Bayern Munich CEO ‘Won’t Rule Out’ Buying Ivan Perisic After Solid Start to Loan Spell

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has refused to rule out the prospect of making Ivan Perisic’s loan move from Inter permanent in the summer, after the Croatian’s strong start to life back in the Bundesliga. 

The German champions brought the ?Inter winger in on an initial loan as they looked to add some experience to their attacking ranks following the departures of Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben, and although his game time has been carefully managed, he has scored twice in four league appearances. 

There is a reported €20m-option to buy if they deem the spell a success, and although Rummenigge wouldn’t be drawn into discussing the specifics, he did allude to an agreement with Inter to make the deal permanent if ?Bayern saw fit – and refused to deny they would pursue that avenue down the line. 

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

“I won’t rule out Bayern Munich purchasing Perisic, as he has had a good start to the season,” Rummenigge told Italian outlet ?Tuttomercatoweb.

“We have an agreement with Inter to discuss it later on and we’ll evaluate with the player too.”

Back in Italy, Inter haven’t quite missed Perisic as much as many expected and, under Antonio Conte, have been tipped to break Juventus’ stranglehold on ?Serie A. 

Their hopes of doing so were dented somewhat when ?Juve picked up a narrow victory at San Siro at the weekend, but they sit just a point behind the leaders, and Rummenigge added he thinks they have it in them to go the distance. 

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“They look good to me and had an excellent start to the season, apart from the defeat to Juventus,” he said. “They can win the Scudetto. 

“Conte is doing a great job and the important thing is that the team has a reliable coach like him.”


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Lautaro Martinez Set to ‘Soon Renew’ Inter Contract Amid Barcelona Speculation

?Inter forward Lautaro Martinez has been tipped to ‘soon renew’ his contract with the Nerazzurri by his agent, who claims the 22-year-old Argentine won’t be distracted by transfer rumours.

Speculation has linked Barcelona in particular with Martinez, who only joined Inter from Buenos Aires giant Racing Club last year. Yet rather than pursue a move away from San Siro, agent Beto Yaque has insisted that a new contract is the only thing on his client’s mind.

Lautaro Martinez

“Lautaro is very happy at Inter and he will soon renew his contract with the club; he doesn’t think of anything else,” Yaque told Italian website CalcioMercato.it.

“If there are several teams on his tracks, he is positive at a professional level, because it means he is working well. But, today, he is purely linked to the Nerazzurri and is happy where he is.”

Yaque has been pleased to see the impact of Inter coach Antonio Conte on Martinez.

“I believe that the arrival of Conte has strengthened him on a physical and tactical level. The coach has brought in new concepts that have served him very well,” the agent explained.

Lautaro Martinez,Matthijs de Ligt

Following on from a debut 2018/19 season that was arguably something of a bedding in period and learning curve for Martinez, the talented South American has made a strong start to his second year in Milan and has already started seven of Inter’s nine games in all competitions.

Martinez is currently away on international duty with Argentina and played 90 minutes of his country’s 2-2 draw with Germany in Dortmund on Wednesday night – he netted a rapid-fire 22-minute hat-trick against Mexico in his previous international appearance last month.

Martinez and Argentina are to face fellow Ecuador in Alicante on Sunday to conclude their international break. They are not due to play a competitive until next year and will contest exhibition friendlies in Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh in November.


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Neymar & the 6 Other Players to Win 100 or More Caps for Brazil

?The nation of Brazil is synonymous with football.

They live and breathe the beautiful game, from kids bundled-up socks on the street to superstars donning the famous yellow and blue of the Seleção. To represent the side on over 100 occasions is the stuff every man, woman and child dreams of.

However, only a select few are fortunate enough to receive a century of caps for Brazil. Their 1-1 draw with Senegal at the Singapore National Stadium on Thursday saw another player added to the list that list, with ?Neymar reaching the landmark at just 27-years-of-age.

Here, 90min briefly recaps the international career of the Paris Saint-Germain forward, as well as six others to amass 100 appearances for the South Americans.


Neymar

FBL-WC-2018-MATCH53-BRA-MEX

Caps: 100

When he was still just a fresh-faced teenager, Neymar earned his first Brazil call-up, kick-starting a rollercoaster ride with the Seleção. 

A mixture of agony and ecstasy colour the striker’s international history. His tournament debut came in the 2011 Copa America, where his strong showings failed to save his country from a quarter-final exit at the hands of Paraguay.

Then came what promised to be the defining moment of the poster boy’s career – a home World Cup. You probably don’t need reminding that Neymar and his teammates fell in the semis, an entire nation weeping in anguish as Germany romped to a 7-1 triumph.

Redemption followed that nightmare, with the trickster’s blast from the spot sealing a penalty-shootout win in the final of the Rio Olympics. 

He’s now third in the all-time scoring charts, Neymar’s tally of 61 goals leaving him only one behind the legendary Ronaldo. Pele is the next one in his sights.


