Piero Ausilio reveals how he brought Roberto Mancini back to Inter, why Ivan Perisic was tough and leaves the door open for Andrea Pirlo.
The director sat down with Gazzetta TV this evening to discuss several issues around the Nerazzurri, who are currently joint top of the Serie A table with Fiorentina.
“I didn’t expect us to be in this position, but I did hope we would be. When a campaign starts you hope to win every game, but we changed almost the entire squad and it’s difficult to be competitive straight away. We’ve gone beyond expectations, but we don’t want to stop now.”
There were many late arrivals in the side, including Felipe Melo, Alex Telles and Perisic.
“Perisic was the toughest deal to clinch. Geoffrey Kondogbia was sorted out in three days, but for the Croatian it was a potentially never-ending marathon, because Wolfsburg were really tough. At the end of the day I realised Perisic was only released when they were sure of getting Julian Draxler.”
The transfer market re-opens in January and there are reports Inter will aim to secure Pirlo on loan from New York City FC.
“He is beyond dispute as a player, but it’s also true we have to be realistic and deal with Inter’s situation. A player like Pirlo is unique and nobody else in Europe has someone of his characteristics, but our midfield is alright as it is.
“(Juventus director Beppe) Marotta said Pirlo’s not coming back to Italy, so he must be right… Mancini noted ‘never say never’ and he’s right. Just look at Felipe Melo: I said for two months that it would be impossible to see him at Inter, because we had to sell first. Then we sold Mateo Kovacic and he arrived.
“I wouldn’t have lost Kovacic and it was disappointing to sell someone like him, but faced with certain offers we could not say no.”
Mancini took over a year ago when Walter Mazzarri was sacked, so how did Ausilio convince the Coach to accept the job mid-season?
“It was a struggle, because we decided that we’d only replace Mazzarri with an international level Coach, so it was Mancini or nothing.
“The day before the first contact we thought there was a minimal possibility. This Mancini is different to the one I worked with before, as experience changes you.
“I already got on well with him in the first experience, when I was working at the youth academy, so today I have more of a daily rapport with him.”