≡ Menu

Former Inter Milan goalkeeper Julio Cesar describes perspective new Nerazzurri signing Ramires as ‘an animal in a good sense.’

Inter are reported to be close to securing a deal to bring in the former Chelsea midfielder, who currently plays for sister club Jiangsu Suning in the Chinese Super League.

And Cesar, who has played with Ramires while on international duty with Brazil, believes the 30-year-old will prove a valuable addition to Luciano Spalletti’s squad.

“He’s an animal, in a good sense,” free-agent Cesar said.

According to reports in Italy, Italian prosecutors have opened an investigation into whether the deal to sell AC Milan to Chinese investors last year was inflated for money-laundering purposes.

Milan prosecutors reportedly want to know if the €740 million paid to Silvio Berlusconi to buy out the seven-time European champions was overvalued in a deliberate move to bring large sums of money into Italy from abroad, the newspaper said.

Italian prosecutors have denied that they have opened an investigation into the sale of Milan saying:

Chelsea have started the search for their new manager with Antonio Conte almost certain to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.

The three frontrunners to replace Conte are Juventus coach Max Allegri, former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique and Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri.

Here is a look at the careers and achievements of the three bosses in the frame for the Stamford Bridge job.

MASSIMILIANO ALLEGRI

Age: 50 Nationality: Italian Current club: Juventus (contracted until 2020)

Previous clubs: Aglianese, Real SPAL, Grosseto, Sassuolo, Cagliari, Milan

Inter’s six game winless streak has seen them slump to third, two points ahead of Roma who have a game in hand, and been bounced out of the Coppa Italia by AC Milan.

Alarm bells are ringing from Milan to Nanjing as Inter’s season, which promised so much 45 days ago, threatens to go up on smoke.

Things are so bad that Inter Director Walter Sabatini is traveling to China with two goals. To return with midfielder Ramiris plus €25-30m that can be used during this transfer window.

AC Milan sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli says the club will not make any January signings despite being in the bottom half of the Serie A table.

The Rossoneri have won one of their last four Serie A matches, a narrow home success against Crotone last time out, despite heavy investment in the squad.

Mirabelli brought in a host of players, including Portugal striker Andre Silva and Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci, in the off-season.

But even though Milan are well off the pace in Serie A and unlikely to reach their goal of Champions League qualification – sitting 12 points outside the top four – coach Gennaro Gattuso will have to work with the team he has for now.

Torino coach Sinisa Mihajlovic has been fired, a day after his team was eliminated from the Italian Cup with a derby defeat to Juventus.

Torino announced the decision on its website on Thursday, thanking Mihajlovic for his ‘dedication and passion shown in these 18 months’ with the club.

Walter Mazzarri, the former Napoli, Inter Milan and Watford coach, is reportedly the leading candidate to replace Mihajlovic.

Torino has won just one of its last eight Serie A matches and is 10th in the 20-team league. Ten draws in 19 matches played a role in Mihajlovic’s downfall.

Gianluigi Buffon has told Gianluigi Donnarumma he will not be making a mistake if the teenager chooses to swap AC Milan for Juventus.

Goalkeeping great Buffon is expected to retire at the end of the campaign and Donnarumma is widely viewed as his heir in the Italy national team.

The 18-year-old was embroiled in a contract saga at San Siro during the close season and eventually penning extended terms has not entirely mended relations with a section of the Milan support, who have jeered Donnarumma this term.

His future continues to be the source of speculation, with LaLiga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid reportedly holding an interest.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has cooled talk of a January move for Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini.

Chiellini was a key player for Conte when he won three Serie A titles as Juve boss between 2011 and 2014 but the pair will not be reunited at Stamford Bridge.

Conte is full of respect for Chiellini — who won 96 Italy caps before retiring this year — but accepts that the 33-year-old intends to finish his career with the club he joined way back in 2005.

‘No, no – I must be honest,’ Conte told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday.

Inter’s Scudetto dreams all all but over after a 0-0 draw against Lazio at San Siro on Saturday. A fourth successive Serie A match without a win has seen the gap to leaders Napoli grown to seven points.

The only person who seemed happy with the performance on Saturday was Inter boss Luciano Spalletti, who insisted afterwards that he is happy with what has team has produced so far this season, including Saturday’s goalless effort.

“Today, we approached the match in the right way with strength, conviction and the correct mentality” said Spalletti.

Paulo Dybala scored two goals in his return to the starting XI as Juventus were made to fight for a 3-1 win over Verona on Saturday.

Blaise Matuidi put home a rebound after Gonzalo Higuain struck the post to put Juventus ahead in the sixth minute, though the hosts struck back when Martin Caceres delivered a blast from distance to equalise against his former club.

But Dybala, who was making his first Serie A start since Dec. 1, proved to be the distance as he turned in Stephan Lichtsteiner’s pass in the 72nd minute before adding a second goal five minutes later.