Rumoured Inter transfer targets Edin Dzeko and Romelu Lukaku would make for a "devastating" strike partnership, according to Nerazzurri great Christian Vieri.

Inter are believed to be interested in signing both forwards as new boss Antonio Conte reshapes a squad that only narrowly secured a top-four finish in Serie A.

Reports state target man Dzeko is close to completing a switch from Roma, while Lukaku's mixed spell at Manchester United will come to an end if the clubs can reach an agreement.

At 33 and with a year left to run on his contract, Dzeko could make the move for a cut-price fee and former Italy star Vieri wants to see the Bosnia-Herzegovina international at San Siro.

"He is the most complete striker in Italy," Vieri told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"He is very strong physically, he has technique, heading ability, he shoots very well with both feet.

"He scores and helps his team-mates score. With him and Lukaku, Inter would become devastating."

Inter's city rivals, AC Milan, have their own decisions to make in attack.

Marco Giampaolo is reportedly set to be appointed head coach and one of his first tasks will be to resolve the future of Gonzalo Higuain, who is coming to the end of an uninspiring loan spell at Chelsea.

Vieri spent time at the Rossoneri in the twilight of his career and counselled the club against selling the experienced Higuain, despite the presence of Krzysztof Piatek as the established first-choice striker.

"There's no question. He's scored a mountain of goals," Vieri said of Higuain.

"He wasn't happy at Milan for many reasons, and it was impossible to adapt to English football with Chelsea in a few months.

"If I were a sports director I would bet with my eyes closed on Higuain."

Marco Giampaolo has moved a step closer to becoming AC Milan's new head coach after leaving Serie A rivals Sampdoria.

The 51-year-old has been heavily linked with the vacancy at San Siro following Gennaro Gattuso's departure last month.

Giampaolo joined Sampdoria in 2016 from Empoli and guided them to 11th, 10th and ninth-place finishes respectively during his three seasons at the club.

He had been contracted until June 2020, but the club confirmed on Saturday that he has left the Stadio Luigi Ferraris along with his backroom staff.

Giampaolo told the club's official website: "I thank the president and everyone at Sampdoria for three incredible seasons. I had a good time in Genoa, and we had a good time together.

"My thanks to all the managers, collaborators, employees and players of the club. You remain in my heart like all Sampdoria fans."

Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero added: "We thank Marco for the three seasons with us. We grew up together, we enjoyed a lot of satisfaction and now we wish him good luck for the continuation of his career."

If Giampaolo does join Milan, he will link-up with Paolo Maldini and Zvonimir Boban, who were named as the club's new technical director and chief football officer respectively on Friday.

David Beckham is keen to make a splash when Inter Miami FC enter MLS in 2020.

And he has reportedly identified former Inter captain Mauro Icardi as a player to lead the club's attack in the United States.

Icardi is out of favour in Milan and could be set for a switch to the sunny beaches of south Florida.

 

TOP STORY – BECKHAM EYES ICARDI

Inter outcast Mauro Icardi has received an offer from David Beckham's Inter Miami, according to Argentine news agency Telam.

Icardi was stripped of the Inter captaincy in 2018-19 and new head coach Antonio Conte is reportedly determined to sell the striker.

With Icardi's future in Milan uncertain amid apparent interest from Serie A champions Juventus, a move to Miami for the 2020 season could tempt the 26-year-old and his family.

 

ROUND-UP

- Inter's determination to part with Mauro Icardi is so they can reportedly free up funds to sign Romelu Lukaku from Manchester United. However, Corriere dello Sport claims the Italian club have rejected the possibility of a player exchange as the Red Devils look to include centre-back Milan Skriniar in a potential swap deal.

- The Sun reports Arsenal are ramping up their efforts to raise funds by selling maligned playmaker Mesut Ozil. The Gunners failed to qualify for the Champions League again and Unai Emery is looking to continue his rebuild.

- LaLiga champions Barcelona are willing to offer €25million to sign Borussia Dortmund left-back Raphael Guerreiro, according to Sport. Barca want to provide competition for Jordi Alba.

- According to le10sport, Ligue 1 holders Paris Saint-Germain are interested in Ajax and Brazil star David Neres, who is on international duty at the Copa America. PSG have also reportedly made an enquiry for Napoli captain Lorenzo Insigne, La Gazzetta dello Sport claims.

- The Daily Mail reports Tottenham are not looking to sign Sporting CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes, who is believed to be a target for Manchester United.

Former Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri said he has been forced to take a year off from football after not receiving any offers.

Allegri and Juve parted ways following an eighth consecutive Serie A title in 2018-19 and fifth under the Italian's leadership.

The 51-year-old has been linked with Premier League giants Chelsea, who are reportedly poised to grant Maurizio Sarri a release ahead of his proposed move to Juve.

