More stories

  • in

    AC Milan ‘decide to sack manager Stefano Pioli’ just hours after losing title at home to hated rivals Inter

    AC MILAN have decided to sack manager Stefano Pioli, according to reports.That came after yesterday’s 2-1 loss to city rivals Inter Milan confirmed their neighbours as Serie A champions.Milan will sack Pioli at the end of the season, according to reportsCredit: ReutersMilan won the Scudetto two seasons ago under Pioli but failed to defend their crown last year, when the title was won by Napoli.They were the closest team to rivalling Inter this year but yesterday’s win put the Nerazzuri a stunning 17 points clear.Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano reports that Pioli’s fate has already been sealed.He took to X to write: “Stefano Pioli will be sacked by AC Milan board at the end of the season despite public statements after the Derby.READ MORE FOOTBALL NEWS”AC Milan are already looking for new manager.”Pioli has been on the brink at Milan multiple times since he took over in 2019.Last season it looked as though his fate was sealed and that Antonio Conte would take the hot seat but a move did not materialise.Conte is understood to only be interested in managing Milan, Juventus or Napoli if he is to return to management next season.Most read in FootballCASINO SPECIAL – BEST CASINO WELCOME OFFERSIt’s not yet known who the front-runner to take over at Milan is.Thiago Motta is the most coveted manager in the Serie A, with his Bologna side currently sitting in 4th. Inter stars party into the night as forward performs brutal corner flag gesture after winning Serie A at rivals AC MilanMilan would have to rival rumoured interest in him from Juventus and Manchester United, however.Inter’s win sparked wild scenes at the San Siro.The Scudetto title saw fireworks let off by fans who then took to the iconic Duomo cathedral to celebrate long into the night.Speaking on his future after the game, Pioli said: “I don’t know.“(Inter boss Simone) Inzaghi seemed to be struggling 14 months ago according to the media and look what he achieved after that.“I am happy here, I work well and I think the team has margin for improvement.READ MORE SUN STORIES“We’ll see where we all are at the end of the season and discuss it.” More

  • in

    Inter stars party into the night as forward performs brutal corner flag gesture after winning Serie A at rivals AC Milan

    INTER MILAN stars partied into the night after winning their 20th Serie A title against rivals AC Milan.Marcus Thuram celebrated the occasion with a brutal corner flag gesture after a 2-1 win at the San Siro.Inter Milan won their 20th title after beating AC Milan 2-1 last nightCredit: GettyMarcus Thuram brutally celebrated by placing his Inter shirt over AC’s corner flagCredit: TNT SportsThe striker has been in stunning form since joining from Gladbach a year agoCredit: TNT SportsAnd fans flooded the nearby Piazza del Duomo as Lautaro Martinez joined them for a singalong session at four in the MORNING.Inter cruised to league glory last night as they wrapped up the title with five games to spare.Goals from Francesco Acerbi and Thuram ensured Simone Inzaghi’s men took the crown off Napoli.To make the moment even greater, Inter picked up their title while playing arch-rivals Milan – who were the home team at the San Siro.READ MORE INTER MILAN NEWSAnd Thuram couldn’t resist celebrating at their expense as he lifted up a corner flag draped in Milan colours.The France striker was signed on a free transfer from Gladbach last summer and has gone on to score 13 goals.Thuram removed his shirt as the party on the pitch got underway.He then stuck it over the Milan symbol on the corner flag.Most read in FootballBEST FREE BET SIGN UP OFFERS FOR UK BOOKMAKERAnd Thuram raised the pole above his head in a brutal gesture while jumping up and down.As the night went on, Inter fans gathered outside Milan’s Duomo Cathedral in the main city square.Lautaro Martinez celebrates into the night after Inter victory on the Serie AFederico Dimarco and Lautaro Martinez joined fans for a 4am partyCredit: GettyInter fans gathered in the city square to celebrateCredit: RexThey partied into the nightCredit: APThey partied into the night as Inter’s players went to their own event nearby.The stars are sure to have toasted their victory several times over.And at 4am, captain Martinez made an appearance on a nearby balcony as supporters sang his name with gusto.The Argentina World Cup winner, who climbed on the goal post earlier on at the San Siro, has 26 goals in all competitions this term.And after a second Serie A title win in six years, he is now a firm fan favourite.Left-back Federico Dimarco also came to the balcony at one stage and was given a raucous welcome, having been a key player for Inter this season.Martinez earlier climbed a goal post at the San SiroCredit: GettyFans sang Inter’s praises outside the cathedralCredit: GettyIt was a night to remember for supportersCredit: GettyOur beautiful game is brokenBy Dave Kidd
    When Manchester United got lucky in their FA Cup semi-final, Antony’s first instinct was to goad heartbroken opponents Coventry. To rub their noses in the dirt.
    Antony seems to be a vile individual but this isn’t really about Antony. Because Antony is merely a symptom of the hideous sickness within England’s top flight.
    There is so much wrong.
    After our elite clubs persuaded the FA to completely scrap Cup replays — which gave us Ronnie Radford and Ricky Villa and Ryan Giggs — without due recompense or reasoning with the rest of English football.
    The previous day, after his Manchester City side had defeated Chelsea in the other FA Cup semi-final, Pep Guardiola whinged about the fixture scheduling of TV companies who effectively pay much of his £20m salary.
    Up at Wolves, Guardiola’s friend and rival Mikel Arteta was playing the same sad song about fixture congestion, despite his Arsenal side having played two fewer games this season than Coventry — who don’t have £50m squad players to rotate with.
    Chelsea, oh Chelsea. The one-time plaything of a Russian oligarch now owned by financially incontinent venture capitalists who have piddled £1billion on a squad of players who fight like weasels in a sack about who should bask in the personal glory of scoring the penalty that puts them 5-0 up against Everton.
    Read Dave Kidd’s full column as he takes aim at Nottingham Forest, Fulham’s ticket prices, the 39th game, VAR and much more… More

