Gollini a step away from signing for Napoli

Pierluigi Gollini is reportedly on the verge of joining Napoli and is expected to undergo his medicals with the club later this week.

The 27-year-old Italian shot stopper joined Fiorentina on loan from Atalanta in the summer but has struggled for consistent minutes, only making three Serie A appearances. With Pietro Terracciano still the number one in Florence, Gollini is ready to leave Fiorentina this month for a new club.

As reported by TMW, Gollini is now only a step away from joining Napoli and is expected to carry out his medicals with the club on Wednesday. He will likely be available for the Partenopei’s next game against Roma.

The Partenopei currently sit 12 points clear of Milan at the top of the league table, although the Rossoneri can reduce that gap to nine with a win in Rome against Lazio. Gollini would play backup to Alex Meret in the Campania capital, with the Napoli number one rising to the task of the title challenge this season.

Serie A | Fiorentina 0-1 Torino: Miranchuk silences the Viola

Aleksey Miranchuk’s cheeky finish into the top corner gave Torino their first Serie A win away to Fiorentina for over 45 years, but the Viola were again too wasteful in attack.

These teams went into the game with an identical Serie A record and will face off again in the Coppa Italia quarter-final on February 1. Lorenzo Venuti replaced suspended Dodo, with Gaetano Castrovilli, Arthur Cabral, Lucas Martinez Quarta and Riccardo Sottil injured. Toro missed Sasa Lukic, Perr Schuurs, Valentin Lazaro, Ola Aina and Pietro Pellegri, so gave Coppa Italia hero Michel Adopo his first start.

The Granata’s last Serie A victory at the Stadio Franchi was a 1-0 result in October 1976, followed by 14 draws and 19 defeats here.

Demba Seck had the ball in the net on 12 minutes, but had started his run a little early and was caught offside.

Jonathan Ikone had a shot charged down, but Seck again threatened when he sprung the offside trap to smash a finish against the crossbar from a tricky angle.

Pietro Terracciano got down to get one arm to a Wilfried Singo daisy-cutter that went through Igor’s legs and Nikola Vlasic wasn’t ready on the rebound.

Vanja Milinkovic-Savic also made a decisive save when Christian Kouame got in front of his marker to meet Cristiano Biraghi’s assist at the near post.

Toro had the better of the first half and took a deserved lead when Sofyan Amrabat gave it away cheaply in midfield and Aleksey Miranchuk picked his spot from the edge of the box, scooping it into the far top corner.

Samuele Ricci fired straight at Terracciano moments later after another misplaced pass, while Giacomo Bonaventura’s strike was fingertipped over.

Jonathan Ikone’s flicked header from a Lorenzo Venuti cross was inches past both the far post and the head of his teammate Nico Gonzalez, but Venuti practically cleared off the line from substitute Antonio Sanabria after some chaotic defending.

Luka Jovic turned over from a promising position and it turned into a siege in stoppages. First Milinkovic-Savic rushed out to close down Kouame, with David Zima making a decisive tackle on Jovic for the rebound, then Milinkovic-Savic used his outstretched foot to deny Antonin Barak.

Fiorentina 0-1 Torino

Miranchuk 33 (T)

Serie A Liveblog: Salernitana-Napoli and Fiorentina-Torino

Join us for all the build-up and action as it happens from the Derby di Campania between Salernitana and leaders Napoli, plus Fiorentina hosting Torino in a mid-table tussle.

We begin at 17.00 GMT at the Stadio Arechi, where plenty of star names will be on show as the local rivals face off.

It is a rebirth for Salernitana, who sacked coach Davide Nicola only to recall him 48 hours later, while Napoli may be nine points clear at the top of the Serie A table, but suffered a shock Coppa Italia elimination to 10-man Cremonese midweek.

At 19.45 GMT, Fiorentina and Torino go head-to-head for position, as they have an identical record going into this weekend and both bumped up the standings thanks to the 15-point Juventus penalty.

Juventus points penalty is just the tip of the iceberg

If you are a Calcio fan gleefully gloating at Juventus being docked 15 points, then Susy Campanale advises you to hold that thought – this is only the beginning for everyone.

So here we are again. Juventus docked points and publicly shamed, with the usual chorus of those decrying the injustice of it all getting drowned out by the gleeful ticker tape parade of gloating, with a sideshow of others insisting it can never be enough until the club is in Serie D and anyone ever associated with them thrown into prison. Nuance, as ever, is nowhere to be seen. But looking at the verdict and what is still to come, I would be very careful about celebrating this 15-point penalty. It sets a dangerous precedent and plenty of other clubs are going to be in the firing line soon enough.

