Romelu Lukaku Appears to React to ‘Overweight’ Reports With Fresh Instagram Post

?Since his move to Inter on August 8 – and perhaps even before then during his time with Manchester United – Romelu Lukaku has come under quite heavy criticism for his weight. 

In a possible response to all the chit-chat surrounding his body, Lukaku has sent a post onto Instagram showing that he certainly does not skip leg day.

Mainly propelled from Gary Neville ?tweeting about it upon the Belgian’s move, there has been a lot of speculation about Lukaku’s shape – with rumours circulating that the striker will miss the opening Serie A game of the season because of it. 

As ??Corriere dello Sport are reporting, and Tancredi Palmeri is tweeting, it is believed Inter are requesting Lukaku to be under 100kg, with the 26-year-old 4kg over. 

Despite the photo showing Lukaku’s very powerful muscles, the caption would point towards that he may not be quite match-ready just yet. 

The Belgian had missed a lot of preseason due to injury, which would no doubt have hampered his progress as he tries to get to full fitness.

Given Antonio Conte’s demanding management style, and his refusal of anything but maximum effort, it is very unlikely that Lukaku would have been signed if they did not believe that he could regain full fitness and get in his best shape. The Belgian is reported to have been training extra sessions to reach the desired level.

As he says in an interview with Otro (via ?Football Italia), the striker said of how it is ‘real work’ at Inter. He said: “In England, it’s a lot of work, but here it’s real work!”

When asked about the food in Italy, he simply sighed and said “salad”.


Inter Monitoring Four Striker Options as Hunt for Mauro Icardi Alternative Continues

Inter are considering Arkadiusz Milik, Fernando Llorente, Alexis Sanchez and Ante Rebic, as Antonio Conte continues to search for a Mauro Icardi replacement. 

I Nerazzurri have already completed the signing of Romelu Lukaku in a deal worth around £74m. However, Conte is still keen to add reinforcements at the top end of the pitch in order to provide competition for Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez. 

Icardi’s time at ?Inter appears to be over, as the new manager has no intentions to utilise his services. The Argentine has been heavily linked with a move away, with Juventus a possibility (despite rumours over an ‘anti-Juventus alliance’ being formed). Roma’s Edin Dzeko was touted as a possible target, but he has now penned a new deal with the club.

Instead, ?Sky Sports Italia have now reported that Inter are considering pursuing a swap deal involving Icardi and Napoli’s Milik. The report claims that the situation will be ‘monitored.’

Inter are also weighing up moves for ?Manchester United’s Alexis Sanchez and former ?Tottenham striker Fernando Llorente. Both are very different forwards and would provide different elements to the attack. Llorente is more of a target man, whereas Sanchez would prefer to drift infield and find space.

Llorente was perhaps unfortunate to not pen a new deal at the club, and although there have been rumours over a possible return, this is unlikely and he continues to be a free agent at this point. Sanchez, meanwhile, is said to be looking for a route out of Manchester, but manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still believes there is hope for the Chilean at the club.

Lastly, Eintracht Frankfurt’s Ante Rebic is also part of the discussion. The report believes that talks have been ‘going on for some time.’ However, as of yet, there is no concrete deal.

Alexis Sanchez,Cesar Azpilicueta

Elsewhere, Conte was said to be keeping tabs on RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner, but Sky claim that the German is ‘close’ to joining ?Bayern Munich.


Serie A Giants Form ‘Anti-Juventus Alliance’ to Prevent Mauro Icardi From Joining I Bianconeri

?Inter, Napoli and Roma are ready to come together to ensure that Mauro Icardi never plays for Juventus, and could involve the striker in a hectic merry-go-round.

With Antonio Conte adamant that he does not want Icardi at Inter, Juventus are thought to be one of the Argentine’s primary suitors, especially after they missed out on Romelu Lukaku.

Mauro Icardi

However, according to ?Corriere dello Sport, the three ?Serie A sides are ready to do whatever it takes to ensure that ?Icardi doesn’t end up with ?Juventus, as they don’t want to see their rivals become even stronger than they already are.

