Inter striker Romelu Lukaku does not intend to leave a response to racism in football to the authorities, citing players' protests in the Eredivisie as an example for Serie A stars.

A number of incidents of racist abuse in stadiums have marred Italian football in recent seasons, with Lukaku, Mario Balotelli and Miralem Pjanic among the targets.

Lukaku has repeatedly been outspoken on the issue, and the Belgium international is keen for players to lead a riposte to discrimination.

Eredivisie matches were paused for a minute in November in protest after Excelsior winger Ahmad Mendes Moreira was subjected to abuse at Den Bosch, giving Lukaku food for thought.

"For me, Italy is a beautiful country to live in," the former Manchester United man told Sky Sports.

"Italy has such a potential to be a great league like it used to, but we have to work together to keep those ignorant people out of the stadium.

"It happened in Holland as well, when I watched a game in the second division.

"I spoke to the guy that it happened to where they stopped the games for one minute, I spoke to the guy and said, 'You did well to walk off the pitch and to celebrate in front of those ignorant people'.

"I think we need to take things into our own hands. I don't think we should leave it to the federations.

"Holland did a great job, they did a fantastic job with all of their players. Sometimes in other countries we, as players, have to take matters into our own hands."

Christian Eriksen appears set to get his move away from Tottenham.

Out of contract at the end of the season, Eriksen has been keen to test himself elsewhere after moving to Spurs in 2013.

Inter look poised to bring the Denmark playmaker to Milan…

 

TOP STORY – INTER IN NEGOTIATIONS WITH SPURS OVER ERIKSEN

Inter have offered €10million (£8.5m) plus bonuses to Tottenham after agreeing personal terms with Spurs star Eriksen, claims Sky Sport Italia.

With Inter head coach Antonio Conte keen for midfield reinforcements and soon-to-be free agent Eriksen eyeing a new club, a transfer is reportedly on the horizon.

However, The Mirror reports that Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain are ready to rival Inter for Eriksen.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to Sky Sports Germany, Paul Pogba is likely to leave Manchester United at the end of the season. Recovering from ankle surgery, Pogba continues to be linked with LaLiga giants Real Madrid and former club Juventus.

Manchester City will reject any bids for centre-back John Stones as Premier League rivals Arsenal circle, says the Daily Mail.

- Corriere dello Sport reports Matteo Politano and Leonardo Spinazzola are set to swap clubs. Inter winger Politano will join Roma, while full-back Spinazzola will move to the Nerazzurri.

- According to Gianluca Di Marzio and Tuttomercatoweb, PSV are prepared to pay €6m for Milan full-back Ricardo Rodriguez.

- Globoesporte says LaLiga champions Barcelona are close to signing Palmeiras midfielder Matheus Fernandes.

Manchester United or Real Madrid?

Ajax star Donny van de Beek is a wanted man following his exploits for the Eredivisie champions.

But the LaLiga giants are reportedly poised to get their target at the end of the season.

 

TOP STORY – VAN DE BEEK SET FOR MADRID

Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek is on the verge of joining Real Madrid instead of Manchester United, claims The Mirror.

United have reportedly emerged as a suitor for Van de Beek in January due to injuries to Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay.

But a transfer to Madrid at the end of the season "is more than 80 per cent certain", according to the report.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Metro says Premier League champions Manchester City have joined the race to sign Aston Villa's Jack Grealish. Rivals United have been heavily linked to the midfielder.

Tottenham are nearing a deal to bring Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes to London on an 18-month loan contract, reports Sky Sports. West Ham have also been looking to sign the 21-year-old.

- United midfielder Nemanja Matic is in talks to swap Old Trafford for MLS outfit Chicago Fire, according to The Sun. Linked to Atletico Madrid, Inter and Milan, the Fire want to bring in the veteran as a replacement for Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Arsenal are considering a loan deal for Milan midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, reports The Mirror.