The original verdict, which was then overturned in the light of new evidence from wiretaps, was that there was no way of independently verifying the value of a player on the transfer market. The only definition of value was the price two clubs agreed to. That is apparently no longer the case. It sets a precedent that will have repercussions throughout the world of Calcio and the wider football system.

If you think Juve are the only ones playing this little capital gains tactic, then you are sorely mistaken. For a start, how can only one club be penalised for gaming a system in a way that only works if both parties agree to inflate the transfer value? It was only the existing trial, closed in May 2022, that was reopened. The clubs involved in the wiretap conversation deals, including Atalanta, Sassuolo and Barcelona, they will be impacted by this in the next trial that can build on this precedent. So if you did a deal with Juventus at any point – be worried.

It is no coincidence that the most vocal supporter of Juve’s legal defence in recent weeks was the official Napoli lawyer. If you wanted to find an example of how the capital gains tactic works, you could get no clearer a textbook definition than Victor Osimhen’s transfer from LOSC. Officially, Napoli ‘paid’ €71.3m plus €10m in add-ons. The actual cash sum was closer to €50m, as €20m of it was the written value of four players involved in an exchange. That was divided into €5m for goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis (who in two years played precisely one game for Lille), and €15m for three youth team players Ciro Palmieri, Luigi Liguori and Claudio Manzi. All three barely even went to France and were immediately loaned out to lower division sides before seeing their contracts terminated practically for free.

So if you are a Napoli supporter who is celebrating this Juventus verdict, I’d hold that thought. This is only the tip of the iceberg.

It does feel like a repeat of Calciopoli, in that it was widely acknowledged this was something lots of clubs did, but Juventus stood out for the sheer volume and brazenness of their approach. For others it was a nasty habit, while Juve were practically addicted to it. Those with short memories might think the Old Lady was the only one to be penalised in Calciopoli, but that wave hit numerous clubs including Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina, while the Inter evidence only turned up after the statute of limitations had passed.

As for those who think I might be reassuring Juventus fans – I am definitely not. The worst is yet to come. The next trial will cover the transfers mentioned in the wiretaps and UEFA can’t wait to take revenge on the leaders of the European Super League rebellion with Financial Fair Play penalties.

The biggest concern is the ‘secret’ agreement to pay the players under the table after announcing they were giving up four months of their salary during the pandemic. That leaves a clear paper trail and would point to fraud on a grand scale both inside the football world and on the stock exchange by misleading investors. If the club was docked 15 points for something that is very difficult to prove, then this could easily take them down to Serie B or worse.

At least there is one positive from this latest iteration of a Juventus scandal – the team doing so badly recently means we won’t have to argue about how many trophies they have actually won.

@SusyCampanale

Coppa Italia quarter-finals dates and times confirmed

Inter, Juventus, Lazio and Roma will all be on the charge for silverware in their upcoming Coppa Italia quarter-finals.

The Round of 16 of the competition saw the Nerazzurri edge out a tense 2-1 win over Parma, Juventus do enough to knock out Monza, Lazio cruise past Bologna and Roma secure victory over Genoa. Some surprises were also in store, with Milan suffering a 1-0 loss to Torino and Napoli losing to Cremonese on penalties.

The dates and times for the Coppa Italia quarter-finals have now been confirmed, kicking off with Inter-Atalanta and drawing to a close with Juventus-Lazio.

Below are the dates and UK times of the Coppa Italia quarter-final clashes:

January 31st – Inter vs Atalanta – 20.00

February 1stFiorentina vs Torino – 17.00

February 1st – Roma vs Cremonese – 20.00

February 2nd – Juventus vs Lazio – 20.00

The bracket sees the winner of Inter-Atalanta face the winner of Juventus-Lazio in the semi-finals, with the other side being the winners of Fiorentina-Torino and Roma-Cremonese.

The current Coppa Italia top scorer is Bari’s Walid Cheddira, who has netted five in the competition.

Transfer liveblog – Arsenal done deal for Kiwior, Zaniolo wants to leave Roma

Join us to follow the Serie A rumours and done deals as they happen in the January transfer market.

Arsenal have secured a deal to sign Jakub Kiwior for €25m. The Poland international will undergo his medical with the Gunners by the end of the week, reports Sky Sport Italia.

