Inter have confirmed the appointment of Simone Inzaghi as their new head coach.

The announcement comes a week after Inzaghi left his position at Lazio, having spent five years in charge at the Stadio Olimpico.

Serie A champions Inter had been seeking a replacement for Antonio Conte, who departed by mutual consent after securing the Nerazzurri a first league title since 2010.

A brief statement on the Inter website read: "FC Internazionale Milano welcomes Simone Inzaghi as the new coach of the first team: the coach has signed a two-year contract with the Nerazzurri club."

Inzaghi won 134, drew 45 and lost 72 of his 251 matches in all competitions while at Lazio, the only club where he has worked during his coaching career so far.

Lazio released a statement on their website last Thursday confirming his exit, though did not refer to Inzaghi by name.

"We respect the change of mind of a coach and, before that, of a player who for many years tied his name to the Lazio family and the many Biancocelesti successes," the statement read.

The former Italy international, younger brother of Filippo Inzaghi, takes over at a time when there is financial uncertainty at Inter, with media reports suggesting they will have to offload players to help balance the books.

Massimiliano Allegri was linked with the Inter vacancy too, but he returned to former club Juventus to replace Andrea Pirlo.

As for Conte, he has emerged as a potential candidate for Tottenham, having previously won the Premier League with Chelsea.

Inter have confirmed the appointment of Simone Inzaghi as their new head coach.

 

Inter star Romelu Lukaku insisted he is staying at the Serie A champions amid speculation over his future.

Lukaku has been linked with an Inter exit following the departure of head coach Antonio Conte as the Nerazzurri struggle financially due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite leading Inter to their first Scudetto in a decade, Lukaku has reportedly caught the attention of former club Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Lukaku, however, has no plans to leave San Siro as he eyes more silverware in Milan after he was named "the best overall" Serie A MVP.

"I am staying at Inter," Lukaku – who arrived from Manchester United in 2019 – told VTM as Inter reportedly prepare to appoint former Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi.

"I've already spoken to the man who will become our new coach. Maybe I shouldn't say that yet… but it was a very positive conversation.

"The challenge is to win again. I feel good at Inter, I finally won some silverware.

"I really enjoyed it, but I want to do that again, this time with a packed San Siro."

Lukaku scored 24 goals from 36 league outings in 2020-21, while the Belgium international forward also provided 11 assists.

Lukaku scored 30 goals in all competitions this past season – only in 2016-17 for Everton did the Belgian score more (25) in a single campaign in one of Europe's top five leagues. 

Alvaro Morata says he has no idea who he will be playing for next season amid reports the Spain striker is set to extend his stay at Juventus.

Morata returned to Juve on loan from Atletico Madrid for the 2020-21 season last September.

The Serie A giants have the option of bringing the 28-year-old back to Turin for the 2021-22 campaign on loan or signing him permanently for a fee of €45million - which would be paid in instalments.

It has been reported that Morata will head back to the Bianconeri on loan at the start of a new era under Massimiliano Allegri, who replaced Andrea Pirlo last week.

Yet that is news to former Real Madrid and Chelsea striker Morata as he prepares to represent Spain at Euro 2020.

Asked about his future, he told Radio MARCA: "I don't know. I'm here. Juanma [Morata's agent] is the one who takes care of everything.

"I don't have any news and tomorrow he will call me and say: 'here you have to play'. We have a house in Madrid and there we are very well.

"In the last six or seven years, it is the summer that I am calmer. When they decide, the calmer I will be."

Morata scored 20 goals in 44 games in all competitions for a Juve said that finished fourth in Serie A.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has revealed how he has fallen in love with Roma after extending his contract with the Serie A club, meaning he will once again work with Jose Mourinho.

Having already spent a season on loan at the Giallorossi, Mkhitaryan joined on a permanent basis a year ago and was a regular during the 2020-21 campaign under Paulo Fonseca.

The Armenia international scored 15 goals and provided 11 assists as he made 46 appearances in all competitions, including a run to the Europa League semi-finals that came to an emphatic halt against one of his former teams in Manchester United.

His new deal will see the 32-year-old stay for a further season after embracing life in Rome.

"Over the last two years at Roma I've fallen in love, both with the club and the city, thanks in large part to the incredible passion of the fans," Mkhitaryan said.

"The club's ambitions are very high and I am proud to have the chance to play my part as we take on all the challenges that await us next season. Daje Roma!"

However, Mkhitaryan will no longer be working with Fonseca, the Portuguese coach having been replaced by compatriot Mourinho at the Stadio Olimpico.

