Sunday February 11 2018
Ausilio on Lautaro, Icardi and Spalletti

Inter director Piero Ausilio discussed Lautaro Martinez, Mauro Icardi’s contract and the race for a Champions League spot.

Inter-Bologna kicks off at 14.00 GMT, follow the build-up and action from all six of today’s Serie A games on the Liveblog.

Ausilio did not speak to the media last week, as he was in Argentina negotiating a deal with Racing Club for hitman Martinez.

“We did good work and tried to lay down some important foundations for the future with this lad and his club, so we’ll see what happens,” Ausilio told Mediaset Premium.

During his absence, Coach Luciano Spalletti ran into controversy when some of his off the cuff comments to Roma fans were published in the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

“I am always with my Coach. Always. He clarified the matter and the whole club, the owners and directors are in sync with him. I don’t want to say anything other than that.”

Mauro Icardi is again out today against Bologna due to a muscular problem.

“If it had been the final game of the season, he might’ve played, but we considered it best not to risk a relapse. When the time comes to discuss his contract renewal, we won’t hold back. There is no precise date, we have no need to force the situation over the next few months.”

Antonio Candreva is dropped this afternoon in favour of Yann Karamoh in a 4-3-3 formation.

“The problem is never just one player, so we must work as a team. The fact he spoke to the media before kick-off, despite knowing he wasn’t in the starting XI, shows what a great professional he is. Candreva will be ready when called upon.”

Inter have the opportunity today to leapfrog Lazio into third place.

“If people talk about Milan challenging for a Champions League spot, then they can’t leave out Atalanta and Sampdoria,” noted Ausilio.

“I am not looking over my shoulder. Inter are in the Champions League places and many people pretend not to notice that fact. We aren’t doing that badly. None of us talked about the Scudetto this season, but we asked Spalletti and the team for Champions League qualification.”