Alexis Sanchez officially signed his contract as a Marseille player on Wednesday after passing a medical with the Ligue 1 club.

A busy week for Sanchez had seen him depart Inter on Monday when his contract was terminated, before Marseille announced a deal in principle had been agreed on Tuesday.

Marseille fans were made to wait little longer for formal confirmation of an eye-catching signing.

The former Barcelona, Arsenal and Manchester United man arrives in France looking to recapture his best form, having started only seven matches in Serie A last season – albeit he still scored five goals.

Sanchez had netted seven for Inter the previous season, again often appearing from the bench, as the Nerazzurri won the Scudetto.

Marseille's statement on Wednesday described Sanchez as "a world-class player with a great experience of the very highest level".

Inter have confirmed the termination of Alexis Sanchez's contract amid reports the forward is set to join Marseille.

Sanchez arrived at San Siro from Manchester United in 2019, initially on a season-long loan before signing a permanent deal in 2020.

The Chile international was part of the Inter side that won the Serie A title in the 2020-21 season, while he also scored a dramatic 121st minute winner against Juventus in the Supercoppa Italiana in January.

Sanchez only managed five goals in 27 Serie A appearances for the Nerazzurri last season, though just seven of those were starts.

The 33-year-old made 109 appearances in all, scoring 20 goals.

Inter said in a statement on Monday: "FC Internazionale Milano announces that it has reached an agreement for the consensual termination of the contract of the Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez.

"The club would like to thank Alexis for his three seasons in the Nerazzurri, culminating in the winning of three trophies, and wishes him the best for the rest of his career."

Numerous reports have suggested Sanchez's next move will be to Ligue 1, with Marseille said to be offering the former Barcelona man a two-year deal.

Tottenham have reportedly entered the race for 23-year-old Roma attacking midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo, with Juventus also heavily linked to the Italy international.

Zaniolo missed the entire 2020-21 season after suffering the second torn ACL of his career, but he made a successful return this past campaign, totalling 42 club appearances, including five goals and four assists in 10 Conference League fixtures.

The man with nine senior international caps has been linked with Juventus for some time now, but with the club yet to make any breakthrough, they could face competition from the Premier League.

TOP STORY – TOTTENHAM LOOK TO SWOOP IN FOR JUVENTUS TARGET

According to Tuttosport, Juventus and Roma have been holding discussions about different constructions of a deal for Zaniolo, including an iteration that would make it a loan this season with an option to buy after. The report mentions his price tag is believed to be between £30million and £40million.

With Tottenham set to play Roma in a friendly on Saturday, it is said to be an opportunity for the two clubs to sit down and discuss the possibility of a move.

Reports have claimed Spurs are willing to include Giovani Lo Celso in their bid, with the English club said to value the Argentinian at £17million.


ROUND-UP

– L'Equipe is reporting that Marseille are investigating a potential move for Inter's Alexis Sanchez.

– Fabrizio Romano says Chelsea have yet to receive an acceptable offer for 20-year-old striker Armando Broja after turning down a £30million bid from West Ham, and that he may be competing for first-team minutes this season.

– Fabrizio Romano is also reporting that Everton have approached Paris Saint-Germain about bringing 32-year-old Idrissa Gueye back to the club after he left in 2019.

– According to 90min, West Ham are in talks with Eintracht Frankfurt about 29-year-old wing-back Filip Kostic after having their first bid turned down.

Ajax, Newcastle United and Bayer Leverkusen are tracking 18-year-old forward Giovani, playing for Palmeiras in the Brazilian top division, according to ESPN Brasil.

Inter vice president Javier Zanetti is unsure whether Alexis Sanchez will remain a Nerazzurri player amid reports of interest from Saudi Arabia.

The Chilean 33-year-old arrived from Manchester United in 2019, initially joining on a season-long loan before signing a permanent deal in 2020.

He was part of the 2020-21 Inter side which delivered their first Serie A title since the 2009-10 season, while he also scored a 121st minute winner to help his team lift the 2022 Supercoppa Italiana in January.

Sanchez only scored five goals in 27 Serie A appearances for Inter last season, though he was either substituted on or off in 25 of those matches, and there has subsequently been talk of a move away from San Siro.