  • in

    Chaotic scenes as Inter Milan beat fierce rivals AC to win Serie A as three players sent-off in just FOUR MINUTES

    INTER MILAN became champions by defeating rivals AC in a game that saw three red cards dished out in just FOUR minutes.The Nerazzurri are celebrating after last night’s 2-1 triumph secured the Serie A crown for the second title in four years.Inter Milan are celebrating a 20th Serie A title after they beat AC Milan last nightCredit: RexMarcus Thuram scored the winner to secure a sixth straight win over their neighboursCredit: GettyDenzel Dumfries and Theo Hernandez were two of three players sent-off in additional timeCredit: GettyInter’s players and boss Simone Inzaghi (C) celebrate after the full time whistleCredit: GettyGoals from Francesco Acerbi and Marcus Thuram gave Inter the three points they required.However, Simone Inzaghi’s side had to endure a nervous final 10 minutes after Fikayo Tomori pulled a goal back for their rivals.Acerbi broke the deadlock with a header in the 18th minute.Then Inter doubled their advantage shortly into the second half as Thuram drilled home from the edge of the area.READ MORE ON FOOTBALLThey looked to be strolling towards their 20th league title until a late flurry of fireworks.England international Tomori set up a tense finish before both sides ended up with players getting sent-off.Milan star Theo Hernandez and Inter’s Denzel Dumfries got their marching orders after they were involved in a scuffle in the 93rd-minute.Then, just four minutes later, Milan’s Davide Calabria was shown a red card for violent conduct after elbowing an opponent while waiting for a corner.Most read in FootballCASINO SPECIAL – BEST CASINO WELCOME OFFERSInter managed to hang on, despite some late pressure, to wrap up the title with five games to spare and are 17 points clear of their neighbours.And it did not take long for the celebrations to begin as Inzaghi burst onto the field to embrace his players along with his coaching staff after sealing the first Scudetto of his career.Thousands of Inter fans light up Milan’s Duomo Square to celebrate Serie A titleForward Lautaro Martinez was spotted dropping to the ground in tears, seemingly overcome with emotion, while the rest of his team-mate hugged and celebrated in front of the delirious Inter fans.The players then held up signs with “20” on to mark their achievement – with them now having one more than Milan in the all-time standings.And they will also get a second star on their kit from next season as Italian clubs get one for every ten titles they win.Back in the city, the club’s official X account shared footage of thousands of fans partying late into the night.Hordes of blue and black flags and flares were also on show at Duomo Square.Meanwhile, the result capped a miserable week for AC Milan as pressure mounts on their manager after they were dumped out of the Europa League by Roma.Discussing his future afterwards, boss Stefano Pioli said: “I don’t know.“Inzaghi seemed to be struggling 14 months ago according to the media and look what he achieved after that.READ MORE SUN STORIES“I am happy here, I work well and I think the team has margin for improvement.“We’ll see where we all are at the end of the season and discuss it.”Francesco Acerbi headed Inter into the lead during the first halfCredit: GettyFikayo Tomori then nodded into the net to set-up the tense finishCredit: EPAAC Milan’s Davide Calabria also received red during the final momentsCredit: APThe Inter Milan fans celebrated long in to the night at Piazza Duomo squareCredit: AP More

