According to a number of reports across Europe, including The Guardian and The Mirror, Antonio Conte has agreed to terms to become the next manager at Inter Milan and will take over this summer, with Luciano Spalletti departing.
Conte has signed a four-year deal at Inter that will earn him around $11 million per season, with the Italian excited to return home and face the challenge of finishing the task at Inter. The Italian giants have slumped in recent years, but this year showed promise that the project may finally be coming to an end. Spalletti appears to have turned the team into a Champions League contender again, but there are reports that he is struggling to maintain the support of the locker room and the front office.
Inter’s qualification to next year’s Champions League is no guarantee either, with the club sitting just a point ahead of rivals AC Milan for the final Serie A spot heading into the final week of the season. They have just three wins in their final nine matches, leaving them vulnerable.
Conte most recently managed Chelsea for two seasons, winning both the Premier League and the FA Cup in his first season but missing out on Champions League qualification last campaign before departing. He recently won a lawsuit against Chelsea that will see the Blues pay him an additional $11 million as part of his severance package. Other than his Premier League stint at Stamford Bridge, Conte has spent his entire career in Italy, managing Juventus, Atalanta, and the Italian national team among others. He has eight Serie A titles to his name between playing and managing.
Rumors say that Conte is zeroing Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku as his first transfer target of the summer.
Multiple reports state that Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is set to talk to Inter Milan this week about a swap deal involving Ivan Perisic and cash for Romelu Lukaku.
According to the Daily Mirror, Woodward will meet Inter’s hierarchy in Milan to discuss a swap deal which involves Lukaku and Perisic this summer.
Perisic, 30, has been a long-term target for United and per the report is said to be worth around $45 million. United value Lukaku at $90 million, so Inter would have to let Perisic leave and put about $40 million down to sign Lukaku.
A good deal?
Lukaku, 26, has previously stated he admires Serie A and wants to move to the Italian top-flight, and if he stays at United he will likely play second fiddle to Marcus Rashford. So moving him on and getting in a top quality winger they’ve wanted to sign for some time makes sense.
Perisic doesn’t fit into the young and hungry category that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is after this summer, but his quality speaks for itself. The Croatian international had a superb 2018 World Cup and has been consistently good for Inter, scoring 40 goals in 161 appearances in all competitions since he arrived in 2015.
United need to rebuild their team and Lukaku, aside from his poor 2018-19 campaign, is one of their most valuable assets. If he has another bad season coming up, you can expect his value to half what it currently is.
MILAN (AP) Inter Milan took a crucial step towards securing Champions League football by beating 10-man Chievo Verona 2-0 in Serie A on Monday.
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Inter moved back into third spot in Serie A, a point above Atalanta, which occupies the final Champions League qualifying berth.
Crucially, Inter was four points above AC Milan and Roma with two matches remaining.
Matteo Politano opened the scoring shortly before halftime and Ivan Perisic, who earlier hit the post, sealed the result after Chievo midfielder Nicola Rigoni was sent off for a second booking.
Last-placed Chievo had already been relegated.
[ MORE: Top 10 Premier League goals of the 2018-19 season ]
Bologna all but achieved Serie A safety with a 4-1 win over 10-man Parma, which is in danger of getting sucked back into the relegation dogfight.
Bologna was helped by two own goals, including from Parma goalkeeper Luigi Sepe, who kept his side in the match early on with three sensational saves.
Parma defender Francisco Sierralta scored the other own goal late on.
Parma captain Bruno Alves was sent off with his team trailing 2-0 after he was showed a second yellow card for his reaction after being booked for a foul.
Bologna moved five points above the relegation zone and two above Parma.
A roundup of all of Saturday’s action in Italy’s top flight…
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Fiorentina 0-1 AC Milan
The race for fourth — and Champions League qualification — is heading toward a final-day finish with AC Milan (62 points) suddenly catching fire and closing in on Inter Milan (63) in the season’s final weeks. Roma remains in the mix as well, though their fixture assignment this weekend is far less kind.
Following AC Milan’s narrow victory over Fiorentina on Saturday, the two Milan sides are now separated by just one point in the table (Inter are yet to play this weekend and could restore their four-point advantage by beating Chievo on Monday).
Hakan Calhanoglu scored the game’s only goal, in the 35th minute, to give Gennaro Gattuso’s side back-to-back league victories for the first time in two months. Calhanoglu’s glancing header turned home a delightful ball into the box from Suso.
Roma will host champions-elect Juventus at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday.
Elsewhere in Serie A
Atalanta 2-1 Genoa [ MORE ]
Cagliari 1-2 Lazio
Sunday’s Serie A schedule
Torino v. Sassuolo — 6:30 a.m. ET
Frosinone v. Udinese — 9 a.m. ET
Sampdoria v. Empoli — 9 a.m. ET
SPAL v. Napoli — 12 p.m. ET
Roma v. Juventus — 2:30 p.m. ET
MILAN (AP) Inter Milan missed the chance of consolidating third place in Serie A on Saturday and could even find itself struggling to hold onto a Champions League berth.
The Nerazzurri were held to 0-0 at relegation-threatened Udinese.
That left Inter four points ahead of fourth-placed Atalanta, which visits Lazio on Sunday, and five above fifth-placed Roma, which travels to Genoa. The top four from Serie A qualify for the Champions League.
Inter has three matches remaining.
“We’ve dropped two important points here,” Inter midfielder Radja Nainggolan said. “We were missing that final pass to score, we could have made more of certain situations.
“It was a classic game in which the opponent sat deep and we weren’t able to get a goal. We have to make up for it immediately at San Siro against Chievo Verona. We need to give something extra.”
It was a precious point for Udinese, which inched four clear of the relegation zone.
“It’s a golden point,” Udinese coach Igor Tudor said. “We are all happy. It will give us confidence.”
Earlier, Spal mathematically clinched its Serie A status for next season as it crushed already-relegated Chievo Verona 4-0.
Dias Felipe scored in each half and Sergio Floccari and Jasmin Kurtic also netted in the second period.