Manchester United target Skriniar discussing new Inter contract, confirms agent

Inter defender Milan Skriniar is in talks over the prospect of a new contract, according to his agent.

The centre-back is said to have received offers from five major clubs during the transfer window, but ultimately decided to stay at San Siro.

Manchester United are reportedly considering an approach in January for the 23-year-old, though, as Jose Mourinho looks to bolster his shaky defence.

However, Skriniar’s agent, Karol Csonto, claims they are already talking about a new deal with Inter, even though his current terms are not due to expire until June 30, 2022.

“We’re talking about it,” he told Tuttomercatoweb . “We’re working on it. It’s a subject we’ll be facing more intensively over the next few months.”

Csonto insists Skriniar is enjoying life with Inter, where he has developed into one of Europe’s best young defenders since signing from Sampdoria last year.

“He is happy with the Nerazzurri shirt, he is playing well, but he is aware there are some difficulties in Serie A,” he said.

“Inter had won seven games in a row prior to the loss against Atalanta. He is doing well. I’m happy.

“He is happy to be playing in the Champions League. Clearly, the goal is to grow with the team and improve day by day.”

Skriniar said back in August that he never thought about leaving the club, though he did admit interest from Manchester United. 

Barcelona were also among the clubs reportedly chasing the defender this summer, though he now seems set to stay put with the Serie A side as they attempt to challenge Juventus’ dominance in the league. 

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Inter sit third in the league, nine points back of unbeaten Juve and four back of Napoli. 

Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United sit in considerably worse shape, eighth in the Premier League and 12 points back of leaders Manchester City, who they lost to in a derby clash on Sunday. 

Mourinho has left no doubt over his want for a new centre-back for his side, with the club having shipped 21 goals in 12 games so far this season, but it now seems as though he’ll have to turn away from the Slovakia international. 


Chelsea loanee Miazga eyes long-term Premier League stay

Chelsea loanee Matt Miazga still sees his future in the Premier League as he returns to England with the United States national team.

The 23-year-old joined the Blues from New York Red Bulls in January 2016, signing a four-and-a-half year deat at Stamford Bridge, but he has made just two appearances for the club since then.

He spent 18 months on loan at Vitesse in Eredivisie before joining Ligue 1 outfit Nantes for the 2018-19 campaign, but he has quickly fallen down the pecking order after manager Miguel Cardoso was sacked and replaced by Vahid Halilhodzic.

Despite that he still earned a call-up to the USMNT for their upcoming friendly internationals against England and Italy, the first of which takes place at Wembley Stadium on Thursday.

And Miazga – who has previously earned 10 caps for his country – is looking forward to testing himself against the Three Lions forwards and potentially proving his Premier League credentials.

“Obviously growing up, England was a powerhouse nation and they still are,” Miazga told Goal in an exclusive interview at Brentford’s training ground ahead of the clash with Gareth Southgate’s side.

“For me, it is exciting to be here and face them with the U.S. national team.

“The Premier League is the best league in the world so it was always a goal of mine to come here, I did that. Now hopefully I can come back here, but we will see what the future holds.”

Miazga has had to make do with a place in the Nantes reserve side since Halihodzic’s arrival, leading to speculation that he could return to west London in January.

Matt Miazga quote GFX

But the centre-back insists he remains focused on winning his place back with the French side and is not looking to cut short his stay with the club.

“I am at Nantes now until the end of the season so my main focus is to give my all until the end of the season for that club.

“Obviously I need to earn my starting spot back through training and go from there. Right now, my main focus is here with the national team.

“When you go from playing every game to not playing then people are going to write things and assume things. One will say this, one will say that, but it doesn’t really matter to me.

“They can say whatever they want, my main focus is Nantes and to earn back my spot.”

Miazga has started seven of the USMNT’s last nine matches as they continue their rebuild following their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.


De Gea could leave Man Utd in search of Champions League glory, says former coach

David de Gea “may be looking” at options outside of Manchester United, says Eric Steele, with the Spaniard yet to commit to a new contract as he weighs up his future.

The Spain international has sparked plenty of transfer talk over recent years, with much of that linking him with a return to his homeland at Real Madrid.

Thibaut Courtois’ move to the Santiago Bernabeu over the summer has quashed those rumours, but the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus are now reported to be keen on landing a proven goalkeeper .

De Gea, who has enjoyed a record-setting seven-year spell in England , has offered no indication that he is looking to move on.

But with no extension having been agreed to a deal which will run to 2020 once a 12-month option is taken up , the 28-year-old’s former coach admits he may be considering a switch.

Steele, who left Old Trafford in the wake of David Moyes’ arrival in 2013, told the Goalkeepers’ Union podcast: “If you ask David now, he is fully committed to Manchester United.

“He has got a fantastic rapport with the players, the fans but he wants to be a winner and inevitably he might look at his pathway now and think ‘will I get that at Manchester United’, certainly at the moment they are still in the Champions League.

