Man Utd to Resume Talks With Inter Over Alexis Sanchez Loan Deal

?Manchester United are set to meet with Inter officials again on Monday to try and thrash out the final details of Alexis Sanchez’s proposed loan move to San Siro.

Both sides are believed to be eager to close the deal for Sanchez, who is yet to appear for United this season, but ?talks are thought to have stalled as Inter are unprepared to commit to Sanchez’s high wages.

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According to ?The Guardian, ?Inter only want to pay ?Sanchez €3m per year, whereas ?United, who are happy to pay a proportion of the winger’s wages, would prefer Inter to pay closer to €6m.

Talks between the two sides will resume on Monday, but it is thought that a conclusion is near and Sanchez could soon be set to reunite with former United teammate ?Romelu Lukaku in ?Serie A.

It has previously been suggested that ?Inter would pay Sanchez around €4m, and this may prove to be correct if the two sides agree to compromise on their initial demands.

Alexis Sanchez

United are ready to allow Inter to pay the minority of the winger’s wages in the hope that they will look to make the move permanent next summer. Talks over such a move are believed to have progressed well, with a future fee of between €12m and €15m being suggested.

The Red Devils are desperate to offload Sanchez and bring an end to his torrid 18 months with the club. He has managed just five goals in 45 appearances for the club, and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has clearly tried to move on this season.

The likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Daniel James have all featured heavily since the start of the campaign, with 17-year-old Mason Greenwood also being handed opportunities, and there does not look to be a place for an underperforming Sanchez.

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Should he indeed depart, the Chilean will no doubt look back on his United career with regret, having previously starred for ?Arsenal in four goal-laden Premier League campaigns.

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Mauro Icardi Handed Number 7 Shirt at Inter as AC Milan & Juventus Plot Bids

?Inter have confirmed that striker Mauro Icardi will wear the number seven shirt next season, amid rumours the Argentine will be sold in the near future.

New manager Antonio Conte is believed to have decided that Icardi has no future at the club, with the likes of Juventus and Napoli thought to be incredibly keen on signing him.


In the latest event in this lengthy saga, ?Inter took to their ?official website to confirm that ?Icardi will wear the number seven shirt, with new signing ?Romelu Lukaku taking the number nine.

Prior to Lukaku’s arrival, Icardi had worn the number nine shirt ever since joining the club back in 2013, but the Belgian now appears set to lead the line for I Nerazzurri following his big-money move from ?Manchester United.

Despite all the speculation around his future, we are no closer to knowing Icardi’s next destination. The player is believed to be keen to remain in Milan, prompting rumours that cross-town rivals ?AC Milan could try sign him.

Mauro Emanuel Icardi

Both ?Il Giornale and Radio 24 journalist Paolo Condo (via ?Pianeta Milan) have claimed that Milan could try test their luck with a bid for Icardi, with Condo adding that I Rossoneri might have a great chance of completing a deal because of his desire to stay in the city.

Inter are thought to be eager to sell and, given they have received no satisfactory offers from any other clubs, they might be forced to do business with their rivals.

However, it is believed that ?Juventus are leading the race for his signature. Having missed out on Lukaku, they remain on the lookout for a new striker, and La Gazzetta dello Sport (via ?Sempre Inter) state that the Serie A champions are ready to sell five players to finance a move for Icardi.

Maurizio Sarri

Daniele Rugani, Mario Mandzukic, ?Emre Can, Rodrigo Bentancur and Blaise Matuidi are all for sale, although Juventus’ won’t need to sell all five in order to afford a move for the Inter man.

Should Icardi leave the city of Milan, it is believed that Juventus would be his preferred move, but it remains to be seen whether they will be able to submit an acceptable bid.

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The Footballers With the Best Conversion Rate Since the 2012/13 Season

It’s hard to put into words just how important having a good striker is. A prolific marksman can be the difference between success and failure, and we have seen so many top teams fail because they were missing an elite striker.

?The best forwards are those who can score plenty of goals from minimal opportunities – those who can fire their team to glory with just one chance.

