João Mário: “We are a strong side and we have the quality to win”


João Mário gave an exclusive interview to Mediaset yesterday in which he previewed this weekend’s Coppa Italia clash against Benevento. The Inter midfielder was also full of praise for the manner in which Luciano Spalletti has welcomed him back into the fold following the uncertainty of last summer’s transfer window. Here is what the Portuguese international had to say: Continue reading

João Mário should be eternally grateful for Luciano Spalletti’s faith in him


“We gave everything to win, we wanted to respond after the Champions League elimination and we deserved the win. In the table, we’re not far behind Napoli, we need to win our next game against Chievo before a direct match-up against Napoli here at San Siro. I work a lot during the week, I always look to be ready and I’m satisfied with how things are going for me at the moment.” Those were the words of Inter midfielder João Mário in the aftermath of last night’s 1-0 victory at home to Udinese, which was secured courtesy of a late penalty kick from Mauro Icardi. Continue reading

Rojo pursuit reveals Marseille’s main priority


Like a broken record, Marseille continue to find themselves linked with a summer swoop for either Mario Balotelli or Olivier Giroud. However, according to various sources in France, the chances of pulling off a deal for the former Manchester City and AC Milan striker have significantly reduced in recent weeks, with agent Mino Raiola said to be demanding excessive commission fees. As for the newly-crowned FIFA World Cup winner, Les Olympiens face tough competition from Atlético Madrid to secure his signature before the transfer window closes. Continue reading

Nani’s stay in the Premier League looks to be finally over

Manchester United winger Luis Nani is reportedly set to sign for Fenerbahce this summer, according to the club in question. The Turkish Super Lig side said on their official Twitter account: “Fenerbahce has begun talks with Luis Nani and his club Manchester United to transfer the player. Nani will be in Istanbul on Sunday for a medical check up.”

Should the deal go through as expected, it would end an eight-year association at Old Trafford for the Portuguese international, and caps a bittersweet career with the Red Devils. Nani promised so much in his time at the club, showcasing quick-feet, an eye for goal, while bursting with creativity. However, he failed to remain consistent, and saw his stock plummet.

The last three seasons of his career with Manchester United have seen Nani make just 23 league appearances in total. He spent the 2014/15 campaign on loan with boyhood club Sporting CP, and enjoyed good form back in his native Portugal, but it wasn’t enough to earn him a place in the United team. New manager Louis van Gaal was quick to dismiss a number of long-serving stars, and Nani’s exit will come as a relief to the majority.

He’s struggled with the Premier League giants for many years, and admitted his loan move away was a positive change from the negativity of a fledging career in England. However, Sporting didn’t appear to have the money to sign Nani on a permanent deal, and Turkish title-chasers Fenerbahce are expected to be the 28-year-old’s next destination for the new season.

Nani’s impressive form while out on loan did threaten to see a reprieve, however, with Van Gaal admitting back in April that he was paying close attention to how his players were getting on with their new clubs. He said at the time: “We also think about the scouting of our own players, and then we have to analyse their performances, so it’s a lot of work. It’s not only the present season but also what we have to decide for players next season.”

But the expensive Portugal winger wasn’t deemed worth keeping, with Manchester United likely to use his funds for a host of summer signings. With the likes of Angel Di Maria, Juan Mata and Ashley Young all playing a role in the side’s top-four success, Nani had a task to force his way back into the team. He’s finally leaving the club, but hardly onto greener pastures in Turkey.