After a memorable and what could prove to be decisive result at the Etihad Stadium yesterday, Antonio Conte spoke out to praise his side’s character after coming to behind to beat Manchester City, saying:
“It’s a big win and a big result against a really strong team. With the quality of players in their squad I think it’s the most complete in this league. For this reason, I am pleased with the result, and with the players. They showed me great character. We were lucky at the start of the second half because there was one crossbar, and also a good save from Thibaut kept the result at 1-0. Then we found great strength to score the goal to draw, and then to score the second goal and the third goal. It’s fantastic this because I repeat, it’s not easy to come here and win this game. Now we have to continue.”
However, with defensive additions prioritised in the coming months, the Italian may be concerned to hear that Branislav Ivanovic has held secret talks to agree a deal to sign for Besiktas, say Turkish newspaper Haber Turk. The Serbian was also attracting interest from Barcelona and Juventus but is now believed to have reached an agreement with the Turkish club.
Ivanovic was expected to leave anyway, with his contract expiring in the summer and rumours that he may even leave in January if Conte can bring in some of his targets.
The club are ready to step up their interest in one of those targets, 17-year-old Inter Milan striker Andrea Pinamonti, who is believed to be worth around £400,000 and is also wanted by Juventus and Bayer Leverkusen. The Italy under 19 international figured in the club’s pre-season campaign and is well known to Conte.
The youngster averaged a goal every two games in the youth ranks with the Italian national team from under 15s through to under 17s and is now training with the under 19s side and continuing to impress as he pushes for a place in the Inter first team.
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