Antonio Conte coy on future with champions Inter Milan after ‘holding positive talks with Tottenham’

‘Will I be staying or leaving Inter? For now we enjoy the celebrations’: Antonio Conte coy on future with Serie A champions after ‘holding positive talks with Tottenham

  • Antonio Conte led Inter Milan to their first Serie A triumph in 11 years this season
  • The Italian has caught the eye of Spurs after sealing the title four games early
  • The former Chelsea boss has reportedly had talks with the north Londoners 
  • Conte has refused to rule-out a move away from Inter before next season  

Antonio Conte isn’t too sure about attempting a Serie A title defence next season, with the Inter Milan boss refusing the rule-out a move away from Italy this summer.   

The former Chelsea managed secured Inter’s first Scudetto since 2010 with four games to spare, blasting 13 points clear to end Juventus’ nine-year dominance. 

Conte isn’t set on a third season with the Nerazzurri though, having reportedly held positive talks over a Premier League return with Spurs. 

Antonio Conte is considering leaving Inter Milan despite winning the Serie A this season 

The Italian coached his side to a 13-point lead with four games to go to seal the championship

The Italian coached his side to a 13-point lead with four games to go to seal the championship

However, Conte could be on the move, having held talks with Tottenham and Daniel Levy

However, Conte could be on the move, having held talks with Tottenham and Daniel Levy 

Those talks are set to continue, and Conte’s position on the matter will concern Inter supporters going into the summer.  

‘I’ll be staying or leaving Inter? Now we enjoy the celebrations, then we’ll meet and decide,’ Conte told Le Iene

‘We will choose the best destiny for Inter.’  

Conte has some unfinished business in the Premier League having been sacked by Chelsea

Conte has some unfinished business in the Premier League having been sacked by Chelsea

Ryan Mason sits in the Spurs hot-seat on a temporary basis currently, with the north Londoners having sacked Jose Mourinho last month. 

While Mourinho has already confirmed he’ll be back in Serie A next season with Roma, Conte will likely feel he has a point to prove if he heads the other way. 

The Italian had two seasons with Chelsea, lifting the Premier League in his first, before being sacked despite FA Cup success in 2017-18. 

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Italian papers react with shock and excitement as Roma announce Jose Mourinho will return to Serie A

‘Hail Mou!’: Italian papers react with shock and excitement as Roma announce Jose Mourinho will return to Serie A as their head coach from next season after signing a three-year deal

  • Roma announced Jose Mourinho as their new boss on Tuesday afternoon 
  • The Portuguese head coach will take charge from Paolo Fonseca this summer  
  • Mourinho only left Tottenham last month, days before the Carabao Cup final
  • Sports papers in Italy heralded the news that he is set for a Serie A return 

The return of Jose Mourinho to Serie A has been greeted with great fanfare in Italy, as sports newspapers heralded his return. 

Roma announced on Tuesday afternoon that the 58-year-old will be replacing Paolo Fonseca this summer after agreeing a three-year deal, in what is a swift return to management having been sacked by Tottenham only last month. 

It signals the Portuguese head coach’s first stint in Italy since leaving Inter in 2010 having guided them to the Treble.  

Jose Mourinho has been appointed Roma manager and will take charge for the 2021-22 season

La Gazzetta led with the headline 'Hail Mou' on Wednesday morning

Tuttosport wrote 'Daje Mou', meaning 'come on Mou'

La Gazetta depicted Mourinho as a Roman Emperor, while Tuttosport cheered the news

And reaction across the country was jubilant as one of football’s most famous faces returns.

Gazzetta dello Sport, the country’s most prestigious sports paper, led with the headline ‘Ave Mou’, meaning ‘Hail Mou’ as they depicted the former Chelsea boss as a Roman Emporer. 

It also explains on the front page how Mourinho talked about the passion of the supporters as a huge draw to Stadio Olimpico, carrying some of the quotes from his statement.

In that statement, Mourinho used the phrase ‘Daje Roma’. Daje means come on, and that was a theme throughout the front pages elsewhere in Italy, with both Corriere dello Sport and Tuttosport carrying the same terminology.   

Corriere ran with the same headline as Tuttosport

'Tell me Jose' is the front page of il Romanista

Corriere and il Romanista also reacted to the hiring of the Portuguese on Wednesday morning

Corriere made reference to his succesful stint at Inter, pointing out it has been 11 years since his San Siro success, while also suggesting that his three-year contract will be worth £6m-a-year. 

It also carried quotes from the Roma president, Dan Friedkin, who pointed to his record of success as a key element in their decision to hire the, at times, devisive individual. 