- La Gazzetta dello Sport says Inter have reached an agreement with Christian Eriksen for a contract until 2024. Now, Inter must strike a deal with Tottenham for the soon-to-be free agent. Spurs reportedly want €20million (£17m) for the Dane.

- Sporting CP captain Bruno Fernandes has agreed personal terms with United for a contract until 2025 with yearly wages of €6m, according to Italian journalist Nicolo Schira.

Ajax star Donny van de Beek ruled out a January transfer amid growing links to Manchester United and Real Madrid.

Van de Beek has reportedly emerged as a target for United, who are desperate for midfield reinforcements following injuries to Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay.

LaLiga giants Madrid have previously contacted Ajax over a possible deal, though a transfer did not materialise at the start of the season.

Despite interest, Netherlands international Van de Beek has no plans to leave Eredivisie champions Ajax.

"It is not that I can or want to do something at the moment," the 22-year-old told FOX Sports Netherlands.

"I have said it before and I will say it again: I will remain at Ajax this season. And maybe next season as well.

"These reports about Real Madrid or Man United are a good sign, but it is not important now. I've said I will stay at Ajax and I will do so for 100 per cent."

Links to United come as the Red Devils struggle in the Premier League – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are fifth and 27 points behind runaway leaders Liverpool.

Asked whether he could see positives and negatives in moving to Manchester, Van de Beek – who has scored eight goals across all competitions this season – said: "You can look at it like that.

"It is not something that is in my mind right now, but what you say is true."

Meanwhile, veteran forward Ryan Babel has returned to Ajax on a season-long loan deal from Turkish side Galatasaray.

The 33-year-old emerged from Ajax's youth system in 2004 before joining Liverpool three years later, though he made his way back to Amsterdam in 2012.

Sergino Dest has left Ajax's mid-season training camp in Qatar, the Eredivisie champions have confirmed.

The Dutch-born United States international full-back will continue working with Ajax's youth team back in Amsterdam.

Dest told Ajax he "didn't feel comfortable" at the training camp, something his employers understand.

"Sergino Dest has asked if he could leave Ajax's training camp in Qatar," a short statement on the club's website read.

"He didn't feel comfortable. Ajax understands his request and has responded to it. The right back matches Young Ajax in Amsterdam."

Last week, the United States Soccer Federation cancelled a planned training trip to Qatar for its men's national team amid escalating military tensions and activity in the Middle East following the US drone strike that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Suleimani.

Massimiliano Allegri is without a club since leaving Serie A champions Juventus at the end of 2018-19.

However, Allegri could be nearing a return to management sooner rather than later.

The Italian is believed to be interested in taking charge of Manchester United.

 

TOP STORY – ALLEGRI WANTS UNITED JOB

Massimiliano Allegri is interested in becoming Manchester United manager as pressure mounts on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to the Daily Mail.

Allegri has been rumoured to be of interest to Bayern Munich after leaving Serie A champions Juve at the end of last season, while the Italian was also linked to Arsenal prior to Mikel Arteta's appointment.

However, he is reportedly holding out for the United job should Solskjaer be sacked. Ex-Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is also believed to be monitoring the situation.

 

ROUND-UP

- ElDesmarque claims MLS duo Inter Miami and LA Galaxy are ready to vie for the signature of Real Madrid's Gareth BaleChelsea, though, have also been linked with the former Tottenham star.

- The race is heating up for Milan striker Krzysztof Piatek. Struggling for goals and with Zlatan Ibrahimovic back at San Siro, the Poland international is wanted by Tottenham, reports The Guardian and Calciomercato. Spurs want to boost their attacking options following Harry Kane's injury. Aston Villa have also tabled a bid for Piatek, but Calciomercato claims he is holding out for a bigger club.

- While Piatek could prove a difficult signing, Villa are closing in on Milan goalkeeper Pepe Reina. Calciomercato, Gazzetta dello Sport and Tuttomercatoweb say former Liverpool keeper Reina has agreed a contract with the Premier League side until the end of the season.

