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Juventus down Mourinho's Roma amid VAR drama

Moise Kean’s close-range header proved enough for Juventus to seal a 1-0 win against Roma in a game that will be best remembered for a controversial VAR decision just before half-time.

Juventus’ fourth consecutive win in Serie A could have been spoilt by a Tammy Abraham ‘goal’ in the 42nd minute, but referee Daniele Orsato blew for a penalty in the build-up to him putting the ball in the net and the subsequent spot-kick from Jordan Veretout was saved by Wojciech Szczesny.

The result means Juventus move up into seventh. Roma, meanwhile, remain in fourth on 15 points and two behind third-placed Inter Milan.

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For all of Roma’s possession dominance in the opening quarter-hour, Juventus took the lead through Kean. A cross into the box from Mattia De Sciglio was nodded towards goal by Rodrigo Bentancur, off Kean and into the net.

Roma pushed hard for an equaliser and they thought they had it when Abraham tapped the ball into the net on the stroke of half-time, but instead referee Daniele Orsato blew for a foul on Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the build-up as he was brought down by Szczesny inside the box.

A VAR check for the penalty was awarded and there was a disagreement between Abraham and Jordan Veretout over who should take it. The latter stepped forward and saw his spot-kick saved by Szczesny.

Kean somehow failed to convert from point-blank range in the 52nd minute when a Federico Bernardeschi overhead kick was spilled into his path before there was more VAR drama moments later.

Lorenzo Pellegrini went down in the box claiming a spot-kick as he fell down when Giorgio Chiellini cleared the ball. Referee Orsato decided not to give anything. After a one minute and 44 second check, the VAR officials agreed with Orsato and no spot-kick was awarded.

Roma went in search of a winner with Veretout curling a strike just wide and Matías Vina having a close-range shot characteristically blocked by Chiellini in the nick of time, but Juventus held on for an important three points.

More to follow…

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Inside Europe: Could Inter be next for Newcastle's new Saudi owners?

A week ago, Newcastle fans were celebrating an end to 13 years of Mike Ashley rule, with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) finally completing its takeover of the club.

Since then, not a lot has changed – discussions about sports washing and human rights abuses continue, Steve Bruce remains the head coach, and Joelinton is still not the new Alan Shearer.

But there are now reports that PIF may be interested in another sleeping giant – Inter Milan. We caught up with Eurosport Italy’s Simone Eterno to find out just how likely that might be – and if it is, what difference it could make.

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How much do Inter need new investment?

A lot. Chinese owner Suning had quite a few problems in the last year, and that played out in public during the summer – they sold Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi, boss Antonio Conte left, and there were some delays in paying player salaries. So yes, they’ve been looking for someone to invest for quite a long time, but now it’s more desperate – it seems that from ‘someone to invest’ it has became ‘someone to sell to’.

Would a takeover be of interest to PIF?

Yes it would. The rumours in Italy actually began even before the takeover of Newcastle. The problem right now is that it looks like Suning is asking for a price that is a little bit too high: €1 billion. Definitely too high, if you consider what they paid for Newcastle.

Inter Milan fans at the San Siro

Image credit: Getty Images

What could a Saudi-led takeover do for Inter?

Easy answer: bring in money. Fresh cash to spend on the transfer market. If you consider the whole situation in Serie A, with Juventus struggling on and off the pitch, they could easily squeeze in and look like the saviours. It would not take a supreme effort, the level of rebuilding required at Newcastle is not the same at Inter. They have a pretty good team, a pretty good manager and with 3-4 more big name players, they can be considered as contenders to fight for a spot in the Champions League.

Are fans starting to get excited this could happen?

There are just rumours right now, but yes, they would be happy for sure. Just like when the takeover happened at Newcastle, I would expect discussions about human rights and serious political issues to die down when a new owner with a lot of money comes to your team with a promise to win trophies.

