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Written By Onyeka Daniel

This season can be termed a success for newly crowned Serie A champions, Inter Milan After winning the Scudetto with a few matches left to play, but the club is about to set a higher target for themselves going forward, at least according to their captain.

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Argentine striker, Lautaro Martinez sees winning the Champions League as a major ambition for the coming seasons for the Nerazzurri The 26-year-old spoke to Gazzetta dello Sport in an interview about various topics. This season’s Serie A title means that Martinez has now won it twice.

And while the 2020-21 title was already a big accomplishment in which Martinez more than played his part, this season’s crown is even more special. Martinez lifted the title as Inter’s captain, in his first season wearing the armband. And the Argentine is now undoubtedly the Nerazzurri’s talisman, which was not really the case the first time that he won the title.

Martinez can add this latest trophy to a cabinet that also includes the Coppa Italia, the Copa America, and the World Cup.But there is one trophy that is conspicuously absent for Martinez. Martinez noted that “Inter went through a lot of years without success. And then over the last four, we’ve always won a trophy. “This cycle has to continue,” the Nerazzurri captain continued.


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“Our CEO Marotta is right when he says that we have to raise the bar. I don’t want to choose between different objectives – I want them all.”“But the next step is the Champions League,” Martinez made clear. “In Istanbul it was a dream that we got very close to,” the 26-year-old continued. “And over the last few years, the only match I’d want to play again is against Atletico.”

“But the one in Milan,” Martinez specified. “Not the one in Madrid. “If we’d taken advantage of the chances we had, things would have gone differently. “Of course, we also made mistakes at the Metropolitano as well,” Martinez made clear. “If you take the lead, you have to hold onto it.”Of Simone Inzaghi as coach, Martinez said that, “He allows us to play freely. We train in a happy mood.”

“We enjoy ourselves, and not just because now we’re winning. “Over the last three years he’s also grown along with us,” Martinez said of Inzaghi. “In technique. In tactics. And in the way that he speaks to the team. “We’ve all made the leap together,” Martinez said. He called Inzaghi “a calm person, but when he gets angry he gets really angry.”

Of Antonio Conte, Martinez said that “I also owe him a lot. Because he brought a winning mentality to the team. “The difference [between Inzaghi and Conte] shows that you can hit the same target in different ways.” Regarding the difference between having Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Thuram as a strike partner, Martinez noted that “I did great things with Romelu Lukaku.”

He called the Belgian “A striker who takes up two defenders all on his own. “But with Marcus, there are more possibilities for me. More choices, more space. “And it was decisive for us to get started together, right from the start of preseason.” Martinez said that “For the first time in several years, I had a complete preseason.”

“After I’d overcome the ankle problem that prevented me from having the kind of World Cup I’d have wanted to, once and for all.” As far as whether he’s heard back from Lukaku following the infamous transfer soap opera last summer that caused a rift, Martinez said “No.” “He didn’t respond to my calls in that infamous period that everyone knows about,” the Argentine said.

“And that was the end of it between us. And we’ve all moved on.” Martinez then gave his thoughts on striker Mehdi Taremi. The Iranian international is arriving at Inter on a free transfer this summer. “We came up against him,” the Inter captain said. The Nerazzurri took on Porto in the Champions League last season.

“And I saw a lot of his matches. “He’s a great striker,” Martinez said of Taremi. “Very technical, and he has a different way of playing than any of us. “He’ll give us a big hand,” the Inter captain predicted. “I think he could be a new Arnautovic for us, in terms of his ability to get the team up the pitch.”

This could be a big indication to the future of the former Bologna striker who is said to be on his way out of the club, alongside Alexis Sanchez, Davy Klassen and Stefano Sensi. Lautaro also insisted that he has ‘nothing to envy’ to top strikers like Kylian Mbappé, Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski:

“Yes, I have nothing to envy, the numbers and the trophies say so,” he replied. “There are champions who have won fewer trophies than me. I must continue to work hard with responsibility, as my father taught me, but I can sit at the same table as these great strikers.” He further added.

Meanwhile…

Suning will recover only part of their €800 million investment in Inter Milan following the takeover of the club by Oaktree Capital, according to a report from Repubblica. The report also notes the significant debt bond that the Nerazzurri still have.

Suning have not sold Inter in the last three years. Nor have they found a solution to pay their debt to US-based fund Oaktree Capital. Therefore, Oaktree will soon be able to take over the Nerazzurri from the club’s current owners.Suning have made a sizable investment in Inter.

The Chinese company has put around €800 million into the club, between the initial purchase in 2016 and then subsequent investment.And the Inter owners could well have made that back – and then some, potentially – had they carried out a sale of the club.Reports indicated that Suning were seeking around €1.2 billion to sell Inter.

No offers of that size ever arrived – or if they did, Suning did not accept them. However, even a sale for a smaller amount could well have enabled Suning to at least get back what they put into Inter, even after paying back their debt to Oaktree. But Suning will not get any of the proceeds from a sale of Inter.

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It will instead be Oaktree who make a profit off the club’s sale, if and when the fund decide to carry out a sale of the Nerazzurri.That does not mean that Suning will come away empty-handed. According to the terms of the agreement between Suning and Oaktree, the US fund must compensate the Chinese company for their shares in Inter.

The amount will be equal to a valuation that an independent appraiser determines. Minus, of course, the full debt that Suning owe to Oaktree. That amount will hardly end up being the approximately €800 million that Suning have put into the club.

However, the report also notes that Oaktree will inherit the €415 million bond at Inter. The Nerazzurri issued that bond in February of 2022. This was to refinance the previous €375 million bond from 2017 – which had been for losses during the Moratti and Thohir ownership eras.

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