Antonio Conte said he has nothing to "reproach" his Inter players for despite needing a 90th-minute equaliser from Romelu Lukaku to salvage a 2-2 Champions League draw against Borussia Monchengladbach.

Inter appeared to be on their way to victory courtesy of Lukaku's first goal shortly after the interval, but a Ramy Bensebaini penalty and a late strike from Jonas Hofmann looked to have sealed all three points for the visiting Bundesliga side on Wednesday.

Lukaku bundled in from close range in the closing stages, though, to snatch a share of the spoils for Inter, who lost Alexis Sanchez to an adductor injury at half-time in the Group B showdown in Milan midweek.

Inter netted a 90th-minute equaliser in their opening group-stage game for the second consecutive Champions League campaign, while the Nerazzurri have only won one of their last six opening Champions League fixtures.

Inter head coach Conte refused to be too hard on his players and said the loss of full-back Achraf Hakimi due to a positive coronavirus test shortly before the game had a significant impact on his side's preparations. 

"We have to concentrate on doing our best on the pitch," Conte told Sky Sport Italia. "That's all we have to do. It wasn't easy today to receive the news at 5pm that Hakimi was positive. 

"Up until this morning, he was training with us. He was meant to start, so we'd prepared all the tactical situations.

"I told the lads to face every situation with heads held high. It wasn't easy on a psychological level, but the lads showed they are good men as well as good players.

"Tonight we did well against a team with a great deal of potential, one that has technical quality as well as physicality.

"I don't remember a Samir Handanovic save, whereas we had the chances to win the game. I have nothing to reproach the lads for.

"Inevitably, we can improve in some situations where there are errors and we have to work on whittling those down."

Lukaku cut a frustrated figure despite his late equaliser and said Inter need to show more resilience after their winless run was extended to three games in all competitions.

The Belgian star has now scored in each of his last nine European fixtures across the Champions League and Europa League (11), extending the longest-ever such run by a player for Inter.

"This is not a good result in my view, because we can do better," he said. "We must keep working and be stronger mentally because it's not an easy moment for us and we have to keep believing in our quality. 

"Now we need to be stronger, above all mentally, and do better in defence, as we conceded two goals due to our errors. We made so many mistakes and wasted chances up front too, so if we don't take those we are made to pay at this level."

Romelu Lukaku scored in the 90th minute as Inter salvaged a 2-2 draw with Borussia Monchengladbach in a dramatic clash in Champions League Group B.

Lukaku opened the scoring four minutes into the second half at San Siro with his 10th goal in his last nine European appearances, but Gladbach had the victory in their grasp after Jonas Hofmann struck late on.

Antonio Conte's side tasted defeat to city rivals Milan in Serie A last time out and looked set to be heading for another loss when Hofmann raced through to slot home following Ramy Bensebaini's equaliser from the spot.

Yet Inter had the final say, with Lukaku on hand to bundle home his second from a corner and snatch a share of the spoils.

Inter are in a stronger position to fulfil their desire to be contenders in the Champions League, according to Antonio Conte.

Conte's side finished behind Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund in last season's group stage but managed to reach the Europa League final, where they were defeated by Sevilla.

The Nerazzurri secured a return to the Champions League by finishing second to Juventus in Serie A last term and begin their new European campaign at home to Borussia Monchengladbach on Wednesday.

Inter have won just two of their past 10 games in Europe's premier club competition, but Conte believes the experience of 2019-20 will hold them in good stead this time around.

"Now we are more experienced for sure, after what we did last term and the Europa League final. This increased the experience level of the whole squad," said Conte.

"Now we can also count on [Arturo] Vidal who has plenty of experience. From this point of view we are a more prepared team.

"We must be the masters of our own destiny. We want to be positive, but at this moment it is difficult to say where we can go.

"Our aim is to be contenders. We aim to play the kind of football that made us runners-up in the league and Europa League finalists last season. Sometimes we do that perfectly, sometimes we have to improve."

Alessandro Bastoni will only be fit enough for the bench against Gladbach after recovering from coronavirus, though Alexis Sanchez is ready to start after coming off the bench in the derby defeat to Milan on Saturday.

