Armenian playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan has reportedly told Arsenal that he would prefer to leave the Gunners on a permanent basis when the transfer window reopens during the summer. The 31-year-old is currently on a season-long loan with AS Roma where he has caught the eye with six goals and four assists from 17 appearances this term.
Roma manager Paulo Fonseca has heaped praise on the club’s forwards following the 4-3 win over Cagliari on the road. The Giallorossi had gone into the league clash on the back of three winless games but they managed to end the streak in superb fashion as they overcame Cagliari in a seven-goal thriller.
AS Roma defender Aleksandar Kolarov has clearly stated that he has no plans of retirement in the near future. The Serbian has been with the Giallorossi for the past three seasons and during this period, he has been a regular presence on the left side of the backline and has also managed to provide an attacking threat with impressive freekicks.
Speaking to reporters, Kolarov said that he is pleased with the Giallorossi’s current form and appreciated the efforts of Paulo Fonseca in transforming the club’s fortunes. He added that he has no plans of stepping down from the game at the moment and could prolong his career for another four years at the least.
Former Juventus star Claudio Marchisio is hopeful that Inter Milan can offer a strong challenge to the Bianconeri in the race for the Serie A crown. The Bianconeri have won the league title in each of the past eight seasons but the Nerazzurri are aiming to break the dominance under the tutelage of manager Antonio Conte.
In a press conference announcing his retirement, Marchisio said that he is curious about the Nerazzurri, who have made the perfect start to the current season. He added that the forthcoming clash between the Nerazzurri and Bianconeri will be important and the former can stake a strong claim for the title with a victory.
AS Roma manager Paulo Fonseca has said that Edin Dzeko remains a valuable player in the club’s ranks despite the ongoing speculation regarding his future. The Bosnia international has been linked with a potential move to Inter Milan this summer but so far, the Nerazzurri have not been able to convince the Giallorossi into a transfer agreement.
Italian footballer Alberto Aquilani has called quits to his professional playing career at the age of 34. The midfielder had been without a club following his release from Las Palmas 12 months ago and he has now eventually called time on his career to take up a different challenge outside of the playing field.
“After a period of reflection, I think the time has come for me to hang up the boots on that peg we all hate,” he was quoted as saying by Roma’s official website. “But the time comes for everyone. And now the time has come to follow new paths – different in their day-to-day aspects, but still new challenges in their own way. I took my time to decide the best option. But, despite the many offers that came in, I think the time has come to say ‘enough’.”
AS Roma’s interim boss Claudio Ranieri has refused to speak on the prospect of securing a permanent managerial role with the Giallorossi at the end of the season. The Italian was appointed at the helm in March after the sacking of Eusebio di Francesco and he has since helped the team stay aloft in the race for the Serie A crown.
Speaking to reporters, Ranieri indicated that the club are fighting hard to make the top four in the standings but they need to show more focus and intelligence during the final four games of the season, he said: “You always have to respect the opposition. The lads are working hard in the fight for fourth. We'd be stupid to underestimate the game. Cagliari never give up, they're having a strong finish to the campaign. We need to be intelligent and focused.”
Antonio Conte is believed to be willing to take charge at Manchester United and is waiting for the opportunity.
Conte has not coached any team for the last 12 months or so, but he is likely to start working soon and he already has a number of job offers on the table, most of which are from his own country Italy, but as per the reports, the 49-year old wants to coach in the English top tier and he sees Manchester United as a potential job destination.
Inter Milan chief Beppe Marotta has leaped into the defence of Luciano Spalletti following the Nerazzurri’s disappointing exit in the Europa League. The Serie A giants were one of the favourites to reach the semi-final stage of the competition but they bowed out at the last 16 phase after a shock 1-0 aggregate defeat at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt.
Following the game, there have suggestions that Spalletti’s position could be under threat but Marotta has clarified that the coach can’t take the entire blame for the team’s poor showing during the second leg where they suffered a 1-0 defeat in front of their supporters, he said: “The coach has nothing to do with it, difficulties arise objectively regardless of the name of the coach. With him we must reach this important goal. I consider Inter in a phase of corporate growth.”
Italy national team manager Roberto Mancini has challenged Mario Balotelli to reclaim his place in the Italian national team. The controversial striker has become something of a forgotten man, but he is still in the prime of his career at 28 years of age. After having come through the youth ranks at Inter Milan, his immense talent earned him a move to Manchester City where he was united with Mancini. The three years at Etihad Stadium was quite interesting for Balotelli, who clearly had the talent for becoming one of the greatest players but he was let down by his detrimental attitude.
Since then, he has represented clubs like AC Milan, Liverpool, and Nice. Recently, he made the switch to Marseille and has made a major impact by scoring three goals in just four games for the team. These goals for the French team, who are challenging for a European spot, has made Balotelli hit the headlines after several years. The striker made his debut for the Italian national team back in 2010 and he has since featured in 36 games for Italy. His return of 14 goals in these matches is quite good for a forward. Mancini does not appear to have forgotten his great ties with Balotelli and has challenged the striker to make a return to national team football.