Could Daniel Levy be about to loosen Tottenham's purse strings?

According to the Mirror, Tottenham are set for a spending spree to ensure manager Mauricio Pochettino does not quit.

Pochettino has been linked to Juventus and Manchester United, and the Argentinian is in a strong position after leading Spurs to their first Champions League final – without signing a player in 2018-19.

 

TOP STORY – SPURS TO SPLASH THE CASH

Show me the money is the message from Pochettino, and chairman Levy is set to listen.

Tottenham have already reportedly had bids rejected for Real Betis star Giovani Lo Celso and in-demand Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele.

After two consecutive windows without spending anything, Spurs are also eyeing Fulham sensation Ryan Sessegnon and Celta Vigo striker Maxi Gomez, according to reports.

With the new stadium built and finally occupied, Pochettino may now have a substantial transfer kitty to preserve Tottenham's position in the Premier League top four.

 

ROUND-UP

- Inter boss Antonio Conte could be about to finally link up with Romelu Lukaku. After Conte saw Lukaku snub Chelsea for Manchester United in 2017, the Belgium striker is prepared to take a pay cut to join Inter, according to Sport Mediaset. The €70million transfer fee is reportedly a sticking point, with the Serie A side willing to offer Ivan Perisic as part of a potential deal.

- Real Madrid will not have it easy when it comes to their pursuit of Christian Eriksen. Per AS, Florentino Perez and Levy met prior to the Champions League final with Eriksen believed to be on the agenda. The Tottenham midfielder is a target for Madrid, who are looking to overhaul their squad with Chelsea's Eden Hazard and Manchester United star Paul Pogba. Madrid's interest in Pogba could see the Spanish giants offer Gareth Bale as part of a swap, according to The Times.

- LaLiga champions Barcelona are apparently nearing a transfer for Valencia forward Rodrigo Moreno. Sport say Barca are in negotiations to sign the 28-year-old, who has a €120million release clause.

- According to Tuttosport, Maurizio Sarri will have a decisive meeting with Juventus on Wednesday. The Chelsea coach is reportedly poised to succeed Massimiliano Allegri and a potential switch to Turin could see the Italian champions raid his former club Napoli for star defender Kalidou Koulibaly. Juve have also been linked with an €85m bid for Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt.

- It looks like Manchester United will have to spend big to prise Manchester City target Joao Felix from Benfica. The Portuguese champions are demanding more than £100m, according to Correio da Manha.

Ivan Perisic cancelled out Stephan El Shaarawy's stunner as Inter protected their six-point lead over Roma in a 1-1 draw at San Siro on Saturday.

Victory for either side would have given a new complexion to the scramble for top-four places but the Nerazzurri did neighbours AC Milan a favour by eking out a well-earned draw.

Croatia international Perisic netted seven minutes after Mauro Icardi's second-half introduction to hold Claudio Ranieri's men, who took an early lead through playmaker El Shaarawy's 14th-minute arrow.

Roma's inability to see out the result means they remain a point adrift of the fourth-placed Rossoneri, who earlier settled for the same scoreline at Parma.

Lautaro Martinez replaced the benched Icardi in attack and forced Antonio Mirante to turn a header against the upright in the eighth minute.

Perisic fluffed the follow-up to that chance and soon received a lesson in composure from El Shaarawy, who cut inside two defenders and brilliantly fired beyond Samir Handanovic.

Federico Fazio then produced a crucial last-ditch challenge on Matias Vecino, before Danilo D'Ambrosio nodded wide at close range.

Inter were given a reprieve of their own after the restart when Lorenzo Pellegrini failed to find the target at the end of a quick break.

Ex-Giallorossi boss Luciano Spalletti turned to Icardi in the 54th minute but it was an unmarked Perisic restoring parity in the 61st minute, making amends for his earlier miss by heading in D'Ambrosio's cross.

Martinez volleyed over with the chance to add a quickfire second and the spoils were shared after Inter captain Handanovic parried away Aleksandar Kolarov's late opportunity, the left-back stumbling under a nudge by Keita Balde.