  • in

    Football star dies after taking a shot aged 26 as Roma ace leads tributes to striker

    PROSECUTORS have launched a manslaughter investigation after a footballer aged 26 died after taking a shot during a match.Roma defender Gianluca Mancini led tributes to Castelfiorentino striker Mattia Giani, who collapsed clutching his chest in the fifth-tier game.Mattia Giani’s death has stunned footballCredit: Instagram @castelfiorentino_unitedGianluca Mancini dedicated a goal to Giani and wore a T-shirt with a message translating as, ‘Farewell Mattia, forever with us’Credit: AlamyGiani was taken to hospital in Florence following the 15th-minute incident but was pronounced dead the following day.Reports in Italy say investigators want to clarify issues such as the timing of the emergency treatment he received.Dad Sandro has also filed a complaint to “understand how our son died”.He has questioned what medical services were on hand at the Lanciotto Campi in Tuscany for Sunday’s match.READ MORE TOP STORIESThe tragedy happened after Giani took a shot at goal, then fell, holding his chest.It’s understood his heart stopped beating for several minutes and a club masseur reportedly tried to resuscitate him on the pitch.Giani was then taken to Florence’s Careggi Hospital but died there on Monday.Italy star Mancini, whose sister is dating Giani’s brother Elia, joined the outpouring of shock over his death.Most read in FootballMancini says his’ sister and Mattia’s family are suffering’Credit: RexAnd the centre-back, 28, dedicated his goal in Thursday’s 2-1 Europa League victory over AC Milan to him.Mancini told Sky Sports Italia: “My sister and Mattia’s family are suffering.”The world around them has collapsed, but they will rise again. I wanted to dedicate this goal to him.”Mancini also wore a T-shirt with a message in Italian translating as: “Farewell Mattia, forever with us.”Giani’s girlfriend Sofia Caruso has told of the couple’s “beautiful” last morning together and of his tender last message by phone.They had been living together for just two days.She said: “We woke up on Sunday. We talked and laughed – it was beautiful.”Then Matti took the bag. I stayed at home. Then his cell phone rang. It was a message from him, the last one. “He wrote to me, ‘Love, I left you the accreditation for the match in the name of Giani. I love you madly’.”He always told me that he loved me like crazy and I loved him like crazy too.”We were thinking about getting married, we said we wanted children. “Mattia made me understand what love was and he took care of me. Matti was a pure and good person.”Castelfiorentino coach Nico Scaridigli said: “Mattia was a wonderful guy. “He had a wonderful girlfriend who loved him more than anything. READ MORE SUN STORIES”From a sporting perspective, he was a good footballer who was fun. He always had a knockout shot. “His career didn’t go as well as he deserved just because of muscle problems.” More

  • in

    Man Utd ‘in contact with Serie A boss and inventor of bizarre 2-7-2 formation to replace Erik ten Hag’

    MANCHESTER UNITED have been in contact with Thiago Motta, according to reports.Pressure has been mounting on Erik ten Hag following a poor run of form with just one win in seven games.Erik ten Hag is facing mounting pressure amid a poor run of form at Man UtdCredit: GettyReports suggest Man Utd have been in contact with Thiago Motta to replace himCredit: ReutersSunSport exclusively revealed earlier this month how Man Utd players expect Ten Hag, 54, to be sacked in the summer.The Sir Jim Ratcliffe led Ineos takeover of the club’s sporting operation has led to reports the Red Devils are looking for a new manager in line with their philosophy.The likes of England boss Gareth Southagte, Germany boss Julian Nagelsmann, former Chelsea boss Graham Potter and Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi have all been linked.READ MORE ON MAN UTDHowever, recent reports from Italy revealed Bologna boss Motta, 41, had emerged as a candidate to take the Old Trafford hot seat.And a new report from CaughtOffside suggests Man Utd bosses have been in contact with the former Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona star.After a glittering player career, in 2018 Motta made waves in the football coaching scene when he announced his philosophy to be a 2-7-2.While on paper the formation sounds unorthodox, it is actually because Motta reads the his team sheet from left to right and includes his goalkeeper, rather down to up without.Most read in FootballCASINO SPECIAL – BEST CASINO WELCOME OFFERSAsked about his ideals, Motta said: “My idea it to play offensively. A short team that controls the game, high pressure and a lot of movement with and without the ball.”I want the player that has the ball to always have three or four solutions and two team-mates close by to help.Man Utd fans think wonderkid ‘on the verge of his debut’ after spotting ten Hag giving him ‘Mainoo treatment'”The difficulty in football is, often to do things simply but to control the base, pass and get free.”I don’t like the numbers of the field because they trick you. You can be super offensive with a 5-3-2 and defensive in a 4-3-3.”Depending on the quality of the guys. I had a game a while ago where the two full-backs ended up playing as the 9 and 10.”But that doesn’t mean I don’t like people like Samuel and Chiellini, born defenders…How Motta sees his ideal team on paper”The goalkeeper counts as one of the midfield seven. For me, the attacker is the first defender and the goalkeeper is the first attacker.”The goalkeeper starts the play, with his feet and the attackers are the first to put pressure to recover the ball.”Bologna have reaped the rewards of this style, sitting fourth in the Serie A and putting them in line for a shock spot in the Champions League.READ MORE SUN STORIESBut Man Utd are not the only club after Motta, with Barcelona, Inter Milan and Juventus all being linked.His contract expires at the end of the season but the report adds Motta has not made a decision on his future yet.Man Utd are LUCKY to be seventh in the table… one particular stat is terrible, say Dave KiddBy Dave Kidd
    THE frightening thing about Manchester United’s season is that they should really be LOWER than seventh in the Premier League.
    Even during their current run of one win in seven league matches, United’s results have been better than their performances.
    Erik ten Hag’s team deserved to lose each of their last three drawn games against Brentford, Liverpool and Bournemouth.
    On goal difference, United are ninth in the league, while only seven teams have scored fewer than their 47 goals.
    And if we give any credence to ‘expected points’, then that stat would have them 15th in the table.
    If Ten Hag’s men lose Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final to Championship side Coventry, it should not come as a major surprise.
    Click here to read Dave Kidd’s column in full.
    To read more from Dave Kidd, click here. More

