Tag Archives: Italy

Italy’s Foreign Minister lands Libya


Italy’s foreign minister made a lightening trip to Libya on Wednesday amid a flaring conflict between a UN-recognised government in the west and eastern-based forces loyal to strongman Khalifa Haftar.

Luigi Di Maio was due to meet the head of Tripoli’s Government of National Accord Fayez al-Sarraj, as well as the interior minister and his foreign affairs counterpart, Italian agencies Agi and Ansa said.

Rome considers Libya “a priority… our most important issue, which concerns our national security,” according to an unnamed ministry source, cited by the Messaggero daily.

“We can’t afford a partition of the country. That is why we went first to Ankara, a (diplomatic) channel we’ve always kept open,” the source said, referring to Di Maio’s trip to Turkey on June 19.


He last visited Libya in January.

During his Wednesday visit Di Maio is set to examine an amended “memorandum” of cooperation between the two countries over migration, the Repubblica said.

Libya has been mired in chaos since the 2011 uprising that toppled and later killed longt-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

The Arab League on Tuesday called for the withdrawal of foreign forces in Libya and urged talks on ending the conflict in the north African country.


The Turkish-backed GNA has recently made major military gains against Haftar’s forces, who have sought to regain control over the west in an abortive attempt to seize Tripoli.

Egypt, which supports Haftar, has warned that advances by Turkey-backed forces on the strategic Libyan city of Sirte could prompt an Egyptian military intervention.

The GNA denounced Cairo’s statements as a “declaration of war”.

Besides Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russia back Haftar’s forces.



COVID-19: Invest in Trado-Medical experts – Nigerian Govt plead.


A trado-medical expert, Alhaji Hassan Ajeigbe, has urged the government to look for local solutions in the fight against COVID-19 in the country.

According to him, trado-medical experts should be consulted to combat the pandemic which now has 1532 cases in Nigeria.

He also advised the government to divert some of the funds spent on testing kits to equip trado-medical experts in researching on the virus towards a cure.


“Sometimes, we do not appreciate what we have and view it as less important. I will suggest that traditional doctors should be involved in the fight against Coronavirus.

“We should invest in traditional medicine and encourage its practitioners to come up with a cure for some deadly diseases. We can achieve it if giving necessary backing,” he said.



Ramsey reveals Ronaldo helps him settle in at Juventus

Aaron Ramsey has revealed how five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo helped him settle in at Juventus.

The Wales midfielder joined the Portuguese legend at the Serie A side following his free transfer from Arsenal last summer.

And Ramsey received a warm welcome from Ronaldo at his first training session with the Turin giants.

Ramsey, 29, told The Sun: ‘He’s a great person as well as an unbelievable player and one of the best in history.

‘For example, the first time I had a training session at the club, I went into the canteen and he said, ‘Come and sit by me’.

‘We just started talking immediately and he made me feel at ease straight away as did the rest of the team.

‘That’s a little insight into the sort of guy he is. I don’t need to tell you about his footballing ability or the records he has but I can tell you that he’s a great guy, he loves his team-mates and he gives everything in training.’
Ramsey has his sights set on lifting his first title with leaders JUve when the Serie A campaign resumes after the coronaviris lockdown.

But Ramsey, who started his career at Cardiff, has opened the door to returning to the Welsh capital after life in Turin.

Ramsey added on his own Instagram Live: ‘Cardiff will always hold a special place in my heart. Who knows what the future may hold? So yes, why not?

‘I grew up and started my career there and they helped me become a professional footballer so why not?’


Sarri ‘not fully convinced by Rabiot’ but Juve don’t plan to sell the midfielder

Juventus have decided what to do with French midfielder Adrien Rabiot, according to a report from Italian media outlet Calciomercato.com today.

The report details how the 25-year-old Frenchman, who is contracted to the Bianconeri until 2023, has struggled to settle in Italy in his first season. The player failed to earn consistent minutes at the start of the season, before finally becoming a starter in December.

