Inter Look to Increase Mauro Icardi’s Release Clause in Bid to Hold Off European Rivals

?Serie A giants Inter are looking to increase star striker Mauro Icardi’s €110m release clause in a bid to ward off interest from Europe’s elite, according to CalcioMercato.

The 24-year-old captain has been outstanding form this season, with his hat-trick in Sunday’s Milan derby taking him to nine goals in eight games this season. 

The Argentine striker is already contracted at San Siro until 2021, but the club want to present him with a new deal that would increase the release clause in his contract to €150m.

Premier League sides Arsenal and Chelsea reportedly have an interest in Icardi, who, despite his goalscoring record, has a troubled relationship with the Inter faithful. 

However, his goals ??and leadership this season under new manager Luciano Spalletti have led Inter to a strong start in Serie A, where they sit second just two points behind leaders Napoli.

Since joining the Nerazzurri in 2013, Icardi has managed an impressive 87 goals in 154 appearances in all competitions and is likely to represent Argentina at next year’s World Cup. 

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Inter have been starved of success in recent years, having not won a major trophy or qualified for the Champions League since 2011. Since winning the treble under Jose Mourinho in 2010, the club have also been through twelve different managers but look set for a new period of prosperity under new ownership and Spalletti’s management.

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Serie A Heavyweights Inter Circle Around Manchester City Youngster Brahim Diaz

?Internazionale are reported to be keeping close tabs on Manchester City’s academy star Brahim Diaz according to reports.

Piero Ausilio, Inter’s sporting director, was at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night when Manchester City took on Napoli and is believed to have had words about the Spanish youngster.

As reported by Italian newspaper ?Tuttosport, there were suggestions that he spoke with the Manchester City hierarchy about a number of players including defender Eliaquim Mangala and 18-year-old attacking midfielder Diaz.

Diaz joined the Manchester City academy from Malaga in 2013 and made his senior debut for the club last year when Pep Guardiola fielded him in an EFL Cup clash. 

The Malaga-born youngster, who is already capped at Spain Under-21 level, has been impressive this year when playing for Manchester City Under-19s in the UEFA Youth League, and has also been linked with a move to Real Madrid.

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While few teams in Europe can match City on the pitch this season, young Diaz – like former Citizens starlet Jadon Sancho, who moved to Dortmund this season -may fancy his chances of progression to the first team away from the Etihad Stadium.

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REVEALED: The 8 European Powerhouses Still Unbeaten in the Top 5 Leagues This Season

With less than 10 games being played across all of Europe’s top five leagues, there are now just a handful of teams who can lay claim to being unbeaten. 

From the downright obvious to the completely unexpected, here are eight teams who have yet to taste defeat in their domestic leagues thus far. 

8. PSG

I said some would be obvious: 

When you have a team as good and expensive as Paris Saint-Germain’s with their front three and playing against the likes of Metz, Dijon and Strasbourg, it’s no surprise the Parisian giants are unbeaten. 

Having won eight and drawn one, with the point coming in a 0-0 draw away to Montpellier, Unai Emery’s men are already six-points clear of Monaco as they look to reclaim the Ligue 1 crown. You’d imagine it’ll be hard to stop them…

7. Barcelona

Despite losing Neymar to the aforementioned Paris club, Barcelona have made a blistering start to life post the Brazilian superstar’s exit. 

Seven wins and a draw see them already five clear of rivals Real Madrid who have staggered in the early parts of the campaign, with the Catalan giants scoring for fun having already bagged 24 goals with a late Luis Suarez strike at the Wanda Metropolitano ensuring they remain unbeaten.

6. Manchester City

Speaking of scoring for fun, Man City have netted 29 times in just eight games this season and look set to break Chelsea’s record of 103 goals scored in a single Premier League campaign should they continue in the same vein. 

Pep Guardiola’s side have already registered scorelines more closely replicating a cricket game than a football match, but they’ll be weary of a drop in form like they saw last season after a scintillating start to the Spaniard’s first season in charge saw them all but handed the title before winter had even arrived…

5. Manchester United

Across the city and despite two draws, Man Utd are still unbeaten in the league this term. Having spent big in the summer, it’s no surprise to see the Red Devils flying but they’ll have to up their game if they’re to catch rivals City. 

They’ll be bolstered by the fact Jose Mourinho has always won the league title in his second season in charge, but will know full well to win the Premier League takes more than having history on their side. 

4. Atletico Madrid

Having managed to keep their star man in Antoine Griezmann over the summer, Atletico Madrid will be pleased with their start to life in La Liga so far. 

