Former Juventus and Inter full-back Kwadwo Asamoah has announced his retirement from playing at the age of 33.

Asamoah, who was capped 74 times by Ghana and appeared at two World Cups, most recently featured for Cagliari at club level in the 2020-21 season.

He confirmed on social media he has officially called time on one chapter of his career and will now become a player agent.

Versatile defender Asamoah started his career at Udinese and made 279 appearances in Serie A – the most for an African player in the competition's history.

Asamoah joined Juve from Udinese in July 2012 and won 13 titles across six seasons with the Turin giants before spending two years with Inter.

Injuries curtailed his time at Cagliari, for whom he made his final appearance in a goalless draw against Milan in May 2021.

Inter's latest defeat shows the former Serie A champions "lack focus", admits goalkeeper Samir Handanovic, after they fell to a 3-1 loss against Udinese on Sunday.

The visitors surrendered an early lead to their hosts after Nicolo Barella's free-kick was cancelled out by a Milan Skriniar own goal, before late finishes for Jaka Bijol and Tolgay Arslan sealed three points for their rivals.

The result saw Inter not only miss out on the chance to go top of the table, but means they will head into the international break outside the top six.

It is the third league defeat this term for Simone Inzaghi's side, and follows a familiar pattern, where they have scored once and conceded three, leaving Handanovic to mull whether their control is slipping.

"We have lost the compactness we had before," the Slovenian told Sky Sport Italia. "It depends on many things. If you make technical mistakes and lose the ball, you are open, you are at risk.

"Today, we conceded two goals from set pieces. It shows that we lack focus. We know, we study things. When this happens, it is easy to analyse why. They did a lot more than us, they deserved to win."

"We cannot show consistency right now," coach Inzaghi added. "We came from two wins, and now that is three away matches in a row where we went ahead and then lost 3-1. 

"The main culprit is me because I am the coach, but it will require further analysis. We knew what Udinese could do, and we had to do more."

A frustrated Inter missed the chance to go top of Serie A after late goals for Jaka Bijol and Tolgay Arslan handed Udinese a 3-1 victory at Stadio Friuli.

The visitors had struck first inside five minutes to lead through Nicolo Barella, before a Milan Skriniar own goal had brought their hosts back into the game.

Both teams looked set to settle for a share of the spoils, but Bijol's powerful glance off Gerard Deulofeu's corner followed by Arslan's sharp header in injury time sealed the points for Udinese.

Defeat means Simone Inzaghi's side will return in October facing a fight to get back into the top four, with the result moving Udinese top ahead of Milan's clash with Napoli and Atalanta's trip to Roma.

Jose Mourinho claimed Roma were unlucky in their 4-0 loss at Udinese, insisted Paulo Dybala was the best player on the pitch, and labelled referee Fabio Maresca "perfect" for the hosts' style of play.

Goals from Destiny Udogie, Lazar Samardzic, Roberto Pereyra and Sandi Lovric condemned Roma to their first loss of the campaign on Sunday as Mourinho experienced his heaviest defeat in a Serie A fixture.

Indeed, only once in his managerial career has Mourinho suffered a more comprehensive loss in a domestic league match, going down 5-0 to Pep Guardiola's immense Barcelona side when in charge of Real Madrid in 2010.

Despite the heavy margin of defeat, Roma enjoyed a greater share of possession (56.9 per cent) and recorded more shots (12 to 11) than their hosts, and Mourinho believes defensive errors cost the Giallorossi dearly.

"Today we were unlucky, we gave away two goals which decided the match," he said.

"I'm talking about bad luck because at the start we were going strong with the opportunity created by Dybala, who for me was the best player on the pitch.

"It's clear that after losing 4-0 someone can laugh, but he gave quality, he had character.

"I told the players that when Udinese go ahead, they are good at everything. They are good at defending themselves, managing the timing of the match, going on the counter attack, up to educating ball boys. We don't have this last quality.

"A perfect match for them, a well-deserved victory, it's hard for us but I prefer a 4-0 defeat than four 1-0 defeats."

Mourinho was furious with the decision to deny Roma a penalty when Zeki Celik was bundled over in the area with the scoreline at 1-0, but said that to blame the officials for the defeat would be "ridiculous".

However, the former Chelsea and Manchester United boss could not resist a dig at Maresca, claiming his style of officiating suited the more physical hosts.

"When you lose 4-0, it's ridiculous to talk about the referee," Mourinho said.

