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Transfer rumors: Morata out, Icardi in at Chelsea; Perisic to Man United

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Chelsea’s search for a new striker continues, as Alvaro Morata’s time at Stamford Bridge appears to be almost up.

A report from ESPN says that Morata’s agent, who flew to London today, will discuss the future of the Spanish striker with Chelsea’s hierarchy as Sevilla want to sign him on loan. Another report from Cope states that Atletico Madrid have also entered the race to sign Morata.

It is believed the deal for the 26-year-old would initially be a loan move for the rest of the season, with an option to buy.

Per the report Sevilla are extremely keen on signing Morata to boost their chances of a top four finish in La Liga, and it is quite clear that Maurizio Sarri isn’t a fan of the former Real Madrid and Juventus star as he’s played Eden Hazard up top as the false nine in recent matches. The report claims that Morata is also willing to take a pay cut to join Sevilla.

Morata’s time at Chelsea has been riddled with small injuries and a lack of confidence and form, with the Spanish international scoring 24 goals in 72 appearances in all competitions since arriving from Real Madrid for a fee of up to $89 million in the summer of 2017.

Who could replace Morata? Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson is high on their list but he would cost over $70 million to buy in January, and Sarri is said to favor bringing in Gonzalo Higuain but he is embroiled in a complex deal between Juventus and AC Milan.

Mauro Icardi is said to be their top target but Inter Milan’s Argentine striker would not come cheap.

But his agent and wife, Wanda Nara, has said the following after stating that Icardi signing a new deal at Inter is a “very long way off” as things stand, as he has just just over two years left on his current contract.

“We have a very good relationship with the two biggest clubs in Spain, who are very interested in Mauro. As well as one in France and one in England.”

Intriguing.

The other option for Chelsea is bringing in veteran Higuain on loan, which is something we talked about at Pro Soccer Talk yesterday. Higuain would be the cheapest option and Sarri trusts him from their time working together at Napoli in the past. It appears that both Morata and Olivier Giroud are surplus to requirements for the rest of the season at Chelsea.


In non-Chelsea striker related news, Manchester United have once again been linked with a move for Ivan Perisic.

The Croatian winger has been linked with a move United time and time again over the past 12 months, and the 29-year-old was said to be a transfer target of Jose Mourinho.

According to Tuttosport in Italy, Inter Milan is said to be willing to part with Perisic in January so that they can get the funds together to sign Luka Modric from Real Madrid in the summer. The 33-year-old reigning World Player of the Year has been long linked with a move to Italy’s Serie A.

Do United need Perisic? Probably not anymore.

Anthony Martial is back in the picture, so too is Alexis Sanchez as they can help Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford support Romelu Lukaku from wide areas. The last thing United’s caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs is a new winger, as his creaking defense is in dire need of reinforcements. This move for Perisic, despite him being a fine player, would not make any sense.

Then again, let me know when the transfer window has made much sense in recent years…

Icardi double against Lazio sends Inter to 2nd in Serie A

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Internazionale has not finished in the top two of the Serie A table since the 2010/11 season. They have the look of a team that could bring the Italian giants back to the heights of yore.

Mauro Icardi bagged a brace as Inter spanked Lazio 3-0 and moved past Napoli into second in the Serie A standings. Marcelo Brozovic scored the third as Inter asserted its dominance. The visitors had 63% possession, and put almost half their shots on target while the hosts struggled to create good chances and finish them off. Lazio had just four shots on target of 20 total efforts at Stadio Olimpico.

Icardi’s first was a tap-in, finishing off a deflected shot by Matias Vecino after brilliant one-touch play created the opportunity. Brozovic was a maestro in midfield and deserved his strike that doubled Inter’s lead just before halftime. The Russian fired a long-range effort in the 40th minute low through traffic into the bottom-left corner.

Ciro Immobile was dangerous for Lazio throughout the match, active around the Inter penalty area, but he was ultimately denied of his seventh Serie A goal of the season.

Icardi finished things off in the 70th minute as he got a perfectly weighted pass at the far post from Borja Valero and waited to latch on as he successfully baited Senad Lulic to fly by before finishing cooly with his left foot inside his near post.

With the win, Inter moves to 22 points on the season, level with Napoli but ahead in 2nd place on a better goal differential. They host Genoa in league play this coming Saturday before a massive Champions League bout next week against Barcelona and the Nou Camp.

Report: United to pay $127 million for Icardi

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Manchester United appear to be lining up some big transfers for January after their slow start to the current Premier League season.

At this point, what’s another $127 million on a player, right Ed Woodward?

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Jose Mourinho was angry after not adding at least one new center back over the summer, but a report in AS states that United are ready to pay the $127 million release clause for Inter Milan’s star striker and captain Mauro Icardi.

