Agent Reveals That Southampton Star Had a Summer Transfer Blocked Despite Interest From Europe

Southampton turned down the chance to let Sofiane Boufal leave the club over the summer despite the likes of Inter Milan, Celta Vigo and Fiorentina wanting to sign the 24-year-old “at all costs”, according to Sport Witness.

The Paris-born winger has failed to hit the ground running following his £17m move from LOSC Lille in 2016, making just 35 appearances for the Saints across all competitions. However, the Moroccan’s recent wonder goal against West Brom could revitalize his Southampton career.

The skilful playmaker made a name for himself with French minnows SCO Angers and when his fantastic form continued in Lille, Boufal opted for a move to the Premier League, despite heavy interest from across Europe.

“He feels great. He’s just waiting for more game time,” Boufal’s agent said. 

“You know, he didn’t start August as a first-team player, and we had clubs like Inter Milan, Celta Vigo and Fiorentina, clubs who know what they’re doing when it comes to signing players, who wanted him at all costs.

Southampton said no, even if they weren’t playing him, and over the past three games, Sofiane is showing that he’s the one who’s winning them points.”

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Boufal isn’t the first player to have moved to Southampton and failed to live up to expectation. 

Despite an outstanding goal at St Mary’s Stadium against Manchester City, Italian international Dani Osvaldo failed to give the Saints a long-term option in attack, something that can now be seen with former Napoli striker Manolo Gabbiadini.

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Inter Milan Centre-Half Admits That His Huge Impact at the Club Has Been a Surprise

Inter Milan centre-half Milan Skriniar has admitted that he didn’t expect to simply step straight into the squad’s starting XI this season, following on from a very impressive start to the season at San Siro.

The 22-year-old made the switch to Inter from Sampdoria in the summer for a reported €23m, and following on from his side’s 3-2 victory over his former club, Skriniar seems focused on helping the team as much as he can:

“I didn’t even think about making such an impact. I want to help the team in every game, and if we win then we’re all happy”, he told Sky Italia (via Football Italia).

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“I look at other matches. I’m happy because I’ve always worked under great Coaches. Spalletti’s also helping me a lot.

“We’re happy (for the top spot), we always try to improve with each match. We always want to be there, even it’s just for one night.

The youngster has earned huge plaudits from players and coaches alike since stepping up to the first team for his side, but remains level headed – claiming that he just wants to continue developing:

“?I’m happy for these compliments. From Italian football, I really like Koulibaly. He’s very good with his feet.

“There’s also Bonucci and Miranda. I can only keep learning.”

Inter currently occupy the top spot in Serie A after Tuesday night’s victory, with Napoli travelling to Genoa in a bid to reclaim their place at the head of the table.

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Maurizio Sarri’s men can go two points clear with a win – which would continue a hugely impressive start to the season.

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Inter 3-2 Sampdoria: Mauro Icardi Scores Twice in Thriller as Nerazzurri Go Top of Serie A

Mauro Icardi scored a brace as Inter Milan edged Sampdoria in a five-goal thriller to go top of Serie A.

The Argentina international is now ahead of Juventus’ Paulo Dybala and behind only Lazio’s Ciro Immobile in the league’s goalscoring charts, having bagged two after Milan Skriniar opened the scoring.

Dawid Kownacki and Fabio Quagliarella brought Sampdoria back into the game but the visitors’ rally came to late to secure a point.

FC Internazionale v UC Sampdoria - Serie A

Sampdoria pair Quagliarella and Duvan Zapata had shots early on but Antonio Candreva came closest to breaking the deadlock in the opening exchanges, smashing just wide of Christian Puggioni’s right-hand post.?

Inter winger Perisic could have opened the scoring after cutting inside but shot straight at Puggioni before the Croatian turned provider minutes later, swapping wings and cutting a cross back to Danilo D’Ambrosio who could stabbed wide.

Sampdoria pressed well in the early stages but Inter’s dominance in chances created was rewarded when Milan Skriniar, a former Sampdoria defender, scrambled home from close range from a corner after Matias Vecino’s flicked header.

Inter look strong contenders in Serie A this season and, alongside an exciting Napoli side, pose a real threat to Juventus, who have looked wobbly during the opening months of the campaign.

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A moment of madness from Puggioni saw the goalkeeper sprint out of his goal and give the ball straight to Perisic, who struck from distance but saw his looping shot come back agonisingly off the post to safety with the goal vacant.

After getting lucky moments earlier, Puggioni was helpless as Icardi grabbed his first of the night, slamming home on the volley.