However, coach Maurizio Sarri is not fully convinced by Rabiot’s performances and wants reinforcements to the department in the summer.

Rabiot is not worth selling for the Old Lady, the report continues. The player’s value has plummeted over the last two years and even selling him now wouldn’t earn back the money Juve invested in him. The club are still looking for new midfielders and Rabiot’s position will be evaluated over time, although he is not expected to play the main role next season.


Coronavirus cases continue to fall as another 578 people die in Italy.

Another 578 people have died in Italy over the last 24 hours after contracting COVID-19, but the number of new cases and intensive care admissions continue to fall.

In the daily press conference, it was confirmed the death toll is now 21,645.

There are currently 3,079 patients in intensive care, a drop of 107 from yesterday, which puts less pressure on the healthcare providers and allows them to focus more individual treatment.

In total, there are 27,643 people in hospital, a drop of 368 over the last 24 hours.

The people who have tested positive and are in self-isolation, so do not require hospital treatment, now stand at 74,696, which is 71 per cent of the total.

Another 962 patients were given the all-clear, meaning 38,092 have now recovered from the virus.

Since the start of the crisis, 1,117,404 tests have been performed.


Juventus to rival Barca and Man City in pursuit of PSG’s ‘new Verratti’

Paris Saint-Germain made the first move, snatching two very talented guys in Xavi Simons and Kays Ruiz-Atil. Now, Barcelona are ready for revenge by signing Edouard Michut, already dubbed as the “new Verratti” in France. Slim physique and a great technical ability to play close to the defence.

The 17-year-old grew up in the academies of FC Le Chesnay and then FC Versailles, before being discovered by PSG observers at the age of 13. Michut is considered a very complete midfielder from a tactical point of view, being able to play in more than just one role.

Recently, as Calciomercato have learned, there have been scouts from Barcelona to observe the youngster, who is yet to sign a professional agreement with the French side and the current contract expires in 2021. As a result of this, he could leave for almost negligible economic compensation.

This is a situation that Manchester City, Valencia and Juventus are perfectly aware of, rivalling the Catalan side. The Bianconeri have excellent relations with PSG (not forgetting the recent talks for De Sciglio, Kurzawa, Meunier, Dybala and Pjanic) and Michut is on their wish list.


Lautaro Martinez funds local hospitals

Inter forward Lautaro Martinez has made a huge donation of medical equipment and personal protective clothing to the hospitals in his hometown of Bahia Blanca.

The Argentina international went directly to the hospitals with two different sets of donations.

The first was delivered at the start of the month and a second batch arrived today, as confirmed by the Mayor of Bahia Blanca, Hector Gay.

Between the two sets, Lautaro Martinez, girlfriend Agustina Gandolfo and their families provided 4,350 litres of hand sanitiser, 1,000 pairs of rubber gloves, 6,500 coveralls, 3,800 masks and 7,000 visors.

Italy and specifically Lombardy have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, but so far it is relatively at bay in Argentina.

Recibimos la segunda parte de las donaciones de Lautaro Martínez, su pareja Agustina Gandolfo y su familia, para los Hospitales Municipal y Penna. Llegaron 3500 camisolines, 1000 litros de alcohol en gel, 1000 cofias, 3800 barbijos sanitarios y guantes de látex. ¡Gracias! pic.twitter.com/KPOWNJD7mW


Calhanoglu ‘wants to renew with Milan but Rossenneri unsure whether to keep him’

Calhanoglu’s future at Milan will be decided in the next few weeks, Calciomercato says.

The attacking midfielder wants to renew his deal, which expires in 2021, but Milan are unsure if they want to keep him.

The club will make a decision after they find a new coach, with Ralf Rangnick the top candidate. If the German takes charge, there is a good chance Calhanoglu will stay.


