UEFA European Under-21 Championship Roundup: Spain Qualify as Italy Are Left to Await Their Fate

Italy’s excellent win over Belgium may not have been enough to help them qualify for the knockout round, as the Azzurrini now must await the results of Romania, France, Austria and Denmark to find out their chances of making it through to the next round. 

Meanwhile, Spain qualified for the knockout round in emphatic fashion after they defeated Poland 5-0. It was a disappointing end to the tournament for Poland, who had won both of their group stage games prior to facing Spain. 

Spain will now face one of Germany, Denmark, Austria, France or Romania on 27 June, While Italy will have to rely on the fixtures going their way if they are to keep their tournament hopes alive. 


Belgium 1-3 Italy

The Azzurrini should have been ahead after just seven minutes but a poor ??Nicolò Barella header, who missed just yards from goal, meant the game stayed 0-0 for much of the first half. 

Italy dominated throughout and easily had the most shots on goal. They took a much-deserved lead just before half-time courtesy of a Barella strike, making up for his mistake earlier in the half. 


Italy started the second half strongly and went 2-0 up after 53 minutes, when Giuseppe Pezzella’s cross met the head of ?Milan striker Patrick Cutrone, who squared the ball into the far corner. 

The Azzurrini continued to dominate with Manuel Locatelli and Rolando Mandragora coming close before Belgium’s Yari Verschaeren scored a spectacular goal from outside the box just 12 minutes from time, giving the Red Devils a fighting chance.

Italy capped off their impressive performance with a strike from Federico Chiesa in the 89th minute, but not before a VAR check which judged the goal to be onside. 

It was a night to forget for the Belgians and this was compounded with an Isaac Mbenza red card in the 90th minute. The ?Huddersfield forward was given his marching orders after receiving a second yellow card just 19 minutes after coming on as a substitute.


Spain 5-0 Poland

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Luis de la Fuente’s side had a flurry of chances during the first 15 minutes. Dinamo Zagreb winger Dani Olmo came close after 11 minutes, his rocket prompting a great save from Poland goalkeeper Kamil Grabara. 

It was up to midfielder Pablo Fornals to break the deadlock. A pass from Aarón Martín prompted the new ?West Ham midfielder to stretch his right leg to put the ball in the back of the net after 17 minutes. 


Spain continued to control the game. ?Napoli midfielder ?Fabián Ruiz came close after 34 minutes, hitting the woodwork before Mikel Oyarzabal put La Rojita up 2-0 just seconds later. 

Ruiz got a well-earned goal just four minutes later, thumping the ball home to give Spain a 3-0 lead going into the break. 

Not complacent with the three-goal lead, Spain kept Poland goalkeeper Grabara busy throughout the second half, prompting more impressive saves. Oyarzabal suffered an injury after 54 minutes and had to be stretchered off. 

Dani Ceballos extended Spain’s lead after 70 minutes after his free-kick found the top corner, putting the game well and truly to bed. Borja Mayoral added to Poland’s misery just one minute from time, his strike easily beating a visibly defeated Grabara. 


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Inter Close to Signing Sassuolo’s Stefano Sensi Despite Interest From Milan

??Inter are closing in on the signing of Sassuolo midfielder Stefano Sensi on a season long loan, after the Italian was believed to be close to a move to local rivals ?Milan.

According to journalist ?Fabrizio Romano, 18-year-old striker Edoardo Vergani will leave the Nerazzurri as part of a deal to tempt the club to part with Sensi, while the Italian giants will also have the option to sign him for a fee of around €22m next summer.??

Milan had been favourites to sign Sensi after holding an interest since January and having talks with Sassuolo this summer. They were willing to offer a two-year-loan with an obligation to buy for €15m at the end of the term.

However, Inter made a significantly bigger bid for the central midfielder, which included a player and a larger financial package.

Sensi’s agent held talks with Inter on Friday, and said: “We talked to them, now we will see what happens in the next few hours. There are good feelings on my part.”

Stefano Sensi

The 23-year-old has made 68 appearances for Sassuolo since signing for the club from Cesena, with last season being his breakout campaign – scoring two goals and making four assists in 30 games.

He represented Italy at Under-17 and Under-20 level, and has two caps for the senior national team after making his debut in November 2018. He also scored his first goal in a 6-0 victory against Liechtenstein.

Sensi was scouted by a number of Serie A teams last season, but Antonio Conte is now set to make him his first signing as manager of Inter. He will now shift his focus to completing the deals of Edin Dzeko and Nicolo Barella.

