Ivan Perisic ‘Wants to Join Tottenham’ After Missing Out on January Move to Arsenal

?Tottenham are now favourites to sign Ivan Perisic from Inter after a January move to Arsenal fell through, according to reports from Italy.

Perisic handed in a transfer request during the last week of the transfer window, with Arsenal reportedly keen to sign him on loan until the end of the season before making the move permanent next summer.

That move failed to materialise, and it was reported that Perisic would actually prefer to join ?Tottenham; however, Mauricio Pochettino did not make an approach for the Croatian winger.

Tottenham Hotspur v FC Internazionale - UEFA Champions League Group B

Tuttosport (via ?Sport Witness) reports that Perisic is still determined to play in the Premier League and his interest may at last be reciprocated by Tottenham, who are preparing for next season.

The Italian outlet claims that Perisic is now ‘betrothed’ to Spurs ahead of a summer wedding, and could become the first new signing to join Mauricio Pochettino’s squad in 18 months.

It is likely that the transfer would be a cash-plus-players deal, with Moussa Sissoko and ?Serge Aurier named as possibilities who could be used in part exchange.

Signing a 30-year-old player who would command a high salary doesn’t sound like a typical move for Pochettino, who has built his team around a young core of attacking players, but Tuttosport is adamant that Perisic will be a Tottenham player next season.

?Arsenal are highly unlikely to re-enter the race for Perisic after ?Inter manager Luciano Spalletti slammed the Gunners for misleading Perisic with talk of a bid that never materialised.

“He [Perisic] realised it was not a true offer and that he’d been conned,” said Spalletti.

Perisic was also linked with ?Manchester United last summer, though these rumours have not resurfaced since Jose Mourinho left Old Trafford.

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Rapid Wien vs Inter Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

?Inter get their Europa League campaign underway on Thursday night when they face Rapid Wien in the round of 32.

After agonisingly missing out on the last 16 of the Champions League, Luciano Spalletti’s men will test their resolve in the second tier of European football as they look to notch their fourth title in the competition.

Their opponents, meanwhile, muddled through Group G to finish second and secure passage to the round of 32, finishing with ten points from the 18 available.

Check out 90min’s preview of Thursday’s game below.


Where to Watch

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?When Is Kick Off? ?Thursday 14 February
?What Time Is Kick Off? ?17:55 (GMT)
?Where Is it Played? ?Allianz Stadion
?TV Channel/Live Stream? ?BT Sport
?Referee? ?N/A

?Team News

?The Austrian outfit will be without long-term absentee Tamas Szanto, who is yet to appear this term on account of the cartilage damage he sustained last year. 

They will also be without midfielder Dejan Ljubicic, who picked up a red card in their last competitive game in back December. 

For Inter, there is one change in their European squad list as Southampton loanee Cedric has replaced Sime Vrsaljko after the World Cup finalist picked up a season-ending knee injury last month. 



Predicted Lineups 
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?Rapid Wien ?Strebinger; Muldur, Dibon, Barac, Potzmann; Schwab, Martic; Murg, Knasmullner, Schobesberger; Alar
?Inter ?Handanovic; Cedric, Skriniar, de Vrij, Asamoah; Vecino, Brozovic; Mario, Nainggolan, Perisic; Icardi

Head to Head Record

Honours are even in the two-game series between these sides, with both meetings coming in the UEFA Cup where they played out two-legged ties. 

Inter are yet to beat their Austrian counterparts away from home, whilst the Italian giants have won one and drawn one at San Siro.

Luciano Spalletti


Recent Form

Rapid Wien have struggled domestically this term, having won just five of their 18 outings in the Austrian Bundesliga, which sees them reside in eighth place. Thursday’s tie will be their first competitive fixture of 2019, with the Austrian club enjoying a prolonged winter break.

Their struggles in the Europa League have been predominantly in front of goal, as only Slavia Prague scored fewer in the group stage out of all 24 qualified sides.

?Inter also go into this game out of form, having won just one of their last five domestic outings. They too have struggled to score goals in recent weeks and Spalletti will be desperate to get his strikers firing again on Thursday night.


Here’s how each team has performed in their last five fixtures:

?Rapid Wien ?Inter
Austria Wien 6-1 Rapid Wien (16/12) ?Parma 0-1 Inter (9/2)
Rapid Wien 1-0 Rangers (13/12) ?Inter 0-1 Bologna (3/2)
Rapid Wien 0-0 Sturm Graz (9/12) ?Inter 1-1 Lazio (31/1)
FC Wacker Innsbruck 0-1 Rapid Wien (2/12) ?Torino 1-0 Inter (27/1)
Spartak Moscow 1-2 Rapid Wien (29/11) ?Inter 0-0 Sassuolo (19/1)

Prediction

Inter will be forced to lick their Champions League wounds and recover quickly to have a decent stab at the Europa League this year. Though their goalscoring issues remain clear for all to see, with ?Mauro Icardi on their books the drought is never likely to last too long.

Mauro Icardi

Though they are yet to lose on home soil in this year’s competition, Rapid Wien will have a tough task containing European royalty in Inter, who will take a slender lead back to San Siro.