Inter ‘Rejected Firpo, Rakitic & Semedo’ In A Possible Deal For Lautaro

Inter have already rejected Barcelona trio Nelson Semedo, Junior Firpo and Ivan Rakitic as possible makeweights in a possible deal for Lautaro Martinez, according to NobleSports reliable source.

Antonio Conte, the Inter coach, is not interest in any of the three players as he builds for next season, although he is open to other players in the Barça squad as the Catalans look to bring down the Argentine’s 111 million euros price tag.

According to the same report, Barça offered Semedo, Junior and Rakitic as part of the initial negotiations with the Serie A club, but failed to achieve a breakthrough.

Inter, though, are still demanding a huge price Lautaro, although they would accept it in installments. Barça continue to insist on the idea of including players to bring the cost down. The most interesting player for Inter could be Arturo Vidal.

Barça have put Ivan Rakitic on the transfer market (he seems to only want to move to Sevilla), along with Junior (there is interest in Italy) and Semedo (Manchester City have suggested a swap deal for Joao Cancelo)

However, Barça to have other players in mind to use in a player plus cash deal and it seems that the negotiations are about to move into the definitive stage.


Lautaro ‘Wants Barcelona Move But Won’t Force A Transfer From Inter’

Inter striker Lautaro Martinez’ agents have received a huge contract offer from Spanish giants Barcelona but aren’t going to force a move away from the Nerazzurri, according to a report from NobleSports Reliable Source in ItalyThe report details how the Blaugrana have offered Lautaro a five-year contract worth €10 million net per season plus bonuses, which he has already accepted. Beto Yaque, however, has no interest in attempting to force a deal to take place, as he understands the wishes of the 22-year-old Argentinian international striker is to leave the Nerazzurri on good terms.

If Barcelona can’t sell enough players to raise funds for the deal, the report continues, they may not be able to pay his €111 million release clause. Inter aren’t interested in the suggested formula of €70 million plus two players in exchange, instead asking for cash only.There are no offers from England, the report highlights, as both Manchester City and Chelsea don’t have the funds to spend on the player. Lautaro and his entourage do consider Inter’s new contract offer worth €4.5 million net per season to be a little low, compared to the figures offered by Barcelona.


Italian police fine nearly 23,000 people for coronavirus violations in two days

Italian police fined almost 23,000 people for breaking coronavirus containment rules on Friday and Saturday, the country’s Interior Ministry said today.

The ministry is expected to release the number of fines handed out on Easter Sunday later today.

Over Friday and Saturday, 22,956 people were fined, along with 397 businesses, according to the ministry.

During the Easter weekend, police forces tightened controls on most roads to prevent the movement of people and maintain compliance with the containment measures against the spread of coronavirus, the ministry added.

From the start of the national lockdown in Italy on March 11 to April 11, a total of 6,762,858 people have been checked to make sure they were complying with containment measures.


Lautaro’s agent: There’s a big chance that he goes to Barcelona

An interview featuring Sergio Zarate, one of Lautaro Martinez’s agents, will have given Barcelona fans reason to get excited. But according to the latest report, agent Beto Yaque clarifies that Sergio Zarate is not Lautaro’s agent.

Zarate was asked about the possibility of his client moving from Inter to Barcelona and said it could happen.

“There is a big chance,” he said in response to that suggestion to NobleSports Reliable Source.

When it was put to Zarate that the player could go to Real Madrid, he said that Barcelona would be a better fit.

“The person who decides is the player,” Zarate said.

“With Lionel Messi there, I think there is a bit more of a chance of him going to be with the greatest of all.”

Zarate also responded to comments recently made by Inter vice-president Javier Zanetti.

“They can think all they want, but it’s the market that decides these things,” the agent said.

“When the giants of Europe want a player, they go with everything.”


COVID-19: India, Italy extends lockdown.

Italy has extended its Coronavirus lockdown until May 3, rejecting calls by business leaders to allow a gradual restart of the economy.

