Alexis Sanchez believes he could have lived up to expectations at Manchester United if he had been afforded a long run in the team.

The Chilean has decamped to Inter for the rest of the season after finding himself an odd man out at Old Trafford.

Despite his track record as a consistent goalscorer for Barcelona and Arsenal, Sanchez failed to impress with United following a high-profile arrival 19 months ago.

He was recruited by Jose Mourinho to bring some much-needed pep to the Red Devils forward line, in a deal that saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan go to Arsenal, but struggled to nail down a regular place.

It was a similar story when Mourinho lost his job and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer stepped in, with Sanchez unable to force himself ahead of the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial in the manager's plans.

More recently, even teenager Mason Greenwood appeared to have edged ahead of Sanchez, leaving the 30-year-old with little option but to look elsewhere for first-team opportunities.

Sanchez says he remains "very happy" about his decision to join United and he feels he deserved more opportunities to make an impact.

"I think that I'm happy when I play for my national team," he told BBC Sport.

"I was happy at Manchester United too, but I've always said to my friends: I want to play.

"If they would let me play I'll do my best. Sometimes I'd play 60 minutes then I wouldn't play the next game - and I didn't know why."

Sanchez was earning wages that were said to outstrip those of all his United's club-mates, making his decision to join the 20-time English league champions one that was bound to attract scrutiny.

He now joins another former United star at San Siro in Romelu Lukaku, who made a permanent switch in early August.

"I'm very happy I went to Manchester United," Sanchez said. "When I went to Arsenal it was fantastic - I was happy there - but United were growing at the time, they were buying players to win something.

"I wanted to join them and win everything. I don't regret going there."

After months of speculation and reports of legal action, Mauro Icardi's time at Inter is over… for the foreseeable future anyway.

Frozen out of the first team by head coach Antonio Conte, Icardi completed an initial loan move to Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain on deadline day.

PSG have the option to buy former Inter captain Icardi for a reported €70million at the end of 2019-20.

After Icardi was loaned to PSG, Omnisport looks at the timeline of events that transpired at Inter.

October 7, 2016 - Icardi signs a new deal following interest from rivals Napoli.

October 16, 2016 - Curva Nord want Icardi stripped of the captaincy following comments made in his autobiography 'Sempre Avanti'. Icardi claimed that he became "a hero" to his team-mates after confronting an ultra leader following a 3-1 defeat to Sassuolo the season prior. Inter's most prominent ultras faction insist Icardi is "finished" at the club.

October 17, 2016 - Inter sanction Icardi but he retains the armband, much to the frustration of the Curva Nord - who denounce the Argentinian as their skipper.

October 21, 2016 - Paolo Fontanesi, author of the book, says the biography "will be reprinted" following the controversy.

January 16, 2017 - Wanda Nara claims Icardi has offers from China.

March 30, 2017 - Icardi says he "loves" playing for Inter and wants to "stay here forever".

December 16, 2017 - Nara refuses to dismiss the possibility of a move to LaLiga giants Real Madrid. "I do not know anything, I do not say yes or no. Mauro would stay at Inter all his life, but it depends on other things."

April 4, 2018 - Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio says there is no rush on Icardi's contract renewal.

May 13, 2018 - Icardi admits he could leave Inter but only if it is in the best interests of the club.

September 3, 2018 - Nara claims Juventus and Napoli were both interested in signing Icardi during the transfer window, revealing she met with the latter's president Aurelio De Laurentiis.

October 18, 2018 - Icardi says he is happy to stay at Inter. "We will try to find a renewal, but I don't know if it will arrive before Christmas."

December 18, 2018 - Nara says Inter and Icardi are still "very far" apart in contract negotiations amid links with Madrid.

January 9, 2019 - Nara reiterates that a renewal is a "long way off" after Ausilio suggests a new offer is on the table for Icardi, adding a number of European clubs are monitoring the forward.

January 21, 2019 - After Inter chief Giuseppe Marotta says Icardi will re-sign, Nara reveals a new contract is virtually a "100 per cent" certainty.

