Napoli pushing to close out deal for Getafe’s Olivera

Napoli are working hard to try and sign Getafe left back Mathias Olivera in this month’s transfer window.

The Partenopei were linked with a move for the 24-year-old Uruguayan full back last summer and they’ve been following the player this season as well, appreciating his qualities in La Liga. Whilst initial plans were to try and sign Oliver in the upcoming summer window, the club have now changed their mind.

As reported by Sky Sports, Napoli have submitted an offer to Getafe for Olivera, offering them a loan deal with an obligation to buy clause attached worth around €10-11m. Napoli were firmly set to sign the player this summer but now they’ve decided to speed things up and bring him in this month.

The 24-year-old Olivera, who is contracted to Getafe until 2025, has made 18 La Liga appearances so far this season, for a total of 1577 minutes. In that time, he has scored one goal and provided one assist.

Tudor feels the international break risks interrupting Verona’s momentum

Igor Tudor highlighted his admiration of Ivan Juric and Gian Piero Gasperini following Hellas Verona’s 2-1 win over Bologna tonight.

The Gialloblu fell behind early following a beautiful Riccardo Orsolini half-volley, but Gianluca Caprari found an equaliser after half an hour, putting things level at half time. Both teams pushed for a winner in the second half, and eventually Verona’s efforts were rewarded thanks to Nikola Kalinic.

Speaking with Sky Sports after the win over Bologna, Tudor first reacted to the victory and the upcoming international break.

“We have to save ourselves, we’re not thinking about Europe. The president said we are seven points behind. We’re doing well, we’ve accumulated a lot of points so far. It’s just a pity that now the break is coming, because we were in a very good moment.

“You have to play to win, I try to give the guys that kind of imprint. I’m lucky that I have the best players available, otherwise I couldn’t do it.”

He noted how he holds Juric and Gasperini in high regard.

“I always speak well of Juric and Gasperini. They are among the best coaches in the world. I like their football, I believe in it and I train every day to play in this way.

“But you can’t copy everything from others, you have to put your own spin on it.”

Finally, Tudor reflected upon his experience with Juventus.

“It was tough but it made me grow a lot to be able to work with so many champions. I’ve matured a lot since that experience.”

Hellas Verona’s win means that they now sit 9th in the Serie A table after 23 games, two points behind 6th place Fiorentina and eight points behind 5th place Juventus. Their next match is against Juventus after the international break, on February 6.

Mihajlovic blames large number of absences for Bologna’s loss

Sinisa Mihajlovic pointed to the large number of absences following Bologna’s 2-1 loss to Hellas Verona tonight.

The Rossoblu took the lead early on thanks to a lovely half-volley from Riccardo Orsolini, but Gianluca Caprari found an equaliser in the 38th minute. Nikola Kalinic found a late winner for the Gialloblu, leaving the Emilian side incredibly disappointed at full time.

Speaking in an interview with Sky Sports after the 2-1 loss to Hellas Verona, Mihajlovic first reacted to the defeat.

“We did what we could. We had 10 absentees, among the 11 starters we had players at 50%. I can’t say anything to the guys, they fought and battled. Verona would have won on points but it’s a shame to lose, like in Cagliari, in the final.

“We’ll stay calm, the break comes at the right time. We had our last full training session on December 15, when it’s like this you lose games in the long run.”

The Serbian coach did not feel like his squad were performing worse than they were last year.

“I wouldn’t look at the last three games played. These were conditioned by the COVID situation. I’m convinced that in Cagliari, with a full squad, we would never have lost. When Bologna are missing 10 players it becomes almost impossible.

“The season is still long, luckily we have 27 points and now we’ll try to recover players and train during the break. I’m convinced we’ll get out of trouble. When we had everyone available we did very good things.”

He was impressed with Riccardo Orsolini’s performance and had kind words for Mattias Svanberg.

“Orsolini did what he had to do. He played with an injection for a shoulder problem. He is someone who has always scored goals, he knows how to do it.

“He’s always done well when he plays second fiddle. Svamberg did well, he fought. A player with his qualities could have handled the ball better, but he had the right attitude.”

