Inter Agree Personal Terms With Victor Moses as Reunion With Antonio Conte Edges Closer

?Inter have supposedly agreed personal terms with Victor Moses as Antonio Conte looks to further strengthen his defensive line.

Moses – who has struggled with injury all season – has made just six starts in the Turkish Super Lig on loan with Fenerbahce and is ready to cut his deal short after agreeing to reunite with Inter boss Conte.

The pair worked closely together at Chelsea, and the Italian manager moulded Moses in to a prolific right wing-back at Stamford Bridge, helping the Blues lift the Premier League title in 2016/17.

The Nigerian had already been ?linked with a move to Serie A this term, and now journalist Fabrizio Romano claims a move is edging closer as personal terms have been agreed between the player and ?Inter.

The deal conducted by Chelsea will start as a loan, but will offer the Italian giants an option to sign the 29-year-old permanently come the end of that loan spell.

The Nerazzurri have struggled at full-back all season, especially on the right-hand side where summer signing Valentino Lazaro has struggled to make his mark in Serie A – even leading to ?rumours linking the Austrian away from Milan.


Inter are in the hunt for a first Scudetto since 2009/10 but Conte has repeatedly ranted and raved about the lack of squad depth he has at his disposal. In turn, the Italian club’s hierarchy have responded with a flurry of activity during the January transfer window, despite having only completed the signing of Manchester United’s Ashley Young to date.

The Nerazzurri have been strongly linked with Christian Eriksen and Olivier Giroud this window as they aim to reinforce an already formidable attacking line.

But, despite having conceded the fewest goals of any side in Serie A this season, Conte still feels the need to add depth to his back line, as ?Moses looks set to become the club’s second signing of the window.

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Newcastle United Eye Move for Out of Favour Inter Full Back Valentino Lazaro

?Newcastle United are close to completing a deal to bring Inter’s ?Valentino Lazaro to the club on loan for the rest of the 2019/20 season. 

It is reported that Lazaro’s agent, Max Hagmayr, travelled to Newcastle on Saturday to begin contract negotiations on behalf of his client. It is understood that the nature of the deal is a short-term loan, with an option to buy at the end of the loan period. 

Valentino Lazaro

As reported by Gazzetta dello Sport on Sunday, the move is said to be ‘close’. Newcastle are thought to be paying €2m to bring the right-sided midfielder to Tyneside, and they will have the option to make it a permanent deal for €20m in the summer.

The 23-year-old Austrian international has featured just four times for Inter under Antonio Conte this season after he joined from Hertha BSC in July.

However, with playing time limited, and I?nter closing in on the signing of ?Victor Moses from Chelsea, Newcastle have made their move to bolster their squad. 

Isaac Hayden,Steve Bruce

Newcastle have recently welcomed back a host first-team regulars to the fold after a lengthy injury list developing over the Christmas period, but are still set to be without both of their left back options for the forseable future. 

However, after Steve Bruce’s ?recent comments over potential January signings, Newcastle clearly view Lazaro as a player that, first and foremost, has the quality to compete for a position in the starting XI.

Next up for Steve Bruce’s side is a trip to Goodison Park on Tuesday to take on Everton, before hosting Championship side Oxford United at St. James’ Park in the fourth round of the FA Cup next weekend. 

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Why Ashley Young Can Help Jittery Inter to End Their Wait For Serie A Glory (Yes, That Ashley Young)

?As one era comes to an end at Old Trafford, another is just beginning at San Siro. Antonio Conte has built his Inter side around the marquee signing of ex-Manchester United forward Romelu Lukaku, who has repaid his boss with 14 goals in 20 league appearances.

The forward’s budding relationship with strike partner Lautaro Martinez has propelled Inter into an unexpected title race with Juventus and dark horses Lazio, but I Nerazzurri have been in this high-pressure situation before – and crumbled.

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The Milan club have a habit of starting their campaigns in competent fashion, but their early promise has regularly tailed off into eventual disappointment. Inter’s recurring nightmares even came back to haunt them in the Champions League, where Conte’s side threw away a wonderful opportunity to qualify from a tough group. 

