some troubles, and moved considerably closer to Scudetto, as the other chasers slowed down since Inter shared the spoils with Roma and Atalanta could not make Verona bend the knee. Napoli and Milan stay at the same level as they were both successful, the Rossoneri versus Bologna, the Partenopei against Udinese. While that is inconsequential with Napoli taking home the Coppa Italia, the Devil got closer to Roma and built a sizeable cushion over Sassuolo, which were held to a tie in Cagliari. Fiorentina kept it going against Torino.
Everton have emerged as the front runners to sign Brazilian defender Gabriel Magalhaes. The player is currently with Lille and has impressed the Premier League side who are willing to spend £30m to get his services for next season.
If Everton get the player simply known as Gabriel it would be seen as a major swoop, and they certainly look the favourites to secure his services at this time. One of the reasons that the transfer would be impressive is because both Arsenal and Chelsea have shown an interest. Not only are both clubs equipped with larger budgets, but because of recent successes they would also have more pulling power.
One has to remember that Everton have not won a major trophy since 1995 when they won the FA Cup. Some could see Chelsea and Arsenal in transition at this moment but both clubs are still powerful and can attract the very best players in Europe. The question is could Gabriel’s head be turned? Could Chelsea for example offer more wages, or a bigger transfer fee to Lille?
The good news for Everton is that they have Carlo Ancelotti as manager and no one can deny that he is amongst the very best managers in Europe his CV speaks for itself and that could mean everything in Everton persuading Gabriel to join and be coached by one of the greats.
However is £30m too much of a risk on Gabriel? The defender has only played 34 games for Lille since his move there in 2017, and one of those reasons is that he has been loaned out to Troyes and Dinamo Zagreb. Why would you loan out a player, if he is worth £30m to you?
Of course it could simply be that Gabriel has needed time to grow and adapt as a player and at 22 he is still young and learning. He hasn’t made the Brazilian national team yet but has played for the under 20 side. Also Gabriel would be able to link up with Richarlison, Everton’s Brazilian forward who has improved his game since joining Everton from Watford, that could also be a major plus.
The transfer though isn’t assured, as both Arsenal and Chelsea also have another trick up their sleeves, which is the pulling power of life in London and all that comes with it.
It will be interesting then to see if the Ancelotti effect has taken on some importance, as he looks like the only major ‘player’ in proceedings that could swing this deal Everton’s way.
If they do get their man, well done, but presently Gabriel seems a little unproven for the money being talked about.
How well do you know English football? Want to challenge the best English Fantasy Managers? Play www.epl-fantasy.com now.
Atalanta: Marten De Roon is suspended, newcomer Tomas Sutalo is out for a month with a foot injury.
Bologna: Andrea Poli is disqualified. Nicola Sansone suffered a hamstring strain, Federico Santander a hip muscle one and they will both miss three-to-four weeks. No returns among the previously injured Gary Medel (hamstring) and Ladislav Krejci (knee).
Atalanta: Josip Ilicic is dealing with some thigh soreness but there is optimism it is nothing serious. Timothy Castagne resumed practicing after some knee pain and Lennart Czyborra is available as well following a contracture. Tomas Sutalo will miss time with a navicular bone edema.
Bologna: Takehiro Tomiyasu is suspended. Nicola Sansone should be fine after some muscle fatigue and Stefano Denswil is on track to return from a thigh problem. Gary Medel (thigh) and Ladislav Krejci (knee) are poised to remain on the shelf.
Brescia: Mario Balotelli will finish serving his two-game suspension. Continue reading
There were limited hard-fought contests in the last round of 2020, which comprised mostly one-sided affairs. Lecce made it interesting late against Bologna and, even if their push come up short, it allowed the game to earn the honours of best of the weekend.
The Salentini eked out few points here and there in the past two months, mostly through draws, but have yet to prevail at home, while the Felsinei had done so in two of the past three fixtures, over Napoli and Atalanta. Continue reading
Despite the fairly lopsided result, Lazio-Lecce was the funniest and most eventful game of the round. The Biancocelesti came into the contest having triumphed three times in a row, against Fiorentina, Torino and Milan, while the Salentini had collected four straight ties.
Filippo Inzaghi was able to field almost all of his go-to XI minus Stefan Radu, who is hurt, and replaced him with Patric, with some re-shuffling in the back as Francesco Acerbi was used as left centre-back. Manuel Lazzari manned the right wing with Adam Marusic on the shelf. Continue reading
Teams ramped up their activity in the first official week in an effort to give their coaches full squads by the start of the pre-season camps: Inter got busy and announced the signings of Diego Godin on a free transfer from Atletico Madrid, Stefano Sensi on loan with option to buy from Sassuolo and Valentino Lazaro from Hertha Berlin. Juventus answered with Adrien Rabiot from PSG and Merih Demiral from the Neroverdi and reunited with Gianluigi Buffon.
Milan added Theo Hernandez from Real Madrid, while Atalanta brought back Mario Pasalic on loan from Chelsea: the midfielder will continue to provide valuable depth in a pair of positions and had a sneakily good end of the 2018/2019 season, notching five goals in total. Continue reading
Following a spell of nine years in Serie A, Cagliari Calcio suffered relegation to Serie B at the end of 2014-15. Continue reading