Mourinho was in charge at United when the Premier League side signed Mkhitaryan from Borussia Dortmund in July 2016.

The midfielder played in 41 games during his first campaign at Old Trafford but did not make it through the next year. Criticised by Mourinho for his lack of consistency, he joined Arsenal in January 2018 as part of the deal that saw Alexis Sanchez move in the opposite direction.

Now, though, Mkhitaryan and Mourinho are reunited at Roma, who will be playing in the Europa Conference League after finishing seventh in Serie A.

Real Madrid know what Carlo Ancelotti can do.

The Italian led Los Blancos to Champions League glory in 2014.

Could a return to the Bernabeu be on the cards? 

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRD EYE ANCELOTTI

Real Madrid have been in contact with Carlo Ancelotti to replace Zinedine Zidane, Calciomercato says. 

The Everton boss previously led Los Blancos from 2013-15, winning the Champions League title and Club World Cup in 2014. 

Cadena SER reports Florentino Perez has reached out to Ancelotti and Everton have begun to ponder replacements in the event that he leaves. 

Several other candidates have been linked to the opening at the Bernabeu, including Mauricio Pochettino, Antonio Conte, Raul and Xabi Alonso

 

ROUND-UP

Fikayo Tomori is set to stay with Milan on a five-year permanent deal, Fabrizio Romano reports. Chelsea will get €28million for the move. 

- Tottenham are plotting a move for Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger, the Mirror reports. 

- Everton want to bring Pedro back to the Premier League but have yet to make Roma an offer for the former Chelsea winger, Calciomercato says. 

- Saul Niguez wants to join Manchester United, with Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus also possibilities for the Atletico Madrid midfielder, the Mirror reports.

- Now free of his Juventus contract, Maurizio Sarri is favoured to take over at Lazio, Calciomercato reports. 

Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku headlined the list of Serie A's MVP winners for the 2020-21 season.

Ronaldo finished the campaign as the leading scorer in the competition, netting 29 times across 33 appearances for Juventus to be named the most valuable forward.

Lukaku ranked second in the scorer's list with 24 goals from 36 outings, though the Belgium striker did provide 11 assists compared to Ronaldo's tally of three as he was named "the best overall" MVP.

Both forwards only netted one goal from outside the area and scored six penalties apiece, while Lukaku had a better shot conversion rate than Ronaldo – 25 per cent compared to 17.26 - as he helped Inter finish as champions.

 

Meanwhile, Gianluigi Donnarumma – whose future remains unclear as his contract at Milan nears an end – was selected as the top goalkeeper.

No other keeper played more games than the 22-year-old (37), while his tally of 14 clean sheets was level with Inter's Samir Handanovic for most in the league.

Cristian Romero was named as the best defender after a fine season with Atalanta, while Inter's Italy international Nicolo Barella scooped the midfield MVP honour.

Barella played 36 times for Antonio Conte's champions, scoring three goals and setting a further up seven. On average, he created 1.46 chances per 90 minutes.

There was also recognition for Dusan Vlahovic, named the best player under the age of 23 in Serie A after netting 21 league goals for Fiorentina.

Christian Eriksen was stunned by Antonio Conte leaving Serie A champions Inter and does not know what it means for his own future at the club.

Former Tottenham and Ajax midfielder Eriksen won over Conte to become a regular starter in the second half of the season.

He previously admitted to not understanding Conte's tactical ways, but the Dane became increasingly influential during the Scudetto-winning campaign.

Inter's success meant it was jarring to many that Conte should leave by mutual consent last week following post-season talks with club leaders. Eriksen, currently preparing for Euro 2020 with Denmark, admitted he was among those staggered by the news.

"It was a huge surprise. It is very special when you have just won a championship with the team and the squad. I read about it like everyone else did. And all of a sudden he was gone," Eriksen told TV 2 SPORT.

"I had not seen it coming at all. We knew they were going to have this conversation, but they did too after last season. It came as a real football shock, because one did not have the feeling that he wanted to leave now."

Eriksen, 29, was a popular figure at Tottenham before opting to join Inter in January 2020, with his contract in London close to its end.

He may still have Premier League admirers, and Eriksen wants to know who will replace Conte before he reaches any decision on whether Inter remains the right place for him.

Former Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi appears the front-runner for the post.

"We do not have a coach right now, so what is going to happen, I do not know either," Eriksen said.

"I have no idea if it's good or bad for me. I have not really thought about it. I really just thought that the European Championships should start now. And that's what it's about now.

