Inter boss Luciano Spalletti slams Arsenal and claims they tried to ‘con’ Ivan Perisic

first_imgSpalletti will now try and get Perisic’s mind back focused on Inter (Picture: Getty)On Inter director Beppe Marotta’s decision to go public with Perisic’s transfer request, Spalletti added: ‘I don’t know if it was a good idea or not to say Perisic wanted to leave, but the player received an important proposal and said he was open to it.‘When he realised the offer was not what he thought, he took a step back, but the damage had already been done. Announcing the situation just created tension around him and the team. Now he’s starting to get back in line, but it’ll take a while.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal The Italian coach suggested Arsenal’s interest was never really genuine (Picture: Getty)Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti has criticised Arsenal’s brief pursuit of Ivan Perisic and says the Croatian winger had been ‘conned’ by the Gunners.Perisic handed in a transfer request when he was made aware of Arsenal’s interest, missing the defeat against Torino and ordered to train by himself, though the north Londoners were only prepared to do a loan deal without a compulsory option to buy.And Spalletti feels Arsenal’s interest was never entirely serious but it still unsettled the 29-year-old winger. Inter boss Luciano Spalletti slams Arsenal and claims they tried to ‘con’ Ivan Perisic Perisic was left out of Inter’s squad to face Torino amid the transfer rumours (Picture: Getty)‘There was this story on the market, but he is a professional, understands his role and yesterday it was already a very different mood,’ Spalletti told RAI Sport.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘These things happen in the transfer window, the player received an impressive proposal and was tempted.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘However, he then realised it was not a true offer, that he’d been conned, and took a step back.‘Now he’ll resume training and as soon as his mind is back fully on Inter, we’ll let him play.’ Commentcenter_img Metro Sport ReporterThursday 31 Jan 2019 11:50 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link619Shares Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma is making an on-court case not to be traded

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error LOS ANGELES — The trade deadline is approaching, which in Lakerland means one thing: Kyle Kuzma rumors heat up.That’s been the nature of Kuzma’s career since he turned pro. Forever a trade chip in backroom, imaginary scenarios as amateur general managers construct the title team of their dreams.“Kobe used to always tell me, ‘If they’re not talking about you, then you should be worried,’” Kuzma said Tuesday night. “And I’m the talk of the town.”There’s one hitch in that thinking: What if Kuzma belongs on this one? Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed The Lakers’ most obvious chip is Kuzma, who is still relatively young though divisive among NBA observers. Is he a hoist-it-up scorer who thrives without structure? Or is he a helpful piece on a bonafide contender?The recent stretch has nudged him closer to the latter category, giving the Lakers something to think about if teams call to inquire after him.“I think Kuz is a guy who plays hard. You know what I mean?,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “That’s one of the things I noticed when I watched him on tape this summer. His motor. That’s one of the things I loved about him. Just how hard he plays, and it fits in with who we want to be. A team that plays harder than our opponent every night.”There’s evidence that Kuzma has a defined role: He’s a fixture on the Lakers’ four best five-man lineups that have played at least 40 minutes this season, each one with a net rating of better than plus-15.There’s at least one very tangible barrier to trading Kuzma: his salary. Making only $1.9 million this season, Kuzma’s contract would very likely need to be added to other contracts on the team to salary match within 75% of rumored trade targets such as New York’s Marcus Morris ($15 million) or Detroit’s Derrick Rose ($7.3 million). Sending out multiple players for one could create more holes in the Lakers’ roster than it plugs.Kuzma’s contract is also under team control for four more seasons after this one, assuming the Lakers make him an extension offer this summer or retain him in 2021 through restricted free agency. His is one of the few contracts (along with rookie Talen Horton-Tucker) the Lakers can hold onto long-term if they wish.There’s also a factor of powerful team chemistry, which has only been further solidified in the last week, as the team went through the mutual trauma of Bryant’s death, which they learned about on their cross-country flight from Philadelphia. In the week and a half since, they’ve found solidarity in one another’s company. While General Manager Rob Pelinka has many other factors to consider in his ambitions for making the Lakers title-worthy this June, one of them has to be maintaining the buoyancy of the locker room and wondering if an outsider can blend in with a group that has been through an experience as unique and searing as Bryant’s death.Again, this is not new ground for Kuzma, who admitted last year that trade talks got to him. He first encountered that sense of instability when Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson, teammates during his rookie year, were traded away midseason. The idea that anyone can go at any time has since been hammered into his psyche.“My first two years in the league it was kind of tough because you get drafted to a place and you think it’s going to be forever and you see people come and go,” he said. “You never really know where you’re going to be, and obviously the first two years were kind of tough because I was new to it, but I’m used to it now, I understand the business and that’s why I got to treat it like a business, too.”Related Articles How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years center_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersIt’s been, as all parties will admit, a rocky start to Kuzma’s third season. It hasn’t been as much about ability as fit. Kuzma’s minutes have dropped to just 25 per game, and his efficiency in those stints has mostly dipped from a breakout sophomore effort. Injuries have hampered his attempts to gain rhythm – he missed the entire preseason with a foot injury, then sat out five games recovering from an ankle sprain.But the last three games, in which Kuzma has played with as much energy as anyone on the floor, has earned the attention of everyone in the Lakers’ locker room. It sparked as strong an endorsement as any from Anthony Davis, who said: “Whatever he’s been doing the past couple games, we’re gonna need that for the rest of the year.”The shift, Kuzma said, has a lot to do with the death of Kobe Bryant, whom he idolized as a child and who became a mentor when he joined the Lakers.“Everybody talks about the ‘Mamba Mentality’ of being a vicious scorer and looking to score, but that’s not even what that is,” he said Tuesday night. “That mentality is to be tenacious, play with heart and be relentless at all times. Obviously, it’s a little tougher to navigate the scoring, but I can play hard every possession on defense and rebound and just try to play to win. And I think this past week has been good for me to just realize some things and see where my eggs are.”That’s a zen place for the 24-year-old to be on the eve of Thursday’s noon PT trade deadline, when the Lakers (38-11) either make a swing to improve their roster or stand pat. Last year, the Lakers made two trades around the fringes in hopes of adding shooting, but the moves did not ultimately propel them to the postseason. This year, they’re sitting pretty at the top of the Western Conference, albeit with some obvious holes, but with a lot less trade capital than they had last year. Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions The way Kuzma has handled it lately is “playing to exhaustion.” He’s realized his best role might be as an energy player off the bench rather than relying on his scoring to lift all boats. His attitude lately: “I get traded, I get traded. Don’t matter. I’m still going to play basketball. Still going to play the game I love. Still going to get paid.”But embedded within that is a desire to stay, to find his role in the one franchise he’s been part of so far. To compete for – maybe even win – a championship. And with his recent run, the case for that has been as convincing as ever.“Whether he shoots well or not, he’s making an impact,” veteran guard Danny Green said. “That’s all he can do, and regardless of what happened and the end of the day he’ll live with it. But he’s been playing great basketball for us, and he’s been a great lift energy-wise. I don’t think he has anything to worry about with the rumors.”last_img read more