Luciano Spalletti insists he will be Inter Milan coach next season, despite the departure of technical co-ordinator Walter Sabatini. Sabatini left his role with the Nerazzurri and owners Suning Group this week amid reports he had grown frustrated with the financial constraints imposed on the club. His departure has also cast some doubt on the future of Spalletti, whose contract at San Siro expires at the end of next season. However, the 59-year-old is adamant he will be at the club for 2018-19, during which he hopes to be involved in Champions League football.
Spalletti settled in Milan
"The renewal issue doesn't interest me. I know I'll be here next year. I don't see any problem," he told a news conference ahead of Saturday's Serie A clash with Hellas Verona. "I like Milan as a place, I like Inter. I'm happy to keep working here. If we don't reach our objective this season, we'll always carry that with us. I'm very sorry for Sabatini because I know his human and professional qualities, but Inter are still at the forefront of everything and we have to continue working for the future with a common goal."
Signings fail to shine
Sabatini's departure came after a mixed review of his recruitment policy, with shrewd loan deals for Rafinha and João Cancelo undermined by the struggles of big-money signings Geoffrey Kondogbia, João Mario and Gabriel Barbosa. Spalletti, though, says he is monitoring the future of those three players with a view to bringing them back at the end of the season if they impress in their loan spells.
"Judgements are being made in the transfer market," he said. "We have some players in the squad that we don't own and there are others that we do own who aren't here. There's a lot to evaluate. One [we're looking at] is Kondogbia, who is doing very well. If they [Valencia] don't exercise the purchase option... it depends on them. [Yuto] Nagatomo and João Mario have played some very interesting matches. Gabigol has scored, when it was said he couldn't."
Rafinha keen to prolong stay
He added that Rafinha has made it clear he would like to extend his stay in Italy, where he is on loan from Barcelona. "Rafinha wants to stay here," he said. "There are a lot of signs to confirm that. When I've asked him if he likes Inter, and Milan, he's said 'yes'."