  • in

    I was destroyed for signing ‘failure’ Rasmus Hojlund until Man Utd splashed out £72million for him

    FORMER Atalanta head of football Lee Congerton was ridiculed for signing Rasmus Hojlund… until the Dane went on to move to Manchester United for a huge profit.Hojlund, 21, had signed for Austrian side Sturm Graz in January 2022 after failing to hit the heights at FC Copenhagen.Rasmus Hojlund signed for Man Utd from Atalanta last AugustCredit: Getty Images – GettyLee Congerton brought Hojlund to AtalantaCredit: Kenny Ramsay – The Sun GlasgowThe striker showed promise in ItalyCredit: GettyJust six months later Congerton had seen enough from the Dane to splash out £17million to sign him – to the disapproval of many observers around the club.”The reality is they destroyed me in Italy during that time,” Welshman Congerton, 50, told the Telegraph.”This foreign guy in Italian football has bought a player from Austria, born 2003, who had been a failure in Copenhagen.”After just one goal in his first 11 Serie A appearances, Hojlund eventually caught fire – netting in his next three.READ MORE IN FOOTBALLHaving scored 10 goals for Atalanta in all competitions, he had shown enough promise for Man Utd to fork out £72m to sign him last August.Congerton continued: “If you take away the World Cup, 10 months later, we sold him for €85 million (£72m). That is Atalanta. It’s simple.”They know what they are. They rely on the academy and the scouting.”Having played at semi-pro level in Wales, Congerton has gone on to forge a successful career in executive roles.Most read in FootballBEST FREE BET SIGN UP OFFERS FOR UK BOOKMAKERHaving worked with Frank Arnesen at Chelsea and Hamburg, Congerton went on to hold important positions at Sunderland, Celtic and Leicester.He then spent two seasons at Atalanta, before leaving last month for a gig with Saudi Pro League side Al-Ahli.I’m a private chef to football stars, Man Utd’s Rasmus Hojlund is obsessed with baked treat – I make him two a weekCongerton proudly watched from afar as Atalanta, featuring many of his signings, stunned Liverpool 3-0 at Anfield last week.Following the conclusion of his Saudi adventure, whenever that may be, he would love another crack at working in England.He added: “Frank always said he could see me going to different places. I have adventure in me and have been fortunate that my wife has been like that too in terms of trying something new.”I could have stayed at each club longer but it was my choice. You get to three years and I think I need that stimulation. I like to grow things but am always excited by a new challenge.”Like his start at Atalanta, Hojlund took a while to get going at United, failing to score in his first 14 Premier League matches.He then hit an amazing hot streak, netting seven in his next six Prem outings.READ MORE SUN STORIESHis old side Atalanta, meanwhile, replaced him with West Ham forward Gianluca Scamacca.The 25-year-old has excelled since returning to Italy, bagging 14 goals thus far – including two at Anfield last week. More

  • in

    Juventus ordered to pay Cristiano Ronaldo £8.3MILLION after Portugal and Al-Nassr star wins legal battle

