Eintracht Frankfurt are yet to receive an offer for striker Luka Jovic, according to a senior club official.

Barcelona are reportedly readying a €50million bid for the Serbia international, who scored his side's goal in the 1-1 friendly draw with Germany this week.

Manchester City have also been linked with Jovic, who has scored 15 goals in only 18 Bundesliga starts in 2018-19.

However, Frankfurt's supervisory board chairman Wolfgang Steubing says they have not yet received any offer for the prized 21-year-old.

"The numbers that are rampant across social media are not yet on our table," said Steubing at a panel discussion in Frankfurt.

"There is definitely no offer. But maybe that will happen."

Jovic is on loan at Frankfurt from Benfica, but the Bundesliga club have the option to sign the player outright for a reported €7m fee.

Barca are favourites to secure his signature as they seek a long-term successor to Luis Suarez.

Eintracht Frankfurt star Luka Jovic has the potential to play for LaLiga champions Barcelona, according to Serbia head coach Mladen Krstajic.

Barca have been linked with Bundesliga sensation Jovic, who has scored 15 league goals and 23 in all competitions for club and country this season.

Jovic netted his first international goal for Serbia, who drew 1-1 against Germany in Wolfsburg on Wednesday, and Krstajic praised the 21-year-old forward.

"I'm not his agent so I do not know that," Krstajic replied when asked about Barca's reported interest.

"But he certainly has the potential to play at such a club [Barcelona]."

Jovic opened the scoring in the international friendly, with the rumoured Manchester City and Chelsea target heading home from close range before half-time.

Germany substitute Leon Goretzka salvaged a draw with 21 minutes remaining as Serbia ended the match down to 10 men following Milan Pavkov's stoppage-time red card.

Krstajic, whose Serbia will face Portugal in Euro 2020 qualifying on Monday, added: "Luka Jovic played really well today. He showed his potential. As for the game against Portugal, we still have to see.

"It does not matter if [Aleksandar] Mitrovic plays or not. Maybe we'll play there with two strikers.

"Portugal are the favourite in our group, but we are not scared of any opponents."

The draw for the Europa League quarter-finals is:

Arsenal v Napoli

Villarreal v Valencia

Benfica v Eintracht Frankfurt

Slavia Prague v Chelsea

The first legs are due to take place on April 11, with the return matches a week later.


The draw for the semi-finals is:

Arsenal/Napoli v Villarreal/Valencia

Benfica/Eintracht Frankfurt v Slavia Prague/Chelsea

The first legs are due to take place on May 2, with the return matches a week later. The final of the competition takes place at the Olympic Stadium in Baku on May 29.

Arsenal face a tough test against Napoli while Chelsea will take on Slavia Prague in the Europa League quarter-finals.

Unai Emery's Gunners overturned a first-leg deficit to progress at the expense of Rennes on Thursday but will now have to get past Serie A's second-placed side if they are to progress to the last four.

An all-Premier League final in Baku remains a possibility after Arsenal and Chelsea, who will be wary of a Slavia Prague team who knocked out Sevilla in the previous round, were kept apart in the semi-final draw.

In the other quarter-final ties, Villarreal will go up against familiar foes in LaLiga rivals Valencia and Eintracht Frankfurt's reward for ending Inter's European campaign is a clash with Benfica.

Arsenal were initially set to host Napoli in the second leg at Emirates Stadium on April 18 but their fixtures have been switched to make sure they do not play at home on the same day as Chelsea, in accordance with UEFA Club Competitions Committee principles.

After dismissing Dynamo Kiev 8-0 on aggregate, the Blues will travel to Prague on April 11. Maurizio Sarri's side will have home advantage a week later for the return game, though in between they travel to Liverpool in Premier League action.

Relegation-threatened Villarreal are struggling domestically but will hope to upset domestic rivals Valencia, who progressed in dramatic circumstances on Thursday when Goncalo Guedes' injury-time equaliser away to Krasnodar secured a 3-2 aggregate triumph.

Frankfurt sealed their place in the quarters with a 1-0 victory at San Siro, Luka Jovic – who is on loan at the Bundesliga club from future opponents Benfica – grabbing the only goal in the first half.