"I think it wouldn't even be fair to say that we lost to the referee, we paid for the mistakes we made.

"I don't hide from you that when it's a physical match like this and the first yellow card goes to the artist of the match [Dybala], it's a bit contradictory.

"My principle is always the same, before the matches I never talk about referees, after the match I can say that with him, our feeling is poor.

"But when we saw who he was we realised that he had a perfect feeling with Udinese, for how they play.

"But we didn't lose to the referee, he didn't play a disastrous match, he played a match at his level."

Mourinho was unhappy with criticism of his decision to field captain Lorenzo Pellegrini in a more advanced role than usual, saying: "We have already played with Pellegrini in that position. I was a commentator for a while in England, how easy it is.

"When you sit on a bench, everything becomes more difficult."

Tottenham have confirmed the signing of Destiny Udogie from Udinese, where he will spend the 2022-23 season.

The defender has signed a five-year deal with the north London side and spent last season on loan at Udinese from Hellas Verona, a deal that turned permanent in July.

Spurs have paid a reported £15m to sign the left-back, who becomes Antonio Conte's seventh recruit of the transfer window.

Richarlison, Yves Bissouma, Djed Spence, Ivan Perisic, Fraser Forster and Clement Lenglet have already signed for Spurs, who began the Premier League season with victory against Southampton before Sunday's draw with Chelsea.

Udogie missed Udinese's opening match of the Serie A season, a 4-2 defeat to AC Milan, but is expected to be a crucial part of the team's campaign.

He had already spoken about his move to Tottenham, telling TuttoMercatoWeb: "I am very happy. It's a good feeling to go to the Premier League, to work with Conte, to sign with Tottenham. I am convinced that with Mr. Conte I will be able to grow again.

"For now, however, it is also important to return on loan to Udinese, I want to have a good season."

Destiny Udogie expects to thrive under Antonio Conte as he closes in on a move to Tottenham.

The wing-back on Sunday flew to London to complete a switch to Spurs for a fee reported to be in the region of £21million (€25.1m).

Tottenham will loan the 19-year-old back to Serie A club Udinese for the 2022-23 season as part of the deal 

Udogie is relishing the opportunity to work with Conte when he eventually links up with the Premier League club.

"I'm very happy. It's a good feeling to go to the Premier League, work with Conte, sign with Tottenham," he told Tuttomercatoweb.

"I am convinced that with Mr. Conte I will be able to grow further. For now, it is also important to return on loan to Udine, I want to have a good season."

Manchester United are reportedly engaged in discussions with Atletico Madrid about a potential move for striker Alvaro Morata in an effort to add some much-needed firepower up front.

Morata, 29, spent the past two seasons on loan at Juventus, where he racked up 32 goals and 21 assists in 92 club appearances, but with the Italian giants opting not to make it a permanent move, the Spaniard's future is unclear.

He has been starting for Madrid in pre-season games – including netting a hat-trick against Juve earlier this month – but with Antoine Griezmann, Joao Felix and the club's top-scorer from last season Angel Correa all available, it appears Diego Simeone may prefer to cash in.

 

TOP STORY – RED DEVILS LOOK TO FORMER CHELSEA STRIKER FOR ANSWERS

The report from The Athletic claims the Old Trafford side view a move for Morata as "a genuine possibility", with the price tag said to be in the neighbourhood of £30million.

It highlights the state of United's current forward stocks, with Edinson Cavani and Jesse Lingard departing, while Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly requested a transfer, and the futures of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are considered up in the air.

After a horrible beginning to their Premier League campaign, United are expected to be active for the remainder of the transfer period – with Metro also reporting Frenkie de Jong has told team-mates he will likely be headed to Manchester.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Daily Mail are reporting Chelsea have agreed to personal terms with 21-year-old Leicester City centre-back Wesley Fofana, although they have had two bids rejected as the asking price remains above £80m.

– The Daily Mail also claims United have told Paris Saint-Germain that Rashford is not for sale, with the Times adding that the French giants view him as a long-term partner to Kylian Mbappe.

– According to Sunday Express, Newcastle United have engaged Benfica in discussions about 21-year-old Portuguese midfielder Goncalo Ramos, who is said to be valued at £35m.

– Fabrizio Romano is reporting 19-year-old Udinese full-back Destiny Udogie is in England for a medical to confirm his £15m move to Tottenham, although he will be loaned back to Udinese for the remainder of the season.

Nottingham Forest have agreed to a £15m move for Brighton striker Neal Maupay, per The Athletic.

