Every week CBS Sports soccer insider Fabrizio Romano brings you the latest transfer news and notes from the world of soccer, including news this week on a pair of Inter Milan members, the status of Cristiano Ronaldo's ideal attacking partner at Juventus, Kevin De Bruyne's contract talks and much more. Here we go!
Conte unlikely to be sacked regardless of UCL results
As we approach Champions League Matchday 5, one of the most notable teams facing a difficult uphill climb out of the group stage are Inter. For the first time in their history, the Nerazzurri have not won a single match in the first four played in the group stage of the Champions League. It's a low point for a team that scored only two draws and had two defeats at the hands of Real Madrid. Their chances of reaching the knockout round are seriously at risk, as they need two wins and the hope that Real can beat Borussia Monchengladbach in the final group stage match.
The problem in Europe for Inter is mainly linked to the personality of the roster, as they still don't have enough winning players. As a result, the board of the club has decided that Antonio Conte will not be sacked regardless of the Champions League result because there is a long-term project and the will to move forward with the current manager. There are many rumors in Italy about Nerazzurri ready to fire their manager, but we've been told that Conte is not in question and will continue with Inter, still bound to the club by a contract until June 30, 2022.
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Eriksen's days at Inter are numbered
Meanwhile, Inter have decided that, barring any surprises, they will sell Christian Eriksen in the January transfer window. The Danish midfielder was bought a year ago for €20 million ($22 million) from Tottenham in the January transfer market; Antonio Conte's 3-5-2 tactic is a big problem for Eriksen who loves to play as a pure No. 10, and his slower pace has not convinced his manager.
"We are ready to consider the possibility that Eriksen will leave, it's likely that he will ask to leave the club," Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta confirmed over the weekend.
Inter are hoping to receive offers from the Premier League. It's worth noting that in September they turned down a loan bid from Borussia Dortmund.
Ronaldo's ideal partner to stay put at Juventus?
Apart from Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo, Alvaro Morata has been the best Juventus player at the start of the season. Decisive in the Champions League as well as in Serie A, Morata arrived in the summer from Atletico Madrid on a season-long loan worth €10 million with an option to make the move permanent. Juve will be able to redeem Morata from Atleti for €45 million next summer and €35 million in the summer of 2022 (extending the loan for another year, thus paying another €10 million).
The club, however, is "really happy" with Morata, especially with his performance and his professionalism. He has already notched five goals in the Champions League, and three goals and three assists in Serie A. First-year manager Andrea Pirlo is convinced that he is the ideal partner of Cristiano Ronaldo, so Juventus are already planning for a permanent deal purchase for summer 2021.
Lazio's 'untouchable' could fetch new contract until 2024
Lazio are looking to extend the contract of the best leader of their team, aside from Ciro Immobile. We're talking about Italy's central defender Francesco Acerbi, who is viewed as an "untouchable" player in Simone Inzaghi's team. Acerbi's side is close to qualifying for the next stage of the Champions League and has so far played all the minutes available this season as a starter both in Europe and in Serie A. The idea of the club is to extend his contract until 2024 or 2025, with a significant salary increase. The feeling is mutual among the two sides because Acerbi, who turns 33 by the start of the knockout stage in February, wants to stay in Rome.
De Bruyne on verge of five-year extension with Man City
And finally, let's keep an eye on a Champions League and Premier League star who is about to say yes to a new contract extension with his club. Kevin De Bruyne is extremely happy with the news that Pep Guardiola is staying put at Manchester City and has started negotiating his new agreement with the Cityzens until June 30, 2025. Discussions are ongoing, as there are no agents or intermediaries, but De Bruyne is directly in negotiating with Manchester City board because he wants to stay and is happy at his club. The agreement is expected in the coming months, which is great news for Man City after the signing of Guardiola.