Europa League quarter-final draw in full:

Arsenal v Napoli
Villarreal v Valencia
Benfica v Eintracht Frankfurt
Slavia Prague v Chelsea

Luciano Spalletti believes that Inter lost any hope of salvaging their Europa League campaign as soon as Luka Jovic put Eintracht Frankfurt ahead in Thursday's clash at San Siro.

Jovic scored five minutes in to put Frankfurt 1-0 up on the night and in the tie, with Inter offering little of note in response as the Bundesliga side secured their place in the quarter-finals.

It would have been more for Frankfurt if not for Samir Handanovic's fine form, while Sebastien Haller also hit the bar and had a goal disallowed.

And Spalletti, whose side were without a recognised striker due to Lautaro Martinez's suspension and Mauro Icardi's continued absence, conceded Inter lacked the belief required to lodge a comeback.

"We lacked a bit of everything. We lost balance immediately and made some mistakes for the opener, then got irritable and lost even more balance," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"It became a very difficult game. If you don't clear your lines first, or make rough passes, everything becomes an open ball to challenge for. If you treat it with more quality, it's within your control.

"Even when moving the ball between spaces, we never created anything of note. The early goal just cranked up the tension and made us feel as if there was no chance. We lost it straight away.

"We had plenty of time to deal with the situation intelligently. Instead, we were immediately frenetic and chaotic, trying to force the ball through with individual moves rather than as a team."

Inter now face city rivals AC Milan in a crunch Serie A clash on Sunday, with both sides – along with Roma – battling for Champions League qualification.

Spalletti, however, has urged Inter's support to remain patient with their side despite seeing them fail in both the Champions League and Europa League this term.

"There are high expectations, we want to be a winning team straight away, but there's very little chance of that," he added.

"What we have to do is try to bring home some important results via balance, but we lost our balance immediately.

"We certainly need to do better than we did tonight. We need more confidence. We'll look back over this match and recognise we didn't read it the right way."

Inter's Europa League campaign came to a lacklustre end as Luka Jovic's early strike secured Eintracht Frankfurt's progression into the quarter-finals with a 1-0 win.

Kevin Trapp had been Frankfurt's hero with his penalty save in the goalless first leg and, without a recognised striker to call on, Luciano Spalletti's Inter side were toothless throughout Thursday's meeting.

Jovic showed Inter – still without Mauro Icardi, who has not played since being stripped of the captaincy in mid-February – what they were missing with a composed finish that paved the way for a dominant Frankfurt display at San Siro.

Sebastien Haller hit the woodwork prior to Jovic's strike and Frankfurt would have had more if not for fine work from Samir Handanovic and Milan Skriniar as Inter, who face AC Milan in a huge Serie A clash on Sunday, went out with a whimper.

Any doubts over Frankfurt's approach to the contest were put aside after four minutes – Haller hitting the crossbar after Handanovic had kept out Mijat Gacinovic's effort.

Inter failed to heed that warning, though, and Frankfurt had the lead a minute later when Jovic capitalised on Stefan de Vrij's misjudgement and lofted a delicate finish over Handanovic.

Haller looked to have made it 2-0 before the half hour, but the offside flag came to Inter's rescue before the striker and Gacinovic were denied in the same move by Handanovic's superb double save.

Jovic could have doubled his tally after the restart, only to slip at the vital moment, while Skriniar made a crucial challenge to deny Gacinovic a free shot at goal.

But, despite Jovic heading straight at Handanovic late on, Frankfurt were not made to pay for their profligacy, speculative efforts from Antonio Candreva and Skriniar the most Inter could muster as their European hopes were limply extinguished.


What does it mean? Frankfurt flying Germany's flag in Europe

With Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich having crashed out of the Champions League, Frankfurt are now the Bundesliga's sole representatives in Europe, and will rightly harbour hopes of going all the way.

Inter, meanwhile, must now focus on securing Champions League qualification via a top-four finish in Serie A, but their task continues to be overshadowed by doubts over Icardi's future.

Jovic back on the goal trail

Considering his exploits this season, three games without a goal represented a dip in form for Jovic, but the 21-year-old – who has 15 Bundesliga goals this term –  ended his mini draught in typically clinical fashion.

