Jovetic buoyed by Inter debut

The striker hadn’t played since June prior to Sunday’s outing and was satisfied with his performance for his new club

Stevan Jovetic admitted he was delighted to play football again after making his Inter debut in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Galatasaray.

The striker – who joined the club from Manchester City on an 18-month loan deal on Friday – came off the bench in the 63rd minute to make his first outing since June.

The Montenegro international was unable to prevent Inter from losing to the Turkish side, but was happy just to get some minutes under his belt.

“I felt good. I hadn’t played for a while, the last time was with the national team, then just training sessions with Manchester City,” Jovetic told Inter Channel.

“I’m pleased, given it was my first game, I feel good physically. Obviously there’s still work to do so I can link up well with my team-mates.

“There are three weeks to go until our first competitive game and we’ll need to be at 100%. I’m sure we have a good squad, let’s hope we have a good start to the season.”

Brazilian defender Miranda also made his debut for the Serie A outfit, having arrived from Atletico Madrid in July, and partnered Jeison Murillo in defence for the full 90 minutes in Istanbul.

“We have a lot quality and we’re working to gradually build a great team,” Miranda said. “I’m delighted to represent a big club like Inter.

“It gives me great pride and I will always give my all for this team, with hard work and dedication.”

Galatasary 1-0 Inter: Sneijder sinks former club

Roberto Mancini’s return to Istanbul proved an unhappy one as the Netherlands playmaker drilled home Lukas Podolski’s cross

Wesley Sneijder struck the only goal of the game to earn Galatasaray a 1-0 friendly win over his old club Inter on Sunday.

The Netherlands international spent four years at the Serie A club between 2009 and 2013, winning the treble of league, Coppa Italia and Champions League under Jose Mourinho in 2010.

And it was Sneijder’s effort that ensured Inter coach Roberto Mancini endured a losing return to Gala, whom he managed during the 2013-14 campaign.

Sneijder was set up by Lukas Podolski – who spent the second half of last season on loan at Inter – as the visitors fell to their fourth successive pre-season defeat, all without scoring.

Stevan Jovetic, fresh from completing a move from Manchester City, made his Inter debut as a second-half substitute, but the Montenegro international was unable to conjure up a response for his new employers.

Inter still have three weeks until their Serie A campaign gets under way, while Gala’s season begins in earnest next weekend, when they face Bursaspor in the Turkish Super Cup.

The home side ought to have gone ahead in the fifth minute but Podolski fired into the legs of Samir Handanovic from eight yards.

Gala thought they had made the breakthrough shortly afterwards when Handanovic spilled Selcuk Inan’s long-range effort and Burak Yilmaz converted the rebound, only for the officials to rule the striker had used a hand in bundling the ball home.

At the other end, Mauro Icardi shot weakly at Fernando Muslera when clean through as the open nature of the contest continued.

Nine minutes into the second half, Gala edged ahead as two former Inter men combined.

Podolski got away from Inter debutant Miranda down the left and cut the ball back for Sneijder , who had time and space to take a touch and fire low past Handanovic at his near post.

The hosts went agonisingly close to a second on the hour when substitute Sinan Gumus fired narrowly wide of the left-hand upright.

A scramble in the Gala box caused panic wth four minutes remaining, but Martin Montoya’s snatched effort was straight at Muslera and Inter’s last chance to salvage a draw was wasted.

Mancini: Inter want Melo and could sell Nagatomo

The Nerazzurri boss believes the former Juventus midfielder would add a lot to the team though admits it would be difficult to convince Galatasaray to sell him

Roberto Mancini has admitted that Inter are interested in signing Felipe Melo from Galatasaray.

The Nerazzurri are continuing to bolster their squad ahead of the new season as they look to improve on last season’s eighth-placed finish and have been heavily linked to Melo.

And Mancini believes the former Juventus player would add a lot to his side’s midfield, but admits it could be tough to convince the Turkish side to let him go.

“Melo could add something to Inter,” the coach told TRT Spor. “But right now he has a contract with Galatasaray, so we will have to wait and see.”

Mancini also touched on the futures of Gary Medel and Nagatomo, insisting that the former will stay, though the Japan international could be heading for the San Siro exit.