“But he sees other clubs getting bigger and stronger, it is becoming more competitive. And he is now 28, is coming into his prime years so it is understandable that he may be looking.

David de Gea Man Utd 2018-19

“But until somebody tells me he is leaving I think he will be fully committed.

“Long may David stay in the Premier League and long may he continue but you would understand why if he wants to win that ultimate prize. The one thing that’s missing is he wants to win that Champions League.

“Will he be gaining that at Manchester United? I hope he does, I really do for the sake of the club because when you have been at somewhere like Manchester United you cannot stop being a supporter just when you leave it.

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“So ideally I want him to stay and give great value to Manchester United and to the Premier League.”

De Gea, who joined United in 2011, has made over 330 appearances for the Red Devils.

He has won the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup, Community Shield and Europa League during his time in England and is widely considered to be one of the finest goalkeepers in world football .


Verratti ‘not thinking about’ leaving PSG amid Juventus & Barcelona links

Marco Verratti is “not thinking about” leaving Paris Saint-Germain despite sparking ongoing talk of interest from the likes of Juventus and Barcelona.

The 26-year-old has emerged as one of the most sought-after midfielders in world football after making a move to France in 2012.

He has helped to turn PSG in a dominant domestic force and a major player on the European scene.

A return to Italy has been mooted on a regular basis for the Azzurri international, while La Liga giants Barcelona have been long-standing admirers of his destructive talents.

Verratti is, however, settled in Ligue 1 and giving no thought to a big-money transfer, telling reporters while away with his country: “I’m not thinking about changing.

“I don’t care what the press or a journalist says, whether it’s negative or positive. I play for a club, they trust me, and they always show me that.

“I’ve been there for seven years and I’ve never had a problem with the coach, especially in a team which can make big signings every year.

“Since Ibra [Zlatan Ibrahimovic] left I’ve been responsible for more things, I want to keep going and win something important.

“It’s been a difficult week. I messed up [having been caught drink-driving], and you can’t do these things when you represent a big club.

“I apologised and we’ll look forward.”

Marco Verratti Poland Italy

Having established a reputation as one of Europe’s top talents on his day, Verratti has learned to accept that any dip in form will be scrutinised in minute detail.

That has been the case for club and country over recent seasons, but he is now well adjusted to turning a deaf ear to any detractors.

“It’s always like this, when I play well I’m worthy of the Azzurri, when I play less well there are criticisms,” he added.

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“At a club you can show what you can do every day, here it’s a bit different. With Italy you live it a month or a month-and-a-half at a time, so it’s difficult.

“Everyone expects a lot from me, but that just means they consider me an important player. My job is to give everything in the middle of the park.”

Roberto Mancini’s Italy squad are currently preparing for a Nations League clash with Portugal and a friendly date with the United States.


Iniesta doubts ‘difficult’ Barcelona return for Neymar and says Real Madrid move ‘wouldn’t hurt’

Andres Iniesta admits a reunion with Barcelona would be “difficult” for Neymar and claims a switch to Real Madrid “wouldn’t hurt” those at Camp Nou.

The Brazil international has been linked with a return to La Liga ever since securing a record-breaking €222 million (£193m/$250m) move to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2017.

Madrid are reported to have led that pursuit, as they seek another ‘Galactico’ addition, but a second spell in Catalunya has also been mooted.

Barcelona legend Iniesta doubts that such a deal could be done, with Neymar having burned his bridges when stepping out of Lionel Messi’s shadow and into a spotlight of his own.

The World Cup winner told Cadena Ser: “I think it’s difficult.

“Obviously, Neymar continues to be one of the best and in any team he would make a difference. But it’s not easy to return.”

With Barca unlikely to make an approach, the path could be cleared for Madrid to lure Neymar to the Spanish capital.

Crossing the Clasico divide is difficult for any player, but Iniesta believes no grudges would be held by those at Camp Nou if a deal is done.

He added: “It wouldn’t hurt me because they are decisions that, if they happen, happen. Madrid would reinforce themselves with a unique player.”

The Blancos remain in the market for a suitable successor to Cristiano Ronaldo, with Neymar considered to be one of the few players capable of filling such a void.

Philippe Coutinho Lionel Messi Barcelona 2018-19

Barca, meanwhile, may seek further attacking inspiration of their own in transfer windows to come, with uncharacteristic wobbles being endured by two La Liga heavyweights this season.

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Ernesto Valverde’s side have fared better than arch-rivals Real, and continue to top the table, and Iniesta believes they will come good once consistency is established.

A man now turning out for Japanese side Vissel Kobe said: “Barcelona have unique players and I see them as candidates to win all the titles.

“Barca have reinforced themselves well this year. There are people like [Philippe] Coutinho, who has adapted well. I see a powerful team.”