Everton & Inter Reportedly Lead Race to Ligue 1 Wonderkid Dubbed the ‘Next Paul Pogba’

?Everton and Inter are believed to be leading the race to sign Nantes wonderkid Kamal Bafounta, whose impressive performances at youth level have seen him compared to Manchester United ace Paul Pogba.

As reported by Goal, the 16-year-old sensation has been tearing it up for the Nantes youth side this season with his domineering, physical midfield performances, and impressed with his for the France under-16 side against Japan last November. Bafounta certainly outstrips his teammates considerably with his physique, and looks more than ready to make the step up to first team football.

If either Inter or Everton were to sign the tenacious youngster, they would most likely make the purchase as an investment for the future – before allowing the player to go out on loan to gain valuable first team experience at a lower level. 

Nantes are currently managed by Claudio Ranieri, who the Premier League title with Leicester City against all odds in 2016.

 

Bafounta is just one of a host of talented young French players who are promising to blossom into a golden generation. Les Bleus are a dark horse to win this year’s World Cup in Russia, with young stars such as Kylian Mbappé, Anthony Martial, Thomas Lemar and Ousmané Dembele all ready to set the competition alight.


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Meanwhile, ?Everton are believed to be have been joined by Championship side Wolves in the battle to sign Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere this summer. 

The England international has been offered a new deal by the north London side, but he could well still leave the club on a free transfer upon the expiry of his contract if he prefers a move away from the Gunners.

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Inter Midfielder to Potentially Miss Remainder of the Season Following Injury During Cagliari Clash

?Inter’s hopes of Champions League qualification took a major blow on Tuesday, as Roberto Gagliardini was stretchered off against Cagliari.

?Inter are currently going strong in the league, having only lost twice since the start of 2018, as the Serie A season draws to a close. The Italian league was awarded an additional Champions League spot as of this season, with Inter currently occupying one of those spots, but things may have just got a little more difficult.

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They continued their rich vein a form as they stormed towards a 4-0 victory over Cagliari, but left with a sour note as Gagliardini was forcibly withdrawn, potentially ending his season early – as reported by Football Italia.

Gagliardini is believed to have suffered a thigh injury after overstretching to reach a ball. The medical team had to bring on the stretcher, as the Italian star was unable to walk off the pitch.

Initial observations suggest the injury could be as bad as feared and is likely to spell the end of the season for the midfield star. The player will be sent for scans over the following to days to better analyse the situation and assess Inter’s options.

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Gagliardini has been something of a mainstay in the Inter midfield, with 27 appearances so far this season. Inter do have other options in that area of the pitch, including Barcelona loanee Rafinha and highly rated Croatian duo Ivan Perisic and Marcelo Brozovic.

Borja Valero was the man who replaced Gagliardini in this game and is likely to be the player trusted with filling the void in upcoming fixtures.


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With two Champions League spots seemingly wrapped up and just two points separating Inter from their rivals Lazio and Roma, there is still work to do for Inter this season.

Inter still face tough tests against Juventus and Lazio in the remaining six games of the campaign, it remains to be seen if they can hang onto their third place spot.  

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Fixtures Announced: Man Utd, Real Madrid & Barcelona Among Giants Heading to USA for Huge 2018 ICC

?The International Champions Cup is returning this summer and the fixtures that will pit 18 of Europe’s biggest teams, including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Manchester City, Juventus and Bayern Munich, against each other across three continents have been released.

Each club will play three times in the competition and all 27 games will take place between 20th July and 12th August in 14 venues across the USA, seven in Europe and one in Singapore.

Among the many huge clashes, Manchester United and Liverpool will meet on 28th July in Michigan’s ‘Big House’, a stadium with a capacity in excess of 100,000 that is sure to sell out.

Three days later, United will be facing Real Madrid in Miami, while there will be a repeat of the 2017 Champions League final when Real meet Juventus in Washington DC on 4th August.

Earlier on, Manchester City are due to take on Liverpool in New Jersey on 25th Jully, with Arsenal set to play both Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain in Singapore.

There will be a London derby in Sweden when the Gunners then face Chelsea on 4th August.

Tottenham’s biggest game will see them face Barcelona on 28th July in the famous Pasadena Rose Bowl, the venue that hosted the 1994 World Cup final between Brazil and Italy. Spurs will have already faced Roma and AC Milan by that point.

2018 International Champions Cup Full Fixture List

Date? Fixture? Location?
20th July? ?Sevilla vs Benfica Zurich, Switzerland?
20th July? Manchester City vs Borussia Dortmun?d Chicago, USA?
21st July? Bayern Munich vs Paris Saint-Germain? Klagenfurt, ?Austria
?22nd July ?Liverpool vs Borussia Dortmund Charlotte, USA?
25th July? ?Juventus vs Bayern Munich ?Philadelphia, USA
?25th July Borussia Dortmund vs Benfica? Pittsburgh, USA
?25th July ?Manchester City vs Liverpool ?East Rutherford, USA
?25th July ?Roma vs Tottenham Hotspur ?San Diego, USA
?25th July AC Milan vs Manchester United? Pasadena, USA?
26th July? ?Atletico Madrid vs Arsenal ?Kallang, Singapore
?28th July Arsenal vs Paris Saint-Germain? Kallang, Singapore?
28th July? Chelsea vs Sevilla? Warsaw, Poland?
28th July? Benfica? vs Juventus ?Harrison, USA
?28th July ?Manchester United vs Liverpool Ann Arbor, USA?
?28th July Bayern Munich vs Manchester City? Miami, USA?
28th July? Barcelon?a vs Tottenham Hotspur ?Pasadena, USA
?30th July ?Paris Saint-Germain vs Atletico Madrid ?Kallang, Singapore
?31st July ?Barcelona vs Roma ?Arlington, USA
?31st July ?Manchester United vs Real Madrid Miami, USA?
31st July? Tottenham Hotspur vs AC Milan? ?Minneapolis, USA
?1st August ?Chelsea vs Internazionale Gothenburg, Sweden?
4th August? Arsenal vs Chelsea? Solna, Sweden?
?4th August ?Real Madrid vs Juventus ?Landover, USA
4th August? AC Milan vs Barcelona? Santa Clara, USA?
7th August? Internazionale vs Sevilla? Lecce, Italy?
7th August? Real Madrid vs Roma? East Rutherford, USA?
?12th August? Atletico Madrid vs Internazionale? Madrid, Spain?