Tuttsport focussed on the mood surroiunding the appointment. They described the hiring as a ‘shock decision’ but noted that fans had ‘gone wild’ for the decision. 

In the regional paper, il Romanista, the entire front page was dedicated to the club’s new man, with the headline ‘Dimmi Jose’ – which can be translated into ‘tell me what you want, Jose’.  

Mourinho was sacked by Tottenham two weeks ago, six days out from the Carabao Cup final

Mourinho was sacked by Tottenham two weeks ago, six days out from the Carabao Cup final

Such a swift return to management, while exciting for Roma and Serie A, also has benefits for his former club.

Spurs could save as much as £13million, having originally put Mourinho on gardening leave last month – six days before the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City. 

They will now cease paying Mourinho once he officially starts work for Roma at the end of the season – meaning he will not receive anywhere close to the entirety of the £16m payout he was due. 

At Roma, Mourinho can also expect to be working with a host of familiar faces.

Chris Smalling and Henrikh Mkhitaryan both played under the Portuguese at Manchester United. He also worked with Pedro at Chelsea. 

Mourinho's appointment sees him reunite with ex-Manchester United man Chris Smalling

Mourinho’s appointment sees him reunite with ex-Manchester United man Chris Smalling

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Joe Cole slams ‘STUPID’ and ‘out of touch’ owners of Big Six clubs who signed up for Super League

Joe Cole slams ‘STUPID’ and ‘out of touch’ owners of Big Six clubs who signed up for European Super League… while Steve McManaman calls for Government to produce legislation ‘so they cannot do it again’

  • Football is still reeling from the shock European Super League project last week 
  • Joe Cole has slammed the owners of the Big Six who signed up to the league 
  • The ex-Chelsea winger described the owners as ‘stupid’ and ‘out of touch’
  • Steve McManaman called for Government ruling to stop this from reoccuring

Joe Cole slammed the ‘stupid’ owners of the six English clubs who signed up for the highly controversial European Super League last week.

The six Premier League sides – London rivals Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham, Manchester clubs City and United along with Liverpool – joined six other teams from Spain and Italy in creating the self-elected league to replace their UEFA commitments.

All six English sides pulled out of the project after major backlash from football fans and other high-profile figures in the sport – but Cole, who works for Chelsea as a youth coach, claimed football must be aware and prevent another saga from forming. 

Joe Cole has slammed the ‘stupid’ owners of Big Six clubs who signed up for the Super League

England's Big Six signed up to the controversial, self-elected breakaway league last week

England’s Big Six signed up to the controversial, self-elected breakaway league last week

Cole told BT Sport: ‘What staggered me was how out of touch (the owners) were. To this day, I cannot fathom how they thought “oh all right, we’ll do a European Super League now”. How stupid (can you be)? 

‘The only positive is that they backtracked lively, that’s the only good thing that can come out of it. They’ve shown their hand, we know what they want to do. 

‘And we have to be vigilant now and whether it be sanctions so that they never get this through under a new guise – a European Super League mark II. 

‘Football is for the people, the people have spoken and they like it how it is I’m glad we are here.’ 

Tottenham's Daniel Levy (left) and Liverpool's John W Henry (right) were two owners involved

Tottenham’s Daniel Levy (left) and Liverpool’s John W Henry (right) were two owners involved

The Super League project allowed the 12 founding clubs, along with three others, to be elected automatically into the competition every year – irrespective of their league performances.

Five other teams would earn the right to come into the competition each year in a 20-team competition overall.  

Fellow BT Sport pundit Steve McManaman echoed Cole’s request to protect English football and stop the owners from repeating this move again.  

The former Liverpool midfielder said: ‘There will have to be some form of legislation to stand above it all so they cannot do it again. If they are to come out again next year and refine this model, in theory they can. 

Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke signed up his Premier League side to the league

Joel Glazer was, like Kroenke, one of the vice-chairmen for the Super League project

Other owners involved were Arsenal’s Stan Kroenke (left) and Man United’s Joel Glazer (right)

‘If they can take on UEFA again and say, “We want to own the Champions League and take all the money,” who is to stop them?

‘But we don’t want it to dilute and interfere with the English game – even if they refine that (the 15 automatic places) and refine the competitive nature to get it through the door. 

‘But here we need to put something in it to say it will not hinder the Premier League, the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, whatever it is.’

Rio Ferdinand, who revealed his initial concerns that this year’s Champions League run-in would not take place due to the involvement of Super League clubs in this year’s semi-finals, admitted that it may be too harsh to punish the clubs.

