Luciano Spalletti sees no reason to doubt Mauro Icardi after the striker reaffirmed his commitment to Inter.

Amid recent reports in the Italian media that he is angling for a move away from San Siro, Icardi took to social media on Friday to stress he is not interested in a transfer.

"I want to inform our fans that I have repeatedly informed the club of my intention to stay at Inter," he posted on his Instagram account.

"Thus, from now on, no misunderstandings of any kind will be created. I understand the interests of the press to sell fake news but I can't do anything more than to clarify things personally."

The Argentina international has endured a difficult campaign at Inter - his sixth with the club since joining from Sampdoria - having been stripped of the captaincy in February and missed a couple of months with a knee injury.

But Spalletti is confident Icardi, who returned to action in April, is fully committed to the club and will consider selecting the 26-year-old against Napoli on Sunday.

"I always value the things that are said. I think he’s a good person and a great player," he said at Saturday's news conference. "If he expressed himself this way with two matches to go, then it must be considered [as being correct].

"Icardi is training in the right way and is available. Everything is okay."

Third-place Inter require only three more points from their final two matches, away to Napoli and home to Empoli on the final day, to secure a Champions League spot for the second consecutive year.

And Spalletti, who will reportedly be replaced in the San Siro dugout by Antonio Conte at the end of the campaign, insists the future is bright for his side.

"We have grown a lot since last season," he said. "We have worked well, we have seen positive results. We have done well in the present to set up an even better future.

"We must first play and win, then we talk about third place. It is a speech that is made later, it does not move us an inch now, we must remain attentive and focused. We focus on the current objective, which is the match against Napoli.

"We want to bring the maximum points home. We have trained well and what we saw in the last few games, even if we didn't win much, was the right attitude. We will try to repeat that, we want to win.

"We have to get back on the bus that's heading to the Champions League. The millions of Inter fans deserve it - they've shown great attachment to the colours over the past few years."

Jose Mourinho said he cannot talk about former club Manchester United "in the same joy and freedom" as other clubs, while the Portuguese boss hopes to be back in management by July.

Mourinho was sacked by United in December following a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool, which left the Red Devils sixth in the Premier League and 19 points adrift.

The former Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid boss departed Old Trafford amid reports of dressing-room unrest having seen his relationship with star Paul Pogba deteriorate.  

United failed to qualify for the Champions League despite an initial resurgence under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Mourinho had a dig at the struggling club.

"It's difficult for me to talk about Manchester," Mourinho – who won the Europa League and EFL Cup following his arrival in 2016 – told RMC Sport. 

"I can't talk about them in the same joy and freedom as I talk about other clubs."

Since his United exit, Mourinho has been linked with French side Lyon, Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain and former club Inter in Serie A.

Mourinho has also emerged as a possible replacement for Massimiliano Allegri, who will leave Italian champions Juventus at the end of the season.

"I have a lot of qualities and one of them is to respect other clubs and their management," Mourinho added. "I have never spoken like 'this club wanted me, they contacted me'.

"When I left Manchester United in December, I immediately took the decision I want to work from summer. I hope to be back to work in July in a project I really like."

Inter can register a full squad in Europe next season after meeting the long-standing conditions for their release from a Financial Fair Play (FFP) settlement agreement.

The Serie A side "have been considered in compliance" with the demands placed upon them in May 2015, the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) investigatory chamber confirmed on Friday.

The agreement was struck after Inter breached FFP regulations and were punished with heavy fines and limited to a squad of 21 players in the Champions League this term, down from the usual 25.

Luciano Spalletti's side failed to reach the knockout rounds as eventual finalists Tottenham pipped them to second place in Group B.

Besiktas and Kazakhstan Premier League leaders Astana have also achieved the targets imposed in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

"Consequently, they have now all exited the settlement regime," a UEFA statement read.

Trabzonspor, however, have been referred to the CFCB adjudicatory chamber after breaching an agreement signed three years ago.

The Turkish team "failed to comply with the break-even requirement during the monitoring period assessed" this season and now could be at risk of being banned from European competitions.

Werder Bremen have announced captain Max Kruse will leave the club at the end of the season.

The 31-year-old forward returned to the Weserstadion in 2016 for a second spell with the club and was handed the captaincy ahead of the 2018-19 campaign.

