Mancini targets Serie A title next season

The club are 23 points adrift of leaders Juventus but the Italian is still confident of bridging that gap over the next 12 months

Roberto Mancini believes it is only a matter of time before Inter are competing for major honours again and said the Serie A title will be his primary focus next season.

The Nerazzurri have suffered an alarming fall from grace after winning the Champions League under Jose Mourinho in 2010, with Andrea Stramaccioni and Walter Mazzarri both failing to halt their slide over the past two years.

Mancini was appointed as Mazzarri’s replacement in November and has already signalled his intent with the January acquisitions of Xherdan Shaqiri and Lukas Podolski and the former Manchester City and Galatasaray coach has publicly declared his wider ambition for Inter, starting with dethroning Juventus in Serie A next term.

“We are working now to guarantee results at the end of this term. Inter must target the Scudetto next season,” said the 50-year-old.

“I think the teams ahead of us feel more certain because they have been working together for longer. This can make the difference, but it’s just a matter of time for us.”

Inter were beaten 1-0 by Fiorentina last Sunday, with the Viola’s in-form loan signing Mohamed Salah scoring the decisive goal, but the winger could well have been wearing black and blue had Mancini had his way in the winter window.

“It’s true, Salah had thought about us and there was a concrete possibility. I spoke to him on the phone. Then things went differently, but he was an option for us, that’s for sure.

“We knew Chelsea wanted Cuadrado, so we couldn’t give them a player in exchange the way Fiorentina did.”

Mancini’s men face a crunch clash with Napoli on Sunday before facing Wolfsburg in the first leg of their last-16 Europa League clash on Thursday.

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