Milan Skriniar’s Agent Talks Up Interest From Barcelona & Real Madrid Ahead of Possible Summer Move

?Milan Skriniar’s agent has told reporters his client has attracted strong interest from Spanish rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona, with the duo set to battle it out over his signature this summer.

Skriniar has showed himself to be one of the game’s most accomplished central defenders since joining Inter from Sampdoria in 2017, making 76 appearances in just over a year and half with the ?Nerazzurri.


Speaking to ?AS, Halis, who is one of the partners at the agency which represents the Slovakian, revealed: “Real Madrid want to sign him, so do Barcelona; whoever can convince Inter to let him go will sign him this summer.”

Los Blancos are understood to see the 24-year-old as a potential replacement for rumoured wantaway centre back Raphael Varane.

And Halis continued: “Skriniar is a model professional. If Real Madrid want him, they could get him but there are other agents who have a vested interest in taking players where they want.”

He then claimed that the only complications that could arise in the transfer revolve around the possible intrusion of super-agent Mino Raiola, explaining: “Mino Raiola, who represents Ibrahimovic and Pogba, might try to mislead Skriniar, but the player is on the books at our company – we have a contract with him.

“?Inter paid Sampdoria €28m for Skriniar and six months later, Manchester City came in with an offer of €55m. Now he is valued at around €100m. Any deal would certainly be complicated by the interference of intermediaries.”

Halis is a compatriot of Skriniar, but largely specialises in Turkish football, and had some further revelations about another centre back Madrid have been rumoured to be looking at, VfB Stuttgart’s Ozan Kabak, whom he has known since his early academy days at Galatasaray.

However, this time Halis was charged with playing down said links, declaring: “Ozan Kabak is an exceptional talent, but he’s not ready to join a top level club like ?Real Madrid. 

“At the moment he is not on Madrid’s list of candidates. He needs to get a few seasons under his belt and improve his game at Stuttgart before he goes anywhere else. There are a lot of steps he must go for before being in a position to join a side like Madrid”.


11 Brilliantly Retro Images of Football Managers During Their Playing Careers

Looking back into the past can be a lovely thing: Iconic albums, genre-defining films, and of course, golden football moments.

Also, it can be harrowing. I speak from experience here, as a man who thought, for much of his late teens, it was perfectly acceptable to wear a trilby – like a deli counter Pete Doherty – around a small Scottish seaside town without suffering severe repercussions.

Yes, nostalgia can be fun, but it’s always there to haunt us with ghosts from the past when we least expect it.

Alongside from a stunning array of ‘Cats Doing Hilarious Things LOL’ video compilations, the internet has also blessed us with a plethora of images showing football managers lookin’ all goofy back in their playing days.

So, here’s 11 managers in some truly extraordinary snaps from back in their prime…

1. Eddie Howe

My goodness me! where to start with this absolute beauty?

Kicking us off, it’s Eddie Howe looking even more cherubic than usual. The now-Bournemouth manager rocked a sensational pair of curtains back in his playing days, which could have seen him slot into boybands as high profile as 911 or BBMak.

The sharp-eyed among you might well have also noticed the giraffe lurking in the background. 

Interestingly, Peter Crouch left Portsmouth at around the same time Eddie Howe joined in 2002, so that’s presumably the towering striker lurking in the shadows.

2. Mick McCarthy

??Straight in at number two, it’s an absolute belter of Mick McCarthy picking up Manchester City’s Player of the Year trophy back in 1983.

A real fashion icon of his times, McCarthy sports a sumptuous sleeveless lemon v-neck (with matching tie), alongside a smart pair of cream trousers, quite frankly putting the gentleman beside him to shame.

And what about that thick and luscious moustache, eh? Yes, I think we can all agree, 1980s McCarthy is far superior to the curmudgeonly chap who prowls the touchline these days.

3. David Moyes

Good grief! Someone give that man a vitamin C packed smoothie, and put a warm jacket around his shoulders!

