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."

Juventus' faltering end to their Serie A campaign saw Inter finish just one point behind the Bianconeri in 2019-20.

Antonio Conte's side had looked like genuine title challengers in the first half of the season, yet a poor run pre-lockdown saw them all but fall out of contention before a late charge – combined with Juve's inconsistencies – made things tight after the title was already wrapped up.

Yet heading into Conte's second season, there should be genuine optimism at San Siro.

Inter may have failed to win the Europa League – going down to serial champions Sevilla in the final – but with Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez, along with some promising new additions, they look all set for a strong title tilt this time around.

Juve, under the tutelage of Andrea Pirlo in the wake of Maurizio Sarri's sacking, still have the Cristiano Ronaldo factor, though there is a feeling the club's dominance of Serie A may finally be waning. 

Using Opta data, we take a look at what Inter need to improve on if they are to seriously challenge in 2020-21.

CONTE'S SECOND-SEASON SYNDROME

Despite Inter's second-placed finish in Serie A, there was some doubt that Conte would in fact remain their head coach heading into this season.

Indeed, in early August – prior to the final stages of the Europa League taking place in Germany – Conte told DAZN: "There's no recognition of the work I've done, and I've found very little protection from the club. None whatsoever. There will be things to discuss with the president, but he's in China right now..."

However, Conte has stayed, and will look to build on a promising first campaign.

Inter's haul of 82 points last season was their best tally in Serie A since 2009-10. It also meant Inter were the eighth side since 1994-95 to not win the Scudetto after managing 82 points or more.

Yet with the last two club teams Conte has coached, there has been a decline in his second campaign.

In Conte's first season at Juve in 2011-12, his side won the Serie A title without losing a game – Ilario Castagner and Fabio Capello were the only coaches to have previously managed this in Italy's top flight.

Juve lost five times in Serie A in 2012-13 but still won the title, and there was a similar story at Chelsea. The Blues won the Premier League with 93 points in 2016-17, losing only five games, but in Conte's second term, Chelsea finished fifth, losing on 10 occasions.

If Inter truly are to go one step further than last season, then Conte will need to avoid any noticeable dip.

THE STAR STRIKERS

Ronaldo's 31 Serie A goals ultimately proved the difference for Juve last season, with the 35-year-old turning in more match-winning moments.

Valuable support also came from Juve's other main forward, Paulo Dybala, who netted 11 goals and provided six assists.

Conte, on the other hand, often complained over a lack of clinical finishing from his side at times last term, though Lukaku and Martinez more than did their fair share.

They scored a combined 37 goals – Lukaku netting 23 and Martinez 14 – providing two and three assists respectively.

It was still five fewer goals than Ronaldo and Dybala accumulated, though, while Juve's strike partners also boasted better link-up statistics.

In total, Dybala found Ronaldo 121 times across the campaign, crafting 31 chances for his team-mate – compare that with Martinez creating just 11 for Lukaku.

Ronaldo did not fully return the favour, with only nine chances created for Dybala by the former Real Madrid star, while Lukaku provided 14 chances for Martinez.

MORE CLEAN SHEETS REQUIRED

Inter ended the 2019-20 season with the best defence in Serie A, conceding only 36 goals, but that does not tell the whole story.

Conte's side managed just 14 clean sheets across the campaign – since 2004-05, only Juve, in 2019-20, have won Serie A with fewer than 15 shut outs.

In Milan Skriniar, Conte has a commanding centre-half who is not yet near his prime, while Diego Godin - if he stays - is a reliable older head and Stefan de Vrij has impressed, but as a unit they were sometimes liable to defensive lapses which, in matches where Inter's strike force failed to make the most of their opportunities, ultimately cost the Nerazzurri.

Under the guidance of Conte from 2011 to 2014, Juve kept 21, 19 and 22 clean sheets respectively in those three seasons.

SAN SIRO TROUBLES?