Milan head coach Stefano Pioli said his team "must not repeat" their defensive errors in Saturday's opening win against Udinese when they face Atalanta next week.

The Rossoneri got their Serie A title defence off to a victorious start at San Siro as they beat Udinese 4-2, but had to come from behind after conceding just 90 seconds into the new season when Rodrigo Becao headed in a corner.

A penalty from Theo Hernandez and an Ante Rebic strike quickly turned things around, only for Adam Masina to head in an equaliser just before half-time.

Brahim Diaz restored Milan's lead less than a minute into the second half, before Rebic wrapped things up with just over 20 minutes to go.

While Pioli was clearly unhappy with conceding twice, he did acknowledge that his side recovered and played some of the football that saw them win their first Scudetto in 11 years last season.

"I didn't like conceding so early; we have to start better," he told DAZN. "Then we played half an hour of great football, against a very dangerous and physical opponent.

"We conceded two goals from crosses, we had to work much better. We will review everything and deal with these situations better.

"Sometimes we are more determined when we defend high instead of in front of our penalty area. This is a serious mistake, and we must not repeat it next Sunday against an opponent like Atalanta."

Rebic scored twice, his first Serie A goals at San Siro in 482 days, having not registered a league goal on home soil since playing Genoa in April 2021.

"Ante is a very strong player," Pioli added. "He knows how to move, he knows how to tie the game, he has all the characteristics to be important. He worked for the team, he really gave us a lot, so congratulations [to him]."

New signings Charles de Ketelaere and Divock Origi made their debuts from the bench, with the former putting the ball in the back of the net only to see it disallowed for a foul by the latter.

Pioli was asked about De Ketelaere, a big-money arrival from Club Brugge, and suggested the Belgium international will need more time before starting.

"The [first] impressions are very positive, he is an intelligent guy," he said.

"He can read situations in advance... He still doesn't have the best possible condition [fitness-wise]. He was probably used to working between the lines more, we aim to fill those spaces with more players.

"There is no doubt about his talent, but he comes from a different league and will need the time to understand this football. "

Milan recovered from conceding just two minutes into their Serie A title defence to beat Udinese 4-2 at San Siro on Saturday.

The opening game of the season in the Italian top flight for the Rossoneri saw a penalty from Theo Hernandez, two goals from Ante Rebic and another from Brahim Diaz guide them to three points, despite conceding twice to the visitors through Rodrigo Becao and Adam Masina.

New signings Charles de Ketelaere and Divock Origi were named on the bench for Stefano Pioli's side, with the former introduced for the final 20 minutes and the latter for the final seven in front of their new fans. 

It was a losing start for new Udinese head coach Andrea Sottil, though he will have been buoyed by his team's ability to keep Milan honest in a game that was more open in the first half than Pioli would have liked.

It was far from an ideal start for the hosts as Udinese took the lead in just the second minute when Becao headed a Gerard Deulofeu corner in at the near post.

That advantage did not last long though as a VAR check led to a Milan penalty being awarded on 10 minutes after Brandon Soppy was judged to have fouled Davide Calabria, with Hernandez calmly dispatching the spot kick.

The champions were in front just four minutes later when neat play from Diaz gave Calabria the chance to cross to Rebic, who swept the ball past Marco Silvestri.

Deulofeu made a mess of a chance when in on goal, but Udinese were level just before half-time when two more former Watford players combined, with Roberto Pereyra crossing for Masina to head in at the far post.

If Milan made a slow start in the first half, Udinese managed to trump it in the second as Nehuen Pereza and Masina made a mess of a Hernandez cross from the left, allowing Diaz to prod the hosts back in front just 34 seconds after the restart.

Diaz had been a thorn in Udinese's side all game, and won the ball inside the opposition's box on 68 minutes before squaring to Rebic to lift his finish into the roof of the net to seal the win.

Stefano Pioli says Milan will "not back down" in the transfer market as they eye further reinforcements ahead of a "special" season.

The Serie A champions reportedly paid €36million to sign attacking midfielder Charles De Ketelaere from Club Brugge, and also brought in striker Divock Origi on a free transfer after his Liverpool contract expired.

But it has been a quiet transfer window for the Rossoneri after they ended an 11-year wait to win the Scudetto in May.

Milan start the defence of their title against Udinese at San Siro on Saturday and head coach Pioli hopes to have more new faces on board by the time the transfer window closes on September 1.

He told reporters on Friday: "I am very happy and delighted with who has arrived. If there is a chance to improve the squad, we will not back down."