A late goalmouth scramble was as close as Sampdoria came to scoring in the first half, Miranda holding off the waiting Zapata as Samir Handanovic pounced on the loose ball.

Sampdoria substitute Gianluca Caprari added some much needed impetus into the visiting side’s play after the break but their momentum was halted by Icardi, who netted again from Perisic’s curled cross for a three-goal lead and his 11th Serie A goal in 10 appearances.

However, Sampdoria gave themselves hope just after the hour mark as Dawid Kownacki snuck in at the back post to volley past the unsuspecting Handanovic after some static Inter defending. 

And they should have gained more ground on their opponents soon after but Quagliarella could only blaze high and wide when sent scampering through on goal.

The veteran striker did get himself on the scoresheet later after intense Sampdoria pressure, heading in from Dennis Praet’s cross, but Inter held on for the win.

Inter’s victory means they are now top of Serie A, but the Nerazzurri will lose that spot should Napoli beat Genoa on Wednesday.

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Inter Milan XI: Handanovic, D’Ambrosio, Skriniar, Miranda, Nagatomo, Vecino, Gagliardini, Candreva, Valero, Perisic, Icardi

Sampdoria XI: Puggioni, Murru, Ferrari, Silvestre, Bereszynski, Torreira, Barreto, Ramirez, Praet, Quagliarella, Zapata

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Mauro Icardi’s Former Agent Reveals Juventus & Napoli Spurned Chance to Sign Ace for Just €400k

Mauro Icardi’s former agent has revealed that both Juventus and Napoli turned down the chance to sign the talented forward for just €400k, during his time in Barcelona’s youth academy. 

The Argentine international is now a Serie A superstar, and has netted 80 goals in just 133 Serie A appearances for his current side Internazionale.

In an interview with Il Secolo XIX, via ItaSportPress, former agent Nunzio Marchione, revealed that the two Serie A giants turned up their noses at the opportunity to bag Icardi during his days as a bright prospect at Barcelona.

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“Riccardo Pecini [Sampdoria’s youth academy chief] was very clever in getting him after both Juventus and Napoli, who had moved on him before, had rejected him,” Marchione said.

Icardi eventually left Catalonia for Sampdoria for just €400k, before switching to Inter after his first season in Italy.

What struck me about Icardi? The fact that, at age 15, he was already mature and ready to live away from home,” Marchione added. “And he had that innate ability to move half a second before the defender to place himself where he was needed. You could see he was phenomenal.”

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Marchione also revealed that the then Barcelona starlet has always been an Nerazzurri at heart and actually cheered Inter’s famous victory over his employers on the way to a famous treble in 2010.

“He dreamt of playing for Inter because he had grown up with a Zanetti poster, and I remember how happy we were when we celebrated the semi-final win at the Camp Nou,” Marchione added. “[Gerard] Deulofeu was next to us, and he couldn’t understand why we were celebrating”.

Icardi has gone from strength to strength since leaving Sampdoria to join the club of his boyhood dreams in 2013, scoring over 20 goals in a season twice in his five year spell at San Siro.

The 24-year-old still has a long career ahead of him, and it remains to be seen whether the giants of European football will soon come calling for the services of the talented Argentine.

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Inter Milan Boss Luciano Spalletti Not Getting Carried Away Despite Impressive Start to Season

?Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti has played down the chances of his side finishing the Serie A season as champions, despite their impressive early season form, according to the Daily Mail.

Since taking charge of the ‘Nerazzurri’ this summer, following his brief stint at AS Roma, Spalletti has guided Inter to second in the Serie A, remaining undefeated in the process. 

Spalletti however is keen to quash any talk of Inter winning their first Scudetto since 2010, stating: “We can’t even let the comments made up about us affect us.

“We know our strengths and weaknesses well; when you want to stop asking me about the Scudetto, it means that we can really compete for that objective.”

SSC Napoli v FC Internazionale - Serie A

A recent 0-0 with table-toppers Napoli and a stunning 3-2 victory against local rivals AC Milan has only intensified the notion that Inter could seriously challenge serial winners Juventus, and along with Napoli, turn the usual Serie A procession into a genuine title race.

On that point, Spalletti continued, saying: “We can’t have doubts about the road to follow; we need to make steps forward in order to reach our objectives.

“We want to be more certain in ourselves. We need to continue a step at a time, we know where we want to end up.”

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Inter could find themselves top of Serie A for a brief period, as they face Sampdoria on Tuesday while Napoli will reclaim top spot with a victory against Genoa 24 hours later.

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