Sheffield United: Internazionale are expected to bring a host of star names to Bramall Lane later this month
Luciano Spalletti, manager of three time European champions Internazionale, will have a strong squad at his disposal when the Italian's visit Bramall Lane later this month.
New signing Radja Nainggolan, Antonio Candreva and Stefan de Vrij could all take part in July 24th's friendly against Sheffield United while captain Mauro Icardi is also expected to travel after astonishingly being ommitted from Argentina's World Cup side.The fixture, United's only home match ahead of the new season, comes 11 years after Inter's last appearance at their stadium when Marco Materazzi and Mario Balotelli helped celebrate Sheffield FC's 150th birthday. Balotelli scored the opening goal in the visitors' 5-2 win after being introduced to guest of honour Pele."We are delighted to welcome one of the world's best club teams to the Lane," Chris Wilder, the United manager, said. "Hosting Inter promises to be a fantastic evening and a great test for us in our preparations. That's our schedule ironed out and without doubt this is the highlight of what will be a very beneficial run of friendlies."United begin their warm-up schedule at Stocksbridge Park Steels tonight (kick-off 7.30pm) before travelling to Portugal for warm weather training and Thursday's meeting with Maritimo at the Estádio Municipal da Bela Vista. Although they also face Bradford City, Mansfield Town and Doncaster Rovers, the meeting with Inter is the undoubted highlight of a programme designed to prepare for August 4th's Championship opener against Swansea City.Spalletti's team finished 4th in Serie A last term; eight points ahead of their arch-rivals Milan but 23 behind Juventus, with whom they contest the Derby d'Italia. They secured Champions League qualification in dramatic fashion in the final day of the campaign, beating Lazio 3-2 thanks to Matias Vecino's late header and climbing above the Romans thanks to a superior head to head record. Spalletti, previously of Zenit St Petersburg, Udinese and Roma, has since bolstered his options by recruiting Holland defender de Vrij and Nainggolan; the latter completing a transfer worth Â£33m to the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza after retiring from international football with Belgium. Piero Ausilio, Inter's sporting director, described the 30-year-old's arrival as a "real coup" having previously been linked with Chelsea and Manchester United. Nainggolan helped his former club Roma reach the semi-finals of the Champions League earlier this year.Tickets for United versus Inter, priced at Â£12 adults, Â£7 concessions and Â£5 juniors, are on sale now.