Inter have also been drawn against Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk in Group B and Conte could not help but smile when informed of a view from Spain that put his team as favourites ahead of LaLiga's champions.

"I don't know if that's the case. We are talking about the team that won LaLiga last season and that have great champions," he said.

"It makes me smile to hear that they are not the favourites. If we question Real Madrid because they didn't make moves in the transfer market and we don't consider them favourites, it means that football is changing and maybe I have lost sight of reality."

Inter boss Antonio Conte said bad luck was more to blame than his side's defending for their 2-1 derby defeat to Milan on Saturday.

Two goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic secured victory for the Serie A leaders, with Romelu Lukaku's effort proving to be mere consolation.

Inter created plenty of chances throughout, with Lukaku spurning two good openings and seeing VAR intervene with an offside call after he had initially won a penalty.

Achraf Hakimi also turned a header wide with the goal at his mercy as Inter managed just one shot on target in the second half.

"We're sorry to have lost a well-played game on our part. They were good and I think also a little lucky," Conte told Sky Sport Italia.

"We create a lot of chances to score goals in every game. We have to become more cynical to take advantage of them. But at the same time, I have nothing to blame the boys for. They fought to the end to equalise. We weren't very lucky."

Ibrahimovic's first came from a rebound after Samir Handanovic had saved his penalty, the veteran striker having been brought down in the box by Aleksandar Kolarov.

Kolarov, playing on the left of the back three, was nowhere to be seen when Ibrahimovic scored his second three minutes later at the end of a swift counter-attack.

Conte, though, insists such a position is "the best role" for the 34-year-old, saying: "He played it for the national team and for Roma. For his moment in his career, it's the right position."

When asked if Inter were wrong to allow the experienced centre-back Diego Godin to leave after last season, Conte replied: "Every decision was evaluated by the club and it's not up to me.

"What I must do is to try to get the best out of the players I am given, and I think that's something I do very well. If you want to talk about other matters, you can ask other people about them."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice to give Milan a 2-1 win over Inter in a dramatic Derby della Madonnina as he marked his return from having coronavirus in style.

The 39-year-old had missed four games and not played for almost a month after contracting COVID-19, but he put Stefano Pioli's men two goals up inside 16 minutes on Saturday.

Romelu Lukaku got Inter back in it before the break but, despite second-half pressure, Antonio Conte's side could not force an equaliser as their four-match derby winning streak was ended.

Milan stunned Inter with two goals in the space of three minutes, both scored by Ibrahimovic.

After being sent through on goal by Hakan Calhanoglu, the Swede drew a clumsy foul from Aleksandar Kolarov and took the resulting penalty himself.

Samir Handanovic dived to his right to make an impressive save, only for Ibrahimovic to convert a left-footed rebound.

Ibrahimovic then struck again after a superb counter-attack that also involved Calhanoglu resulted in Rafael Leao sending in a superb cross from the left, which he impressively converted with a controlled first-time finish.

Lukaku made no mistake in the 28th minute as he tucked in from close range after Gianluigi Donnarumma inadvertently touched Ivan Perisic's driven cross into his path.

Lautaro Martinez then had a header cleared off the line by Simon Kjaer and an even better chance in the air, this time from Lukaku, was somehow sent wide by the unmarked Belgium striker at the end of a breathless first half.

A third headed chance went begging after the break, Achraf Hakimi off target with a diving effort as Inter upped the pressure, while substitute Rade Krunic fired wide when he should have wrapped up a Milan win at the other end.

There was one more twist when Inter were awarded a penalty when Donnarumma was adjudged to have brought down Lukaku in the closing stages but VAR ruled the striker had strayed offside before the incident as in-form Milan held on to celebrate a famous triumph.

Inter will be hoping to equal records when they meet Milan in the first derby of the 2020-21 season on Saturday.

The Nerazzurri have won the past four Serie A meetings with their city rivals and have only twice managed to win five in succession, in both 1979 and 1983.

They are also unbeaten in nine home league games against the Rossoneri, winning six and drawing three. Stretching that run to 10 would equal another club record.