Steve McManaman asked the Government to step in and stop the project from ever happening

Steve McManaman asked the Government to step in and stop the project from ever happening

He added: ‘I was worried and concerned that we would not be here and that the season may not Champions League would not finish because a cartel-like group came together who obviously showed us they had no idea how the landscape lied within football.

‘They did not consider fans, they did not consider mangers, the players and managers were left out to dry. They did interviews not knowledge of what was going on. It seemed underhanded, that was the feeling in everyone’s mouth and why there was such a brutal reaction.

‘Punishing the clubs is far-fetched, they are not to blame, but if there are ways owners can be punished then yes, let’s do that.’

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Cristiano Ronaldo: Juventus star ‘to choose between Man United or PSG’ if he misses Champions League

Cristiano Ronaldo ‘to choose between Manchester United or PSG’ if Juventus fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League… with 36-year-old determined to add sixth European crown to his collection

  • Juventus are running the risk of missing out on next season’s Champions League
  • Cristiano Ronaldo, at 36, is not interested in being in the Europa League instead
  • Reports in Italy say he would look to Man United or PSG if they don’t make it 

Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly has no plans to stick around at Juventus if they fail to reach next season’s Champions League – with Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United in his thoughts. 

Tuttosport report that the French champions, along with a reunion at Old Trafford, are two options for the 36-year-old if he elects to cut short his time in Italy this summer.

A score draw at Fiorentina over the weekend has left Juventus’ hopes of a top four finish – and crucially, a spot in next season’s Champions League – in doubt.   

Cristiano Ronaldo is reportedly considering exit routes if Juventus miss the Champions League

Ronaldo is contracted to Juventus until 2022 but it is widely considered that missing out on Europe’s premier club competition would be make keeping him financially unsustainable.  

His contract is worth around £27million (€31m) and Europa League football would not provide the necessary funds.

Ronaldo has won the Champions League five times – four with Real Madrid and once with Manchester United – and he knows he is running out of opportunities to win a sixth European crown, raising doubts over his stay in Juventus.

A score draw away to Fiorentina at the weekend has left Juventus' top four hopes in jeopardy

A score draw away to Fiorentina at the weekend has left Juventus’ top four hopes in jeopardy

During his time in Italy he has been eliminated by Ajax, Lyon and Porto in what has proved bitterly disappointing. 

Juventus currently sit fourth, level on points with third-placed Napoli as well as fifth-placed AC Milan in a fiercely close top four race.

Ronaldo and Co still have to play Udinese, AC Milan, Sassuolo, Inter Milan and Bologna to round out the Serie A season.

More to follow. 

Ronaldo (left) is targeting a sixth Champions League but is running out of opportunities

Ronaldo (left) is targeting a sixth Champions League but is running out of opportunities

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Italy’s ‘Robinson Crusoe’ who has lived alone on island for 30 years after shipwreck finally leaves

An 81-year-old man known as Italy’s Robinson Crusoe who has lived alone on an island for 32 years is finally moving after surrendering his eviction fight.

Since 1989, Mauro Morandi has been the sole inhabitant of the Isle of Budelli near Sardinia, after he decided to ditch his life as a PE teacher and become the island’s caretaker when he washed up on its iconic pink beach Spiaggia Rosa.

The island’s previous caretaker was on the verge of retirement when Morandi arrived so he abandoned his sailing plans, sold his boat and took over the role. 

Mauro Morandi has been living on the Isle of Budelli since 1989, when his catamaran engine failed and he washed up on its iconic pink beach Spiaggia Rosa

The hermit, also known as Mauro of Budelli, gained a large following online after sharing pictures of the picturesque island

The hermit, also known as Mauro of Budelli, gained a large following online after sharing pictures of the picturesque island

More than 3,000 people signed a petition to keep Mauro da Budelli on the island, saying his pictures show the 'beauty and the miracle of uncontaminated nature'

More than 3,000 people signed a petition to keep Mauro da Budelli on the island, saying his pictures show the ‘beauty and the miracle of uncontaminated nature’

The island's previous caretaker was on the verge of retirement when Morandi arrived so he abandoned his sailing plans, sold his boat and took over the role

The island’s previous caretaker was on the verge of retirement when Morandi arrived so he abandoned his sailing plans, sold his boat and took over the role

He had been sailing to the south Pacific when his catamaran’s engine failed and he headed towards the picturesque island. 

But five years ago, the Italian government made the island part of a national park and they have been attempting to evict the hermit.

He has finally given up the fight will move into a small apartment on the nearby La Maddalena island, the largest in the archipelago, according to The Guardian.