As a result, the ‘anti-Juventus alliance’ has been born. All three clubs are on the lookout for new strikers this summer, and they are said to have hatched a plan which would benefit everyone except Juventus.

Icardi could be sold to ?Napoli, who would then allow Arkadiusz Milik to join Roma. Once those deals are done, ?Inter would be free to sign Roma’s Edin Dzeko, ensuring that all three clubs are stronger as they push to end Juventus’ reign of dominance.

I Bianconeri have won eight consecutive Serie A titles, and the fear is that adding Icardi would make Juventus almost unbeatable in Italy.

To add to Inter’s determination not to strengthen Juventus, a separate report from ?Corriere dello Sport claims that, regardless of who Icardi is sold to, they will be made to agree to clause which would forbid them to sell the striker to Juventus after just one season.

Should they fail to sell Icardi to an Italian side, Inter could be forced to look elsewhere. ?Soccer Link state that Monaco are ready to join the race for his signature, having already informed his agent, Wanda Nara, of their desire to sign him.

They have promised Icardi a long-term contract worth around €7m per year, but it is thought that the 26-year-old would prefer to remain in Italy, and specifically with Juventus.

It seems almost certain that Icardi will be sold this summer, although where he will end up is anyone’s guess. There appears to be serious interest from Napoli as part of this three-way swap, but Juventus don’t often accept defeat in the transfer market.


Juventus Director Provides Update on Paulo Dybala Future & Mauro Icardi Interest Ahead of Deadline

?Juventus’ sporting director Fabio Paratici has refused to be drawn on interest in wantaway striker Mauro Icardi, but has stressed that discussions have taken place for Paulo Dybala’s proposed exit with a number of European sides interested in the Argentine.

Having fallen out of favour in Turin, Dybala was subject of firm interest from Premier League duo Manchester United and Tottenham, however, neither move failed to materialise and the player subsequently headed back to northern Italy.

With the English window slamming shut last week, that leaves European sides in pole position to sign the 25-year-old, due to a later closing date of September 2. Dybala netted twice in a recent friendly against the ?Juventus ‘B’ team, yet still Paratici confessed to Sky Sports Italia (via ?Football Italia) that talks were underway regarding his future.

“Dybala is like all the others, a great Juventus player. There is interest and there are discussions, we’ll talk about it together,” he said.

Paratici did admit that a number of players not in the 21-man squad will ‘have to go’, which potentially frees up space for duo Daniele Rugani and Mario Mandzukic to leave the club, although the 47-year-old insisted these exits are not imminent.

One player who could be set to move the other way is Inter striker ?Icardi, however. The forward saw his squad number nine shirt relinquished to ?Nerazzurri new-boy Romelu Lukaku, with speculation growing that he could be set for a summer exit from the club. Despite this, Paratici refused to shed any light on a move, insisting on remaining tight-lipped on the Argentinian.

Mauro Emanuel Icardi

“Icardi is an Inter player, so we will only talk about those in our squad,” he concluded. “We’ve got Gonzalo Higuain, who is a great hitman, while Mandzukic is an excellent forward. Let’s talk about our players.”


Footballers’ Nicknames: 15 of the Weirdest & Most Wonderful Monikers in the Beautiful Game

Football is famous for its nicknames. Cristiano Ronaldo is CR7, Adriano is L’imperatore, Ronaldo de Assis Moreira will forever be Ronaldinho. And even then we have some more inventive names, such as Givanildo Vieira de Souza, simply known as Hulk.

Some nicknames can be self-appointed, or the can be bestowed upon a player by their siblings, managers or supporters. A lot of footballers probably hate them. And the problem with nicknames is, that whether you like them or not, they stick. 

Here’s a look at some of the weird and wonderful nicknames from throughout football history.

Matt Doherty – Doherto Carlos


The ?Wolves full-back won the hearts of Fantasy Premier League managers up and down the country last season, with some stellar performances for the newly-promoted side. His marauding runs and attacking prowess from the full-back position have led to him earning a nickname to be proud of. 