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Salida de emergencia para Morata

El futuro de Morata está en el aire. El jugador cuenta con la confianza de Allegri, que lo tiene en muy buena estima, pero en la Juventus no ven clara su continuidad. El club bianconero tiene una opción de compra de 35 millones de euros al término de la campaña, pero según medios italianos, en Turín se debate si debería emplearse esa oportunidad para dos jugadores cuya situación ha cambiado y que podrían salir el próximo verano de sus respectivos clubes: Vlahovic e Icardi.

El delantero serbio es el gran obstáculo de la continuidad de Morata en la Juventus. Su decisión de no renovar con la Fiorentina ha abierto las puertas a una salida y el interés de los clubes en uno de los delanteros con más proyección de Europa se ha disparado. Su situación afecta en especial al atacante español, ya que tanto Atleti como Juve lo quieren, y su fichaje descartaría al madrileño. Icardi, cuyo futuro está más en el aire que nunca ante la acumulación de estrellas ofensivas en París, sería otra de las opciones que maneja el conjunto bianconero para su delantera.

Si se decidieran por ir a por otro jugador, Morata tendría un problema, ya que el Cholo no lo quiere de vuelta en el Atleti. Sin embargo, el delantero español sigue teniendo ‘novias’ en las grandes ligas europeas. Según Calciomercato, Paratici estaría pensando en él como recambio ante una posible salida de Kane del Tottenham el próximo verano, e incluso podrían ofrecer una cantidad cercana a esos 35 millones de euros para hacerse con sus servicios. Al igual que sucede con su continuidad en París, su llegada a Londres está supeditada a lo que ocurra con otro delantero.

Raiola plans Haaland talks with Man City in January – Paper Round

City and Haaland talks planned

Erling Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola is set to hold talks with Manchester City in January regarding a possible summer move for the 21-year-old Borussia Dortmund striker, the Times reports. Haaland’s contract expires in 2024 but features a £64m release clause which comes into effect in 2022, and it is believed City view the Norwegian as their top transfer target after failing to sign Harry Kane last summer. Haaland’s father Alf-Inge played for City between 2000 and 2003.

Donyell Malen (left) and Erling Haaland – Borussia Dortmund

Image credit: Getty Images

Transfers

Dortmund eye Man Utd forward as Haaland replacement – Paper Round

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Paper Round’s view: Once the Kane deal failed to go through many thought that was it for City and their pursuit of the England captain. It felt like now or never, and with 21-year-old Haaland available for £64m, that is basically why. City will certainly be among the top contenders to sign the forward, but it could all come down to wage demands and what clubs are willing to pay Raiola to land his client.

**

Juve eye Bernardo

Juventus are considering a January move for Manchester City star Bernardo Silva, the Sun reports. Silva has four years left on his current contract, and so it would take a big offer to prise him away from City, particularly as he has impressed at the start of this season, starting six of their seven Premier League matches in a campaign where many felt he may have been on the periphery of Pep Guardiola’s plans.

Bernardo Silva, buteur face à Leicester

Image credit: Getty Images

Paper Round’s view: In the summer, perhaps, but in January, next to no chance. There was talk of Silva leaving City before the season started but now he has forced his way back into Guardiola’s thinking, there is no way the City boss is willingly selling a player who could well prove the difference in the title race despite the array of stars he is surrounded by. The winner against Leicester showed his worth, City won’t let that go easily.

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Man Utd want Tchouameni too

Manchester United have joined Chelsea and Juventus in the race to sign Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, the Express reports. The 21-year-old broke into the France senior squad last month and impressed next to Paul Pogba in the Nations League final win over Spain on the weekend. A number of clubs had already been monitoring the defensive midfielder, and now United have joined the list of admirers.

Aurélien Tchouaméni for France in the UEFA Nations League.

Image credit: Getty Images

Paper Round’s view: The sky is the limit for Tchouameni, it would seem, who is unsurprisingly turning heads after regularly playing for Monaco and then becoming part of Didier Deschamps’ setup at France. Pogba and Cesc Fabregas are among the players to have praised Tchouameni, and from Monaco’s perspective you would imagine the hype will only hike up the asking price.

