Friday September 2 2011
Branca: 'Inter not weaker' after Eto'o

Marco Branca insists Inter “are not weaker” without Samuel Eto'o. “There was never a firm offer for Wesley Sneijder.”

The Nerazzurri sold Eto'o to Russian club Anzhi for €27m and saved even more on wages, bringing in Mauro Zarate and Diego Forlan.

“We never would've wanted to sell Eto'o and the player himself preferred to continue in top football, but faced with certain figures, there's little you can do,” explained director of sport Branca of Anzhi's reported €20.5m per season salary.

“Samuel made a lifestyle choice, Inter were able to balance the budget and lower the wage bill. Italian clubs' revenue is around 40 per cent lower than foreign teams, so we have to contain our costs.”

The Nerazzurri have been criticised for this decision, even if Zarate and Forlan have come in to replace Eto'o.

“Every year the newspapers say we are weaker and this time they claim we're an unknown quantity. We'll see. Zarate is an important player and his arrival was a great opportunity. Such talents need to be kept in Serie A.”

Sneijder revealed that had Eto'o not been sold, he would've gone to Manchester United instead.

“Wesley is happy to have stayed with Inter. He is a great player and we are satisfied that we can keep focusing on him,” concluded Branca.

“There was some interest from important clubs this summer, but never a firm offer for Sneijder.”