Now, ?Opta have compiled a list of the most reliable strikers from Europe’s top five leagues since the 2012/13 season, ranking their goalscoring pedigree in both league and European competition (but ignoring penalties), and new Monaco signing Wissam Ben Yedder sits atop the standings.

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During his time with both Toulouse and Sevilla, Ben Yedder racked up an impressive 106 goals from just 538 shots in that time period, so 19.7% of his efforts managed to find the back of the net.

That ratio sees him finish ahead of Paris Saint-Germain’s ?Edinson Cavani, whose record of 169 goals from 884 shots earns him a conversion rate of 19.1%. ?Arsenal’s ?Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang managed to finish on the same percentage, having scored 165 of his 866 shots.

?Inter’s ?Mauro Icardi came in fourth, having scored 109 goals from just 577 shots to finish with a rate of 18.9%. Players of that pedigree don’t hit the market too often, so it’s easy to see why so many sides are pursuing the Argentine this summer.

Mauro Icardi

Next up is ?Diego Costa of ?Atletico Madrid, who scored goals at a rate of 18.7%. The Spaniard finished level with ?Lionel Messi, who actually netted the most goals out of anyone on the list. His 275 goals is well ahead of the rest, but the fact it took him 1473 shots means he falls to sixth on the list.

?Alexandre Lacazette (18.6%), ?Karim Benzema (18.3%), ?Luis Suarez (18.1%) and Robert Lewandowski (17.2%) round out the top ten, meaning there is no place for ?Juventus star ?Cristiano Ronaldo.

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The Portuguese international actually finished 20th on the list. Ronaldo racked up 1880 shots – far more than anyone else – but his return of 254 goals means he finished with a conversion rate of 13.5%.

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Inter vs Lecce Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Buy Tickets & Kick Off Time

?The opening round of fixtures for the 2019/20 Serie A season ends on Monday evening as Inter welcome new boys Lecce to San Siro.

Successive promotions saw the visitors make a meteoric rise form the third-tier to the top-flight, taking them from sub-1,000 crowds to nights such as this in Milan in the space of two years. Nevertheless, they will need to be impeccable to avoid their dream swiftly becoming a nightmare against a side competing in the Champions League this campaign.

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The ?Nerazzurri have invested heavily over the summer, with ?Manchester United’s out-of-sorts forward Alexis Sanchez potentially adding to Antonio Conte’s attacking options, though a deal is ?now in doubt.

Their new head coach has a strong reputation in Italy, having collected a hat-trick of Scudetti during his time as ?Juventus boss and he is expected to iron out a number of faults that hindered Inter last term.

Here’s our preview of the encounter.


Where to Watch

?When Is Kick Off? Monday 26 August?
?What Time Is Kick Off? ?19:45 (BST)
?Where Is it Played? ?San Siro
?TV Channel/Live Stream? ?Premier Sports 1
?Referee? Daniele Orsato?

Where to Buy Tickets

Tickets for the game are, as ever, available on both team’s official club websites, though membership is required in order to purchase. In terms of resale, both teams provide the option to make season tickets available for others to use, if a supporter is unable to attend the game themselves.


Team News

Diego Godin has been brought in on a free transfer following the end of his contract with ?Atletico Madrid, but the Uruguayan will have to wait to make his debut due to an issue with his left thigh.

However, fellow summer arrival Romelu Lukaku is in line for a first competitive appearance, with the former Red Devils striker joining for a club record £73m in early August.

The Nerazzurri also purchased a couple of wingers in Valentino Lazaro and Matteo Politano. The latter cost the side £18m after recording six goals and eight assists in the league for Sassuolo last year.


Lazaro was similarly productive in the ?Bundesliga as Hertha Berlin secured a mid-table finish, the Austrian switching to Italy for £20m.

Conte has no injuries concerns aside from Godin, whilst counterpart Fabio Liverani is without two members of his first-team squad.

Defensive pairing Biagio Meccariello and Riccardo Fiamozzi are both out for at least a month with a knee problem and herniated disc, respectively.


Potential Lineups

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Inter? Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, De Vrij, Skriniar; Candreva, Barella, Brozovic, Sensi, Dalbert; Esposito, Lukaku.
?Lecce ?Gabriel; Riccardi, Lucioni, Majer, Dell’Orco, Rispoli; Tachtsidis, Tabanelli, Farias; Faclo, Lapadula.