**

Liverpool open Dembele talks

Liverpool have started their plans to sign Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele on a free transfer next summer, the Mail reports. Dembele is out of contract at Barca next summer, and his representatives are reportedly looking at possible future clubs for the Frenchman, who would bolster Liverpool’s attack and give Jurgen Klopp another option.

Ousmane Dembélé muss EM verletzt abbrechen

Image credit: Getty Images

Paper Round’s view: Liverpool fans may well fear someone is on their way out if Dembele comes through the door. They will not want to lose Mohamed Salah, and so they’ll hope those contract talks are tied up and the prospect of Dembele arriving is simply to boost their already impressive forward line.

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Opinion: Wales performances show why Premier League clubs should be interested in Ramsey

Almost as soon as Aaron Ramsey pitched up in Turin two years ago, stories started to emerge around the Welshman’s future as a Juventus player. The 30-year-old has struggled to find full fitness for the Old Lady, but even when he has made the pitch his performances have raised questions around his purpose at the Allianz Stadium.

Most recently, Ramsey has been mentioned as a potential target for Newcastle United following the completion of their Saudi Arabia-backed takeover last week. This comes after speculation linking the Welsh midfielder with other Premier League clubs such as Everton, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

It’s fair to say Ramsey’s time in Italy hasn’t panned out as many, including Juventus who are paying him a reported £400,000-a-week, had hoped. However, his recent performances for Wales in the October international break proved he can still operate at the top level of the game. He is better than he is showing for Juve.

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For Wales, Ramsey is still the driving force through the centre of the pitch he was for Arsenal. Rob Page’s team rely on the 30-year-old to carry them forward and open up space for others further forward. When that space does open up, Ramsey still has the sharpness of thought to make something happen, whether that be a pass, a dribble or a shot on goal.

Juventus have surely watched Ramsey play for Wales in recent international matches with great confusion. He is almost a completely different player for his club than he is for his country, but the Old Lady only have themselves to blame for wasting the midfielder’s obvious talent.

Maurizio Sarri, Andrea Pirlo and Max Allegri have all failed to grasp Ramsey’s qualities as a player and here they can be best utilised on the pitch. The Welshman has been played out wide and in a deep-lying role, but very rarely in the box-to-box position that convinced Juventus to sign him in the first place.

This is why Ramsey should find a new club that appreciates where he can make a difference. The Welshman is still held in high esteem in Premier League circles and could make an impact for a club in January. The fast and furious nature of the English game might also be a better fit for Ramsey whose game has always been an energetic one.

Ramsey’s patchy fitness record might still be something of a worry for any January suitors concerned at handing a contract to a crock, but the 30-year-old has hinted that his injury troubles can be attributed to the treatment he has received at Juventus. “I know what I can do and with the right management I can stay fit for a long period of time and play a lot of games,” he said.

Aaron Ramsey playing for Juventus against Napoli.

Image credit: Getty Images

“I’m still feeling good, when given the opportunity and managed correctly. It has been frustrating that I have picked up these little niggly injuries which have cost me a lot of games and meant I have missed some important games for Wales in the last couple of years.”

Despite this frustration, Ramsey still maintains that he can make a success of himself at Juventus. The Welshman is still at a club challenging for honours and playing in the Champions League, but his own career would surely be better served by a move away from Turin.

When suitors are assessing the sort of player Ramsey could be for them, they should look at his performances for Wales over anything he has produced recently in Italy. It’s for his national team that the former Arsenal midfielder has demonstrated his true worth even as so many have questioned him.

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El Milan que viene

Está realizando una gran temporada y recuperando poco a poco el lustre perdido, pero el Milan no se conforma y sabe que tiene que continuar trabajando para poder seguir compitiendo con el resto de grandes italianos. Por ello, según La Gazzetta dello Sport, se está ya trabajando en los refuerzos invernales y de cara al próximo verano. Y un nombre suena por encima del resto. Se trata de Lorenzo Lucca, un completo desconocido para la mayoría, pero cuyo nombre comienza a sonar con fuerza en el país transalpino.

