Pablo Mari has returned to training with Monza less than two months after being hospitalised following a stabbing attack.

The on-loan Arsenal defender was one of five people injured in the incident, which took place at a supermarket near Milan in late October, while a cashier named Luis Fernando Ruggieri died.

Monza initially said Mari was expected to be out of action for two months, and the 29-year-old appears on course to recover within that timeframe after returning to training.

On Wednesday, Monza took to social media to post images of Mari with the ball at his feet, alongside the caption: "Look who's back".

Mari was welcomed onto the pitch at Monza's home Serie A fixture against Verona last month, a game the Silvio Berlusconi-owned side won 2-0.

Monza sit 14th in the Serie A table after 15 games and will resume their campaign with a trip to Fiorentina on January 4.

Fikayo Tomori is aware "I have to do more" to avoid a repeat of the "disappointment" at being left out of England's World Cup squad.

Despite playing every match for Milan in Serie A this season, while missing just one of their six Champions League games through suspension, the defender was not included by Gareth Southgate, whose side were eliminated by France in the quarter-finals.

Tomori also played a key role as the Rossoneri last term, featuring 31 times as they ended their 11-year wait to claim the Scudetto, pipping rivals Inter to the title on the final day of the campaign.

But having only earned three senior England caps since making his debut against Kosovo in November 2019, the 24-year-old feels he must raise his game to force himself back into contention for the European Championship in 18 months' time, should the Three Lions qualify.

"I'm always motivated, obviously there is disappointment because I wanted to be there," he told DAZN. "But it didn't happen, and I know I have to do more to go to Euro 2024.

"There was disappointment, but I have to keep working and then let's see. Right now, I'm happy and content."

Tomori and Milan resume their Serie A title defence when they travel to Salernitana on January 4. Stefano Pioli's side are second after 15 matches, but already trailing unbeaten leaders Napoli by eight points.

The centre-half admits the reigning champions have had to adapt to different challenges from their opponents this season, but he is confident the campaign can culminate in a successful title defence.

"In my opinion, the most difficult thing is to win again," he added. "Last year, we know that there weren't many people who thought we could win. But now we have done it, and we have the Scudetto on our chest, whoever plays against us changes.

"So, we have to look for another way to win and another level - both in mentality and in play. We knew it would be difficult, but we can win again, and we will do everything for that."

Radja Nainggolan has accused former Roma sporting director Monchi of ruining the club, laying the blame for their struggles at his feet.

The Spaniard, who is now back with former club Sevilla, arrived at Stadio Olimpico in 2017, amid a period where the club were frequent rivals to Juventus in the Serie A title race.

Although they finished third in his first season, an exodus of key players – including Nainggolan, and now-Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Alisson – saw them finish sixth in 2018-19.

The club have struggled to recover their top-four status since, even after Monchi's own exit in 2019, and Nainggolan has suggested it was the Spaniard's calls that sunk their once-promising credentials.

"He ruined the team," he told Tradizione Romanista. "He sold all the players. I can't even name him. If I'd known he was leaving soon after I went, I would have stayed.

"We had very strong players, and then we sold them. If you want to win, you have to keep strong players. If you always change, you will never have a solid base to work off."

At 34, Nainggolan shows no sign of slowing down, but the midfielder says a return to Roma will not be on the cards if he looks to depart Antwerp.

"If I went back to Roma now, I would run the risk of ruining all of the wonderful memories I have there," he added.

"Roma was the place, in terms of football, where I felt loved and respected. I'm too old to go back now. I live for football in my own way."

Everton and Wolves are reportedly interested in signing Atletico Madrid forward Matheus Cunha as the Spanish side look to cash in on their young talent.

The 23-year-old arrived at the club in August last year and, despite making 29 LaLiga appearances, he was only awarded eight starts, scoring six goals and contributing six assists for the campaign.

This season has been more of the same for the Brazilian international, being subbed on in 15 games across all club competitions, while making just two starts. He is yet to score this season.