    JUVENTUS have been ordered to pay Cristiano Ronaldo more than £8million after he won his legal battle against his former side over unpaid wages.Ronaldo, now at Saudi side Al-Nassr, claimed he had been left out of pocket from his time in Turin during the Covid pandemic.Juventus have been ordered to pay Cristiano Ronaldo over £8m in owed wagesCredit: PAThe former Manchester United star argued that he was owed nearly £17m after privately agreeing to postpone payment of his salary.But Juventus never paid the money back.And they did not report the agreement in their financial statements.Ronaldo was forced to go to a tribunal to get his cash back, with the panel taking his side.READ MORE IN FOOTBALLHowever, it was ruled that Juve only have to pay Ronaldo half the fee.He will receive just £8.3m after the tribunal ruled that both parties shared responsibility over the arrangement.Ronaldo spent three years at Juventus between 2018 and 2021 after a shock £90m move from Real Madrid.The legend scored 101 goals in 134 games while winning two Serie A titles and one Italian Cup.Most read in FootballBEST FREE BET SIGN UP OFFERS FOR UK BOOKMAKERHe departed for a return to United, having almost signed for rivals Manchester City instead.But Ronnie left Old Trafford in November 2022 after his contract was terminated following a bust-up with Erik ten Hag.Inside the story of how Georgina Rodriguez went from shop assistant to a millionaire with a media empireHe is now enjoying life with Al-Nassr and has scored 56 goals in 62 outings.Ronaldo continues to be a regular for Portugal’s national team and won his 206th cap earlier this year.Cristiano Ronaldo’s career statsThose numbers in full:

    Sporting Lisbon, 2002-2003: 31 games, 5 goals

    Man Utd, 2003-2009: 292 games, 118 goals

    Real Madrid, 2009-2018: 438 games, 450 goals

    Juventus, 2018-2021: 134 games, 101 goals

    Man Utd, 2021-2022: 54 games, 27 goals

    Al-Nassr, 2023-2024: 62 games, 56 goals

    Portugal, 2003-2024: 206 games, 128 goals

    Trophies: Portuguese Super Cup (Sporting Lisbon); Premier League x3, FA Cup, Carabao Cup x2, Community Shield, Champions League, Club World Cup (Man Utd); La Liga x2, Champions League x4, Spanish Cup x2, Spanish Super Cup x2, Uefa Super Cup x2, Club World Cup x3 (Real Madrid); Serie A x2, Italian Cup, Italian Super Cup x2 (Juventus); Arab Club Champions Cup (Al Nassr); Euro 2016, Nations League (Portugal) More

  • in

    Man Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea in major Victor Osimhen transfer boost as Napoli move for replacement

    CHELSEA, MANCHESTER UNITED and Arsenal have been given a boost in their battle to sign Napoli striker Victor Osimhen.The Italian club are reported to have lined up a replacement for the Nigerian centre forward, paving the way for him to make a big-money move to the Premier League this summer.Victor Osimhen could be set to leave Napoli this summerCredit: AlamyLille frontman Jonathan David, himself a target for a number of Premier League clubs, is the man Napoli want to fill Osimhen’s boots.According to Gazzetta Dello Sport, Canada international David is ready to join the Italian club even if they fail to qualify for European football next season.Napoli and Lille are said to be haggling over David’s transfer fee, with the Italians said to be offering £30m plus bonus payments while the Ligue 1 side want £42.7m up front.But the negotiations appear to signal that Napoli are resigned to losing Osimhen, the striker who fired them to the Serie A title last season, this summer.READ MORE IN FOOTBALLOsimhen’s release clause is believed to be up to £110m, putting him within the reach of only a small number of clubs.Long-term suitors Chelsea and United would have to raise money through sales to be able to afford the 25 year old. Inside Victor Osimhen’s life as a footballerArsenal would also have to think hard about breaking the club transfer record they set when Declan Rice arrived from West Ham for £105m.The Premier League trio are also likely to face stiff competition from Champions League semi-finalists Paris Saint-Germain.Most read in FootballThe French side regard Osimhen as the best candidate to replace star striker Kylian Mbappe, with the Frenchman all but certain to join Real Madrid on a free transfer this summer.Napoli are prepared to triple David’s wages at Lille to nearly £60,000 per week and to give the 24 year old a five-year deal.New York-born David helped Lille win a shock French title in his first season at the club  in 2020/1 and has continued to bang in the goals.The former Gent striker has found the net 81 times in 175 appearances for Lille.Lille hotshot Jonathan David has been linked with a Premier League move but is now set to join NapoliCredit: Alamy More