Es un delantero de 2,01 de altura y 21 años (10/09/2000) que milita en el Pisa de la Serie B, categoría en la que es el máximo artillero con seis goles en siete partidos, a los que suma además una asistencia. Por sus características recuerda irremediablemente a Luca Toni, el mítico delantero de la Fiorentina, Bayern y Juventus que se proclamó campeón del mundo con Italia en 2006.

Acaba de debutar con la Sub-21 y además de los milanistas andan tras sus pasos el Inter y la Juventus. Pese a que llegó este verano a su actual equipo procedente del Palermo a cambio de 2,1 millones de euros, su valor de mercado según Transfermarkt es llamativamente bajo: 300.000 euros. En cualquier caso su fichaje en enero no se produciría por menos de 10 millones de euros, según la prensa italiana, con la posibilidad de mantenerle cedido en el Pisa.

Tampoco se descarta en Milan el regreso temprano de Adli, fichado el pasado verano del Girondins a cambio de 10 millones de euros, aunque el acuerdo incluía una cesión por esta temporada al propio Burdeos.

Siguiendo en Francia, vuelve a sonar con fuerza el nombre de Romain Faivre, centrocampista del Brest que ya estuvo cerca de llegar a San Siro en verano pero cuyo alto precio (15 M€) evitó un acuerdo. Ahora, la situación deportiva del equipo galo podría abaratar su coste.

“No sé si me volvería loco por volver a traer a Pogba”

El regreso a Turín de Paul Pogba con la selección francesa está generando sensación en la Juventus y su entorno. Desde Juan Cuadrado, que le vaciló en Instagram con un posible regreso, hasta las informaciones que se suceden en los últimos días sobre su futuro.

La renovación de Pogba por el Manchester United está en el aire y su nombre se relaciona con varios destinos. Turín está entre ellos en un posible regreso a la Juventus. Hoy, la Gazzetta dello Sport aseguraba que la Juventus trabajaba en las salidas de Rmasey y Rabiot para utilizar esos fondos en una buena oferta para Pogba, pero no todos los miembros del entorno juventino lo tienen tan claro.

El que se pronunció esta vez fue Alessio Tacchinardi. El que fuera centrocampista de la Juventus plasmó en una entrevista con este mismo diario sus dudas sobre un posible fichaje de vuelta a la Juventus de Paul Pogba.

“Técnicamente es un jugador fantástico, puede jugar hoy en día quizás mejor en un centro del campo de dos que de tres, mientras que cuando era joven le gustaba más atacar la portería. Puede completar con cualquier centro del campo. Uno de los jugadores más fuertes del mundo. Es un diamante y los diamantes cuestan, cuestan mucho. Teniendo en cuenta cómo se pagó a Chiesa y Locatelli no sé si me volvería loco aunque sea fantástico. Es una inversión a evaluar, entre comisiones, salario y todo lo demás, y digo a regañadientes que no sé si es correcto poner ese dinero en él o en cambio en determinados jugadores de cara al futuro si no los tienes”, aseguró el italiano.

Pogba está siendo un jugador importante una vez más en el Manchester United. El francés está siendo capital en el ataque de los red devils donde ya ha ofrecido siete asistencias en siete partidos en la Premier League. En la Champions, en el que ha jugado ambos encuentros, aún no ha generado ningún gol.

Marotta says Juventus missed chance to sign Haaland for €2 million

Inter Milan chief Beppe Marotta has revealed he passed up the chance to sign Erling Haaland for what would have been a bargain €2 million when he was at Juventus.

Haaland joined Red Bull Salzburg from Molde in 2019, after which he moved to Borussia Dortmund and catapulted himself into the superstar bracket.

Dortmund fended off interest from European giants in Haaland in the summer, with talk of a nine-figure transfer.

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The developments come with a tinge of regret for Marotta, who said: “One of my biggest regrets was the Haaland deal. I was Juventus CEO and we had the chance to sign him for €2m from Molde… it was close.”

The Norwegian forward could be on the move next summer, but Marotta believes Serie A clubs will not be in the hunt for the striker.

Juventus brought global icon Cristiano Ronaldo – who is now at Manchester United – to the club in 2018, but Marotta feels a power shift in Europe has left Serie A lagging behind in the bid for superstar talent.