Sitting fifth in LaLiga with only seven wins from 14 fixtures, Atletico were also eliminated from all European competition by finishing bottom of their Champions League group – and they have decided it is time for some changes.

 

TOP STORY - BRAZIL'S CUNHA BEING PURSUED BY PREMIER LEAGUE CLUBS

According to Fichajes, Wolves and Everton are the two main clubs showing a desire to bring in Cunha, who has eight international caps for Brazil, but was left out of their World Cup squad.

The report states the club needs to part ways with some prominent players for financial reasons, and while Thomas Lemar and Rodrigo De Paul have plenty of suitors, Atletico are more likely to ship off Cunha and fellow Brazilian Felipe.

Wolves are said to be investigating a potential deal to bring in both Cunha and 33-year-old centre-back Felipe, while Everton are focused on Cunha by himself, with no mention of an asking price.

 

ROUND-UP

– 90min is reporting Newcastle United and Liverpool are among a host of teams interested in a loan deal for Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic, but the Stamford Bridge club would prefer to send him overseas to avoid strengthening their competition.

– According to Marca, Real Madrid have decided to make a run at Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham in January after his impressive World Cup campaign.

– Sport claims Real Madrid are no longer planning a move for Manchester City's Erling Haaland after securing 16-year-old Brazilian prodigy Endrick from Palmeiras.

Fulham are the favourites to land Roma right-back Rick Karsdorp, with Lille and Juventus falling behind due to their hesitance for a permanent deal, per Calciomercato.

– Fabrizio Romano is reporting Chelsea will aggressively pursue a striker in January after the ACL injury to Armando Broja.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has urged his Milan team-mate Rafael Leao to reject interest from other clubs and stay at San Siro in order to realise his "scary" potential.

Leao played a key role as Milan ended an 11-year wait to win the Scudetto last term, while no other Rossoneri player can match his tallies of six goals and four assists in Serie A this season.

The winger, who scored in Portugal's World Cup wins against Ghana and Switzerland, has been linked with the likes of Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool in recent months.

However, Ibrahimovic insists Milan is the best place for Leao to develop, highlighting the strides he has made since breaking into Stefano Pioli's team.  

"Of course, Milan is the right environment for him," Ibrahimovic told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Just look at his growth, when he arrived, he was far from the decisive player he is today. 

"Here he is very important for us. Elsewhere, would he be as important? He would have to start from scratch, you can't be sure he would be ready right away.

"At Milan he has confidence, space and freedom, which is not a given at another club, it's up to you. 

"Besides, you can see that he is happy here, by now he is laughing even before scoring. He is the young man who has grown the most."

Several young players came to the fore as Milan edged out rivals Inter to win Serie A and Ibrahimovic believes Leao is the most exciting talent of all.

"Theo [Hernandez] has improved so much, [Charles] De Ketelaere is strong, and patience is needed. But Leao is on another level, above average," he added.

"He lacks a step, he will only do it when he is fully convinced of his abilities. Today, even he doesn't really know how strong he is. Then he will be really scary, and the price will go up."

Milan resume their Serie A campaign with a trip to Salernitana on January 4, having entered the World Cup break eight points adrift of leaders Napoli.

Arsenal will reportedly launch a move for Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk in January, with his price now said to be more negotiable than the initial demand of €100million.

The 21-year-old has been a revelation this season for the Ukrainian club, announcing his arrival with a goal and two assists in a 4-1 win against RB Leipzig to kick off his side's Champions League campaign.

He scored both home and away against Celtic, while also racking up seven goals and six assists in 12 league fixtures, emerging as one of the most talented young forwards outside of Europe's big five competitions.

Earlier reports had claimed Shakhtar would hold out for a fee matching what Manchester United paid for Antony, but new information states that is no longer believed to be the case.

 

TOP STORY - ARSENAL PLOT JANUARY MOVE FOR UKRAINIAN SENSATION

According to The Athletic, there is a "good chance" Mudryk's move to Arsenal will materialise, with the publication claiming he is "determined to make the Emirates Stadium his destination".

