Tosca from Betis to Benevento

Benevento are reported to have agreed a deal to sign full-back Alin Tosca on loan with option to buy from Real Betis.
The Romania international is 25 years old and only joined the Spanish club a year ago for €1m.
This season he had eight competitive appearances for Betis.
According to Sky Sport Italia, the two clubs have agreed terms for a loan with option to buy.
It seems Tosca was requested specifically by Coach Roberto De Zerbi, who already wanted the player when he was at the helm of Palermo.

Inzaghi furious with Cutrone handball decision

Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi spoke to Sky Sport in the aftermath of his side’s 2-1 defeat to AC Milan. The Biancocelesti tactician was visibly frustrated by the fact Patrick Cutrone’s goal had been allowed to stand, with replays appearing to show the ball coming off his arm before hitting the net. Here is what he had to say:
“Honestly, I have not seen the replays. I have been informed about the mistake, and at the end of the game I asked Cutrone whether it was a handball. Probably if I had seen the replays I would be even more irritable than I am. Mistakes like that cannot and should not happen.
“Milan played better in the first half, and Lazio did better in the second half. We should have avoided conceding the second goal, and ought to have stopped Calabria from getting a cross in. We did not want to lose, but this is football. Milan took advantage of the opportunity they had. The first goal should have been disallowed, then the game probably would have ended in a draw.”

Cristiano Ronaldo scores twice in Real Madrid win

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice from the penalty spot as Real Madrid recorded a 4-1 win over Valencia in Saturday afternoon’s pulsating La Liga clash at the Mestalla.
The result has seen Madrid move to within two points of third-placed Valencia, but the Spanish champions are still 16 points off league leaders Barcelona.
It was the perfect response to the club’s shock Copa del Rey elimination to Leganes on Wednesday night.
Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale started together for Los Blancos for the first time since April 2017, but Sergio Ramos missed out for the visitors.
Valencia, meanwhile, had former Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin at centre-back due to the absences of Ruben Vezo and Gabriel Paulista, who were both suspended.
Real Madrid had a super chance to take the lead in the seventh minute when the ball fell kindly for Bale inside the Valencia box, but the Welshman could only fire straight at Neto.
Rodrigo had Valencia’s first sight of the Real Madrid goal in the 10th minute, and the forward’s powerful effort was not too far away from the target.
Valencia were undone on the counter in the 15th minute, however, with Real Madrid winning a penalty when Ronaldo was brought to the ground by Martin Montoya. The number seven stepped up to send his spot kick past Neto as Real Madrid took a 16th-minute lead at the Mestalla.
The home side came close to levelling the scores in the 28th minute when Geoffrey Kondogbia was given the freedom of the Real Madrid penalty box, but the Frenchman saw his effort beaten away by Keylor Navas.
Kondogbia had an even better chance to level 10 minutes before the break, but the midfielder had a fresh-air shot when the away side were struggling to clear the ball.
Valencia conceded another penalty in the 37th minute, however, when Montoya bundled into the back of Benzema inside the penalty box; Ronaldo again stepped forward, and it was the same outcome as the Portuguese slotted past Neto.
Rodrigo just lifted the ball too high of Real Madrid’s crossbar as Valencia looked to hit back late in the first period, but the visitors entered the break with a two-goal advantage.
After a bright start to the second half from Valencia, Real Madrid had a chance to grab a third in the 54th minute when Ronaldo fed Benzema inside the box, but the striker ultimately hit the side-netting.
Valencia were back in the match just before the hour, however, when Santi Mina rose highest inside the box to head a Dani Parejo corner into the Real Madrid goal.
Parejo brought a wonderful save from Navas in the 66th minute as Valencia looked for the equaliser, before Rodrigo just missed the post with a low effort. Ronaldo then had a super chance to score a third as he met a low cross from Bale, but Valencia goalkeeper Neto made an excellent save.
Both managers made changes in the period that followed, with Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio coming off the Real Madrid bench, while Simone Zaza and Andreas Pereira entered for the home side.
Ronaldo fired over the Valencia crossbar in the 82nd minute as Madrid passed up another chance to score a third, but the Spanish champions did make it 3-1 two minutes later when Marcelo played a one-two with Asensio before firing the ball through the legs of Neto.

Galliani enters politics

Former Milan CEO Adriano Galliani has resigned as President of Silvio Berlusconi’s television station to run for the Senate in his Forza Italia party.
Galliani has been working closely with Berlusconi for well over 30 years and that doesn’t seem to be changing.
He left Milan after three decades as their CEO when Berlusconi sold the club to Yonghong Li.
Galliani took on a new role as President of Mediaset Premium, the pay-per-view television channels owned by Berlusconi’s Fininvest holding company.
Now he has resigned from that position too, as he’ll run for election to the Italian Senate as a candidate representing Berlusconi’s political party, Forza Italia.