Prediction: Rapid Wien 1-2 Inter

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Inter & Juventus Reject Mesut Ozil Offer as Arsenal Seek to Offload German Outcast

Mesut Ozil has fallen out of favour under Unai Emery to such an extent that he could be sold this summer to free up space on Arsenal’s wage bill.

The German has played in just one of Arsenal’s last seven Premier League matches, and wasn’t even in the squad for Saturday’s win over Huddersfield, with an illness given as the official reason.

?Ozil’s weekly earnings are in excess of £300,000, putting him second behind only former teammate Alexis Sanchez on the list of the Premier League’s highest earners, and ?Arsenal cannot afford to spend that sort of money on a benchwarmer.

However, those wages could prove prohibitive in attempts to sell Ozil. ?The Mirror reports that ?Inter have rejected the chance to sign the 30-year-old at a cut price.

Mesut Ozil

I Nerazzurri have been linked with Ozil for a number of months, but their interest has cooled lately, with the player’s ‘very disappointing performances’ given as a reason for that.

?Calciomercato claims that Ozil was also offered to ?Juventus under similar circumstances, but with out-of-contract Gunners star Aaron Ramsey already bound for Turin, the Serie A champions have no interest in his teammate.

Ozil has made more than 200 appearances for Arsenal since they signed him from Real Madrid in 2013, and has frequently been among the Premier League’s top assist makers, with 55 in the top flight.

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Despite this, he is often used a scapegoat for Arsenal’s failures, and his eye-popping pay packet has raised expectations to a level which he has not been able to consistently meet.

He was a key player in the early stages of this season and even captained Arsenal on a number of occasions, but now appears to have fallen out of favour.

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Radja Nainggolan Urges His Side to Keep Working After Starring in Inter’s Win Away to Parma

?Radja Nainggolan has urged his side to keep going and ‘work calmly’ after starring in Inter’s 0-1 win away to Parma in Serie A on Saturday.

The Belgian was a key figure and provided the assist for Lautaro Martinez’s late winner as the Nerazzurri claimed a vital win at the Stadio Ennio Tardini, helping his side to end a difficult run of four games without a win in all competitions.


After the game, as quoted by ?Inter’s ?official website, Nainggolan said: “We expected it to be a difficult game but we got on with our work calmly despite it being a delicate moment and we need to continue like this, without thinking that we’ve now gotten through the difficult moment.

“The season is long, there are lots of teams close behind us even if we have a lead over them. Personally, I hope to have no more physical issues, I’m doing everything to prevent them.

“I thank the club because they’re allowing me to work at my best and it’s on me now to repay everyone’s trust in me.


“Wins allow us to work with greater calm, we showed great desire tonight. Now, focus turns to the Europa League which is a big objective for us before we go again in the league.”

Saturday’s win saw Inter solidify their standing in third place in Serie A, with the Nerazzurri five points clear of Atalanta in fourth, though Luciano Spalletti’s side remain nine points adrift of second-placed ?Napoli.


Inter take on Rapid Wien in the first leg of their Europa League round of 32 tie on Thursday, before returning to Serie A action at home to Sampdoria next Sunday.

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Luciano Spalletti Calls for More Consistency From His Inter Side After Narrow Win Over Parma

Luciano Spalletti has urged his Inter side for more consistency going forward after they edged to a narrow 1-0 win over Parma at Ennio Tardini.

It was an even start to the game, however Parma had the first golden opportunity after Gervinho cut inside from the left and unleashed a stinging shot which cannoned off the crossbar, a let off for the Inter defence who looked to have fallen asleep.

Mauro Icardi

?Inter had good spells of possession throughout the first half but struggled heavily in the final third, with Mauro Icardi often finding himself isolated up front with very little support around him. Inter thought they’d gone ahead through Danilo D’Ambrosia’s header, however upon further review from VAR, the goal was ruled out after it was confirmed the ball struck his arm.

However Inter weren’t going to be denied and they finally got their first Serie A goal of the calendar year with ten minutes remaining courtesy of a substitute. 

Lautaro Martinez

Radja Nainggolan picked the ball up on the halfway line and drove at the Parma defence, sliding the ball through to Lautaro Martinez – who had only been on the pitch for two minutes – who finished brilliantly to secure a 1-0 win for the visitors.

Speaking to the club’s ?official website, Spalletti praised the impact of Martinez whilst also calling for more consistency from his team. He said: “Lautaro has fighting spirit and he does really well when the ball comes to him. Both him and Icardi are our two main strikers. 

“They are very similar and you need to find the right moment to play them. That can be when the opposition looks to press and we have the right peace of mind to support them.

“Just as the defeat against Bologna caused despair, this victory will give us enthusiasm and strength. We must now keep a low profile to rediscover stability. We showed positive things tonight, but we need to produce further performances like this to gain consistency.”

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The win was Inter’s first in five games in all competitions, and they’ll be hoping to make it back-to-back victories when they travel to face Rapid Vienna in the first leg of their Europa League round of 32 tie on Thursday evening.

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