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Ranieri counting on Motta

Inter Milan coach Claudio Ranieri expects midfielder Thiago Motta to play in his side’s Serie A match against Palermo on Wednesday.

That comes despite media reports suggesting Motta will complete a move to Paris Saint-German before the January transfer window closes on Tuesday.

“I didn’t say goodbye to Thiago Motta,” Ranieri said. “I said (to) him ‘hello’ today, as I did with the rest of the team and I put him in the squad for tomorrow’s fixture.”

“I hope he can be at my disposal tomorrow, but you always know more things than me.”

Wesley Sneijder confirmed last week he would stay at Inter despite ongoing speculation linking him with a move to Manchester United, and Ranieri must now decide whether to start the Dutchman ahead of in-form midfielder Ricky Alvarez.

“I haven’t talked to Sneijder yet, I’ll probably talk to him in tonight’s technical meeting,” Ranieri said.

“It’s my duty to field players with more qualities, as Sneijder, but I cannot forget that those with less qualities brought us to seven victories in a row.”

“Obviously we cannot go on like this, we must let our champions play, but we still need to find the right balance, differently from what happened in the first half against Lecce.”

“Sneijder is necessary and very important for us, but it’s equally important that he understands what the manager wants from him, otherwise it will be like speaking two different languages and not understanding each other and that’s not good.”

Inter’s seven-match unbeaten run in Serie A came to an end last weekend with a 1-0 loss at Lecce, the club’s first defeat in the league since December 3, putting added emphasis on the Palermo fixture at San Siro.

“The match against Palermo will be difficult because we’ve just lost two matches in a row, and because Palermo won their last two matches, so we’ll face a team in good shape and determined to come back,” Ranieri said.

“They have good players, and we need to turn over a new leaf straight away and play a great match with great determination.”

Tue 31 January, 2012
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