The pasty-faced young chap before you is none other than David Moyes back in his playing days, looking like Mick Hucknall, if he was cast in Trainspotting.

The former ?Everton and ?Manchester United (remember that?) boss had quite the playing career, you know, enjoying spells with the likes of Celtic, Bristol City and Preston North End.

4. Roy Hodgson

Former England manager Roy Hodgson here, looking like a Coronation Street stalwart wth a lovely new set of rollers back in his prime.

Roy the Boy had a playing career as just as eclectic as his managerial one, and spent time with South African side Berea Park as well as more mundane spells at Maidstone United and Ashford Town.

5. Martin O’Neill

Lock up your daughters! 1970s Martin O’Neill is ready to charm and dazzle with a haircut I don’t quite know the technical name for.

??Free of the spectacles that give him a rather bookish demeanour these days, O’Neill’s piercing stare is one that means business.

The very same year this photo was taken, Nottingham Forest (the club he now manages) won a league and cup double. Lovely stuff!

6. Steve Bruce

Just look at him! Like a Northumberlandian Ronald McDonald, Steve Bruce cut quite the bold figure back in his playing days.

Here is his right at the beginning of his career, wearing a delicious Gillingham top that doesn’t at all clash with those luscious, fiery locks.

The now-Sheffield Wednesday manager won a mighty three Premier League titles with Manchester United in the 1990s, and was a ferocious defender in his day.

7. Jürgen Klopp

I think I speak for all neutrals when I say this: Jürgs, forget all that nonsense about winning ?Liverpool their first ever ?Premier League title – just focus on growing back that splendid moustache.??

These days Jürgen Klopp looks quite the snappy character with his thick rimmed spectacles and baseball cap, but back in his days at Mainz, the charismatic German let his hair grow cascade down his forehead like a glorious lion’s mane.

8. Luciano Spalletti

Yes! Now we’re talking!

Here’s Luciano Spalletti back in the day, wearing an item of clothing vivacious as his 2005/06 Roma side.

The Italian never really much of an impact on the field, and presumably spent his hours outside of training modelling lavish open-necked shirts, rather spending time practicing his free-kicks.

9. Louis van Gaal

Very Partridge, this. And I like that, I like it a lot.

There’s so many astonishing tales of Louis van Gaal’s exploits both as a player and a manager it’s hard to separate fact from fiction at times, but there’s no denying he was quite the fashionista back in the day.

10. Claudio Ranieri

Some people think Claudio Ranieri’s greatest achievement is winning the Premier League with Leicester at odds of 5000/1. Wrong. Claudio Ranieri’s greatest achievement is this photograph. Woof.

11. Gareth Southgate

England at La Manga day 3 X

Let’s round things off nicely here, with an extraordinary photograph of now-England manager Gareth Southgate, posing uncomfortably in a bed of thriving cacti.

Was it a punishment for that Euro ’96 penalty shoot-out miss, or merely training for a future career of dealing with – ahem – prickly individuals at the FA? 

We may never know…


Inter to Rival Everton for Andre Gomes’ Signature as Barcelona Decide to Sell Midfielder

Everton could face some stiff competition in the form of Inter, as they attempt to make Andre Gomes’ loan from Barcelona permanent in the weeks to come.

The 25-year-old has hit the ground under Marco Silva since joining on loan in the summer, and having made 25 appearances in all competitions, it’s generally expected that the Toffees will move to keep him beyond the end of his current spell in the summer. 

A bid somewhere between £20-25m has been touted in some quarters, and although he has openly admitted that he is happy and settled at Merseyside, it now appears as if securing his signing may not be as straightforward as once thought.

Although ?Barca aren’t likely to put up much resistance in recouping most of the £33m they spent to sign him from Valencia in 2016, ?Sport report that ?Inter have now emerged as a rival to Everton in prying him away permanently. 

Richarlison,Andre Gomes

The claim is that the Italian giants are equally keen to land his signature, but have to wait until their final league position is confirmed before making a bid for financial reasons. Should they qualify for the Champions League – which they look set to do as they sit six points ahead of fifth-placed Roma – then they are likely to table an offer. 