Inter were outstanding away from home in Serie A last season, collecting more points on the road than any other side (43), winning 13 matches, drawing four times and losing just twice.

They were only the second club with 13 or more away wins in a single campaign to not win the title, after Napoli, who did so in both 2016-17 and 2017-18.

However, it was a different story at home, where the Nerazzurri picked up just 39 points – 11 less than Juve's total of 50.

Inter must improve their efficiency at San Siro if they are to end Juve's dominance of Italian football, as no Scudetto-winning side has ever claimed the title with fewer than 13 wins at home since 20 teams have been in the top flight.

Achraf Hakimi says Antonio Conte’s "extraordinary passion" was one of the motivating factors behind his decision to join Inter. 

The 21-year-old joined the Serie A side in July for a reported €40million from Spanish champions Real Madrid, signing a five-year contract. 

The Spain-born Morocco international spent the past two seasons on loan at Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund, particularly impressing last term when deployed as a right-sided wing-back ahead of a three-man defence.

On top of an impressive haul of five goals, Hakimi also had 10 assists in the Bundesliga last season – the best of any defender.

Conte guided Inter to a second-place finish in his maiden campaign and Hakimi is licking his lips at the prospect at playing under the 51-year-old. 

"I chose Inter because I think the coach's style is particularly suited to my way of playing and I can be of real help to this team," he said in a Q&A hosted on Inter's social media channels. "We'll try to achieve great results and certainly aim to win the Scudetto.

"Conte is a great coach, with a very competitive spirit. He has this extraordinary passion for football and transmits that to his players, fans, and everyone around the club. His motivation allows the side to be fired up for every game.

"I already played 3-5-2 at Borussia Dortmund. When the offer came, I thought this was a great opportunity for me to grow, as the fans here experience football in such a special way. I have joined a great club."

Hakimi had been at Madrid since 2006 and broke into the first-team squad in 2017-18, playing back-up to Dani Carvajal. 

He believes his two-year spell in the Bundesliga improved him as a player and hopes the experience will help him navigate a more "tactical league".

"Playing in Germany allowed me to mature as a player, gain experience and confidence," he added. "It was a wonderful experience; now I will go into a more tactical league like Serie A.

"Our objective is to win the Scudetto, make the fans happy, then go forward in the Champions League and do even better than last season.

"I am here to give my best, so we'll do great things together and try to win some trophies!"

Arturo Vidal said Barcelona have to "change a lot of things" as their DNA is being left behind amid the club's crisis, which could see Lionel Messi sensationally leave.

Messi has handed in a transfer request and the Barca captain is reportedly wanted by Pep Guardiola's Manchester City in the Premier League, while Paris Saint-Germain, Inter and Juventus have also been linked.

It comes after Barca were dethroned by bitter rivals Real Madrid in LaLiga and humiliated 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the 2019-20 Champions League quarter-finals, with Ronald Koeman replacing Quique Setien – who was only appointed head coach in January.

And Barca midfielder Vidal has called on the embattled side to change their mindset as pressure mounts on president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

"Barcelona have done things that don't fit with a team at the top level," Vidal said in an interview with Daniel Habif via Youtube.

"In the end, you realise this when you face an organised team, a team that has a winning mentality, with players that are physically prepared and that has a very strong game plan.

"That takes its toll when you're weak in the head and in energy - that happened to us. Barcelona first have to change the way they think because football has evolved a lot.

"DNA is being left behind and other teams are improving in other aspects. Nowadays, football is more physical, more about strength and speed, and technical ability can sometimes come second. Barcelona have to change lots of things.

"A club, which I think is the best in the world, can't have 13 professional players and the rest youngsters.

"Not because they don't deserve to be there, but they have to be competing with the best and with who has to play.

"Every club has 23 players fighting for a place, improving and getting better every day. But when they don't progress, when you think you can always win with your DNA, that's when you're mistaken."

"There are lots of good players. We have Messi, who is the number one and is an alien, but he needs help," Vidal added. "He needs players that improve the team and that get better results."