The Gunners are also interested in Roma talent Nicolò Zaniolo who has a contract expiring in June 2024 and hasn’t yet reached an agreement over a new deal.

Multiple reports in Italy claim Zaniolo wants to leave the Stadio Olimpico and Roma are willing to sell him for €40m.

Tottenham have approached the Giallorossi, but are interested in a loan deal with an option to buy for €20m so the two parties are still far from reaching an agreement.

According to Gazzetta, West Ham and Leicester City are also monitoring the Italy international who, however, is not interested in joining any of the two Premier League sides.

Juve identify Gabriel and Milenkovic as possible Chiellini replacements

Juventus are looking to strengthen their backline this summer and two players in particular have caught their eye: Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic and Arsenal’s Gabriel.

The Old Lady are preparing for the emotional departure of veteran centre back Giorgio Chiellini, who is leaving Turin after 17 years of service this summer. Massimiliano Allegri will therefore need a new defender to try and fill the void left behind, and the club’s search is starting to heat up.

As reported by Tuttosport, Milenkovic and Gabriel are currently two players that Juventus are seriously considering ahead of the upcoming summer transfer window. The former’s contract expires with Fiorentina next season and he could be signed in a fairly affordable deal.

The latter has not had a hugely convincing campaign in North London and could leave on a loan deal, especially if William Saliba returns to Arsenal from a loan spell with Olympique Marseille.

Juventus have time to prepare ahead of the summer and they understand the importance of signing a top replacement, but it won’t be easy for them to forget Chiellini anytime soon.

Juve identify Gabriel and Milenkovic as possible Chiellini replacements

Juventus are looking to strengthen their backline this summer and two players in particular have caught their eye: Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic and Arsenal’s Gabriel.

The Old Lady are preparing for the emotional departure of veteran centre back Giorgio Chiellini, who is leaving Turin after 17 years of service this summer. Massimiliano Allegri will therefore need a new defender to try and fill the void left behind, and the club’s search is starting to heat up.

As reported by Tuttosport, Milenkovic and Gabriel are currently two players that Juventus are seriously considering ahead of the upcoming summer transfer window. The former’s contract expires with Fiorentina next season and he could be signed in a fairly affordable deal.

The latter has not had a hugely convincing campaign in North London and could leave on a loan deal, especially if William Saliba returns to Arsenal from a loan spell with Olympique Marseille.

Juventus have time to prepare ahead of the summer and they understand the importance of signing a top replacement, but it won’t be easy for them to forget Chiellini anytime soon.

Juve identify Gabriel and Milenkovic as possible Chiellini replacements

Juventus are looking to strengthen their backline this summer and two players in particular have caught their eye: Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic and Arsenal’s Gabriel.

The Old Lady are preparing for the emotional departure of veteran centre back Giorgio Chiellini, who is leaving Turin after 17 years of service this summer. Massimiliano Allegri will therefore need a new defender to try and fill the void left behind, and the club’s search is starting to heat up.

As reported by Tuttosport, Milenkovic and Gabriel are currently two players that Juventus are seriously considering ahead of the upcoming summer transfer window. The former’s contract expires with Fiorentina next season and he could be signed in a fairly affordable deal.

The latter has not had a hugely convincing campaign in North London and could leave on a loan deal, especially if William Saliba returns to Arsenal from a loan spell with Olympique Marseille.

Juventus have time to prepare ahead of the summer and they understand the importance of signing a top replacement, but it won’t be easy for them to forget Chiellini anytime soon.

Fiorentina hit back at Mourinho and Roma: ‘Why create controversy?’

Fiorentina director Joe Barone hit back at Roma coach Jose Mourinho after complaints about the refereeing. ‘Why create controversy where it doesn’t exist? That was a penalty.’

Mourinho was furious with the officials, particularly the VAR, after a 2-0 Giallorossi defeat at the Stadio Franchi on Monday evening.

The issue at the centre of the discussion is the penalty awarded to Fiorentina after four minutes for a Rick Karsdorp challenge on Nico Gonzalez.

“That was a penalty and we all saw it perfectly well, it was a great performance and the result is fair,” Barone told reporters.

“Why create controversy where it doesn’t exist? VAR works very well, Italian football represents one of the models in world football on that score.”

The contact from Karsdorp on Gonzalez was minimal, leading some to suggest VAR should not have intervened for an on-field review.