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Transfer Rumours: Alonso to Stay at Chelsea, Romagnoli to Barcelona, Wilson to West Ham & More

Club football is gone for the summer, and the focus is now solely on the transfer window.

The basic recipe for a transfer story is to take literally any player in the world and link them to either Real Madrid or Manchester United, but (believe it or not) other teams occasionally involve themselves in the transfer market too.

Here are nine stories for you to keep an eye on.


Forgotten Newcastle Winger Rolando Aarons Tipped to Make Greece Move

Rolando Aarons

Cast your mind back to 2014. A young Rolando Aarons looked destined for the top after shining for ?Newcastle United in pre-season and the early weeks of the 2014/15 ?Premier League season. Then he went down with a hamstring injury, and it was game over. Yikes.

Now 23, Aarons has not been seen at St James’ Park since 2017, and his days at the club look to be numbered. ?SDNA claim that Greek sides Panathinaikos and AEK are both ready to offer him a lifeline (if you can even call it that), but the move could collapse as a result of Newcastle’s ludicrous demands.

The Magpies want 50% of his wages to be paid if he heads out on loan, with a mandatory purchase clause of around £6m. Yes, £6m for a player who hasn’t turned out for the club in around 18 months, and barely managed to impress on loan in the Czech Republic last season. This may be a business, but that’s a step too far.


Spurs Identify Alternative to Ryan Sessegnon as Inter Join Race for Fulham Star

Aboubakar Kamara

?Tottenham Hotspur look to have finally remembered that you are actually allowed to sign players, but reports suggest they could be in for a frustrating summer.

The first player on their radar is ?Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon but, according to ?Tuttosport, ?Inter are desperate to lure the 19-year-old away from England, so Spurs have been forced to look elsewhere.

?Fotomac add that Spurs are pushing to sign Fenerbahce wonderkid Eljif Elmas, and have already lodged a bid of €19m plus forgotten forward ?Vincent Janssen. Surely Spurs can’t go another window without a transfer?


Martin Odegaard Spotted Heading to Germany Ahead of Move Away From Real Madrid

FBL-EURO-2020-QUALIFYING-NOR-TRAINING

Poor Martin Odegaard. He really was a victim of the hysteria when he joined ?Real Madrid as a 15-year-old, and things have not worked out at all. Many fans have labelled him as a flop, and his tumultuous time in Madrid looks to be coming to an end, with a move to Bayer Leverkusen thought to be on the cards.

Norwegian outlet ?TV2 fuelled talk of such a move as they claimed to see Odegaard and his representatives board a flight to Dusseldorf, suggesting he could make the short drive to Bayer’s headquarters to negotiate a move.

Whether it will be a permanent switch or just a loan remains to be seen, but it seems like all signs point to the ?Bundesliga for Odegaard.


Juventus to Land Sassuolo Star Merih Demiral in €15m Deal 

Six months ago, Merih Demiral was an unknown centre-back playing in Turkey. Now, he is set to become a vital part of ?Juventus’ squad, after impressing in a brief spell with Sassuolo. Talk about an astronomical rise.

?Football Italia state that Demiral underwent a medical with the ?Serie A giants on Wednesday, after they agreed a €15m fee to sign the highly rated 21-year-old.

The report adds that Demiral turned down offers from plenty of European giants, and he is set to be rewarded with a regular place in Juventus’ team.


West Ham Look to Callum Wilson After Maxi Gomez Deal Collapses

Callum Wilson

You’ve got to respect ?West Ham United’s determination. They have been chasing strikers for what feels like an eternity but, despite setback after setback, they show no signs of giving up.

Celta Vigo star Maxi Gomez, who has been pursued by the Hammers for months, has been tipped to move to Valencia instead, ?which has forced West Ham to look elsewhere. The next man in their sights is ?Bournemouth hitman Callum Wilson who, according to ?The Sun, is now Manuel Pellegrini’s top priority this summer.

West Ham are ready to offer up to £35m for Wilson, who was one of the Premier League’s top scorers last season. Bournemouth won’t want to lose him, but money talks.


PSG Ready €30m Bid for Sandro Tonali as They Look to Replicate Marco Verratti Success

Sandro Tonali

Ah, Sandro Tonali. Otherwise known as ‘The Best Player You’ve Never Seen Play’, the 19-year-old is surely nearing his first taste of top-flight action, and it may be Paris Saint-Germain who can offer him that this summer.

?L’Equipe state that sporting director Leonardo is infatuated by Tonali,? having spent plenty of time monitoring the midfielder whilst working for ?AC Milan. PSG are thought to be lining up a €30m bid, and history shows that they would not be scared to use him.