Robinho

Brazil's striker Robinho celebrates afte

Caps: 100

Despite hitting the 100-cap mark, Robinho’s time in yellow and blue was somewhat underwhelming, the winger’s performances rarely matching his potential.

Nevertheless, he can call himself a continental conqueror, having won the Copa America in 2007, as well as a pair of FIFA Confederations Cup trophies.

That elusive World Cup triumph will haunt Robinho, however. He was scapegoated for much of Brazil’s ineptitude in South Africa nearly a decade ago, yet the forward continued to represent his nation until 2017, when he was sentenced after being found guilty of rape.


Claudio Taffarel

SOCCER-WORLD CUP-1994-BRA-ITA

Caps: 104

Claudio Taffarel’s superb abilities between the sticks helped him become goalkeeping coach for both Brazil and Galatasaray once he decided to hang up his gloves.

When fans the world over marvelled at the silky skills of the Samba Boys in the late 20th century, the Santa Rosa native was the often-unheralded last line of defence.

His steady hands ensured Taffarel became the proud owner of a World Cup winner’s medal, plus two for the Copa America. 

The ‘keeper conceded just three goals at USA ’94, his intimidating presence contributing to Roberto Baggio’s infamous miss during the penalty-shootout in the final. 


Lucio

Lucio,Ri Jun-Il

Caps: 105

What a horrifyingly-good centre-back Lucio was. Back in his heyday, rampaging runs up-field were commonplace for the colossus.

With a towering, rock-solid defender like him in the heart of their backline, it’s no surprise the South Americans were crowned champions of the world in 2002.

A player like Lucio only comes once every generation – if you were fortunate to watch him at the peak of his powers, you’ll know just how influential the big man was.


Dani Alves

Dani Alves

Caps: 107

No player in the history of the game has been as successful as Dani Alves. 40 different trophies have been collected across a stupendous 17-year career that refuses to end.

The epitome of an attacking full-back, Alves’ turbo-charged feet and bottomless engine saw him dominate, wherever he lay his hat.

But, yet again, there is a glaring omission from the defender’s trophy cabinet. He – like countless compatriots – blossomed too late to play a part in the days when Brazil were at the top of the sport.


Roberto Carlos

Frank Ribery,Roberto Carlos

Caps: 125

Have you ever heard someone described as ‘the Serbian Roberto Carlos’? Or ‘the Welsh Roberto Carlos’? Or any other version of Roberto Carlos, for that matter? How about the Roberto Carlos?

There’s a reason why the ?Real Madrid icon has such a magnificent legacy and reputation among supporters and players, alike. Carlos reinvented what it meant to be a full-back, scoring screamers at will as he bombed forward for club and country.

With quads of the gods, the centurion was capable of ripping the net in half, yet he was about so much more than raw power. Delicious ball-control, pin-point crossing and positional awareness made him an unstoppable force of nature.


Cafu

WC2002-BRA-TUR-CAFU CELEBRATES

Caps: 142

Cafu’s defensive skills were freakish. The right-back’s consistency was stunning. His leadership qualities could motivate any man.

19 fabulous years as a professional footballer yielded numerous honours for the skipper, who was arguably the greatest ever player in his position.

Of course, a man like Cafu was more than capable of performing other roles, occasionally appearing as a winger or central-defender. There truly was nothing that the double World Cup champion couldn’t do.


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Italy vs Greece: Recent Form, Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

?Italy will be looking to maintain their 100% start to Euro 2020 qualifying as they host Greece in their first fixture of the October international break.

Roberto Mancini’s side have run riot in Group J thus far, scoring 18 and conceding just three on their way to six wins from six.

After overcoming their toughest test so far last time out – beating Finland 2-1 in Tampere – Gli Azzurri will be confident of securing automatic qualification over the course of the next week.


Saturday’s opponents, Greece, have struggled so far in their attempt to make next year’s Euros. This Greece squad may not be as talented as previous Greek squads, but they certainly have enough talent to not be held to 1-1 draws at home to Liechtenstein and muster just one win from six in qualifying.

Their trip to Rome is now a fixture they have to get points from if they want to stand any chance of making it to Euro 2020.

Here’s 90min’s preview of Saturday’s Euro qualifier.


Where to Watch

When Is Kick Off? Saturday 12 October?
?What Time Is Kick Off ?19:45 (BST)
?Where Is it Played? ?Stadio Olimpico, Rome
?TV Channel/Live Stream ?Sky Sports Premier League
?Referee ?Sergei Karasev

Team News

New manager John van’t Schip has made a whole host of surprising omissions from his Greece squad. Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Kostas Manolas and Kostas Mitroglou have all been overlooked by the new boss.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos - Soccer Player

Van’t Schip is seemingly looking towards the future with the likes of Pantelis Hatzidiakos, Vasilis Lambropoulos and Panagiotis Retsos all getting call-ups to an inexperienced Greek squad.

The home side will be without Stefano Sensi, who picked up an injury in Inter’s recent 2-1 defeat at the hands of Juve. That means that there’s a place for the exciting Nicolo Zaniolo in the senior squad.

