Serie A

Christian Pulisic wanted by AC Milan – Report

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Is this the end for USMNT star Christian Pulisic at Chelsea?

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According to a report in Marca, a source close to Christian Pulisic has said that AC Milan want to sign the American winger and they will open talks with Chelsea this week.

Pulisic, 24, is out injured for at least another month and after Chelsea signed Mykhailo Mudryk, Joao Felix and Noni Madueke so far in January, they have loaded up on new attacking midfielders and wingers.

Pulisic’s time at Stamford Bridge appears to be up as he has just 18 months left on his current contract and per the report, Milan want to sign Ruben Loftus-Cheek as well as Pulisic.


A good move for all concerned?

This move to Milan seems like it would be a very good one for Pulisic.

They are the reigning Italian champs, have the likes of Olivier Giroud, Sergino Dest and Fikayo Tomori in their squad who know Pulisic well, and he will get regular minutes in a team which competes in the UEFA Champions League.

On top of that, Serie A will suit his playing style better than the Premier League. He just hasn’t been able to handle the physical nature and relentless pace in England’s top-flight.

He’s had his moments but there’s a reason why most of his best moments have come in the Champions League during his time in west London.

This is a very good option for Pulisic to move to another top team in Europe and he will be able to play regularly, compete for trophies and be a superstar.


Weston McKennie sets up Moise Kean goal for Juventus in Coppa Italia quarterfinals

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The Coppa Italia quarterfinal round has seen USMNT star Weston McKennie pick up an assist as Juventus continues its upward climb with a cup match against Monza (although the visitors did level before halftime).

It’s a brilliant cross from Juventus right wingback — as if the Yanks needed more options at that spot — as Kean makes it look oh-so-easy by nodding it home to give The Old Lady a 1-0 lead.

McKennie is back at full fitness, going 90 minutes twice in six days last week, and now has his first goal contribution since he scored against Empoli and Benfica in consecutive matches on Oct. 21 and 25.

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A report earlier this week said that McKennie had turned down a move to Aston Villa in the hopes of finding a home with a current European competitor like Tottenham, Chelsea, or Borussia Dortmund. That report said Max Allegri will not have much time for McKennie once Paul Pogba returns from injury (short-sighted given the injury history around Turin, but we digress).

McKennie, 24, now has 95 appearances with 13 goals and five assists during his time at Juventus, and that’s four more matches than he played coming up at Schalke. Time flies (and appearances accumulate faster for clubs in European tournaments).

Where do you want to see McKennie next? The USMNT has 41 caps at a tender age and whoever’s coaching the USMNT will want to see him playing as much as growing in the near future.

Gianluca Vialli, former Italy and Chelsea striker, dies at 58

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Gianluca Vialli, the former Italy striker who helped Sampdoria and Juventus win Serie A and European trophies before becoming player-manager at Chelsea, has died. He was 58.

The Italian soccer federation confirmed Vialli’s death on Friday.

Vialli announced in 2018 that he had overcome a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer but then said in December 2021 that the disease had returned.

With his condition worsening, Vialli announced in mid-December that he was temporarily stepping down from his role as the delegation chief for Italy’s national team.

Federation president Gabriele Gravina said he was “deeply saddened” and noted that Vialli’s sporting success was matched by his “extraordinary human qualities.”

Vialli was appointed delegation chief under Azzurri head coach Roberto Mancini, his longtime friend and former teammate.

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The pair were known as the “gemelli del gol,” or “goal twins,” when they played together at Sampdoria, leading the Genoa club to its only Serie A title in 1991 and its only European title in 1990 with the Cup Winners’ Cup – plus four Italian Cup trophies.

Vialli and Mancini also helped Sampdoria reach the 1992 European Cup final, which it lost to Barcelona at Wembley Stadium.

As delegation chief, Vialli reunited with Mancini to help Italy win the European Championship by beating England in a penalty shootout at Wembley in 2021.

“We have a relationship that goes way beyond friendship,” Mancini said during the Euros. “He’s like a true brother to me.”

Vialli’s death comes three weeks after the premature passing of another Serie A great, Sinisa Mihajlovic, who died after a long battle with leukemia. Mihajlovic also played with Mancini at Sampdoria after Vialli left the club for Juventus.

Vialli won another Serie A title at Juventus and also raised the Champions League and UEFA Cup trophies with the Bianconeri.

“Such an intense sense of loss,” Juventus said in a statement. “We have always been with you, Gianluca. Ever since you arrived in 1992, when it was love at first sight…we loved everything about you, absolutely everything – your smile, your being a star and leader at the same time, on the pitch and in the dressing room, your adorable swashbuckling ways, your culture, your class, which you showed until the last day in the black and white stripes.”

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Vialli played for Italy from 1985-1992, making 59 appearances and scoring 16 goals.

He ended his playing career while also managing Chelsea, leading the London club to FA Cup, League Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup titles. He continued to live in London after moving on from Chelsea into TV commentary and other ventures.

