Would Santon play more under Simeone?

Javier Zanetti admitted he would consider a Nerazzurri comeback, but his compatriot and ex-team-mate asserted that Mancini still has the club’s backing after a tough season

Inter have no plans to replace Roberto Mancini with Diego Simeone, despite the Atletico Madrid coach’s desire to return to San Siro.

Simeone recently outlined his desire to return to the Nerazzurri as coach, having enjoyed a successful two-year spell at San Siro as a player.

The Argentine has transformed Atletico into title challengers in Spain and Europe since returning to the Vicente Calderon.

Nevertheless, Inter vice-president Zanetti has insisted Inter are still fully behind Mancini.

“I know that Simeone would like to coach Inter at some point,” Zanetti told RMC.

“But we already have Mancini, who is a great coach.”

Simeone won the UEFA Cup with Inter in 1997-98, but eventually left the Nerazzurri for Lazio in 1999.

He has been in charge of Atletico since December 2011, guiding them to titles in La Liga, the Copa del Rey, Supercopa de Espana, Europa League and UEFA Super Cup, as well as reaching two Champions League finals.

Davide Santon haven’t played a lot under Roberto Mancini and is likely to leave Inter on the summer. The question stays if he’d get more opportunity under Diego Simeone, he may not leave Inter. Odds that Simeone will actually join Inter after the final Champions League match are like winning on the New Bingo Sites, you never know.

Santon suffers Achilles injury

The former Newcastle United full-back has been a regular for Roberto Mancini’s side this season, with the club currently joint-top of Serie A, along with Fiorentina

Davide Santon is unlikely to feature for Inter against Frosinone this weekend after suffering an Achilles injury, the club have confirmed.

The full-back has been a regular for Roberto Mancini’s side this season as they have climbed to the top of Serie A – where they sit level with Fiorentina on 27 points from 12 games.

Santon has started nine of those matches, but looks set for a period of rehabilitation after a scan on Tuesday revealed a slight problem with his heel.

“Davide #Santon undergoes ultrasound scan that reveals a small haematoma in his right Achilles tendon,” the club announced on Twitter. “More tests to come in following days.”

Inter welcome Frosinone to San Siro on Saturday looking to record a fourth successive league win, while Fiorentina host Empoli.

Santon: Inter care about results, not stunning football

Roberto Mancini’s charges have made an excellent start to the new Serie A campaign, and the former Newcastle player values points rather than attractive play


Davide Santon admits Inter have by no means been playing eye-catching football, but insists results are all that count.

Roberto Mancini’s men won their opening five Serie A fixtures in 2015-16 and sit second in the table with 16 points from seven games.

Inter will be looking to add three more points to their tally on Sunday when they take on reigning champions Juventus and Santon is optimistic about his side’s chances of success this season.

“We might not be playing stunning football at the moment but we’re getting results. Long may it continue,” Santon told the Inter website.

“We have a very long season ahead of us. We got off to a good start.

“I’m confident and I think Inter can have an excellent season.”

Santon returned to San Siro in January 2015 after a three-and-a-half-year spell with Newcastle United and is delighted to be back at the club where he rose to prominence.

“The Inter shirt means everything to me. I’ve always respected these colours and I always will,” he added.

“I’ve learnt to love this jersey and honour it seeing all the star players who have worn it before.”

Mancini: Geoffrey Kondogbia can be one of the world's best

The Inter boss believes the midfielder will justify his €35 million price tag and also conceded that Xherdan Shaqiri and Davide Santon could leave the club this summer


Inter coach Roberto Mancini says believes new signing Geoffrey Kondogbia can become one of the world’s best midfielders.

The 22-year-old sealed a €35 million switch from Monaco last month, snubbing City rivals Milan to sign a five–year deal with the Nerazzurri.

And Mancini is confident the France international will justify his hefty price tag.

“Geoffrey can become one of the best players in the world,” said Mancini.