It has been reported that Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr have made an offer for Sanchez, but Zanetti was coy when asked about the forward's situation.

Zanetti told En Cancha: "He has started training with the team and is training with the whole squad.

"The transfer market is open, but today he is still one of our players."

Having already signed Romelu Lukaku on loan from Chelsea, Inter had looked set to further strengthen their attacking options with the acquisition of Paulo Dybala, who left Juventus at the end of his contract in June.

The 19-time Serie A champions appeared to be frontrunners to sign Dybala, but the Argentine has instead joined Jose Mourinho's Europa Conference League winners Roma ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.

Inter may also lose Milan Skriniar, who has been strongly linked with a move to French giants Paris Saint-Germain, although Nerazzurri goalkeeper Samir Handanovic said it was "essential" to keep the defender on Thursday.

 

Inter moved back to the summit of Serie A in the latest turn of an enthralling title race after they claimed a 3-1 win over Spezia.

The Nerazzurri threw down a gauntlet to rivals Milan as they deposed them at the top of the table thanks to goals from Marcelo Brozovic, Lautaro Martinez and Alexis Sanchez.

Simone Inzaghi's defending champions could well end the weekend back in second place, with their San Siro neighbours set to face Genoa later on Good Friday.

But victory at Stadio Alberto Picco at least means the Nerazzurri remain neck-and-neck, with a game in hand on the Rossoneri beyond this latest round ensuring destiny stays in their own hands.

In a game where opportunities were initially at a premium, it took almost 15 minutes for either side to register an attempt, with Denzel Dumfries heading wide.

But when Danilo D'Ambrosio headed down a looping cross near the edge of the box in the 31st minute, there was little stopping Brozovic's rasping drive into the top-left corner.

The visitors were not as clinically composed as they would have liked, however.

Nicolo Barella slid reaching for the ball past the hour to fumble a great chance for a second, while Dumfries blazed a subsequent low cross way over the crossbar.

But when Martinez flicked Ivan Perisic's cross beyond Ivan Provedel with just over a quarter-hour to play, Inter looked to be home and dry.

Giulio Maggiore fired home a response late on to set up a nervy final act, but the visitors restored the two-goal cushion in stoppage time, with Sanchez drilling a squared Martinez pass home.

 

Argentine forward Paulo Dybala is set to exit Juventus at the end of this season.

As a result, the Bianconeri are assessing their options for a replacement.

Juventus are currently fourth in Serie A after an excellent run of results which have put them into the title picture.

TOP STORY – ZANIOLO FRAMED AS DYBALA REPLACEMENT 

TuttoMercato claims Juventus have set their sights on Nicolo Zaniolo as Dybala's replacement, with the Roma attacker unlikely to renew with the Giallorossi before his contract expires in 2024.

The first domino in this instance is Dybala, whose contract expires at the end of this season. Juventus have no intention of extending according to Fabrizio Romano. Romano claims the 28-year-old will not move another club in Serie A, opening up a move to long-time suitor Tottenham.

According to TuttoMercato, Juve have chosen Zaniolo as their replacement and would be ready to make a move in the upcoming transfer window. Whether they can manoeuvre to match his current market value of €40million remains to be seen, however.

ROUND-UP

- Per Sky Sports, Manchester United have narrowed their shortlist for a permanent manager down to Ajax's Erik ten Hag, Sevilla's Julen Lopetegui, Spain boss Luis Enrique and Paris Saint-Germain's Mauricio Pochettino .

- Inter have targeted Edinson Cavani as a replacement for Alexis Sanchez, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

- Calciomercato reports Arsenal will make a move for Arthur in the upcoming transfer window, as contract negotiations with Juventus have broken down.

- Arsenal are also keen to tie Bukayo Saka to a long-term contract, in attempts to fend off outside interest for the 20-year-old, per The Athletic.

Alexis Sanchez hit a stoppage-time leveller to earn Inter a point, but Sunday's 1-1 draw at Torino still went down as a major blow to the Nerazzurri's Scudetto defence hopes.

Chile international Sanchez came off the bench and struck in the third added minute, after Gleison Bremer's first-half finish looked to have done enough for the hosts at Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino.