Matt Doherty

Doherto Carlos. Following in the footsteps of Real Madrid and Brazil defender Robert Carlos, who was known for his attacking ability rather than his defensive stability. Doherty admitted in an interview that he used to practice free-kicks in the fashion for which his namesake became renowned, and now he goes into his second Premier League season carrying the same title. 

Bravo Doherto.

Fitz Hall – One Size 


One size Fitz Hall. The former Watford and Crystal Palace defender didn’t earn his nickname through his impressive defensive skills, however as far as nicknames go, it’s certainly an impressive one. 

Anthony Modeste,Fitz Hall

In the world of football, it’s probably one of the wittier nicknames, and it has written Fitz into the Hall of Fame for football’s funniest names. 

Roberto Baggio – The Divine Ponytail

The Italian’s seem to give their stars creative and majestic nicknames, when compared to ?Wayne ‘Wazza’ Rooney or ?Harry ‘Slabhead’ Maguire. Baggio was the jewel in the Italian side’s crown in their 1994 World Cup campaign, as Gli Azzurri lost on penalties to Brazil in the final. 

Roberto Baggio,Andoni Zubizarreta

Baggio was iconic for his playing style and also his appearance, his ponytail bouncing and dancing around bamboozled defenders. The Italian will be remembered as one of the best footballers in history, and his ponytail will go down in history bouncing behind him. 

Duncan Ferguson – Duncan Disorderly 

For those who aren’t aware, Duncan Ferguson is a very scary man. The big Scotsman terrorised Premier League defences for 12 years and planted as many black eyes as he did goals during his time in England.

Duncan Ferguson and Trond Anderson

Whilst playing in Scotland, the striker headbutted an opponent and was subsequently jailed, and his constant brushes with the law on and off the field led to his nickname ‘Duncan Disorderly’.

A solid name, for a solid bloke. 

Antonio Cassano – Peter Pan

Another of football’s more controversial characters, Antonio Cassano was as talented as he was troubled. The charismatic striker’s career was filled with off-field scandals, but he possessed a child-like zest for life which earned him the nickname Peter Pan. Well, plus and the fact that he could never accept his own retirement, and constantly attempted short-lived comebacks but without much success. 

'Partita Del Cuore' Charity Match

Although Cassano never wanted to grow up, his lavish lifestyle caught up with him, and the hot-headed Italian never lived up to the promise he had shown in his early years in Italy. 

Massimo Taibi – The Blind Venetian 

Massimo Taibi arrived at Old Trafford with great expectations, but his dream ?Manchester United debut victory over ?Liverpool was quickly forgotten, and his Premier League career soon became a nightmare. 

Massimo Taibi

After a string of errors over the coming matches, he was comically labelled ‘The Blind Venetian’ by one newspaper. Taibi completed four games for Ferguson’s side, before he returned to Italy to play out the rest of his career, away from the British press.

Andoni Goikoetxea – The Butcher of Bilbao


Andoni Goikoetxea was just about as tough as they come in football. The bruising centre-back spent the majority of his playing career at Athletic Bilbao, and he earned himself his gruesome nickname following one of the most infamous tackles in football history. 

The excruciating assault came in a league match against ?Barcelona, in which he delivered a crunching tackle from behind on footballing icon Diego Maradona, breaking the Argentine’s ankle in the process. To add insult to injury, he incited a mass brawl during the 1984 Spanish Cup final against the Blaugrana and received an initial 18 game ban for kicking Maradona in the chest. 

Do not mess with The Butcher. 

Papa Bouba Diop – The Wardrobe 

The man-mountain was a Premier League regular for ?Fulham and Portsmouth, and it was at the Cottage that he was christened ‘The Wardrobe’. The Senegalese midfielder dominated proceedings in the middle of the park and it was his enormous physique which landed him this nickname. 

Fulham's English midfielder Danny Murphy

Diop was a solid midfielder and a dominant presence in the changing rooms, and the Wardrobe had no fears in giving his teammates a severe dressing-down. 