- The Mirror reports United are in the market to sign a defender on loan after Harry Maguire's injury. Maguire – the world's most expensive defender – is facing a spell on the sidelines due to a muscle tear.

United are also weighing up a move for Ajax and Netherlands star Donny van de Beek, reports The Telegraph. With Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba injured, the Red Devils are in need of midfield reinforcements. Van de Beek has previously been linked to Real Madrid.

- AS claims Atletico Madrid are looking at Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik as an alternative to Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani. Out of contract at season's end, Cavani is reportedly poised to make the move to Atletico, however, United and Arsenal are also interested.

- Gianluca Di Marzio says Inter winger Matteo Politano has agreed to join city rivals Milan. Struggling for game time with the Nerazzurri, Politano's agent met with Milan's management on Wednesday as a shock switch nears.

Chelsea are preparing a £40million bid for West Ham defender Issa Diop, according to the Express. London rivals Tottenham are also reportedly interested.

Donyell Malen's participation in Euro 2020 is in doubt after the young striker underwent knee surgery that will likely mean he misses the rest of the season.

Malen, 20, had a minor operation on his left knee in Pittsburgh, with PSV confirming on Saturday that the surgery had been successful.

However, the forward, who has scored 18 goals for club and country this term, is now set to miss the remainder of the campaign.

It means his chances of making Netherlands' Euro 2020 squad have been dealt a significant blow, while Ronald Koeman is likely to be left without another striking option following Memphis Depay's season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injury.

"We may assume that Donyell Malen had successful surgery. There were no complications after surgery," said PSV's medical manager Dr Wart van Zoest. 

"Donyell will stay here [Pittsburgh] for at least two weeks before he returns to Eindhoven to start his thorough rehabilitation programme."

Malen suffered the injury in PSV's 3-1 defeat to Feyenoord on December 21.

Neymar is reportedly preparing a fresh strategy in his bid to return to Barcelona.

The Paris Saint-Germain star was linked heavily with a move back to Camp Nou during the close season but ended up staying with the Ligue 1 giants.

However, Neymar seemingly still has his eyes set on a return to LaLiga's reigning champions.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR PREPARES FRESH BARCELONA RETURN BID

Neymar is preparing a legal strategy to return to Barcelona, according to Sport.

The 27-year-old wants to make the move and let FIFA impose the compensation he will have to pay to PSG to be released, the report says.

Neymar has scored nine goals in 12 games this season, having struggled with injuries.

ROUND-UP

- Christian Eriksen is wanted by several European heavyweights. Inter have expressed an interest in the Tottenham midfielder, according to the Daily Mail. Manchester United, PSG and Juventus have also been linked to the Denmark international, who is out of contract at season's end.

- Staying at Spurs, Napoli and Ajax are preparing to move for Jan Vertonghen, according to The Telegraph. Vertonghen is also out of contract at the end of the season.

- After missing out on Dejan Kulusevski to Juventus, Inter are setting up to land two major transfers ahead of 2020-21. La Gazzetta dello Sport believes the Nerazzurri  will try to sign Fiorentina star Federico Chiesa and Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali.

- While they are eyeing Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal, Inter will try to make Stefano Sensi's move from Sassuolo a permanent one in January, reports CalcioMercato. Sensi arrived on loan in July last year with an option to buy at the end of the season.

- Daniel Sturridge could be set for a return to the Premier League. The Sun claims Aston Villa could be set to offer the former Liverpool forward, who is playing for Trabzonspor, a return to England.

Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana claims another club opted against signing him in 2017 because they felt their supporters would not accept a black goalkeeper.

Onana, 23, was born in Cameroon and has spent 12 years in Europe, first coming through Barcelona's academy before switching to Ajax in 2015.

There he has remained ever since, becoming a regular starter for the Amsterdam giants in the 2016-17 season, helping the club to the Europa League final.