Back in 2012, they fought off competition from across Europe for a young Pescara midfielder by the name of Marco Verratti, who has since gone on to win 21 trophies in Paris. If Tonali can manage half of that, PSG will have struck gold.


Atletico Unwilling to Meet Chelsea’s Demands Over Marcos Alonso

Chelsea Training Session

?First ?Chelsea reject ?Atletico Madrid’s bid for ?Willian, and now it looks like they have scared off Los Rojiblancos once more. Look away, Chelsea fans.

According to ?COPE, Chelsea demanded €40m for ?Marcos Alonso, prompting Atletico to instantly end negotiations. The left-back is thought to be keen on the move, but not enough to actually force an exit from Stamford Bridge.

With this deal seemingly dead in the water, Blues fans have plenty of time to prepare themselves for the Alonso-Willian partnership on the left wing next season. Don’t let rival fans see you crying.


AC Milan Reject €40m Barcelona Bid for Alessio Romagnoli

Alessio Romagnoli

Some transfer sagas go on for far too long (just look at Matthijs de Ligt – make up your mind already). However, ?Barcelona’s pursuit of AC Milan star Alessio Romagnoli doesn’t look to be heading in that direction.

According to Tuttosport (via ?Calciomercato), the Blaugrana came in with a €40m bid, but Milan simply told them to stop wasting their time. The message was simple: Romagnoli is not for sale.

Romagnoli doesn’t want to leave either, so there doesn’t look to be much chance of this one going through. Case closed.

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Marko Arnautovic Keen on Inter Return as Antonio Conte Continues Hunt for New Striker

?Inter are reported to be considering a move for West Ham’s Marko Arnautovic, as reports in Italy suggest the Austrian is keen on returning for a second spell at the club. 

Arnautovic has been frequently linked with a move away from the club over the last 12 months, with reports of Inter’s interest coming after he was close to a switch to China in January, while Manchester United were believed to have an offer on the table last summer. 

It seems like it’s just a matter of time before he does eventually seal a big-money move away, and after scoring 11 goals in 30 appearances in what was an injury-hit 2018/19 season, ?Gianluca Di Marzio reports that it could come via the ?Serie A side.

Marko Arnautovic

The claim is that Arnautovic has made no secret of his ‘love’ for ?Inter, with whom he spent the 2009/10 season on loan from FC Twente, managing just three appearances due to injury, and the club, as a result, see him as an option to fill the striking vacancy that will likely be opened up by Mauro Icardi. 

A move could come about for a fee in the region of €25m, according to the Italian outlet, which seems a long way from the €50m that was touted for him in January. 

He is not ?Inter’s primary target, however, as the report mentions a strong interest in AS Roma’s Edin Dzeko, while reports linking Romelu Lukaku with a switch to the Nerrazzuri suggest he is ?nearing a move.

SOCCER UEFA QUALIF BELGIUM VS SCOTLAND

Both players seem a cut above Arnautovic in terms of profile and ability, in truth, but if neither ultimately proves a viable option, then the 30-year-old could realistically be considered as a plan C.

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Transfer Rumours: Marquinhos to Juventus, Diop’s West Ham Future, Everton Eye Up Llorente & More

It’s rumours time, so everybody strap in tight.

Thursday’s edition of the rumour mill sees another English full back linked with a move across Europe, Juventus eye a deal for a defender who isn’t Matthijs de Ligt and a Championship striker looking to make the step up to the Premier League.

Without further ado, let’s get started.


Inter & Atletico In for Ryan Bertrand

Ryan Bertrand

Why are top European teams suddenly so interested in English full backs this summer? First Kieran Trippier was bizarrely touted with a move away from north London – which is never going to happen – and it now appears that ?Ryan Bertrand is the next name on the list.

According to the ?Daily Mail, ?Inter and ?Atletico are in the market for a new left back and are both lining up bids for ?Southampton’s Bertrand, with the Saints willing to cash in on the 29-year-old in order to promote Matt Targett to first choice.

Southampton will be looking to secure around £15m for the sale, although Inter and Atletico are both confident that they can land the former Champions League winner (yeah, remember that?) for less than £10m. 


Bradley Dack Keen to Make Step Up This Summer

Bradley Dack

Bradley Dack has been making a name for himself in the lower leagues over the past few seasons and, in his debut Championship campaign, the attacking midfielder registered a very impressive 15 goals and seven assists.

