Burnley in advanced talks with Young

Burnley are in advanced talks with Ashley Young’s representatives over a free transfer.

The former England international, who turns 36 next month, is in discussions over a one-year contract with the option of a further 12 months.

Both parties are increasingly hopeful a deal can be completed.

Young has huge respect for Burnley boss Sean Dyche, who was his captain at Watford when he started his professional career.

Young is set to depart Inter Milan this summer after turning down a new deal at the San Siro, and held talks over a possible return to Watford.

He made 34 appearances this season as Inter won their first Serie A title in 11 years, although manager Antonio Conte left the club just days after their final fixture over the club’s plans to reduce spending.

Young joined Inter in January 2020 from Manchester United, for whom he made 261 appearances and won a Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup.

Chelsea rival PSG for Inter’s Hakimi with £56m bid

Chelsea have matched Paris Saint-Germain’s £56.1m (€60m) offer for Inter Milan wing-back Achraf Hakimi.

Sky in Italy are reporting that Inter may well be more open to Chelsea’s proposal because of the Italian club’s interest in Emerson Palmieri and Andreas Christensen.

Inter would like Palmieri on loan while Chelsea would prefer the move to be permanent.

Chelsea’s offer for Hakimi appears still to be some way short of Inter’s asking price. They are understood to value the Morocco full-back at £68.8m (€80m).

Hakimi

Last season, Hakimi scored seven goals and registered 10 assists in Serie A.

He was signed by Inter from Real Madrid last summer for a fee of around £40m after establishing himself on the European stage on loan at Borussia Dortmund for two seasons.

Hakimi, who can also play as a full-back on either flank in a conventional four-man defence, would fit straight into Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel’s five-at-the-back system as a wing-back.

Hakimi

AC Milan set to sign Tomori from Chelsea for £25m

May 16, 2021, Milan, United Kingdom: Milan, Italy, 16th May 2021. Fikayo Tomori of AC Milan during the Serie A match at Giuseppe Meazza, Milan. Picture credit should read: Jonathan Moscrop / Sportimage(Credit Image: © Jonathan Moscrop/CSM via ZUMA Wire) (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)
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Fikayo Tomori made 22 appearances for AC Milan in the 2020/21 season

AC Milan will exercise the option to sign Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori on a permanent deal this summer for £25m.

Tomori, 23, joined AC Milan on an initial six-month loan in January and helped the club secure a second-placed finish and a return to the Champions League after a seven-year absence.

Milan held talks with Chelsea in recent days in an attempt to lower the agreed £25m fee but the Premier League club refused, according to Sky in Italy.

Milan, managed by Stefano Pioli, are expected to finalise the paperwork and announce the transfer next week.

Inzaghi with Challenging Assignment Ahead

After the highs of winning the Serie A title, Inter Milan have taken a different path with the sudden departure of manager Antonio Conte.

Simone Inzaghi is the man who has been tasked with mounting the Nerazzurri’s title defence, and it looks set to be an exciting, fresh challenge for the former Lazio boss.

Inzaghi Set for Biggest Challenge

Inter enjoyed a superb 2020-21 Serie A campaign, as they finished 12 points clear of nearest rivals AC Milan. Conte has his own way of doing things, and those who didn’t fit the hard-working profile soon find themselves out of the picture. However, the Italian was able to garner the winning mentality at the San Siro that he had been able to achieve in previous positions at Juventus and Chelsea.

Where Inter fell short, and where Inzaghi must seek improvement, came in Europe as the Nerazzurri finished bottom of their Champions League group. Inter, who are 40/1 in the football betting to win the Champions League title next season, saw Real Madrid, Borussia Monchengladbach and Shakhtar Donetsk all finish above them in the standings. With just one win in six games, there is plenty of room for improvement for the newly crowned Italian champions in Europe.

What will make the challenge even greater for Inzaghi, both in Europe and domestically, are the reports Conte left Inter after being asked to cut costs in the squad. Inzaghi looks like he will have to be flexible when it comes to incoming and outgoing players, which will be a real test of the 45-year-old manager’s credentials.

New Boss Must Build on Defensive Foundation

Inzaghi will have at his disposal a strong team that has developed that all-important winning mentality. Inter’s success last term was founded on a strong defence, as they only conceded 35 goals in their 38 league games. It was a remarkable achievement for a side that were also the second highest goalscorers in the division.

Building on that impressive defence will be key for Inzaghi, who managed to win the Coppa Italia and two Supercoppa Italianas during his time in charge at Lazio. The Inter hierarchy have clearly seen enough of Inzaghi to give him the reins of the Italian champions, with the former striker being handed a two-year deal.

Expect Juve Reaction

Having seen their nine-year domination of Serie A come to an abrupt end, Juventus will be looking to come back stronger next season. Andrea Pirlo saw his side finish in fourth place, before the rookie head coach was given his marching orders in Turin.

With Massimiliano Allegri back at the helm, Juve are set to be serious title contenders once again, and it will be up to Inzaghi’s Inter to stop the Old Lady from climbing back to the top. The new Inter boss will need to hit the ground running, but the hierarchy at the San Siro seem confident they have got the right man for the job.

Lukaku: I’m staying at Inter

Romelu Lukaku has confirmed his wish to stay at Inter Milan next season despite transfer interest from the Premier League.

