Luciano Spalletti spoke to the media ahead of Inter’s crucial Serie A match against Chievo tomorrow night. Here is what the 60-year-old said to the journalists who gathered at the Suning Training Centre earlier this afternoon: Continue reading
Just under 12 months ago, Inter secured their long-awaited return to the UEFA Champions League group stage thanks to the most dramatic of late turnarounds against fellow hopefuls Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico. Despite being comfortably in third place for the vast majority of the current campaign, the Nerazzurri have once again shown an unenviable desire to make life difficult for themselves. Indeed, with three games remaining this season, qualification for next season’s edition of Europe’s premier club competition looks far from certain though, crucially, Inter’s fate still very much in their own hands. Continue reading
With the year winding down to a close, most Serie A sides already have one eye on the summer transfer window. While this past season may not have gone to plan for most of Serie A’s elite, a majority of them are just a couple of additions away from being serious competitors. Here’s one player for each of the league’s top five. For brevity, Atalanta and Lazio among others have been excluded.
1) Juventus: Tanguy NDombele (Lyon)
After yet another European failure, it’s time Juventus address their midfield issues once and for all. Lyon’s Tanguy NDombele is among world football’s hottest prospects in the middle of the park, and has demonstrated he’s ready to play for a bigger club. Just this season, NDombele went head-to-head with both Barcelona and Manchester City’s deep midfield ranks, and did not look one bit out of place.
Just recently, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas came out and said he’d willingly sell NDombele to Juventus ahead of other suitors, provided “his friend” Andrea Agnelli pays up. The Frenchman would slot in seamlessly alongside Ramsey and Pjanic, however, it remains to be seen if NDombele is a concrete target for Juventus.
2) Napoli: Donny van de Beek (Ajax)
The Ajax midfielder may not get as much credit as his fellow compatriots Frenkie de Jong, and Matthijs de Ligt, but he’s proven to be just as important for them between the lines. van de Beek burst onto the scene this season, and emerged as a essential aspect to Erik ten Hag’s tactical schemes, roaming between the opposition’s lines at will, and getting himself into dangerous scoring positions. Outside of his crucial goals against Juventus and Tottenham, van de Beek is good with the ball at his feet like most Ajax graduates, and would slot in wonderfully into Napoli’s midfield.
Since Hamsik’s departure, the partenopei have lacked a driving force in the midfield, and van de Beek could prove to be exactly what’s needed. Alongside Fabian Ruiz, expect the Dutchman to wreck havoc. Napoli could also use a fullback, but that goes without saying.
3) Inter: Timothy Castagne (Atalanta)
Inter are one of the most well-rounded outfits in Serie A outside of Napoli and Juventus, and don’t require much tweaking this summer. With Mauro Icardi and Lautaro Martinez up top, and the trio of de Vrij, Skriniar and Godin at the back, Inter are simply lacking a manager to put it all together. Should Antonio Conte arrive as it’s being reported, he will undoubtedly field a back three, with his traditional wing-backs in a 3-5-2 setup.
With both the back-line and strike partnership more or less sorted as well as the midfield, Inter could use another wingback as they are unlikely to redeem Vrsaljko or Cedric. Here’s where Atalanta’s Timothy Castagne comes in. The Dutchman has been a key element to Gasperini’s side over the years as a wing-back, and is a traditional Conte player. Castagne’s play is eerily reminiscent of a prime Stephan Lichtsteiner, however, blessed with more end-product. As a result, I expect him to become a priority for Marotta, whether or not Conte arrives.
4) Roma: Juan Musso (Udinese)
This past summer Roma tried replacing Alisson with Swedish international Robin Olsen, and Serie A journeyman Antonio Mirante. Neither have proven to be a long-term solution to the departed Brazilian, leaving the giallorossi without a reliable number one going into next season. Luckily, there are a number of up and coming shot-stoppers in Serie A that Roma could turn to.
While Alessio Cragno and Alfred Gomis are interesting options, Roma should look no further than Udinese’s Juan Musso. The Argentine has gone from strength to strength this season, and has made the number one spot his own in Friuli with a string of impressive performances. In the past, Roma have shown a propensity to take a risk on goalkeepers on the cusp, and should do the same with Musso. They won’t regret it.
5) Milan: Hakim Ziyech (Ajax)
Where to begin with Milan? The rossoneri could use a creative midfielder, a left winger and arguably another centre back. Ajax’s Ziyech checks off two of these boxes and should be made a priority in Milanello. With just a 25 million euro release clause, Ziyech is both cost-effective, and has the potential to become a world class player in the near future.
As he’s typically deployed as a ball dominating, out-and-out winger, his signing would take off some of the creative burden from the likes of Suso, Paqueta, and would even allow Calhanoglu to feature centrally more regularly. Not to mention, Ziyech has tormented elite opposition this season, be it in the Champions League or in the Eredivisie. Milan shouldn’t say no to his teammate David Neres either if Ziyech isn’t feasible.
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Having recently extended his contract with Inter until the summer of 2021, Andrea Ranocchia discussed his passion for the Nerazzurri colours during an interview with Sky Sport earlier this week. Here is what the Italian defender had to say about his love of the club and the race to qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League group stage: Continue reading
Matteo Politano spoke to Mediaset earlier this week ahead of Monday night’s crucial Serie A match between Inter and Chievo at San Siro. Here is what the 25-year-old winger had to say: “There are still three games to go. We have a small advantage; therefore, we must do well to achieve our goal as soon as possible. Chievo have already been relegated but there are no gifts in this league. They’ll come to Milan with clear heads and with nothing to lose. Continue reading
Luciano Spalletti spoke to the media in the aftermath of Inter’s disappointing goalless draw with Udinese this evening. The 60-year-old Tuscan was clearly frustrated by his side’s lack of killer instinct, despite creating a number of good chances throughout the match. Here is what he had to say: Continue reading
Radja Nainggolan spoke to the media in the immediate aftermath of Inter’s disappointing goalless draw against Udinese. Here is what the Belgian, who is celebrating his 31st birthday today, had to say about the match: “We’ve dropped two important points here, it was a classic game in which the opponent sat deep and we weren’t able to get a goal. Continue reading
Milan Škriniar spoke to DAZN ahead of tonight’s crucial Serie A match between Udinese and Inter at the Dacia Arena. Here is what the Slovak defender said to the broadcaster during an interview recorded earlier this week: “My future is here at Inter, I want to continue here. The fans often jokingly ask me to change my name but they’re used to it now.” Continue reading
Andrea Ranocchia spoke to Inter TV shortly after the club confirmed he has put pen to paper on a new contract that will see him remain a Nerazzurri player for another two seasons. Here is what he had to say: “In two years’ time, I would’ve spent 11 years with the club. It’s been a long time spent here and I’m really pleased because it’s a family to me. Continue reading
Luciano Spalletti held his traditional press conference ahead of tonight’s crucial Serie A match against Udinese, as the race to secure a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League group stage reaches boiling point. Here is what the 60-year-old Tuscan said to the journalists who gathered at the Suning Training Centre yesterday afternoon: Continue reading