Meanwhile, Antonio Conte is bidding to become the first Inter coach in history to win his first three derbies in all competitions and, given they won two and drew one of their first three games in 2020-21, it would take a brave soul to bet against them.

A brave soul is just who Milan have leading the line.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, now cleared to play after missing four games in all competitions following a positive coronavirus test, has reasons to feel confident against his old club.

The veteran has been involved in five goals (four scored, one assisted) in four league games for Milan against Inter, even though three of those fixtures ended in defeats.

Among active players, nobody can match his goal tally in this Serie A fixture: four with Milan, and two with Inter. A particularly profitable outing at San Siro would get him closer to the all-time record of 12, held by the esteemed former striker Giuseppe Meazza.

Beyond the goal threat, goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma says Ibrahimovic's mere presence makes the prospect of facing Inter – a team they have not beaten in the league in almost five years – less intimidating.

"We all wanted him to be part of the match and that is the case. With Ibra on the pitch, Inter are less scary," the 21-year-old said.

"He is excited for the derby and will help us. Doing well in the derby would give us a lot of strength in terms of the championship; we are still at the beginning but it can give us strength."

Ibrahimovic certainly has a head for the occasion. Since his return to the club in January, only Edin Dzeko (23) and Andrea Belotti (20) have attempted more headed shots than Ibrahimovic (19), while no player has scored more headed goals (4).

Inter might be favourites, particularly given the form of Romelu Lukaku, who boasts league-leading figures of a goal for every 1.7 shots in Serie A this year among players to have at least 15 attempts on target. But there is no denying that, in 2020, Milan have found their groove.

Only Atalanta (56) have taken more points this year in Serie A and Stefano Pioli's men are on a 23-game scoring streak in the league, their best since 1973. Indeed, since the coronavirus-enforced hiatus, no teams have scored more goals than the giants of Lombardy's capital, who have each hit 42.

Milan are also chasing league win number 1,400, a tally only Inter and Juventus have previously reached. What better occasion to hit that milestone?

Antonio Conte insisted Christian Eriksen would get his chances at Inter this season.

Eriksen, 28, joined the Serie A giants from Tottenham in January, but has struggled for game time since his arrival.

The Denmark international said last week he wanted more opportunities, having made just nine Serie A starts since joining Inter.

While Conte said Eriksen had been given his chances, he expects further opportunities for the former Ajax star.  

"He is playing enough. Of course, my choices are for the benefit of the team, then I could even go wrong," the Inter coach told a news conference on Friday ahead of the derby against Milan.

"However, I am happy about what Eriksen is giving Inter now, how he gelled in this squad and I think he is happy to be with this group and with me and my staff. He will have chances for sure because the season will be long and hard.

"[On Saturday] I will have only four midfielders, three will play and the other will come on later.

"On Wednesday we will play another tough game against Borussia Monchengladbach but, anyway, I think Eriksen has had many chances and has proven his talent to Inter. Just like the other players."

Inter have picked up seven points from their opening three Serie A games to sit fifth in the table.

Alexis Sanchez has not been ruled out of the derby between Inter and Milan despite returning from international duty with a muscle strain.

Sanchez and Chilean compatriot Arturo Vidal were the last of Inter's players to return following their participation in a pair of South American World Cup qualifying games for their country.

Both were on target in a 2-2 draw with Colombia on Tuesday, though Sanchez may be reduced to the role of spectator for the Milan derby.

Speaking at a media conference, Inter coach Antonio Conte said: "He came back with a muscle strain last night [Thursday].

"We will do some evaluations today during training. It is inevitable that we will be very careful because this is the first of a cycle of seven games that will be played every three days.

"We will take the right risk, that's for sure. If Sanchez will be available it is because he will give guarantees and because he himself takes the responsibility of saying that he is fine."

Asked by a member of the Chilean press about reports Sanchez had already been ruled out, Conte replied: "He was visited today by doctors, he is to be evaluated during training by hearing his opinion and feeling with his body, and possibly with fatigue, then we will make decisions. Nothing is ruled out at the moment."

Conte will have to alter his preparations for Saturday's game given the tight turnaround from the international fixtures.