Kruse has scored 11 times in the Bundesliga but the Germany international, who has been strongly linked with Tottenham, Bayern Munich and Inter in recent weeks, will be moving on once his contract expires.

"I really enjoyed playing for the club for three years and proudly captained the side too - that will always be a great memory for me," Kruse told the German club's official website.

Bremen coach Florian Kohfeldt added: "Max is an outstanding player who has impressively proved over the last three years how valuable he can be to a team. 

"My relationship with him was built on the greatest trust, something which you perhaps wouldn’t get in a normal player-coach relationship. I wish Max all the very best for the future."

Following weeks of speculation, Massimiliano Allegri confirmed on Friday that he is to leave Juventus at the end of the season after five years at the club.

Allegri will have won the Serie A title in all five of his seasons with Juve - having done likewise in his first campaign with AC Milan in 2010-11 - while also lifting the Coppa Italia on four occasions.

But the 51-year-old's future at the Allianz Stadium had been uncertain ever since Juve crashed out of the Champions League at the hands of Ajax.

Following a meeting with president Andrea Agnelli this week, Allegri has decided to step down and seek a new challenge away from Turin.

Given his success in Italy, a number of teams - including some of those he has faced regularly in Serie A - could be interested. Here, we assess potential landing spots for Allegri.


Bayern Munich (current boss: Niko Kovac)

Bayern could be another side soon to be in the hunt for a new man at the helm as questions continue to be asked of Kovac. Despite being on course for a domestic double, with Bayern two points clear of Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga with a game to go ahead of the DFB-Pokal final, Kovac reportedly does not fit the profile for the type of man the German giants are after - something which would not be a problem if Allegri is appointed.

Chelsea (current boss: Maurizio Sarri)

Sarri appears to be living on borrowed time at Stamford Bridge even if, like Kovac, he can reflect on a debut campaign at a new club with plenty of positives. He guided Chelsea to third in the Premier League, a Wembley appearance in the EFL Cup - they battled with Manchester City for 120 minutes before losing on penalties - and to the final of the Europa League, where domestic rivals Arsenal await on May 29. Should they turn to Allegri, he will become the seventh Italian coach to have managed the club in the past two decades.

Paris Saint-Germain (current boss: Thomas Tuchel)

Tuchel has been unable to shake off rumours that he will be on his way out following a solitary season in charge, not helped by his side's poor run of form towards the end of the campaign. PSG retained their Ligue 1 crown with plenty to spare, but they were unable to do likewise in the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue, while they also exited the Champions League at the last-16 stage. As a two-time finalist in UEFA's showpiece club competition, PSG's ambitious owners may see Allegri as the right fit to at least take them beyond the quarter-finals - something they have failed to achieve under Qatari ownership.

AC Milan (current boss: Gennaro Gattuso)

Milan chief executive Ivan Gazidis is reportedly in the process of meeting candidates to take over from Gattuso, who has had his coaching credentials questioned in a season that has seen the fallen Italian giants struggle for consistency. With surprise package Atalanta three points better off in the race for the final Champions League qualifying spot, Milan face the prospect of another season away from European football's top table. Given his San Siro past, where he won the Serie A title and the Supercoppa Italiana, could Allegri be tempted by a return to Milan to help revive his former side's faltering fortunes?

Inter (current boss: Luciano Spalletti)

Allegri may take the controversial option of managing Milan's bitter rivals should he not fancy a return to the club he left in 2014 when sacked midway through the campaign. Lifting the Serie A title with a third different club may appeal to him, particularly as Inter are rumoured to be ready to spend big in the next transfer window as they aim to challenge for major honours once again. Spalletti is the man in charge at the Nerazzurri, but an underwhelming 2019 has seen his future called into question.

Arsenal (current boss: Unai Emery)

Perhaps the only one of the clubs listed where the top job is not under immediate threat, although Arsenal chiefs may opt to twist should they lose their huge Europa League final showdown with Chelsea. Allegri was tipped to succeed Arsene Wenger at Emirates Stadium last year, only for Emery to get the nod, and the Spaniard worked through a mixed campaign in the Premier League. The big question is, though, would Allegri be happy to join a club in need of improvements but without huge funds available to spend?

Mauro Icardi has reaffirmed his commitment to Inter after "repeatedly" telling the Serie A club of his desire to stay beyond this season. 