It’s for that reason that ?Everton are keen to tie up a move now rather than wait until the end of the season, but if negotiations drag on then it seems increasingly possible that the ?Nerrazurri could crash the party at the death. 


Despite this, however, the report adds that officials from Merseyside remain optimistic over a potential deal, so for now, they remain favourites to bring him in.


Six Inter Fans Receive Jails Sentences for Violent Clashes With Napoli Supporters in December

?Six Inter fans have been sentenced to jail time for their part in the violent clashes that occurred in the build up to the Serie A clash with Napoli in December, which left one fan dead. 

The events took place on Boxing Day, hours before the ?Nerazzurri beat Napoli 1-0 at San Siro in a game marred by racist chants from sections of the home crowd aimed at centre back Kalidou Koulibaly, who was ultimately sent off alongside Dries Mertens on an unsavoury evening.

FC Internazionale v SK Rapid Wien - UEFA Europa League Round of 32: Second Leg

According to reports from the ?Washington Post, the sentences handed out to the perpetrators of these pre-match crimes ranged between 22 and 44 months, although one supporter is understood to have reached a plea deal after cooperating with the authorities during the investigation. 

The investigators found the attacks to be premeditated, with the death of 35-year-old fan Daniele Belardinelli the result of a fatal strike from a van or SUV amid the clashes outside the stadium. 

These vehicles were apparently used so that the ultras could avoid police detection in the build up to the skirmish, which involved a myriad of weapons, including knives and bars. However, it was confirmed that they are still attempting to identify a number of other fans as well as several of the vehicles used.

The club themselves were punished for these incidents with a two-game stadium ban, but this clearly didn’t have the intended effect, as more racially abusive chants were heard aimed at midfielder Franck Kessie during Sunday’s derby victory over ?Milan.


Ranking Real Madrid’s Rumoured Attacking Targets by How Well They Would Fit in at the Bernabeu

With Zinedine Zidane back at the helm, Real Madrid can look forward to the summer with a bit more hope and optimism. The manager with the Midas touch has returned, and with it, memories of Champions League glories.

Suffice to say that this season has been a complete write-off for Los Blancos, with a humiliating exit in the Champions League to Ajax coupled with being completely off the pace in La Liga. But with Florentino Perez seemingly indicating that it is time for Madrid to bring back the ‘Galactico-level’ marquee signings, the summer transfer window could be one of the biggest in recent years at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Below is a look at the numerous attacking targets linked with a move to Madrid, and subsequently ranked in order of how well they would fit in with the glitz and glamour of one of European football’s most successful clubs.

7) Harry Kane (Tottenham)

Harry Kane

Harry Kane at ?Real Madrid? It just doesn’t feel quite right does it? The England captain has been arguably the Premier League’s best striker in recent seasons, so he would unquestionably be confident of finding his goalscoring boots in Spain. But taking a step back, and trying to imagine the Tottenham star in the white of Los Blancos saying ‘Hala Madrid’ like former Spurs man Gareth Bale seems a bit more fantastical. 

The 25-year-old comes across as very humble and respectful, and for all of Madrid’s greatness, those two traits are particularly down the order. ?Kane is adored by the Spurs faithful, who proudly call him ‘one of our own’, and it is understandably difficult to see that kind of feeling being replicated at the Santiago Bernabeu.


6) Sadio Mane (Liverpool) 

Sadio Mane

The ?Liverpool winger has enjoyed his best goalscoring season at Anfield, and delivered the moment of magic at the Allianz Arena to set the Reds on their way to a Champions League last 16 triumph over Bayern Munich. The Senegal international is blessed with blistering pace and quick feet, and would no doubt represent a real throwback to the counter-attacking days of a fully-firing Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.

Perhaps the one thing missing from Mane’s game is a consistency, and that may be one of the reasons why Madrid look elsewhere. The former Southampton star has a tendency of going on hot streaks in front of goal, before seeing his form fizzle out for a number of ?games. Consistency is one of the big criticisms of Bale, and it could well be with Mane at Madrid too.