The 28-year-old has enjoyed a stellar season in Italy and led Antonio Conte’s side to the Scudetto, bringing an end to Juventus’ nine-year domestic winning cycle.

His 24 goals in 36 Serie A appearances earned him the league’s MVP award and attracted the interest of Chelsea and Manchester City for a return to the Premier League.

However, speaking from Belgium’s training camp ahead of Euro 2020, Lukaku confirmed he will not be looking to pursue a move away from San Siro in the summer despite Conte’s exit and Simone Inzaghi’s impending arrival as head coach.

“Yes, I am staying,” he told Dutch broadcaster VTM.

“I’ve already had contact with the man who normally becomes our new manager. Maybe I shouldn’t say that yet… but it was a very positive conversation.”

“There’s also the challenge of doing it again [winning the league with Inter]. I feel good at Inter.”

Lukaku is valued at around £100m by Inter and they want to cash in on at least one of their high-profile players, which was part of the reason behind Conte’s decision to quit as manager last week.

Antonio Conte, Romelu Lukaku
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Antonio Conte was one of the reasons Romelu Lukaku decided to join Inter Milan in 2019

The former Chelsea boss, who is now in talks to join Tottenham, was told the club needed to make a €100m cut to its budget for next season.

According to Sky in Italy, Achraf Hakimi remains the most likely of Inter’s star players to leave this summer, with the £70m-rated Morocco international being hotly pursued by Paris Saint-Germain.

Lukaku arrived in the Premier League in 2011 when he joined Chelsea from Anderlecht but failed to score for the Blues in his first season, prompting the club to loan him out to West Brom and then Everton in successive seasons.

He eventually flourished after joining the Toffees on a permanent deal in 2014, scoring 53 goals across three seasons at Goodison Park, which earned him a £75m move to Old Trafford in 2017.

After two seasons of ups and downs at United, he signed for Inter on a five-year deal in 2019, scoring 64 goals in two seasons for the Nerazzurri so far.

Inzaghi replaces Conte as new Inter boss

Inter Milan have appointed Lazio’s Simone Inzaghi as their new manager, with the Italian signing a two-year deal to replace Antonio Conte.

Inzaghi arrives at the San Siro after five years as Lazio boss, during which he led them back into the Champions League group stages for the first time since the 2007/08 season.

Before being promoted to manage the first team in 2016, the 45-year-old had coached a number of Lazio’s youth sides.

As senior manager, Inzaghi qualified Lazio for European competition in each of his five full seasons in charge, including a run to the Champions League last 16 in the 2020/21 campaign.

The former Lazio and Italy striker also led the club to a Coppa Italia title in 2019, as well as two Italian Super Cup successes.

Inzaghi was handed a boost before even being confirmed as Inter’s new boss when striker Romelu Lukaku revealed he is planning to stay at the club for next season.



Romelu Lukaku fired Inter Milan to the Serie A title this season








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Antonio Conte has left Inter Milan but Romelu Lukaku insists he is happy to stay with the Serie A champions

Chelsea are interested in signing their former player, who scored 30 times for Inter in 2020/21, with the Italian side understood to be looking for £100m for the 28-year-old.

But despite Inter’s desire to raise funds this summer, Lukaku told Belgian broadcaster VTN on Wednesday: “Yes, I am staying.

“I’ve already had contact with the man who normally becomes our new manager [Inzaghi]. Maybe I shouldn’t say that yet… but it was a very positive conversation.

“There’s also the challenge of doing it again [winning the league with Inter]. I feel good at Inter.”

Inzaghi’s predecessor Conte left Inter just weeks after securing their first Serie A title in 11 years, amid a disagreement with the board over their plans to cut costs.

Conte is now in talks with Tottenham about replacing Jose Mourinho as manager, although it is understood the two parties are yet to reach an agreement over the former Chelsea boss’ wage demands.

Why did Inter let Conte leave?

Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol:

“Antonio Conte is one of the best managers in the world, and now he is unemployed, although he has got a €7m (£6m) pay-off from Inter Milan. There had been crunch talks going on about his future and he was very unhappy about the fact that the owners of the club had asked him just a few days after winning the Italian title for the first time in 11 years to cut costs.

“They wanted him to shave around €100m (£86m) off Inter’s budget for next season and Conte was very unhappy about that. He basically said that he had won the title, he had done what had been asked of him, but when it came to Europe, they had finished bottom of their Champions League group.

Antonio Conte
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Antonio Conte walked away from Inter Milan over their plans to cut costs

“Next season, he wanted to win the title again and to win the Champions League. He wanted to make them a force in Europe again, and he claimed he would not be able to do that if they were asking him to sell some of his best players to cut the wage bill. He said he could not manage with one hand tied behind his back and that’s the reason why he has decided to go.

“The question people will be asking is why Inter’s owners have allowed this to happen? This is a manager who has won titles at Juventus as both a player and as a manager. He’s someone who has won titles at Chelsea and he’s done it again at Inter.

“The owners of Inter are a Chinese retail giant called Suning, which also owned the reigning Chinese Super League champions Jiangsu Suning. They won the Chinese title in November but just a few months later, Suning turned around and said they were closing the club down due to financial problems.

“They wanted to step back from football, and that’s exactly what they have done at their other club as well, Inter Milan. They felt it was costing them too much money. Conte heard what they have had to say and decided that is not how he operates.”