Why Conte walked away from Inter
Antonio Conte has walked away from his managerial role at Inter Milan just weeks after the Serie A side stormed to their first Scudetto since 2010. The Guardian reveal that the 51-year-old's departure was due to a disagreement over this summer's transfer policy. Inter were planning to sell some star names to raise around €80 million to help ease their financial problems, while Conte was hungry to improve his squad and build on his Serie A success. Players such as Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez and Achraf Hakimi have been linked with San Siro exits in the past weeks.
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Paper Round's view: Conte probably thought his position at Inter became untenable. He came to Inter in 2019 and demanded the club sign the players who he wanted. He got players like Christian Eriksen, Arturo Vidal and Ashley Young... and it worked. He won the league title. Inter's first in over 10 years. But now he was looking to build on that - defend the title and make more of a mark in Europe. If the club were looking to limit his spending and even sell a couple of big names, it just doesn't fit Conte's plans. The question is: where will the Italian go next? He has already been linked to Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur...
Konate edges closer to Liverpool move
Liverpool are closing in on the signing of Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig, with Jurgen Klopp's side likely to trigger the French centre-back's release clause. The Telegraph report that the Reds are planning to complete the £35-million transfer for Konate before the UEFA Under-21 European Championships resume next week. Liverpool are looking to improve their depth in defence ahead of next season and the 22-year-old is the Merseyside club's first-choice centre-back signing.
Paper Round's view: It's efficient from Liverpool. The club wanted to improve their centre-back options and the recruitment team identified their top target and have gone out to sign him as early as possible to beat any potential rivals to his signature. Liverpool had some difficult injuries at centre-half this season - with their first-choice pairing of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez both out with long-term injuries, as well as back-up Joel Matip. Konate will definitely rival Gomez for a starting role and the fact that he's only 22 years old means he is a long-term investment.
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Kabak to stay in England?
Ozan Kabak could be given a second chance in the Premier League with the Mirror reporting that Leicester City are ready to hand the Turkish centre-back a lifeline this summer. Kabak spent the second half of the 2020-21 season on loan at Liverpool from Schalke, but the Reds will reportedly pass up the £18 million option-to-buy clause in his contract. Schalke are still keen to sell the 21-year-old following their relegation from the Bundesliga and Kabak has attracted the attention of German club RB Leipzig and Leicester.
Paper Round's view: Kabak struggled during his short time at Anfield. He joined at a nightmare time, to be fair to him. Liverpool were suffering from an injury crisis in defence, Kabak was supposed to be their saviour and he just didn't live up to the high expectations. It doesn't make sense for Jurgen Klopp's side to sign the youngster permanently if they are targeting Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig, but Leicester could do with another centre-back. Club captain Wes Morgan is set to retire this summer and Christian Fuchs, who has featured in the left of a back three, is leaving too. Kabak has shown signs of being a promising player and has had five months to adapt to life in England.
Heartbreak for Eze
The Guardian reveal that Eberechi Eze was supposed to be part of England's provisional squad for this summer's European Championships before suffering an Achilles injury, which has ruled him out for at least six months. The 22-year-old discovered the news after receiving a message from the FA just minutes after he suffered his injury. Eze returned to the changing room at Crystal Palace upon hurting his Achilles and found out he would have been promoted from the under-21 squad to the senior side for the first time ahead of the Euros.
Paper Round's view: It's absolute heartbreak for Eze. The Palace youngster has impressed throughout his debut season in the Premier League with his flair play and ability to dribble past defenders with ease. Eze should use this as motivation for his return. The 22-year-old has a long road to recovery now and he should use the fact that Gareth Southgate wanted him to be a part of his senior plans as a positive. Obviously he will be gutted, but he should remember that his debut England cap is within reach once he returns to full fitness. There is a World Cup next year and Eze could be a part of that for the Three Lions.
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