February 13, 2019 - Icardi is stripped of the captaincy and replaced by goalkeeper Samir Handanovic, before being left out of the Europa League squad to face Rapid Vienna.

February 17, 2019 - Icardi watches from the stands as Inter beat former club Sampdoria 2-1 in Serie A.

February 17, 2019 - Nara later claims Icardi has no intention to leave Inter after losing the armband.

April 3, 2019 - Icardi ends exile with a goalscoring performance in the 4-0 rout of Genoa. Inter's Curva Nord, though, are in no mood to forgive Icardi following his return, insisting he is not part of the club's future.

July 5, 2019 - Inter tell Icardi he is free to leave following Conte's arrival. The player and his agent notify the club of their plans to stay. However, CEO Giuseppe Marotta said Icardi is not part of their project for 2019-20.

July 15, 2019 - Icardi moves a step closer to leaving Inter after mutually agreeing to withdraw from the team's pre-season tour of Asia.

August 9, 2019 - Inter's club-record signing Romelu Lukaku is handed the number nine shirt, previously worn by Icardi, following his arrival from Manchester United.

August 19, 2019 - Nara rules out a move to Ligue 1 side Monaco as links to Napoli, Juventus and PSG persist.

August 26, 2019 - Marotta and Inter express their frustration after comments made by Nara, who claims Icardi has been invited to stay after missing the Serie A opener against Lecce.

September 1, 2019 - Marotta says Icardi is "not a problem" despite reports the striker's lawyer is threatening to sue the club over his exclusion from the first team.

September 2, 2019 - Icardi seals a deadline-day move to PSG on loan, not before signing a one-year contract extension with Inter.

Mauro Icardi said joining Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain is a "major step in my career" after ending his Inter nightmare.

Icardi swapped Serie A side Inter for PSG on an initial season-long loan on Monday's transfer deadline.

Stripped of the Inter captaincy last season and frozen out by new head coach Antonio Conte this term, Icardi signed a one-year contract extension with the Nerazzurri before moving to PSG on deadline day.

Reflecting on his switch to PSG – who reportedly have the option to buy the striker for €70million – Icardi told PSG TV: "I'm very happy, delighted.

"It's a major step in my career, and a great opportunity to join a top club like Paris Saint-Germain. I hope to live great things here.

"Being able to play alongside these very talented players is amazing. The decision was easy to make, I've come to Paris because I wanted to play with them.

"I know the Argentines obviously, and I know [Edinson] Cavani. And I have met Neymar Jr. I am proud to become their team-mate.

"I am a striker, I like to score goals. It's going to be great to play up front with the amazing attacking players that are in this squad.

"It's always special to play against rivals. This is what makes football so great. I have played against Juve, Milan, these are major games. I am looking forward to playing these games in France now.

"I never played at the Parc des Princes, it will be a first for me. I will be able to tell you what it's like then!"

Icardi, who arrived at Inter from Sampdoria in 2013, scored 111 Serie A goals and 124 goals in all competitions to be eighth on the club's all-time list.

Thomas Tuchel's PSG, meanwhile, are level atop the Ligue 1 table heading into the international break.

Mauro Icardi's Inter saga could be at an end after Paris Saint-Germain made the headline-grabbing move of transfer deadline day.

Frozen out by Nerazzurri boss Antonio Conte, Argentina striker Icardi was facing a bleak few months until PSG came in and managed to complete an initial loan move.

PSG reportedly have an option to buy the 26-year-old for €70million, while the Ligue 1 champions also signed three-times Champions League winner Keylor Navas from Real Madrid in a deal that saw another goalkeeper, Alphonse Areola, move in the other direction on loan.

Serie A was a hive of activity on Monday, while plenty of Premier League players took the opportunity to move elsewhere – the window for incomings having closed in England's top flight last month.

Roman holiday for Mkhitaryan as Fiorentina aim for renaissance

Roma completed loan moves for Arsenal playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Atletico Madrid striker Nikola Kalinic, but there was a youthful edge to Fiorentina's late spree.

