Saturday, December 4, 2021

Inter chief backs Conte to be Spurs hit but rules out San Siro exodus

SoccerNews in Serie A 4 Nov 2021

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Inter have slammed the door shut on the prospect of stars leaving in January to be reunited with former boss Antonio Conte at Tottenham.

Just six months have passed since Inter were celebrating Serie A title success under Conte’s leadership, only for the head coach to leave the club within weeks.

He has this week returned to the Premier League as the new Spurs head coach, in what has the makings of a stellar appointment by the north London club.

A patchy Tottenham squad may need urgent reinforcements, but Inter – who sold Achraf Hakimi and Romelu Lukaku in the last transfer window amid financial difficulties – are adamant none of their players will be available to Conte, or any other boss, in January.

Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio told Sky Italia: “The intention is to move forward with this squad and in January no requests for possible transfers will be taken into consideration.

“We know this it is a team that has quality and that has a new coach who has taken over the group for a few months, so in the next transfer window we will only give continuity to what started in June. Then in the summer we will make other assessments, which will be the time to strengthen Inter, not to weaken.”

Simone Inzaghi was selected as Conte’s successor and Inter have moved on quickly, heading the pack chasing fast-starting Napoli and Milan.

Ausilio backed Conte to do well in England, however, as he embarks on a second Premier League stint after previously coaching Chelsea.

“I can say that I am happy, and I wish him the best for this new adventure,” Ausilio said. “I know how pleased he is to be able to work in the Premier League, how much passion and how many skills he has, and I’m sure he will do well with Spurs.”

Ausilio also confirmed new contracts for midfielders Marcelo Brozovic and Nicolo Barella are in the works.

Indeed, the latter could sign before Sunday’s derby against Milan. “We are talking about more formal aspects than anything else, so I am fully confident that the deal will be closed,” said Ausilio.

The 28-year-old Brozovic scored his first Champions League goal in his 27th appearance in the competition in Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Sheriff.

Ausilio said of the Croatian: “He is certainly an important player who we hope will be part of our project also in the future , but we need to hear what the other side thinks and we will do this in the coming days.”

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