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Chelsea, Arsenal target Icardi linked with Bayern move

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Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi is said to be interesting two Premier League giants and Bayern Munich.

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Both Chelsea and Arsenal are said to be tracking the Argentine international as Icardi, 24, is in red-hot form in Serie A with 11 goals in 12 games so far this season.

The predatory forward has scored 89 goals in 156 appearances for Inter since 2013 and according to Spanish outlet Don Balon, Bayern are said be lining Icardi up to replace Robert Lewandowski who has been vocal about the German giants’ lack of summer spending. Real Madrid are reportedly interested in signing Poland international Lewandowski.

What about Chelsea and Arsenal chasing Icardi?

Icardi has a release clause of $130 million and Inter have stated that they are trying to increase the release clause for their captain by offering him a new and improved deal to remain at the San Siro.

However, Icardi has clashed with Inter’s fans on many occasions over the years and the versatile forward could well see the next 12 months as pivotal in his career as he tries to become a regular for Argentina.

Chelsea certainly need another option up top with Alvaro Morata the main man but the Spaniard can play on the left, as he did for Antonio Conte at Juventus, and perhaps the clinical Icardi would be better suited through the center.

As for Arsenal, any move for Icardi would surely only come if they can offer him Champions League action (even though Inter cannot) and if both Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez did not remain at the Emirates Stadium.

Bayern may well be the favorite to sign Icardi but there is a problem for all three teams: his release clause.

He is predatory goalscorer but Icardi comes with plenty of baggage. In the current transfer market, is he worth $130 million? Quite possibly.

It’s still quite difficult to see either Chelsea or Arsenal stumping up that kind of cash after their recent signings of Morata and Alexandre Lacazette respectively.

Report: Atlanta’s Almiron the subject of AC Milan interest

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If Miguel Almiron spends just one season in Major League Soccer, it will still be a major win for the league and his side Atlanta United.

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Rumors have swirled over recent weeks regarding the Paraguayan’s future, with several top sides in Europe reportedly expressing interest in the Atlanta attacker.

Now, Metro is reporting that Italian giants AC Milan are pursuing Almiron — who has lit up MLS in his lone season in the U.S.

Previously, Almiron has been linked with a move to the Premier League, including London side Arsenal, while AC Milan’s biggest rivals, Inter Milan, have also reportedly shown interest.

The 23-year-old Paraguayan scored nine goals in 30 games this season for the expansion side, while adding 14 assists for Atlanta — which was tied for fourth-most in MLS.

Almiron was purchased prior to the 2017 season by Atlanta for an astounding $8 million fee, however, the Eastern Conference side will likely make a significant return on their investment.

According to the report, Almiron is currently being valued at around $18 million, which could more than double Atlanta’s purchase.

Serie A: Juventus come back after major scare from Benevento

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MILAN (AP) Last-place Benevento threatened a major shock in Turin before Juventus eventually fought back to win 2-1 Sunday and close the gap on leader Napoli in Serie A.

Benevento had not picked up a single point in its previous 11 league games – the worst start in the division’s history — but took a surprise lead through Amato Ciciretti in the 19th minute.

That lead lasted nearly 40 minutes before Gonzalo Higuain leveled. Juan Cuadrado scored what was to prove the winner in the 65th.

“We went behind with the only shot we allowed our opponents, but we kept our heads. It seemed like a cursed match, the ball didn’t want to go in, but we managed to turn it around,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said.

“The season is long, we have to maintain the speed of a cruise ship because too many ups and downs are not positive. It will be a battle right until the final day.”

Juventus moved into second spot, a point behind Napoli, which was held 0-0 at Chievo Verona.

Inter slipped to third, two points behind Napoli, after drawing 1-1 at home to Torino.

Lazio was four points behind Napoli after its home match against Udinese was postponed because of heavy rain in the Italian capital.

Juventus was expected to sweep aside bottom Benevento and celebrate this week’s 120th anniversary of the club’s foundation.

The hosts hit the woodwork twice early but Benevento, which had scored just four goals all season, took the lead when Ciciretti curled a stunning free kick around the wall and into the bottom left corner.

Juventus wasted several chances before eventually finding the equalizer in the 57th. Blaise Matuidi headed Mattia De Sciglio’s cross back to Higuain, who volleyed into the top right corner.

And the Bianconeri turned the match around completely eight minutes later when Cuadrado met Alex Sandro‘s cross from the left with a downward header at the far post.


Napoli dropped points for only the second time this season, unable to find a way past a solid Chievo team in a 0-0 stalemate.

Maurizio Sarri’s team was eager to bounce back from Wednesday’s 4-2 defeat to Manchester City and almost certain Champions League elimination.

Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina was out with a back injury, with Luigi Sepe making his first Serie A appearance for the club since 2009.

Sepe was almost embarrassed on the hour mark when Ivan Radovanovic spotted him off his line and tried his luck from 60 yards out, but the goalkeeper scrambled back to reach the ball from under the bar.


Inter had to come from behind to draw 1-1 against Torino and maintain its unbeaten start to the season.

More than 70,000 fans were at San Siro for the lunchtime match.

But they were left stunned when Iago Falque gave Torino the lead on the hour mark, surging between two defenders before blasting the ball into the near bottom corner from the edge of the area.

Joel Obi missed a great chance to double Torino’s lead before substitute Eder fired in the equalizer when Mauro Icardi headed down Ivan Perisic’s cross to the Italy forward.

Inter almost won the match two minutes from time but Matias Vecino’s effort from distance crashed off the crossbar.


Roma set a Serie A record with its 12th consecutive away victory as it won 4-2 at Fiorentina, thanks to two first-half goals from Gerson – his first for the club.

Alessio Romagnoli’s header and a wonderful curler from Suso saw AC Milan win 2-0 at Sassulo, while Spal drew 1-1 at 10-man Atalanta.

Elsewhere, Cagliari beat relegation-threatened Hellas Verona 2-1 to move six points above the drop zone.

Serie A: Napoli’s perfect season ends after draw with Inter

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MILAN (AP) Napoli’s perfect start to Serie A finally came to an end on Saturday in an enthralling 0-0 home draw with Inter Milan, the only other unbeaten side in the Italian top flight.

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There were plenty of chances at the San Paolo, and Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic was kept busier than his Napoli counterpart Pepe Reina.

It was the first time since April and a 2-2 draw at Sassuolo that Napoli has failed to win in Serie A.

Napoli remained top of the standings, two points above Inter and six above Juventus and Lazio, which face Udinese and Cagliari respectively on Sunday.

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Napoli was looking for a ninth successive league win. It was boosted by Lorenzo Insigne passing fit to start after injuring a thigh on Tuesday in the Champions League defeat at Manchester City.

Inter was full of confidence after Mauro Icardi’s hat trick helped it win last week’s derby against AC Milan, but it hadn’t won in Naples in 20 years.

Napoli almost went in front but Handanovic pulled off a stunning double save to deny first Jose Callejon and then keep out Dries Mertens’ rebound attempt from point-blank range.

Handanovic then kept out an effort from Insigne following a great ball over the top from Marek Hamsik.

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Inter went close shortly before halftime but Reina did well to fingertip Borja Valero’s close-range attempt over the bar.

Insigne had more chances after the break, going closest with a curling effort just past the right post.

Hamsik also fired narrowly wide, and Handanovic parried a powerful shot from substitute Piotr Zielinski.

Mertens should have won the match for Napoli in the final minute but Handanovic was again on hand to keep out his close-range volley.

Serie A: Icardi completes hat trick on 90′; Inter take Milan derby

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Mauro Icardi is a goal predator.

Seemingly absent one moment, he swoops in unannounced to score in the next.

The Argentine striker had a hat trick in Inter Milan’s 3-2 derby victory over big-spending AC Milan on Sunday, displaying perfect timing to redirect two crosses, then calmly converting a penalty for the winner in the 90th.

It was an entertaining Derby della Madonnina, with Suso and Giacomo Bonaventura each scoring temporary equalizers for Milan and both sides hitting the goal frame.

Undefeated Inter took sole possession of second place, moving two points behind perfect Napoli and three ahead of six-time defending champion Juventus and Lazio.

Milan, which was bought by a Chinese-led consortium in April, spent nearly $250 million on new players in the offseason. But after a strong start to the season, the Rossoneri have lost three straight and sit 10th with half as many points as Napoli.

Leonardo Bonucci, the centerpiece of Milan’s massive overhaul, was beaten for Icardi’s opener midway through the first half.

On his first touch in the opponent’s box, Icardi redirected a tremendous cross from Antonio Candreva as Bonucci trailed behind.

Icardi barely touched the ball but somehow landed it in the far corner.

Candreva had already hit the crossbar 13 minutes in at the San Siro, less than a week after he scored the only goal in Italy’s win over Albania.

Andre Silva — one of the 11 new players Milan signed — hit the post for Milan shortly before Suso scored in the 56th with a long, bouncing shot from beyond the area.

After the hour mark, Icardi got his second by again redirecting a cross into the far corner, this time with a volley following Ivan Perisic’s pass.

Bonaventura slid in at the far post and made it 2-2 in the 81st but then Ricardo Rodriguez was shown yellow for a clear foul on Danilo D’Ambrosio and Icardi converted the spot kick.