SPALLETTI, WIN OR LEAVE - Ambitious Steven Zhang demands immediate success
In front of a good glass of wine, everything goes a little smoother. And yes, that is needed at Inter after the defeat in Turin. It is good to clarify ideas and look in each other’s face, after day of voices and rumors, denials and back and forth. Where did it happen? At dinner in Galleria da Cracco. Sporting director Ausilio and CFO Gardini were the first to arrive, then at 8:35 pm local time came Marotta, Antonello and Steven Zhang. Luciano Spalletti arrived just three minutes later, entering the restaurant.
Inter want to understand things, get a clearer picture. Like what to do with Perisic but also how to reverse a very dangerous direction that the club is heading at the start of 2019: the match against Sassuolo and especially the one that happened two days ago which was the most worrisome. “The president was not in Turin and he invited us to talk about the situation,” Marotta said at the restaurant exit at around 11:20 pm.
No China - The presence of Luciano Spalletti at this dinner explains all. With whom, Zhang and the board talked about the transfer market but also the last performances as well as an uneasy dressing room. Since returning to work in the new year, more than a few players have shown signs of impatience because in addition to Perisic, Candreva, Miranda and Gagliardini have also asked to be sold. In the case of the Croatian, the relationship with Icardi has become colder in recent weeks. The nervousness and confusion shown in Turin did not help. This moment is extremely delicate and the fact that Steven Zhang canceled the trip to China for Chinese New Year on February 5th is somewhat indicative. Of course, the Serie A standings do not immediately question Spalletti’s position because third place qualifies for the Champions League, a must-have accomplishment for the club’s constant and continuous growth. And this is why the club has denied strongly recent contacts with Antonio Conte, hypothesis circulated in the last hours.
The more - It is equally evident that results do all talking. And Spalletti is no exception. The scenario is double and in this sense Steven Zhang has fixed reference points for the remainder of the season. Inter president is known to be very ambitious. Let’s go back to his speech at Christmas dinner: “It is time to talk about titles or at least to aspire to very high levels. In the new year, there will be many competitions and lots of games, we must aspire to the maximum, after so much waiting there is now the chance to do it. We can finally get and touch the trophies that have been missing in recent years.” The players know this well, first and foremost Spalletti himself. Inter, this summer, will leave UEFA settlement agreement and management is already laying the groundwork to attack the highest of high. Spalletti has a contract until 2021 which was renewed last summer. But now, getting the minimum objective (4th place) may not be enough for him to stay. Spalletti now needs to get to the end of a cup competition and if he does not win it, he will surely leave.
The less - If the above principle is valid, the game against Lazio this Thursday is very important, and that is an understatement. Series of negative results would put the position of Spalletti in doubt already this season. The name of Conte, denied however, is going to be in the first row for Inter of the future. Of course, there is also Jose Mourinho who has started to sponsor himself at Inter with recent statements. But Conte, who also has a thought of going to Manchester United, has a great odds according to bookmakers to become the new Inter coach.