Having recently signed a new deal at Liverpool, who are back among Europe’s elite, it would take a monumental effort to prise Mane away from Anfield too.

5) Paulo Dybala (Juventus)


Perhaps the most technically gifted player on this list, ?Paulo Dybala has proven year in and year out in the Serie A to be one of the finest forwards in the game. The Argentine however has found himself flitting in and out of the team this season, what with the arrival of ?Cristiano Ronaldo, and has struggled to either displace the Portuguese star or Mario Mandzukic from the starting line-up.

Dybala has never really been the leading number nine, often dovetailing as either a second striker or as a more conventional no.10. Going by Madrid’s recent tactical preferences of a 4-3-3, it’s difficult to see the 25-year-old fitting in seamlessly, and would more than likely have to play from the right-hand side. 

4) Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)


The most prodigious young talent in world football, were Florentino Perez and the Real Madrid hierarchy able to lure Mbappe to Spain, it could prove to be one of the most decisive moments in European football this decade. At just 20-years-old, the Frenchman already has the world at his feet, and is surely a shoo-in for multiple Ballon d’Or awards in the future.

A move to Madrid seems inevitable for the France World Cup winner, but this summer may just be a step too early. In only his second full season at PSG, Mbappe still has the opportunity of learning and growing in the relatively smaller spotlight of Ligue 1. The striker has shown an incredible temperament since bursting onto the scene as a teenager with AS Monaco, and may by all estimates flourish at Madrid were he to move at the end of the season, but he may just fit in better with the demanding nature of the Bernabeu in the years to come, rather than anytime soon.?

3) Mauro Icardi (Inter)

Mauro Icardi

With reports suggesting Karim Benzema may finally leave the Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the season, Madrid will most definitely be on the look-out for a starting striker. And they could do worse than bringing in ?Mauro Icardi from ?Inter. The former Nerazzurri captain proved at San Siro that he could handle the expectations of being the side’s star man and saviour, and at Madrid, that experience could prove to be vital.

The Argentina international has been a prolific goal-scorer in his time in Italy, and won Serie A’s Footballer of the Year award last season. With all the off-the-pitch controversy surrounding his wife and agent Wanda Nara, Icardi just seems like the perfect fit for all the political tensions that often encompass Madrid. A match made in heaven. 

2) Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

Eden Hazard

A ?Premier League winner at Chelsea, Eden Hazard has been the cornerstone of the Blues’ success since his arrival from French side Lille. The Belgian superstar has had to virtually single-handedly carry Chelsea’s attack – particularly this season – and would no doubt relish the responsibility of being a key figure at Madrid.

However, if things do begin to go wrong, or the 28-year-old suffers a rough patch in form, would he be able to handle the pressure-cooker environment at the Bernabeu? The Belgium international is treated like a king at Stamford Bridge, but at Madrid, the fans are far more expectant, and with much shorter memories. If the Los Blancos faithful get on his back, could ?Hazard rise above it? It may be a difficult one to answer, but it is undeniable that he certainly has the footballing ability to do it, and that after all can be the most defining factor of them all.

1) Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)


Everything about this potential transfer just feels right. The fact that he played at ?Barcelona, and would then happily wear the white and gold of Madrid would just echo the poignant days of Luis Figo. Neymar (and his father) have made no secret of appreciating Los Blancos’ attempts to sign him, and in a potential £300m deal, would represent a world record transfer fee and symbolic return for Madrid as global superpowers in the market once more.

The Brazilian played second fiddle to Lionel Messi at the Camp Nou, but with Madrid, he would be expected to carry the burden of leading the post-Ronaldo era. And judging by his personality, and evident ego, that would be something he would relish. The 27-year-old could easily fit in to the left-hand side of a front three, and with no Messi or Mbappe to share the limelight with, would fancy his chances of finally getting a Ballon d’Or.?