Wantaway Liverpool teenager Bobby Duncan will now ply his trade at the Stadio Artemio Franchi alongside Algeria winger Rachid Ghezzal – a loan signing from Leicester City.

The Viola also paid Fluminense in the region of €14m for Pedro, another player to replenish Vincenzo Montella's squad after Giovanni Simeone joined Cagliari on loan with an obligation to buy over the weekend.

Simone Verdi has joined Torino in similar fashion, ending an unhappy spell at Napoli – where free transfer Fernando Llorente bolsters Carlo Ancelotti's options at centre forward.

Napoli are joined in the Champions League by Atalanta this season and Simon Kjaer will be on hand to bolster their defence following a loan from Sevilla, although Martin Skrtel's swiftly terminated contract preceded him leaving Bergamo for a one-year deal with Istanbul Basaksehir.

Matteo Darmian was the latest member of Manchester United's defensive surplus to switch to Serie A, the Italy international joining Parma on a four-year deal after Chris Smalling was loaned to Roma. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson made the considerably shorter trip to League One side Tranmere Rovers.

The road from Watford to Udinese is incredibly well travelled and striker Stefano Okaka is back after a loan at the Stadio Friuli last season.

 

Italian flavour to Bundesliga business

AC Milan secured Croatia winger Ante Rebic on a two-year loan from Eintracht Frankfurt, for whom Andre Silva will seek to reignite his career and serve as a suitable replacement for Luka Jovic over the same period.

Bundesliga pacesetters RB Leipzig also have a talented attacker seeking a kickstart after Patrik Schick joined on an initial loan from Roma.

Vincenzo Grifo returned to Freiburg on a four-year deal from Hoffenheim, who also loaned Leonardo Bittencourt to Werder Bremen.

Marius Wolf left Borussia Dortmund for Hertha Berlin on a season-long loan and BVB's rivals Schalke sold Ukraine winger Yevhen Konoplyanka to Shakhtar Donetsk.

Rafinha on the move again as Hernandez and Bono conclude Sevilla's transfer frenzy

Had events panned out differently, this might have been the day Barcelona triumphantly welcomed Neymar back to Camp Nou.

As it was, a Brazilian left – Rafinha moving to Celta Vigo on loan after signing a contract extension with his parent club.

Barca have also agreed to sign 16-year-old midfielder Pedri from Las Palmas, who welcome back club stalwart Jonathan Viera on loan from Beijing Guoan for their Segunda promotion push.

Mexico striker Javier Hernandez and Morocco goalkeeper Bono were arrivals 12 and 13 of the window at Sevilla.

Maxime Gonalons was a loanee at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan last season and has joined Granada on a temporary basis from Roma.

Almeria were another hive of activity, with Nottingham Forest's Arvin Appiah and Joan Munoz concluding their incomings.

Real Sociedad signed Monaco's Spain Under-17 international Robert Navarro and loaned Kevin Rodriguez to Leganes.

Chelsea duo Baba Rahman and Kenedy were loaned to Real Mallorca and Getafe respectively.

Galatasaray's deadline-day delight

Radamel Falcao followed a rapturous reception following his arrival in Istanbul by signing a three-year contract with Galatasaray, who also secured Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina and Brighton and Hove Albion forward Florin Andone on loan.

Gala's rivals Fenerbahce were not to be outdone entirely as they brought in Brazilian midfielder Luiz Gustavo from Marseille on a four-year deal.

Sporting CP were already buoyed by keeping hold of the highly rated Bruno Fernandes, who will look to supply an attack reinforced by the loan arrivals of Jese from PSG and Yannick Bolasie from Everton.

Royal Antwerp snapped up Steven Defour after the playmaker's release by Burnley and also added Wesley Hoedt on a season-long loan from Southampton.

In Scotland, Celtic signed Kilmarnock left-back Greg Taylor, Manchester City teenager Jeremie Frimpong and Manchester United youngster Lee O'Connor – all on four-year deals. Rivals Rangers bought Ryan Kent from Liverpool for a fee that could reportedly rise to £7.5m.