Chris Smalling – Mike 

Whilst Louis Van Gaal was unable to light up Old Trafford with his own sexy style of football, he did provide some great moments off the field. His press conferences were always a must-watch, and whether he was bursting into song, calling out journalists or shouting ‘Louis van Gaal’s army!’ over and over again, there was always something worth turning into a GIF waiting around the corner. 

During a pre-season tour, Van Gaal accidentally referred to Chris Smalling as Mike, and it didn’t take long for Twitter and the rest of the world to jump on this mishap. Whilst something so minor can happen daily in the real world, it rarely gets forgotten in the football bubble. Sorry Chris, but you’re going to be Mike Smalling for the rest of your life. 

German Burgos – Mono (Ape) 

Another footballer who took no prisoners was Argentine German Burgos. The goalkeeper is better known as ‘Mono’ due to his ape-like appearance.


The now-?Atletico Madrid assistant manager is a classic football hard-man, and during his time in Spain he was banned for 11 matches following an on-field assault of an opposition player. Simeone’s sidekick is as tough as the Atleti boss, currently forming the hardest managerial partnership in world football. 

Vincenzo Montella – L’Aeroplanino (The Little Aeroplane) 

Trademark celebrations are an important part of football nowadays. ?Ronaldo has his jumpy-swirly-shouty celebration, ?Bale has his love-heart gesture and we all remember Shefki Kuqi’s belly-flop which just looked painful. 

Vincenzo Montella was a diminutive Italian winger who ?nailed a celebration early in his career, out-stretching his arms and running around miming an aeroplane. It may not seem too cool, but he pulled it off pretty well and, l’Aeroplanino regularly took flight during Roma’s title-winning campaign in 2001. 

Nicolas Anelka – Le Sulk

Nicolas Anelka was one of the most talented strikers of his generation, but the fact he played for 12 different professional clubs suggests that the Frenchman came with some baggage. He suffered a difficult time at ?Arsenal, and the fans quickly turned against him as a result of a perceived lack of effort and enthusiasm for the club. 

Boro v Arsenal Nicolas Anelka

Le Sulk duly lived up to his new-found name and demanded to leave the Gunners, and bagged himself a move to ?Real Madrid, which wouldn’t last long either. A fitting nickname for a wonderful but troubled striker. 

Dion Dublin – The Shower Clearer


Dublin made a name for himself as a lethal weapon in front of goal, but it was another weapon which impressed boss Sir Alex Ferguson. The striker’s manhood was a hot topic for the Man Utd manager, and it astonished him to apparently utter the iconic words…

Dion Dublin of Aston Villa celebrates scoring the equalising goal with team-mate Olof Mellberg

“Big? It isn’t big. It’s magnificent! I’ve seen some whoppers in my time, but Dion’s is something else.”  

A honourary mention also goes to Claude Makelele, who had the nickname ‘The Tripod’, thrust upon him. 

Ferenc Puskas – The Galloping Major

Puskas was one of football’s very first icons, as he and his Hungary side wrote themselves into the sport’s history with some incredible displays, most notably a 7-1 thrashing of a talented England side in 1954. Puskas was a superb player, but he didn’t gain his nickname ‘The Galloping Major’ ?through his sporting exploits. 

Puskas’ side Kispest was taken over by the Hungarian Ministry of Defence, and all players were given military names. 

Borja Iglesias – The Panda 


New Real Betis striker Borja Iglesias is known as ‘The Panda’, but it’s not because of his ability to bamboo-zle defenders. 

Borja is a big fan of hip-hop music, and he discovered the song ‘Panda’ by Desiigner, which he fell in love with. His former Celta Vigo side became known as ‘The Panda Team’, and some of the players even decided to have pandas tattooed on themselves. 

Facundo Ferreyra,Borja Iglesias

Iglesias embodies that team spirit and he has carried the nickname ‘The Panda’ for the rest of his career. Whenever he scores goals, he creates absolute panda-monium in the stands.