Pioli added: "The transfer market can offer you situations that you may not have thought of until now. If there is the possibility the squad will be improved; different characteristics may be needed from those we have."

Such a hectic schedule due to the World Cup in Qatar will provide further challenges, but Pioli is relishing another title battle.

He said: "It will be a special season. Today I showed the team the whole calendar until November 13 and many will have 23-24 games in 90 days.

"I will need everyone available. In three months we will have already played a lot: we play 15 league games, the Champions League...

"It will be a very balanced championship and I think it will be difficult for everyone to improve the standard of the last championship. All the top eight are at a high level, the mid-table ones have grown. It will be a good fight."

Chelsea are in the market to bolster their defence following the exits of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.

Thomas Tuchel's side have already added Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli for £35million.

The Blues are eager to add another centre-back to their ranks before the closure of the transfer window.

TOP STORY – BLUES TO MAKE WORLD-RECORD BID FOR FOFANA

Chelsea are preparing to make a world-record offer for Leicester City's French defender Wesley Fofana, reports Football London.

The Blues' bid would be the highest fee paid for a defender, having had a previous offer declined by the Foxes.

It is believed Chelsea's previous bid was £70m with Leicester insisting he is not for sale. Harry Maguire, sold by Leicester to Manchester United, holds the record for a defender at £80m.


ROUND-UP

– Manchester United are closing in on a deal for Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot, having reached an agreement with the Italian club for an initial £15m fee, according to The Guardian. France international Rabiot is in the final year of his contract with Juventus.

– 90min reports that United target Benjamin Sesko is close to agreeing to a deal with German club RB Leipzig. The report claims that 19-year-old Slovenian forward Sesko will move from Salzburg to Leipzig in 2023.

– United have also reached out to Real Betis on Guido Rodriguez's status according to AS, while the Red Devils are still considering Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, reports The Telegraph.

– Tottenham have reached an agreement with Udinese for winger Destiny Udogie for more than €20m, claims Fabrizio Romano. Udogie, however, will still on loan at Udinese this season.

– Monaco are keen on signing Manchester United defender Eric Bailly on loan, claims L'Equipe. The Ligue 1 club want the Ivorian, who is under contract until 2024, with an option to buy.

– Fiorentina will rival Villarreal for the signature of Tottenham's Giovani Lo Celso, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. The Argentina international spent time on loan with Villarreal last season.

Valencia will revive its interest in Tottenham's Bryan Gil following Goncalo Guades' move to Wolves, claims Diario AS.

– The Telegraph claims Milan have re-opened talks with Chelsea's Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech who has been transfer listed.

Chelsea are in the market to bolster their defence following the exits of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.

Thomas Tuchel's side have already added Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli for £35million.

The Blues are eager to add another centre-back to their ranks before the closure of the transfer window.

TOP STORY – BLUES TO MAKE WORLD-RECORD BID FOR FOFANA

Chelsea are preparing to make a world-record offer for Leicester City's French defender Wesley Fofana, reports Football London.

The Blues' bid would be the highest fee paid for a defender, having had a previous offer declined by the Foxes.

It is believed Chelsea's previous bid was £70m with Leicester insisting he is not for sale. Harry Maguire, sold by Leicester to Manchester United, holds the record for a defender at £80m.


ROUND-UP

– Manchester United are closing in on a deal for Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot, having reached an agreement with the Italian club for an initial £15m fee, according to The Guardian. France international Rabiot is in the final year of his contract with Juventus.

– 90min reports that United target Benjamin Sesko is close to agreeing to a deal with German club RB Leipzig. The report claims that 19-year-old Slovenian forward Sesko will move from Salzburg to Leipzig in 2023.

– United have also reached out to Real Betis on Guido Rodriguez's status according to AS, while the Red Devils are still considering Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, reports The Telegraph.

– Tottenham have reached an agreement with Udinese for winger Destiny Udogie for more than €20m, claims Fabrizio Romano. Udogie, however, will still on loan at Udinese this season.

– Monaco are keen on signing Manchester United defender Eric Bailly on loan, claims L'Equipe. The Ligue 1 club want the Ivorian, who is under contract until 2024, with an option to buy.

– Fiorentina will rival Villarreal for the signature of Tottenham's Giovani Lo Celso, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. The Argentina international spent time on loan with Villarreal last season.

Valencia will revive its interest in Tottenham's Bryan Gil following Goncalo Guades' move to Wolves, claims Diario AS.