“We are not going to sell Medel. We have to sell some players because we are only allowed 25 in the squad, but Medel is not going.

“However, we could sell Yuto Nagatomo.”

De Rossi: Roma were too cocky last season

The Italian has admitted the Giallorossi were guilty of overconfidence going into their demoralising 7-1 loss to Bayern Munich last October

Daniele De Rossi says that Roma paid the price for being “too cocky” in last season’s Champions League and is hoping that the lessons learned will help them progress this term.

The Giallorossi kicked off their European campaign with a 5-1 rout of CSKA Moscow and an arguably even more impressive 1-1 draw at the home of then Premier League titleholders Manchester City.

However, Rudi Garcia’s men were then humiliated 7-1 in front of their own fans by Bayern Munich, and never really recovered as they bowed out of the competition at the group stage.

Roma’s mental fragility was also exposed during the second half of the Serie A season as they went from challenging Juventus for the title to battling it out with Lazio for third place, but De Rossi insists they are now stronger from the experience.

“I attended the press conference before the Bayern Munich match and I was optimistic,” the midfielder told Sky Sport on Friday.

“After that game, we all agreed that we had played too open in the match at the Olimpico. We were too cocky and we said we’d play differently in the reverse fixture.

“That experience can help us going forward and perhaps this season we’ll be able to cause problems for teams of that level.”

De Rossi accepts Juventus – despite losing some key players this summer, including Carlos Tevez, Arturo Vidal and Andrea Pirlo – will once again start the Serie A season as favourites but believes Serie A will be more competitive in 2015-16.

“Juventus seemed weaker last season in terms of their squad and for many – myself not included – the coach,” he said, alluding to the departure of former Bianconeri boss Antonio Conte.

“Then, they enjoyed a better season than in previous years, winning a fourth straight Scudetto and making the Champions League final. When a team achieves results like these, they rightly start as favourites.

“Similarly, a side that finishes runners-up two seasons in a row are naturally considered the chief challengers.

“The two Milan clubs, AC and Inter, have strengthened a great deal and Lazio will also be a threat again.

“As for Napoli, I’m a fan of coach Maurizio Sarri. He’s joined from a small club but he’s never done a bad job throughout his career and has never betrayed his philosophy.

“At Empoli last season he made life difficult for much stronger teams.

“Let’s see how he does this season with players who, on paper, are better than the ones he coached last year.”

Roma have been relatively quiet this summer, though Mohamed Salah is expected to join the capital club on loan from Chelsea imminently, while Iago Falque – so impressive at Genoa last season – has also been acquired.

“The team is pretty much the same as last year’s,” De Rossi added. “The club is signing players to fill a specific need.

“When you finish second two seasons in a row, it shows you don’t need to make wholesale changes and the fact we haven’t changed too much is a positive.

“We have a strong side, our key players have stayed at the club and this will also help us to push on, as we already know each other and therefore have a greater understanding.”

Criscito could join Inter – agent

The Italy international has been linked with a move to the Giuseppe Meazza side and his representative has suggested a transfer is tempting

Italy international full-back Domenico Criscito is open to a move to Inter, though a transfer hinges on “various factors”, according to agent Andrea D’Amico.

Criscito has emerged as a target for the Nerazzurri after Yuto Nagatomo was touted in a possible swap deal involving Galatasaray midfielder Felipe Melo.

D’Amico was quizzed about his 28-year-old client, who has called Zenit home since 2011, and refused rule out a switch to Serie A.

“Could he leave Zenit? We are talking about a big club with enormous potential. I don’t know if Domenico will leave for Inter or not, it depends on many factors,” D’Amico told FCInterNews.

“We don’t know Inter’s intentions, so you’d have to ask [director Piero] Ausilio. I repeat, at the moment it’s premature to discuss this.

“An eventual transfer to Inter would depend on various factors, such as the type of offer and the mode of transfer… At the moment there is nothing concrete.”

Criscito – formerly of Genoa and Juventus before moving to Russia four years ago – was previously linked with a return to Italy via Milan, who held talks over a potential transfer last year.

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