India has also done same but with no indication of the duration of the extension.

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the restrictive measures “are bearing fruit” hence the need to extend the lockdown.

“If we yield now we would risk, as our experts tell us, losing all the positive results we have achieved so far,” he told reporters.

With a ban on non-essential business crippling Europe’s weakest major economy, Conte said he was giving a limited range of business and shops a waiver to resume activity.

He held out the prospect of a gradual restart of normal life after May 3, though strict health protocols would remain in force.

Conte named Vittorio Colao, former chief executive officer of Vodafone Group Plc, to head a task force that will help map Italy’s exit from the lockdown. The country “can’t wait for the virus to disappear completely,” Conte said.

India also extend her lockdown

The chief Minister of Delhi State Arvind Kejriwal said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had decided that the extension was inevitable if the spread of the coronavirus must be curbed.

But Kerjriwal did not disclose how long the extension would last.

Modi had earlier yesterday held a video conference call with several state ministers to decide on the future course as the original 21-day lockdown ends on Tuesday.

“Today, India’s position is better than many developed countries because we started lockdown early. If it is stopped now, all gains would be lost,” Kejriwal said on Twitter.

The number of coronavirus infections in India rose to 7,447 yesterday, with the capital city New Delhi and financial hub Mumbai fast emerging as hotspots. There have been 239 deaths.

Several states had urged Modi to extend the lockdown, even amid rising concerns that the restrictions have put millions of poor people out of work and forced an exodus of migrant workers from cities to villages.


Willian could join Roma & accept wage cut in summer amid Juve links

Willian, whose contract with Chelsea will expire in June, has been offered to Roma, according to NobleSports.

The Brazilian would consider joining a Serie A club this summer and could accept a pay cut as Roma could not afford his signature.

Willian, aged 31, wanted a new three-year contract to stay, with Chelsea only offering a two-year deal, making a move away from west London likely in the coming months.

Also, Willian’s agent has insisted that neither the player nor interested clubs feel comfortable discussing a move amid the coronavirus crisis.


Del Piero: Dybala’s journey has just begun and will get even better

Alessandro Del Piero both praised and criticised Juventus star Paulo Dybala. “With his talent and his mentality, he must do even more. Set himself no limits and conquer the future.”

The former and current Juve Number 10 spoke on Instagram with a livestream chat on Saturday.

“The kind of goal that he scored against Inter proves that he is a player of extraordinary quality. What a goal like that must do is give him even more confidence and awareness of his potential,” said Alex.

“In fact, I’ll go one further. Someone with his capabilities, his talent and I’ll add his mentality, must do even more. Paulo must set himself no limits and conquer the future.

“Nobody gives you anything for free, especially not at Juve, and I say that from experience. You have to prove everything to the very last game, let alone before the peak of your career.

“Dybala’s journey has just begun and will get even better – with the Bianconeri jersey on his back, obviously.”


COVID-19: U.S death toll becomes world’s highest.

There are now more than 520,000 cases of Covid-19 across the country

The United States now has now overtaken Italy to have the highest death toll from coronavirus in the world.

The latest data, compiled by Johns Hopkins University, shows more than 20,000 people in the US have now died.

The grim milestone comes shortly after the US became the first nation to record more than 2,000 virus deaths in a single day.

The governor of New York Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday the state’s death toll appeared to be stabilising.

Announcing a 24-hour figure of 783 new deaths, he noted the last several days had seen around the same number.

“That is not an all-time high, and you can see that the number is somewhat stabilising but it is stabilising at a horrific rate,” Mr Cuomo said. “These are just incredible numbers depicting incredible loss and pain.”

New York state has become the epicentre of the outbreak in the US, recording more than 180,000 of the country’s estimated 520,000 cases.