Keita toils in Icardi, Martinez absences

With Icardi not available and Lautaro Martinez suspended, Keita Balde Diao deputised up top for Inter, but despite offering pace and guile, he lacked the nous and positional sense to really test Frankfurt's line.

What's next?

It is the Milan derby up next for Inter, who are currently a point behind their city rivals in Serie A as both clubs aim to secure Champions League qualification. Frankfurt, meanwhile, take on Nurnberg as they push for a top-four Bundesliga finish.

Luciano Spalletti feels it could be an advantage for Inter to be without a recognised striker for their Europa League last-16 tie at home to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Spalletti's side are without Lautaro Martinez due to suspension and Mauro Icardi is not in the squad, the latter having not played since being stripped of the captaincy.

A clutch of youth team players have been called up to bolster a thin squad but Spalletti denied having an eye on Sunday's derby clash with AC Milan in Serie A.

Keita Balde Diao and Matteo Politano are among the options available to Spalletti in attack on Thursday, with Inter at home for the second leg after last week's goalless draw in Frankfurt.

"Politano played as a striker last year for Sassuolo and did really well," Spalletti told reporters.

"Not giving clear points of reference to the opposition can be an added advantage. Keita Balde is also comfortable in that position.

"Keita is doing well, while [Marcelo] Brozovic has been called up but will be on the bench. Borja Valero will play as normal. We hope that these few rest days have got [Ivan] Perisic back to his best.

"He's an important player for us. He's blessed with plenty of qualities, whether that be fitness, physicality or his ability to beat a man. His contribution is key, just like all the other players.

"Obviously, I won't complain about who I have available. Complaining doesn't help you qualify. We'll have 11 players out on the pitch, which is all that is needed to win matches.

"As for the younger players, if they're part of a club like ours then they must always be prepared. There may be an opportunity for some of them to show what they can do." 

Inter's game against Milan could have huge implications for the Champions League qualification chances of both sides.

"We must focus on tomorrow's match before thinking about the derby," Spalletti added. 

"We have the ability to win tomorrow and those that play must be motivated, being fully aware of the game's importance.

"It's a knockout tie and we must make the right decisions to ensure that we don't pay a dear price. We must make the most of our experience in Europe so far."

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."

Mauro Icardi has been cleared to train by Inter's medical staff but the former captain said "I'll tell you when I feel ready to play", according to head coach Luciano Spalletti.

Icardi has not played for Inter since he was stripped of the captaincy and replaced by team-mate Samir Handanovic amid uncertainty over his future.

The 26-year-old star – who has asked for more respect from the Serie A club – complained of knee pain after missing the Europa League win at Rapid Vienna on February 13, though Inter could not identify any specific problem.

Icardi was once again absent on Thursday as Inter played out a goalless draw away to Eintracht Frankfurt in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final.

Asked about Icardi post-match, Spalletti told reporters: "The truth is that we asked Mauro if he felt like resuming training.

"The doctor said that in his view the necessary period for treatment had terminated. He replied: 'No, I still feel pain. I'll tell you when I feel ready to play'.

"I acknowledged what he said and went back home. The director [Beppe Marotta] will tell you the rest."

Icardi – contracted until 2021 – has scored 15 goals in 28 appearances in all competitions this season but has not played since the 1-0 Serie A win over Parma on February 9.

He has been linked with the likes of Real Madrid, Juventus, Barcelona, Napoli, Manchester United.

Luciano Spalletti feels Inter lost an opportunity to seize control of their Europa League tie against Eintracht Frankfurt in a goalless draw away from home.

The two sides are still all square after Thursday's first leg in Germany, but Inter could have broken the deadlock early in the tie as Marcelo Brozovic's penalty was saved by Kevin Trapp.

Brozovic was taking the spot-kick in the continued absence of Mauro Icardi, yet that miss proved to be the Nerazzurri's best chance of an away goal.

Although the stalemate ensures Inter remain in the contest going into the home leg at San Siro, Spalletti was left a little disappointed.

"An excellent result can only be seen at the end [of the tie]," he told Inter TV. "Whether it is the first leg or the second leg, if you do not go through it is not an excellent result.

