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Spalletti wants ‘character’ in players for Inter

Boss speaks highly of Valero, wants Champions League return.    

AS Roma v SS Lazio - Serie A Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

In a recent interview with La Gazetta dello Sport, new Inter Milan boss Luciano Spalletti said he is looking for “character” in the players he decides to work with at the San Siro.

"Character is essential in football and we need to immediately show our identity. Inter must have a clear profile."

He was speaking specifically about Fiorentina target Borja Valero, who he seems extremely keen on and may look to as the top transfer target this summer.

Spalletti called the midfielder a “playmaker or a trequartista, he has plenty of character and he does not give the ball away.”

"He can act as a leader to the others and we need men like that. I want a couple of players like him because it is hard to get a result focusing only on players who are just 22 or 23 years old.”

The Nerazzurri have to be selective during this transfer season as the financial fair play settlement is forcing the team to shed €30 million from its books before the end of the month. It is likely the best way to do that is to part ways with Ivan Perisic with Manchester United showing interest — but an interest at the expense of Inter’s financial issues as Jose Mourinho is offering €10 million less than the asking price of around €50 million.

There is a week left for Inter to hit that deadline, after which they should be out from under the scrutiny and can start to make an impact on the transfer market.

In addition to talking about character, Spalletti said the goal for the upcoming campaign was nothing short of a return to the Champions League.

"Our duty is to feel like Champions League qualification is a minimum requirement. However, looking at the final standings for last season, the top three were far off ahead.

"We would need another nine or 10 victories to bridge the gap and they are strengthening their own squads too.

"So before any of that, let me look my players in the eye and see how they react to my suggestions.

"Those who play here must feel they are Inter, not just a player who is at Inter. Otherwise there is no point talking about a sense of belonging.

"I will keep hammering this concept into them. If they don't understand what it means to wear the Inter shirt, then we will get nowhere."

Yeah, I can get behind that.

I don’t think it is about making that big spend in the transfer window, but about Spalletti getting the tools he believes will add to that Champions League recipe. Those Interista thinking the only road back to the Champions League is paved with millions of euro on just a few big names may be in for a let down as that doesn’t appear to be the direction Spalletti and Suning Group are making.