Fellow Europa League contestants Qarabag secured former Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic on loan from Bournemouth.

Mauro Icardi has completed an initial season-long loan move to Paris Saint-Germain after penning a one-year contract extension with Inter.

The striker's San Siro soap opera took its latest turn on deadline day as he flew to Paris to undergo a medical before signing with Thomas Tuchel's team.

The agreement includes an option to buy for PSG, with the required fee reportedly set at €70million.

Inter allowed their former captain to leave only after securing his signature on a new deal, although it seems likely he has played his last game for the Nerazzurri.

The fresh terms safeguard against the Argentina striker potentially leaving on a free at the end of next term.

Icardi's move to Parc des Princes comes after weekend reports by La Gazzetta dello Sport that his legal team were threatening to sue Inter over his exclusion from the first team.

Inter coach Antonio Conte overlooked the former Sampdoria forward for wins over Lecce and Cagliari as a long-running saga dragged into the new season.

In February, Conte's predecessor Luciano Spalletti stripped the ex-Sampdoria player of the captaincy in the wake of criticism his wife and agent Wanda Nara levelled at the club, when she accused them of a lack of protection for the forward.

Icardi returned to the first team towards the end of the campaign but left a pre-season training camp controlled by new head coach Conte in July.

He will likely compete with Edinson Cavani for a starting spot at PSG.

England winger Jadon Sancho fears players will start to fall out of love with football if instances of racism continue to blight the game.

On Sunday, Inter striker Romelu Lukaku was targeted by monkey chants before he converted a decisive penalty in his team's 2-1 win over Cagliari in Serie A.

It marked the latest flashpoint of recent weeks, where the likes of Paul Pogba, Tammy Abraham and Kurt Zouma have all suffered online abuse.

Speaking to reporters after joining up with England for their Euro 2020 qualifiers, Borussia Dortmund winger Sancho praised Lukaku's defiant response in Sardinia but expressed long-term fears over the consequences should such sickening incidents continue to occur.

"I personally think that it just has to stop," he said. "No player wants to play football and have abuse like that.

"It puts the confidence down in players and the love of the sport will go very soon if it doesn't stop.

"Everyone should be happy and do what they are doing without receiving racial abuse. I don't think it is [just] social media.

"Some fans are just really passionate and obviously they say what they want to say. I feel they need to slow it down a bit - we're still only human.

"Just because we play football people might think we are just famous and ignorant to that but we just love the sport and just want to play.

"It is hard to see things like this because it feels like 'why should we play football?'. I felt that Romelu Lukaku handled it really well by not reacting and carrying on playing."

Italy head coach Roberto Mancini also fielded questions on the Lukaku abuse ahead of his team's matches against Armenia and Finland.

"We all hope not to hear those racist chants but it still happens here in Italy, like in England as well unfortunately," said the former Manchester City manager.

"Unfortunately, there are unintelligent people in the stadiums. Lukaku is right saying that in 2019 these kinds of things shouldn't happen. By now we should have got rid of these things."

On Monday, Lukaku issued a statement calling for footballers to unify against racism and for social media companies to do more to combat discrimination.

Mancini added: "I think that the majority of people in football are already working in this direction to do all they can to improve the situation about racism.

"We all hope that those people who make these mistakes nowadays will understand it's wrong and, with time, won't do it anymore.

"But I'm afraid that there will always be some unintelligent people repeating the same mistakes, unfortunately."

Cagliari vowed to ban the supporters responsible for racially abusing Romelu Lukaku in Sunday's 2-1 defeat to Inter but rejected "silly stereotypes" about the behaviour of their fans.

Lukaku's second-half penalty secured Inter's victory, however the match was marred by monkey chants coming from fans behind the goal as the striker prepared to take his kick. 

He glared back at the supporters in question instead of celebrating after converting and it was the latest in a string of such incidents involving Cagliari and the fourth high-profile occasion in just over two years.

In May 2017, Pescara's Sulley Muntari was booked for complaining to the referee about racist abuse from Cagliari fans, later being given a one-match ban for walking off the pitch in protest. The club avoided punishment because "approximately 10" people were involved.

Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi claimed in January 2018 he was abused away to Cagliari and last season his then team-mate Moise Kean was targeted, the Sardinia club escaping punishment because Serie A felt the chants "had an objectively limited relevance to race".

Despite the regularity of such incidents, Cagliari denounced "silly" stereotypes of their fans.

"Cagliari Calcio firmly rejects what happened Sunday night at the Sardegna Arena during the game vs. Inter," the statement began.

"The club underlines - once again - its intention to identify, isolate and ban those ignorant individuals whose shameful actions and behaviours are completely against the values that Cagliari strongly promotes in all their initiatives. Every single day.

"Cagliari does not want to underplay what occurred, endorses the respectable moral values of its people from all the stadium sections, but firmly rejects the outrageous charge and silly stereotypes addressed to Cagliari supporters and the Sardinian people, which are absolutely unacceptable."

Lukaku released a statement earlier on Monday calling for greater action from social media and federation stakeholders, which Cagliari echoed.

"Full solidarity to Romelu Lukaku and even stronger commitment towards annihilating one of the worst plagues that affects football and our world in general," the statement continued.

"However, as we are aware that technology is not enough, we believe our commitment needs a real support by the rest of the football stakeholders; starting from all the true supporters, to all the stewards in the stands; from police and security agents, passing to media and as well through Lega Serie A and FIGC [Italian Football Federation].

"Cagliari is asking you all [for] solid help to win a battle that involves everyone. No one excluded."

Romelu Lukaku urged footballers to unify against racism and demanded social media companies do more to combat discrimination after the striker was abused by Cagliari fans on Sunday.

Inter won 2-1 in Sardinia thanks to Lukaku's second-half penalty, but monkey chants could be heard coming from fans behind the goal as the Belgium international prepared to take his kick.

After scoring, he glared back at the supporters in question instead of celebrating.

It was the fourth high-profile incident involving Cagliari fans in just over two years, with Sulley Muntari, Blaise Matuidi and Moise Kean all targeted in the past.

Lukaku's former Manchester United team-mates Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba have been targeted by racial abuse on social media this season, and Lukaku is demanding a greater effort from necessary stakeholders to stamp out discrimination.

"Many players in the last month have suffered from racial abuse," Lukaku wrote on his official Instagram account. "I did yesterday [Sunday], too.

"Football is a game to be enjoyed by everyone and we shouldn't accept any form of discrimination that will put our game in shame.

"I hope the football federations all over the world react strongly on all cases of discrimination!!!

"Social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) need to work better as well with football clubs, because everyday you see at least one racist comment under a post of a person of colour. We've been saying it for years and still no action.

"Ladies and gentlemen, it's 2019. Instead of going forward, we're going backwards, and I think as players we need [to] unify and make a statement on this matter to keep this game clean and enjoyable for everyone."

Cagliari released a statement on Monday condemning the chants and vowed to ban those responsible.

 

Time is running out for clubs across Europe to finalise last-ditch deals but multiple big moves could yet go through.

Paris Saint-Germain are bound to be active players as Monday's transfer deadline forces heavyweights in France, Italy, Spain and Germany to make tough decisions on squad strengths and weaknesses.

Bundesliga teams have until 18:00 local time (17:00 BST) to conduct their business, while the window shuts at 20:00 local time (19:00 BST) for Juventus, AC Milan, Inter and the rest of Serie A.

All close-season movements across Europe's top five leagues will be then finalised when the deadline for LaLiga and Ligue 1 sides is reached at midnight local time (23:00 BST).


Mauro Icardi (Inter)

The Inter outcast, stripped of the captaincy earlier this year, seems set to escape to PSG, but not before another twist in his San Siro soap opera.

Reports in France and Italy suggest the striker will agree a new deal with the Nerazzurri - to prevent him from leaving on a free in 2021 - before linking up with Thomas Tuchel's team on a season-long loan.

That could be become a permanent move if, as is expected, the Ligue 1 champions negotiate an option to buy.

Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas is preparing to join Icardi at Parc des Princes, with Alphonse Areola headed in the opposite direction.


Bruno Fernandes (Sporting CP)

Frustrated in their attempts to sign Paul Pogba from Manchester United and seemingly unconvinced by Tottenham Christian Eriksen, Madrid might finally have settled on a midfield target.

Portugal international Fernandes was linked to Manchester United and Tottenham before Zinedine Zidane zeroed in on the 24-year-old, a highly technical player with goalscoring ability.


Neymar (PSG)

The fallout that would come from the forward finally rejoining Barcelona in the remaining hours makes it a deal too important to ignore, even if it is now highly improbable.

Neymar is said to have resigned himself to another season in France but, with Icardi to be added to what is already a star-studded attack, PSG might just relax one or two of their demands.

Tuchel, certainly, could do without a full campaign of massaging the Brazilian's ego.


Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona)

Barca's late business is more likely to be focused on what to do with Croatia midfielder Rakitic, who has made no starts and a solitary substitute appearance in LaLiga this season.

Juventus are understood be keen on taking him to Turin and could even discuss a swap deal involving Daniele Rugani, though captain Giorgio Chiellini's long-term knee injury has made centre-backs a valued commodity for Maurizio Sarri.

Rakitic, usurped by Frenkie De Jong at Camp Nou, has been replaced in the Croatia squad, so does that mean he's on the move?

Ante Rebic (Eintracht Frankfurt)

AC Milan are very close to the capture of a player also admired by city rivals Inter.

Rebic is due to move to the Rossoneri on an initial loan deal that will see Andre Silva head for Frankfurt.

Eintracht sporting director Fredi Bobic and the attacker himself have already confirmed an agreement is in place, meaning only the formalities are to be completed.

Real Madrid look set to finally land a midfielder before the transfer window closes.

The LaLiga giants have been linked to numerous midfielders and, after a slow start to the season, they may make a signing ahead of the window shutting on Monday.

Madrid are reportedly close to strengthening their squad by completing a move for Sporting CP star Bruno Fernandes.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID CLOSE TO SEALING FERNANDES DEAL

Real Madrid have almost completed a deal for Fernandes, according to ESPN.

The Portugal international, 24, was linked to Manchester United and Tottenham earlier in the window.

Now, the Sporting captain looks set for Madrid, who have reportedly targeted United's Paul Pogba, Spurs' Christian Eriksen and Ajax's Donny van de Beek during the close season.

It comes just days after Fiorentina sporting director Daniele Prade said Fernandes was heading to Madrid for €70million.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Neymar saga will finally end – for now – with the Paris Saint-Germain star staying with the Ligue 1 champions. L'Equipe reports the Brazil international will remain with PSG, while Sport reports Barcelona will resume their pursuit of Neymar in 2020.

- That could mean a few more eyes on Mauro Icardi on Monday. PSG are in talks with Inter over a potential loan deal for the forward, according to RMC Sport and Gianluca Di Marzio.

- Pogba may still be hoping to eventually get his move to Real Madrid. The Mirror reports the France international will resist signing a new deal with Premier League giants Manchester United, with his current contract running until 2021, although the club have an option to extend that by a year.

- Javier Hernandez should get a deadline-day move from West Ham. The Premier League club have agreed to sell the forward to Sevilla for close to €8.9m (£8m), according to Sky Sports News.

- Henrikh Mkhitaryan came off the bench during Arsenal's draw against Tottenham on Sunday and he could be on his way out of the Emirates Stadium a day later. Roma are pressing hard to sign the midfielder on loan with an option to buy, according to Gianluca Di Marzio.

- Phil Foden may have to wait for his chances at Manchester City, but the Premier League champions are keen to keep the teenage midfielder in their squad. The Sun reports City rejected loan bids from Rangers and Roma for the England youth international.

Mauro Icardi's agent and wife Wanda Nara hinted the Inter outcast could join Paris Saint-Germain before Monday's transfer deadline.

The transfer window is set to close and Icardi's future is still unresolved amid links to Ligue 1 champions PSG, LaLiga outfits Atletico Madrid and Valencia, as well as Napoli.

