World Soccer - - SeaSon Preview -

l Run­ners-up last sea­son, Roma have sold im­por­tant play­ers such as Egyp­tian striker Mo­hamed Salah (Liver­pool, € 39m) and Ger­man de­fender An­to­nio Rudi­ger (Chelsea, € 35m). Their most im­pres­sive ar­rival, how­ever, may turn out to be Euse­bio Di Francesco – the coach who has dis­tin­guished him­self by do­ing an ex­cel­lent job for the last five sea­sons at Sas­suolo.

l Hav­ing joined Verona this sum­mer, An­to­nio Cassano an­nounced his re­tire­ment eight days later, only to re­verse his de­ci­sion hours af­ter­wards, and then walk out on the club again. The 35-year-old en­fant ter­ri­ble of Ital­ian foot­ball now says that he will def­i­nitely not play again. Prob­a­bly.

l Napoli have, by and large, kept their pow­der dry in the trans­fer mar­ket. How­ever, get­ting through the al­ways tricky Cham­pi­ons League play-offs in Au­gust could be a stern test for last sea­son’s tried and true.

l Lazio and Fiorentina made the news more for play­ers sold – Lu­cas Biglia to Mi­lan and Fed­erico Bernarde­schi to Ju­ven­tus re­spec­tively – than for those they have bought. How­ever, as the trans­fer mar­ket runs right through to 11.59pm on the night of Au­gust 31 there could still be plenty of sur­prises to come.

re­tir­ing...cassano­cas Biglia

Tricky test...napoli

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