Finally, Mihajlovic discussed his decision to leave Marko Arnautovic on the bench at the start of the match.

‘He wasn’t well, he wasn’t well in the previous game either. I spoke to him yesterday and he told me he wasn’t in condition to play a whole game. Now he has to recover and get well, he always has some aches and pains.”

Bologna’s loss means that they sit 13th in the Serie A table after 22 games, 11 points ahead of relegation candidates Cagliari.

epa09654021 Bologna's coach Sinisa Mihajlovic reacts during the Italian Serie A soccer match US Sassuolo vs Bologna FC at Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia, Italy, 22 December 2021. EPA-EFE/SERENA CAMPANINI

Serie A | Hellas Verona 2-1 Bologna: Kalinic finds late winner

Nikola Kalinic secured all three points for the home side as Hellas Verona came out on top over Bologna 2-1.

The Gialloblu came into the match following an inconsistent start to 2022; two strong wins over Spezia and Sassuolo were split by a painful 2-1 home loss to Serie A strugglers Salernitana, raising some questions about the consistency of the Veneto side.

Things were a little more negative for Sinisa Mihajlovic. His Bologna side had only won one of their last five league matches, and their year started with a postponed match against Inter and losses to Cagliari and Napoli, so they came into this match desperate for three points.

Verona started off the match on the front foot, with Giovanni Simeone and Ivan Ilic sharing some early chances.

Things swung Bologna’s way in the 14th minute, however, when Riccardo Orsolini scored a wonderful half-volley from the edge of the penalty area to put Mihajlovic’s side 1-0 up.

The Gialloblu responded well, however, and pushed hard to find an equaliser. Their efforts were rewarded in the 39th minute, when Gianluca Caprari scored a beautiful close range back heel to make things level at 1-1.

Both teams shared the chances in the second half, with neither side having particularly close attempts. The dust was finally unsettled in the 85th minute, when Kalinic finished off a quick counter attack to put Verona 2-1 up.

The home side held on in front of their fans and picked up an important three points, leaving Bologna frustrated at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi.

Ansu Fati likely to miss Barcelona’s European clash with Napoli

Ansu Fati is set to miss Barcelona’s upcoming Europa League knockout playoff match against Napoli.

The 19-year-old Spanish forward has had a difficult season, making only five La Liga appearances due to a series of injuries, and his troubles are set to continue for a little while longer.

As reported by Corriere dello Sport, Fati suffered an injury to the proximal hamstring tendon in his left leg in the first half of the Copa del Rey match against Athletic Club yesterday. The Blaugrana haven’t yet announced how long he’ll be sidelined, but it’s almost certain that he’ll miss the first leg of the playoffs against Napoli on February 17.

There is a chance that the 19-year-old Spaniard could undergo surgery, but for now Barcelona want to wait and see how the injury develops in the immediate future.

Fati has already missed 23 matches so far this season due to a hamstring injury and knee problems.

Caicedo may be reunited with Inzaghi at Inter

Inter are looking for a low-cost deal to reinforce their attack and the idea of Felipe Caicedo has appeared.

The Ecuadorian forward spent four years at Lazio under coach Simone Inzaghi and he became a key player for the Italian coach. Across his 139 appearances for the Biancocelesti, Caicedo scored 33 goals, with a number of them being last minute winners or equalisers.

As reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport, Inter want to sign a short-term replacement for the injured Joaquin Correa, who will be out injured for around 30-35 days, and they are considering acquiring Caicedo.

The 33-year-old Ecuadorian striker, who is currently on loan at Genoa from Lazio, could be signed on a loan deal, reinforcing Inzaghi’s attack for a low cost.

Caicedo has struggled to make an impact in the Ligurian capital this season; the player has scored one goal in eight Serie A appearances, missing 12 games due to various muscle injuries.

Veretout’s Roma future in doubt following drop in quality

Jordan Veretout is struggling to show his best with Roma and now there’s a genuine chance that he could leave the Italian capital soon.

The 28-year-old French midfielder started this season incredibly well under coach Jose Mourinho, scoring three goals and providing one assist in the first two games of the campaign against Fiorentina and Salernitana. He lost his way, however, with physical problems forcing him to play in a sub-optimal condition, which affected his performances.