What does it mean? Nerazzurri preserve status quo

Inter took a handy lead over Roma into this match but, with Juventus their next opponents, knew they had to avoid defeat to stay in pole position for third spot.

A draw will do, even if the time they spent in the attacking third might have warranted more than a point.

Fazio unfazed against Inter attack

Greater responsibility fell on the experienced Fazio's shoulders following defensive partner Kostas Manolas' pre-match withdrawal.

The 32-year-old stepped up for Roma, marking his 100th appearance with a performance that included 10 clearances, while little blame for the equaliser can be apportioned to a player who was busy grappling with Icardi.

Cengiz underperforms 

There is no doubting Cengiz Under's ability as a player but this was not his most memorable match.

The talented attacking midfielder made just eight passes and lost each of his six duels before being replaced by Nicolo Zaniolo at half-time.

What's next?

Inter entertain freshly minted Scudetto winners Juventus next Saturday, the same day as Roma's clash with Cagliari at Stadio Olimpico.

Jose Mourinho is the ideal coach to reunite the Inter dressing room following the damage caused by the Mauro Icardi affair, according to Luigi Simoni.

Icardi made his first appearance in almost two months on Wednesday to help lead Inter to a 4-0 win at Genoa that strengthened their grip on third place in Serie A.

It was the first time Icardi had been involved since being stripped of the club captaincy amid reports of problems with the club's hierarchy, which left him ostracised from Luciano Spalletti's squad.

Ivan Perisic is rumoured to have had a furious argument with the Argentina forward after his wife and agent, Wanda Nara, spoke on TV about "personal problems" between the team-mates.

Mourinho found his relationship with senior players at Manchester United had deteriorated significantly before he was sacked last December, with Paul Pogba said to be chief among those who fell out with the manager.

But former Inter boss Simoni thinks the man who delivered the treble to San Siro in 2009-10 would be able to restore harmony to the dressing room.

"We need to rebuild the atmosphere," Simoni, who won the UEFA Cup with Inter in 1998, told FCInternews. "Mourinho would be ideal, as he was good at creating a rock-solid group during his Nerazzurri experience.

"Of course, returns are always complicated, but in the event of a separation with Spalletti, whom I respect, I would bet on the Portuguese. I'm in favour of his return."

Simoni, who was a popular figure with players and fans in his brief spell in charge, thinks Icardi and Perisic are likely to leave given the damage that seems to have been caused to the squad's morale.

"Situations like these break dressing rooms," he said. "The management was a bit absent. Immediate action was needed to quell the problem.

"You need harmony within the group to get results. You don't win and you don't go far if there are problems in the dressing room.

"Players today are more individualistic. They think of themselves first, and then of the good of the team.

"That Inter [of 1997-98] had so many strong and prominent personalities. The boys created a fantastic harmony. [Former president Massimo] Moratti always tells me, 'There was never an Inter where all the players got on so well together as in 97-98'.

"There needed to be an effort from the club to protect the coach, who was left alone. It's not possible for there to be problems in the dressing room without the club immediately putting a halt to them.

"I imagine that, at the end of the season, Icardi and Perisic will leave."

Inter were left to rue a stoppage-time VAR-assisted penalty as Fiorentina salvaged a 3-3 draw in a remarkable Serie A encounter on Sunday.

Having been the benefactors of two decisions that went to the video review system, it was third time unlucky for Inter as the referee deemed Danilo D'Ambrosio had handled the ball in the sixth minute of seven added on, with Jordan Veretout eventually stepping up to slot home following a five-minute VAR check.

Luciano Spalletti's side had been 3-1 up seven minutes into the second half, when Ivan Perisic netted with Inter's own VAR-awarded spot-kick after Matias Vecino and Matteo Politano had cancelled out Stefan de Vrij's first-minute own goal.

But Fiorentina rallied, and after Cristiano Biraghi had a goal ruled out by VAR, Luis Muriel's stunning free-kick set up a grandstand finish, with Veretout keeping his composure in extraordinary circumstances to secure a share of the spoils in Florence.