He said: "Surely if I had had the possibility to choose, I would have preferred to have at least one more day to prepare, but we know that there are calendars to be respected, nationally and internationally, and we will adapt.

"We will prepare the game today, we will not have much time between video analysis and the blackboard to shorten the training a little, which should not be too intense and demanding since they played a short time ago."

The derby would normally be contested amid a cacophonous atmosphere at San Siro, with the stakes of this famous fixture only heightened by the two sides' respective strong starts to the new season.

Milan have a 100 per cent record in Serie A with three wins from three, while Inter are also unbeaten but two points behind the Rossoneri.

"Playing without an audience is not nice," said Conte. "We work, we sweat just to satisfy the people who come to the stadium, who often and willingly give up something from their private life to pay for the ticket.

"We are sorry that there is not this possibility, this exchange of emotions, between those who play during the match and the fan in the stands.

"I repeat a concept again: let's try to be as collaborative and proactive as possible to get out of this situation. We help those who have to make decisions.

"To the fans, who were important in the comeback in the last derby, I say that we will always give our best for the colours of our jersey."

Romelu Lukaku believes Inter are firmly on course to end their trophy drought thanks to the team buying into Antonio Conte's work ethic.

Former Manchester United striker Lukaku says working with Conte has transformed his game, declaring he feels like a changed player since moving to San Siro.

A Serie A title challenge fizzled out last season, although Inter finished only one point behind Juventus after the champions lost their final two games.

Inter also reached the Europa League final, where silverware hopes were thwarted as they lost 3-2 to Sevilla, and they have not won a major honour since the 2010-11 Coppa Italia.

Doubts over Conte's future followed the European disappointment, but he has been backed to stay at the helm and Lukaku is delighted the former Juventus, Italy and Chelsea boss remains the Nerazzurri's head coach.

"With Conte I improved my game in every aspect," said Lukaku, who was recently named as the 2019-20 Europa League Player of the Season.

"If you want to play for him you have to know you have to be ready to sacrifice for the team. Your physical and mental level need to be at the top and if you then achieve on the field you can feel at your very best."

Speaking at the Festival dello Sport, Lukaku said it was important to keep working on the team's hunger for success.

He said: "My goal as a footballer is to win trophies and with him I can do that. I give 100 per cent for him in every training session and games, and you can see the results are coming. We have to keep going and training and improve our attitude to win."

The Belgian reflected on how playing behind closed doors during the pandemic has affected footballers and recalled how crowd noise would have spared him embarrassment during a game in the closing weeks of last season.

"It's very ugly, first of all because you can hear everything," Lukaku said.

"I remember against Brescia I was in a good position to strike but they didn't pass me the ball and you could hear me swearing on TV.

"And then I saw all the reactions on Twitter and I started laughing. But anyway, we need our supporters in the stadium and we want them back.

"The energy when we play in San Siro and you score a goal in front of your supporters, it's incredible. I hope we can see fans back in the stadium sooner rather than later."

Inter striker Romelu Lukaku has taken aim at critics who suggested he did not work hard enough in the Manchester United side.

The Belgium international spent two seasons with the Red Devils before leaving for the Nerazzurri last year in a deal worth in the region of €65million.

United's attacking trio of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood flourished in Lukaku's absence, while the former Everton man has thrived in Italy, scoring 34 goals in all competitions last season.

He was also named the Europa League player of the season after firing Inter to the final, where his own goal saw them lose 3-2 to Sevilla.

Lukaku's form has made a mockery of some criticism he received during his time in England, where it was sometimes suggested he was too slow and did not put in enough effort to lead the attacking line.

Speaking to the Times, Lukaku says he has proved those people wrong, although he insists the negativity around his performances was outside United rather than within.

"A year ago, when I was in England, I was 'lazy, I didn't run, I didn't do this and that'. Here, they call me the hardest worker in the room," he said. "If you look at me playing here and there, I mean, there are improvements, yeah, but the [same] Rom is still here.