However, ex-AC Milan boss Allegri is set for some time away from the dugout following his Turin exit.

"Well my decision was even easier to take than I expected given that I haven't got an offer from any team," Allegri said. "So I have to stop.

"We are here today in this warm weather let's have a nice run and then we are ready for holidays."

Allegri was a surprise appointment at Juve in July 2014, his arrival initially met with some disapproval by the fans, but he added four Coppa Italia triumphs and two Champions League finals to his five top-flight crowns.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo hailed 2018-19 as an "unforgettable season" after he set records and lifted trophies with both Juventus and Portugal.

Ronaldo ended his nine-year stay at LaLiga giants Real Madrid in July 2018, moving to Italian champions Juve for €120million.

The 34-year-old more than repaid his transfer fee, scoring 21 Serie A goals as Massimiliano Allegri's Juventus cruised to an eighth successive Scudetto.

Ronaldo also became the first player to reach 100 wins and 125 goals in the Champions League, though Juve were eliminated by Ajax in the quarter-finals – a defeat which ultimately may have been the reason for Allegri's departure at the end of the campaign.

But Ronaldo was not done there, and after his success with his new club, led Portugal to a Nations League Finals triumph on home soil, scoring a stunning hat-trick in the semi-final win over Switzerland.

And, taking to his official Instagram channel, Ronaldo shared his joy at achieving so much over the course of the season.

"What an unforgettable season! New experiences, gigantic club, exciting city, broken records and three more titles," Ronaldo posted.

"I have to thank all of Juventus fans for the wonderful way I was welcomed in Italy! You're a very important part of our victories! 

"Thanks to all my fans around the world and particularly to the Portuguese people that helped us reach another historical win for Portugal! You'll always have a special place in my heart!

"Personally, I'll never forget the great moments and new record-breaking achievements I've had so far in 2019."

Ronaldo then went onto list some of his accolades from the season, including becoming the first player to win 10 UEFA titles, and being the first to score in all national team finals.

Fiorentina have confirmed that ex-AC Milan and Sevilla coach Vincenzo Montella will stay on at the Serie A club.

Montella, who coached Fiorentina between 2012 and 2015, returned to the Artemio Franchi in April, replacing Stefano Pioli.

But he failed to win any of his eight games in charge at the end of 2018-19, seemingly casting his future in doubt.

However, it has now been confirmed that Montella will take charge of the Viola next season, following a meeting with new owner Rocco Commisso on Friday.

"I'm very happy. I met Rocco Commisso for the first time in person and his enthusiasm exceeded all my expectations," Montella told Fiorentina's official website.

"He conveys a lot of positivity and I'm sure this feeling will spread through to everyone, the team and the fans.

"Now I can't wait to not only start the season but also get to work and try to give the new owners and Fiorentina fans the satisfaction they deserve."

Fiorentina did not win a single game in any competition after February 17, and ultimately finished 16th, just three points clear of the relegation places.

Aurelio Andreazzoli has been appointed as Genoa's new head coach, taking over from Cesare Prandelli.

Andreazzoli led Empoli back to Serie A in 2017-18, though was sacked in November of last year before taking over again in March.

However, the 65-year-old was unable to maintain Empoli's top-flight status, with Prandelli's Genoa staying up courtesy of a better head-to-head record.

But former Italy boss Prandelli's six-month stint at Stadio Luigi Ferraris has now been brought to an end, with Genoa's hierarchy handing Andreazzoli the job on a two-year deal.

Cristiano Ronaldo has told James Rodriguez to join Juventus, according to Lothar Matthaus.

James – who is currently preparing for Colombia's Copa America campaign – is set to leave Real Madrid this off-season.

The playmaker has spent the last two campaigns on loan at Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, but will not extend his stay in Germany.

And Bayern great Matthaus believes the 27-year-old has his heart set on a move to Serie A, with James' former Madrid club-mate Ronaldo having instructed him to join Juve.

"I see him at Juventus," Matthaus told Spanish publication AS.

"We had a conversation two weeks ago, during the celebration of Bayern's Bundesliga win.

"He is very close to Ronaldo and told me that he was in contact with him and that he has told him that he wants to have him at Juventus.

"I understand why as James can serve Ronaldo so that he can score and the two of them can shine."

James signed for Madrid in 2014, on the back of starring for Colombia and winning the golden boot at the World Cup in Brazil.

Juve are not the only Italian club rumoured to be interested in the former Monaco player, with Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti, who was in charge of Los Blancos when James arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu, reportedly keen on his services.

Maurizio Sarri looks set to be appointed as Juve's coach, following Massimiliano Allegri's departure at the end of last season, with a compensation package reportedly agreed with Chelsea.