The report says Arsenal will investigate what other deals they could potentially accomplish for a similar fee, but that "interested parties are of the understanding that a lower fee [than the initial €100m demand] would be deemed acceptable".

Adding fuel to the fire is the belief that the Kroenke family are willing to throw their trust into Edu and Mikel Arteta's decisions amid an unexpected Premier League title challenge, increasing the chance of such a significant January investment.

 

ROUND-UP

– Marca is reporting Arsenal have become the favourites to land 23-year-old Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix in January, providing further indication the Gunners plan on making a splash in the upcoming transfer window.

– According to Sky Sports Germany's Florian Plettenberg, Milan rejected a €70m bid from Chelsea for Rafael Leao, and are holding firm on his €150m release clause with just over 18 months remaining on his contract.

– La Capital is reporting Liverpool have signed a pre-agreement for 21-year-old Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez, who is believed to be valued at €100m.

Paris Saint-Germain are interested in signing 25-year-old Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele, per El Nacional.

– Foot Mercato claims Manchester City have joined Manchester United and Chelsea in the pursuit of 20-year-old Croatia and RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol.

Milan president Paolo Scaroni is "calm" about Rafael Leao's future amid talks over a new deal for the in-demand forward.

Leao has been a revelation for the Rossoneri and played a big part in their Serie A title triumph last season.

The Portugal international has been linked with the likes of Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool.

Leao is contracted to Milan until June 2024 and Scaroni is optimistic the 23-year-old will extend his stay at the San Siro.

He told Gazzetta dello Sport: "I am told that he feels good in Milan and that he is motivated.

"I know that [Milan technical director Paolo] Maldini is negotiating with him and as far as I just said if he negotiates, I'm calm."

Leao scored against Ghana and Switzerland in the World Cup before Portugal were knocked out by surprise package Morocco at the quarter-final stage in Qatar.

 

Marcus Rashford is free to negotiate with overseas teams from next month, with his Manchester United contract expiring at the end of this season.

The 25-year-old England international has had a couple of difficult seasons at Old Trafford but remains hot property.

United are eager to re-sign their forward, with Metro claiming they are looking to exercise an option in his contract to extend his stay.

TOP STORY – PSG TO LODGE LUCRATIVE RASHFORD DEAL

Paris Saint-Germain are prepared to offer Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford a bumper contract to lure him to the French capital, claims The Mirror.

The Parisians are readying a fresh bid which would make the 25-year-old one of the best-paid players on the planet, amid interest from Bayern Munich along with Real Betis.

PSG's package would be worth up to £850,000 (€990,000) a week for Rashford, who has been with United since he was a boy.

 

ROUND-UP

–  Juventus are interested in Chelsea's Mason Mount and would be willing to let three players go to fund any deal, reports Calciomercato. Adrien Rabiot, Leandro Paredes and Weston McKennie are among those named in the report.

– AS claims Arsenal have joined the pursuit of Atletico Madrid's Joao Felix , while the Mirror claims the Portuguese's agent is ready to speak with Aston Villa and Newcastle United about a deal. Manchester United and Chelsea have already held discussions.

– The Mirror claims Liverpool are in contention to sign Napoli's Mexican forward Hirving Lozano in January.

Bayern Munich are interested in signing RB Leipzig's Josip Gvardiol, but Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United have already lodged bids for him, claims Foot Mercato.

Milan have played a part in France's latest bid for World Cup glory after "revitalising" striker Olivier Giroud, according to the Serie A club's president Paolo Scaroni.

France remain on course to become the first team since Brazil in 1962 to retain the trophy after beating England 2-1 on Saturday to set up a semi-final showdown with Morocco.

Giroud scored the reigning champions' winner in the quarter-final against England, with that his fourth goal of Qatar 2022 – only team-mate Kylian Mbappe (five) has scored more.

