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Spalletti admits buying Rafinha and Joao Cancelo may not be possible

Boss doesn’t rule it out, but … 

FC Internazionale v Juventus - Serie A
Miralem Pjanic (C) of Juventus FC competes for the ball with Rafinha Alcantara (R) of FC Internazionale Milano during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale and Juventus at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on April 28, 2018 in Milan, Italy.
Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Inter Milan boss Luciano Spalletti said the possibility of buying midfielder Rafinha from Barcelona and defender Joao Cancelo from Valencia may not happen.

During a news conference Thursday, Spalletti said the club has to focus on balancing the books which means coming up with the €65 million for both players may not be in the immediate future.

“Football has changed. Before they gave you a penalty and you couldn’t go back on that decision, just like before you could spend what you wanted,” Spalletti said. “Now we have to keep in line with the settlement agreement signed by the previous owners, having inherited it we must keep to its criteria and requirements. Once that’s done we can reinvest, but it’s difficult to get big names, like last year.

“That isn’t to say they can’t be signed, but everything depends on what we can come up with. Right now Rafinha and Cancelo can’t be signed outright, even if they did very well for Inter. We’ll see later, but right now we can’t.”

Options for both players come due at the end of May and, with Inter attempting to meet Financial Fair Play rules, even collecting on players like Joao Mario, Geoffrey Kondogbia – who was reportedly signed to a permanent deal Thursday -- and Yuto Nagatomo won’t make the necessary funds for the club to both meet the obligations and stay in the black.

He added that the goal of the club is to stay in the Champions League and to do that they must “reduce the gap between ourselves and the sides ahead of us.”

“We’ve already done a lot because you can see that the team has grown by looking at the statistics,” Spalletti said. “The objectives are big at Inter because of the club’s history and the heartbeats of those who follow us. We must live up to these things. The club has already started to make moves and it’s done so well.”

He also said that Andrea Ranocchia – a player who has been at the center of rumors he is leaving – can stay at Inter “for as long as I’m here.”

Kondogbia helped lead Valencia back to the Champions League and the club signed him to a five-year deal with a nearly €80 million buy-out clause.

Other mercato reports suggest Inter is in the midst of meeting with Alessandro Beltrami – the agent for both Nicolo Barella of Cagliari and Radja Nainggolan of Roma. Inter had previously expressed interest in the Roma midfielder as he has history with Spalletti. Reports are that their deal to land Barella could include Inter youth player Xian Emmers.

Oh, and Racing starlet Lautaro Martinez did arrive in Milan Thursday for his medical with the Nerazzurri.

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