The Argentina striker took to social media on Friday to address reports in the Italian media which claimed he is angling for a move to champions Juventus.

Icardi, 26, is coming to the end of a difficult sixth season at San Siro which has seen him lose the captaincy and spend time nearly two months out of the first team amid conflicting views of an apparent knee injury.

He returned to the fold in April and has now moved to dismiss all transfer speculation.

"Since the press has recently reported news that does not reflect my thoughts and my will, I want to inform our fans that I have repeatedly informed the club of my intention to stay at Inter," Icardi said on Instagram.

"Thus, from now on, no misunderstandings of any kind will be created. I understand the interests of the press to sell fake news but I can't do anything more than to clarify things personally.

"I repeat: I have already expressed to Inter my desire to stay, because Inter is my family. Time will tell who told the truth.

"Forza Inter, always."

Icardi has scored 16 times in all competitions for Luciano Spalletti's side this term.

Inter still have two matches to play in Serie A, against Napoli and Empoli, with a victory in either match enough to secure Champions League qualification.

Mauro Icardi has reaffirmed his commitment to Inter after "repeatedly" telling the Serie A club of his desire to stay beyond this season.

Milan Skriniar has signed a contract extension with Inter, ending speculation he could join Real Madrid or Manchester United.

Defender Skriniar has long been linked with United while his agents claimed in March he was a target for Madrid and Barcelona.

The centre-back, though, regularly indicated he would renew his deal with Inter and the club confirmed on Thursday he has signed fresh terms to 2023.

Slovakia international Skriniar has started 33 Serie A games this term after he was ever-present in the league last season, with Inter third in the table.

"He is the defender with the highest average number of successful passes in this Serie A, 65 per match, with a total percentage of 92.3 per cent," read an Inter statement.

"He won 221 duels and is the third top defender for recovered balls in Serie A. With Skriniar on the pitch for the entire match Inter conceded no goals on 15 occasions in the current tournament."

Inter can seal Champions League qualification for next season when they travel to second-placed Napoli on Sunday.

But Luciano Spalletti's future remains in doubt with former Italy and Juventus coach Antonio Conte reportedly approached to take over for 2019-20.

Mauro Icardi and Paul Pogba would make ideal transfer targets for Juventus, according to former midfielder Claudio Marchisio, who has "never understood" why his old team-mate left the club.

Pogba spent four years in Turin after leaving Manchester United, before he returned in a then-world record £89.1million transfer in 2016.

The France star has been tipped to leave Old Trafford after this season, though, with Juve and Real Madrid said to be firm favourites to sign a player who has been criticised for inconsistency during his time in England.

Marchisio, who made nine Russian Premier League appearances for Zenit in 2018-19 in an injury-plagued first season after leaving Juve, wants to see Pogba back in black and white.

"Looking at Juventus' team, I think it lacks a player that can help the team offensively and Pogba would be the ideal player for that," Marchisio told Tuttosport.

"I never understood his decision to return to Manchester; he had already been there.

"If he wanted to improve, it would have made so much sense for him to move to Spain."

Marchisio also called for the Old Lady to swoop for Inter striker Mauro Icardi, claiming an all-Argentine strike force would be "perfect" for Massimiliano Allegri's side.

Icardi's wife and agent Wanda Nara added weight to reports the Nerazzurri star could be on his way to the Allianz Stadium to join compatriot Dybala when she confirmed offers from "the best teams" have come in for him.

Marchisio said he remains in close contact with Dybala and recommended Icardi as a perfect foil for the 25-year-old Juve forward.

"I often talk to Dybala, we are close friends," he said. "He knows that he didn't perform well this season, but that can happen to any great player.

"He is determined to bounce back, and I hope they find a way to play him alongside [Cristiano] Ronaldo, because he is insanely talented."

Marchisio compared 26-year-old Icardi to former Juve striker David Trezeguet, adding: "He needs his team-mates to play his style, but of course he is an amazing player.

"An attacking duo featuring Icardi and Dybala would be perfect, also considering the age of the two."

Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta admitted rumours about Luciano Spalletti's future are not helpful as the Serie A side continue to be linked with Antonio Conte.

Despite third-placed Inter set for their best finish in the league since 2010-11, doubts remain over head coach Spalletti and whether he will continue in Milan next season.