Vidal's future at Camp Nou is far from certain amid links to Serie A champions Juve and Antonio Conte's Inter.

Chile international Vidal won four league titles during his time at Juve – three of those under head coach Conte before eventually joining Bayern Munich in 2015.

"Conte is like a machine, he is tactically the best," Vidal said. "As for my future, I'm relaxed, we'll see what happens. I am very fond of Barcelona, but we'll see."

Former Juve team-mate Andrea Pirlo is now coach of the Turin giants after replacing Maurizio Sarri, and Vidal added: "It's spectacular that he has become the coach of Juventus.

"If he was incredible as a player, imagine him as a coach. He has a real vision of the sport that very few have ever had in football, so I think he can do really well.

"Pirlo is also a wonderful person too, so I can only imagine he’ll be a great coach. We spent four years together and won the Scudetto four times, so if he were to call me, I'd be happy."

Antonio Conte will remain as Inter head coach, the Serie A club have confirmed. 

The former Juventus and Italy boss cast doubt on his future in the wake of Friday's Europa League final defeat to Sevilla, saying Inter must plan for life "with or without me".

Conte said that "something happened" and also pointed to family commitments, questioning whether football should be his priority.

Inter finished second in Serie A, reached the Coppa Italia semi-finals and savoured their European run, amounting to their best season in almost a decade.

Conte will now have the chance to build on that success following what the club described as a "constructive meeting" on Tuesday. 

A statement on the club's official website read: "The club and Antonio Conte had a constructive meeting today focused on continuity and strategy, in which the two parties laid the foundations to continue working together on the club's project."

Juventus could end up playing like Antonio Conte's Bianconeri teams next season after new boss Andrea Pirlo outlined his desired tactics.

Pirlo had never previously held a senior coaching position when Juve promoted their under-23 team boss to replace Maurizio Sarri on August 8.

Moreover, Pirlo had only been in charge of Juventus' young second strong for a week, so there has been little indication of how he wants his teams to set up.

However, at his introductory press conference on Tuesday, the 41-year-old spoke glowingly about the Juventus sides he played in under Conte between 2011 and 2014.

The Bianconeri won the title in all three seasons Conte and Pirlo were together, and the new coach wants to bring back some of the characteristics of those teams.

"Maybe we can reach that level of desire and cohesion," Pirlo told reporters.

"But that's what I would like to bring back - those principles, that DNA of work and sacrifice, of sweating for each other and only in this way can you reach goals."

Sarri led Juve to a ninth successive Scudetto but paid the price for another disappointing Champions League campaign, which ended in a last-16 loss to Lyon.

As was the case when he held the reins at Chelsea, Sarri's tactics were also questioned, and Pirlo has already told the squad how he wants to go about things in Turin.

"I want to bring some enthusiasm, what has been missing in the last period," Pirlo added.

"I want to propose a proactive football, and domination of the play, as I told the lads yesterday.

"I told them two things - the first is that you must always have the ball, the second is that it must be recovered quickly.

"These are the first two tactical things I said and believe in. They are the most important mental things for the team to enter."

Juventus have already made their first signing ahead of next season, with Arthur arriving from Barcelona after an underwhelming two-year spell in Catalonia.

With Miralem Pjanic heading in the opposite direction, Arthur will be expected to play a major role in midfield, as Pirlo did during his playing days.

"I have seen and admired him," Pirlo added of Arthur.

"He is a construction midfielder who can fill multiple roles - as a director, a midfielder, a midfielder of two. He has quality and will be useful."

Romelu Lukaku acknowledged his decisive own goal in the Europa League final "p***** me off" but vowed to keep on fighting for Inter as he issued a defiant rallying cry to his team-mates.

Lukaku was a key figure in Friday's Europa League showpiece against Sevilla, opening the scoring early on from the penalty spot after being hauled down by Diego Carlos, who controversially avoided a red card.