– The Telegraph claims Milan have re-opened talks with Chelsea's Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech who has been transfer listed.

Manchester United are reportedly willing to meet Salzburg's £41.8million asking price for 19-year-old Slovenian striker Benjamin Sesko.

Sesko, who does not turn 20 until next May and measures in at 195cm tall, scored 11 goals in 37 games last season, and he opened the new Bundesliga campaign with a goal and an assist in a 3-0 win over Austria Vienna.

According to The Athletic, United decided against signing Sesko for £2.5m as a 16-year-old, and they will now have to pay up to secure the services of the in-demand forward.


TOP STORY – UNITED PLAN BIG MOVE FOR TOWERING SLOVENIAN STRIKER

The report from Express calls Sesko "a priority target" for new boss Erik ten Hag, but also mentions that the Austrian club is extremely high on him as a prospect – going as far as comparing his future to that of former Salzburg man Erling Haaland.

Meanwhile, Sport Klub claims Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are also monitoring the situation, and that Sesko and Salzburg will be meeting in the next week to make a firm decision on his future.

Sesko is also Slovenia's youngest-ever international debutant, having debuted one day after his 18th birthday, and became their youngest international goalscorer a few months later.


ROUND-UP

– Calciomercato claims Tottenham are set to sign 19-year-old defender and Manchester City target Destiny Udogie from Udinese for a deal in the range of £25m.

– The Mirror is reporting that Everton have swooped in to land West Ham target Amadou Onana from Lille with a fee of £33.7m.

Leeds United are making a £22m bid for Paris Saint-Germain forward Arnaud Kalimuendo, according to the Sun.

– A Sky Sports report states Crystal Palace are interested in bringing back defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka from United.

– Liverpool are exploring a potential £50m move to bring in Leroy Sane from Bayern Munich, according to 90min.

Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong has had a long-running transfer saga this off-season.

The 25-year-old Dutchman has been linked with a move away from Camp Nou amid Barcelona's financial issues, despite their off-season spending landing Robert Lewandowski among others.

The Catalans need to offload players before they can register new signings and De Jong is surplus to requirements.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA TO HIJACK MAN UTD MOVE FOR DE JONG

Chelsea have commenced talks with Barcelona in a bid to hijack Manchester United 's move for Frenkie de Jong, reports The Athletic.

Manchester United have actively pursued the Dutch midfielder this off-season but he has been unwilling to leave the Blaugrana for Old Trafford, creating a stand-off.

De Jong, who is still owed deferred wages by Barcelona, is more open to moving to Chelsea than United, according to the report. 

ROUND-UP

–  Chelsea are also considering a move for Barcelona forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang claims Fabrizio Romano. The Blues have already held talks with former Arsenal man's representatives.

– Sky Sports reports that Manchester United's pursuit of 19-year-old Slovenian forward Benjamin Sesko is heating up, having held initial discussions with his club, Austrian champions Salzburg. Fabrizio Romano claims Chelsea have also spoken to Sesko's agent.

Chelsea remain keen on Leicester City defender Wesley Fofana and will offer him £200,000 per week according to the Mail. The Foxes want £85million for the Frenchman.

– The Sun reports that West Ham have agreed to a £35m deal with Lille for Belgian midfielder Amadou Onana. The Hammers still need to thrash out a personal agreement with Onana.

Juventus are interested in signing Udinese left-back Destiny Udogie according to Il Bianconero, while the Daily Mail claims Antonio Conte's Tottenham are also keen on him.

– Diario Sport reports that Rayo Vallecano president Raul Martin Presa has reached a deal with Diego Costa, who wants to return to Spain after time in Brazil.

Borussia Dortmund could be set to spend €30million to sign Almeria forward Umar Sadiq according to Mundo Deportivo. Dortmund are looking for cover as Sebastian Haller is absent due to a testicular tumour.

Atletico Madrid have completed the signing of Nahuel Molina from Udinese for an undisclosed fee.

The Argentina right-back has signed a five-year-deal at the Wanda Metropolitano, where his compatriot Diego Simeone is the long-serving head coach.

Molina played 68 games for Udinese across two seasons, scoring 10 goals and recording seven assists for Le Zebrette.

The 24-year-old has also established himself with his national side, including playing five times for Argentina as they went on to win the 2021 Copa America.

Atletico have been short at right-back since selling Kieran Trippier to Newcastle United in January, while Sime Vrsaljko left the club for Olympiacos after the expiry of his contract at the end of the season.

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