"Then I have to see if we have got a coach before the European Championships are over. And then you can take it from there. Right now it's about Denmark, and then Inter will be put aside."

In a mostly deep-lying role, Eriksen was not as influential to Inter in an attacking sense as he was during his Spurs career.

During his final full Premier League season at Tottenham, the 2018-19 campaign, Eriksen averaged 0.26 goals per 90 minutes, 0.39 assists and 2.37 chances created.

He managed three goals for Inter in their title-winning effort, at 0.19 per 90 minutes, but did not make a single league assist and created an average of 1.94 chances.

Eriksen said he had Conte to thank for becoming a league champion in Italy, as Inter ended a nine-year run of Serie A triumphs by Juventus.

"We had a professional relationship," he said, looking back at his time with Conte. "I had a good relationship with him. Of course, we probably had some different ideas about how football should be played and delivered.

"But personally there was nothing to put a finger on. It was about winning and that was what we did."

Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge?

Lukaku's first taste of English football was with Chelsea between 2011-14.

He could be set for a Chelsea return amid doubts over his Inter future.

 

TOP STORY – TUCHEL WANTS LUKAKU

Chelsea are planning a move for Inter star Romelu Lukaku, according to The Guardian.

Lukaku, who joined the Blues in 2011 before leaving in 2014, is reportedly considering his future after Antonio Conte quit Inter amid the Serie A champions' troubled financial situation.

Inter quartet Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez, Achraf Hakimi – linked with Paris Saint-Germain – and Alessandro Bastoni could be sold by the Nerazzurri.

Chelsea are now eyeing a reunion with Real Madrid and Barcelona target Lukaku after winning the Champions League, while Tottenham's Harry Kane and Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland are also on their radar.

 

ROUND-UP

Gianluigi Donnarumma is prepared to join Juventus on a worse contract than he rejected at Milan, reports Corriere dello Sport. Donnarumma is available on a free transfer and the Italy international has been linked with Barca, Manchester United and PSG. Mundo Deportivo says Barca consider Donnarumma a good market opportunity.

- Bild reports Florian Neuhaus will remain at Borussia Monchengladbach, despite interest from Bayern Munich.

Olivier Giroud will join Milan as a free agent from Chelsea, claims Calciomercato. Giroud is available after his contract was not renewed at Stamford Bridge.

- Lille's Christophe Galtier is the latest candidate to replace head coach Simone Inzaghi at Lazio, joining Maurizio Sarri, Andre Villas-Boas and Sinisa Mihajlovic, according to Tuttomercato. Inzaghi is poised to succeed Conte at Inter.

Granit Xhaka is "proud" to hear of interest from new Roma coach Jose Mourinho, but the Arsenal midfielder insists his focus is solely on Euro 2020.

Former Tottenham manager Mourinho was appointed as Paulo Fonseca's replacement at Roma shortly after he was dismissed by Spurs in April, with his contract starting ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.

Yet speculation is already rife that Xhaka, Arsenal's former club captain, is one of Mourinho's priority transfer targets.

Xhaka has spent five seasons at Arsenal since joining from Bundesliga club Borussia Monchengladbach, though the Switzerland international has not always been a popular figure with the club's fanbase.

Nevertheless, he has featured consistently in the first team under Arsene Wenger, Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta, and the 28-year-old – who played more minutes in all competitions last season than any other Arsenal outfield player – still has two years left to run on his contract.

Xhaka is already with the Switzerland squad as they prepare for Euro 2020, and pressed on his future, he told Swiss-German publication Blick: "Of course I read the rumours too. But now I'm one hundred per cent focused on the national team. 

"That's more important than Arsenal or rumours right now. I still have a two-year contract in London, and at Arsenal they know what they have got in me. When the time comes and we can, and may have to talk about a transfer, I'll be there."

Asked to comment on what Mourinho's reported interest means to him, Xhaka added: "Honestly, I didn't hear what Mourinho said, but that makes you proud. 

"Everyone knows Mourinho, knows what he has achieved. Mourinho knows how to win titles. You can now see what work I have done over the past few years."

WHAT COULD XHAKA BRING TO ROMA?

Xhaka scored one goal in 2020-21, providing two assists and creating 20 chances in total, with all of those opportunities coming in open play.

Roma would also benefit from Xhaka's consistent availability. Of Arsenal midfielders, only Bukayo Saka (46) made more appearances than Xhaka in all competitions.