"Stuff happens in football but it's something you need to explain to the next generation of kids, that you need to have full control over your destiny. Make sure when you go somewhere that every piece of the puzzle has to be right. Know what I mean? At the time, we saw the outcome, we saw how I did. And if you look at me now you see a different outcome, you see the full person, you see the full potential. You see what I could have been doing in England.

"From the first friendly game when I played against LA Galaxy, from that first game it was always 'Yes, but... Everybody in the club was so nice, from Ed Woodward to the owners, to Matthew Judge [transfer negotiator], to Jose Mourinho, to Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] and his staff, to everybody in the canteen. They were so nice. But the stuff around it was just too much of a negative spiral for me.

"They will call me slow and I'm like, 'Slow? Me, slow? I cannot keep up with the fast pace game of Man U?' There were too many little things where I thought, 'This is not right'.

"If you call me slow I would not score a goal like I scored the second against Shakhtar Donetsk in the [Europa League] semi-final. If I was slow I would not have got the penalty like I did against Sevilla in the final. That's two years after. Are you going to say me at 27 is faster than I was at 25? That's what I'm trying to say. It's just little things. I was like, 'You know what? Eff this. I'm out.'"

Lukaku says Inter coach Antonio Conte, who tried to sign the player when he was with Juventus and Chelsea, has taken him to "another level".

He also believes the atmosphere within the Inter squad is strong, saying: "When I was in England, it was English players here, foreign French players there, foreign latino players there.

"It's all really like a mix up of the team, but at Inter, it is everybody together. Everybody speaks Italian first of all, so that's a good thing. There is one language. Everybody speaks Italian and everybody mixes at the table."

Lukaku holds no grudges against United, though, and has cautioned them against the panic-buying of a new attacking player given the development of Martial, Rashford and Greenwood.

He said: "I hear a lot of people saying, 'Let's buy another this, let's buy another striker, let's buy that'. If you buy another striker, what are you going to do with Anthony? Anthony is a good player. He's young. He's now being the number nine at a great club. Last year, he scored 23 goals. Give him a full season to confirm what he did last year instead of bringing in someone big to disrupt the chemistry in the dressing room.

"Then you have Mason's transition that is going to happen any time soon from right wing to number nine, and Mason is a killer. Like, I've seen him first-hand. He's got something.

"I remember Rashy came to my house [shortly before the Inter move]. We had dinner. Me, him and his older brother. I said to him, 'When I'm leaving, you're going to be the guy at United'. I'm so proud of him right now."

Antonio Conte praised the attacking display of his Inter side in their 5-2 win over Benevento but conceded they must find the right balance after conceding two more goals.

Inter followed up their dramatic 4-3 victory over Fiorentina on the opening weekend of the Serie A season with another high-scoring win in Wednesday's clash at Stadio Ciro Vigorito.

Romelu Lukaku got the ball rolling inside 28 seconds and doubled his tally after Roberto Gagliardini had put the visitors 2-0 up.

Achraf Hakimi enjoyed an impressive debut and was also on the scoresheet, as was Barcelona-linked striker Lautaro Martinez, with Gianluca Caprari netting twice for Benevento.

Inter's return of nine goals from their opening two top-flight matches is the most they have managed since 1961-62, but Conte can see room for improvement at the other end.

"The most satisfying thing for a coach is to see that when the players change, the general approach and performance remains the same," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"This is a team that attacks, creates many chances, so inevitably we leave something at the back. 

"We conceded two goals again today, so need to have a look at the balance, but I enjoy myself watching this Inter play. We are building on a whole year of foundations, that is the important thing. 

"We can also change between a playmaker and a trequartista even during a match, which makes us more unpredictable in attack.

"The lads deserve praise - let's not forget Benevento were coming off a victory away to Sampdoria. We had the right approach, but there's work to be done and we'll do it."

Inter have collected maximum points from their first two matches but Conte has repeatedly insisted they are not title favourites.

Asked why he is so prudent when it comes to his side's Scudetto hopes, the former Chelsea boss responded: "I didn't ask anyone for anything.

"Don't put words in my mouth or invent things. We should be enthusiastic that people see us as contenders, because that means they have respect for the club and the players.

"It should be satisfying, because people see potential in us. Don't forget, for many years Inter were considered outsiders. 