It was after that match – a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United – when it looked as though Onana might move on.

But he now says an interested party passed on him because they felt their fans would not accept having a black player in goal.

Speaking to Dutch newspaper Het Parool, Onana said: "Racism is there, I have to deal with it in almost every away game, but I'm not talking about it.

"I'm proud to be black. If you find me a monkey, fine. I see no difference between white and black and I make no difference. If you do, that's your problem.

"I've been in Europe for 12 years. I live and work with people from all countries of the world, in every imaginable colour.

"Before each match, it sounds in the stadiums: 'No to racism', but racism is not only in football, it is everywhere.

"Racism was here long before I was born, and it will not suddenly disappear tomorrow. One day it will stop. It only needs time and you cannot force it.

"Along the way I noticed: it's not easy for a black keeper to reach a high level. In my first year at Ajax we reached the final of the Europa League.

"After that final, my manager spoke with an interested club, but that club nevertheless decided not to transfer, because a black goalkeeper would be difficult for their supporters.

"So, it wasn't because they didn't think I was good enough. I consider that as a compliment."

Erik ten Hag will not be allowed to leave Ajax next year regardless of what club comes calling, according to director of football Marc Overmars.

The 49-year-old has been linked with a number of high-profile jobs since leading Ajax to the Champions League semi-finals and a domestic double last season.

Among Ten Hag's rumoured suitors are German champions Bayern Munich, who have placed Hansi Flick in interim charge until the end of the campaign.

Bayern have been tipped to make an approach for the Dutchman ahead of next season, but Overmars is adamant his compatriot is going nowhere.

"Ten Hag can easily last another season after next summer," he told De Telegraaf. 

"I certainly won't let him go yet, although I know that he is on lists at major European clubs. That door will remain closed for the time being."

Ajax could also face a fight keeping hold of attacking midfielder Hakim Ziyech, who has nine goals and 16 assists in the Champions League and Eredivisie this term.

Overmars is hopeful the Morocco international will stay put in Amsterdam and become a club legend, but is realistic about Ajax's chances of keeping him.

"With Hakim, I regularly think he has reached his ceiling but every season he takes another step," Overmars said. "I sometimes tell him he can become Mr. Ajax, so why leave?

"But if we're being honest, he is 27 years old and at his peak. If he can make the step he has in mind then of course it would be allowed of us."

Donny van de Beek is another player in demand and is soon to enter the final two years of his existing contract.

"Next summer I expect a lot more interest in our players," Overmars said. "It becomes harder to keep our squad intact. Ajax players are loved everywhere.

"Think of Van de Beek and Ziyech. They have been here a long time and have brought Ajax so much beauty."

ADO Den Haag have appointed Alan Pardew as their new head coach on a deal until the end of the season.

Englishman Pardew has been out of work since leaving West Brom in April 2018 but will be tasked with guiding ADO away from relegation danger in the Eredivisie.

He told the club's official website: "In the search for a new challenge, I am pleased that I came across ADO Den Haag.

"It is a warm club where everything starts with enthusiasm and passion. The team is going through a difficult period but we will do everything we can to turn the tide.

"We must do that together, the players, the staff and the fans. Together we will try to make a comeback. I can't wait to get started."

Pardew will be assisted by Chris Powell and ADO general manager Mohammed Hamdi is excited at the pair's arrival.

"We are very happy with the appointment of Alan, who has earned his spurs in English football. He has a lot of experience and that is important in the current situation.

"During the conversations we were impressed by Alan's football vision.

"Chris also brings a lot of experience, as a player and as a coach. We warmly welcome Alan and Chris."

ADO are second from bottom in the Dutch top flight and have won just one of their last 14 league games.

Pardew's first game in charge will be at home to RKC Waalwijk on January 19.

Netherlands international Daley Blind has been diagnosed with inflammation of the heart muscle, Ajax have announced.

