Nainggolan expected to miss Milan derby

By Sports Desk March 09, 2019

Inter midfielder Radja Nainggolan is expected to miss the Milan derby next weekend, according to coach Luciano Spalletti.

Nainggolan is out with a calf injury and not likely to return in time for the March 17 clash between the local rivals, which will likely be key for the Champions League hopes of Inter and AC Milan.

The Nerazzurri will look to end a three-game winless run in all competitions when SPAL visit San Siro on Sunday, and they could have Keita Balde Diao and Ivan Perisic, who hobbled off in the Europa League draw with Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday, available.

"The latest news is that [Perisic] will be available, just like Keita," he told reporters on Saturday. 

"Nainggolan, on the other hand, hasn't fully recovered, and I don't expect to see him back in time for the derby.

"But we'll evaluate him day by day. We can't say much more at the moment."

It is unclear whether Mauro Icardi will play against SPAL, Inter having released a statement on Wednesday revealing the club has held "cordial" talks with the striker and his agent.

Icardi has not played for the club since being stripped of the captaincy, claiming to be suffering from a knee injury, though Inter said tests found no specific issue.

Spalletti made the decision to give Samir Handanovic the armband and has no information on when the Argentina international will be back.

"I haven't received any more updates," he added. "But [chief executive Giuseppe] Marotta is the best man to handle this situation for all parties involved.

"There are things that need clarifying and with all of his experience, he'll be able to look after all parties. It's right that you ask him.

"For me, time is running out before the end of the season and we need to make the most of the time left to get results, so my focus is on matters on the pitch."

Related items

  • Wan-Bissaka 'thinking about' Man Utd speculation Wan-Bissaka 'thinking about' Man Utd speculation

    Aaron Wan-Bissaka is distracted by speculation linking him with a move to Manchester United from Crystal Palace, says England Under-21 boss Aidy Boothroyd.

    Wan-Bissaka is reportedly a transfer target for the Red Devils, but Palace are said to be demanding £50million for the full-back.

    The 21-year-old made 35 Premier League appearances in a breakthrough campaign last term and is on international duty at the European Under-21 Championship.

    Wan-Bissaka's late own goal contributed to England losing their opening group game 2-1 against France and Boothroyd feels the defender has been affected by talk he could be moving to Old Trafford.

    "When that speculation is flying around it's bound to turn your head," Boothroyd told reporters.

    "For a young player, who all he knows is Crystal Palace, it would be daft not to say that in some way he must think about it.

    "He's disappointed obviously with the way that the own goal turned out.

    "With all the noise that's surrounding him at the minute you can imagine if you and I were in that position we'd probably be a lot different to what he is.

    "He's very calm, he's very measured, he doesn't say a great deal but if he plays tomorrow night [against Romania] I'm expecting the same sort of focus, the same sort of energy and I expect him to bounce back."

    Boothroyd suggested he would not stand in Wan-Bissaka's way if a move away from Palace could be completed during the tournament.

    "It seems like it's been going on for a long time," he said of the transfer speculation surrounding Wan-Bissaka. 

    "We had a similar situation in Poland last time with [then Sunderland goalkeeper] Jordan Pickford, a lot of speculation.

    "Everton agreed the deal they worked very closely with us, they were very respectful in terms of not getting involved in our training and our build-up and in the end it was done - with the medicals in a hotel down the road away from everybody else.

    "If that was to happen we certainly wouldn't be blocking anybody, we'd be talking to people and seeing if we can help out in any way provided both clubs were happy with it. If that happens we'll oblige and if it doesn't suit us then we'll find a time when it does."

  • Bellamy joins former Man City team-mate Kompany at Anderlecht Bellamy joins former Man City team-mate Kompany at Anderlecht

    Craig Bellamy has been appointed Under-21 coach at Anderlecht, joining his former Manchester City team-mate Vincent Kompany at the club.

    Kompany was appointed player-manager by the Belgian side following his City departure after helping Pep Guardiola's side claim an unprecedented domestic treble of the Premier League, FA Cup and EFL Cup last term.

    And the centre-back is building up his backroom staff with Bellamy brought in on a three-year deal to oversee Anderlecht's Under-21 side.

    "We are very happy with Craig's arrival at Anderlecht," youth director Jean Kindermans told Anderlecht's official website.

    "He has a lot of experience and will be a great mentor for our youth players mentally speaking, but also in terms of football skills.

    "As coach of the Under-21 team, his task will be to prepare our young talents for the first team."

    Former Wales striker Bellamy stepped down as a youth coach at Cardiff City in January amid a club investigation into claims of bullying, allegations the former Wales forward said he "categorically" denies.

    The 39-year-old played for clubs including Newcastle United and Liverpool during his career.

  • Sarri: Chelsea had to accommodate Hazard Sarri: Chelsea had to accommodate Hazard

    Maurizio Sarri has claimed he could not play his preferred system at Chelsea as he had to accommodate Eden Hazard.

    Belgium international Hazard starred for Chelsea last season, scoring 21 goals and providing 17 assists across all competitions.

    His form earned him a move to Real Madrid, while Sarri - who won the Europa League and led Chelsea to a third-place finish in the Premier League - left for Juventus.

    Sarri's first and only season at Stamford Bridge looked to have been a success, but issues over his playing style proved a sticking point throughout his tenure.

    And Sarri believes that having to find a way to play Hazard in his preferred role meant he could not deploy the free-flowing, 4-3-3 system that had drawn plaudits during his time at Napoli, and also caused problems in defence.

    "In recent years, I've had 4-3-3, but the 4-3-3 at Chelsea was very different to the one at Napoli," Sarri told a news conference.

    "We had to accommodate Hazard's characteristics, as he could change the game, but also his presence caused issues in defending that we had to work on."

    One player that Sarri brought to Chelsea last season was Gonzalo Higuain, who joined on loan from Juve in January.

    Higuain was a crucial player in Sarri's Napoli side before he left for Juve in 2016, and Sarri is looking forward to another reunion with the 31-year-old, should the Argentine wish to remain in Turin.

    "You know I love [Higuain] a lot. I have always been very supportive. It depends on him," Sarri said.

    "In terms of the other players at Juventus, I have to be very modest because here there are staff who have been dealing with them for many different years.

    "I think it's absolutely fair that I listen to them, then we'll make a decision together. The staff know the players better than me - maybe Higuain is the only one I know slightly better - so it will be up to me to listen to them and adapt."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.