Speaking after a crushing defeat to ?Barce?lona, the Italian boss lamented his side’s lack of experience at the highest level, and called for his sporting director to recruit leaders with a winning mentality.

The ?ex-Chelsea boss has also struggled to find a suitable candidate to carry out with all-important wing-back roles on both sides of the pitch, with wingers Matteo Politano and Valentino Lazaro not quite adapting sufficiently to Conte’s liking. 

The wide-men in Conte’s 3-5-2 system are crucial to his team’s success, and when carried out to the letter, it can turn unfashionable misfits into cult heroes – just ask Marcos Alonso and ?Victor Moses. 

Victor Moses

Inter are slowly slipping behind ?Juve in the Serie A table, and I Nerazzurri’s winter collapse is in full swing. Their new coach has instilled a new-found confidence within his troops, but they are showing signs of their fragility and inferiority complex. 

Old habits die hard. 

When the going gets tough, that seed of doubt creeps back into the Inter minds, and as demonstrated in their draw against Atalanta and their tie with Lecce on Sunday, the nerves that swirl around their supporters can cripple their stars. 

And so that brings us nicely along to January.

Eyebrows were raised when ?Inter surfaced as front-runners to bring Christian Eriksen to Serie A at the end of his contract, and they almost flew off entirely when Ashley Young was mentioned as a likely January addition. 

But whist the ?Eriksen deal drags on, their attempts to lure Young to Milan were successful. Young joined I Nerazzurri on a two-year deal, and he could find himself thrown immediately into action. 

Ashley Young

Inter have been held in back-to-back game in the league and have lost ground on leaders Juve, but there is plenty of time for Conte’s men to improve their stuttering form. Lukaku has always shown his best form in and around the penalty area and, while I Nerazzurri whip plenty of balls into the box, there can be a serious lack of genuine quality in their deliveries. 

Cristiano Biraghi and Antonio Candreva cannot be faulted for their effort and endeavour, but ‘hit and miss’ is a kind expression to describe their crossing capabilities. Young’s signing could have been made with that very scenario in mind, as the former ?Aston Villa star was often regarded as one of the best crossers of the ball in the Premier League over the past decade. 

There is no denying that Conte would have killed for one of Young’s trademark whipped, in-swinging crosses in the final moments against Lecce on Sunday afternoon, as his side pushed desperately for a late winner. 

With two predators lurking in the box in Martinez and Lukaku, the wing-back has much more lethal targets to aim at than at his previous club (apart from the two years he spent with, erm, Lukaku, obviously). 

Lautaro Martinez,Romelu Lukaku

And then there is Young’s character and standing within the game. As with many Man Utd stars, the versatile defender has become a figure of derision on social media, but his trophy cabinet would beg to differ. 

The 34-year-old played his part in the Red Devils’ title success in 2013, and he has grown into a leader within a squad that has been built by a number of different managers, and appears completely disjointed. 

A glance at Chris Smalling’s rise from ‘butt of all jokes’ to ‘respected voice in the Roma dressing room’ highlights the respect that ?Man Utd players command among those in Italy, and how little the language barrier can affect a star’s influence over his fellow teammates. 

Young can provide a wise, calm head among a group of players whose biggest rival is their own fears, and deliver Inter’s first title in almost a decade. 

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Lecce 1-1 Inter: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Nerazzurri Falter Once More in Title Charge

?Inter faltered once more in their bid to regain the Serie A title as they were held to a 1-1 draw away at Lecce on Sunday afternoon.

Despite the hosts setting up with a deep back five and a compact midfield three, they weren’t afraid to commit men forward in transition early on and they spurned a great chance to take the lead – Marco Mancosu, Lecce’s leading scorer this season, blazing his close-range effort horribly wide.

After Lecce had frustrated Antonio Conte’s men in the opening 20 minutes, Inter started to have more joy in the attacking third and they should’ve taken the lead through Marcelo Brozovic on two occasions, but a combination of the post and Lecce shot-stopper Gabriel kept out the Croatian after he’d linked up well with Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez respectively.