The 36-year-old has also been in good form for club side Milan this campaign, having been directly involved in a team-high 14 goals (nine goals and five assists) in 19 matches.

He has scored 23 goals in 57 games in all competitions since the start of last season when joining from Chelsea, which is also more than any Milan player over that period.

As Giroud continues to show on the biggest stage that age is just a number, Scaroni says France should be grateful to Milan.

"He's doing very, very well. I think France's qualification [to the semi-finals] is due to him a lot," Rossoneri chief Scaroni told Sky Sport Italia.

"We at Milan have 'revitalised' him a bit. I don't know if I can say it, but I have the impression with us he has found new motivation that he has transferred to the national team. 

"Let's say that we too have played a small role in the success achieved so far by France".

 

Giroud scored twice in France's opening group match against Australia and then overtook Thierry Henry as his country's record scorer with his strike in the last-16 win over Poland.

The ex-Arsenal man could set another record in France's semi-final against Morocco as he is one goal short of becoming the oldest player to score five at a single World Cup.

Giroud is not the only Milan player in France's World Cup squad, with defender Theo Hernandez – who has played in four games – also included.

Milan have played a part in France's latest bid for World Cup glory after "revitalising" striker Olivier Giroud, according to the Serie A club's president Paolo Scaroni.

France remain on course to become the first team since Brazil in 1962 to retain the trophy after beating England 2-1 on Saturday to set up a semi-final showdown with Morocco.

Giroud scored the reigning champions' winner in the quarter-final against England, with that his fourth goal of Qatar 2022 – only team-mate Kylian Mbappe (five) has scored more.

The 36-year-old has also been in good form for club side Milan this campaign, having been directly involved in a team-high 14 goals (nine goals and five assists) in 19 matches.

He has scored 23 goals in 57 games in all competitions since the start of last season when joining from Chelsea, which is also more than any Milan player over that period.

As Giroud continues to show on the biggest stage that age is just a number, Scaroni says France should be grateful to Milan.

"He's doing very, very well. I think France's qualification [to the semi-finals] is due to him a lot," Rossoneri chief Scaroni told Sky Sport Italia.

"We at Milan have 'revitalised' him a bit. I don't know if I can say it, but I have the impression with us he has found new motivation that he has transferred to the national team. 

"Let's say that we too have played a small role in the success achieved so far by France".

 

Giroud scored twice in France's opening group match against Australia and then overtook Thierry Henry as his country's record scorer with his strike in the last-16 win over Poland.

The ex-Arsenal man could set another record in France's semi-final against Morocco as he is one goal short of becoming the oldest player to score five at a single World Cup.

Giroud is not the only Milan player in France's World Cup squad, with defender Theo Hernandez – who has played in four games – also included.

Alexis Mac Allister has impressed with Argentina during the World Cup, with his side qualifying for the semi-finals with Friday's penalty shoot-out win over the Netherlands.

The 23-year-old midfielder is contracted with Brighton and Hove Albion until mid-2025.

The Argentine penned a new deal with the Seagulls in October, securing him for the next two-and-a-half seasons, with the option of an additional one year.

 

TOP STORY – EUROPEAN GIANTS CIRCLE FOR MAC ALLISTER

Tottenham, Juventus, Inter and Atletico Madrid are all interested in Alexis Mac Allister, reports Fichajes.

Inter are particularly interested, viewing Mac Allister as a long-term replacement for Marcelo Brozovic, while Spurs boss Antonio Conte wants to add creativity to his midfield.

Juventus have been scouting numerous players at the World Cup, while Atletico are eager to add quality to their midfield, with Rodrigo de Paul drawing interest too.

 

ROUND-UP

– Calciomercato claims that Newcastle United are in contention to sign Inter defender Milan Skriniar, amid interest from Paris Saint-Germain too. Skriniar is yet to sign a new deal with Inter, with his contract expiring at the end of this season.

– South Korea centre-back Kim Min-Jae has interest from Manchester United , according to the Sunday Mirror. United have competition from Real Madrid for the Napoli defender who has a £38m release clause.

