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“Lautaro And Barella Will Certainly Renew, There Is Maximum Predisposition To Continue Working Together”

Written By Onyeka Daniel

Still basking in the euphoria of sealing their 20th Serie A title, Inter Milan vice president, Javier Zanetti reflected on the Scudetto winning season, if he forgives Romelu Lukaku and his appreciation of Bologna’s Joshua Zirkzee. The Nerazzurri have been dominant in Serie A this term under Simone Inzaghi.

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They cruised to the league title after shaking off brief title challenges from Milan and Juventus earlier in the season. Their victory earned them the second Scudetto star on their shirts, an important and historic honour. Inter are now gearing up for the 2024-25 season.

They’ll look to defend their title, carry out unfinished business in the Champions League and put together a strong run in the revamped Club World Cup, looking to the transfer market for some key reinforcements. Speaking to Radio Serie A, captain of the team during their treble triumph in 2010 first discussed the qualities of Hakan Calhanoglu.


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“Great, he has personality and is a real driving force. Hakan is one of those who deserved to win the league in this way.” He spoke about Henrikh Mkhitaryan. “A thinking player, he is the brain of the team. You don’t have to explain anything to him, he knows everything.” The Inter vice president had high praise for Alessandro Bastoni.

“Extraordinary season, as a true leader and driving force, defensively and offensively. Always at the service of the team.” Zanetti also commented on the work of Federico Dimarco. “A child’s dream. He grew up with us, he left and now he’s back as a man. You could see his Inter-ism throughout the season.”

He was asked If he’d forgiven Lukaku following the chaos of last summer. “I don’t know if the right word is forgive. We were disappointed above all because of the timing and because he wasn’t clear from the beginning. However, I wish him a great career.”

The Inter vice president spoke about Steven Zhang. “We missed him physically, but only physically. We are always in touch. He was happy, he really wanted to be here.” He then touched on how this cycle at Inter can continue. “We must remain competitive in all events. The objective for next year is already clear, to defend the second star and perhaps go further in the Champions League.

“Then there will also be the Club World Cup, a very important competition. We will need a broad roster to face all these commitments.” He was asked If Zirkzee was a target for the summer. “Zirkzee is a great champion. We are talking about a young, talented, intelligent, physically very strong player.

“Someone like that would be useful to any great team aiming for important goals. If an important opportunity presents itself, maybe we can think about it.” The Inter vice president was asked about the new contracts for Lautaro Martinez and Nicolo Barella.

“Lautaro and Barella will certainly renew. Both on our part and on their part, there is maximum predisposition to continue working together.” Zanetti spoke about the club’s Champions League exit this term. “The Champions League is a very difficult competition, made up of details. We must have great respect for every opponent.

“It should’ve gone differently against Atletico, which is unfortunate because in the two matches we had many opportunities to score the goal that would have seen us through.”

Finally, Zanetti discussed the importance of the Club World Cup. “This competition is prestigious, with many teams. The fact of participating is already something that makes us proud. We want to be protagonists at the Club World Cup too.” He further added.

Meanwhile…

Former Inter midfielder Sabri Lamouchi feels that Beppe Marotta did very well to keep Simone Inzaghi at the Nerazzurri. Lamouchi spoke to SportItalia in a recent interview where he praised the Nerazzurri CEO. Inzaghi has been the man at the heart of Inter’s recent successes.

The 48-year-old has shaped the team in his image over the past three years. This has seen the Nerazzurri win the Supercoppa Italiana three times, the Coppa Italia twice, and this season, Serie A. Moreover, last season, Inter reached the Champions League final. And the Nerazzurri have done all of this playing a very particular brand of football that is a reflection of Inzaghi’s tactical ideas.

Inzaghi arrived at Inter in the summer of 2021. The former Lazio coach came in as a replacement for Antonio Conte following the former Juventus and Chelsea coach’s swift departure after the 2020-21 season. There have been ups and downs for Inzaghi at Inter. Particularly last season, there was a lot of patchy form in the league. However, the 48-year-old has found himself in his strongest position yet at Inter.

This is a reflection of the way that he steadied the ship in the run-in last campaign. And then kept that going throughout the current season. And part of the reason why Inzaghi was able to do that was that he always had the trust and backing of Marotta behind him.

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The CEO has been confident in putting the coach at the centre of the project at Inter. Former Inter midfielder Lamouchi said that “Beppe Marotta and the directors didn’t just do well – they did extremely well to keep [Inzaghi].” The former midfielder continued that “Prior to the Atletico tie, I would have seen Inter as prime candidates in both Italy and Europe.”

“But then things always go down to the details, unfortunately. “But that hardly affects the trust that has to be given to Inzaghi,” Lamouchi continued. “I know the pressure that comes from being at such a big club. Doing what he’s doing isn’t easy.” He further added.

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