On the back of their midweek Champions League exit to Liverpool, Simone Inzaghi's Inter missed the chance to put telling pressure on Serie A leaders Milan, trimming the difference between the city rivals to just four points after labouring against mid-table opposition.

Ivan Juric's Torino could not quite snap a six-game winless streak, but their hard-earned point at the very least likely ends any remote chance of a relegation battle in Turin this season.

Manchester United's search for a new permanent manager continues.

The Red Devils parted ways with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last year after an underwhelming campaign despite the return of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ralf Rangnick has taken over on an interim basis, buying United time to get the right man for the job.

TOP STORY - MAN UTD 'SOUND OUT' TEN HAG

Manchester United have "sounded out" Ajax boss Erik Ten Hag through intermediaries with no formal approach yet, claims Sky Sports.

Ten Hag along with current Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino are believed to be the two lead candidates for the top job at Old Trafford.

The report claims the Dutchman would be keen to speak to United if they make a formal approach.

 

ROUND-UP

- Italian champions Inter are ready to allow Alexis Sanchez to exit the club in mid-year reports Calciomercato. The 33-year-old's contract at San Siro runs until 2023 but Inter are keen to get his hefty wages off their books.

- England international Joe Gomez will seek a move away from Liverpool at the end of this season, claims 90min, as he seeks more regular game-time, having been a bit-part player this term. Leicester City, Tottenham, Newcastle United and West Ham are all interested.

- Brighton and Hove Albion are leading the race to sign Chile international Ben Brereton Diaz from promotion hopefuls Blackburn Rovers, claims TEAMtalk. Crystal Palace, Everton, Leeds United and West Ham are also interested.

- Mundo Deportivo reports that West Ham are interested in signing former Barcelona, Milan and Everton winger Gerard Deulofeu from Udinese.

- Fichajes claims Wolves are in talks with Shakhtar Donetsk's Pedrinho about a move to England, with players from Ukrainian clubs able to seek free transfers.

Arsene Wenger has accused Liverpool midfielder Fabinho of "cheating" in order to get Alexis Sanchez sent off in Tuesday's Champions League tie with Inter.

Liverpool were beaten 1-0 by the Italian champions in the second leg at Anfield but still advanced to the quarter-finals by virtue of a 2-1 aggregate victory.

Sanchez's dismissal came at a pivotal moment in the tie, the Chile international being shown a second yellow two minutes after Lautaro Martinez had struck to give Inter hope.

The former Arsenal and Manchester United player clearly got some of the ball but followed through on Fabinho, who got back to his feet once the red card had been issued.

It was the first red card Sanchez has received in his 64 games in the Champions League, and Wenger suggested Fabinho more than played his part in the referee's decision.

"It was borderline between cheating and being clever," Wenger, who worked with Sanchez at Arsenal between 2014 and 2018, told beIN SPORTS. 

"He was cheating, he made more of it. Maybe he had pain, he was touched by Sanchez. You cannot say it was completely fake. Maybe he could have got up quicker. 

"It's one of those fouls – when it's one of your plays you say it's clever; when you're completely neutral like we're supposed to be you can say he could have made less of it.

"He didn't want to hurt him, he played the ball first."

 

Sanchez is the first Inter player to be given his marching orders in the knockout stages of the Champions League since Cristian Chivu against Schalke in April 2011.

The 33-year-old, who was credited with the assist for Martinez's strike, had earlier been cautioned for a lunge on Thiago Alcantara.

And Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp felt that challenge alone late in the first half was worthy of a straight red card for Sanchez.

"I think he was lucky he hadn't got a red card in the first half, going in so high on Thiago onto his knee," Klopp said at his post-match news conference. 

"Passion is good, absolutely good, but if it leads to these kind of things then it doesn't help."

On the red card incident, Klopp added: "If you can win the ball only [then it is acceptable] but if you endanger an opponent when you do it, then you don't win the ball. 

"If Fabinho goes in with the same intention, with the leg out, then both players get injured."

Despite victory on the night, Inter have now been eliminated from each of their last three Champions League knockout ties since beating Bayern Munich in the 2010-11 last 16.

