Spalletti: 'Make us an offer for Perisic we can't reject'
Coach Spalletti says club won't sell Croatian winger on the cheap
Luciano Spalletti has dropped a strong hint to suitors of Ivan Perisic, notably Manchester United, on what they need to do to land the Croatian star.
The Inter Milan coach reiterated at a training session at Bishan Stadium yesterday morning that the Serie A side want to keep the "important" 28-year-old, but are willing to listen to "an offer they can't reject".
Perisic has endeared himself to the Inter faithful since he joined in 2015, scoring 18 goals in 70 appearances for the Nerazzurri.
Media reports suggest the Italian giants want £48 million (S$80m) for the winger but have also asked for Anthony Martial in return, a player Man United boss Jose Mourinho is unwilling to sell this summer.
"There are rumours (about Perisic), but the status quo is that we want to keep Perisic," said Spalletti, whose team will take on Bayern Munich in their first match of the International Champions Cup (ICC) at the National Stadium tonight.
"He is a very important player in the team, and we are counting on him to start the new season.
"But, having said so, if somebody comes in with a very difficult offer to reject, then we will consider.
"(Nonetheless), he is a strong player, and we need strong players in the squad."
Whether Perisic will remain at the San Siro next season won't distract Spalletti from the task at hand, which is to bring back the glory days for Inter.
He is a very important player in the team, and we are counting on him to start the new season. Inter Milan coach luciano Spalletti
The Nerazzurri finished a lowly seventh place in Serie A last season, 29 points behind champions Juventus.
Spalletti led Roma to a second-placed finish last term and his new club will be hoping he can work his magic by securing at least Champions League qualification this season.
"The underlying truth is that last season was a difficult season for Inter," said the 58-year-old Spalletti. "We are looking to improve the team and do better than last year.
"Our goal is to get into the first four.
"The first three teams (Juventus, Roma and Napoli) are quite difficult to overtake because last year, we had a 24-point difference from (third-placed Napoli), so that is going to be a big challenge for us.
"We are going to work very hard and we are confident that we can get to the fourth position at least."
Spalletti pleaded for patience from the club's supporters.
He said: "We need to assemble a good team, and it is going to take time. I am new to this... so it will also take me a bit of time to understand how each player can (contribute to the team).
"If you look at the overall performance of the team last year, the team underperformed.
"I feel that each player can perform better this year and it should be the foundation of Inter moving forward.
"We cannot count on new players coming in to create a strong team, we will have to push (the existing team members)."
New signing Milan Skriniar, who joined the club from Sampdoria, is determined to force himself into the team's starting XI.
The Slovakia defender said: "Inter is a great team and every team member has been welcoming to me, so it has been a great experience.
"Our goal is to win every single game, and the bare minimum is to get up to the Champions League qualification ranking.
"We have a new coach, and I am a new player in the team.
"So I will try to settle in as soon as possible."