The former Manchester United defender suffered from dizziness in Ajax's Champions League defeat against Valencia on December 10.

Although Blind completed that game, he has not played since and was last week ruled out of his club's remaining matches in 2019.

Ajax have now confirmed Blind will remain in Amsterdam to continue his recovery when the team travels to Qatar for a mid-season training camp.

"Daley Blind has been diagnosed with heart muscle inflammation," read a statement from the Dutch champions. "The central defender has undergone extensive medical examination in recent days, following the dizziness that briefly bothered him during the Ajax – Valencia match.

"It was then decided to place a subcutaneous ICD on Blind, a device that is applied under the skin. As a result of this operation, which took place yesterday [Friday], the 29-year-old international will not start the training camp at the beginning of January but will continue to work on his recovery in Amsterdam."

The severity of Blind's condition has not been revealed, but the player said he was "feeling good" in a video posted on Twitter shortly after Ajax's announcement.

"First of all, I want to thank you guys for all the messages you sent me. I really appreciate it and it helped me, so [it was] very kind and thank you for that," said Blind.

"Second, Ajax just posted an update online about my condition. The most important thing is that I'm feeling good at the moment and I'm trying to come back as soon as possible.

"Again, thank you for everything and I'll see you guys soon."

Mikel Arteta is the latest man to be charged with restoring success to a failing Arsenal, and Gunners fans will hope his previous working relationship with Pep Guardiola gives the Basque coach a head start.

Arsenal ditched another Basque tactician in Unai Emery last month and the process to appoint a replacement has been anything but swift.

Freddie Ljungberg took charge in an interim capacity but managed just a single win in five matches, highlighting the sorry state of the situation inherited by Arteta, whose appointment as head coach was confirmed on Friday.

It is former Arsenal captain Arteta's first job in management, having spent the three years since he retired from playing working as an assistant to Guardiola at Manchester City.

Guardiola has credited Arteta with improving him as a manager and believes the San Sebastian native is "absolutely ready" to strike out on his own after a "magnificent" time together at City.

Given his success in management, Guardiola has unsurprisingly been mentioned as a major inspiration for many coaches.

Here, we examine four others to have worked closely with Guardiola and enjoyed success.

Tito Vilanova

Guardiola and Vilanova came through Barcelona's youth academy together as youngsters, though the latter went on to spend much of his playing career in the lower divisions. They reunited as coaches in 2007, with Vilanova assuming the role of assistant with the Barcelona B side, before taking up a similar position when Guardiola was promoted to the senior team the following year.

They worked together until Guardiola departed in 2012, with Vilanova subsequently appointed his successor. He led Barca to LaLiga success despite requiring a leave of absence for cancer treatment, but he officially stepped down in July 2013 due to a relapse. Vilanova died in April 2014 due to complications from cancer.

Luis Enrique

Although Luis Enrique never worked specifically in tandem with Guardiola, he did succeed his friend and former team-mate when taking charge of Barca B in 2008. That meant Luis Enrique's team fed directly into Guardiola's senior side for three seasons.

"You could see from the start he was special," the City boss once said of the former attacking midfielder, who like Guardiola also won a treble in his debut season in charge of the Barcelona first team after spells at Roma and Celta Vigo. Luis Enrique has since gone on to become Spain coach.

Erik ten Hag

Ten Hag had already coached a senior team when he was put in charge of Bayern Munich's second string in June 2013, having led Go Ahead Eagles to a sixth-placed finish in the Eerste Divisie. Despite managing separate teams at the club, Ten Hag and first-team boss Guardiola worked closely. Guardiola said last season: "I was lucky to meet him at Bayern and he was an assistant from the second team. We had a lot of chats."

Ten Hag left Bayern the year before Guardiola and led Utrecht to fifth and fourth in the Eredivisie, earning him a shot at the big time with Ajax. Since his December 2017 appointment, the Dutchman has won a league title and taken Ajax to the Champions League semis last term. A return to Bayern – but this time with the senior side – appears likely.