Simone Inzaghi has "great regrets" following Inter's 2-1 aggregate defeat to Liverpool, but stands by his decision to not substitute Alexis Sanchez prior to the forward's sending off.

Inter trailed 2-0 heading into the Champions League last-16 second leg and were fortunate not to be further behind as Joel Matip and Mohamed Salah hit the frame of the goal.

However, Lautaro Martinez's superb 20-yard strike with just over an hour played changed the mood around Anfield and gave Inter serious hope of salvaging extra time.

Inter's prospects of staying in the competition were badly dented 107 seconds later, though, as Sanchez received a second yellow card for following through on Fabinho.

Former Arsenal and Manchester United forward Sanchez had been yellow carded late in the first half for a similar lunge on Thiago Alcantara.

Inter, who conceded late on to Roberto Firmino and Salah in the first leg, offered little attacking threat with 10 men and were lucky not to concede when Salah again hit the post.

Inzaghi is known for substituting players when they are at risk of being dismissed, but he did not feel the need to bring off Sanchez in what was an at times bad-tempered game.

"Absolutely not," he told Sky Sport Italia after his side's 1-0 win on the night.

"In general I am very careful, but at that moment I needed Sanchez on the field. I was not going to change him on an evening like this."

 

Sanchez is the first Inter player to see red in the knockout stages of the Champions League since Cristian Chivu against Schalke in 2011.

Inter boss Inzaghi did not comment on whether he felt the red card was harsh as he did not see the second foul, though he felt his side deserved more over the two legs.

“We feel upset about the fact we had a player sent off just when we were getting the upper hand in the game," he said of Sanchez's first dismissal in 64 games in the competition.

"There are certainly great regrets for us as we wanted to reach the last 16.

"But we were up against Liverpool, who along with Manchester City and Bayern Munich are the best team in Europe right now, and we fought them on an even keel.

"We are probably paying the price for the final 15 minutes of the first leg, because I think we had two very good games against an excellent opponent.

"I think the first 75 minutes saw us deserve far more, then we conceded on a corner, which wasn't even a good one, and the second goal really knocked us down.

"During our best period of the game and the worst for them, Alexis Sanchez was sent off, and that was bad timing.

"Over the two legs we showed we are equal to a really strong Liverpool team. We played well and I am more bitter about the game at San Siro than what happened in this game."

 

Martinez's goal was his first in the Champions League in 11 appearances since netting against Real Madrid in November 2020.

It proved to be nothing more than a consolation over the two legs, though it did earn the Italian champions a first win against Liverpool home or away since the 1964-65 season.

But at the end of 180 minutes, Martinez was left to rue Sanchez's red card at a pivotal moment in the game.

"We did what we wanted to by showing character," he said. "It was a pity to then go down to 10 men because these are the details that make the difference.

"All we can do now is look forward. We are out of the Champions League but still have the Coppa Italia and Serie A. We must learn from these mistakes."

Liverpool advanced to the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a 2-1 aggregate victory over 10-man Inter, despite losing 1-0 in Tuesday's second leg at Anfield.

Late goals from Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah in last month's first leg ensured the Reds were in control of the tie heading into the return fixture.

The hosts hit the frame of the goal through Joel Matip and Salah and looked under no threat until the point Lautaro Martinez fired in a stunning goal for Inter with an hour played.  

Alexis Sanchez was sent off 107 seconds later for a second yellow card, however, and it was Liverpool who went closest to scoring the next goal when Salah struck the post.

Thiago Alcantara and Matip returned to Liverpool's line-up and the latter picked out the crossbar from the best of Liverpool's limited first-half openings.

Milan Skriniar superbly blocked Virgil van Dijk's goal-bound header moments later, while Hakan Calhanoglu tested Alisson at the other end from a low free-kick.

Liverpool slowly started to turn the screw and should have been out of sight in the tie, only for Salah to fire against the upright after Diogo Jota was denied by Samir Handanovic.

Those wasted chances came back to haunt Jurgen Klopp's side when Martinez unleashed a swerving 20-yard shot into the top-right corner.

Sanchez, who received a yellow for a challenge on Thiago late in the first half, was sent off for following through on the same opponent almost immediately after Martinez's goal.