In other developments on Saturday:

A further 917 deaths were recorded in the UK, bringing the national total to 9,875
The Queen released an Easter message in which she says “coronavirus will not overcome us”

The Spanish health ministry reported 510 further deaths – the lowest number recorded there for almost three weeks
Deaths in France and Italy increased but numbers of patients in intensive care dropped again

There are reports that the Indian prime minister has agreed to extend lockdown measures

More than 100,000 have now died with the virus around the world since the pandemic broke out in China in December.

What is the latest across the US?

As of Saturday afternoon Italy had reported 19,468 coronavirus deaths while the US had 20,283, according to the Johns Hopkins tally.

There are now at least 522,286 recorded cases of Covid-19 across the United States.

Dr Anthony Fauci, US infectious diseases chief, has said the country is “starting to see the levelling off and coming down” of cases and deaths but says mitigation efforts such as social distancing should not be pulled back yet.

Federal social distancing recommendations, issued by President Donald Trump, are currently in place until 30 April.

The president is facing twin pressures from the outbreak: with at least 16 million jobs lost in recent weeks as virus restrictions cripple the country’s economy.

He said on Friday that a new council, made up of business and medical figures, would be announced next week to help him with the “biggest decision I’ve ever had to make” on when to relax measures.

It comes as Congress continues to spar over the next stage of Covid-19 financial relief.

Democrats want a new proposed $250bn (£200bn) bill to help small businesses to also allow for additional funding for hospitals and local governments.

But on Saturday the two top Republicans in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, rejected the demand.

In a statement they described the move as a “reckless threat” which blocked “job-saving funding”.


Outrage as people full Italian city to pray with priest amid COVID-19 lockdown.

The mayor of an Italian town famous for its bonfire celebrations on Good Friday was forced to apologise after locals turned up to pray with the priest in defiance of a coronavirus lockdown.

The southeastern town of San Marco in Lamis holds an annual ritual that sees huge trunks of hollowed out trees thrown onto waggons and set alight.

The event was cancelled this year because of the lockdown aimed at stemming an outbreak that has officially claimed the lives of more than 19,000 people in Italy since late February.

The local priest intended to broadcast a video of his silent prayer in front of the town’s main church — similar to the livestream prayers now being recorded by Pope Francis in the Vatican.

But mayor Michele Merla said families with children and the elderly showed up and began to pray alongside the town priest.

“I made a mistake. I know,” the mayor said in a video posted on Facebook.

“When these people arrived and began to pray on their knees before the Virgin Mary, it was difficult for me to interrupt,” he said.

The incident sparked a lively social media debate in a heavily Catholic country that has been under lockdown longer than any other in Europe — and where the patience of some is wearing thin.

The bishop for the town’s Foggia province expressed outrage at the act of civil disobedience by the town’s faithful.

The participants “showed neither common sense nor prudence,” bishop Vincenzo Pelvi fumed.

The bishop also had a few strong words for the parish priest.

At such a difficult time it was important for clergy to act responsibly, local media quoted the bishop as saying.

“Parish priests are still required to adhere categorically to (the lockdown) rule) and to avoid putting citizens and the faithful at risk,” he said

The priest expressed his sincere regret at what had happened.

“The situation got out of hand,” Don Motteo said tearfully in one Italian television interview.

“I am sorry. I apologise.”

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Friday extended Italy’s month-long lockdown for another three weeks.

The decision is unpopular with both businesses hurt by the closures and with Italians eager to finally get a chance to enjoy the spring sunshine.

“We are all, I imagine, impatient to get going again,” Conte conceded while announcing the extension Friday.

Conte is reportedly thinking of allowing Italians to leave their houses without a specific reason for the first time time in nearly two months on May 4.


Donald Trump order U.S to help Italy fight COVID-19.

“(Italy), one of our closest and oldest Allies, is being ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Trump wrote in the memo.

Although the U.S. government’s “first and foremost responsibility is to the American people,” helping Italy will help mitigate the impact of the crisis, and demonstrate U.S. leadership, he wrote.