Sevilla battled back and a brace from Luuk de Jong put the Spaniards on top before Diego Godin restored parity.

Lukaku might have put Inter back in front in the second half but was denied with only Yassine Bounou to beat.

He then diverted Diego Carlos' overhead-kick into his own net 16 minutes from time as Sevilla went on to lift the trophy for a sixth time in 14 years.

On Sunday, Lukaku posted to his Instagram account for the first time since that loss as he promised the situation would motivate him.

        View this post on Instagram                  

First of all i want to say thank you for all what you guys have done for my family and myself. This year as a team we grown a lot together and it’s an honour to represent a club that i loved since i’ve been a kid. Yes what happened in the final pissed me off but i will fight back. I never had shit the easy way in life as many of you know and this experience will make me stronger. 1 thing is for sure inter is not dead and this experience will make us better as a team! there’s unity and we’re heading the right direction. To the fans i want to say thank you for being so supportive every game home or away i love you guys. I appreciate the messages i’ve got. We will be back sempre forza inter 

A post shared by Romelu Lukaku (@romelulukaku) on Aug 23, 2020 at 9:20am PDT

"First of all, I want to say thank you for all you guys [Inter team-mates] have done for my family and myself," he wrote.

"This year as a team we've grown a lot together and it's an honour to represent a club that I loved since I was a kid.

"Yes, what happened in the final p***** me off but I will fight back. I never had s*** the easy way in life, as many of you know, and this experience will make me stronger.

"One thing is for sure, Inter is not dead and this experience will make us better as a team! There's unity and we're heading in the right direction.

"To the fans, I want to say thank you for being so supportive every game, home or away. I love you guys. I appreciate the messages I've got. We will be back."

Despite Europa League final disappointment, Inter will be in the Champions League next season after they finished second in Serie A.

However, the future of head coach Antonio Conte is in doubt after he hinted at the end of Friday's match that he may not be in charge next season.

Manchester United have made Jadon Sancho their prime target heading into 2020-21.

However, prising Sancho away from Borussia Dortmund is proving difficult.

United, as a result, could be about to walk away.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED SET TO GIVE UP ON SANCHO

Manchester United are ready to abandon their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to the Mirror.

United have been unable to agree a fee with Dortmund for England sensation Sancho, who is valued at €120million (£108m).

Now, United are willing to give up on Sancho until next year, which could see the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool enter the fray.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca claims Barcelona have re-opened talks with Inter regarding star forward Lautaro Martinez. As Barca look to move on veteran Luis Suarez, the embattled LaLiga giants remain keen on Inter's Martinez, despite links to Lyon star Memphis Depay.

Arsenal have joined Premier League rivals Liverpool in the race to sign Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, reports the Daily Mail. Thiago is eyeing a switch to Liverpool, though the English champions are believed to be unwilling to meet Bayern's demands.

- According to the Mirror, Barca have been quoted £143m (€158.6m) to sign Richarlison from Everton.

- Tuttosport claims former Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri is preparing to replace Antonio Conte at Inter. Conte is reportedly set to leave San Siro following one season at the helm.

Arsenal have agreed a deal to sign Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes, says Fabrizio Romano. Also linked to Napoli, Everton and United, Gabriel will fly to London on Monday to sign a contract until June 2025.

- Romano also claims Chelsea will announce the signing of Leicester City full-back Ben Chilwell in the coming days as the Blues also target Paris Saint-Germain veteran Thiago Silva and continue negotiations with Bayer Leverkusen for Kai Havertz.

Leicester are considering Ajax left-back Nicolas Tagliafico as a replacement for Chelsea-bound Chilwell, says the Daily Mail.

- Roma star Edin Dzeko only wants to leave the capital club for Juve, reports Tuttosport. Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly sees Dzeko as the perfect strike partner under Andrea Pirlo.

- As new boss Ronald Koeman oversees a Barca rebuild, Sport reports Ajax would demand €55m for Donny van de Beek. The Netherlands international has also been linked to Madrid and United.