Bryan Cristante (48), Lorenzo Pellegrini, Gonzalo Villar (both 47) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (46) ranked ahead of Xhaka for appearances in terms of Roma midfielders, but the Swiss started more games than any of them (42).

Xhaka's passing accuracy of 89.89 per cent ranks him third out of Roma and Arsenal midfielders to play at least 10 times across all competitions, with only Mohamed Elneny (92.08) and Martin Odegaard (90.38) bettering his success rate.

It is Xhaka's defensive work that perhaps goes under the radar, especially with his tendency to lunge in recklessly, a trait that has seen him receive three straight red cards in his Arsenal career, but he is far clear in the recoveries rankings, having regained possession 281 times in 2020-21, with Cristante (235) Roma's best player in that regard.

Only Mkhitaryan (75) went in for more tackles than Xhaka (74), though his tackle success rate was down at 50 per cent, lower than 10 other Arsenal or Roma midfielders who have played at least 10 times last term.

A stunning move for Cristiano Ronaldo could be in the works.

The Portugal captain may end up back with a former club in a swap deal.

The price for Manchester United would be high.

 

TOP STORY – RONALDO SWAP DEAL RUMOURED

If Manchester United want to bring Ronaldo back to Old Trafford, they may have to surrender Paul Pogba.

La Gazzetta dello Sport reports Juventus would consider using the 36-year-old forward in a swap deal for Pogba, who has a year left on his contract.

The question is whether United would part with the 28-year-old France midfielder in return.

ROUND-UP

- Manchester City could land Harry Kane via a cash-plus-swap deal that sends Gabriel Jesus to Tottenham, the Daily Star reports. 

- Arsenal are interested in Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde and Bayer Leverkusen's Edmond Tapsoba, according to The Athletic. 

- Barcelona have not given up in their attempts to sign Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus, Marca reports.

- Lazio have joined Roma as suitors for veteran centre-back Jerome Boateng with the Germany international set to leave Bayern Munich. 

- Granit Xhaka is a target for Jose Mourinho's Roma, and Arsenal have said they want £17million for the midfielder, La Gazzetta dello Sport reports. 

- Pedrinho will leave Benfica before next season, ESPN reports, with Shakhtar Donetsk the likely destination for the 23-year-old Brazilian. 

- Crystal Palace will speak to former Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo about replacing Roy Hodgson, The Sun reports. 

Cristiano Ronaldo has shown his appreciation for ex-Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo, describing it as "an honour" to be coached by the former Italy international.

Pirlo's not-so-surprising departure from Juve was confirmed on Friday, just hours before the Serie A club announced the return of Massimiliano Allegri.

The rookie coach's solitary season in the job saw the Bianconeri fail to claim the league title for the first time since 2011, though they did win both the Supercoppa Italiana and Coppa Italia trophies.

They again suffered disappointment in the Champions League, edged out on away goals by Porto at the last-16 stage.

Ronaldo, who scored 29 goals to finish as the leading scorer in Serie A for the 2020-21 campaign, thanked Pirlo via social media.

"Thank you Maestro, it was an honour to be coached by you," he posted on his Instagram stories to accompany a picture of the duo shaking hands.

Pirlo enjoyed a strong finish to the season, a 2-1 final win over Atalanta in the Coppa Italia coming while also securing a top-four finish in Serie A, though an impressive run-in was not enough to keep him in the job.

He departed having won 23 of his 38 league games for a points-per-game average of 2.05, below both the coach he replaced in Maurizio Sarri (2.18) and also Allegri, who managed 2.39 during his first spell in charge.

Still, the only coaches to record more victories than Pirlo in their first season in the competition since 1994-95 are Rudi Garcia (26) and Jose Mourinho (25), with Roma and Inter respectively.

There has been speculation surrounding Ronaldo's future in Turin too, despite another outstanding year on a personal level.

The forward - now preparing for Euro 2020 as part of a Portugal squad looking to retain the trophy - was an unused substitute in the final game under Pirlo, watching on from the bench as his team-mates triumphed 4-1 against Bologna.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has confirmed Luciano Spalletti has been appointed as the club's new coach.

With Napoli having missed out on the Champions League on the final day of the Serie A season, De Laurentiis chose not to keep Gennaro Gattuso, whose contract expired at the end of 2020-21.

While Gattuso was swiftly appointed by Fiorentina, Napoli have now moved to acquire his replacement, bringing in former Roma and Inter coach Spalletti.

"I am delighted to announce that Luciano Spalletti will become Napoli coach on July 1," De Laurentiis confirmed in a brief statement on the club's website.