"We threw away an opportunity. We played in a difficult stadium against difficult opponents who know how to play in Europe, but we were in charge of the game for long stretches."

Despite Brozovic's potentially costly error, Spalletti had no issue with his decision to take the spot-kick, adding to Sky Sport Italia: "Brozovic knows how to take penalties - like [Ivan] Perisic, like [Matteo] Politano.

"But it is always possible to make mistakes. He felt convinced [he could score], but that's OK."

Meanwhile, Lautaro Martinez picked up a booking that will keep him out of the second leg, yet Spalletti still would not entertain talk of Icardi amid a striking selection dilemma.

"I do not want to talk about Icardi - the situation is always the same. There is no more I can add," he said. "I have to think about who is available.

"Even in midfield, players are missing. We are short."

Kevin Trapp's early penalty save set Eintracht Frankfurt up for a hard-fought goalless draw against Inter in their Europa League last-16 first leg.

Eintracht are unbeaten in all competitions in 2019 but that record might well have come to an end had Marcelo Brozovic been able to find a way past Trapp from 12 yards in Germany on Thursday.

With Mauro Icardi still absent, Brozovic seized the opportunity to take the spot-kick after an on-field debate with Ivan Perisic and Lautaro Martinez but succeeded only in passing up the game's best opportunity.

Frankfurt were much improved in the second half and perhaps should have secured a first-leg lead, meaning both sides will still feel the tie is there to be won at San Siro next week.

Inter's early attacking ambition was met with rugged Eintracht defending, yet it was a relatively soft challenge from Gelson Fernandes that saw Martinez go to ground to earn a 22nd-minute penalty.

Trapp brilliantly dived to his left to parry away Brozovic's spot-kick and preserve parity, allowing the slow-starting hosts to grow into the contest.

Chances for star forward Luka Jovic were still few and far between, but Frankfurt came out for the second half with renewed vigour and were twice frustrated by the officials in quick succession.

Evan Ndicka nodded in from a corner but the offside Sebastien Haller was deemed to be interfering with play. Haller was then bundled over in the area and referee Willie Collum waved away appeals, sending coach Adi Hutter to the stands for thrashing at a nearby water bottle.

Martin Hinteregger horribly miscued an unmarked header and the same man tested Samir Handanovic from distance shortly afterwards, but the sides each had to settle for a stalemate.


What does it mean? Still in the balance

Inter should be among the favourites to win this competition, but Eintracht could certainly be considered a dark horse. It is perhaps no surprise that the two cancelled one another out. Preventing the Nerazzurri from netting an away goal could yet prove crucial, but Frankfurt will come to rue their own failure to score if Icardi is involved in the second leg.

Kevin keeps Inter out

Frankfurt fans are used to saluting striking sensation Jovic, but it was the man at the other end of the pitch who proved their star performer on Thursday. The hosts had started slowly and Brozovic would surely have put Inter in control of the tie had Trapp not superbly turned away his early penalty. This clean sheet means any Eintracht goal at San Siro would have added significance.

Luka looks sluggish

With 15 Bundesliga goals this season, much was expected of Jovic in this tie. But the front man failed to hit his usual heights on the big stage, allowing a defender to block a tame close-range shot in the first half before sending a similarly meek effort into Handanovic's grateful clutches after the break.

What's next?

Eintracht go to Fortuna Dusseldorf and Inter host SPAL before the sides meet again at San Siro for the second leg in a week's time.

Inter head coach Luciano Spalletti says it is always a "displeasure" when players miss out on big matches.

The Serie A side are without Radja Nainggolan for Thursday's Europa League trip to Eintracht Frankfurt due to a calf injury and it is unclear whether Mauro Icardi is available.

Icardi has not played for the club since being stripped of the captaincy last month, but Inter said on Wednesday a "cordial" meeting has been held with the player and his agent, Wanda Nara, who is also the Argentina attacker's wife.

The striker is reportedly suffering from a knee injury but Inter have indicated medical tests failed to diagnose a specific problem.

And when asked about Nainggolan's absence for the Eintracht game, Spalletti appeared to make a veiled comment about Icardi.