“Our thoughts are with Luca’s wife Cathryn, his daughters Sofia and Olivia, and the rest of his family and his friends at this terribly sad time,” Chelsea said in a statement.

Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly and co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali added, “Gianluca’s legend will live on at Stamford Bridge.”

“His impact as a player, a coach and most importantly as a person, will be forever written across our club’s history.”

Mohamed Salah’s late goal gives Liverpool home win over Napoli

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Liverpool handed Napoli its first loss of the season, but the 2-0 win at Anfield did not come by a wide enough margin to win its UEFA Champions League group on Tuesday.

Mohamed Salah forced an 85th-minute loose ball over the line a moment after Darwin Nunez nearly did so, and Nunez then got his goal deep in stoppage time as Liverpool picked up a home win after losing to Leeds United at the weekend in the Premier League.

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The Reds will be unseeded in Friday’s group-stage draw, as Napoli won the group with a plus-15 goal differential thanks in large part to its 4-0 win over Liverpool in Naples on Matchday 1.

Liverpool joins Tottenham, Manchester City, and Chelsea as Premier League sides to advance to the knockout rounds, though the Reds will be unseeded in the knockout round draw.


Mohamed Salah goal video: Reds end Napoli run

Darwin Nunez goal video


How to watch Napoli vs Liverpool live and start time

Date: Tuesday, November 1
Kick off time: 4pm ET
Online: Live updates via NBCSports.com
How to watch: TUDN, Paramount+


Klopp on current struggles: No quick fix

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool has a lot of work to do to fix its current struggles.

Klopp is not expecting the Reds to be at their best any time soon following a loss to Leeds at the weekend, a second-successive Premier League loss to sandwich Ajax’s 3-0 win at Ajax.

Liverpool’s been better in the UEFA Champions League aside from a pounding at Napoli, and Tuesday’s group stage finale against Napoli at Anfield will ask a lot of it.

Napoli has not lost this season in either the UCL or Serie A. Sending the Italians home with a loss would send a message to Europe that Liverpool remains capable of magic.

“The situation now is not a quick fix,” Klopp said. “Consistency and stability is our issue. There are highs and there are obviously too many lows, that is clear. We cannot think about what happens in a few months. It’s the next game and the next game.

“Nobody will come here and say Liverpool are in a difficult moment, let’s give them an easy run. It’s the opposite, they can smell the opportunity. … There is always the chance to win the next game. There is always the chance to put things right. That is what we are working on.”


Key storylines

Liverpool want the group, yes, but does Jurgen Klopp want a seeded spot in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds as much as he wants a top-four place in the Premier League? Liverpool are 10 points behind Tottenham with a match-in-hand ahead of Sunday’s match at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Does Klopp believe Tuesday to Sunday is enough rest to use the same squad twice? Probably not, as he rested precious few players in the loss to Leeds. Ibrahima Konate and Jordan Henderson, and Fabio Carvalho started on the bench.


The lowdown on Napoli

Napoli hasn’t lost this season, period. The Neapolitans have 10 wins and two draws to lead Serie A by five points and are a perfect 5-0 in UEFA Champions League play. Luciano Spaletti’s men romped past Sassuolo 4-0 at the weekend behind a Victor Osimhen hat trick. The Nigerian center forward is one of many attacking stars in the side, as Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Hirving Lozano, Giacomo Raspadori, Giovanni Simeone, and Matteo Politano all have been delivering goals this season.


Liverpool team news, injuries, lineup options

Joel Matip is questionable to return but seems a longshot to feature, while still out are Luis Diaz, Naby Keita, Arthur, and Diogo Jota.

Weston McKennie joins De la Torre with pre-World Cup injuries for USMNT

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USMNT fans can add Weston McKennie’s status to their list of concerns for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

McKennie will miss at least two weeks, according to reports, after suffering an injury before halftime of Juventus’ 1-0 win over Lecce on Saturday.

It’s a significant short-term issue for Juve, who has not sealed its spot in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds and faces Inter Milan in Serie A play next weekend.

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But it’s a much bigger concern for Gregg Berhalter and the USMNT, who is also monitoring an injury to would-be deputy Luca de la Torre ahead of next month’s tournament. Celta Vigo’s de la Torre reportedly could miss three weeks.

Tyler Adams and Yunus Musah, knock on wood, are healthy, but absences for McKennie and/or De la Torre could open increased playing time doors for Kellyn Acosta, Cristian Roldan, Johnny Cardoso, Malik Tillman, Gianluca Busio, and others.

The Yanks do have strong options at attacking central midfield, where Brenden Aaronson, Giovanni Reyna, or Christian Pulisic could function with two more defensively-active mids.

McKennie has logged over 1,000 minutes for Juve this season, scoring three goals and adding an assist. The 34-times capped USMNT midfielder is a regular starter when healthy for club and country.

Who would you use in the midfield if McKennie can’t go?