Chelsea fed up with Conte’s moans over control of transfers

Chelsea are losing patience with Antonio Conte’s complaints about the club’s January transfer activity and will warn the Italian that he cannot continue to imply he has no input into signings when they are working hard to recruit targets whom their manager specifically requested.
Chelsea are trying to sign Edin Dzeko and Emerson Palmieri from Roma on Conte’s recommendation but that jarred with the wording of his answers at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday when he instead implied that the club are choosing the players

In remarks that have not gone unnoticed by the board, Conte said: “I think the club decide our transfer market. As I said before, my task is to try to improve the transfer market. The club decides every player.”
The club do not want Conte to suggest again that executives, including director Marina Granovskaia, are dictating player recruitment policy to him when he holds a press conference today ahead of the FA Cup fourth-round tie against Newcastle United

Buffon back in Juventus training

Gianluigi Buffon has returned to training with his Juventus teammates, after close to two months out with injury.
The goalkeeper last featured for the Bianconeri in the 1-0 win over Napoli at the Stadio San Paolo on December 1, as he’s been struggling with a thigh injury.
Following Monday night’s 1-0 win over Genoa, Coach Massimiliano Allegri said the captain would return to training this week, and the 39-year-old returned to action at Vinovo today.
Juve confirmed the news with a video posted on their official Twitter account, and Buffon will now be in contention to face Chievo at the weekend.

Napoli ramp up interest in Marseille winger

With just eight days remaining before the transfer window closes, Napoli face a race against time to add to their squad ahead of what is set to be a very demanding next few months for Maurizio Sarri’s squad.
The Partenopei’s top priority is to sign a new winger in order to have a quality alternative to Lorenzo Insigne and José Callejón. Simone Verdi’s refusal to join from Bologna has complicated the plans of Aurelio De Laurentiis and Cristiano Giuntoli, forcing them to switch their attention to other targets.
Gerard Deulofeu, Matteo Politano, Amin Younes (arriving in June) and Lucas Moura have all been looked at, but so far no deal has materialised for any of them. However, according to Corriere dello Sport, a new idea has come to the fore and so French attacker Florian Thauvin is now considered a realistic option.
The former Newcastle United flop is thriving this season under the tutelage of ex-Roma coach Rudi Garcia, with ten goals and nine assists to his name already. However, convincing Marseille to sell their star man at this stage of the season will be no easy task. The 24-year-old is valued at over €35 million, but the Ligue 1 giants intend to hold on to him until the summer when they hope a bidding war will raise his price tag even higher.

Allegri responds to Sarri’s criticism of Juventus’ schedule

Following his side’s lackluster 1-0 victory over relegation-challenged Genoa, Juventus manager spoke to Premium Sport about the match.

“The final could be better managed, but we were a little tired,” he said. “But we did not give the opponents any chance. The goal was to take home the victory. We were successful because of everyone’s participation, especially in the final minutes, when a bit of tiredness took over due to the weekly work.”

He was asked about Maurizio Sarri’s complaint that the schedule favors Juventus. Sarri complained that Juventus always plays after them, which, he claims, gives them an advantage since they know Napoli’s results. “The games must be played and that’s it. I do not need to reply to Sarri. They bring me the calendar, I watch the games and we play them, period.”

The interviewer asked about his thoughts on Gonzalo Higuain’s performance. “Mandzukic and Higuain played well, sacrificing for the team, but all the boys must be complimented. It was important to win, and not to lose our winning habit after the break, and stay in the wake of Napoli.”

Seventh heaven for Madrid

Real Madrid made a triumphant return to form in La Liga as they demolished Deportivo La Coruna 7-1 on Sunday.
More to follow…
Real Madrid 7-1 Deportivo La Coruna
Nacho 32, 88, Bale 42, 58, Modric 68, Ronaldo 78, 84 (RM) Adrian 23 (D)
Real Madrid: Keylor; Carvajal, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo; Modric (Kovacic 76), Casemiro, Kroos; Bale (Vazquez 82), Mayoral (Benzema 64), Ronaldo
Deportivo La Coruna: Ruben; Juanfran, Schar, One, Luisinho; Guilherme, Mosquera (Exposito 48), Borges (Emre 54); Lucas, Andone (Gil 79), Adrian
Referee: Fernandez Borbalan

Benevento await Bruno Alves

Benevento have a deal with with Rangers for Bruno Alves, but the Portugal international still needs to agree personal terms.
According to Sky Sport Italia, the two clubs have already managed to reach an agreement on the transfer, just six months after he came to Glasgow.
More negotiations are expected on Sunday, at which point Bruno Alves will give his response.
It’d be a return to Serie A for the 36-year-old defender, who spent last season at Cagliari and joined Rangers as a free agent in July.