Domenec Torrent

It is unlikely there is anyone in world football more familiar with Guardiola's work than Torrent. After first teaming up with Barcelona B, the pair worked side by side for 11 years until 2018. "When we started in La Tercera [fourth tier in Spain], I never thought I would be with him so much, but then we won every possible title," Torrent told El Diario earlier this year when he was in charge of New York City FC.

He presided over the MLS side as they won the Eastern Conference this year, before stepping down in November. Although keen to continue his management career, don't rule out a return to Guardiola's side. "If Pep calls me, I will go [to him]," Torrent said in May. "I am grateful and I know that I owe it all to him. If I had not been his assistant, I would not be here. I like being a head coach and I will only stop being one if Pep thinks I can be useful [to him]."

Kevin De Bruyne's barnstorming performance for Manchester City in Sunday's 3-0 win over Arsenal unsurprisingly secures him the starring role in FIFA Ultimate Team's latest Team of the Week.

De Bruyne produced a masterclass at Emirates Stadium, scoring twice and creating another for Raheem Sterling.

The Belgian's driving runs from midfield were a constant feature, while each of his goals were truly quality efforts. He almost got a third, too, only for a wonderful save to help another thunderous strike onto the post.

De Bruyne is the star man in an impressive attacking unit in this week's FIFA 20 squad, with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah leading the line after netting a brace in the Reds' 2-0 victory over Watford.

Salah is joined in attack by Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho following fine displays against Mainz and RB Leipzig, collecting two goals and two assists across those games.

Philippe Coutinho is the other standout attacking name in the starting XI, while Jan Vertonghen offers a strong option at the back.

Below, we take a look at the latest squad in full.

TEAM OF THE WEEK

GK: Benjamin Lecomte (Monaco) - 86

CB: Raul Albiol (Villarreal) – 85

LB: Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham) – 88

LB: Theo Hernandez (Milan) – 84

RM: Pizzi (Benfica) – 86

CM: Jose Campana (Levante) – 83

CM: Leandro Paredes (Paris Saint-Germain) – 83

LW: Phillipe Coutinho (Bayern Munich) – 88

CAM: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) – 94

ST: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – 92

LF: Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) – 86

SUBSTITUTES

GK: Hendrik van Crombrugge (Anderlecht) – 79

LB: Lucas Olaza (Celta Vigo) – 81

CM: Dan Gosling (Bournemouth) – 81

CM: Borja Valero (Inter) – 82

LW: Gervinho (Parma) – 82

RW: Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord) – 83

ST: Youssef El Arabi (Olympiacos) – 81

RESERVES

LWB: Pascal Schurpf (Luzern) – 75

CAM: Omar Govea (Zulte Waregem) – 79

ST: Florian Niederlechner (Augsburg) – 80

ST: Jordan Rhodes (Sheffield Wednesday) – 78

ST: Conor Chaplin (Barnsley) – 74

Mark van Bommel has been sacked by PSV, with the club 10 points off the pace in the battle for the Eredivisie title.

The former Netherlands midfielder, who had two spells at the Philips Stadion as a player, was named head coach at PSV in June 2018, replacing Phillip Cocu.

PSV finished second in Van Bommel's maiden campaign in charge but have struggled in the Dutch top flight this term and a 3-1 loss at Feyenoord on Sunday proved the final straw.

"The decline is too large and unworthy of PSV," general manager Toon Gerbrands told the club's official website.

"The competitions are the measuring [sticks], but the process around them is also decisive. We monitor this intensively. 

"PSV is a club where we try to help and support each other. That has also been the case in recent months. 

"The club's interest has always been paramount. The evaluation ultimately resulted in this painful decision. We have all done everything to turn the tide. Unfortunately, we did not succeed."

Van Bommel had previously worked as an assistant under Bert van Marwijk with Saudi Arabia and Australia.

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