It comes as no surprise to learn that the ?Blackburn man is now on the radar of a host of clubs, including recently promoted outfits ?Sheffield United and ?Aston Villa, as well as ?Brighton. ?The Daily Mail are reporting that Dack is keen to make the step up to the Premier League and is calling for Blackburn to allow him to discuss terms with other clubs.

The 25-year-old’s current deal lasts until 2021 but, despite his impressive performances, Blackburn are yet to offer him improved terms. They may want to reconsider that quickly.


Real Sociedad Await Offer From Everton for Diego Llorente

Diego Llorente

?Everton earned a reputation for being generally pretty rubbish when it came to making transfers after a few botched moves a few years ago, so it was rather refreshing to see them actually pull off a few decent signings last summer – even if they couldn’t make much progress in the Premier League standings.

They are unsurprisingly on the prowl for a host of new recruits again and, as reported by Spanish outlet ?Noticias de Gipuzkoa, they have Real Sociedad defender Diego Llorente firmly in their sights.

The La Liga outfit have accepted the fact that the 25-year-old will be heading for the exit door imminently and are even willing to let him go for around €30m – although they are still waiting on Everton to make an official approach.


?Juventus Set Their Sights on Marquinhos

Marquinhos

?Juventus want to sign Matthijs de Ligt. No surprises there then, considering the fact that EVERYONE wants to sign Matthijs de Ligt. 

But I Bianconeri understand that trying to land the world’s most sought-after player is a tricky proposition and are instead keeping a close eye on Paris Saint-Germain’s Marquinhos as a viable alternative to the Dutchman.

Le10sport (via ?Sport) are reporting that Juventus have made a €55m bid for the Brazilian, who is currently on international duty at the Copa America, but that approach is likely to be rejected by the French champions, who would rather move on his compatriot Thiago Silva this summer. 


Jurgen Klopp Gives ‘Green Light’ for Liverpool to Loan Out Kamil Grabara

Kamil Grabara

Alisson has arguably been one of the most influential signings in recent history for ?Liverpool, but spare a thought for the succession of keepers who are currently behind him in the pecking order at Anfield, fully aware that replacing him is a near impossible task.

One such keeper is Kamil Grabara, who spent the second half of the 2018/19 season on loan at Danish club Aarhus in a bid for regular senior minutes. According to ?Football Insider sources, Jurgen Klopp has given his approval to send the youngster out on loan again next season.

Klopp still views the Polish keeper as a potential first team player in the future, but experience is required before he can truly challenge for the number one jersey – as unlikely as that may seem.


Issa Diop’s Representatives Set for Talks With West Ham

Issa Diop

In a surprise twist, Issa Diop recently became the 1,456th player to have been linked with a move to ?Manchester United this summer, with the Red Devils apparently offering in excess of £45m to ?West Ham to secure a deal.

Sky Sports reporter ?Kaveh Solhekol is now reporting that Diop’s representatives will sit down for ‘talks’ with West Ham next week – though there is no clear indication over what those talks will focus on.

Diop is said to be happy at West Ham despite the recent interest from United, but the Hammers have tested the waters by enquiring over the availability of Scott McTominay which suggests that he could be used as a part of a potential deal for Diop. When United are involved, who knows what might happen.


Dwight Gayle Edges Closer to Newcastle Exit While Christian Atsu Intends to Stay Put

Christian Atsu

?Newcastle’s takeover plans may have stalled in recent weeks, but that doesn’t mean that a host of players’ futures aren’t still on the line this summer.

Dwight Gayle, who spent last season on loan at West Brom, seems destined to leave the club on a permanent deal, and the Sun (via ?HITC) say ?Stoke have expressed a genuine interest in snapping him up. Meanwhile, Christian Atsu has reiterated his desire to remain at the club, 

The winger was recently quoted saying via ?Ghanaweb: “I’m very happy at Newcastle, I’m happy with fans, especially the manager Rafa Benitez and the entire staff. I would love to stay there for many years but it will depend on me and my performance. I have to do my job.” 

As clear a statement as you’re likely to hear.


Caglar Soyuncu In Line for Return to Turkey

Caglar Soyuncu

Caglar Soyuncu’s debut season with ?Leicester couldn’t have really gone a lot worse. He cost the club £19m, was only able to make eight appearances and managed to look dodgy in all of them. Far from ideal.

It now appears that his brief Leicester nightmare could be set to come to an end as ?Ajansspor claim Galatasaray have set their sights on signing the central defender this summer.

It’s unclear whether the Turkish outfit would be looking to sign the 23-year-old on a permanent deal, but what is clear is that he is unlikely to find a way into the Leicester starting XI anytime soon – especially if they hold on to Harry Maguire this summer.


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