Category: Italian

£10.8m-rated Man United star to move to Serie A at start of 2018 – report

According to Sky Sport, Juventus and Napoli are both interested in signing Manchester United defender Matteo Darmian in the January transfer window.

What’s the story?

Darmian joined Man United from Torino in the summer of 2015, and the right-back impressed during his first season in England – making 39 appearances in all competitions.

The 28-year-old only made 18 Premier League appearances under Jose Mourinho last season, however, and has started just two league matches for the Red Devils during the 2017-18 campaign.

A number of Italian clubs have been linked with a move, but according to Sky Sport, Juventus and Napoli are the two teams showing the strongest interest ahead of the opening of the winter window.

It does appear that Man United would be prepared to sell for the right price at the start of 2018, and the Italian could well be heading for a return to Serie A.

Why has he struggled at United?

There is no doubting that Darmian is an accomplished defender, but his lack of quality in possession of the football has counted against him.

Antonio Valencia’s presence at Man United has made it impossible for the Italian to secure the right-back position, whilst Ashley Young’s form on the other side has also counted against him.

Marcos Rojo and Luke Shaw are also both above Darmian in the pecking order, and the fact that he has only been involved in four Premier League matches this season – playing just 195 minutes of league football – speaks volumes.

It is clear that Darmian’s stock is still high in Serie A, however, with the defender, who is valued at £10.8m by, an established member of the Italian national team.

It has just not happened for the right-back in English football, and it might well be best for all parties if the relationship ends at the start of 2018.

Liverpool told they must pay a club-record fee to sign exciting attacker

According to reports in Italian media outlet La Stampa, via Tuttomercatoweb, Liverpool have been told they must pay €60m (approximately £53m) if they want to sign Fiorentina winger Federico Chiesa in the summer.

What’s the word, then?

Well, La Stampa, via Tuttomercatoweb, says that the Serie A outfit view the attacker as the jewel in their crown, and Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Inter Milan, Juventus, Napoli, Roma and Paris Saint-Germain are all monitoring the 20-year-old.

However La Stampa, via Tuttomercatoweb, says that because the forward has only recently extended his stay with the Viola until 2022, it will take at least £53m to prise him away.

How has Chiesa done this season?

Despite only turning 20 years of age in October, the winger is already a regular in the Fiorentina side.

In 15 Serie A appearances this term, the versatile attacker has scored four goals and provided a further three assists.

Chiesa has shown his attacking abilities and threat in the final third and according to Squawka he has created 16 chances, winning 25 fouls and successfully completing 18 of the 33 take-ons he has attempted.

Would he be a good signing for Liverpool?

He certainly could be in the future, yes.

The 20-year-old looks to have plenty of potential and quality, but you would have to question whether the Reds need him considering the wealth of attacking options they already have.

With Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain just some of the options available to Jurgen Klopp right now, you wouldn’t think that they need Chiesa – especially for what would be a club-record fee.

If he is to cost more than £50m, you would expect the Merseyside outfit to steer clear and expect to concentrate on strengthening their backline next summer.

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Tottenham must hijack Liverpool's bid to sign impressive 25-year-old

According to reports by Catalan outlet Sport, via Sport Witness, Liverpool have been boosted in their pursuit of Lazio centre-back Stefan de Vrij after Barcelona pulled out of the race to sign him.

Sport, via Sport Witness, says that concerns over his injury record have put the La Liga giants off, which may leave Jurgen Klopp with a clear run at bringing the Dutchman to Anfield.

The Reds boss seems certain to target bringing in a new central defender during the January transfer window following some disappointing displays at the back already this term, and while he would like to get Virgil van Dijk from Southampton a move for his Netherlands teammate may be more realistic.

De Vrij only has six months left on his contract and will be free to talk to other clubs in the New Year, and even though reports in Italy have suggested that he is willing to sign a new deal if it includes a €25m (approximately £22m) release clause, that is still yet to happen.

Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur look unlikely to compete for the Premier League title for the third season running following a disappointing start to the campaign from a personal point of view, and Manchester City’s incredible run of form.

However, they will face Juventus in the knockout stages of the Champions League and manager Mauricio Pochettino may be thinking about possible additions he could make in the New Year.

Rivalling Liverpool for de Vrij could certainly prove to be a shrewd move for the north London outfit.

Here are three reasons Tottenham should hijack the Merseyside outfit’s bid to sign the defender…

'They get turned on by these games' – Pundit explains why Tottenham Hotspur will thrive

Tottenham Hotspur were handed the toughest group in the early stages of the Champions League, and they were unlucky once again in the last-16 draw.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men will have to beat Juventus across two legs in order to reach the quarter-finals of the competition.

Aside from Chelsea, who were drawn against Barcelona, Spurs’ Premier League rivals were handed relatively decent ties.

Liverpool will face Porto, Manchester United have to get past Sevilla, and Manchester City will go head to head with Basel.

Tottenham may have been unfortunate in the last-16 draw, but they have proven that they can cut it on the elite stage.

Pochettino’s men had to contend with reigning champions Real Madrid, as well as Borussia Dortmund, but they managed to top the group.

Spurs earned a draw and victory in contests against the Spanish giants, and former midfielder Jamie Redknapp thinks that the team can overcome Juve as well.

For the Daily Mail, the pundit wrote:

“Tottenham get turned on by these huge games. They have excelled at Wembley against Liverpool and Real Madrid — teams who have gone at them. It will be a fascinating tactical contest between Mauricio Pochettino and Massimiliano Allegri. The second leg at Wembley will be a great game.”

'Great chance for us to prove ourselves' – Tottenham Hotspur fans react to huge Champions League draw

Tottenham Hotspur fans had a recent lull in the Premier League by failing to win four games on the trot.

Even though the club bounced back with a 5-1 triumph over Stoke City at the weekend, the team’s chances of winning the title are slim given that they are 18 points behind leaders Manchester City.

The domestic campaign might not be going to plan, but Mauricio Pochettino’s men have been thriving in Europe.

Against the odds, Spurs topped their Champions League group ahead of holders Real Madrid, while Borussia Dortmund failed to qualify for the knockout rounds.

Tottenham were unbeaten in the group stage despite the fierce opposition, but they have no time to rest.

Today, the North London outfit were drawn against two-time champions Juventus, who made it to the final in the 2014-15 season but were beaten by Barcelona.

Spurs have never faced the Italian giants in a competitive outing, but they managed a 2-0 win during a pre-season friendly in August.

With Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United getting favourable draws in the form of Porto, Basel and Sevilla, Tottenham fans would be forgiven for feeling slightly hard-done by.

Judging by the response on Twitter, though, the supporters are cautiously optimistic.