Spalletti pens Inter extension

Inter Milan head coach Luciano Spalletti has been handed a new contract until 2021 as reward for an impressive debut season at the San Siro.

The 59-year-old was appointed Stefano Pioli's permanent successor at the helm in June 2017 and guided the Nerazzurri to a top-four finish in Serie A last term.

Inter pipped Lazio to fourth place on the final day of the campaign courtesy of a 3-2 win at Stadio Olimpico, which saw them qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in six years.

After penning a three-year extension, Spalletti told the club's official website: "I want to thank the Zhang family and the club for giving me the chance to extend my contract.

"I would also like to stress that the signature was merely official confirmation of what was already in place, as my desire to continue fighting together for the good of this massive club was never in doubt.

"We've always had a relationship based on respect and mutual trust. Our daily discussions have made it clearer than ever that we want the same things for this club and its fans. Today, we have strengthened the shared ambitions of the Nerazzurri's world."

Inter chief Steven Zhang added: "During the 110th year of the club's history, we made many good decisions in order to put the club on the right track, and today we start the season by sealing our relationship with Luciano Spalletti.

"Last season, Mr Spalletti and his staff were able to improve the team and take Inter back to Europe's biggest competition. This demonstrates the hard work and commitment our coaching staff puts in.

"We are pleased to extend our contract with Mr Spalletti and continue our efforts to build one of the top teams in the world of football. Today's agreement shows our strong confidence in him and the long-term solidarity of the group."

Villarreal loan Cheryshev to Valencia

Valencia have made more headway in the transfer market after bringing in Denis Cheryshev on a season-long loan from La Liga rivals Villarreal.

The 27-year-old winger returns to the Mestalla for a second spell, having spent the second half of the 2015/16 campaign on loan there from Real Madrid.

Cheryshev eventually parted ways with Los Blancos in 2016 when he joined the Yellow Submarine on a permanent basis following an earlier loan stint at La Ceramica two years prior.

The Russia international, who scored four goals at the 2018 World Cup to help the host nation reach the quarter-finals, accepted an offer from Los Che in the hope of getting more game time, after making just nine league starts for Javier Calleja's side last term.

Cheryshev is the third new addition to Marcelino's squad in less than a week, with Michy Batshuayi and Kevin Gameiro having also arrived ahead of the new season which kicks off this weekend.

Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid

Local rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid will have a chance for some early-season silverware when they clash in the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday night.

The Super Cup is contested every year between the winners of the Champions League and the Europa League. Real clinched Europe's biggest club prize last season, while their neighbours won the latter competition.

Los Blancos have a new man at the helm in former Spain head coach Julen Lopetegui, who replaced Zinedine Zidane following his exit shortly after leading his side to a third consecutive Champions League title.

This will be Real's first competitive fixture of the season and Lopetegui will no doubt be hoping to get one over Atleti before La Liga gets underway on Sunday, when Real face Getafe at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Asked about Gareth Bale and his importance to the team, Lopetegui told reporters: "The Bale we have now is committed, content, wanting to have a great season. He is training very well, happy, and we are so happy with him. This has only just begun."

Meanwhile, Atleti manager Diego Simeone will be aiming to lay down a marker by causing an upset. The Argentine has a respectable record against Real, winning eight, drawing eight, and losing 10.

Simeone has bolstered his squad in the transfer market by bringing in the likes of Thomas Lemar, Rodri, Nikola Kalinic and Santiago Arias. He will be hoping they can help Atletico challenge for trophies both domestically and in Europe this term, starting with the Super Cup.

"We have a new group, with many players who have just arrived and need to adapt," he told the press. "That will take time. It is not enough to just have good individuals, you need to form a team, and we still have to see that.

"Lemar is bit by bit picking up what the team needs. You see his dynamism, explosiveness, his talent which the team needs."

Real have won the Super Cup three out of the last four years, while Atletico claimed the silverware in 2010 and 2012.

Real expect to have Luka Modric back in the starting lineup after he came off the bench in their last pre-season friendly against Milan. Keylor Navas should start in goal, ahead of new signing Thibaut Courtois.

Atleti should be able to field a full-strength side, with only Antoine Griezmann missing their final pre-season outing. The Frenchman is also expected to return to the starting XI.

Spurs apologise for stadium delay

Tottenham have issued an apology to supporters after it was announced that the club's new stadium is only likely to be ready in October.

The unveiling of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was scheduled for September 15 when Mauricio Pochettino's side host Liverpool, but safety concerns have scuppered those plans.

