Maurizio Sarri Turns to £90m Serie A Star as Potential Alternative to Misfiring Alvaro Morata

?Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri is believed to have grown frustrated with Alvaro Morata’s struggles in front of goal, and will look to the Serie A to sign a new top striker in the coming months.

Inter’s Mauro Icardi and AC Milan’s Patrick Cutrone appear to be high on his wish list.

Morata has endured an incredibly challenging few years in London. His Chelsea career began in impressive form, netting nine goals in his opening 14 matches. Unfortunately, the goals dried up after just a few months and Morata has looked completely devoid of confidence for the best part of a year, frustrating the majority of fans.

SPAL v FC Internazionale - Serie A

News of Sarri’s frustrations towards ?Morata comes from ?The Sun, who claim that the Italian will target ?Inter’s ?Icardi during the upcoming January transfer window – as he seeks to add another reliable goalscorer to partner ?Eden Hazard.

The report claims ?Chelsea have already enquired about Icardi, but have been quoted a price tag of £90m. The Blues will attempt to negotiate a deal for the 25-year-old, but are lining up Cutrone as a possible alternative if they are unable to sign the Argentinian.

Icardi is widely regarded as one of the best strikers in the world and has five goals in his opening eight matches this season. However, Chelsea are reluctant to meet Inter’s financial demands, and are prepared to rival ?Tottenham Hotspur for ?Milan’s Cutrone, who would likely cost just £25m.

Both are viewed as more reliable options than Morata, who has just nine goals in his last 35 matches for Chelsea. The club have been desperate to give Morata the chance to prove himself as a reliable option in attack, but he has consistently failed to impress.

AC Milan v Olympiacos - UEFA Europa League - Group F

The club opted to sign ?Olivier Giroud from rivals ?Arsenal, but the 32-year-old was never viewed as a long-term solution to Chelsea’s goalscoring woes. 

Former manager Antonio Conte’s clash with ?Diego Costa in 2017 is viewed as a huge mistake by fans, who have seen their club struggle in front of goal ever since the Spaniard’s departure.

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Milan Star Suso Claims City Rivals Inter Have Tried to Sign Him Twice in the Last Two Years

?AC Milan winger Suso has revealed that rivals Inter have attempted to sign him twice over the last two years, but insists he always remained loyal to the Rossoneri.

The 24-year-old has been a key player for Milan in recent years. In his 103 appearances for the club, he has racked up 17 goals and 32 assists, and his impressive form has earned him two international appearances for Spain.

US Sassuolo v AC Milan - Serie A

In an interview with Italian outlet Tuttosport, Suso admitted that ?Inter were keen to sign him last summer, as well as in 2017. He is quoted by ?Football Italia as saying: “They wanted me in 2017 and even the summer just gone, but I never thought about changing clubs.

“I’m happy to have stayed. I’ve grown with Gattuso. I was surprised when Mirabelli had said publicly that he didn’t know about the Nerazzurri’s offer.

“I’d talked to him about this, but my intention has always been to stay here. It’s nice to be linked with like big clubs like ?Barcelona or ?Manchester City, but ?Milan are also a great team. You never know, but I’ve always said that I’m happy here.

“Joining another Italian team? I don’t think so, but if Milan didn’t want me anymore then that would be a different matter.

“When I was a kid and saw Gattuso on TV, I was struck by his spirit as a player. He gives everything in his work and I also talk to him with pleasure off the field. In short, he’s the right man at the right place. I like ?Hazard a lot, I never get tired of watching him.

Wales v Spain - International Friendly

“When I was little, I was crazy for Kaka. He was disruptive with his acceleration but had a clear head when choosing whether to pass or shoot.”

Suso, who spent five years with ?Liverpool between 2010 and 2015, has two goals and six assists from his opening seven ?Serie A matches, helping Milan to tenth in the league.

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Nicolo Barella ‘Proud’ of Transfer Links as Arsenal Become Latest Club to Eye €50m Talent

?Arsenal are the latest top European club now being linked with emerging Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella, with the player describing himself as ‘proud’ to have interest from clubs like the Gunners, Manchester United, Liverpool, Juventus, Roma, AC Milan and Inter.

Barella enjoyed a fine 2017/18 Serie A campaign with Cagliari and has started the new season strongly as well. The 21-year-old has also been rewarded with his first two senior caps for Italy in the last few days, featuring against Ukraine and Poland.

It has been suggested that the €50m (£44m) rated talent could be Arsenal’s replacement for Aaron Ramsey, with the Welshman widely expected to leave as a free agent in summer after running down his contract, or sooner if the club chooses to cash in while they still can.

Speaking about his future, Barella played it cool, but also acknowledged that he is happy to be linked with so many big clubs because it shows that he is doing something right.

“I’m not the one who sorts out the transfers,” he is quoted as saying by CalcioMercato after speaking to the media in his native Italy.

Atalanta BC v Cagliari - Serie A

“It’s the agents, presidents and clubs who do that. I only think about Cagliari and to stay up in the league. We’ll see about the rest. The interest from big clubs is pleasing, and makes me proud. It means I’m doing the right things.”