"The game is very important and obviously any player who misses it, it becomes a displeasure," he told a news conference ahead of Thursday's first leg.

"But what more devastates me is the absence of off-list players, to tell them that they cannot be there. This is the real thing that saddens.

"On the field then it is always Inter: but regardless of who is missing, the team will always have this name and will have to assert the principles of being a strong team."

Asked specifically about the Icardi situation, Spalletti added: "There are always things that do not go as you would like.

"When wearing the colours of Inter, and important teams in general, you need to know how to manage the pitfalls that emerge with the role.

"It's down to us to show what is needed out on the pitch."

Inter head to Frankfurt on the back of a 2-1 Serie A defeat to Cagliari that saw Spalletti's side slip down to fourth in the table, behind city rivals AC Milan.

"We're here to compete on the international stage, with the experience of past matches that can help us tomorrow," Spalletti continued. "The difference will be made by our decision-making and our desire to fight.

"We know the strengths and weaknesses of Eintracht. It will depend a lot on our game management. We have what it takes to perform and also to show that bit extra to impress.

"Tomorrow, I expect a great test in terms of character and a response to what happened in Cagliari." 

Radja Nainggolan has been ruled out of Thursday's Europa League tie at Eintracht Frankfurt with a calf injury, Inter have confirmed.

Nainggolan sustained the injury in training and will be unable to take part in the first leg of the last-16 clash, while he could miss next week's Milan derby too.

The midfielder has made 19 Serie A appearances, scoring three goals, while he has also started six European matches for the Nerazzurri since signing from Roma.

"Radja Nainggolan underwent an MRI scan at the Humanitas Research Hospital in Rozzano this morning after a problem picked up in training," Inter posted on Twitter.

"Results revealed a pulled gastrocnemius muscle in his left leg. His condition will be reassessed next week."

Inter are already without Mauro Icardi, who is nursing a knee injury, with their striker having not played since being stripped of the captaincy.

Javier Zanetti is hopeful that Mauro Icardi will return to the field for Inter in the next two weeks.

Icardi was stripped of his captaincy last week and then withdrew himself from selection for the Europa League first-leg tie against Rapid Vienna.

The Argentina striker also missed the Serie A clash against Sampdoria and the return fixture versus Rapid, with Inter progressing in Europe and drawing Eintracht Frankfurt in the last 16.

Inter director Zanetti is keen to see Icardi back in the fold in time for the first leg on March 7, but he insists any decision on 26-year-old's availability will depend on what is best for the team.

"Mauro's still an important player for us," Zanetti told Sky Sport Italia. "We hope to have him back for this tie. It would help the team.

"I believe that when there are problems in the dressing room, you have to solve them internally. That way, this group can get stronger and stronger. I'd like us to create the conditions so we can keep winning.

"I'm sorry for the situation that has arisen but, I repeat, it must be sorted with the first thought being the good of the team.

"The [captaincy] decision wasn't taken lightly, so I don't think it'll change. I haven't talked to him yet. I'd like to let some time pass but, I reiterate, the team come first."

Chelsea will play Dynamo Kiev in the last 16 of the Europa League, while Arsenal have been paired with Ligue 1 side Rennes.

Both Premier League clubs are at home for the first legs, which are set to be played on March 7, with the return games taking place a week later.

Sevilla, five-time winners of the competition, are also at home first in their tie with Slavia Prague.

Fellow LaLiga side Villarreal are away to Zenit first, while Valencia host more Russian opposition in Krasnodar.

Serie A giants Inter will go to Eintracht Frankfurt, with Napoli welcoming Austrian champions Salzburg in the opening leg.

"Salzburg are a great team with great international experience," said Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti. "They played in the semi-final of the Europa League [last year]. And in the group they won six games out of six. We'll have two big games!"

In the remaining match, Benfica travel to Dinamo Zagreb before hosting the conclusion of the tie.

Europa League last-16 draw in full

Chelsea v Dynamo Kiev

Eintracht Frankfurt v Inter

Dinamo Zagreb v Benfica

Napoli v Salzburg

Valencia v Krasnodar

Sevilla v Slavia Prague

Arsenal v Rennes

Zenit v Villarreal

Page 1 of 3
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.