Ausilio: “A complete and balanced attack”

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MILAN – The transfer market is closed, and now it’s time to take stock of things. The Nerazzurri’s sporting director Piero Ausilio answered questions from Roberto Scarpini: “I believe the guidelines that were given were respected,” he began. “The objective was to stay within the parameters, which we respected completely.  We’ve reduced our wage billl, which is now at around €70 million. The average age of the team is 25.6 – nearly two and a half years younger compared to previous years.”

When asked about specific players, Ausilio stated: “Kovacic and Icardi were not up for sale. We made a move ahead of the transfer window with Vidic. The opportunity came up in January and we made sure we didn’t let it slip away. Dodo, Medel, M’Vila and Osvaldo are important players for the club’s present and future. We gave the coach five important players in 15-20 working days. These aren’t flashy signings, but ones that are practical and logical for our project.”

Then he shed some light on the final hours of the transfer window. “There were two players we had locked in for some time. The moment Guarin was taken off the market we rightly called Atalanta and let them know. We have a new tactical project ready for Guarin, which both the player and coach are happy to take part in, and he’s going to support our attack. With Palacio, Icardi and Osvaldo, as well as Puscas Bonazzoli, the attack is complete and balanced,” he stated. 

Here we present his full comments:

“My conscience is clear and I think the group respected the guidelines they were given. I’m satisfied and feel relaxed about it. Let’s not forget that Inter are under Financial Fair Play’s magnifying glass, and we had to keep that in mind. The wage bill has been reduced, and now we’re at now at approximately €70 million. We had many lads born in the 1990s in the Torino match, and the average age is less than two and a half years younger compared to the past. The team needs time. It’s young and has a lot of talent. We don’t want too much time, but just the right amount to give the coach the chance to build a team that’s hungry and a tough competitor. I believe the guidelines that were set were respected. The objective was to stay within the parameters, which we respected completely.” 

When asked about specific players, Ausilio responded: “When we studied the incoming transfer campaign we decided that Kovacic and Icardi would not be leaving, and the president agreed. We never gave anyone the terms of the negotiations. I read some figures but they were never anything that came from us. Other offers came in but they weren’t satisfactory, as in Guarin’s case. Regarding Vidic, we made a move ahead of the transfer window. The opportunity came up in January and we made sure we didn’t let it slip away. It’s a common opinion he’s a great player, but we made sure not to let anyone else even get a chance to consider a move, and by the beginning of February he was already an Inter player. He’s a quality footballer with personality, and he’s been showing these things since he first arrived in Pinzolo. Then we began by examining contracts and their expiry dates, while respecting economic limits, and we looked on the transfer market for the kinds of players that might possess the characteristics we wanted. In Dodo, Medel, M’Vila and Osvaldo we landed four players that satisfy our needs. They’ll be important for Inter’s present and future. 

“I’m happy because we did what we set out to do. Perhaps we even did too good of a job. I try to keep a low profile but I don’t like hearing this talk that Inter did nothing last week, because the coach now has quality players available to him in 15-20 working days. We weren’t going for a flashy move to make headlines, but rather something practical for our project. Everything was done with the coach while constantly informing the president.

“Inter had prepared everything very well. There were two players we had locked in for some time, which is the right way to organise things. They were only waiting for Inter to call them and make a contract proposal. That’s to their credit, I think. And then it all depended on us. Then there was some interest shown in Guarin that we didn’t take seriously due to our project here, and he felt the same way. The moment he was taken off of the market we contacted the other teams involved, the last of which was Atalanta. Inter were on the verge of signing Bonaventura, then we made our intentions known and the situation changed and became a chance for someone else. It’s possible that until 20:30 that evening AC Milan didn’t even know he was on the market. We’re happy to have held on to Guarin. Everything was agreed upon with the coach. The player knew a new tactical project for him would get underway should he remain.

“Guarin and Mazzarri are very excited about the new ideas for the attack, which already features Icardi, Osvaldo and Palacio. And we can also include Puscas and Bonazzoli. We can’t talk about opportunities if we then don’t give these lads the slightest chance to achieve something. Thohir has always been kept up to date on everything, including the Bonaventura situation. We think the team needed balance. The coach wants a team with motivated players, and one in which everyone feels important. Having the right number means that everyone can feel involved in the project and have the chance to play. The objective was to wrap things up with a 25-man squad, keeping in consideration the possibility to keep Mbaye on the UEFA List B, which is also very useful to us. The balance is in the numbers and the logic. We’re complete in defence and midfield, and in attack as well. You don’t measure the attack’s abilities based on the number of players you have.”

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