Arsenal are looking to extend a winning run to seven consecutive Premier League games when domestic football returns at the weekend. The Gunners host Leicester at the Emirates Stadium.

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Barcelona Defender Samuel Umtiti Set to Miss Pivotal Clashes With Inter and Real Madrid

??Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti is set to miss out on a number of pivotal fixtures coming up in the calendar, after failing to recover from the knee issues that have plagued him since the World Cup.

The Frenchman has been absent from the Blaugrana’s last three matchday squads, as well as his country’s for their Nations League clashes, and could be out for another month. 

As reported by ?Marca, the 24-year-old was examined by doctors this morning at the Sant Joan Despi Hospital, and they confirmed he would be ineligible for ?Barca’s games against Sevilla, ?Inter and the Classico against ?Real Madrid. 

FC Barcelona v Girona - La Liga Santander

More worrying, though, is the nature of the issue. The Cameroon-born French international has been suffering from chondropathy – a condition in the cartilage – intermittently since the World Cup, and was even hampered by it in Russia. 

With such a sensitive injury, the club are in no mind to rush the defender back to the starting XI, and are persisting with a non-invasive, ultrasound approach to the treatment. The doctors admitted that there had been promising signs of recovery in recent days, but that a specific return date could not be set as of yet. 

CD Leganes v FC Barcelona - La Liga

While his return could come in the middle of November, there is some concern that, should this relatively conservative treatment process fail to relieve the problem, then an arthroscopy

operation would be needed. 

This would sideline Umtiti until the start of 2019, and even then, such a procedure wouldn’t guarantee the re-emergence of the injury further down the line.

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6 Things to Know About Man Utd, Liverpool & Chelsea Transfer Target Nicolò Barella

Nicolò Barella has attracted interest from a host of Europe’s elite after impressing for both Serie A side Cagliari and on the international stage with Italy, making him one of the world’s most coveted young players. 

The likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea, in addition to Italian powerhouses like Juventus, Roma and both Milan clubs are all hoping to lure the 21-year-old midfielder away from the island of Sardinia. 

With his star showing no signs of dwindling and the battle for his signature only set to intensify, here are six things you ought to know about Barella.

6. A Newly Capped Italy International

Barella has had a rapid progression through the international age groups, first debuting for Italy’s Under-15s in 2012 before consistently playing above his age bracket from Under-16s all the way through to the Under-21 level. 

He amassed 52 appearances across all levels and was part of the silver medal winning Under-19 side at the 2016 European Championship, before being handed his senior debut last week; a year on from his first call up to the squad under Gian Piero Ventura. 

The midfielder duly impressed in his second outing a few days later having crowned Italy’s best player in their win over Poland.

5. Idolises a Serie A Legend

If you were wondering what Barella aspires to achieve throughout his career you may not need to look any further than the player he idolises: Inter and Lazio legend Dejan Stankovi?.

The now retired Serbian midfielder had a decorated playing career having secured six league titles, six Italian Cups, six Italian Super Cups, and a UEFA Champions League title.

Speaking about Stankovic he told La Nuova: “I have always admired his games, I tried to imitate him. Two years ago when he was second to Udinese, I shook his hand but I did not have the courage to tell him anything.”

4. Previously Likened to Liverpool Legend Steven Gerrard

Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport previously compared the 21-year-old to a Liverpool legend, labelling him ‘the Sardinian Steven Gerrard’.

The comparisons emerged as a result of Barella’s versatility across the middle of the park, his vision, dead ball ability, technique and work rate – qualities which epitomised the former Reds skipper.

His goal return, however, is where he falls short of Gerrard having only found the back of the net on seven occasions throughout his Serie A career to date.

3. He Has a Preference for a Move to the Premier League

A plethora of reports have emerged in the last week over potential suitors for the midfielder, but it seems Barella may already have a preference for his next destination. 

“If I had to choose between Serie A and the Premier League, I’d go for England, because I like the way they approach the game,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport, via Football Italia. “Plus everyone there is just as irritable and prone to fouls as me!”

It is safe to say he would be spoilt for choice in England, but his love for basketball superstar LeBron James could play into Liverpool’s hands as he is one of the club’s stakeholders…

2. A Leader in the Making

Barella has risen through the ranks at Cagliari since joining the club at the age of eight and now finds himself as the club’s vice-captain. It’s a natural course of progression but, at 21 years old, it is an impressive feat nevertheless as he is the youngest player in the club’s history to have been handed the armband. 

He has taken on the responsibility of taking penalties and is their designated set-piece taker, and a player not shy of stepping up for the big moments will only make him more of an attractive prospect should his progress continue. 

1. He’s a Midfield Machine

As previously mentioned Barella is as versatile as they come in midfield, a visionary suitable for a creative role which also lends to his ability to read the game as the defensive linchpin.   

It is the latter which has seen him excel in Serie A so far this season as no other outfield player has made more recoveries than the 21-year-old (72), with only five players winning more tackles (16), while he is second to only one midfielder for interceptions.

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