Wanda Nara Set for Showdown Talks With Inter on Friday Over Mauro Icardi’s Contract Extension Saga

?Mauro Icardi’s wife and agent Wanda Nara is set to meet with Inter’s sporting director face-to-face on Friday, in hopes of resolving the contract saga that has been going on since the start of the season. 

Icardi is said to have rejected the club’s initial advances last summer, which contained a €6.5m a year pay package, with a request of a whopping €9m a year, more than double his current salary.

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The two parties have subsequently sparred repeatedly through the media, with Nara recently going as far as to say they were “very far from producing an agreement”, while also claiming: “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.”

However, according to Sky Sports Italia, as relayed by ?Calciomercato, the public war of words is finally set to end with a face-to-face meeting on Friday between Giuseppe Marotta and Wanda.

Aside from the salary, a huge stumbling block in the negotiations has reportedly been the buy-out clause present in the Argentine’s current deal. While the ?Nerazzurri are desperate to remove it altogether, the player and his representatives are trying to maintain its inclusion, even if it is at a much higher figure. 

That figure currently stands at €110m, but it will only come into effect in the first two weeks of July, and can only be activated by clubs outside of ?Serie A. 

Mauro Emanuel Icardi

After being fined €100,000 for turning up to the first training session of the New Year late, it took ?Icardi just three minutes to make ammends in Inter’s first game of 2019, with the opener in the 6-2 victory over Benevento in the Coppa Italia. 

Their first league clash of the year will take place this Saturday, against Sassuolo at San Siro.

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Inter vs Sassuolo Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

Inter return to league action after their Coppa Italia exploits, with a league game against Sassuolo at the San Siro on Saturday.

The Nerazzurri are hoping to remain in the hunt for the Scudetto and could temporarily close the gap on second-placed Napoli, who face Lazio on Sunday, to two points. 

Meanwhile, the Neroverdi, who were eliminated from the Coppa Italia at the hands of the Neapolitans on the weekend, come into the game on the back of three successive defeats in all competitions and are hoping to get back to winning ways against Inter, who they defeated on the opening day of the campaign.

Check out 90min’s preview of the game below.


Where to Watch

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When Is Kick Off? Saturday 19 January
What Time Is Kick Off? 19:30 (BST)
Where Is it Played? Stadio San Siro
TV Channel/Live Stream? Eleven Sports 2
Referee? TBC

Team News

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Having rested several first-team players in the Coppa Italia, ?Inter manager Luciano Spalletti may choose to revert to some of his more familiar faces with Samir Handanovi?, Stefan de Vrij, Kwadwo Asamoah, Borja Valero and Matteo Politano set to return to the starting line-up.

However, the Italian may choose to keep the likes of Antonio Candreva and Lautaro Martínez, who both scored twice against Benevento on the weekend.

Antonio Candreva,Lautaro Martinez,Marcelo Brozovic

Sassuolo have a lengthy list of absentees including Marlon, Gian Marco Ferrari, Federico Di Francesco and Claud Adjapong, who are all out due to injury. Full-back Rogério was also replaced by Cristian Dell’Orco in the latter stages of their encounter against ?Napoli and is a doubt for Saturday’s fixture.


Predicted Lineups

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Inter Handanovi?; Vrsaljko, Škriniar, De Vrij, Asamoah; Politano, Vecino, Valero, ?Periši?; Martínez, ?Icardi.
Sassuolo Consigli; Lirola, Magnani, Peluso, Rogério; Locatelli, Sensi, Duncan; Berardi, Boateng, Boga.

Head to Head Record

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The Neroverdi have the better record going into the game, winning seven of the previous 11 meetings, with Il Biscione triumphing on just four occasions.

Sassuolo have won the last four successive meetings against the Nerazzurri, all by a one-goal margin, and have been victorious in their last three visits to the San Siro.

Domenico Berardi

Inter’s last victory over Sassuolo came in December 2016, a 1-0 win away at the MAPEI Stadium, but Inter have put seven past Sassuolo on two previous occasions, home and away, and could repeat the feat, having put six past Benevento on the weekend.


Recent Form

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Inter are unbeaten in their last six matches in all competitions, winning four of the last five games, including their last three matches.

Mauro Emanuel Icardi

Sassuolo are currently four matches without a victory and have lost the last three matches in all competitions. Their last victory came against 19th-placed Frosinone in mid-December.

Here’s how each team has performed in their last five fixtures:

Inter Sassuolo
Inter 6-2 Benevento (13/1) Napoli 2-0 Sassuolo (13/1)
Empoli 0-1 Inter (29/12) Sassuolo 2-6 Atalanta (29/12)
Inter 1-0 Napoli (26/12) Roma 3-1 Sassuolo (26/12)
Chievo 1-1 Inter (22/12) Sassuolo 1-1 Torino (22/12)
Inter 1-0 Udinese (15/12) Frosinone 0-2 Sassuolo (16/12)

Prediction

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Inter will have several of their usual starters back in contention for the game against Sassuolo, who are without key defensive options.

Nerazzurri skipper Icardi is in terrific form this campaign, with 14 goals and three assists in 23 appearances overall and got back on the scoreboard against Benevento after a run of three games without netting. If he is in the mood against Sassuolo, La Beneamata could win the game convincingly.

