??Chelsea defender Davide Zappacosta has played down reports linking him with a potential transfer back to his native Italy with Inter.
The 26-year-old signed for the Blues last summer from Torino for €25m and went on to make 35 appearances in all competitions, becoming a valuable squad player in the process. Although he didn’t become an automatic starter over Victor Moses, his performances were largely impressive and Chelsea fans soon warmed to the full-back.
However, reports have recently linked him strongly with a move to Inter, who are looking to rebuild their squad after making a return to the Champions League for the first time since 2012. Inter have already bolstered their squad with the likes of Lautaro Martinez, Stefan De Vrij and Kwadwo Asamoah this summer.
However, Zappacosta has rebuffed these rumours and he is instead claims that he is focussed purely on his future with Chelsea.
Speaking to Sky Sports (via ?CalcioMercato) Zappacosta outlined his current situation: “I just want to play a great season regardless of where I will play the goal always give the maximum.
“Inter? I do not know anything, they are just rumours. Of course it always pleases when a club is interested in you, but I am a Chelsea player and now I think only of the Chelsea.”
Interestingly, a move to Inter will mean that Zappacosta will be playing a higher standard of European football next season after Chelsea only managed to qualify for the Europa League.
Chelsea fans will no doubt be hoping that Zappacosta means what he says as he has proven to be a valuable member of their squad and the blues are unlikely to want to splash out on another right-back so soon after Zappacosta’s arrival last summer.
?Inter centre-back Milan Skriniar has revealed that he is ‘glad’ to be of interest to Manchester United this summer after a reported offer from Old Trafford, but is ultimately happy to remain with the Nerazzurri after the Italians rebuffed the advances.
It has been rumoured in recent days that United approached Inter with a bid of €60m or more for Skriniar. That offer was said to be rejected, leading Inter to apparently consider handing the Slovakian international a new and improved contract.
“I’m glad they are interested in me. But Inter decided what they decided, so I cannot say anything more about it,” Skriniar told the Slovak Football Association’s official website.
“However, I am satisfied,” he added.
Skriniar only made the move to Inter this time last year after originally making a name for himself during just 18 months at Sampdoria. He has gone from strength to strength in Milan and his rise has been nothing short of astonishing after playing for Slovakian side Zilina as recently as 2016.
The 23-year-old is thought to be on a shortlist of centre-back targets for United that has as many as eight names for the club to consider and explore as Jose Mourinho looks for serious defensive strengthening ahead of the 2018/19 season.
The likes of Jerome Boateng, who could be willingly sold by Bayern Munich for around £50m, Toby Alderweireld and Raphael Varane are believed to be others on that list.
United have already been busy in the transfer market this summer, completing the capture of Diogo Dalot from Porto and now also finalising Fred’s £50m arrival from Shakhtar Donetsk.
West Ham star Marko Arnautovic has been strongly linked with a return to former side Internazionale, after the player’s brother and agent was spotted at the Italian club’s headquarters this week.
The story broke on the website of Italian sports journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, who reported on Wednesday that Daniel Arnautovic had offered his brother to the Italian giants.
Though Di Marzio insisted that ‘the deal would only take place under certain conditions’, the story is unlikely to sit well with West Ham supporters, who will be desperate to see their club keep hold of the forward after he scored 11 goals for the Hammers last season.
Arnautovic spent time on loan at Inter during the 2009/10 season but made just three appearances for the club, with manager Jose Mourinho claiming that the Austrian “is a fantastic person but has the attitude of a child”.
Since then, however, Arnautovic has gone on to enjoy great success in the Premier League, becoming a key man at ?Stoke City during his four years there before joining West Ham last summer in a deal worth around £25m.
This summer has the makings of a busy transfer window for Inter, with the Nerazzurri reportedly already ?close to completing a deal for Roma’s Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan.
The club are also interested in turning loan deals for Valencia full back Joao Cancelo and ?Barcelona midfielder Rafinha into permanent moves, but look set to be priced out of both transfers.
Di Marzio has also reported that Inter could move for Stoke right back Moritz Bauer, an international teammate of Arnautovic with Austria.
The Potters could face a struggle to hang on to their key players following the club’s relegation from the Premier League last season, with Serie A and Champions League football likely to prove more enticing for Bauer.
?Valencia have finally given in to Juventus’ pursuit of Joao Cancelo, with a €38m fee agreed upon for the Portuguese right back.
?Football Italia reports that numerous sources, including Sky Sport Italia, Sportitalia and La Gazzetta dello Sport, are bringing news of a done deal and now there are only minor details to be finalised before the move can be completed.
Juventus had a bid of €15m plus Croatian winger Marko Pjaca ?rejected last week, but Valencia did eventually agree to a slight discount on their €40m asking price. In return, Juventus agreed to a permanent move rather than a loan deal with an obligation to buy.
This news comes as a blow to Inter, where Cancelo had impressed during a season on loan at the San Siro. They refused to pay the asking price and their Serie A rivals have now profited.
Cancelo initially struggled to get in the team at Inter but once he broke through in December he became a key part of their Champions League challenge, which culminated with a final day win at Lazio to secure 4th place.
Cancelo will be Juventus’ fourth major signing of the summer after goalkeeper Mattia Perin, wide man Douglas Costa and a soon to be completed deal for out-of-contract Liverpool midfielder Emre Can.
Cancelo has scored three goals in seven appearances for Portugal and was included in their preliminary 35-man squad for the World Cup, but did not make the final cut.
Inter are continuing negotiations with Bordeaux for star winger Malcom, as the club prepare to finalise the signing of Radja Nainggolan.
The Nerazzurri are understood to be finalising the finer details of Nainggolan’s switch, with manager Luciano Spalletti keen to bolster the club’s options in the middle of the park ahead of the new ?Serie A season.
They are also keen to sign a top quality winger, with Italian publication Gianluca DiMarzio reporting that negotiations are well underway for Brazilian winger Malcom. Inter are believed to be keen on an initial loan deal, with an obligation to buy inserted into the deal.
The proposed loan fee is thought to be around the €8m mark, with Bordeaux said to be wanting upwards of €30m to make the deal permanent next summer. It remains to be seen whether Inter are prepared to stump up the cash, particularly as they are on the cusp of wrapping up a deal for Belgian midfielder Nainggolan.
The 30-year-old, who was left out of Belgium’s World Cup squad this summer, is thought to be closing in on securing a move worth €36m, with the offer of cash, plus the exchange of multiple young prospects, thought to be the main component of the deal.
One of the players set to make the switch is 18-year-old Nicolo Zaniolo, whilst another ‘Primavera’ player, who is yet to be decided, will also be part of the deal.
Nainggolan played 42 games for Roma in all competitions last season, scoring six times and providing 11 assists as the club surprisingly qualified for the Champions League semi-finals.
His move is expected to be concluded shortly, with an agreement for Malcom hoping to be reached over the coming days.