Trump ordered U.S. military personnel stationed in Italy to be made available to help set up field hospitals and transport supplies, fuel and food.

The order added that Italians who need medical care unrelated to the COVID-19 illness caused by the virus may be treated in U.S. military medical facilities.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was asked to encourage U.S. suppliers to deliver necessary supplies, such as medical equipment, as requested by the Italian authorities.

Italy had the highest death toll from coronavirus in the world as of Friday, with 18,849 fatalities, according to the country’s Civil Protection Agency.

The U.S. followed closely, with 18,769 recorded deaths as of early Saturday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.


Inter owners ‘try to work out’ whether it’s possible to sign Messi or not

Inter’s owners are considering whether it is at all possible to be able to sign Lionel Messi from Barcelona according to information Gathered by NobleSports.

The Nerazzurri have been linked with the multi-time world player of the year a lot in the past few days although he has come out and denied the rumours on social media.

The report goes on to state that with thanks to club sponsors, Inter could perhaps afford the Argentine national team player and give him an annual salary of €30 million.

Sport Mediaset go on to suggest that if there was not even the slightest of chances of a move happening, it is unlikely that former Inter president Massimo Moratti would have suggested signing him was no longer an impossible dream.

This season the 32-year-old superstar has made 31 appearances across all competitions to date in which he has scored 24 goals and provided 16 assists.


Roma to offer Pedro contract worth £2.7m a year plus bonuses

Roma are set to offer Chelsea winger Pedro a contract as they look to convince him to join on a free transfer.

The winger’s current deal with the Blues is set to expire at the end of June and it is expected that he will leave Stamford Bridge.

As gathered by NobleSport, Roma are eager to sign Pedro and are ready to offer him a contract of £2.7million a year plus bonuses.

Pedro has struggled with injuries this season and has been restricted to just nine appearances in the Premier League.

Roma are currently in fifth place in Serie A having won 13 of their 26 league games this season.

At the age of 32, it is perhaps time for Pedro to move to a slower league where he would perhaps be able to have more of an impact.

In total Pedro has scored 43 goals in 201 appearances for Chelsea since he joined the club from Barcelona in 2015.

In addition to Pedro, Willian and Olivier Giroud are also out of contract at Chelsea this summer.


Barca chases swap deal for Juventus’ Cancelo

Manchester City full-back Joao Cancelo is wanted by Barcelona in a deal seeing Nelson Semedo going the other way, with Europe’s top clubs now ready to look at swapping players when the next transfer window eventually opens.

Spending is expected to fall following the loss of revenue from the coronavirus crisis but trading players is being explored by Champions League clubs. Juventus are also understood to have made enquiries about available players for such deals.

Alexis Sanchez’s switch to Manchester United with Henrikh Mkhitaryan going to Arsenal was a rare swap in the Premier League in recent seasons but are appearing increasingly attractive among chief executives once football opens its doors again and the season is completed.

Cancelo, 25, arrived at the Etihad last summer from Juve in a part exchange with Danilo worth £60million. But the Portugal international has started just eight Premier League games and City could use him to freshen up their squad for next season.

Pep Guardiola was asked about Cancelo’s future before sport was halted for Covid-19 spread, with the City manager suggesting he would not stand in the way of a player if he wanted to leave. “This player we bought him for many years, not for six months, but what happens happens,” he said.

Semedo, 26, is Cancelo’s international team-mate and has been at Barca for three years following a deal from Benfica worth £26.5million plus add-ons. He has two full seasons on his deal at the Nou Camp but has not agreed a new contract.

Guardiola also has Kyle Walker competing for a place at right-back but Semedo would add competition in that area.

A swap deal could freshen up both squads without spending cash, while also allowing budgets to be spent elsewhere. Juventus have a recent history of successfully targeting free transfers and swapping players is also seen by the Italians as a good transfer strategy.