Insider Notes: Inter Milan poised to become Europe's next outlandish spender
A source close to Inter Milan says that under new Chinese owners Suning the club is ready to become the next PSG in terms of outlandish spending in Europe.
Diego Simeone has already turned down a $16 million a year offer to manage Inter, but I’m told the club, where Simeone played from 1997-1999, is preparing another offer for him. What’s more, Inter ownership is telling insiders they may make a serious run at signing Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo (Whether Inter can back up that talk remains to be seen, of course). We’ve heard a lot about Chinese clubs making waves on the transfer market, but now a Chinese-owned club in Europe, Inter, wants to take an Italian club back to where it was in the 1990s. The club has won 18 Serie A titles, tied with rival AC Milan for second most in league history behind Juventus.
Inter is currently in fifth in Serie A, six points out of a Champions League place. The club last qualified for the Champions League in 2010-2011, finishing as low as eighth and ninth in Serie A in the time since. It won the Champions League under Jose Mourinho's guidance in the 2009-2010 season.
Elsewhere in the soccer world:
MLS won't suspend Portland's Chara, Guzman for diving vs. Galaxy
Portland Timbers players David Guzmán and Diego Chará will avoid any suspensions by the MLS Disciplinary Committee for their controversial falls to the ground against the LA Galaxy on Sunday, SI.com has learned.
The committee’s toughest decision, according to MLS vice president for competition Jeff Agoos, was on Guzmán, whose fall to the ground resulted in LA’s Jelle van Damme being sent off for a second yellow card.
“On Guzmán, the decision ultimately is that the committee was not unanimous to act on the play in terms of simulation/embellishment,” Agoos told SI.com late Wednesday afternoon. “That was what the play was originally tagged for. What I’ll say is that it was a very difficult decision, a challenging decision based on a lot of nuances. The five-member committee—three former players, a former coach and a former referee who have all been in MLS—was split to determine whether the player dove or whether he was looking to avoid contact with the LA defender Van Damme coming in.”
Chará, meanwhile, will be fined for simulation but not suspended.
“The committee found that they were unanimous that it was simulation [by Chará],” Agoos said. “That will be a fine rather than a suspension. The reason it’s bifurcated is the material impact on the match. So on a player like Guzmán, there’s a material impact on the match, because it resulted in a second yellow card. The parameters for a suspension are if the simulation or embellishment winds up in a second yellow card, a red card, the awarding of a penalty kick or the triggering of a player’s yellow card accumulation suspension total, those are suspensions rather than fines. Everything else would be a fine.”
Portland will host fellow 2-0 starters Houston on Saturday.
Working in USA already rubbing off on Howard Webb's soccer terminology
The Englishman Howard Webb, one of the most famous and respected referees in soccer history, worked the finals of both the UEFA Champions League and World Cup in 2010. Webb recently moved to New York City to take on a new position as manager of Video Assistant Referee operations for the PRO referees organization. In a recent interview for an upcoming Sports Illustrated magazine article, Webb caught himself in an amusing linguistic moment.
“They had every chance to score from the PK,” Webb said, then stopped and laughed. “Oh, I’m speaking like an American already. I’ve never said ‘PK’ in my life. I’m even calling the tube a ‘subway.’”
I told Webb it was O.K., and that Bob Bradley would surely thank him for it down the line.