Spurs have offered refunds to fans who purchased tickets for the games against the Reds and Cardiff, which will now be played at Wembley.

The north London outfit described the decision to delay the opening of their new 62,000-seater home as "unavoidable", although having the national stadium as a back-up had always been an option.

"Delays are common, certainly for builds of this size and complexity, however, we are hugely frustrated that this has occurred with these systems at such a late stage," read a statement from the Premier League club.

"Whilst we would have been able to mitigate other areas, we simply cannot compromise safety. This decision was unavoidable.

"We should also like to clarify the correct context of the news that broke yesterday (Monday) regarding arrangements with Wembley. The option was in fact exercised at the end of last year - and not in response to this issue - as a sensible back-up given the nature of construction and the possibility of exactly such an issue arising.

"Last night's announcement was brought forward from today in order to advise fans as soon as possible given the confusion caused and the news of the board meeting becoming public. As such we were unable to release details of refunds and ticketing at the same time as planned.

"We should like to apologise to supporters for this delay. We are acutely aware of the disappointment this may cause supporters and shall now look to ensure that we minimise any inconvenience.

"Our construction team is working hard to overcome these issues and we shall keep you all updated. Thank you for your support at this challenging time."

Wacker: Ronaldo deal wouldn't have suited Bayern

Bayern Munich marketing director Jorg Wacker has said that Cristiano Ronaldo would not have been an ideal signing for them, as no player is bigger than the club.

Juventus signed Ronaldo from Real Madrid during the off-season for a reported fee of around €100 million.

Despite the Portuguese forward being a five-time winner of the Ballon d'Or, Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said they would never spend so much money on a 33-year-old.

Wacker has added his voice to criticism of the Ronaldo transfer, with CalcioMercato quoting him as saying: "His purchase, in terms of marketing, would not have worked with us; perhaps in other clubs yes but not us because we believe that the brand of a player cannot be superior to the club."

First Juventus and then Bayern were eliminated in last season's Champions League by Real, with the eventual champions knocking Juve out in the quarter-finals and toppling the Reds in the semis.

Usmanov would consider Everton investment

Alisher Usmanov has suggested that he would be willing to invest in Everton after striking an agreement to sell his 30 percent stake in Arsenal to Stan Kroenke.

Usmanov's USM Holdings sponsor the club's training ground, Finch Farm, and he is a friend and business partner of Toffees part-owner Farhad Moshiri.

"Should there be a proposal or a possibility to invest in them with good potential returns, I would consider the deal," the Russian told Bloomberg.

"We are friends with Farhad Moshiri. If he needs the support, I am happy to help."

Usmanov bought his stake in the Gunners from David Dein in 2007. Since then, the value of the north London outfit has more than quadrupled.

"When I bought the stake in Arsenal, I believed that football brands would be able to generate profit. This is happening now," he said.

The deal Kroenke struck with Usmanov for his Arsenal stake was a major step in the American's plan to take full control of the club.

Gameiro finally gets Valencia wish

Kevin Gameiro has been unveiled by Valencia after they acquired his signature on a three-year contract from La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid.

The 31-year-old striker enjoyed a productive first season in the Spanish capital following his switch from Sevilla in 2016, registering 12 goals and five assists in 31 league appearances for Los Colchoneros.

But the return of Diego Costa in January led to fewer opportunities for Gameiro, who managed just 18 starts in all competitions last term, and he has now opted to move on after the Europa League champions brought in Gelson Martins, Nikola Kalinic and Thomas Lemar during the off-season.

Diego Simeone's side get their domestic campaign underway against Los Che on Monday, and the France international is keen to face his former employers.

Asked whether he would be fit to make his debut at the Mestalla next week, Gameiro told the media at his presentation: "Perhaps.

"I have a little time left to get there [in terms of fitness]. I have a week to be here and prepare for the game."

The Strasbourg youth product revealed that his wish has finally come to pass having been denied the chance to join Valencia earlier in his career.

"It was not easy, but as the president has said, it has long been clear in my head [that he wanted to join Valencia]. Now I'm here and I'm very happy," Gameiro added.

"A long time ago I wanted to come here, but because of club problems it couldn't be. Then there was no option and I went somewhere else.

"The coach [Marcelino] told me that he wanted to work with me for a long time. When the coach tells you that, it gives you a lot of confidence to come. I will work hard to try to do many great things here."

Orlando Pirates v Bidvest Wits

Orlando Pirates will be looking to hand Bidvest Wits their first defeat of the new season when they meet at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Buccaneers find themselves under pressure early on after their elimination from the MTN8, where they lost on penalties to SuperSport United on Saturday.

