Beppe Marotta confirms Inter have signed Alexis Sanchez to a three-year contract after he left Manchester United, but refused to answer questions on Antonio Conte’s future.
The one-off Round of 16 kicks off at 20.00 UK time (19.00 GMT).
“A very important chapter ended on Saturday, that of the Serie A season, an anomalous one that made it difficult for everyone. Now a new chapter opens, the Europa League, and we enter it with the same spirit as every other competition, which is to honour the jersey, try to get as far as possible and try to respect the guidelines given by the owners while respecting the prestige of this club.”
Marotta was pressed on the astonishing Conte outburst just minutes after the 2-0 win over Atalanta, protesting the club gave him and the squad “zero protection” during the season.
This prompted reports he was looking for a move back to Juventus and released a statement denying that, insisting he would only focus on the Europa League and not discuss his future.
“We are all very concentrated on this evening, which is an important match. Conte gave a very clear statement yesterday and we refer you to that,” added Marotta.
“Anyone in the football world knows that these dynamics exist and we have to live with this way of doing things. This is an important evening for the future of Inter.
“The owners spoke to Conte yesterday and we all want the same thing, which is to achieve great objectives and make the fans happy.”
What exactly did they discuss behind the scenes, considering the situation?
“As I’ve said, I honestly just want to focus on this evening. In a larger analysis of a growth process and plan for a new era, with Steven Zhang taking over as President only last year too, these dynamics happen. There are also some objective results that show how we’ve developed.
“We are happy, but want to keep going, improving and reaching even higher objectives. I heard when we stepped into the stadium tonight that we are the vice-champions of Italy, and that really did take me by surprise, but that is what we are and we want to do even better next year.”
There are reports Alexis Sanchez has agreed to terminate his contract with Manchester United by mutual consent, which would effectively allow him to sign for Inter as a free agent.
“Unofficially, we’ll make it official tomorrow morning, the player is entirely owned by Inter. We have a contract with him for three seasons. We believe in him, that he can be a strong part of this squad and are happy to have concluded this deal.”
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