F.C. Internazionale Milano president Erick Thohir has made it clear the club do not intend to sell their young stars, including Mauro Icardi and Mateo Kovacic, when the transfer window re-opens next month.
Icardi, who joined the Nerazzurri on a permanent deal from Sampdoria earlier this summer, has been linked with a big-money move abroad amid reported interest from Manchester City and AS Monaco FC.
The 21-year-old striker impressed at the San Siro last term, scoring nine goals in 21 Serie A appearances.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid are keeping tabs on midfielder Mateo Kovacic, who is currently on international duty with Croatia at the World Cup.
Kovacic tallied four assists in 32 league appearances for Inter Milan in 2013/14 but has been linked with an exit amid claims of a ‘rifty’ relationship with manager Walter Mazzarri.
“Frequently in the past Inter allowed their young talents to get away,” Thohir told TV One.
“It is something we must limit.
“We must protect our talent who can potentially become big players.”
In other news, former Inter midfielder Thiago Motta, who is currently plying his trade at Paris Saint-Germain, has talked up a potential return to the San Siro in the future.
“At the moment, they are building a new team with a new president. I am very good at PSG, and I’m not thinking about changing club in the near future,” Motta said.
“Why not? You never know.”
Milan refuse to rule out Balotelli sale
AC Milan vice president Barbara Berlusconi has refused to rule out a summer exit for star striker Mario Balotelli, insisting that no player is ‘irreplaceable’.
The Italy international, 23, has been linked with Arsenal amid reports suggesting he wants to return to the English Premier League.
Balotelli, currently on World Cup duty with the Azzurri, is also wanted by several other clubs, including Italian side S.S.C. Napoli.
“Balotelli is a great player and a real Italian talent, but nobody is irreplaceable. We’ll see what happens,” said Berlusconi.
The 23-year-old ace bagged 14 goals and six assists in 30 league appearances for Milan, who finished in 8th-place in the Serie A table, last term.
When asked about the long-term future of Kaka, Berlusconi added: “Kaka made history with Milan and I know he needs to make this important decision with absolute calm. If he stays then we’ll be happy, but we’ll have to take it into account if he does want to go.”
Kaka has opened contract talks with Major League Soccer side Orlando City and is expected to join the Florida-based club by 2015.