Pirates have four points from their opening two Premiership matches after drawing 1-1 with Highlands Park on the opening day before beating Chippa United 1-0 in Port Elizabeth.

Wits, on the other hand, have hit the ground running, scoring three goals in each of their first two games against Free State Stars (3-0) and Kaizer Chiefs (3-1).

The Clever Boys will once again look to the exploits of Deon Hotto, who has been unstoppable since making the move from Bloemfontein Celtic.

The Namibia international netted in both league encounters and has impressed along with fellow new signings Gift Motupa and Terrence Dzvukamanja, who were also amongst the goals against Chiefs.

Bucs coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic has refused to complain about his side busy schedule in the early stages of the campaign as they prepare for their third top-flight fixture in 11 days.

"I would not like to join and complain about the fixtures because I think, having just come from pre-season, all of us are still hungry for football," Micho told KickOff.

"We have a squad and pool of players that are meant to answer to that challenge and we have our training methodologies on how to provide recovery in whatever way necessary.

"I would not go in the direction of complaining of anything. We need to accept that this is the way it is. We shall answer properly and we look forward to matches ahead of us."

The Serbian made a number of changes against Matsatsantsa, handing the likes of Ben Motshwari his debut while Musa Nyatama was not in the matchday squad.

Mthokozisi Dube is back from suspension after he was sent off against Chippa.

Bakayoko joins Milan on loan

Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko has joined Milan on a season-long loan after being deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge.

The 23-year-old joined the Blues from Ligue 1 side Monaco in August last year and was seen as a potential replacement for Nemanja Matic, who signed for Premier League rivals Manchester United.

However, Bakayoko struggled to find his top form for the west London giants and now heads to Serie A in search of playing time.

The France international made 43 club appearances last season and scored three goals while providing three assists.

Bakayoko will now be coached by former Rossoneri midfielder Gennaro Gattuso, whose team are aiming for their first top-four finish in the Italian top flight since 2013.

Eto'o signs for Qatar Sports Club

Barcelona legend Samuel Eto'o has signed for Qatar Sports Club, having left Turkish side Konyaspor by mutual consent.

The 37-year-old recently talked up his chances of a move to Ligue 1, admitting that he was speaking to French clubs. However, he has decided against it.

The former Inter Milan, Chelsea, Everton and Real Madrid striker has instead opted to join former team-mates Xavi and Wesley Sneijder, who are playing for Al Sadd and Al Gharafa, in Qatar.

"The management of Qatar Football Club is pleased to invite you to attend the press conference to present the international star Samuel Eto'o, which will be held on Tuesday at 8:00 pm at the club," wrote Eto'o's new team on Twitter.

The former Cameroon international is the most successful African footballer of all time, having won the African Player of the Year award four times and featured heavily in two Champions League-winning seasons for Barcelona, as well as one for Inter.

Chawapiwa: I'll have to forget Chiefs rumours

Baroka winger Talent Chawapiwa is trying to forget about speculation in recent months linking him with Kaizer Chiefs ahead of Tuesday's showdown between the two clubs.

Bakgaga will host Amakhosi at the Peter Mokaba Stadium, and will be counting on Chawapiwa to showcase his skills against the Glamour Boys, but this is no ordinary fixture for him after being heavily linked with a move to Naturena.

However, the Zimbabwe international has insisted he is determined to prove his commitment to Wedson Nyirenda's side when he steps out onto the pitch.

"I just have to put that aside [being linked with Chiefs] and just focus on the team that I'm playing for, and hope to do well. Because if I put that in mind, I will put myself under pressure," Chawapiwa admitted to KickOff.

"I won't be able to perform, so I just have to just go there and work for Baroka because they want to see... Because they know I was linked with Kaizer Chiefs, so they want to see how am I going to perform, how I am going to take it.

"So to me it's just something that is giving me pressure now, so I have to do more than what I was doing before now."

The 26-year-old is expecting a tough encounter against a confident Glamour Boys, who are coming off a 3-0 win over Free State Stars in the MTN8 quarter-finals on Saturday.

"Hey, they performed good football there and it left us worrying," Chawapiwa acknowledged.

"Because what we were expecting and what we saw that day - it's totally different. They really displayed good football, so they are not opponents to underrate."

Sundowns announce Carrim signing

Mamelodi Sundowns have announced the signing of teenager Muhammad Carrim from Bidvest Wits, bolstering their MultiChoice Diski Challenge team.