Luciano Spalletti singled out Ivan Perisic and Radja Nainggolan for their respective performances in Inter's 1-0 win over Parma after both had endured difficult spells.

Inter eased the pressure on head coach Spalletti with the win, which was secured by Lautaro Martinez 11 minutes from time to end a run of three successive Serie A matches without a victory.

Nainggolan, who has not had a great time since joining Inter from Italian rivals Roma in pre-season, set Martinez up for the winner, feeding him into the box with a well-weighted throughball.

And Perisic, who was strongly linked with a January transfer after telling Inter he wanted to leave, also showed flashes of his quality out on the left flank.

Their performances did not go unnoticed by Spalletti, who spoke highly of them in his post-match news conference.

"Perisic put in a great performance," Spalletti told reporters. "He reacted like a great player in response to the noise surrounding him.

"Nainggolan also demonstrated that he's on the right path. He showed some quick bursts, and this is something we haven't seen for a little while.

"This forced Parma to keep on playing long balls, with [Stefan] De Vrij and [Milan] Skriniar, who are like two lions, being able to deal with every situation perfectly.

"However, we got it wrong up front too many times and threatened them less than we could have done."

Martinez got the goal when both he and Mauro Icardi were on the pitch, but Spalletti tempered the expectations of supporters hoping to see them playing in tandem more often.

"Lautaro has fighting spirit and he does really well when the ball comes to him," the coach added.

"Both him and Icardi are our two main strikers. They are very similar and you need to find the right moment to play them.

"That can be when the opposition looks to press and we have the right peace of mind to support them."

Inter coach Luciano Spalletti said Ivan Perisic would be "reintegrated slowly" after no January move materialised for the attacker.

Perisic, 29, was an unused substitute as Inter suffered a penalty shoot-out loss to Lazio in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals on Thursday.

Spalletti said before the clash that Perisic, linked with a move to Arsenal, had been "misled".

After his side's defeat to Lazio, the Italian said the Croatia international would eventually be welcomed back by Inter.

"Perisic? Roles need to to be redefined, the transfer window has closed and he's a professional," Spalletti said.

"He'll come back to training and he'll be reintegrated slowly."

Inter were knocked out of the Coppa Italia 4-3 on penalties after a 125th-minute spot-kick from Mauro Icardi had cancelled out Ciro Immobile's extra-time opener.

Spalletti was unhappy with his team's start at San Siro, and added Lazio deserved to progress.

"At the start, our play was awkward, we got lost when things were frantic and you can't do that against sides like Lazio," he said.

"Then, when the match came to life, it was balanced but we lacked the composure to move the ball around. There were lots of chances to score, at both ends.

"It was totally balanced and in the end, Lazio deserved to make the semi-final in the shoot-out."

Ivan Perisic is in Inter's squad to face Lazio in the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia, with Luciano Spalletti suggesting the reported Arsenal target has been "misled".

Spalletti benched Perisic for Inter's Serie A loss to Torino and the club's general manager Beppe Marotta confirmed the Croatia international had submitted a transfer request.

Arsenal are reportedly keen to sign Perisic ahead of Thursday's transfer deadline, but head coach Unai Emery has said the Gunners can only complete loan deals in January.

Spalletti previously rubbished reports Inter would allow Perisic to leave San Siro "for free" and indicated he would have no problem continuing to leave the winger out of his squad.

Spalletti appeared to have softened his stance ahead of the Coppa Italia clash, although he would not say whether Perisic would be playing against Lazio.

"I talk with the players, what I say to them I do not go out to talk about," he told a news conference. "We talked about [Matias] Vecino wanting to leave, but it's not true.

"Perisic was misled, he was probably made an offer that has enticed him. He is in the squad, we'll see if we use him or not.

"Today he trained and I saw a different spirit."

Cedric Soares is in line to make his Inter debut having been included in the Nerazzurri squad after signing from Southampton on loan, with Spalletti hailing the defender's versatility.

Spalletti added: "Cedric has proven that he knows how to play in a four-man defence or as a wing-back.