Inter are determined to sell star forward Icardi, who was stripped of the captaincy last season and is not wanted by head coach Antonio Conte.

Amid reports Icardi could make a deadline-day move to PSG on loan, Nara told Tiki Taka: "I'll work until the end of the transfer window.

"There are a couple of teams. My relationship with the Inter board is very good.

"Boca Juniors would be difficult, but there are solutions in Europe.

"We'll see if he goes to a team outside of Italy."

It comes amid speculation Icardi's lawyer is reportedly threatening to sue Inter over his exclusion from the first team.

Gazzetta dello Sport reported Icardi's legal team will seek to bring action against Inter in order to have the former club captain reinstated in the squad, which necessitates a claim for damages.

An Inter spokesperson declined to comment on the matter when contacted by Omnisport.

When asked about the Icardi saga prior to Sunday's 2-1 win over Cagliari, Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta told Sky: "We have been very clear before and we are calm today.

"We will also face this situation, but I think it is right to give space to the players who go on the pitch, to the fans, and to the club.

"It is not a question to be solved. It is not a problem; it is ordinary football management. At the end of the transfer window, it will be clearer."

Romelu Lukaku revelled in his goalscoring display to lead Inter to a second successive Serie A win, despite being the victim of racial abuse against Cagliari.

Lukaku scored his second goal of the season after arriving from Manchester United as Inter defeated Cagliari 2-1 on Sunday but the victory was soured by racist chants.

Monkey chants were directed at Lukaku as Inter's club-record signing stepped up to convert a 72nd-minute penalty at the Sardegna Arena.

Amid widespread condemnation, Lukaku told Inter TV: "I'm very happy about these first two league victories and about tonight's success.

"It was a tough match, we had to fight but that's what we'll have to do in every game, I'm happy for the team and for our fans.

"To score wearing this shirt is a great feeling, I want to help the team even more, through assists too: the goal is to continue like this."

Lukaku scored the winner after team-mate Lautaro Martinez's first-half opener was cancelled out by Joao Pedro away from home.

On his partnership with Martinez, Lukaku added: "It's improving week after week and I'm happy about his goal, which was important for us.

"Now there will be a break for national team commitments, it will be important that we all come back in good condition and then work best in preparation for the matches at San Siro against Udinese and Slavia Prague [in the Champions League]."

Antonio Conte demanded more respect and improvement in Italy after Romelu Lukaku was subjected to racial abuse in Inter's 2-1 win away to Cagliari.

Lukaku scored a penalty to preserve Inter's perfect start to the Serie A season but Sunday's victory was overshadowed by monkey chants aimed at the Belgian striker.

Racial chants could be heard as Lukaku stepped up to convert the 72nd-minute penalty, which secured all three points for Inter after Joao Pedro had cancelled out Lautaro Martinez's first-half opener.

It was another dark day for Italian football and Cagliari at the Sardegna Arena, where former Juventus striker Moise Kean endured similar chants last season.

After widespread condemnation and calls for Italian authorities to crack down, Inter head coach Conte told reporters: "We need to improve a great deal in Italy and be more respectful to people who are working, in general.

"When I was working abroad, the fans would cheer on their own team, not spend their entire time insulting the opponent."

Inter made it two wins from two games under Conte but the Nerazzurri were far from perfect on the road against Cagliari.

After routing Lecce in their Serie A opener, Inter were fortunate to claim victory following a contentious penalty call against Fabio Pisacane.

"It was a different game to the win against Lecce, as I had warned everyone this would be tough. Coming to Cagliari is never a walk in the park," Conte said.

"Let it be known, I am very demanding and there is a lot we need to do in order to improve, but I also say we are glad to have won in a difficult arena.

"Cagliari played their game and did it well, but this is a very important result, as it carries on from the performance against Lecce, but we should've 'killed' it more after conceding their equaliser. We did well to get back on top, but there's more we can do.

"This team was built to play with midfielders pushing forward into the channels, like Matias Vecino, Stefano Sensi, Roberto Gagliardini and Nicolo Barella."