Aside from the two or three superstars in his position, he’s already up there. We had to do a lot to sign him but we’ve got a really great player.”

The former Manchester City coach went on to concede that Xherdan Shaqiri and Davide Santon will likely be leaving San Siro this summer.

Switzerland international Shaqiri only moved to San Siro in January but is rumoured to have agreed to join Stoke City, while Santon also leave to make way for more arrivals.

“If we signed [Santon and Shaqiri] in January, then it’s because we believed in them,” Mancini told reporters.

“We have the restriction of a 25-man squad, so we’ll have to do something, and reluctantly some will have to leave. I think they will do well in the Premier League.

“We have to move some players on – if we’re being asked about Santon and Shaqiri that’s because they’re good players.”

Mancini was questioned on other transfer targets, namely Manchester City striker Stevan Jovetic and Chelsea’s Mohamed Salah, but was unwilling to discuss.

“They’re great players but they belong to other teams. Salah is a good player but until his situation becomes clear it’s not right to speak about him,” Mancini said.

“[Ivan] Perisic, Salah and Jovetic are all good players with excellent technical ability.

“Finding players who can play on the wing and as a centre-forward would be good for us, as we’re quite short up front.”

Are Newcastle living to regret Santon sale as they pursue further fresh faces?

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by  JLH PHOTO

 

Davide Santon did not do too much wrong during his three-and-a-half years with Newcastle United, making close to 100 appearances for the Premier League side.

Fitness may have been an issue towards the end of his time on Tyneside, but he was surely a player worth persevering with rather than casting to one side.

The Magpies were, however, happy to sanction a return to former employers Inter Milan on an initial loan deal in January, with that agreement made permanent in March.

Inter moved quickly having seen Santon convince them that he was capable of steering clear of the treatment table and thriving in familiar surroundings.

Newcastle’s loss would appear to be their gain.

As Santon strutted his stuff in Serie A over the second half of the season, those he left behind went into freefall as St James’ Park saw manager Alan Pardew depart for Premier League rivals Crystal Palace and results on the field take a sudden turn for the worse.

Newcastle, with a threadbare squad – particularly at the back – fended off the threat of relegation by the skin of their teeth, but serious questions are being asked this summer.

Among them are, who comes in to join the ranks?

Steve McClaren has been appointed as manager, but considerable alterations are expected to the playing staff.

Bodies are badly needed in defence, an area where Santon’s versatility – as a man capable of operating on either side of the back four – would have come in very useful.

Newcastle, though, who recouped just £2.8million of the reported £5.3m they paid for the Italy international when offloading him back to Inter, are now having to scour the market once again and prepare themselves to dig deep into the coffers.

Burnley full-back Kieran Trippier is among those to have been linked with a summer switch, with McClaren hoping to fend off competition from plenty of domestic rivals in order to secure his signature.

Trippier is reported to have a release clause in his contract of £3.5m, a very reasonable fee but one which Newcastle could have avoided paying for a player who doesn’t add too much to what they already had on their books in the not too distant past.

It is also worth pointing out that the former Manchester City trainee has just suffered relegation out of the Premier League and, although Burnley will be well fancied to bounce straight back up within Championship betting markets, he was unable to inspire them to great things in 2014/15.

To compare Trippier with Santon is easy enough, with both 24 years of age.

Newcastle wound not, therefore, be parting with the old and bringing in the new. Santon is also considerably more experienced that his defensive counterpart and has graced the very top of the game – the Champions League and senior international stage – while drawing high praise from the likes of Marcello Lippi and Jose Mourinho.

Trippier, on the other hand, has one year of top-flight experience under his belt and two England U21 caps to his name.

He may have shown last season that he is capable of holding his own among English football’s elite, but Santon had hardly embarrassed himself at that level and was a player at a similar stage of his career that could have gone on to scale even greater heights if patience had been shown and his full potential had been given time to be unlocked.