Deadline Day: Lukaku having Inter medical, Spurs deals reportedly on the rocks

By Sports Desk August 08, 2019

Romelu Lukaku is having a medical at Inter ahead of a deadline day move from Manchester United.

Omnisport understands Inter and United have agreed an €80million (£73m) move to Serie A, ending a protracted transfer saga.

Ahead of confirmation of the deal, Lukaku waved to fans and the media from a window of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) offices in Milan, where the Italian Sports Medicine Federation (FMSI) is based.

The Belgium international was going through the second stage of his medical at the facility.

Tottenham look set to have a slightly less busy day than supporters may have hoped for, as a move for Paulo Dybala is reportedly off, while their chase of Fulham's Ryan Sessegnon is also said to have hit an obstacle.

There do not seem to be any such issues with their pursuit of Real Betis' Giovani Lo Celso, however.

Daniel Drinkwater's dismal time at Chelsea could be coming to an end, with the England international midfielder potentially joining Burnley.

Sean Dyche confirmed Burnley's interest in the former Leicester City star on Thursday, and although he suggested it was by no means a done deal, he is hopeful of securing a loan.

Brighton and Hove Albion have concluded a move for 19-year-old Romaric Yapi, who joins on a one-year deal – with the option for a second – from Paris Saint-Germain.

Swiss striker Albian Ajeti has joined West Ham as back-up to Sebastien Haller, while in the Championship Sheffield Wednesday have pulled off something of a coup in landing Australia international Massimo Luongo from QPR.

Newcastle United signed Swedish right-back Emil Krafth for a reported £5m fee, while they are also rumoured to be closing in on their former striker Andy Carroll, who is available on a free transfer.

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  • Witsel ruled out for rest of year after being hospitalised by fall at home Witsel ruled out for rest of year after being hospitalised by fall at home

    Borussia Dortmund midfielder Axel Witsel has been ruled out for the rest of the year after being hospitalised by an "awkward fall" at his home.

    Witsel, who played a full part in Saturday's 5-0 win over Fortuna Dusseldorf, underwent oral and facial surgery at Klinikzentrum Nord Hospital over the weekend.

    The Belgium international has been discharged from hospital but will miss at least four matches ahead of the mid-season break, starting with Tuesday's Champions League clash with Slavia Prague.

    "Witsel will sadly be out for the rest of this year," BVB boss Lucien Favre confirmed at Monday's pre-match news conference.

    "I was told about this yesterday morning. We could not speak to him. He was in hospital.

    "But there is one positive thing - he's already back home. We can't change it now. It's a shame for him, a shame for us. He's one of the most important players for us."

    Asked to provide more details on the injury, Dortmund media director Sascha Fligge said the midfielder "fell awkwardly at home".

    Witsel has scored three goals in 21 appearances for Dortmund this season.

  • No more second chances - Conte wants Inter to thrive under Champions League pressure No more second chances - Conte wants Inter to thrive under Champions League pressure

    Antonio Conte has stressed there will be no second chances for Inter when they take on Barcelona in a crucial Champions League clash on Tuesday.

    Inter welcome Barca to San Siro sitting second in Group F, level on seven points with Borussia Dortmund, who face Slavia Prague.

    The Nerazzurri - who hold a two-point lead over Juventus at the top of Serie A - must at least match Dortmund's result to ensure their place in the knockout stages.

    While Conte is not thinking too far ahead in regard to how far his team can go in the competition, he emphasised Inter must grasp their final opportunity to progress.

    "This is a very important game for me and the club. Our qualification hopes are on the line. It is a very big moment in our season," Conte told a news conference.

    "When the draw was made, this was labelled the group of death. There are some great teams in Group F, the fact we are still in the running is very impressive. We should be very proud of how we've done.

    "This would be a great achievement should we qualify. There are injuries at the moment, it has been an ongoing situation. The positive aspect is everyone is responding well. Everyone in the team is taking responsibility.

    "We have injuries but everyone is stepping up, there are three games before the winter break, there is the right enthusiasm in the squad, we are on the right track, we simply need to keep this up and give that little bit extra and dig deep.