Paolo Maldini has been named AC Milan's new technical director, while Zvonimir Boban has been appointed to the newly created role of chief football officer.

Milan icon Maldini replaces Leonardo in the post, with the Brazilian reported to be returning to a similar post at former club Paris Saint-Germain.

Boban, who played for the club between 1991 and 2001, has left FIFA - where he was the body's deputy secretary general - to return to Milan.

Maldini previously worked as Milan's sporting strategy and development director but Ivan Gazidis, the club's chief executive, feels he is the right man to succeed Leonardo.

"Paolo embodies that quality and those values that are the building blocks of our club," he told Milan's official website. "I am happy to have him at the helm of our sporting area.

"With him, we will be able to build a modern club, formed by professionals of the highest quality. It will be a journey we will pursue together to achieve a challenging and compelling project, one which will require great energy and dedication.

"I am confident Paolo will be able to project his experience, his vision and his leadership. Paolo is an integral part of AC Milan and knows the way to success. He will be an important point of reference for everyone."

Boban and Maldini will work closely together, with the former team-mates reuniting on the Rossoneri's backroom staff.

"I am very happy to return to my beloved Milan and I will give my contribution to bring it back where it deserves to be," Boban said in a Milan statement.

"Milan must be a leading and winning club, because this is the only nature of its history and it's the nature of our fans and their passion. I will give all of myself for this cause and for the Rossoneri colours.

"When Paolo called me to check on my availability, I jumped into my car and went to his home in Milan in the middle of the night.

"After talking with Ivan and the club, everything was clear. And here I am, in my city, in my club I love and in a land that has given me so much. I hope I can repay the trust placed in me."

Milan are still seeking a successor to Gennaro Gattuso as head coach, but they are reportedly close to appointing Marco Giampaolo from Sampdoria.

Chelsea marked the anniversary of Frank Lampard signing for the club amid reports the former midfielder Frank Lampard is set to take over from Maurizio Sarri.

Despite leading the club to a third-place finish in the Premier League, the final of the EFL Cup and Europa League glory against Arsenal, Sarri has by no means been a popular figure at Stamford Bridge.

The Italian, who left Napoli for Chelsea last year, is widely reported to be on the brink of being appointed as head coach by Juventus, who are seeking a successor to Massimiliano Allegri.

The switch was expected to be completed on Friday, when Chelsea noted on social media it was 18 years since Lampard, now managing Derby County, joined the club from West Ham.

"On this day in 2001... Frank Lampard became a Blue!" Chelsea posted on Twitter in a message that quickly racked up thousands of likes.

Lampard is regarded as a Chelsea great, winning three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the 2011-12 Champions League and becoming the club's all-time leading goalscorer during his 13 years at Stamford Bridge.

In his first season as a manager in 2018-19, the 40-year-old led Derby to the Championship play-offs finals, but they were beaten 2-1 by Aston Villa at Wembley.

Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed he will take a year off from football after calling time on his trophy-laden spell with Juventus.

The 51-year-old won five Serie A titles with Juve before stepping down as head coach at the end of the 2018-19 campaign.

Allegri had been linked with a possible switch to Chelsea, with Blues boss Maurizio Sarri primed to move in the opposite direction, but he will instead take time to focus on personal matters.

"I am going to take a year off to recharge the batteries and get my personal life back in hand, rediscover after many years the affection of my family, children and friends," he said at an event in Milan on Thursday.

"The last 16 years have felt like being in a blender. You have to take time away from what you usually spend with family and friends.

"I'll use this year to recharge my batteries ahead of the next season."

Allegri was a surprise appointment at Juve in July 2014, his arrival initially met with some disapproval by the fans, but he added four Coppa Italia triumphs and two Champions League finals to his five top-flight crowns.

Adrien Rabiot has revealed he is in talks with Juventus over a possible move away from Paris Saint-Germain, with Manchester United also in the hunt for his signature. 

The France midfielder has been frozen out at PSG since mid-December after failing to agree a new contract with the Ligue 1 champions, with his deal expiring this month. 

A host of clubs are thought to be interested in securing his services but Juve – who are primed to hire Maurizio Sarri as their next head coach – appear to have stolen a march on their rivals.

"Yes, Juventus have been looking for me. We are talking," he said while on holiday in Italy in quotes reported by Corriere dello Sport.

"We are considering, we cannot say anything. I do not know. Juventus are a great club where every good player wants to go. 

"Manchester United? It's the same. I have to decide, for now I'm on vacation."

Rabiot has become an increasingly isolated figure at the Parc des Princes and in March his mother told L'Equipe her son was a "prisoner" of PSG.

The 24-year-old has won five league titles with Les Parisiens and made six appearances for France, though he missed out on a place in their triumphant 2018 World Cup squad. 

Mohamed Salah out and Nicolas Pepe in at Liverpool?