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As the Nerazzuri continued to probe, it looked like they were dealt a sucker punch on the stroke of half time with Stefano Sensi penalised for handling inside the area. However, after another look at the incident via the pitchside monitor, referee Piero Giacomelli decided to overturn his original decision.

The home side started the second half brightly going forward and their rearguard action defensively continued to frustrate Conte’s Scudetto chasers.

The visitors were eventually rewarded for their relentless pressure, however, as substitute Alessandro Bastoni headed home emphatically from a wonderful Cristiano Biraghi cross from the left. 

Lecce struck an equaliser soon after, though, as Mancosu atoned for his earlier miss by tapping home expertly on the volley from Zan Majer’s cross from the left after the initial break looked to have broken down.

Inter continued to dominate territorially while Lecce remained a threat in transition, but after Filippo Falco struck his free kick against the post with ten minutes to go, neither side were able to create anything clear-cut as Inter were forced to settle for yet another draw.


LECCE

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Gabriel (8); Rispoli (6), Dell’Orco (6), Lucioni (8), Rossetini (8), Donati (5); Deiola (6), Petrioccione (8), Mancosu (7); Lapadula (6), Babacar (7).

Subs: Majer (7), Falco (6), Meccariello (6).


INTER 

Key Talking Point

Inter’s indifferent recent form in Serie A continues, as they’ve now drawn three of their last five league outings and could be four points adrift of Juventus by Monday morning in the race for the Scudetto. 

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While they dominated throughout, the Nerazzurri often lacked penetration and creativity in the final third – failing to regularly trouble Gabriel in the Lecce net. Both Sensi and Nicolo Barella are yet to reach the heights of their pre-injury form and until they find their groove, Conte will continue to rely on individual brilliance from his front two – something that we didn’t see in this game.

Out of possession, we didn’t see the typical high and intense Conte press as Lecce often played out of the back with relative ease. When Inter did press high, their midfielders were often bypassed, creating a huge gap between defence and midfield – making them vulnerable to the Lecce counter. 

Another worrying performance for Conte, who will certainly feel the urgent need to strengthen his squad this month if they are to compete with Juve and Lazio for the remainder of the season.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Handanovic (6); Godin (7), De Vrij (7), Skriniar (6); Candreva (5), Barella (5), Brozovic (6), Sensi (6), Biraghi (6); Lautaro (6), Lukaku (7*).

Subs: Bastoni (7), Sanchez (5), Valero (6).


Romelu Lukaku

On what was a disappointing afternoon for the Nerazzurri, Romelu Lukaku enjoyed another fine display amid his excellent run of form. 

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While he wasn’t able to get on the scoresheet, the Belgian proved a difficult proposition for the impressive Lecce backline as his ability to play with his back to goal was almost impossible to stop. 

He created a couple of chances for his strike partner Lautaro with some tidy work of one and two touches while he set up Brozovic for a glorious chance in the opening half – holding the ball up brilliantly in the Lecce box before completing the one-two with the onrushing Croatian.

It was another game where Lukaku’s superb ‘target man’ skill set was on full display.


Looking Ahead

Inter take on Cagliari – a side they beat 4-1 in the Coppa Italia last week – next Sunday in Serie A while Lecce travel to Verona to take on Italy’s surprise package from the first half of the campaign.


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5 of The Best Debuts in Football History

In case you have been living under a rock for the past six months, a new goalscoring machine has burst onto the scene and taken the football world by storm. The name? ?Erling Haaland. 

Much was made of the record-breaking numbers which the teenage sensation posted in the Champions League this season and his goals were firing Red Bull Salzburg to domestic success in Austria. 

But Haaland was always destined for greater things, and the Norwegian superstar completed his big-money move to Borussia Dortmund in the January transfer window. 

‘How is he getting on?’ I hear you ask. 

Erling Braut Haaland

Well, that’s him walking off with the match ball. Haaland was a second-half substitute, introduced with his side 3-1 down to Augsburg in a crucial match for Der BVB’s title charge. The wonderkid promptly opened his account to give the visitors some hope, and then proceeded to dispatch a superb hat-trick and lead Dortmund to a 5-3 victory. 

