Ausilio: “If we had a team of Mazzarris we

MILAN – Piero Ausilio touched on a range of subjects as he appeared on TeleLombardia’s  “Lunedí di rigore” this evening. The Nerazzurri sporting director spoke about Inter, Serie A, the club’s objectives and the transfer market in a wide-reaching interview.

Ausilio started by talking about the club’s transfer policy in general: “All the business we did was done with the agreement of all components of the club, particularly the technical staff. We put an end to our striking crisis with the arrival of Osvaldo. We kept Guarin, which convinced us that the squad was complete. We also have some interesting youngsters in the Primavera side.”

The sporting director was not finished on the subject of young talent: “Time is always short in football, but allowing these young players to develop is something we simply have to do, considering their ability.

“The team can play with two strikers, or with two strikers and a trequartista. That’s not the issue; the problem is that Palacio came back from the World Cup injured and hasn’t yet hit top form, because his ankle’s not been at 100%. Osvaldo getting injured whilst on international duty made it even more complicated. Palacio will find his scoring boots again, Osvaldo is back in contention for Thursday and Icardi can continue to do well too,” continued Ausilio, addressing Inter’s fitness issues.

The conversation soon turned back to transfer business: “We’re honest enough to say that if we need to have a look at certain things in December, we’ll do so,” said Ausilio of possible activity in January. 

Ausilio also went into greater detail on the Nerazzurri’s transfer dealings last summer: “We had certain economic objectives, one of which pertained to the wage bill, which currently stands at €70 million. However, let’s not forget that four years ago the wage bill was €180 million. We’ve worked hard to adhere to Financial Fair Play guidelines – we couldn’t shy away from that. We needed to be honest with ourselves and make finding a solution to FFP one of our priorities.

“Dodo had done well with Roma. We managed to sign a 22-year-old lad, and he was called up for international duty with a Brazil after a month of being here in Milan. Osvaldo we signed on a free loan with an option to make the deal permanent for €7 million, which is great value. We also bought Gary Medel. We believe that this squad can achieve the objectives we set at the beginning of the season – to improve on last year’s fifth place and fight until the very end to return to the Champions League,” explained Ausilio.

The Nerazzurri sporting director went on to give an insight into Walter Mazzarri’s way of working: “I’m optimistic for one very simple reason: we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I see Mazzarri working every day. I know how much effort, how much professionalism he instils in his squad. Mazzarri is a great coach – a great worker.

“He has the necessary experience and ability to get through this difficult period. He’s achieved his targets at every club he’s been at. Let’s not forget that he arrived at Inter having guided Napoli to second place in Serie A. Many clubs were interested in him – he’s a proven coach who deserves to be here at Inter. I’m convinced that if we had a whole team of Mazzarris, we’d win 3-0 every time. To put it simply, Mazzarri’s job was – and still is – to get the best out of every single player in the squad. Pre-season is always a bit strange after a World Cup, it would have been wrong to think everything would be perfect by September. We simply have to be patient. If we believe in the project, the results will come,” said Ausilio.

There was a word or two on the future of the team: “I know exactly how we’ll triumph – through sound planning and by being a club that follows certain economic and financial parameters. But that doesn’t mean we won’t improve the squad.”

Asked about the Nerazzurri’s injuries, Ausilio replied: “It’s tough to be without Jonathan, D’Ambrosio and Nagatomo at the same time, as it means Dodo is forced to play every game. Wide players have to exert so much energy on the pitch, so it’s very difficult if they can’t be rotated. Having a match every three days means that the players don’t train. Coaches like Mazzarri know how to deal with this during the week, but during the last month we’ve had to play with the same starting line-up every time. In Parma, for example, Dodo and Hernanes only recovered at the last minute but we had no choice but to risk them.”

The interview also touched on Inter’s Serie A rivals Roma, and on the Giallorossi’s new owners: “It’s taken three years for Roma to get to where they are today. Thanks to smart business in the transfer market and good intuition, a new Roma has been born. But it was a long journey – I don’t understand why Thohir is supposed to achieve the same results in a few months.

“The response to Agnelli? Look, I’m quite capable of talking about football but I’d find it hard to respond to president Agnelli. President Thohir did so, highlighting the only certainty there is in the matter: the law. Inter was awarded a Scudetto by the federation – the higher power in all of this,” explained Ausilio.

There was even time to discuss one of the players linked to the Nerazzurri: “Borini is a player who I’ve got no end of time for. I’m not sure that Liverpool would be willing to let him leave on loan or at a price we could afford, however. If there’s a chance in January, we’ll make sure we’re ready. We’ll present some ideas to the president in December, but only as contingency plans. Where applicable, we’ll be sure to have a conversation with the president. If there is a chance to improve the squad, I’m convinced that president Thohir will be eager to take it.”

Lastly, there was a special mention for Nemanja Vidic: “I don’t think anybody can question him. Perhaps some of his performances could have been better, but signing Vidic on a free was a huge opportunity for us – he is a true champion. Like all champions, he’ll show his worth in time.”