Inter have been scouring the market for new flank players and, even though the Matteo Politano-Leonardo Spinazzola swap fell through, they still got one as they acquired Ashley Young from Manchester United. The 34-year-old Englishman, who signed a six-month contract with an optional second year and has amassed over 260 appearances with the Red Devils over the last nine years, has turned into a full-fledged fullback late in his career, primarily on the left, so he will immediately push Cristiano Biraghi for the starting job. He registered five assists in his best year in that position. Continue reading
Alex Meret (7 points): Napoli would have found themselves in an early hole if it was not for his spectacular triple save in the span of ten seconds on point-blank attempts by Darko Lazovic, Matteo Pessina and Mariusz Stepinski.
William Troost-Ekong (5 points): if Udinese are rock-solid at home a lot of the credit goes to their defensive linchpin and to his quiet leadership, which contributed to holding in check the likes of Andrea Belotti and company. Continue reading
Standings implications: Inter and Juventus gained some ground in the standings thanks to their wins over Lazio and Brescia, as Napoli were stunned at home by Cagliari. Atalanta are now in third after an excellent victory over Roma. The Sardinians are right there in fifth. Parma took advantage of Sassuolo’s road woes, while Genoa and Bologna and Verona and Udinese shared the spoils in goalless matches. In the lower zones, Fiorentina finally prevailed, over the reeling Sampdoria, while Lecce sunk SPAL away. Torino mounted an improbable comeback against Milan, considering how the game was going up to that point and moved to the 4th spot. Continue reading
Atalanta: Timothy Castagne will miss another one as he is recovering from a meniscus tear, but he should be ready after the break.
Bologna: no absentees for the Felsinei who will play tonight.
Another interesting transfer market week is in the books: Roma was the most active among the top teams, both acquiring and selling players. After three solid seasons, Stephan El Shaarawy was lured away by Chinese money, while Pau Lopez from Real Betis is their new starting goalkeeper. They let go two fringe players: Gerson joined Flamengo after the up-and-down loan spell to Fiorentina, while Ivan Marcano returned to Porto after failing to make an impression last season. After much wait, Inter finally concluded the negotiation to sign Nicolò Barella from Cagliari, while Milan announced Rade Krunic. Continue reading
There was a time, not so long ago, when Samuel Umtiti was considered untouchable at Barcelona.
One of a select band of players that, come hell or high water, were not going anywhere.
Part of the furniture might be an apt description for the Frenchman at that point.
But how quickly things can change… Continue reading
As we hurtle towards the end of another gruelling La Liga campaign, Barcelona will already be looking towards a successful 2019/20 season, and to that end Eric Abidal will need to do some wheeler-dealing in the transfer market.
With Matthijs De Ligt just one name being mentioned as a possible new signing, it’s clear that the Catalans will have plenty to do across the summer.
The futures of most of their players remain crystal clear, but there are question marks too. Continue reading
After capturing the mercurial talent of Frenkie De Jong, it appears that Barcelona are in pole position to sign his current Ajax team-mate, Matthijs De Ligt.
The 19-year-old centre-back is wanted by all of Europe’s top clubs but has allegedly told those close to him that he ‘only wants Barcelona.’
That’s a real coup for the Catalans, who see De Ligt as a future captain of the club and a player who’ll be a mainstay in their defence for the next decade. Continue reading
Ernesto Valverde’s side have been rumoured to be keen on a number of left backs in recent months, as the former Athletic Bilbao boss looks to establish permanent cover for Alba.
With their interest rebuffed for Atletico Madrid’s Filipe Luis, La Blaugrana have struggled to attract players on the premise of playing a supporting role for the Catalan side next season.
Defending La Liga champions are facing a tough run of fixtures in domestic and European action, just as bitter rivals Real Madrid are preparing a late bid for the league title.
Ernesto Valverde’s side have drawn their last two league games, against Valencia and Athletic Bilbao, dropping four key points, in the same fortnight that Santiago Solari’s team have beaten Alaves and Atletico Madrid.
That has nudged Los Blancos ahead of their city rivals as the Catalan side’s main challengers, and the current leaders will be looking over their shoulder.