Mauro Emanuel Icardi

However, the Neroverdi will take confidence knowing they have won the last four successive meetings against Inter and have managed to win the last three previous encounters against Inter at the San Siro.

They showed great spirit against Napoli in the Coppa Italia and were unfortunate to have a goal harshly disallowed for hand ball by VAR, when they were 1-0 down.

The Neroverdi will certainly provide a test for Spalletti’s men, but the third-placed side should have enough firepower to overcome a weakened Sassuolo side.

Prediction: Inter 2-1 Sassuolo

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Inter Chief Claims Nerazzurri Came Close to Signing Manchester City Striker Gabriel Jesus

?Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio has claimed that the club were close to signing Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus, whilst the Brazilian was at his former club Palmeiras.

Ausilio also claimed that the offer which Inter proposed to the Brazilian club was better than the one from the Premier League club, however Jesus was lured to England by the opportunity to play in a team managed by Pep Guardiola, resulting in him joining the Citizens in January 2017.

Piero Ausilio

Ausilio told Sky Sport Italia (as quoted by Football Italia): “We were negotiating with ?Gabriel Jesus for a month.

“Our offer was also better than ?Manchester City’s. Palmeiras preferred to sell him to us but the lad, through his agents, let us know that he preferred to play for Guardiola.”

?Inter’s loss has been City’s gain as the 21-year-old forward has gone on to make 80 appearances for City under Guardiola, scoring 38 goals in the process; 13 of which came during their 2017/18 Premier League title winning campaign.

Gabriel Jesus

Jesus has not had his most prolific return during the current campaign, having only notched five league goals in seventeen appearances as City trail ?Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table by four points. 

He has, however, shown signs recently of returning to form having scored six goals in his last two appearances – four against Burton in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup, and two against Wolves in the Premier League.

Inter, meanwhile, currently sit in third in Serie A, 14 points behind unbeaten league leaders ?Juventus. Fans of the Nerrazzuri will now be wondering if that gap could be closer if they had an all South American strike partnership of ?Mauro Icardi and Gabriel Jesus gracing the pitch at San Siro.

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Mesut Ozil ‘Offered’ to Juventus & Inter as Unai Emery Looks to Offload Unwanted Arsenal Star

?Unai Emery has reportedly made Mesut Ozil available this window, offering the out-of-favour German to Serie A giants Inter and Juventus.

The former Real Madrid playmaker has had a season to forget so far and has missed nine Premier League games in all this term, registering just one assist in his 13 appearances.

Mesut Ozil

According to Italian news outlet TuttoMercatoWeb, Emery is keen to offload the 30-year-old as the Spaniard attempts to build a transfer war chest to restructure his newly acquired squad.

Ozil currently earns £350,000 per week, making him the club’s most expensive asset of all time. Even though the midfielder signed a new lucrative contract last year, he appears to have fallen out of favour under the new management and could be expendable to Emery’s future plans.

The ?Arsenal manager announced last week that the club would be unable to make any permanent signings during this transfer window, due to a lack of money, meaning any business they do would be of the loan variety.

The report also notes that the ulterior motive behind the sale of Ozil could be the Spaniard’s desire to bring in Belgian winger Yannick Carrasco this month, who is ?reportedly keen on a move to the Emirates. 

Yannick Carrasco

But any deal for the winger is unlikely to be put in place before Emery trims his current squad to the desired fit, which is proving a difficult task.

The reports also claims that ?Juventus and ?Inter are reluctant to chase Ozil’s signature, deterred predominantly by the hefty wages he demands. Juve do already look set to bring in one of Arsenal’s midfielders though, after Aaron Ramsey reportedly agreed a deal to join this summer.


After ?Man Utd drew level on points with the Gunners last weekend, Emery will be desperate to keep pace with the top four next Saturday as his side travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea.

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China’s Richest Man Set to Invest Close to €150m Into Serie A Giants Inter

Alibaba chief Jack Ma, reportedly the richest man in China, is preparing an offer to buy Erick Thohir’s 31% stake in Inter.

Thohir’s share is reportedly valued at around €150m and Ma, along with business partner David Yu, are looking to sanction the deal through Yunfeng Capital – a Hong Kong-based fund the two created. Thohir stepped down as Inter’s president in October, and it has long been rumoured that the Indonesian is looking to sell his stake in the club.

FC Internazionale v AC Milan - Serie A

Football Italia, via Corriere dello Sport and Tuttosport, also report that Ma’s interest in Inter is likely linked to his 20% ownership of Chinese retailer Suning. That’s because Suning owns 68.55% of the club.

?Inter fans will be hoping that a possible change of ownership leads to greater investment into the club as I Nerazzurri seek to return to their former glory. Whilst Inter are currently third in Serie A and on track to qualify for the Champions League, it’s looking like another year without any silverware.

Since the remarkable 2009/10 season under the management of José Mourinho, when Inter won the Champions League, Serie A and Coppa Italia, the famous Italian club have failed to win a single Serie A title.

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Perhaps an even more damning statistic for Inter is that the only trophy they have won since that treble-winning season came in 2010/11 as they won the Coppa Italia. 

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