Head to Head Record

This will be the 19th meeting between the two teams and the first since January 2012. Lecce won that encounter, taking them to a total of three victories over the 18-time ?Serie A champions.

Inter had beaten them 4-1 just two months prior, making it an eight-game unbeaten streak versus the minnows. The Milan club have taken all three points on 12 occasions, with two draws completing the record. 

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Only once in history have Lecce left the San Siro with a win. That game took place in late 2000, the underdogs protecting a 1-0 lead as they overcame a star-studded lineup including Andrea Pirlo, Laurent Blanc and Robbie Keane.


Recent Form

Should they be involved in any penalty-shootouts later in the campaign, Conte’s recruits will have the edge over their opponents, having taken part in four of them in pre-season.

Pre-season games with Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, ?Tottenham Hotspur and Valencia all finished 1-1 and therefore went to the lottery that is penalties.

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The Bianconeri were the only side to get the better of the Nerazzurri from the spot, though Conte will be hoping Lukaku adds firepower and – more importantly – goals up top after the side struggled to take their chances in their preparatory fixtures.

Lecce spent their entire pre-season in Italy, testing themselves against several Serie B and C sides. They secured a number of encouraging victories, with a 4-1 triumph over Frosinone of particular interest given the latter’s relegation from the top-flight last year.

Here’s a look at the duo’s last five results:

Inter? Lecce?
?Manchester United 1-0 Inter (20/7) ?Calcio Padova 2-1 Lecce (01/5)
?Juventus 1-1 Inter *(4-3) (24/7) ?Lecce 2-1 Spezia (11/5)
?Paris Saint-Germain 1-1 Inter *(5-6) (27/7) ?Lecce 6-0 Virtus Don Bosco (25/7)
?Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Inter *(3-4) (04/8) ?Lecce 4-1 Frosinone (27/7)
?Valencia 1-1 Inter *(6-7) (10/8) ?Lecce 4-0 Salernitana (18/8)

Prediction

They may have been in free-scoring form over the summer, but Lecce would do well to find a way past a well-drilled Inter backline.

Conte has made them fierce in defence, whilst Lukaku’s arrival should be of enormous benefit at the other end of the pitch.

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The Belgian garnered a reputation as a flat-track bully in the ?Premier League, given his record against supposedly lesser teams, so don’t be surprised to see him enjoy his evening versus the newly-promoted southerners. 

The slower pace of football in Serie A plays right into his hands; a goal-scoring debut is a definite possibility.

Prediction: Inter 2-0 Lecce

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Antonio Conte Takes Further Legal Action Against Chelsea Despite £9m Compensation

Inter manager Antonio Conte is taking further legal action against Chelsea, despite receiving £9m in compensation following a Premier League helmed private manager’s tribunal back in April. 

Conte was awarded that sum when it was ruled that he was entitled to the £9m he was set to earn over the remainder of his contract, having failed to agree on a severance package in the aftermath of his dismissal, which occurred on July 13th, 2018.

Antonio Conte

However, according to a report from the Times, the Italian is not done with his litigation yet, and last Friday he began further proceedings against the club, this time in the form of a statutory claim against the club at an Employment Tribunal, with a preliminary hearing held at Central London Employment Tribunal. 

While the details of the claim are as of yet unknown, these cases often revolved around claims of ‘unfair dismissal or discrimination’. 

Thankfully, while Premier League tribunals are kept under wraps, such proceedings as this are made completely public following their completion. One source told the Times that this could shed some light on the reasons behind this effort, positing that the Italian is likely seeking to embarrass the Blues in a public forum. 

Indeed, this line of thinking is bolstered by the fact that, given the settings, the maximum amount of money he stands to gain from any victory sits at around £60,000, a far cry from the £9m he was given earlier this year.

Conte was absent from last Friday’s hearing, choosing instead to concentrate on the task he has in Milan ahead of the start of the 2019/20 Serie A season. For their part, Chelsea have the right to appeal against any verdict reached by the tribunal.

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