Inter appoint Handanovic as captain | Will Icardi leave the Nerazzurri?

Inter Milan have officially taken the captaincy off striker Mauro Icardi and handed it to goalkeeper Samir Handanovic. The announcement was made earlier today and raises doubts over the Argentine international’s future at the San Siro.

Icardi had inked a contract extension in 2016 that would keep him at the club till 2021. That deal also included a 110 million euro release clause for any foreign clubs interested in his services. The likes of Chelsea and Real Madrid were linked with him last summer, but no deal materialised, and the striker stayed at the club.

Inter apparently want Icardi to ink a new deal, but progress on that front has been non existent. Club officials put it down to the hard negotiating nature of Wanda Nara, Icardi’s wife and agent, and talks have apparently reached an impasse, which has forced the powers that be to take the armband off him.

Icardi is also not in the Inter squad for their midweek Europa League clash against Rapid Vienna.

Icardi’s team mate, Marcelo Brozovic, was seen liking posts on social media site Instagram that talked of the captaincy being taken off the former. It’s been long rumoured that Icardi’s relationship with the Croatian contingent at Inter isn’t exactly the best.

Could Icardi be off in the summer? Appears so, unless the club and he both have a change of heart!

Handa

(via Twitter)

Atletico Madrid sign Alvaro Morata on 18 month loan

La Liga outfit Atletico Madrid have officially confirmed the signing of Alvaro Morata on loan from Premier League outfit Chelsea. The Spanish striker will be at the Wanda Metropolitano till the end of the 2019/20 season, thus making it an eighteen month loan stint for the 26 year old.

Morata joined Chelsea from Real Madrid in the summer of 2017, but has never quite had the impact he was expected to. Most of Chelsea’s signings that summer excepting Antonio Rudiger- the likes of Danny Drinkwater, Davide Zappacosta and Tiemoue Bakayoko and Morata have failed to establish themselves at the Bridge. It probably represents one of the worst transfer windows in recent history for the club, given the money that was splurged on these players. The quartet mentioned above cost the Blues well over £150m, and the London outfit, in all probability, will have to take a hit on these players when they permanently leave the club.

The Morata switch comes after Chelsea signed Gonzalo Higuain on loan from Juventus till the end of the season (with an option to buy)

Morata scored 24 goals in 72 games across all competitions for Chelsea. The Blues are fourth in the league table at the time of this transfer, while Atleti are second in La Liga.

Lucas Hernandez to become world’s most expensive defender?

French World Cup winning star Lucas Hernandez could become the world’s most expensive defender after reports in Spain emerged linking the 22 year old to a January move to Bayern Munich. The Bavarian giants are reportedly willing to match his release clause (85 million euros) which will make young Hernandez the world’s most expensive defender, eclipsing the fee Liverpool paid Southampton for Virgil van Dijk last season.

Lucas Hernandez Bayern

It would be interesting to see if the transfer materialises- Bayern are normally not known for spending such amounts of money- it would essentially be more than double than that of their current record signing (Corentin Tollisso). However one could argue that the market has reached a stage where such fees are “normal”, and Bayern need to spend heavily on reinforcements if they are to challenge for continental honours again. Continue reading

Atleti & Monaco agree transfer fee for Thomas Lemar

If reports in L’Equipe are to believed, Atletico Madrid have agreed a fee with AS Monaco for the transfer of Thomas Lemar. The versatile 22 year old was a target for Arsenal last season and was even linked with Liverpool after their move for Nabil Fekir broke down, but may end up going to Spain after a transfer fee (rumoured to be around the 85 million euro mark was agreed)

If Lemar does move to Atleti, it could well very end up affecting the future of Continue reading

Real Madrid appoint Lopetegui as new manager

Real Madrid have confirmed that Julien Lopetegui will be the club’s new manager. Lopetegui, the current Spanish national team manager, will link up with Los Blancos after La Furia Roja’s 2018 World Cup campaign.

The news of Lopetegui’s appointment comes as a surprise- he had inked a contract extension with the Spanish federation last month and was not among the shortlisted names to be Zinedine Zidane’s successor.

Lopetegui3 Continue reading