BLOG ITALIA
Sunday July 14 2019
Lukaku perfect for Inter

With Inter continuing their pursuit of Romelu Lukaku, Vilizar Yakimov sees the Belgian as the perfect fit for both Antonio Conte and Lautaro Martinez.

The start of Inter’s summer mercato has been nothing short of remarkable. The Nerazzurri made a serious statement with Antonio Conte’s appointment shortly after the 2018-19 season ended and they haven’t taken a step back since then.

Snapping up a defensive lynchpin like Diego Godin on a free transfer surely looks like a bargain, while the arrival of two of Italy’s brightest midfield talents in Stefano Sensi and Nicolò Barella also speak clearly about the conviction of the Nerazzurri project.

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Tuesday May 22 2018
Shandong Luneng for Hamsik

Shandong Luneng is reportedly the club offering Napoli captain Marek Hamsik a €35m move to China and not Guangzhou Evergrande.

The Slovak said today that he is considering an exit from the Stadio San Paolo after a decade and China is the most likely alternative.

According to CalcioNapoli24, the offer is from Shandong Luneng and not Guangzhou Evergrande.

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Sunday January 28 2018
West Ham talks for Pelle'

Graziano Pellè is reportedly in negotiations for a return to England with West Ham United, but needs to take a pay-cut from Shandong Luneng.

The Italy international made the transfer to China after Euro 2016, having scored 30 goals over two seasons at Southampton in the Premier League.

According to the Mail newspaper, the 32-year-old is considering a return to Europe and specifically England.

The main sticking point would be the £13.5m per season wages that he currently commands at Shandong Luneng.

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Tuesday June 27 2017
On This Day: Italy 2-0 Spain

On this day 12 months ago, Italy beat Spain 2-0 to advance to the quarter-finals at Euro 2016.

The Under-21 side face the Spanish at the Under-21 European Championships tonight, and the Azzurrini can take inspiration from the senior side’s exploits last year.

Italy hadn’t beaten Spain at a major tournament since 1994, and had been heavily beaten by La Roja in the final of Euro 2012.

Antonio Conte’s side showed no fear of the back-to-back European champions though, immediately going on the offensive in the Saint-Denis rain.

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Tuesday April 11 2017
Pelle: 'I came to China for money'

Graziano Pellè confessed he “obviously would never have come to China if it wasn’t for all that money” after joining Shandong Luneng.

He spoke to Italia 1 show Emigratis from his new home in China.

“Obviously I would never have come here if it wasn’t for all that money,” said Pellè.

The Italy international made the transfer from Southampton just weeks after his Euro 2016 adventure concluded with a botched penalty in the shoot-out with Germany.

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Monday March 27 2017
Ventura: Pelle, Sacchi, youth…

Italy CT Giampiero Ventura says the door is open for Graziano Pelle, Arrigo Sacchi’s criticism was “disappointing” and “fruits are being borne” with youth.

Pelle has been missing in action for Italy since failing to shake Ventura’s hand against Macedonia in October, but Ventura made it clear the Shandong Luneng striker’s international career was not over as he also touched on Sacchi’s Albania frustrations and the need to “renew” the country’s ranks.

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Thursday March 9 2017
Gabbiadini 'already a Saints idol'

Southampton’s Italian masseur Gianni Fenu describes adapting to England, working with Graziano Pellè and why Manolo Gabbiadini is “already an idol.”

The Premier League club has a certain affinity with Italians and that includes their staff, as masseur Fenu originally hails from Sardinia and he spoke to GianlucaDiMarzio.com.

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Sunday January 8 2017
China calls for Cassano

Sampdoria outcast Antonio Cassano could be the latest player to make a move to China for Guangzhou R&F or Shandong Luneng.

The 34-year-old striker has been frozen out at Samp all season after refusing a transfer into Serie B.

He confessed recently that he would like to carry on playing for a little longer and find a new club in January.

According to the Corriere dello Sport and Sky Sport Italia, the most likely destination is China, where FantAntonio could let his creativity run wild.

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BLOG ITALIA
Thursday December 29 2016
Rise of the Seconda Punta

Serie A is providing the role of the support striker with a second wind, writes Greg Murray.

The legends of Italian football have always been players with incredible technical ability and were often fielded as second strikers (seconde punte); the Gigi Rivas, the Alessandro Del Pieros, the Antonio Di Natales. Indeed, the Italian national side was, in the past, so overflowing with talent that the likes of Gianfranco Zola were only able to notch 35 caps.

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Saturday December 10 2016
Ventura bans arrogant Italy players

Italy Coach Giampiero Ventura warns Graziano Pellè, Mario Balotelli and young Azzurri talents that he'll drop anyone who "thinks they're a phenomenon."

One of the main reasons why the former Torino boss was chosen to follow Antonio Conte was his work developing young players.

“There were those who were stunned when I said I was inheriting the oldest Nazionale of all time, but that was the truth and nobody seemed to worry about it,” Ventura told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

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