Luciano Spalletti wants Inter to “give everything” against Lazio in the Coppa Italia quarter-final, but insists Ivan Perisic’s Arsenal “temptation” is normal – and will pass.
The quarter-final kicks off at San Siro on Thursday at 20.00 GMT, with the winners going on to face Milan.
“It’s a one-off knockout match, but we shouldn’t think about it any differently to a Serie A tie, because Inter must go out there and give everything in every situation,” said the Coach in his Press conference just days after a defeat to Torino.
“This is an important and difficult game, a competition with passage directly into the semi-final. We are aware of what is at stake, but also realise we are Inter. If we play like Inter, we’ll have a good chance of going through.”
Cedric Soares is already in the squad after his arrival on loan with option to buy from Southampton, replacing injured Sime Vrsaljko.
“It’s unlikely he’ll start tomorrow, because he has only just met his new teammates, but he has already shown he can play in a four-man defence or three-and-a-half defenders. He has the kind of pace that makes it difficult to take him on and very good feet when crossing.”
The speculation over transfers, with Perisic requesting a move to Arsenal and Matias Vecino also reportedly pushing for the exit, dominated the last week for Inter.
“I am in contact with the players every day, so I know more than anyone how they are feeling,” noted Spalletti.
“The situation with some players was blown out of proportion. There is no truth in the idea Vecino wants to leave and he never told me that he did.
“As for Perisic, he had the honesty and strength to say something that to him seemed right at that moment. He was probably drawn into temptation by a big offer and that made him think carefully, but that can happen.
“Having said that, today his mood was already very different to yesterday.”
Director Piero Ausilio said Inter would welcome Perisic back into the fold and ‘recover’ the player, so the Croatia international is named in the squad taking on Lazio.
“He is in the squad. Whether or not he starts, you’ll see when we release the line-ups. Everyone trained well today, so there are many difficult decisions for me.
“Joao Miranda had offers from other clubs, but he never asked me to leave. Antonio Candreva never said anything to me about wanting to leave, so that’s a bolt from the blue.
“Clearly there are some players who were important last season and haven’t played as much this term, so they might not be very happy, but they are still always prepared to give their contribution.
“The only one who asked to go was Perisic and at his age, with what was proposed to him, it can happen to be tempted. We’ll let him get over it for the next two nights and then he’ll be back to normal.”