Liverpool were further frustrated as Salah's cushioned volley came back off the upright, but the hosts protected their one-goal aggregate lead to reach the last eight.

Inter forward Alexis Sanchez served up a reminder of his talent before expressing frustration at a lack of opportunities under Simone Inzaghi this season.

Sanchez produced an inspired performance as the Nerazzurri responded to their derby defeat by Milan with a 2-0 win over Roma, advancing to the Coppa Italia semi-finals.

After Edin Dzeko opened the scoring at San Siro, Chile international Sanchez sealed victory with a ferocious 25-yard effort midway through the second half.

The former Barcelona, Manchester United and Arsenal forward also registered game-high tallies of 13 crosses and five key passes.

Sanchez was making his 23rd appearance of the season in all competitions, but only his sixth start.

While acknowledging the team must come first, he spoke of his frustration at mainly having to settle for cameos.

He said: "I always want to play. The more I play, the better I feel. I want to do the best for the team, it's difficult to play five or 10 minutes and do well."

Looking at Inter's current circumstances, Sanchez told Sport Mediaset: “We know that we played better than Milan in the derby, but we shouldn't have made those mistakes.

"We're staying calm as we're still top [of Serie A] and we want to continue down our path."

Meanwhile, Inzaghi expressed delight at his players' response to their disappointing weekend defeat at the hands of Milan.

The Inter head coach said: "The boys were very good, it was not an easy match. Roma are a quality team, with an excellent squad. We controlled the pitch very well and deserved [to reach] this semi-final.

"I congratulated the boys because to play a match with such strong personality two and a half days after the setback in the derby wasn't easy."

The only sour note for the hosts was an ankle injury sustained by defender Alessandro Bastoni during the first half.

Inzaghi hopes that any spell on the sidelines for the Italy international will be minimal.

"I hope it is nothing serious," Inzaghi said. "The doctors will do the necessary checks, we hope not to lose him for too long because he is really too important to us."

Alexis Sanchez's wonderful strike helped Inter reach the Coppa Italia semi-finals with a 2-0 victory over Roma.

Edin Dzeko opened the scoring against his old club with a neat volley inside the first two minutes at San Siro.

Then, Sanchez doubled the advantage midway through the second half with a magnificent effort from 25 yards.

It was enough to give Simone Inzaghi's side a fourth victory in five meetings with their opponents at this stage of the competition.

The third-highest scorer in Roma’s history behind Francesco Totti (307) and Roberto Pruzzo (138), Dzeko scored 119 goals in 260 appearances for the Giallorossi in all competitions between 2015 and 2021.

The Bosnia international came back to haunt his old club after just two minutes, volleying home brilliantly from Ivan Perisic's inviting cross.

Inter went close to doubling their lead as Nicolo Barella rattled the crossbar from distance, while Dzeko and Milan Skriniar saw headers saved by Rui Patricio.

At the other end, Samir Handanovic sprung into action with superb reflexes to deny Nicolo Zaniolo from the visitors' first attack.

The hosts lost Alessandro Bastoni to injury just before half-time. Along with Inzaghi and Lautaro Martinez, the defender faced disciplinary action earlier in the day for his conduct during the derby defeat by Milan at the weekend.

On returning to his former club, Jose Mourinho and his Roma side threatened to find an equaliser after the break.

Jordan Veretout's long-range effort was not too far off target, while Handanovic did brilliantly to scramble across and tip Sergio Oliveira's deflected strike over the bar.

But Inter doubled their advantage and sealed the tie in emphatic fashion in the 68th minute, with Sanchez unleashing a rasping drive into the top left corner.

Stefano Sensi scored the winner as Inter required extra-time to edge past Empoli 3-2 in the Coppa Italia last 16 on Wednesday.

Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring after just 12 minutes at the San Siro, but Empoli turned things around as substitute Nedim Bajrami equalised before the visitors fortuitously took the lead when Ionut Radu deflected into his own net.

Andrea Ranocchia produced an acrobatic stoppage-time equaliser to send the tie to extra-time and substitute Sensi delivered the decisive strike after 104 minutes. 