The Argentine striker, 25, has supreme pedigree and his clinical finishing for Inter has them back in the UEFA Champions League this season. He has scored

With Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Marcus Rashford the strikers in his current squad, you’d say that United are pretty well stocked in that area.

Ahead of United’s trip to Watford on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com), Mourinho vehemently denied accusations from many media outlets that he is underusing Rashford and his undoubted talent.

The English youngster often starts out wide for United with Lukaku through the middle and Sanchez on the other wing or just off the central striker.

How would Icardi enhance United’s attack? He’s a natural poacher who scored 29 times in Serie A last season and it may sound simplistic, but having him feed off Lukaku could work very well.

Lukaku’s goal haul for United is impressive with three goals so far, but you have to say he could have had double that amount already. Lukaku’s runs and hold-up play has improved over the past few season, but isn’t the most clinical striker.

Icardi is right up there with the best finishers in Europe with 100 goals in 160 Serie A games for Inter.

It will be intriguing to see if United try and trigger this release clause in January and, more importantly, if Icardi indicates any willingness about heading to Old Trafford to play for Mourinho.

Plenty of rumors over the summer suggested that players lined up for moves to United didn’t want to play for Mourinho despite his history of success.

If United can sign Icardi, then you’d think they would close the 19-point gap to Man City from last season. They’d also create an unhealthy logjam among their forwards.

Transfer rumors: Fred to Man United; Icardi to Chelsea

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Brazilian midfielder Fred seems to be edging closer to a move to Manchester United after being chased by Manchester City for much of the last 12 months.

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The Shakhtar Donetsk star, 25, is a central midfielder who was supposed to be a long-term replacement for Fernandinho at City, but it appears Jose Mourinho has now swooped in to snap up the combative midfielder after Pep Guardiola‘s interest went cold.

Speaking in a press conference while away with the Brazilian national team, Fred believes that United have a bid in place for him with the midfielder previously valued at around $55 million.

“The talks had been in progress since January with City. Soon after, City and United talked to Shakhtar and my agents,” Fred said, via Globo Esporte. “And now, if I’m not mistaken, there was news of a very strong bid from United.”

Do United need Fred?

With Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay all at the club, the Brazilian’s arrival may well see Herrera, and maybe even Pogba, surplus to requirements.

Following Michael Carrick‘s retirement at the end of the 2017/18 season and Marouane Fellaini‘s contract soon to run out, Mourinho needs reinforcements in central midfield and Fred fits the bill as a two-way midfielder not scared to dig in and do his work defensively.


Chelsea have been linked with a move for Inter Milan’s star striker Mauro Icardi.

According to reports from Cadena Ser in Spain and Italian outlet Il Messaggero, Morata could head to Inter if Icardi ends up at Stamford Bridge.

Icardi, 25, was the joint-top goalscorer in Serie A in 2017/18 with 29 goals but the Argentine forward failed to make the final World Cup squad for La Albiceleste.

As for Morata, the Spanish forward also didn’t make the World Cup squad for his native Spain after a stop-start season at Chelsea under Antonio Conte. Morata, 25, was spotted meeting with the Juventus hierarchy earlier this week as the Real Madrid product spent two seasons at Juve from 2014-16 before heading back to Real en-route to Chelsea.

Would this be a good move for Chelsea?

Such has been Morata’s poor form in his debut season in the Premier League (yes, 15 goals in 48 appearances in all competitions is a decent return, but it’s not remarkable), they would no doubt have to send Morata and plenty of cash to Inter in exchange for their captain. Chelsea paid Real Madrid $80 million for Morata last summer and the reports claim they would have to send Morata plus $40 million to Inter to bring Icardi to the Bridge.

The latter has had plenty of temperament issues over the years but his status as a poacher is undoubted as his goals fired Inter back into the UEFA Champions League this season following their dramatic final day win at Lazio. Yet it’s tough to see Inter letting their skipper leave the San Siro this summer as he’s the key reason why they’re back in the Champions League.

Six Premier Leaguers named to Argentina, but no Icardi

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Argentina’s World Cup roster features a number of the usual suspects, particularly up front, but Serie A’s top goalscorer has been surprisingly left off the list of 23.

[ MORE: Belgium goes to World Cup without Nainggolan ]

Manager Jorge Sampaoli’s squad was made official on Monday, which includes the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain.

The Albiceleste won’t be taking Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi though, which has raised some questions about the decision.

Icardi led all scorers in Italy’s top flight this season, scoring 29 goals in 34 Serie A matches, while Paulo Dybala edged out the final striker spot in the Argentina squad.

Dybala is teammates with Higuain at Italian giants Juventus.

Meanwhile, six Premier League players were named into the South American nation’s squad, including goalkeepers Sergio Romero (Man United) and Willy Caballero (Chelsea), as well as Nicolas Otamendi (Man City), Marcos Rojo (Man United) and Manuel Lanzini (West Ham).