According to reports, former Juventus, Italy and Chelsea boss Conte is set to replace Spalletti – who led Inter back into the Champions League last season.

Marotta, however, leapt to the defence of Spalletti prior to Monday's 2-0 Serie A victory against Chievo.

"The rumours about Spalletti's future aren't helpful," Marotta told Sky Sport Italia.

"I believe it's the new generation of communication that spread these stories so easily, they create a distraction and can be annoying to read sometimes.

"Spalletti has done a good job and that should be recognised. Our goal was to get into the Champions League spots, and we are going about it the right way.

"I don't understand the criticisms of the last few weeks, as we have almost achieved our goal."

Inter are third – a point clear of Atalanta and three ahead of rivals AC Milan – with two matches remaining.

Inter head coach Luciano Spalletti hit out at sections of the Italian press over reports that Antonio Conte is set to replace him at the Serie A club.

Goals from Matteo Politano and Ivan Perisic secured a 2-0 win over Chievo on Monday, moving Inter up into third place with two games to spare.

Champions League qualification for a second successive season now looks likely, though Spalletti's future at San Siro still remains uncertain according to speculation.

Former Juventus, Italy and Chelsea coach Conte has been heavily linked with taking over at Inter, much to Spalletti's chagrin.

"For three months, the same things have been said. La Gazzetta dello Sport has written the same for three months," Spalletti told Sky Sport Italia.

"If someone says it'll rain tomorrow every day, eventually it will probably rain.

"You keep asking me the same things every week and I don't want to be rude by not responding. If La Gazzetta dello Sport have written the same thing for two years, and over the last three months it was every single day, then they must know something.

"They are also pretty insulting, with headlines saying you're spent, you're empty, a flop, that in the end weighs on you.

"It’s not about me, anyway, because this sort of rumour mill has been particularly strong around Inter for seven years.

"It's also nasty and offensive in its language and that is not the same way with other clubs. I don't know if there are some sort of family and friendship issues here, but it is different with Inter.

"It's only right that [chief executive Giuseppe] Marotta goes to seek out the best for Inter, so it's not about that."

Inter's win over Chievo ended a three-match streak without a league victory, and Spalletti was impressed by his side's display, though he acknowledged there is still room for improvement.

"I saw maturity, clear heads, sharpness and the awareness to avoid making silly mistakes," he added.

"We moved the ball side to side because Chievo's attitude was forcing us into that, but it is true our passing didn't have the right quality to break them down. We can do better."

Inter ended a three-match winless run to take a big step towards Champions League qualification with a 2-0 win over Chievo in Serie A.

Already-relegated Chievo had not beaten Inter at San Siro in 15 attempts heading into Monday's encounter, and they never looked likely to end that streak once Matteo Politano scored in the 39th minute.

Politano's effort was just reward for a dominant performance from Luciano Spalletti's side, though their fans were frustrated by wasteful finishing from Ivan Perisic and some fine saves from Adrian Semper.

Chievo's slim hopes of a comeback were ended after Nicola Rigoni saw red late on, though, and Perisic made sure of the victory with four minutes to go as Inter moved back above Atalanta into third place.

Inter had no problem in asserting their authority, with both Perisic and Milan Skriniar passing up presentable chances in the opening stages.

Perisic went close again in the 28th minute – his shot from a tight angle well saved by Semper.

But Inter's siege on Chievo's goal finally paid off six minutes before half-time when Politano sent a precise finish in off the inside of the right-hand post.

Emanuel Vignato almost restored parity after the restart, though Chievo would have been further behind had Semper not pulled off a fine save to deny Politano a second before reacting sharply to keep out Perisic's follow-up try.

Semper was beaten after the hour, but Perisic's low strike clipped off the upright and fell kindly for the keeper.

Rigoni's rash challenge on Roberto Gagliardini saw him receive a second yellow card soon after and Inter made their numerical advantage count when Perisic finally found the net after Cedric Soares had hit the woodwork.

 

What does it mean? Inter closing in on Champions League qualification

Two games remain of the Serie A season and, as it stands, Inter are in pole position to secure a place in Europe's elite club competition.

The Nerazzurri sit third, one point above Atalanta and four better off than their city rivals AC Milan. One more win would be enough to guarantee a top-four finish.