Victory meant Simone Inzaghi's Serie A leaders squirmed through to the quarter-finals for the 18th time in 19 seasons.

Inter deservedly took the lead when Sanchez nodded Denzel Dumfries' cross into the bottom-left corner - the forward's second goal in the competition, 4,291 days after his first for Udinese in 2010.

The same pair combined eight minutes later, but Dumfries saw his effort kept out by Jacopo Furlan before a fantastic double save from the Empoli goalkeeper denied Lautaro Martinez.

Ranocchia should have doubled the lead immediately after the interval but wastefully headed over.

Bajrami punished Ranocchia's miss as he placed a left-footed effort into the bottom-right corner after Kristjan Asllani's offload before VAR overturned a penalty decision for a Dumfries handball. 

Empoli went ahead when Radu inadvertently turned into his own net after Patrick Cutrone nodded against the woodwork, though Ranocchia equalised with an audacious volley past Furlan.

Sanchez saw a tap-in ruled out for offside at the end of normal time, but Sensi blasted the winner into the top-left corner from the edge of the area in extra time.

 

What does it mean? Familiar story as Inter need extra-time

Inter enjoyed last-minute success against Juventus in the Supercoppa final last week and required more last-gasp heroics from Ranocchia to keep them in the tie.

The centre-back's equaliser meant four of the Nerazzurri's previous eight last-16 meetings in the competition have gone to extra-time.

Sensi's late strike ensured Inter remain unbeaten against Empoli in 11 games in this competition, the club's longest run against an opponent in the cup without losing, and Inzaghi's side will be among the early favourites to lift the trophy in May.

Brilliant Bajrami

Bajrami almost single-handedly changed Empoli's fortunes after his half-time introduction, scoring the equaliser in a classy attacking display, but his efforts ultimately proved to be in vain.

The substitute created a game-leading four chances despite only playing the second half and extra-time.

Poor Pinamonti

Loanee Andrea Pinamonti was offered the unusual opportunity of starting up top against his parent club Inter but did little to impress.

The striker managed just 13 touches and won none of his five duels before his half-time removal in a timid performance.

What's next?

Inter return to league action on Saturday at home to Venezia, while Empoli host Jose Mourinho's Roma the following day.

Inter have been linked with Juventus star Paulo Dybala, but Simone Inzaghi instead focused on his delight with the recent form of Alexis Sanchez.

Dybala is out of contract at Juve at the end of the campaign and recent reports have suggested that the Nerazzurri will move to add him to their ranks ahead of next season.

But speaking at a news conference ahead of Inter's trip to Atalanta on Sunday, Inzaghi refused to comment on the possibility of moving for the Argentine, who has scored nine goals and registered four assists in 20 games in all competitions for the Old Lady this season.

"I've read and heard things but I don't like talking about players from other teams, I'm proud of the ones I have," he told reporters.

One of the players the former Lazio manager is proud of is Sanchez, who scored the winning goal in the last minute of extra time as Inter beat Juve 2-1 in the Supercoppa Italiana on Wednesday.

"Sanchez has been decisive and I am happy to coach him," Inzaghi added. "For a coach, to see the action that determined the match, with the four players who came on during the match and [Arturo] Vidal was also decisive with his entrance, is a great satisfaction.

"Sanchez is a great asset, but I'll evaluate him for the game against Atalanta.

"I've already said it, Sanchez is a champion who always wants to learn. He didn't need the goal against Juve, he's already settled down for two months."

Inzaghi also had words of praise for Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini, who once again has the Bergamo side in the top four of Serie A, three points ahead of Juve in fifth with a game in hand, with only Inter (51) and Milan (46) having scored more goals in the league than Atalanta's 44.

"Gasperini has been doing well for many years at Atalanta," he said. "Football has evolved over the years and occupying space at the right time is increasingly important.

"It's going to be a good, physical game, one to be experienced. Like the first game [2-2 at San Siro in September], with a very high tempo."

Despite being eight points behind Inter heading into the game, when asked if Sunday's opponents are a part of the race for the Scudetto, Inzaghi insisted: "Absolutely. Atalanta are in fourth place and they're improving all the time. It's a title race match."

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