"The fact we are seen differently now means Inter regained credibility. That will also make it more difficult, because opponents will raise their game against us, but it's gratifying."

One sour note for Inter was the sight of Arturo Vidal leaving the field early in the second half but Conte is unconcerned about any sort of lay-off for the new signing.

"Arturo got a knock to his thigh, so with the result looking good and he seemed to be struggling with the bruise," he said. 

"I preferred not to risk leaving him out there. I’m not worried, he's a warrior and always ready for battle."

Inter coach Antonio Conte is anxious for the transfer window to close because it can cause worries for players while it is open.

The Nerazzurri began the 2020-21 Serie A season with a 4-3 win over a Franck Ribery-inspired Fiorentina on Saturday, with late goals courtesy of Romelu Lukaku and Danilo D'Ambrosio completing a dramatic turnaround.

While the win highlighted their effectiveness in attack, it did raise some questions regarding the defence – though Conte does not seem to think there is a great need to make changes.

After all, when asked about transfers on Tuesday ahead of the trip to Benevento, Conte was completely dismissive, stating he would rather the transfer window was not even open for the good of the players.

Inter striker Lautaro Martinez had been linked to Barcelona, although that has since gone quiet, while Milan Skriniar could join Tottenham after not proving an ideal fit for Conte's defensive structure.

When asked if he anticipated seeing a "different Inter" after the final week of the transfer window, Conte told reporters: "It would be fairer for the directors to answer that.

"I, like all coaches, can't wait for this transfer period to end. As long as it remains open, it can often create anxieties and worries for the players.

"I hope for that [the window to close]. The rest is for the thoughts of the executives, who are trying to do their job in the best way."

Radja Nainggolan, who returned from a loan spell with Cagliari last season, is among those seemingly most likely to leave Inter, though Conte again showed no interest in the topic.

"I repeat, ask the directors about signings and sales," he said. "It does not seem correct to me to talk about individuals. These are questions to be asked exclusively to those who deal with them."

But Conte was a little more forthcoming regarding his next opponents, who are coached by a man he knows well: fellow "football addict" Filippo Inzaghi.

"I expect a tough game. Last year they won Serie B with many games to spare," he said. "Inzaghi was a team-mate of mine, I know what he can give to the team.

"I'm happy for him and how he started. His guys in Marassi [the 3-2 win at Sampdoria] showed character. Great attention will be needed.

"As I said before, I had the pleasure of playing with [Inzaghi] both in Juventus and in the national team. We have shared many emotions for years.

"He is passionate, a football addict like me. He studies football and I was sure he would do well. I'm happy for him."

Antonio Conte enjoyed seeing his substitutions pay off as Inter claimed a roller coaster 4-3 win over Fiorentina in Serie A, but warned championships are not won with cavalier football.

Inter came from behind with two goals in the final five minutes of a wild game in their season opener against Fiorentina at San Siro on Saturday.

Franck Ribery was outstanding for Fiorentina and teed up two goals in the second half, with substitute Dusan Vlahovic squandering a chance to give the visitors a 4-2 lead after another exceptional piece of play from the veteran Frenchman.

Ribery was hauled off after 83 minutes, with Fiorentina taking the chance to give him a rest, but the Viola were then rocked by late goals from Romelu Lukaku and Danilo D'Ambrosio that earned 2019-20 Europa League runners-up Inter all three points.

Inter head coach Conte sent on Achraf Hakimi and Alexis Sanchez, and it was their crosses that led to the late goals. Like Hakimi, former Barcelona player Arturo Vidal was introduced off the bench for a Nerazzurri debut in the second half.

Conte said via Inter's website: "The changes brought benefits. I am happy and the guys know it. It will be a long and tiring season. There will be room for everyone and everyone will be needed.

"The three points are important, we have had many chances and we found the way to goal four times.

"This is the positive aspect but at the same time we cannot concede three goals like this."

The former Juventus and Italy boss said Inter lacked the right balance between defence and attack.

"In this respect we were not careful and we need to improve," Conte said. "If you want to play high-level championships, balance is the basis of everything."