"Welcome, Luciano – we'll do great work together."

Spalletti, 62, has not been in management since he was dismissed by Inter in 2019, with the Nerazzurri having brought in Antonio Conte, who guided them to the Serie A title this term before announcing his departure.

He failed to win a title during his time at Inter but did oversee two Russian Premier League triumphs during a stint at Zenit, after twice winning the Coppa Italia with Roma in 2006-07 and 2007-08.

What does the future hold for Achraf Hakimi?

In his first season with Inter, the Morocco international claimed the Scudetto.

However, his time in Milan could already be coming to an end.

 

TOP STORY – HAKIMI TO PSG?

Paris Saint-Germain want to sign star Inter full-back Achraf Hakimi, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Inter won the Serie A in 2020-21 but find themselves in a tough financial situation due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with head coach Antonio Conte already opting to depart.

Hakimi, Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez and Alessandro Bastoni could reportedly be sold to ease some of the economic pressure at San Siro.

PSG are believed to be interested, though Inter are demanding more than €60million for the 22-year-old, who only joined from Real Madrid at the start of the season.

Madrid have the right of first refusal and can match any offer for their former defender, while Bayern Munich and Chelsea have also been linked.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Daily Mail claims Arsenal are plotting a shock bid for Manchester City star Raheem Sterling. The England international found himself out of Pep Guardiola's starting XI at times in 2020-21. Madrid and Barca have been previously linked.

Paul Pogba remains a dream signing for Juventus, reports Calciomercato. Sassuolo's Manuel Locatelli and Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez have emerged as targets for Juve, though the Bianconeri are still keen on Manchester United star Pogba, though Udinese's Rodrigo De Paul is an alternative.

- Romano says Barca are open to selling Philippe Coutinho, though Arsenal are not interested in the former Liverpool attacker.

Lionel Messi's contract extension is a priority for Barca before any new signings are made, according to the front page of Saturday's Mundo Deportivo. Barca have been tipped to bring in Lyon captain Memphis Depay, Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and Manchester City pair Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia on free transfers. Gianluigi Donnarumma – another free agent option as his Milan contract expires – is also a possible recruit.

- According to Romano and widespread reports in Italy, Luciano Spalletti has agreed to replace Gennaro Gattuso as Napoli head coach.

Juventus have confirmed Massimiliano Allegri has returned as their new head coach, taking over from Andrea Pirlo.

Rookie coach Pirlo could only manage a fourth-placed finish in Serie A in 2020-21, and a Coppa Italia triumph was not enough for the club legend to keep his job.

It is Allegri – who guided Juve to five straight Serie A titles and two Champions League finals between 2014 and 2019 – who Juve have turned to.

Using Opta data, Stats Perform analyses the key numbers and statistics from Allegri's first, trophy-laden spell in charge of the Old Lady.

RECORD SETTER

Juve's two highest-scoring seasons dating back as far as 1930 have both come under the stewardship of Allegri.

In fact, Allgeri is responsible three of the seven Juventus seasons during which they have netted 100 goals or more – alongside his predecessor Pirlo, Antonio Conte and Jesse Carver.

Allegri guided Juventus to 26 home wins in 2016-17 – the highest total produced by the club in a single campaign dating back to at least 1930 – while his 2017-18 season (which was also the campaign in which Juve netted 112 goals) saw the Bianconeri record 18 away wins, the most in any season since 1930.

 

TOP OF THE CHARTS

Only one coach in Juve's history, Giovanni Trapattoni, has overseen more league games than Allegri's 190.

Juve amassed 142 victories, giving Allegri a win percentage of 74.74, clear of second-placed Conte (72.81), who managed 83 triumphs from 114 matches.

During his five seasons with Juve, Allegri suffered just 20 league defeats, with his team scoring 380 goals and conceding 125 in return, averaging 2.39 points per game.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: ALLEGRI V CONTE

Allegri succeeded Conte at Juve in 2014, with the latter – who has just left Inter having guided the Nerazzurri to their first Serie A title in 11 years – taking over as Italy coach.

Conte spent three seasons with Juve, starting their title streak that Allegri and subsequently Maurizio Sarri would go on to continue.

In total, Allegri was in charge of Juve for 271 games in all competitions, overseeing 191 wins (a 70.48 success rate), 43 draws and 37 defeats.

Conte had 151 matches at the helm, recording 102 victories – 67.55 per cent – and 34 draws. However, his Juve team lost on just 15 occasions, at an average of five per season.

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