    "There will be no second chances, so we must do our job and get the result. In the tough times we need to give our all. 

    "There will be pressure on us, but this team is growing and needs this experience. We cannot look too far ahead."

    Barca have already secured first place in the group and, with their rearranged Clasico against Real Madrid coming up, Ernesto Valverde has left both Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique out of his 20-man squad, though Conte does not think that will make Inter's task any easier.

    "Barca are an amazing side whoever plays. Barca are one of the best teams in the world, they aim to win every competition," Conte said. "They have qualified but will come here to play their game.

    "They have no pressure which could work in their favour, but we need to focus on ourselves, play our game. I will tell the lads I want us to give our all. I do not want us to have any regrets."

    Luis Suarez scored both of Barca's goals in the reverse fixture as they claimed a 2-1 win at Camp Nou in October, with Lautaro Martinez having put Inter ahead early on.

    Martinez has been in superb form this season, scoring 13 goals in all competitions, and is reportedly being considered by Barca as a possible replacement for Suarez should the former Liverpool star leave the club.

    Suarez's Uruguay team-mate Diego Godin, however, is hopeful Martinez's immediate future is with Inter.

    "I know Suarez very well, he is one of the best," Godin said. "I have been playing with Lautaro from this season, he is developing all of the time, he is in good form at the moment, playing very well.

    "At the moment he is at Inter, he has many good years ahead of him, he has the skills to go far, there is no limit, I feel. We all hope he can keep doing well, I hope he can help this team. He is a player with a key role."

  • FIFA in contact with WADA to clarify Russia ban FIFA in contact with WADA to clarify Russia ban

    FIFA has made contact with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to clarify how Russia's ban from major international sporting events applies to football.

    On Monday, WADA's Executive Committee endorsed a recommended four-year ban for Russia, with the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) declared non-compliant again over inconsistencies in anti-doping data discovered during an investigation.

    The suspension means athletes will not be able to compete under the Russian flag at the 2020 Olympics or the 2022 Winter Games.

    It would also appear to prevent Russia from entering the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, although WADA's International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories does not list UEFA as a "major event organisation", so Stanislav Cherchesov's side will be free to compete at Euro 2020.

    However, the Russian Football Union said it was hopeful football would not be impacted but it was waiting to hear from FIFA.

    FIFA is yet to reveal its stance on the suspension but has confirmed to Omnisport it is in contact with WADA and the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF).

    "FIFA has taken note of the decision taken by WADA Executive Committee today," a FIFA spokesperson said.

    "FIFA is in contact with WADA and ASOIF to clarify the extent of the decision in regards to football."

    RUSADA has 21 days to appeal the suspension, which would see its case referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    Jonathan Taylor, chair of the Compliance Review Committee that recommended the sanction, told a news conference: "It is the event that decides the world champion that is covered by the ban."

    However, Taylor acknowledged each sport would be assessed on a "case-by-case basis".

    "Let's be clear about the totality of this package. It's a four-year package and relates to a number of different things," he said. "In terms of participation, the standard is clear.

    "There will be no flag at the events that are covered. There will not be a Russian flag and athletes will not be competing as representatives of Russia.

    "The details from sport to sport will have to differ because some are team sports, some are individual sports. There is going to have to be a case-by-case basis.

    "Nevertheless, what is important to note is that the standard says it is under the control and approval of WADA to ensure appropriate and standardised enforcement.

    "That may, if there is a CAS case, be taken to CAS so it can see and endorse it itself.

    "Can we be definitive now in every case as to what it will mean? No, but the standard is clear. They will not be there as representatives of Russia."

    WADA president Craig Reedie said in a statement the body had delivered "a robust response".

    "Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order and re-join the global anti-doping community for the good of its athletes and of the integrity of sport, but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial," he said.

    Other concerned parties, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), can also appeal to CAS if RUSADA chooses not to.

    An appeal from the IOC, another Olympic committee or an international federation - such as FIFA - would have to come within 21 days of RUSADA accepting WADA's decision.

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