Barcelona are eager to complete a deal for Chelsea's French midfielder N'Golo Kante, reports Sport. Kante is out of contract at season's end.

Hakim Ziyech's wage demands may scupper Milan's pursuit of the Chelsea midfielder, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

– Inter defender Stefan de Vrij is being chased by Tottenham, who may swoop in January, reports Football Insider.

– Real Madrid midfielder Eden Hazard is considering a move to the MLS, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Arsenal are reportedly the leading candidate to land Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic after an injury to Gabriel Jesus exposed their lack of depth in attack.

Vlahovic, 22, was purchased from Fiorentina for €70million in January this year, and started the current Serie A campaign in fine form, with six goals and an assist from his first 10 starts.

He missed Juventus' final four league games leading into the World Cup break due to an adductor injury, and failed to make much of an impact for Serbia in Qatar, scoring one goal from a combined 79 minutes on the field.

While he still has another three seasons on his contract, Juventus' behind-the-scenes turmoil could make the young talent available as the club sort out their financial issues.

 

TOP STORY – ARSENAL EMERGE AS FAVOURITES FOR SERBIA'S VLAHOVIC

According to Calciomercato, Vlahovic is no longer viewed as the "immovable cornerstone" he was before the season, mentioning the "corporate situation" as an important factor.

The report implies Vlahovic will only be sold if it is necessary to do so, and, more importantly, that it will likely not be until the end of the season that Juventus begin to entertain the possibility. 

With Jesus scheduled to miss three months following his knee surgery, Arsenal will need to decide if their need for cover means they need to pivot to an alternate option.

Meanwhile, a separate Calciomercato report adds Juventus would be happy to exchange Vlahovic for Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix, who is also reportedly nearing the end of his time with his club.

 

ROUND-UP

– Il Romanista is reporting Roma will attempt to bring in Barcelona's Hector Bellerin in January if right-back Rick Karsdorp leaves the club as he has requested.

– Sport reports Barcelona could secure midfielder Ruben Neves in January for less than Wolves' initial €50m asking price, but Xavi is said to prefer Real Sociedad's Martin Zubimendi or Chelsea's N'Golo Kante.

Eintracht Frankfurt's 24-year-old forward Randal Kolo Muani is reportedly being tracked by Liverpool, Tottenham and Atletico Madrid, per Fichajes.

– According to O Jogo, Real Madrid have approached Benfica about a potential purchase of 21-year-old midfielder Enzo Fernandez.

– The Mirror claims Everton are exploring a £35m move for 24-year-old Watford winger Ismaila Sarr.

Alessandro Bastoni revealed Tottenham were interested in signing him during the last transfer window, but the defender remains content with his decision to stay at Inter. 

Bastoni made 31 Serie A appearances as Simone Inzaghi's side fell narrowly short of retaining the Scudetto last season, contributing to eight clean sheets during their league campaign.

The 23-year-old's form and ability to carry the ball out of defence has attracted plenty of admirers, with Tottenham – led by Bastoni's former Nerazzurri boss Antonio Conte – reportedly among them.

Speaking to Corriere dello Sport, Bastoni revealed Spurs made concrete attempts to lure him to the Premier League, saying: "There was some contact, but I'm happy I stayed at Inter."

Inter have disappointed so far this season and entered the World Cup break sitting fifth in Serie A, 11 points behind runaway leaders Napoli after 15 games.

However, Bastoni believes Inzaghi's men must aim high when club football resumes in the coming weeks, adding: "We are aware of the strength and values of this team. 

"Our goal is to always go all the way in all the competitions in which we participate. That's why the disappointment would be great if we were to win nothing."

Meanwhile, Bastoni is not the only Inter centre-back to be linked with a move elsewhere, with Paris Saint-Germain continuing to be touted as a possible destination for Milan Skriniar.

Skriniar's contract with Inter is due to expire at the end of the season, and Bastoni hopes his defensive partner will put pen to paper on a new deal.