"He's quick and knows what he's doing. Will he start? He has just arrived and we'll have a lot of games close together."

Inter director Piero Ausilio said there have been no "suitable offers" for wantaway winger Ivan Perisic.

Croatia international Perisic has been linked with Premier League side Arsenal after asking to leave Inter.

However, Ausilio revealed the Serie A side are yet to be satisfied amid interest in the 29-year-old World Cup runner-up.

"Perisic wants to go abroad, but there are no suitable offers," Ausilio said.

"If he does remain, I expect the same professionalism from him as always. We intend to get him back on track and it shouldn't be a problem. I don't think it'll take very long.

"I can say the Inter transfer market is closed. We had some fitness issues with Sime Vrsaljko and did well to immediately cover the gap with Cedric Soares [from Southampton].

"Inter have had a difficult path over the last few years, having changed ownership three times, but we now have a solid and ambitious owner who with time and patience can achieve great things."

 

Ivan Perisic has been left on the bench for Inter's Serie A encounter with Torino amid speculation linking the midfielder with a transfer to Arsenal.

Inter have reportedly rejected a loan offer made for the 29-year-old by the Gunners, whose boss Unai Emery has already confirmed he will only be able to sign players on a temporary basis in January.

But a potential move for Perisic may have edged closer, with Luciano Spalletti having left the Croatia international out of his starting XI for Sunday's visit to Torino.

Perisic starred at Russia 2018 as Croatia made it to their first World Cup final, but his form for Inter has tailed off, with the former Wolfsburg star having netted just three goals across 25 appearances in all competitions so far this campaign.

Inter set up a Coppa Italia quarter-final showdown with Lazio by beating second-tier Benevento 6-2 at a nearly empty San Siro on Sunday.

Zlatko Dalic believes playing at Wembley will be motivation enough to ensure fatigue does not derail Croatia against England in the Nations League on Sunday.

Croatia were involved in a pulsating 3-2 win over Spain on Thursday – a result which means all three teams are in the race to qualify from Group 4 of League A going into the final match.

A win for England or Croatia would guarantee promotion a place in the Nations League Finals, but the prospect of relegation also looms for both sides.

Dalic admits that the win over Spain took a lot out of his players but is confident that playing in a stadium as iconic as Wembley will give his side the lift they need.

"We are tired," said the coach. 

"Kick-off is at 2pm, which is not the best. But what can we do? We will try to make it a spectacular day.

"I hope we can be totally fit and we can play at our best.

"It was not easy [against Spain], but to play against England at Wembley means we are motivated."

Sunday's clash is the third time the two sides will have met this year, following Croatia's World Cup semi-final win in Russia and the goalless draw in last month's reverse Nations League fixture in Rijeka.

Dalic, though, insists the rivalry is friendly and that he will not take extra measures to combat forward Raheem Sterling, who lit up England's win over Spain last month with two goals.

"Both teams know each other," he added. 

"It's a positive atmosphere and rivalry on the pitch. We beat them in the semi-final of the World Cup, which was the most important result.

"We know what we have to do. They don't only have Raheem – they have a lot of fast players. It's a large pitch and they have strong and fast players."

Winger Ivan Perisic – who scored Croatia's equaliser in their World Cup win over Gareth Southgate's men – believes if his side play to their full capability, they will emerge victorious.

"It's difficult to say who is the favourite," he said.

"You can expect a really tight match, but if we play to our best, we can win the match."

Radja Nainggolan has missed out on a place in Inter's squad for the Champions League fixture against Barcelona due to injury.

Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalic said he knew his side's first game since the World Cup final would not be their prettiest after a 1-1 draw with Portugal, but called for an improvement ahead of their Nations League opener against Spain. 

World Cup finalists Croatia were pegged back by Pepe's header on his 100th international appearance as they drew 1-1 with a Portugal side minus the services of Cristiano Ronaldo at the Estadio Algarve.

Ivan

World Cup finalists Croatia were pegged back by a Pepe header as they drew 1-1 with a Portugal side minus the services of Cristiano Ronaldo at the Estadio Algarve. 

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