Saturday December 15 2018
Marotta: 'Inter forward with optimism'

New Inter director Beppe Marotta discussed Antonio Conte rumours, backing Luciano Spalletti and closing the gap with Juventus.

He left Juve after seven consecutive Serie A titles and was formally appointed this week at their rivals.

“As always when changing club, there is something different to get used to, but there is also great optimism that we can achieve our winning targets,” the new Inter director told Sky Sport Italia.

“We are at a crossroads for the season. There is disappointment over the Champions League elimination, as we wanted to get past the group stage, but we have to look forward with pride and follow the other targets for this campaign.”

Wanda Nara tweeted late last night that she was looking over the paperwork for husband Mauro Icardi’s contract renewal, so is the signature imminent?

“Icardi is our captain, an excellent player and he deserves the utmost respect. I did read Wanda’s tweet, but I just arrived, so we’ll talk about it later on.”

Spalletti said during his Press conference that the public backing of Marotta could even seem like excessive pressure.

“I have been able to discuss regularly with Spalletti and his way of dealing with the media and getting a message across should be read in a positive manner.

“The club has to put Coach and players in the condition to give their best, then it’s up to the Coach to get the best out of his squad. After that, all we’ve got is the verdict on the pitch.”

Marotta arrived at Juventus when they were in seventh place and took them on to seven consecutive Serie A titles, whereas he takes over Inter fresh from fourth position.

“It’s true that Inter are at a more advanced stage than Juve were at the time. The management is well-prepared, the squad is competitive.

“I want to bring my experience and contribution to a club that is already in a strong position. I take a slow approach and certainly don’t just barge in, as I can offer my capabilities, but we are in a different situation compared to when I joined Juve in 2010.

“There is a big gap right now with Juve, as the changes of ownership prompted a loss of that sense of belonging, but now the Zhang family is proving with action as well as words that they can be trusted by the fans.

“It’ll take time, I don’t know if it’s six months, a year or two, but we must look forward with optimism. This is like the first day of school for me. Right now, I am observing.”

Marotta was asked to deny the reports his arrival would mean Conte’s shadow hovering over Spalletti.

“I said Spalletti is a very good Coach, who did well throughout his career, so we’ve got to let him work. I want to underline he too came to Inter last season, climbed into some important positions after a long time out, so must be left to work with calm.

“It is up to the club to make the right moves on the market and work with the Coach and all together to form a winning project.”

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