AC Milan Meet With Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Agent Mino Raiola to Discuss Potential Return

?AC Milan have held a meeting with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s agent Mino Raiola to explore the possibility of the striker returning to the Serie A side for a second stint.

Zlatan is technically still under contract with Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy, but confirmed that he would not be renewing his deal beyond the its expiry on 31 December.

That has sparked a flurry of clubs into action in a bid to hand the Swede a potential European return, with Italian sides Bologna, Napoli, Roma and Fiorentina all registered with an interest in recent weeks. Whether any side can match the 38-year-old’s excessive wages are a different matter, however, with it thought that he ?would demand an eye-watering €1m per month.

Yet hat hasn’t stopped interested parties getting in touch with his agent, as former club ?Milan have supposedly held a meeting with infamous super-agent Raiola to discuss a sensational return to San Siro.

According to ?Fabrizio Romano of Sky Italia, the meeting was only preliminary talks with nothing concrete being offered, as the struggling Serie A side explore the possibility of handing Zlatan another crack of the European whip.

It is added by Romano that a decision on his next move will be made over the next few weeks, perhaps in respect of current employers Galaxy, perhaps so there is time to evaluate all avenues, or perhaps just because Zlatan tends to do things his own way.


Either way, should the towering forward head back to Milan then it would be his second stint at a club he only previously spent two seasons with – the first of which being an initial loan before the Rossoneri signed him permanently from Barcelona. 

That said, it was certainly a prolific one, with the striker netting 56 goals in 85 outings before Paris Saint-Germain brought him to France in 2012. During his time in Milan he secured a Serie A title as well as a Supercoppa Italiana.


For more from ?Ross Kennerley, follow him on ?Twitter!

Let’

How West Ham’s Players Fared During the November International Break

Without a win in their ?six previous Premier League fixtures, West Ham’s international call-ups would probably have been grateful for the change of scenery. 

Six of Manuel Pellegrini’s senior squad jetted off to represent their country during the November international break, and their manager will have been hoping for injury-free appearances. 

Even better if those were to come in positive results that might help build on the Hammers’ fragile confidence.

Here’s how they fared.


Declan Rice (England)

Declan Rice,Harry Winks

Left out of the starting XI for England’s 1000th fixture in the 7-0 mauling of Montenegro, Declan Rice was back on the team sheet for the 4-0 victory over Kosovo in England’s final Euro 2020 qualifier.

The spotlight was on Rice and ?Tottenham’s Harry Winks, predominantly due to Twitter claims that they couldn’t play together or that either wasn’t good enough to represent England, but the Hammers’ midfielder did all the basics right on his return to Southgate’s side.  


Winston Reid (New Zealand)

Troy Parrott,Winston Reid

The international call up that has baffled and infuriated West Ham fans in equal measure, Winston Reid completed 45 minutes of New Zealand’s 3-1 friendly defeat to the Republic of Ireland. 

The ire stems from the fact that Reid has not kicked a ball for the first team for well over a year, time in which he has been recovering from a serious knee injury. Reid returned to London following the game, as his international teammates headed off for a second friendly loss to Lithuania.


Fabian Balbuena (Paraguay)

Fabian Balbuena

Keeping clean sheets has been one of ?West Ham’s biggest problems this season, so Fabian Balbuena will have been pleased with his part in Thursday’s 1-0 friendly victory over Bulgaria. 

‘The General’ watched his side’s 0-0 draw with Saudi Arabia from the bench on Tuesday, so should hopefully be fresh for Saturday’s crunch fixture with Tottenham.


Andriy Yarmolenko (Ukraine)

Serbia v Ukraine - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier

The Ukraine international is one player that will certainly return in buoyant mood, having assisted Artem Besedin’s late equaliser in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Serbia. 

This ensured that, in addition to finishing top of their Euro 2020 qualification group ahead of Portugal, Ukraine remained unbeaten throughout the campaign.

The forward also featured in Thursday’s friendly with Estonia, in which Ukraine ran out 1-0 winners.


Albian Ajeti (Switzerland)

Albian Ajeti

The Swiss forward has endured a difficult start to life at the London Stadium, failing to score in any of his six appearances for the Hammers. 

Sadly, this poor form continued into Switzerland’s two final Euro 2020 qualifiers. Ajeti completed 71 minutes of the 1-0 victory over Georgia without finding the net, a performance that rendered him an unused substitute in the 6-1 demolition of Gibraltar. 


Arthur Masuaku (DR Congo)

FBL-AFR-FRIENDLY-ALG-COD

DR Congo are unbeaten in their opening two Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, although two draws isn’t exactly the ideal start. Thursday’s goalless stalemate at home to Gabon was followed by a 2-2 draw away in Gambia – the West Ham left back featuring in both fixtures.


Let’

Stat Reveals How Jose Mourinho May Not Be an Upgrade on Ex-Tottenham Boss Mauricio Pochettino

?After the stunning appointment of Jose Mourinho as the new manager of ?Tottenham Hotspur this morning, many are considering the appointment of the two time Champions League winner as somewhat of an upgrade on departing boss, Mauricio Pochettino.

However, there is a stat that suggests that this is not exactly the case.

FBL-ENG-PR-TOTTENHAM-SHEFFIELD UTD

The statistic, released by ?OptaJoe shows that points per game achieved by Jose Mourinho when he was in charge of? Manchester United, is exactly the same as what Mauricio Pochettino had at Spurs, at 1.89 points per game.