Apart from the high-profile captures of Andile Jali, Jose Ali Meza, Toni Silva, Lyle Lakay, Reyaad Pieterse, Mosa Lebusa and Lebohang Maboe, Masandawana had previously added former Kaizer Chiefs youngster Tristan Moses to their ranks.

The Brazilians have now added a potential defensive partner for Moses to their MDC squad.

Sundowns announced the signing of Carrim via Twitter on Monday, posting a picture of the 17-year-old centre-back standing with first-team coach Pitso Mosimane.

The picture was captioned: "Muhammad Carrim, a 17-yr old centre-back, has joined the Brazilians from Bidvest Wits. He will join our MDC team immediately."

Mosimane's side won last season's Premiership title, regaining their crown from the Clever Boys. However, The Tshwane club finished ninth in the MDC, 14 points behind champions Golden Arrows.

Chelsea defender Aina set for Torino loan

Promising young Chelsea defender Ola Aina is on his way to join Serie A club Torino on a season-long loan spell, according to Sky Sports.

The 21-year-old will join Il Toro on loan, but the Italian outfit reportedly have the option to make the move permanent at the end of the loan.

The right-back was on loan at Hull in the Championsip last season, making 46 appearances for the Tigers across all competitions, and was also a target of PSV Eindhoven in the off-season.

Aina is a Nigeria international and has made six appearances for the Chelsea first team. He also represented England at youth level.

Although naturally a right-back, Aina was also used on the left side of the pitch while on loan at Hull.

Balde: Inter has always been a dream

New Inter Milan midfielder Keita Balde says it is a dream come true to play for the Nerazzurri after joining the club from Monaco on loan.

The Senegalese international makes a return to the Serie A after a year playing for Monaco in Ligue 1.

The 23-year old winger, who previously played for Lazio, said he is confident of a successful spell with the Nerazzurri.

He becomes the club's eighth signing after the likes of Radja Nainggolan, Sime Vrsaljko, and Stefan de Vrij.

Balde told Inter TV: "I'm very happy to be here and I'll give my all to make the fans happy.

"I'm back in Italy with a huge desire to play for a big club. I already have experience in this league and I want to do well.

"Since I was little I've always dreamed of playing for Inter, and I want to do it very well. I've always liked Inter fans, they're always kind and polite and now I hope to make them happy every Sunday.

"Mauro Icardi? I spent many years with Mauro at Barcelona, I've known him since he was a kid and I know Coach Luciano Spalletti too."

Solinas: I'm still deciding on goalkeeper selection

Kaizer Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas has said he has not yet decided whether or not to pick Itumeleng Khune in goal against Baroka.

Khune has returned to the squad after taking time off following a car accident involving his girlfriend.

Even though Virgil Vries has been ruled out for two weeks after picking up an injury against Free State Stars, Solinas is uncertain whether or not to throw his usual number one straight back into action.

Solinas also has Brylon Petersen and Bruce Bvuma to choose from for the match in Polokwane on Tuesday evening.

"We have three goalkeepers in camp. We will mull about the selection of the goalkeeper, but it's good to see that Khune is back in camp and available for selection," Solinas said, as quoted by the official Kaizer Chiefs website.

Baroka have often caused problems for Amakhosi, but Solinas is confident that he knows what to expect from former Chiefs striker Wedson Nyirenda's side.

"I have the necessary information to plan against Baroka," said Solinas. "I've watched their two league games -- they press the opponents high on the pitch and they are organised defensively."

The game at the Peter Mokaba Stadium will kick off at 19h30.

Benjamin: Enyimba want victory against Djoliba

Enyimba are aiming to clinch all three points when they travel to Mali to take on Djoliba in the CAF Confederation Cup on Sunday, according to Francis Benjamin.

The People's Elephant are third in Group C after four games, but the group remains wide open with two fixtures left. Only three points separate the four teams, including Williamsville AC and CARA Brazzaville.

Enyimba are only one point adrift leaders Williamsville, while Djoliba are at the bottom of the standings with four points from four games.

"Games between Enyimba and West African teams are always difficult," Benjamin told Football Live. "For us, we want to go to Bamako and win.

"We want to improve our points haul so it is important we go all out and get a win. We said to ourselves we were going to win [our] remaining games in the group."

Klopp chuffed with Liverpool's midfield trio

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has heaped praise on his midfielders Naby Keita, James Milner, and Georginio Wijnaldum after thrashing West Ham United 4-0 on Sunday.