While Diego Godin came off the bench to make his debut, Alexis Sanchez was an unused substitute following his loan move from Manchester United.

"Alexis Sanchez is an excellent player and he is in decent shape, but will go on international duty now and play only the first game with Chile against Argentina, put some minutes in his legs," Conte added. "We must get him back to the level he was at Udinese and Barcelona."

Romelu Lukaku was subjected to racist abuse from Cagliari supporters but scored his second goal in two Serie A games for Inter as Antonio Conte's men extended their winning start to the season with a 2-1 victory.

The €65million signing from Manchester United endured similar chants to those aimed at former Juventus striker Moise Kean last season while taking a penalty he converted to clinch three points for the visitors at the Sardegna Arena.

After a comfortable 4-0 win over Lecce in their opening game the Nerazzurri came up against a stubborn Cagliari side bolstered by Inter loanee Radja Nainggolan, who gave his parent club no rest in midfield.

Lautaro Martinez partnered Lukaku in the Inter attack and he helped to distract from the ongoing uncertainty over Mauro Icardi's future when he opened his account for 2019-20 in the 27th minute.

But the craft and endeavour Inter showed against Lecce was stemmed by Cagliari, who drew level through Joao Pedro five minutes into the second half.

The hosts looked set to earn a battling point until Fabio Pisacane conceded a penalty and Lukaku further endeared himself to the Inter faithful by burying it.

Nainggolan, playing a deep-lying role, provided the hosts with the guile they needed to break up Inter's crisp approach play and endured some heavy challenges during the early exchanges.

But the pressure paid off when Martinez beat Alberto Cerri and the offside trap as he rose to meet Stefano Sensi's weighted cross, which he headed low into the corner.

Cagliari came out of the blocks quickly after half-time and Nahitan Nandez turned his marker before bursting down the right flank and crossing for Joao Pedro to head home from close range.

Sensi hit the crossbar with a curling free-kick from 20 yards as Inter pressed for a winner that arrived after he was brought down by Pisacane.

Lukaku held his nerve despite "monkey chants" emanating from the home supporters, coolly drilling the penalty kick into the bottom right corner of Robin Olsen's net before defiantly turning to face in the direction of those who abused him.

What does it mean? Serie A must act
The importance of the result was dwarfed by the latest racism flashpoint in Italian football and, after Serie A failed to punish Cagliari over the abuse directed at Kean, they surely cannot continue to ignore such a glaring blight on the division.

Lukaku and Martinez ensure Icardi is not missed
Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta said the ongoing uncertainty over Icardi's future was "not a problem" in the build-up to the game and goals from both of his side's strikers supported his point.

Crucial error from clumsy Pisacane
Pisacane showed his limitations when going to ground and whipping Sensi's leg from under him as the Inter midfielder pressed for a winner.

What's next?
While Cagliari will be confident of getting something from their trip to Parma when Serie A resumes after the international break, Inter entertain Udinese at San Siro.

Romelu Lukaku was subjected to racist abuse from Cagliari supporters but scored his second goal in two Serie A games for Inter as Antonio Conte's men extended their winning start to the season with a 2-1 victory.

The €65million signing from Manchester United endured similar chants to those aimed at former Juventus striker Moise Kean last season while taking a penalty he converted to clinch three points for the visitors at the Sardegna Arena.

After a comfortable 4-0 win over Lecce in their opening game the Nerazzurri came up against a stubborn Cagliari side bolstered by Inter loanee Radja Nainggolan, who gave his parent club no rest in midfield.

Lautaro Martinez partnered Lukaku in the Inter attack and he helped to distract from the ongoing uncertainty over Mauro Icardi's future when he opened his account for 2019-20 in the 27th minute.

But the craft and endeavour Inter showed against Lecce was stemmed by Cagliari, who drew level through Joao Pedro five minutes into the second half.

The hosts looked set to earn a battling point until Fabio Pisacane conceded a penalty and Lukaku further endeared himself to the Inter faithful by burying it.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.