Morandi’s current home is a former WWII shelter overlooking a bay and over three decades he has become acquainted with the island’s animals, trees and rocks.

He has finally given up the fight will move into a small apartment on the nearby La Maddalena island

He has finally given up the fight will move into a small apartment on the nearby La Maddalena island 

Mauro has lived as the sole inhabitant of Budelli since 1981, but authorities in Italy have been trying to have him removed since it became a national park in 2016

Mauro has lived as the sole inhabitant of Budelli since 1981, but authorities in Italy have been trying to have him removed since it became a national park in 2016

Mauro spends the winters editing and uploading photographs of the island, but can draw more than 1,000 tourists in the summer

Mauro spends the winters editing and uploading photographs of the island, but can draw more than 1,000 tourists in the summer

La Maddalena’s national park authorities want to reclaim his home and turn the island into a hub for environmental education.

The authorities have also argued he has made changes to his building without the necessary permits. 

Morandi said: ‘I have given up the fight. After 32 years here, I feel very sad to leave. They told me they need to do work on my house and this time it seems to be for real.

‘I’ll be living in the outskirts of the main town, so will just go there for shopping and the rest of the time keep myself to myself. My life won’t change too much, I’ll still see the sea.’ 

The Isle of Budelli rests in the Mediterranean Sea, between Corsica and Sardinia, near Italy

The Isle of Budelli rests in the Mediterranean Sea, between Corsica and Sardinia, near Italy 

La Maddalena's national park authorities want to reclaim his home and turn the island into a hub for environmental education

La Maddalena’s national park authorities want to reclaim his home and turn the island into a hub for environmental education 

The hermit is originally from Modena in central Italy but has for years guarded Budelli, cleared its paths, swept its beaches and taught day-trippers about the environment.

Morandi, who has become popular online posting photos and videos from the desert island, has attracted thousands of signatures on petitions trying to keep him on the island. 

His role first came under threat when the private company that owned the island went bankrupt.

It was originally going to be sold to New Zealand businessman Michael Harte who pledged to keep on Morandi as the island’s careaker.

The hermit is originally from Modena in central Italy but has for years guarded Budelli, cleared its paths, swept its beaches and taught day-trippers about the environment

The hermit is originally from Modena in central Italy but has for years guarded Budelli, cleared its paths, swept its beaches and taught day-trippers about the environment 

The Isle of Budetti passed through the hands of a series of private owners before the Italian government made it part of La Maddalena Park in 2016

The Isle of Budetti passed through the hands of a series of private owners before the Italian government made it part of La Maddalena Park in 2016

In the quiet winter months, he spends his time editing his pictures and uploading them onto his Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages

In the quiet winter months, he spends his time editing his pictures and uploading them onto his Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages 

But the Italian government intervened and a Sardinian judge ruled in 2016 the island should be returned to the public. 

The park’s then president Giuseppe Bonanno warned Morandi’s age and the standard of his home raised ‘several legal problems’ with him remaining on the island, adding: ‘Morandi symbolizes a man, enchanted by the elements, who decides to devote his life to contemplation and custody.

‘No one ignores [his] role in representing the historical memory of the place … But it’s hard to find a contractual arrangement for a person in his position.’

In the quiet winter months, he spends his time editing his pictures and uploading them onto his Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages.

‘The pictures represents my mood and state of mind,’ he told MailOnline in 2016.

But while the colder months can be lonely, he draws more than 1,300 tourists to the island in the summer.

Jessica Gadirova, 16, wins Great Britain’s first gold at the European Championships

Jessica Gadirova, 16, wins Great Britain’s first gold at European Gymnastic Championships after taking silver and bronze in remarkable debut appearance

  • Jessica Gadirova won Great Britain’s first gold at the European Championships 
  • The 16-year-old took the top prize in the floor exercise in Basel on Sunday
  • The youngster had already taken silver in the vault and bronze in the all around 

Sixteen-year-old Jessica Gadirova claimed Great Britain’s first gold at the European Championships in Basel, winning the floor exercise for her third medal of a remarkable debut appearance.

The Aylesbury gymnast, making her bow in a major championship, had already taken bronze in the all around and silver in the vault and on Sunday she completed a clean sweep.

Gadirova was last to perform her routine and picked up an outstanding score of 13.966 to finish clear of Russia’s Angelina Melnikova and Italy’s Vanessa Ferrari in second and third.

Jessica Gadirova, 16, claimed Great Britain’s first gold at the European Championships

She said: ‘I’m jumping for joy. Just to even get selected for the European Championships, I was so happy and I was so proud to be here. Then to win the medals, I can’t believe it. 