The Reds ran riot at Anfield in their Premier League opener against a new-look Irons outfit. Sadio Mane netted a brace for the hosts while Mohamed Salah and Daniel Sturridge also found the back of the net.

However, Klopp was particularly chuffed with the shift his midfield trio put in and praised the energetic performance of former RB Leipzig dynamo Keita.

"Naby had six weeks' pre-season with us. Together with Millie and Gini, they had all of the pre-season. That's really good," Klopp told the club's official website.

"You saw that helped a lot and helped him; organisation always helps. And in the moments when he gets the ball, you can see he is quite a nice footballer.

"What Gini and Millie did was quite impressive, I have to say. That's good, we need that.

"At the end it looks like 4-0 is quite comfortable but I'm pretty sure that all three midfielders - or at least these two - had to run 13km or more. You have to work really hard so a game can look like that.

"The good thing is all our midfielders - Hendo, Adam [Lallana] - all work. They accept the offensive line sometimes has not exactly the same desire to defend, so they close the gaps and help us with that. That makes their life a bit more uncomfortable, but helps us in other situations."

Motshwari: Emotions won't affect me against Wits

New Orlando Pirates signing Ben Motshwari says he will put emotions aside when he comes up against former club Bidvest Wits for the first time on Wednesday.

The midfielder, who left the Clever Boys for the Soweto giants before the start of the 2018/19 season, admitted that his former club played a big part in his development as a player and will always have special a place in his heart.

Wits are at the summit of the Premiership table with six points after an impressive start to the new campaign while Pirates have collected four points.

Motshwari told his club website: "This is a team that groomed me to be the kind of player that I am today and for that reason they will always have a special place in my heart. However, I am a professional and understand that I have a job to do for Pirates and put my emotions aside.

"At the end of the day, it's not about me; the bigger picture here is Pirates and getting the job done over Wits in the league."

The 27-year-old midfielder made his official debut for the Sea Robbers in the penalty loss to Supersport United in the quarterfinals of the MTN8.

Motshwari added: "One cannot be happy after such a disappointing result. Especially if you consider how well we played on the night. On a personal level however, I am pleased to have finally made by debut for the club. Wearing that iconic Pirates jersey for the first time under the Orlando Stadium lights is stuff of dreams.

"This is only the beginning; I aim to build on this performance and look to play more consistently in the team. At Pirates you cannot relax for a moment because of the quality of players in the team; I welcome such competition though because it forces you to push yourself at all times - this can only make me a better player."

Fredericks: Billiat has taken pressure off Ntshangase

Former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Stanton Fredericks has claimed that the arrival of Khama Billiat has alleviated pressure on Siphelele Ntshangase.

Ntshangase arrived in January from Baroka FC, but initially struggled to settle at his new club. However, he put in arguably his best performance in a Chiefs shirt in Saturday's 3-0 win over Free State Stars.

Fredericks was impressed with Ntshangase's displays against Bidvest Wits and Ea Lla Koto, but has urged him to perform consistently.

"Chiefs needed a breath of fresh air and, with all the expectation now on Billiat, Ntshangase has benefited because he has less pressure on himself," Fredericks told Kick Off.

"The fact that Maluleka is not fit at the moment has obviously worked in his favour and given him an opportunity to showcase his ability right at the start of the season.

"The team wasn't good against Bidvest Wits last week, but I thought he was decent in that game. With that bit of game-time though, he then got better on Saturday against Free State Stars.

"He's showing to be the type of player we all expected when he first came to Chiefs, although I don't want to heap praise just yet because he still needs consistency in his performances."

Fredericks was at the peak of his powers when he represented Chiefs in the early 2000s and Ntshangase will be hoping to emulate the former Bafana international.

Madubanya: Baroka ready for Chiefs

Baroka captain Letladi Madubanya says Bakgaga will be looking for an upset when they host Kaizer Chiefs in a Premiership match set for Wednesday evening

Madubanya stated that his side is still high on confidence after clinching their first victory of the new campaign against Cape Town City last week Wednesday.

The Bakgaga skipper is adamant the home ground advantage will work wonders for them while they are also well rested compared to Amakhosi, who played in the MTN8 over the weekend.

Chiefs on Saturday registered a 3-0 win over Free State Stars in the MTN8 quarterfinals but also lost Joseph Molangoane for the long term after suffering a horrific injury.

"We will be playing at home and we are looking at getting the three points and nothing else," Madubanya told Vodacom Soccer.

"We are ready and looking forward to the match to continue where we left-off against City.

"The mood in camp is healthy and relaxed. We could not be better."