“Now it’s impossible to see Haaland in Serie A,” Marotta said. “There’s no chance for Italian clubs to sign him next summer.”

Inter are in a period of flux following their Serie A win last term. Money is tight at the club, but Marotta is ready to sanction signings in January.

“If needed, we are ready to move in January and bring in one or two gifts,” he said. “We want to support (coach, Filippo) Inzaghi in the run-up, but without ever losing sight of the budgetary needs. We cannot spend, but we can use our imagination.”

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Los olvidados del Balón de Oro

Treinta candidatos de millares de futbolistas profesionales. Estos han sido los elegidos y los únicos que optan a ganar el Balón de Oro que France Football recupera este año tras una suspensión debido a la pandemia. En este, partía Lewandowski como gran favorito después del triplete del Bayern en el que brilló y marcó goles como si fuera el más sencillo de los oficios. Para 2021, la batalla está más abierta y como siempre que hay una lista, hay olvidados.

Azpilicueta, Barella, Benzema, Bonucci, De Bruyne, Chiellini, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruben Días, Donnarumma, Bruno Fernandes, Foden, Haaland, Jorginho, Kane, Kanté, Kjaer, Lewandowski, Lukaku, Mahrez, Lautaro Martínez, Kylian Mbappé, Messi, Modric, Gerard Moreno,
Mason Mount, Neymar, Pedri, Salah, Sterling y Luis Suárez han sido los elegidos y los únicos que optan al premio, pero otros jugadores por nivel y temporada podrían haber entrado en esta lista.

La lista de los ‘olvidados’

Con el corte en treinta, el Balón de Oro se quedará sin la opción de darle el premio a varios futbolistas destacados a lo largo de este año. Del subcampeón de Europa hay un nombre que destaca sobremanera fuera de esta lista: Ilkay Gundogan. El alemán clavó más de 17 goles y se destapó como la enésima baza ofensiva de Pep Guardiola. Este fue clave para la consecución de la Premier League, ganada de nuevo con autoridad, aunque no pudo evitar la derrota en Champions contra el Chelsea.

Otro de los grandes olvidados es Joshua Kimmich. Igual que ‘Gundo’, centrocampista alemán y, probablemente, el mejor de su país y a nivel mundial. Director de orquesta, polivalente y manejo del pase a todas las distancias. Una de las ausencias más destacadas.

Desde España, Marcos Llorente parece la ausencia más destacable. El centrocampista del Atlético de Madrid fue clave en el esquema de Diego Pablo Simeone para que los rojiblancos consiguieran el título de Liga. En la Eurocopa, demostró versatilidad ajustándose a lo que Luis Enrique le pidió como lateral. Uno de los mejores en el campeón de Liga.

Dos estrellas también podrían entrar desde Francia. Griezmann, que llegó a quedar tercero, aunque está lejos de su mejor nivel mostrado en el Atlético. Su también compañero francés Paul Pogba, que tuvo uno de sus mejores años en el United con su sociedad con Bruno Fernandes, que sí entra en la lista. Una lesión le complicó una parte importante de la temporada entre febrero y marzo.

Desde Italia, Chiesa y Verratti quedaron campeones, pero su temporada en clubes no fue tan brillante. Dos que si la tuvieron desde Milan y Birmingham fueron Achraf Hakimi y Grealish. Sus buenos años valieron traspasos multimillonarios a dos gigantes de Europa, PSG y Manchester City.

Desde allí quedó fuera Alisson o Bernardo Silva y también el mal año del Liverpool y la lesión lastró a la mejor opción de los reds, Virgil Van Dijk. Todos tendrán que esperar una temporada más.

Francia ‘echa de menos’ a Hazard

Tanto en RMC como en L’Equipe entre las muchas ausencias destacan la de Eden Hazard. Después de brillar con el Chelsea durante varias temporadas, las lesiones están lastrando al belga en su etapa en el Real Madrid, donde no ha podido mantener el excelente nivel que le metió en estas listas durante años.