Stramaccioni: "Fans, thanks for your support"

APPIANO GENTILE – Tomorrow is Inter’s first game of
the season at the Stadio Meazza and the Nerazzurri fans are getting behind the team
again. A large group of Interisti made the trip to Split last week,
and now pre-match interest ahead of tomorrow’s return leg has led to the second tier being opened. Andrea Stramaccioni was keen to thank the
fans during his press conference today: "It was great to see
all those fans with us last week, on 2 August. That group following us and the numbers expected in San Siro tomorrow show how close the supporters are
to us. It’s easier to fill the stadium when you’re winning league titles and
Champions League trophies, but you don’t necessarily expect it coming
off the back of a season like we had last term. And yet our fans are
showing us how important we are to them and I want to thank them for
that."

The Nerazzurri coach was then quizzed about tomorrow’s line-up
and in particular whether players like Walter Samuel and Matias
Silvestre are likely to feature, considering the three-goal advantage built up in the first leg and the new turf at the Meazza, which the team tested for the
first time yesterday. Stramaccioni replied: "Generally you make decisions on whether to play people based on what is best for the overall squad management, not the first-leg result
or the state of the pitch – which we found to be in excellent
condition anyway. We’ll assess everything properly but our main
concern is not to take any risks."

More from the coach’s press conference to follow on inter.it.

Inter Academy: success at Whidbey Island

MILAN – Another great Inter-Crossfire success for the Nerazzurri Academy. The partnership between Inter and Crossfire of
Seattle has sparked interest along the entire U.S. Pacific coast thanks to the quality of the youth football programme being exported around the world from the Centro Sportivo Giacinto Facchetti in Milan. It is highly valued in particular for the modern
approach adopted to train and educate young players.

After the huge excitement generated by the first week of camp organised on
Whidbey Island – with over 150 kids from Crossfire besides groups from teams across California and Alaska taking part – the
second week saw almost twice as many aspiring young footballers (aged 10 to 18) involved.

The enthusiasm shown and numbers involved further underline the excellent work carried out
by Marco Monti, head coach of the Inter Academy project, assisted in this summer camp by Valerio Candido and Andrea Ratti – two of the most highly-regarded coaches in
Inter’s youth academy.

At the end of this second week of work and before returning to Italy, the Nerazzurri coaches will select a team that will take part in a tournament in Milan from 17 to 21 September. There they will face one of the
Inter’s youth sides and a team made up of players who stood out at the ‘Tata Tea Jaago Re
Soccer Stars’ tournament last June in Calcutta, India.

UEL, Inter v Hajduk Split: you can be there too

MILAN – All tickets for the Primo Anello have been sold as the Nerazzurri fans prepare for Inter’s new season and their Europa League debut at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. 

For the match against
Hajduk Split in the second leg of the Europa League third qualifying round, scheduled for Thursday 8 August, Inter will now begin sales for the Secondo Anello rosso (ticket cost of 5 euros) following the relocation of the Second Anello to the Primo Anello, allowing all of the fans to support their team.

Sao Paulo confirm PSG talks

Manchester United have already bid for the teenager this summer, whilst Inter Milan have also spoken to the 19-year-old.

However, neither United nor Inter have been able to meet Sao Paulo’s demands – which are reportedly around £45million (£35.7million).

Inter chief Massimo Moratti said on Tuesday that PSG had indeed made a bid which matched Sao Paulo’s valuation.

Now speaking to France-based newspaper Le 10 Sport, Sao Paulo vice-president Joao Paulo de Jesus Lopes has confirmed PSG have made contact.

Interest

“We have been probed by PSG about Lucas,” he admitted.

The Brazilian club’s official also confirmed that former Sao Paulo star and current PSG sporting director Leonardo was in regular contact.

“Leonardo has a very good relationship with Sao Paulo. But for now nothing is definite,” he added.

It is believed that PSG’s offer would see Moura remain in Brazil until January, but Lopes says the player will make the final decision on his future.

“The possibility exists but it is down to the player’s interests. The policy of Sao Paulo is to follow the desires of the player. If the player wishes to leave, Sao Paulo will not create any obstacle. But we must receive a proposal that is appropriate,” he said.

“It’s a financial issue. Paris Saint-Germain is a big club in European football and if the player’s interests and also the club’s are met, I do not see why it would not happen.”

Moratti reveals PSG bid for Moura

 

Manchester United had been leading the chase for the Brazilian forward and have been in talks with his club and his representatives.

But the English giants have been unable to agree terms and now big-spending PSG look to have agreed to Sao Paulo’s demands of a fee in excess of €40million – a figure United were unwilling to meet.

Inter were also very much in the bidding for Moura, but they too have baulked at the demands.

Now Moratti has stated that PSG, who have been tracking Moura for a number of months, have stepped up their interest by making a firm bid.

“Faced with such prices, we cannot compete. We have a different logic than that of Paris Saint Germain,” said Moratti.

“In any case, there are no regrets that we didn’t finish off the move, as the cost was already pretty high a few days ago.

“The €45m that PSG offered is completely illogical and for us it would’ve been very out of key with our approach.

“PSG are starting a new era, so they are completely reconstructing the squad. At least I can relish the fact I’m saving money.

“We were close to Lucas, for several days we talked about him, but honestly I never really believed in this deal, because it was too expensive.

“I have no regrets, the only certain thing now is that I saved money. (Bologna’s, Gaston) Ramirez and (Catania’s, Alejandro) Gomez as alternatives? There are many good players, but I don’t choose the players.”

Denial

Reports in Brazil have stated once Moura has finished playing in the Olympic football tournament a deal will be announced.

It is also claimed as part of the agreement with PSG – he would remain in Brazil until January, which also appealed to Sao Paulo.

Sao Paulo football director Adalberto Baptista told UOL: “I won’t talk about this subject anymore because that’s the fifth club the press say have signed Lucas.”

The player’s agent, Wagner Ribeiro, insists talk of a move to PSG is hugely premature, insisting it was paper talk.

“I am in Europe to watch the games,” he told Terra.

“First they said Lucas was at Manchester United, now he belongs to PSG. Everyone is trying to build their story like a jigsaw puzzle.”

However, Thiago Silva, who is currently with Moura in London for the Olympics, hinted he had talked to him about PSG and there was something happening.

“I did suggest him to Leonardo as he asked me,” he told ESPN Brazil.

“I praised Lucas not because he plays with me, not because he is my friend but because he is a player that can contribute a lot to the national team. He is a skilful player that can decide in short space and finish quickly.

“Lucas and I have been talking since last week because I noticed something was reported on the press.

“Then I talked to Lucas to know what was going on. It’s still open, they are still talking but it’s not done.”