Conte also saw signs from Christian Eriksen that the former Tottenham midfielder could have a big role to play this season, having struggled to adapt to Serie A last term.

"Compared to when he arrived he has increased the engine revs, he is playing in his ideal position," Conte said.

"I think he had a good game. We are working with him because we know he has important qualities.

"I have faith in him, he is a guy who trains very well and makes himself available to the team. I hope he will soon be able to strike the spark that will take him to the maximum."

Ivan Perisic has returned to Inter with desire and enthusiasm, coach Antonio Conte said amid transfer talk about the attacker.

Perisic is back with the Serie A giants after spending 2019-20 on loan at Bayern Munich, where he won the Champions League, Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal.

The Croatia international, who arrived at Inter from Wolfsburg in 2015, has again been linked with a move amid reported interest from Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain.

But, ahead of Inter's Serie A opener against Fiorentina on Saturday, Conte said Perisic had returned with a renewed determination.

"I am happy for Ivan, because in the end he had an incredible experience with Bayern Munich, a winning one, in which he won three trophies," he told a news conference.

"Now he's back, with great determination to play for Inter and help us out, to put himself at the service of the team, and I am happy that he's got this desire.

"Also, because when you've got this kind of determination, this enthusiasm, this desire, in the end everything gets easier for the coach."

Inter finished second in Serie A last season, but have added the likes of Achraf Hakimi, Arturo Vidal and Aleksandar Kolarov to their squad.

The arrival of Vidal from Barcelona was confirmed this week as the midfielder reunites with Conte after the pair worked together at Juventus.

"Arturo Vidal is in good shape, he arrived in good physical condition," Conte said.

"Tactically, he is a player that has already played with me, but at the same time we're doing new stuff now compared to the past, when he was one of my players.

"Therefore, he is integrating well, he's a smart player, tactically, physically, he's got a great mindset.

"In our midfield, he can do everything. He can be one of the two central midfielders, he can play as an offensive one, he can play together with a low playmaker should we decide to do that. He can play in any role and we are happy to have him with us."

Antonio Conte knows he will not be able spend big in the transfer window but did not rule out a move for N'Golo Kante and appeared to dismiss the prospect of selling Christian Eriksen.

Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta stated during a press conference on Friday that the club will "try to seize opportunities" in the transfer market but will not make large investments.

Achraf Hakimi and Arturo Vidal are among the new signings for the Nerazzurri ahead of their first game of the Serie A season against Fiorentina on Saturday.

Inter have also been linked with Chelsea midfielder Kante along with the likes of Schalke centre-back Ozan Kabak and Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic.

It has been reported that midfield duo Eriksen or Marcelo Brozovic could be allowed to leave, while Tottenham are said to have held talks with Inter over a deal for Milan Skriniar.

Conte gave little away when asked about potential deals after the head coach committed his future to Inter following an outburst at the end of last season that put his future in doubt.

Asked about Inter's strategy in the transfer market and the possibility of signing Kante, he said: "Times have changed compared to [Romelu] Lukaku [who joined Inter in a big-money move from Manchester United last August].

"It was an important operation and we managed to convince the president to take him. Operations like those give us credibility. Marotta has already spoken a lot about the market. We know the strategy, we are united and we have embraced this project.

"When we are clear and always tell the truth, then we find benefits from a similar situation."

He added: "The players who have arrived can bring experience, Hakimi will be important. In total agreement with the club we have evaluated and chosen a strategy taking into account what the owners have just said, that is the situation we are going through like all the other clubs. serenity and harmony.

"We must consolidate the credibility of last year. We are implementing a strategy for the good of Inter."

Marotta made it clear Inter would have to cut their cloth accordingly amid a coronavirus pandemic that has had a significant impact on the finances of clubs all over the world.

He said: "The club's task is to set up the squad in the best possible way while respecting the limitations that exist. We are in a pandemic and all clubs are turning their attention to financial sustainability.

"All clubs have lower revenues, closed stadiums, disputes. it is not it is a coincidence that no team has invested heavily in the market.

"We will do everything possible following the policy we are implementing. We will try to seize opportunities but there will be no large investments and large operations."

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