Monaco coach Niko Kovac wants the Ligue 1 side to sign former Dortmund midfielder Mario Gotze, according to Le10 Sport. Gotze is a free agent after leaving Dortmund.

Antonio Conte and Inter look to be heading for a divorce, much to the disappointment of a long-serving former Nerazzurri president.

The 3-2 Europa League defeat to Sevilla on Friday meant head coach Conte finished without a trophy in his first season with Inter.

It appears increasingly likely to be his last campaign at the club, with former Juventus and Italy boss Conte casting doubt on his future after the game by saying Inter must plan for life "with or without me".

Conte said that "something happened" and also pointed to family commitments, questioning whether football should be his priority.

Ernesto Pellegrini, who was president of Inter from 1984 to 1995, indicated he would rather Conte be encouraged to enter a second season than leave now.

Inter finished second in Serie A, reached the Coppa Italia semi-finals and savoured their European run, amounting to their best season in almost a decade.

"I hope that everything can be resolved. If he intends to leave, it will inevitably happen but I hope it does not," said Pellegrini.

"Of course it is a question of taking Conte and asking him what he has in mind, the reason for this outburst that I don't understand.

"We fans are happy with the results. Of course if we had won the cup it would have been a pinnacle, but it wasn't to be and we move on."

Speaking to Radio Sportiva, Pellegrini said: "Everything is in place for a season of excellence next year."

He also spoke of the possibility of Massimiliano Allegri being a potential replacement for Conte.

That has been widely reported in Italy as being a plan Inter have in place, with Conte and current president Steven Zhang said to be poised for a meeting early next week.

"I really like Conte. Don't get me wrong, I also know Allegri very well and have a good relationship with him," Pellegrini said.

"Presidents come and go, coaches come and go, the club remains: the right solution will be found for us fans who have always loved this team."

Inter president Steven Zhang praised Antonio Conte as the Serie A giants plan for the future amid uncertainty over the coach.

After finishing second in Serie A, Inter fell short in the Europa League, suffering a dramatic 3-2 loss to Sevilla in the final on Friday.

Conte said afterwards Inter needed to plan "with or without me" as he cast doubt over his future.

Zhang praised Conte's work at San Siro before saying Inter needed to look ahead.

"We want to keep winning. It hasn't worked now but we'll try again next year," he told Sky Sport.

"The most important thing is to continue to grow because the future is bright. Conte and his technical staff are doing a great job.

"As I said, we'll rest for a few days and plan for the future."

Romelu Lukaku scored an early penalty in the final against Sevilla, but Diego Godin's goal had Inter level after Luuk de Jong's brace.

But Diego Carlos' overhead kick deflected off Lukaku for what proved to be the match-winner with 16 minutes remaining.

Zhang was upbeat about Inter's campaign despite their near misses in Serie A and the Europa League.

"I think our season has been a positive one. Our path led us to this point where we could contest a final," he said.

"The whole club is doing some great work, on and off the pitch. We're working in this direction, win or lose, it's all a part of football, but competing at this level and giving our all is important and makes us optimistic.

"Now we'll rest. The players and staff deserve some rest. The new season starts soon and over the next few days, we'll work on the future but the mentality never changes."

Antonio Conte cast doubt on his future as Inter head coach after his side went down in a dramatic 3-2 Europa League final defeat against Sevilla.

Romelu Lukaku gave the Serie A giants an early lead from the penalty spot and Diego Godin had them level at half-time after Luuk de Jong headed a first-half brace.

But Diego Carlos, who might have been red-carded for his early foul on Lukaku, proved an unlikely match-winner when his 74th-minute overhead kick was deflected home by Inter's unfortunate number nine.

It meant the Nerazzurri were runners-up once more, as they were to Juventus in Serie A – concluding a season with plenty of positives but stinging missed opportunities under Conte.

And the former Juve, Italy and Chelsea boss told a post-match news conference he might not hang around to try and right those wrongs.