‘I’d been on the podium twice and was getting higher and higher on the steps, then to be on the top was just overwhelming.’

Giarnni Regini-Moran added a bronze in the men’s vault to the British medal haul. The 22-year-old from Great Yarmouth placed third behind Ukraine’s Igor Radivilov.

The youngster won the floor exercise for her third medal of a remarkable debut appearance

The youngster won the floor exercise for her third medal of a remarkable debut appearance

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Street art ruined by graffiti can now be saved by new ‘wipe’ that only lifts off fresh paint

Street art has become a mainstream cultural phenomenon, thanks to artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Banksy and Kaws.

But outdoor murals are vulnerable to vandals, who mar their beauty with unwanted graffiti.

A group of chemists in Italy have developed a groundbreaking new method to wipe away graffiti while keeping the art underneath intact.

The process involves loading nontoxic cleaners onto a thin sheet of polymers known as hydrogels and applying it to a surface of a vandalized piece of street art.

The hydrogel releases the cleaning agents slowly to just the top layer, only a few microns deep, allowing the overpainting to be removed quickly without damaging the work.

Cleaning graffiti off street art is difficult because the chemical composition of both is so similar its nearly impossible for a solvent to erase one without the other

‘For decades, we have focused on cleaning or restoring classical artworks that used paints designed to last centuries,’ said Piero Baglioni, a chemist at the University of Florence who worked on the project.

‘In contrast, modern art and street art, as well as the coatings and graffiti applied on top, use materials that were never intended to stand the test of time.’

The difficulty with restoring street art is the spray paint used by vandals is usually so chemically similar to the original work—both use acrylic, vinyl or alkyd polymers as paint binders.

That makes it nearly impossible to develop a solution that will remove the former while preserving the latter. 

Researchers at the University of Florence have developed an environmentally friendly solvent that can remove an overcoating of graffiti while preserving the art underneath.

 Researchers at the University of Florence have developed an environmentally friendly solvent that can remove an overcoating of graffiti while preserving the art underneath.

Previously, restorers have had to resort to scraping, sandblasting or chemical solvents, all of which damage the original work.

To tackle the problem, researchers at the university designed a nanostructured fluid using nontoxic solvents and loaded it into highly retentive hydrogels.

The hydrogels have been formulated as thin foil sheets, which can be cut and shaped as needed, and adhere to walls.

Once placed on a surface, they release cleaning agents very slowly to just the top layer of a surface, only a few microns deep.

The solvent is loaded onto thin sheets of hydrogels that slowly release it onto just the top layer, only a few microns deep

The solvent is loaded onto thin sheets of hydrogels that slowly release it onto just the top layer, only a few microns deep

As a result, the undesired top layer is removed in minutes, sometimes even seconds, with no damage to the work underneath.

The researcher team shared their new method last week at a virtual meeting of the American Chemical Society.

In some ways, the process is simple, co-creator Michele Baglioni said, since scientists already knew what chemicals are in the paint.

‘The challenge is combining them in the right way to get all the properties we need,’ he said. 

‘We have to know exactly what is going on at the surface of the paintings if we want to design cleaners.’

The team used infrared spectroscopy to characterize the binders, fillers and pigments in three common classes of paints.

They tried out combinations of low-toxic alkyl carbonate solvents, pairing them with biodegradable surfactants, which reduce a liquid’s surface tension.

The results were loaded onto thin sheets of hydrogels, which stick to walls and can be cut and shaped as needed.

After a few minutes, you can peel a sheet off and the over-paint should be ‘softened and swollen,’ Ars Technica reported and easy to wipe off.

The scientists tested their cleaners on fake ‘art’ in the lab, then tried their best option out on a real piece of street art in Florence, successfully removing some black tags without affecting the original work.

The hydrogel that worked best included 2-butanol as a solvent and alkyl glycoside as a non-ionic surfactant. The researchers plan to make the hydrogels commercially available

The hydrogel that worked best included 2-butanol as a solvent and alkyl glycoside as a non-ionic surfactant. The researchers plan to make the hydrogels commercially available

The combination that worked best included 2-butanol as a solvent and alkyl glycoside as a non-ionic surfactant.

The researchers say the process could also be used to remove top coats of paints on works of art that were intended to restore the painting but ended up damaging it.

‘They seem to be quite far apart, but science and art are very strictly connected,’ Michele Baglioni told Ars Technica. ‘Talking about art restoration, art preservation, is like talking about materials.’

The researchers plan to make the hydrogels commercially available through their company, CSGI Solutions for Conservation of Cultural Heritage.