Politano makes up for Perisic's profligacy

It would be harsh to say Perisic had a poor game, given he was involved in most of Inter's play but, until his late finish, the Croatia winger lacked his usual composure in front of goal.

Fortunately, his opposite winger Politano had no such issue, and he had already set Inter well on their way to a win when Perisic finally found his shooting boots.

Icardi a shadow of his former self

Inter striker Mauro Icardi has scored just once in Serie A since returning to the first-team fold, and he was largely anonymous on Monday against a defence that has conceded over 70 goals this season. Icardi then received a mixed reaction from the San Siro faithful when he was taken off in the 79th minute.

Given his form, perhaps Icardi's loss – if indeed he is to leave in the close season – would not be such a blow to Inter after all.

What's next?

Inter face a tough trip to Napoli in their penultimate Serie A outing, while Chievo face Sampdoria. Both of those fixtures take place on Sunday.

Luciano Spalletti insists neither he nor his team will be affected by speculation suggesting Antonio Conte is set for Inter as they chase Champions League qualification.

Talk built this week that former Juventus and Chelsea coach Conte could replace Spalletti at the helm next season, despite the Nerazzurri being on course for a top-four finish.

With Inter slipping to fourth in the Serie A table, a point ahead of fifth-placed AC Milan, ahead of their game in hand at home to Chievo on Monday, Spalletti will not allow rumours to provide a distraction.

He suggested in his pre-match news conference that speculation over his future was standard at this stage of a campaign.

"The newspapers have been writing for months that I won't be Inter coach next season and they must have their reasons for that, because that's how the game works," he said.

"That doesn't change one iota what our goal is this season. I'd happily open the doors to our training sessions to prove just how well the players are training.

"There is only one route forward for us, which is to win matches and to secure Inter's place in the Champions League once again. That is the future. End of story.

"The players aren't thinking about Spalletti or other coaches, there is only Inter on their minds. The same goes for me.

"We want to qualify for the Champions League this season, just as we did last term. That would be a significant objective."

He added: "I'm not bothered and nor are the players with regards to me or my future.

"The players are not worried about what Inter will look like next season, because everyone is focused on how the team is doing at the moment.

"There will be 60,000 in tomorrow [Monday] night, not to keep the seat warm for next season but to drive the team on towards victory. No one is getting ahead of themselves.

"We are focused on today's training session [and] on tomorrow night's match. Monday's game is crucial. That would allow us to experience another season in the Champions League."

Ivan Rakitic has denied speculation that he is in talks over a move from Barcelona to Inter, claiming the rumours have been invented by the media.

Recent reports in Italy have suggested that the 31-year-old's brother and manager - Dejan Rakitic - had confirmed that negotiations were under way over a move to San Siro.

The same rumours also claimed that Inter were close to agreeing a €50million fee, but Croatia international Rakitic took to his official Instagram account to affirm that his immediate future is at Camp Nou.

"If you want to stop inventing things, I would appreciate it," Rakitic wrote across a screenshot of a report claiming a transfer was close to completion.

"I only concentrate on Barcelona and continuing here for many years and to get the double.

"Besides, my manager is called Arturo Canales."

Rakitic moved to Barca from Sevilla in 2014 and has won four LaLiga titles, four Copas del Rey and one Champions League during his time at Camp Nou.

Matteo Politano rates Inter-linked Antonio Conte as a "great coach" but expects Luciano Spalletti to remain in charge beyond this season.

Reports in Italy state Inter are preparing to cut short Spalletti's tenure and install former Chelsea boss Conte as his replacement.

The 49-year-old worked closely with Nerazzurri chief executive Beppe Marotta during a successful stint at Juventus and this week revealed there is "60 per cent probability" of him coaching in Serie A next term.

Returning to champions Juve could also prove option if, as is rumoured, Massimiliano Allegri steps down from his post.

Inter winger Politano admires Conte but, with Champions League qualification appearing likely, believes Inter will avoid making a change.

"I think Spalletti will remain [in charge] next year," the Italy international told Sport Mediaset.

"He has a contract and we are at his and the club's disposal."

Asked about Conte, Politano added: "I've never met him but he is a great coach. His numbers speak for themselves."

Inter are third in Serie A, one point ahead of Atalanta and four clear of fifth-placed AC Milan.

The Nerazzurri will expect to improve on a run of three successive draws when they host bottom club Chievo on Monday.

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