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Reports: Mourinho scouts Milenkovic, Milinkovic-Savic; Lodges $70m bid

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Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho was in the stands for Serbia’s 2-0 win over Montenegro on Sunday, and that’s naturally being linked to the transfer rumor mill.

Nikola Milenkovic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic are the names being pulled from this particular match, both high-profile (and price tag) players from Serie A.

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Now technically any coach is observing nearly every player on the pitch, but both do make sense in terms of skill (a Mourinho and Ed Woodward requirement) and age (more of a Woodward priority).

Eight-times capped center back Milenkovic, who turned 21 on Friday, is said to be a subject of United interest, having raised his profile since arriving from Fiorentina in 2017. La Nazione says United has filed a bid of approximately $70 million for his services.

Milenkovic has scored twice this season and played a little right back, too. He stands close to 6-foot-4.

Lazio midfielder Milinkovic-Savic played the final 11-plus minutes for Serbia, and was of course quizzed on Mourinho’s interest.

Milinkovic-Savic, 23, said he read that Mourinho was there to see him, and that he was honored if that’s true, but was quick to give allegiance to Lazio.

Not to mention, the 9-times capped Milinkovic-Savic is probably going to cost well over $100 million.

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic missed the match with an injury.

Italian soccer body promises to punish Lazio for sexist fans

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ROME (AP) The Italian soccer federation’s secretary general says Lazio will be punished for fans trying to ban women from a section of Stadio Olimpico.

Michele Uva says there will “certainly be disciplinary consequences” for the incident ahead of Lazio’s opening Serie A game last weekend.

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A group of fans described their section as a “sacred space” women should avoid.

Female fans were invited in distributed flyers to “position themselves from the 10th row back.”

Lazio distanced itself from the latest incident of discrimination by fans, which has been a persistent problem in recent seasons.

Uva, an elected vice president of European soccer body UEFA, says in comments reported by Italian agency Ansa that “the conviction is obvious” from his point of view.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Lazio ultras want to ban women from “sacred space” in stadium

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ROME (AP) Lazio’s “ultra” fans have caused outrage by telling women to avoid their “sacred space” in the club’s Stadio Olimpico.

The die-hard supporters distributed flyers ahead of their team’s Serie A opener at home to Napoli.

[ MORE: Juventus win on Ronaldo’s goal-less debut; Napoli chasing again ]

“The Curva Nord represents for us a sacred space, an environment with an unwritten code to be respected,” read the flyer. “The first few rows, as always, have been experienced like the trenches. In the trenches, we do not allow women, wives and girlfriends, so we invite them to position themselves from the 10th row back.

“Those who choose the stadium as an alternative to a carefree and romantic day in (Rome’s) Villa Borghese (gardens), should go to other sections.”

Lazio spokesman Arturo Diaconale told Italian news agency Ansa on Sunday that “it is not the position of the club, we are against any discrimination.”

He added: “Moreover, there is an enormous number of Lazio fans, this instead is an initiative from a few fans. We can’t always intervene to avoid politically incorrect displays like this.”

[ MORE: Edin Dzeko starts Roma off right with stunning winner ]

Some Lazio fans caused outrage last season when they littered the Stadio Olimpico in Rome with images of Anne Frank — the young diarist who died in the Holocaust — wearing a jersey of city rival Roma. Lazio was fined $63,000 by the Italian soccer federation because of the anti-Semitism displayed by the team’s fans.

It was the latest in a series of racist and anti-Semitic incidents, with Lazio previously having its stadium fully or partly closed for European and domestic matches as punishment.

Serie A: Juve win on Ronaldo’s goal-less debut; Napoli chasing again

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A roundup of all of Saturday’s action in Italy’s top flight, which will almost certainly be the most entertaining league and title race throughout the rest of Europe.

Pro tip: If you’ve not been following Serie A the last few years — during an admittedly drab period — last season signaled the renaissance of calcio, and the likes of Juventus, Napoli, Roma and Inter Milan look set to build upon that over the next nine months.

Chievo 2-3 Juventus

Cristiano Ronaldo failed to scored, but his Juventus debut wasn’t without plenty of intrigue and drama. In the end, Massimiliano Allegri’s men snatched a stoppage-time victory away to Chievo on Saturday.

Juve went ahead through Sami Khedira’s opening goal in the 3rd minute, but fell behind just before the hour mark after Mariusz Stepinski and Emanuele Giaccherini tallied either side of halftime. Chievo center back Mattia Bani scored a dubious own goal in the 75th minute to draw the seven-time defending scudetto winners level.

Ronaldo appeared to have helped set up a would-be game-winning goal just before the start of stoppage time, but he was ruled to have played the ball with his hand and the goal was taken off the board. Barely three minutes later, Federico Bernardeschi bagged the real winner to start Juve’s quest for an eighth straight Serie A title in winning fashion.

On Ronaldo’s hard luck in front of goal, Juve boss Allegri said, with a smile, after the game: “Cristiano Ronaldo had a good game. He had several shots on goal. Today he didn’t score because clearly it was written somewhere that he wouldn’t score.”

Lazio 1-2 Napoli

Napoli pushed Juve all the way to the final weeks of last season before the Bianoneri were able to wrap up the title, and it’s going to take another mammoth effort to do the same again this season. That quest began with a win on Saturday, as Carlo Ancelotti’s side (replacing Maurizio Sarri, who left for Chelsea in the summer) came back from an early deficit to knock off Lazio in Rome.

Ciro Immobile opened the scoring in the 25th minute, but Lazio couldn’t even make the lead last until halftime. Arkadiusz Milik poked Jose Callejon’s cross home from close range during first-half stoppage time. Napoli withstood increased pressure from Lazio after halftime, but held firm defensively and found the winner through Lorenzo Insigne just before the hour mark. Lazio dealt with the initial, early ball into the box, but only as far as Insigne who was lurking near the corner of the penalty area. When it fell to him, he needed just one touch to settle the ball and set his body for the far-post curler he was about to uncork. The 27-year-old was Napoli’s breakout star with 18 league goals last season, and he’s already picked up where he left off in 2018-19.

Sunday’s Serie A schedule

Torino vs. Roma — 12 p.m. ET
Sassuolo vs. Inter Milan — 2:30 p.m. ET
Parma vs. Udinese — 2:30 p.m. ET
Bologna vs. SPAL — 2:30 p.m. ET
Empoli vs. Cagliari — 2:30 p.m. ET

Liverpool to lose $82m Alisson to Real; Klopp turns to Lazio GK?

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Brazilian national team starter and Liverpool transfer target Alisson looks increasingly likely to only see Anfield as a visitor.

Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport says Real Madrid is going to tempt Roma with an $82 million bid that could rise with add-ons.

[ MORE: Lozano to Barcelona? ]

And Real would also offer a near $6 million annual salary to the Brazilian backstop.

It’s coincidence that this news comes on the day that both Alisson and current Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas were at opposite ends of the pitch.

Alisson had little to do, while Costa Rican backstop Navas was outstanding until Philippe Coutinho and Neymar scored during stoppage time.

Meanwhile, TalkSport says the Reds are in on a different Serie A goalkeeper: Lazio’s Albanian backstop Thomas Strakosha.

The 23-year-old old played all 38 league games for the Roman club this season.