"I can only advise him to do what he thinks is right. We are all great and everyone has to make their own assessments, together with their family," Bastoni said.

"The important thing is that he is convinced of the final choice. I can't judge, I only hope he stays here."

Barcelona and Chelsea are reportedly moving Borussia Dortmund teenager Youssoufa Moukoko to the top of their priorities as he approaches the end of his contract.

Moukoko, who turned 18 in November, has been with Dortmund since he was 12 years old, making his first-team debut in the Champions League as a 16-year-old, breaking the record as the youngest player in the history of the competition.

He is also the youngest goalscorer in the history of the Bundesliga, and after being used primarily off the bench up to this point in his career, he started seven consecutive league fixtures leading into the World Cup break.

With six goals and three assists in his 14 Bundesliga appearances this season, he has emerged as one of the top prospects in world football, but his time in Dortmund could be coming to an end.

 

TOP STORY - MOUKOKO SET TO DECIDE BETWEEN EUROPE'S ELITE CLUBS

Moukoko's contract expires at the end of this season, and if he does not sign an extension to remain with Dortmund, he will be able to leave as a free agent.

According to Sport, Barcelona believe Moukoko's history as a childhood Lionel Messi and Barca supporter puts them in the prime position at the front of the line to secure his services. The report claims the Spanish giants view themselves as the only landing spot if Moukoko decides against remaining at Dortmund.

Meanwhile, the Express states Chelsea feel more confident about their chances with Moukoko than they ever did about Palmeiras prospect Endrick, a player who journalist Fabrizio Romano is reporting has chosen Real Madrid.

Chelsea's willingness to propose a five-year deal with the option of a sixth year is said to be a key selling point, per the Secret Scout on Twitter, while Sport also added Chelsea "would be willing to pay a fortune".

 

ROUND-UP

– According to Revelo, Real Madrid are interested in 18-year-old Manchester United talent Alejandro Garnacho.

– ESPN is reporting United are working on a deal to sign 33-year-old Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Milan should give 23-year-old winger Rafael Leao an ultimatum in January that he must agree to a new contract or be sold, per Calciomercato.

– Fichajes is reporting Milan are interested in bringing in Barcelona's Ferran Torres but prefer Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli if he becomes available.

– According to Sky Sport Italia, Inter and Juventus could both attempt to sign Roma centre-back Chris Smalling when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Jack Grealish's future at Manchester City has been the subject of speculation lately despite being only 18 months into a six-year contract.

The 27-year-old England attacking midfielder has not quite met expectations since his big-money switch from Aston Villa.

Grealish has scored one goal in 16 appearances this season, after netting five times in 33 games in his maiden season at City.

 

TOP STORY - MILAN PLOT SHOCK MOVE FOR GREALISH

Serie A champions Milan are set to launch a shock transfer bid for Grealish, according to Calciomercato.

City are open to selling the playmaker, who they signed from Villa last year for £100 million, the most expensive transfer of an English player.

The Premier League champions are willing to let Grealish go to fund their bid for Borussia Dortmund's England international Jude Bellingham. Milan would likely make a move for Grealish at the end of the season.

ROUND-UP

Bellingham's management have informed Real Madrid that Liverpool are ahead in the race for the Dortmund midfielder's signature, according to Bild.

Liverpool have joined the pursuit of Valencia's United States international Yunus Musah, competing with Premier League rivals Arsenal and Chelsea, reports Calciomercato.

– 90min claims both Tottenham and Liverpool are considering a move for Fiorentina's Morocco international midfielder Sofyan Amrabat in January.

Milan may be interested in Barcelona target Gabriel Martinelli, should the Italian giants sell Rafael Leao in January, claims Calciomercato. Martinelli is contracted with Arsenal until 2024.

Marseille are interested in a move for Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha when his contract is up at the end of the season, reports 90min.

– Bild reports that Bayern Munich are close to agreeing a new deal for 19-year-old whizzkid Jamal Musiala.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.