As reported by Corriere dello Sport, Mourinho’s unhappiness with Veretout is clear; the Frenchman has been the most substituted player this season, being taken off 17 times in his 28 appearances across all competitions. His drop in quality has also changed Roma’s plans.

The Giallorossi were in talks with his agent to extend his contract, which expires in 2024, but these have been put on hold, and his requests for a higher salary are unlikely to be fulfilled considering his current position.

In addition, Roma are also willing to sell Veretout in the summer in order to make space for a midfielder more suited to Mourinho’s game. Tottenham and Napoli are both interested in the Frenchman, but a move in January is considered to be impossible. As such, the player will have a few months to try and change his fate, with the summer fast approaching.

Roma and Milan linked Kamara announces his plans for the future

Boubacar Kamara has come to a decision regarding his future, with his contract set to expire with Olympique Marseille this June and both Milan and Roma interested in him.

The 22-year-old Frenchman, who can play as both a defensive midfielder and as a centre back, is a product of Marseille’s youth system and he is a core part of coach Jorge Sampaoli’s squad. His future has remained in doubt for a while, with no contract renewal being signed with his childhood club, but now the player has decided what he wants.

As revealed in an interview with La Provence, Kamara has decided that he wants to leave Marseille at the end of this season.

“The decision to leave Marseille was difficult, but I think it will be good for the future of my career.”

The 22-year-old French midfielder refused to rule out a return to his childhood club one day.

“I don’t want to look ahead, but it’s the club of my heart and everything is possible with my club. We’ve had our ups and downs, but we’ve become a family. The city and the fans will remain in my heart.”

Kamara, who has an estimated market value of around €25m, has made 23 appearances across all competitions so far this season, for a total of 1712 minutes. In that time, he has scored one goal and helped the side keep 11 clean sheets.

epa09564786 Boubacar KAMARA of Olympique Marseille and Luis ALBERTO of SS Lazio during the UEFA Europa League Group E soccer match between Olympique Marseille and SS Lazio at the Velodrome Stadium in Marseille, southern France, 04 November 2021. EPA-EFE/ALEXANDRE DIMOU

Napoli winger Ounas suffering from heart irregularity

Napoli winger Adam Ounas did not play a single minute at the Africa Cup of Nations due to a heart irregularity, coach Djamel Belmadi has confirmed.

The 25-year-old, who was a part of the winning squad in the 2019 AFCON, could do nothing but watch on from the sidelines as Algeria crashed out of the competition in the group stages. He has not made a single appearance for Napoli in 2022 so far.

Speaking after the elimination from AFCON, Algeria coach Belmadi discussed Ounas and explained that the 25-year-old didn’t feature due to concerns regarding his heart.

“We have decided on my instructions to maintain medical secrecy on Adam’s condition until now. He tested positive for COVID and the latest tests we carried out showed something in his heart, so he will have to do a lot more.

“If we had said that, we wouldn’t have seen the player again. Aubameyang and Lemina had to leave the tournament for that reason, we couldn’t say everything. We hadn’t given public news, now I can say that the player will have to do more tests.”

The 25-year-old Ounas, who is contracted to Napoli until 2023, has hardly featured this season under coach Luciano Spalletti. The Algerian winger has made 14 appearances across all competitions, for a total of 339 minutes. In that time, he has scored two goals, both of which came in the Europa League.

Inter to appeal decision to play postponed match against Bologna

Inter intend to appeal following the sporting judge’s decision to reschedule their postponed match against Bologna.

The statement realised earlier today detailed how the match, originally scheduled for January 6 before being postponed, will have to be played at some point later this season. It was called off after a serious COVID outbreak affected the Rossoblu squad.

This decision has not sat well with Inter, and Calciomercato.it reports that the club intend to appeal the decision, with the club wanting access to the records. They claim that they were denied access to the documentation and are highlighting the presentation of the squad and Bologna’s failure to appeal within hours of the match not being played.

In the statement, the sporting judge noted that the documentation presented by Bologna was sufficient enough to ask the League to postpone the match. The case will now go to the Court of Appeal, where a final decision will be made.