?Haaland’s blistering start to life in Germany is certainly sensational –  but not unprecedented. 

In light (and in honour) of the big striker’s heroics, 90min takes a look at five other stars who hit the ground running at their new clubs.


Aubameyang vs Augsburg (2014) 

Is anyone else sensing a bit of deja vu here? 

That’s right, Haaland was not the first ?Dortmund striker to score on his league debut – nor the first to score on his league debut against Augbsurg. The unfortunate Bundesliga side were also on the end of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s opening treble for Der BVB, and the striker went on to torment most teams in the German top flight over the coming years. 

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?Aubameyang demonstrated his killer instinct from the off, planting home a diving header before doubling his tally with a calm finish. 

The Gabonese forward capped off his afternoon by rounding the goalkeeper and rolling the ball into an empty net, to give the Dortmund fans a sneak preview of what was to come for the Bundesliga giants. 


?Wayne Rooney vs Fenerbahce (2004) 

One of the most iconic moments in Champions League history. Wayne Rooney, the ballsy teenager who ?Manchester United had forked out £25m to bring to Old Trafford, announced himself in the most devastating manner on his debut for the Red Devils back in 2004. 

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Sir Alex Ferguson’s men faced Turkish giants Fenerbahce in the European group stage, and ?Rooney set about writing his name into the record books without breaking a sweat. The youngster got off the mark with a rifled finish into the roof of the net and doubled his tally with a long-range strike which arrowed into the bottom right-hand corner. 

But his night was far from over. When Man Utd were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box, you may be forgiven for thinking that Rooney would allow a teammate with more authority and experience to have a pop at goal. But the precocious forward picked up the ball and curled an inch-perfect free-kick beyond the despairing dive of the goalkeeper. 

An unforgettable evening. 


Zlatan Ibrahimovic vs Lorient (2012)

He had to make the list, didn’t he? Zlatan Ibrahimovic helped turn Paris Saint-Germain into the winning-machine that they are today – and he was dragging the French club kicking and screaming to success from the very beginning. Lorient had taken a shock 2-0 lead over Les Parisiens on Ibrahimovic’s Ligue 1 debut, and the Swede took centre stage in a dramatic second half. 

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The former Milan star halved the deficit on 64 minutes, expertly controlling a high ball in the area before squeezing his shot home to give the Parc des Princes faithful some hope. They were made to wait until the 90th minute for the decisive moment however, when Ibrahimovic converted a last-gasp penalty to earn a point for the French side. 

At the heart of everything. 


Romario vs Real Sociedad (1993) 

Romario is undoubtedly one of the silkiest and most exciting players to ever grace our beautiful game, and he showed the world exactly what he was all about on his ?Barcelona debut against Real Sociedad in 1993. There was plenty of anticipation surrounding the Brazilian – and he did not disappoint. 

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The diminutive forward opened his account with a typically composed strike, but his second was somewhat more chaotic. Barcelona missed a string of chances within the space of a few seconds, but Romario was on hand to tap home from close range and put the game beyond doubt. The forward then completed his hat-trick, producing a sublime turn in the area and lashing a ruthless strike past the goalkeeper to send Camp Nou into pandemonium. 

A brief but wonderful spell at the top of world football.  


Christian Vieri vs Verona (1999)

Christian ‘Bobo’ Vieri arrived at ?Inter in 1999 for around £32m, and the San Siro faithful immediately fell in love with their new ‘bomber’. The Italian striker played his first match for I Nerazzurri against Verona, and he marked the occasion with a stunning hat-trick. Vieri’s first was a moment of pure genius, controlling the ball with his chest on the half-turn, and poking home a precise finish. 

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Vieri was joined by the Ronaldo in the second half, and the Italian was soon celebrating his second goal for his new club, racing to the ball ahead of the onrushing goalkeeper and readjusting well to fire home from an acute angle. He completed his treble soon after, breaking clear of the defence and wrong-footing his opposing shot-stopper with a left-footed finish. 

A real goalscorer. 

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