They remain unbeaten but have the worst record of all the teams on this list, winning just four and drawing four of their eight ties so far. Madrid tasted defeated in the Champions League, losing to Chelsea, but their league form matched with the fact they’re playing in a new stadium will surely give them hope of another strong campaign. 

3. Inter Milan

A 90th minute penalty saw Inter beat rivals AC Milan in an epic 3-2 clash on Sunday, ensuring I Nerazzurri remain in touching distance of the top of the table. Mauro Icardi’s hat-trick saw his tally go up to nine for the season with the Argentine leading the line superbly for Inter. 

Not since the days of Jose Mourinho has their been such a buzz around the blue side of Milan, and an epic encounter with Napoli on Saturday will tell us just how much we need to know about Luciano Spalletti’s men. 

2. Valencia

Long gone are the days of the Neville brothers and 8-0 spankings at the hands of Barcelona. Valencia are a team on the up despite having West Ham flop Simeone Zaza leading the line, look like returning to the glory days of old. 

Five wins and three draws, including a 2-2 away to Real Madrid and a 0-0 at home to Atletico Madrid, sees them occupying second place in the La Liga table and they’ll be hoping it continues long into the remainder of the year. 

1. Napoli

The only team across Europe’s big five leagues to hold a 100% record is Napoli who have taken Serie A by storm this season. A hard fought win away to Roma on Saturday was the icing on the cake of a so far flawless season for Maurizio Sarri’s side. 

There’s a long way to go and there’s a lot of solid teams breathing down their necks, but Lorenzo Insigne and co will be hoping they can be the first Napoli side to win Serie A since way back in 1990…

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Napoli Star Lorenzo Insigne Unsure if He Will Be Fit for Crunch Weekend Clash With Inter

?Napoli winger Lorenzo Insigne has admitted that he is not yet sure whether he will be fit to face Inter in next weekend’s Serie A clash.

The Italy international was forced to withdraw in the second half of Tuesday night’s 2-1 Champions League defeat against Manchester City with a thigh injury.

The Serie A leaders will be closely monitoring the fitness of Insigne ahead of the game against second-placed Inter. 

Manchester City v SSC Napoli - UEFA Champions League

“I feel much better now than when I did as I asked for the substitution,” the 26-year-old told Mediaset Premium, as quoted by ?FourFourTwo“We’ll see tomorrow if I’m able to play against Inter.”

Napoli will be looking to continue their imperious start to the league season on Saturday having won their opening eight games.

But they have so far been less successful in the Champions League, sitting third in their group with three points after defeat at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City v SSC Napoli - UEFA Champions League

Maurizio Sarri’s side were thoroughly outplayed in the first-half against City, falling two goals behind within 13 minutes. But they improved considerably after the break and came close to finding an equaliser after Amadou Diawara’s converted penalty.

“We stepped on to the field feeling too timorous and Manchester City moved the ball very quickly, the kind you don’t see every day,” centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly said.

“The two goals we conceded were disappointing, but towards half-time we had already started playing better and felt freer. In the second half, we did well.

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“It was a defeat this evening, but we have to take the positives from this match too. We want to qualify for the next round. The return match with City will be different.”

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Arsenal Seeking Buyer for Mesut Ozil After ‘Growing Disenchantment’ With Star’s Attitude

?Arsenal have seemingly given up hope of Mesut Ozil signing a contract extension and are reportedly now seeking a buyer for the World Cup winner so that he can be sold in January.

Ozil has just eight months remaining on his contract and would be able to walk away from the Gunners as a free agent if the terms reach their expiry date on 30th June.

Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League

Only last week, Ozil’s representative, Dr Erkut Sogut, claimed that the latest round of contract talks had been ‘positive’. However, just a day later, manager Arsene Wenger admitted that a January sale was definitely ‘possible’ as the club is weighing up all options.

Now, according to the Daily Mirror, a ‘growing disenchantment’ with Ozil as a result of his attitude and recent performances have led Arsenal to give up on trying to get him to stay.

Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League

The two camps are still said to be at least £75k apart in negotiations over weekly wages, with Ozil reportedly after £350k. As such, Arsenal officials were apparently left ‘bemused’ by Sogut’s aforementioned comment that talks have been going well.

The issue for Arsenal is that interest in Ozil throughout the ongoing contract saga has been limited, rather the opposite situation to the similarly positioned Alexis Sanchez.

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Ozil has been the subject of interest from Inter Milan in recent weeks, but president Erick Thohir put the brakes on such speculation after admitting that the club will proceed with caution in the January transfer market after a handful of poor buys in years gone by.

Sogut suggested that Ozil is keen to stay in the Premier League for another ‘two or three years’, but Arsenal are understandably unwilling to see the player join a rival – Manchester United had been mentioned as a result of Ozil previously working with Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid.

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