Many are questioning if Mourinho’s somewhat unsuccessful time in charge of the red half of Manchester means that the Portuguese man has lost his touch.

At the time of his sacking by the Red Devils, United were 19 points behind the league leaders Manchester City, despite heavy investment. 

FBL-ENG-PR-MAN UTD-TOTTENHAM

Spurs’ comparative lack of spending has led many to believe that Pochettino deserved more time and funding. Despite the lowest net spend of any of the ‘big six’ in the last five years, Pochettino managed to achieve repeated top four finishes as well as a place in last season’s Champions League final, which they narrowly lost to Liverpool.

By comparison, Manchester United have a net spend of in the last five seasons -£437.61m, compared to Spurs’ -£95.37m.

However, while Pochettino was unable to win a major trophy, their last coming in 2008, his successor has a proven record of doing so wherever he has gone. The former Porto, ?Chelsea, ?Real Mad?rid and ?Inter man has won in every league he has managed in, as well as a famous treble in Italy, in 2010.

Inter Milan's Portuguese coach Jose Mour

His trophy haul makes him statistically one of the most successful managers of all time. It is for this reason, as well as the fact that his under performing Red Devils side have continued struggle since his departure, that some believe he could move bring glory to Spurs.

Let’

Liverpool Legend Insists Reds Should Target Harry Kane After Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs Exit

Liverpool legend Steve Nicol believes his old side should pounce on Mauricio Pochettino’s sacking from Spurs and swoop for England captain Harry Kane. 

Pochettino was relieved of his position as Tottenham boss on Tuesday night, and Nicol thinks Jürgen Klopp should poach Kane from under the nose of new Spurs manager Jose Mourinho.

Harry Kane,Fabinho

The former Liverpool defender, who won the European Cup with the club in 1984, was on ?ESPN when the question of who Liverpool should sign from Spurs arose.

He debated between Firmino and Kane as his first-choice striker but sided with the Spurs hitman, based on his superior predatory instincts in front of goal.

“I was thinking about [Kane],” Nicol, answered. “Would I have Harry Kane or would I have Firmino? That’s a tough question that isn’t it.

“Given the choice I’d rather have my centre-forward be a goalscorer, so I would have to go with Kane. It’s a tough one.

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-TOTTENHAM

Former Chelsea midfielder Craig Burley, agreed with his ESPN colleague, in choosing Kane to lead the line over ?Liverpool’s Firmino. 

“I’d have Harry Kane because he’d get me more goals and at the end of the day goals are going to get you over the line,” he said.

“It is a tough one because [Firmino’s] a good player, a very good player. Kane’s going to get you more goals.”

Continuing, Nicol also confirmed he was an admirer of ?Tottenham’s Heung-min Son and would raid the Lilywhites for the South Korean’s signature, but he was less keen on snapping up any of Spurs’ backline.

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-TOTTENHAM

“[Son] would be fantastic to be able to… listen, put it this way, no offence to Divock Origi but I would prefer to bring Son on than Divock Origi. I’m not a huge fan of [Lucas] Moura,” he said.

“Who else would you take right now? [Jan] Vertonghen and [Toby] Alderweireld are having a shocker. You’re not having [Davinson] Sanchez, you’re not having [Juan] Foyth.”

However, until January at least, Harry Kane remains a Tottenham player and will no doubt be readying himself for Saturday’s ?Premier League trip to West Ham, in José Mourinho’s first game in charge.  

Let’

Sokratis Admits Arsenal Are Lacking Confidence Following Wretched Run of Results

?Arsenal defender Sokratis has conceded that the squad are devoid of confidence as the pressure mounts on Unai Emery’s side to turn their league form around.

The Gunners sit sixth in the Premier League, eight points off fourth place, and uninspiring performances such as the 2-2 draws away to Watford and at home to Crystal Palace, have led to fingers being pointed at the team. 

Sokratis Papastathopoulos,Wilfried Zaha

Even in their last outing, Emery’s charges were lacklustre, losing 2-0 away to Leicester, but they now face two winnable games against Southampton at home andNorwich away.

And Sokratis believes that a couple of good performances is all that is required to get Arsenal’s star names firing again and put them back in the race for a ?Champions League spot.

“The team needs confidence and calm to show the quality we have,” he told ?Arsenal Player.

“I think we can get [into the top four] because if we find one or two games where we can play very good and have a good result, after the team will take confidence and after that we have the quality. The quality is here but I think we need confidence.”

Sokratis Papastathopoulos

The Greek centre-half admitted that this season has been tough but is adamant that ?Arsenal have enough quality in the side to rectify their shaky start and come good in the second half of the campaign.

“It is a season that has a difficult moment, but we have still a lot of time and we need to improve, we need to play better and of course we have the time to do it,” he said.

“We also have the quality to do it. When the results are going good, it is of course very good for the team [that the players are all close] because it gives us confidence.”

Arsenal are without a win in four games in all competitions, their last victory coming just shy of a month ago when they won 3-2 against Vitória at home in the Europa League.

Nicolas Pepe

The last time they claimed three points in the ?Premier League was at the beginning of October when they beat Bournemouth 1-0 at the Emirates, courtesy of a David Luiz header.

But even their win against the Cherries had its nervy moments, Sokratis and his teammates will be hoping for a far more comfortable afternoon when they entertain ?Southampton on Saturday.

Gunners fans will expect nothing less than three points against a struggling Saints side who currently languish one point of the foot of the table and who haven’t tasted victory in the league since September.

Let’