Liverpool are reportedly willing to sell star forward Salah in order to bring Lille's Pepe to Anfield.

Salah is coming off a memorable Champions League triumph with the Reds but could be heading out the door.

 

TOP STORY – SALAH COULD MAKE WAY FOR PEPE

According to le10sport, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is prepared to sacrifice Salah to sign Lille forward Pepe.

Pepe took Ligue 1 by storm with 22 goals as Lille qualified for the Champions League and Liverpool are believed to be among the Ivory Coast international's admirers.

The Reds are so keen apparently that they are prepared to sell top scorer Salah, who reportedly has a complicated relationship with Klopp.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Maurizio Sarri saga appears to be reaching its conclusion, with Sky Italy reporting Chelsea and Juventus have reached a deal to allow the Italian to move to the Serie A champions. The former Napoli coach's return to Italy is set to pave the way for ex-Chelsea star and Derby County manager Frank Lampard to take over at Stamford Bridge.

- According to AS, LaLiga champions Barcelona are making back-up plans should they miss out on Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt, who is the subject of interest from Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Juve.

- Premier League title-holders Manchester City have been put off by a £90million price tag on Leicester City defender Harry Maguire, according to The Daily Mail. Pep Guardiola is reportedly eyeing the England international as a replacement for Vincent Kompany, while neighbours United are also interested.

- Liverpool are not interested in making another move for Lyon captain Nabil Fekir, The Independent reports. The Champions League winners came close to signing the France international last year but pulled out amid reported concerns over his knee.

- Carlo Ancelotti is still determined to bring Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez to Napoli, says AS. James' future is up in the air after Bayern Munich opted against signing the Colombia international permanently following a two-year loan spell.

- Cadena SER claims Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde is ready to sell Ivan Rakitic amid reported interest from United. The same station also says Marco Asensio is among the players on the market at Madrid following the arrivals of Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Ferland Mendy, Eder Militao and Rodrygo Goes.

- United and rumoured Madrid target Paul Pogba has no intention of remaining at Old Trafford in 2019-20, according to L'Equipe.

Fabian Ruiz is excited about the possibility of Napoli signing James Rodriguez and Rodrigo.

Real Madrid playmaker James is likely to be available after Bayern Munich opted not to sign the 27-year-old Colombia international permanently at the end of his two-year loan spell.

Napoli have been linked with James - who played under their head coach Carlo Ancelotti in Madrid and Munich - and Valencia's Spanish striker Rodrigo, who has scored 24 LaLiga goals across the previous two seasons.

Fabian, an international team-mate of Rodrigo, feels both players would improve Napoli.

"Playing with great players is always better," he told Sky Sport.

"I think Rodrigo is a great striker, every team would like to have him and I would be very happy if he came to us.

"Both he and James are great names. They would be welcome in Naples."

One player who Napoli will hope to hold onto is Belgium international Dries Mertens.

The forward has been prolific since joining in 2013 and is fourth on the list of the club's all-time leading scorers, but he is out of contract in 2020 and Fabian is keen to see Mertens pledge his future to Napoli.

"With Dries, we talk almost every day," he added.

"We have been together since the first moment I arrived in Naples, he has welcomed me very well.

"I, like all the others, would be very happy if he signed. For us, he is a very important player."

Arsenal's Lucas Torreira has acknowledged he is finding it difficult to enjoy life in England following his move from Sampdoria.

Having impressed for Uruguay at the World Cup in Russia, Torreira left Samp to join Arsenal in July 2018, becoming Unai Emery's most expensive signing at a reported fee of close to £27million.

The 23-year-old had a promising debut campaign at Emirates Stadium, making 50 appearances in all competitions and scoring three goals as Arsenal claimed a fifth-place Premier League finish and reach the Europa League final.

However, Torreira has revealed that, despite his performances on the pitch, he has endured a hard time adapting to England, conceding he preferred his lifestyle in Italy.

"I don't know if there are many things that I enjoy," Torreira, who is part of Uruguay's squad for the upcoming Copa America, told Uruguayan outlet Ovacion.

"The language [barrier] has stopped me being able to relate with my team-mates and with the people. It is very difficult when you can't have dialogue.

"And so is the climate. You go out in the morning and it is cloudy; you arrive late to your home and it is cloudy.

"It is strange a little bit, we are accustomed to always having the sun, or almost always. But as the years pass, I'm going to be adapting."

Torreira signed a five-year deal with Arsenal, though reports in Italy have suggested he is a target for AC Milan, who look set to announce Marco Giampaolo - who coached the player at Sampdoria - as their new boss.

Arsenal start the 2019-20 league season away at Newcastle United on August 11 and face Burnley at home before taking on last season's runners-up Liverpool and arch-rivals Tottenham in late August.

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