Mancini has a pool of prolific forwards to choose from for their two upcoming fixtures. Lazio’s Ciro Immobile and Torino’s Andrea Belotti have enjoyed fine starts to the Serie A season and both will be trying to lock-down Italy’s number nine spot for the long-term.


Predicted Lineups

?Italy Donnarumma; Izzo, Bonucci, Acerbi, Spinazzola; Jorginho, Verratti, Barella; Chiesa, Immobile, Insigne.?
?Greece ?Vlachodimos; Bakakis, Retsos, Siovas, Stafylidis; Kourmpelis, Bouchalakis; Fetfatzidis, Vrousai, Pavlidis; Koulouris.

Head to Head Record

These two have only ever met five times. The first fixture dating way back to 1934, whilst the pair most recently met in June. Gli Azzurri have won three of the meetings with the other two being a draw.

Federico Bernardeschi

Earlier in qualifying, Italy comfortably dismantled Greece 3-0 in Athens, with goals coming from Nicolo Barella, Lorenzo Insigne and Leonardo Bonucci.

Saturday’s fixture will be the first game between the two on Italian soil since 1981. That time, Greece were able to hold the Italians to a 1-1 draw in a World Cup qualifier; a World Cup they’d go onto win.


Recent Form

The visitors’ last result was an embarrassing 1-1 draw at home to minnows Liechtenstein last month. They’ve been way under par so far, with their only victory coming on matchday one in Liechtenstein.

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In 2019, Greece have already been beaten by Turkey, Italy and Armenia; following on from a poor UEFA Nations League in 2018, which saw them win just three of their six games.

Contrary to that, the Italians have been brilliant as of late, maintaining their 100% record in qualifying through six games. Their defence looks as stout as ever, conceding just three times this year and twice in the Nations League last year.

In September, Gli Azzurri were able to secure two away victories; first overcoming Armenia and then Finland with goals from Immobile and Jorginho helping Mancini’s men over the line.

Here’s how these two have fared in their five previous meetings.

?Italy Greece?
?Finland 1-2 Italy (08/09) ?Greece 1-1 Liechtenstein (08/09)
?Armenia 1-3 Italy (05/09) ?Finland 1-0 Greece (05/09)
?Italy 2-1 Bosnia and Herzegovina (11/06) ?Greece 2-3 Armenia (11/06)
?Greece 0-3 Italy (08/06) ?Greece 0-3 Italy (08/06)
?Italy 6-0 Liechtenstein (26/03) ?Turkey 2-1 Greece (30/05)

Prediction

Italy look to be returning to their stout best and a comfortable win is expected on Saturday.

The Greece squad is very inexperienced and with Arsenal’s Sokratis and Napoli’s Manolas omitted from the squad, this Greek defence – that has been impressive away from home – may struggle against the Italians.

Federico Chiesa,Lorenzo Insigne

Italy’s potential front-three of Federico Chiesa, Immobile and Insigne is a front-line that will cause most international defences issues, let alone a weakened Greece backline. They should have some joy in Rome on Saturday evening in what should be a simple Italian win. 

Prediction: Italy 2-0 Greece

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Miralem Pjanic Eyes European Glory as Juventus Hit the Ground Running Under Maurizio Sarri

?Miralem Pjanic is hopeful that Juventus can realise their Champions League dream this year, after a promising start to the 2019/20 season.

I Bianconeri have won eight consecutive Serie A titles and currently sit top of the table after beating Inter at the weekend, yet they’ve been unable translate their domestic success into European trophies. 

Miralem Pjanic

Since Juve last lifted the Champions League in 1996, they’ve played and been beaten in a further five finals. But Pjanic, as quoted by Radio Sarajevo (via ?Football Italia), hasn’t let this dampen his spirit. 

My own dream is to win the Champions League and lift that trophy to the sky. I hope to achieve that this season”

The Bosnia and Herzegovina midfielder feels their early season form has put them “where we belong, on top of the ?Serie A table” and given him the “hope to achieve the Champions League dream this season”.

Pjanic played in Juventus’ most recent ?Champions League final defeat, a crushing 4-1 loss to Real Madrid in the 2016/17 season. However, it appears to have had no effect on the confidence of the midfielder or his teammates and they’re ready to go again in 2019/20.

He added: “Our aim is to win every trophy, as that is the objective of Juve, one of the top three or four clubs in the world. We don’t just aim high this season, but every year, and this term is no different.”

Maurizio Sarri

Massimiliano Allegri twice came within a whisker of lifting the trophy during his time at the ?Juventus helm, but perhaps Maurizio Sarri is the man to take them a step further for the first time in more than two decades? He’s certainly hit the ground running on his return to Italy.

After lifting the Europa League trophy with ??Chelsea last season, the first of his managerial career, he may have the momentum to go along with the bit in his teeth (metaphorical not cigarette butt) and get Juve over the Champions League line.

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