Category Archives: Italian Serie A

Inter coach Luciano Spalletti defends players amid winless run

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Inter head coach Luciano Spalletti has came to the defense of his players after Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Roma extended the Milan club’s winless run.

Roma led just past the half-hour mark at San Siro, Stephan El Shaarawy pouncing on a Davide Santon error after the full-back badly misjudged a long kick from goalkeeper Alisson.

It was thanks to Matias Vecino’s late header that Roma only snatched a point for slumping Inter, whose streak without a victory extended to six matches in Serie A.

The result also left Inter fourth and 11 points behind leaders Napoli, with Spalletti left defending Santon and the Nerazzurri.

“Santon doesn’t have to apologise to anyone. It’s easy when you’re sitting on your comfy sofa, quite another when running for 90 minutes alongside El Shaarawy,” Spalletti said.

“He’s a good lad, he trains well and mistakes can happen, especially on a ball that came that far. Nobody else helped him on that either, so it’s not as if he was alone. He has no reason to apologise.”

“The real issue here is that we are Inter and we must have the courage to fight it out with sides like Roma, Lazio and Napoli for a top-four finish. We have to take responsibility and make things happen. We can’t just wait for the train to go past and grab it. I won’t see us timorous or apologetic.”

“Samir Handanovic didn’t make the saves that Alisson did, so we played well. We made some errors in the quick passing and knew that Roma would be aggressive in their pressing game.”

“We practise these things in training, but if they don’t come off in a match situation, that will inevitably damage self-esteem. We have to work on what we are and what we do best, not losing the ball cheaply.”

AC Milan to make no January signings after summer buying spree

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AC Milan sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli says the club will not make any January signings despite the club languishing being in the bottom half of the Serie A table.

Mirabelli has led the club in bringing in a host of players, including Portugal striker Andre Silva and Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci, in the off-season thanks to heavy capital influx from Chinese investors.

However, the Rossoneri have struggled for results and only won one of their last four Serie A matches — a narrow home success against Crotone last time out — despite heavy investment in the squad.

“This weekend I will be in Germany to watch a few games but we won’t sign anybody in January,” Mirabelli said. “We won’t do anything, I’ll tell you that as official information. There could be some outgoings, but these will be small things.”

Few of Milan’s arrivals have made a significant impact, with Andre Silva yet to score in Serie A and having already been linked with a switch to Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Results have not improved despite the sacking of Vincenzo Montella from the team coach position, with replacement Gennaro Gattuso leading Milan to only two league wins from his six games in charge, although the Rossoneri beat rivals Inter to reach the Coppa Italia semi-finals.

“We needed to give a strong signal to the youngsters in terms of Milan DNA,” Mirabelli said. “Rino was chosen, full stop.”

“He’s not a makeshift solution, I take responsibility and I’m happy with the way he’s working. It took hard work to improve, there were already aggravating circumstances in December. I’ve found someone who works even more than me.”

AC Milan keen to stay at San Siro despite mayor comments

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AC Milan has insisted they have no desire to leave San Siro after the city’s mayor Giuseppe Sala raised the possibility of building a new stadium.

San Siro — with a capacity of just over 80,000 — is home to Serie A rivals Milan and Inter, with the Rossoneri based at the iconic Italian stadium since 1926 and their co-tenants sharing the pitch since 1947.

While talk of a move away from the stadium erupted on Tuesday when Milan’s mayor Giuseppe Sala claimed Gennaro Gattuso’s side were considering their own stadium.Milan swiftly denied those reports.

In a statement posted on the club’s official accounts, Milan said:“In relation to the statements released by the mayor of Milan Giuseppe Sala, who stated that AC Milan has expressed the will to think about having their own stadium and that the City Council would have given the club time to consider alternative areas of the cities, estimating in two to three months the time-frame to find a summary of options, AC Milan states that the Club has never expressed the desire to leave San Siro.”

Sala has since responded via Twitter, saying: “I note Milan’s statement on San Siro. Let’s just make this simple: I think that for Milan, for the fans and the tourists, the stadium needs to be modernised.”

“When will Milan be able to tell me if they are available or not to invest along with us in our stadium? Let it be clear, the invite also goes out to Inter, because this is the stadium of Milanese people.”

Inter — third in Serie A and 14 points above 11th-placed Milan — also weighed in by replying to Sala’s tweet.

“Dear Sala, as you might recall, we invested time and resources in the stadium of Milanese people. Our plans have been clear to everyone and have not changed for 18 months,” Inter said on Twitter.

“We await a round table discussion with all the actors involved to speak about this with clarity.”

Juventus to sign Emre Can on a free with five-year contract

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Juventus are set to complete a deal with Liverpool midfielder Emre Can on a free transfer in the summer.

The defending Serie A champions are alleged to have already offered a five-year contract worth £85,000 a week and a sizeable signing-on fee to the Germany international.

Can, 23, will be out of contract by the end of the 2017-18 season and has yet to agree any new deal with Liverpool.

The Germany international is wanted by a host of top European clubs but amongst them, Juventus believe that they have already progressed much further than everyone else and that a deal will be concluded soon.

Furthermore, the club has held positive talks with Can’s representatives with the player even as they seeking reassurances of how he fits within the folds of Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri’s plans.

Previously, Can had joined Liverpool for £9.75m in 2014 after the Premier League club met the buyout clause in his contract with Bayer Leverkusen. He has won 20 caps for Germany, having made his debut in September 2015.

However, when Juventus had expressed their interest in signing the player in January they had been told by Liverpool that there was no chance of that happening.

Nonetheless, it was clear that the Reds’ stance upon the matter has softened, with Jurgen Klopp’s team already signing a central midfielder as replacement for next season in Naby Keita, who will be arriving from RB Leipzig for a fee in the region of £55m.