The first games will take place just five days after the 2018 World Cup final, so the football will barely be stopping this summer.

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The various domestics seasons will then begin their 2018/19 campaign in mid to late August.??

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Luciano Spalletti Insists His Inter Team Can Still ‘Get Better’ After 4-0 Rout Over Cagliari

Inter Milan boss Luciano Spalletti has sent a warning to his team’s ?Serie A opponents by insisting that his team can ‘get better’. 

I Nerazzurri were ?dominant in their 4-0 win over 14th placed Cagliari on Tuesday night, so much so that the away side failed to register any shot on goal throughout the game. 

Argentinian striker Mauro Icardi scored his side’s second goal, taking his tally to 25 goals for the season, and the club captain earned praise from his manager for his work off the ball as well as on it. 

?“Tonight Icardi did well of dropping back, then attacking their defence from the side,” Spalletti told the press after the game (via ?Forza Italian Football).

“We had to continued to be cautious of Cagliari, and by attacking them at the side, that forced them to play through the centre.”

Although the Italian manager insisted that his striker must continue to improve.

“I think a player like him shouldn’t be happy,” he told Mediaset Premium (as quoted by ?ESPN). “It’s true 25 goals are a lot and he is learning to track back to tighten up the team, so he got a lot of touches.

“Anyone who says he just has to stand there and score goals is hurting him, because if he helps out then he’ll score twice as many.

“If he just stands there, it’s easier for the defenders to mark him. If he comes back, spaces are created.”

Full back João Cancelo opened the scoring after just three minutes, when his free kick evaded everyone and went in at the far post. And Spalletti claimed that the early goal helped his team to go and win the game comfortably.

“Cancelo’s goal gave us a huge boost, and we also kept the opponents at bay. We can certainly get better,” insisted the Italian.


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The win moved Inter above Serie A rivals Roma and into third place in the table and they will look to cement that position when they face 16th placed Chievo on Sunday. 

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Inter 4-0 Cagliari: Nerazzurri Make Easy Work of Sardinians to Move into Third

Internazionale moved up to third on the Serie A table with a convincing 4-0 win over 14th-placed Cagliari at home on Tuesday night.?

The home side had won three of their last four against the night’s visitors, but they hadn’t beaten them at San Siro since 2011. They also hadn’t scored in the last 312 minutes of play leading up to the match.

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However, any omens were dispelled after just four minutes when Joao Cancelo fooled everyone with his free kick from a seemingly difficult angle out on the left flank to open the scoring.

The hosts should have been 2-0 up by the 12th minute. But Yann Karamoh shot wide after receiving a good, low cross from Mauro Icardi following an Inter breakaway. 

The forward came close yet again, around eight minutes later, when Danilo D’Ambrosio floated in a cross from the left, yet he was unable to affect the scoreline as his volley cannoned off the crossbar. Rafinha would also have a good shot saved just moments later.

Inter were also hit with an injury during the first half – rather unfortunately – when Roberto Gagliardini had to be replaced by Borja Valero after suffering what appeared to be a hamstring problem.

FC Internazionale v Cagliari Calcio - Serie A

Karamoh, meanwhile, finally got the ball to connect with the back of the net during stoppage time ahead of the end of the half, but his goal was rightly ruled offside.

Inter would go into the halftime break leading 1-0. And just as they had done in the first period, the Nerazzurri scored just minutes into the second, this time through Icardi, who stabbed a ball home from close range following Rafinha’s back-heeled pass in the Cagliari box.

Marcelo Brozovic made it 3-0 on 60 minutes, getting the ball under control after it was bothered by an opposing player to work his way into the box and curl into the goal off of his right foot.

The home side scored yet another in the 89th minute, with Brozovic hitting a short free kick to an onrushing Ivan Perisic, who buried a shot from just inside to give Inter a 4-0 win and take them back into the top four- above Roma and Lazio, following their draw on Sunday.


Inter: Handanovic; Cancelo, Skriniar, Miranda, D’Ambrosio; Gagliardini, Brozovic; Karamoh, Rafinha, Perisic; Icardi

Subs: Padelli, Berni, Lisandro Lopez, Vecino, Ranocchia, Borja Valero, Santon, Eder, Dalbert, Candreva, Pinamonti

Cagliari: Cragno; Romagna, Andreolli, Castan; Padoin, Cossu, Ionita, Miangue; Giannetti, Ceter, Sau

Subs: Rafael, Crosta, Faragò, Pisacane, Lykogiannis, Ceppitelli, Pavoletti, Han, Tetteh, Caligara, Kouadio

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