"There is no rancour at all from me or the club," Conte said, before ominously adding: "Something happened.

"There's no point beating around the bush. We have to see whether everyone is prepared to not have another year like this, for what happened.

"I'll evaluate with the club the situation. We must plan Inter's future with or without me."

Conte has frequently placed himself at loggerheads with Inter's hierarchy, regularly questioning their ambition in the transfer market despite being backed to bring in the likes of Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, Ashley Young and Christian Eriksen.

Nevertheless, he hinted another reason for his restlessness might be family commitments.

"It's about points of view, some situations that I faced this year and didn't like," he said.

"I have a family and I have to understand if football is the priority or my family.

"Everything has its limits, I have to see where my limits are.

"We'll clarify the situation, without rancour, because I will always be grateful for having the chance to spend a great year at Inter, but on the other it was also very tough."

Following Conte's comments in Germany, Sky Italia reported ex-Juventus and Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri is the frontrunner for the Inter post if he decides to walk away.

Sevilla secured a sixth Europa League triumph this century as Diego Carlos proved an unlikely hero in a thrilling 3-2 win over Inter in Cologne.

Romelu Lukaku gave Inter a fifth-minute lead from the penalty spot – Diego Carlos might have been sent off for bringing him down - but Sevilla's semi-final hero Luuk de Jong overturned the deficit with a pair of fine first-half headers.

Diego Godin's 35th-minute leveller had Inter swiftly back on terms and the Serie A side appeared to be in the ascendency during a more circumspect second half, until a stunning twist in the tale.

Diego Carlos had been tormented by Lukaku for most of the game but his overhead-kick when Ever Banega's 74th-minute free-kick was partially cleared took a decisive touch off Inter's top scorer and flew into the net.

Inter have named the same starting XI that thrashed Shakhtar Donetsk for Friday's Europa League final with Sevilla, who have rewarded Luuk de Jong with a start after his late heroics in the semi-finals.

Antonio Conte's men crushed Shakhtar 5-0 on Monday to secure their passage to the final in emphatic fashion.

Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku – who scored four of the five goals between them last time – lead the line, while Danilo D'Ambrosio lines up on the right having netted the other goal on Monday.

Victory for Inter will see them claim their first title since 2011.

As for Sevilla, hoping to lift this trophy for a sixth time having won it three times in its current guise and twice as the UEFA Cup, Julen Lopetegui makes just one alteration.

De Jong comes in for Youssef En-Nesyri, a just reward for turning in the winner in the 2-1 semi-final victory over Manchester United on Sunday.

Lucas Ocampos keeps his place on the left flank despite suffering a knock of late, while Suso also starts again after scoring against United.

Midfielder Ever Banega will be playing his final match for the club before heading to Saudi Arabia, his European swansong fittingly coming against one of his former clubs.

Antonio Conte batted away the question of whether the Europa League final could be his last match as Inter head coach.

There have been rumours of Conte's position being vulnerable after just one season, with Massimiliano Allegri and Mauricio Pochettino linked with the Nerazzurri.

Former Juventus, Italy and Chelsea boss Conte raised eyebrows at the start of August when he said Inter as a club had provided "little protection" to the players during difficult times.

Inter, who finished runners-up to Juventus in Serie A, could end their nine-year trophy drought in Friday's European showpiece against Sevilla in Cologne.

But amid the excitement about that prospect, there remains some doubt over whether Conte will lead them into the 2020-21 campaign.

Asked the question of whether he had considered the possibility the Sevilla game might be a farewell, Conte did not provide a direct answer, instead offering a reflective view of his coaching career.

"Over the years I've learned to take things one day at a time. I'm trying to savour this opportunity," he said.

"I'm well aware tomorrow has yet to come. Tomorrow I'm going to try to experience and savour the final.

"That's what I've learned to do in my career: to try and take things one day at a time, live in the moment, to think about the here and now, and try to experience it from every angle with no regrets."

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