RISCONE DI BRUNICO – Walter Sabatini revealed his pride at being a key part of the relationship between Inter and Suning as he spoke to the press in Riscone di Brunico on Friday afternoon.
"Suning is a great power and has decided to invest in sport and football in particular," said Sabatini, who is the Suning Sports technical coordinator. "The objective is for there to be a kind of osmosis between Jiangsu and Inter. We want to share culture and knowledge between two very different places. This process is already underway and I’m really proud to be a part of it.
"I feel a huge responsibility. The network won’t stop here, because Suning will want to broaden its footballing horizons and create a substantial pool of players. Inter will be at the head of that, but all clubs involved will be on an equal footing."
Sabatini also spoke at length about his own role and activities.
"I have a very prestigious role and with that comes great responsibility," he said. "I’m a lucky man and I was really proud to take on the role. We know what we want to do and we will certainly follow through. We’re not here to respond to signings other clubs make. I admire what AC Milan are doing, but I don’t see it as a model for our own transfer window. We have our own ideas and our own strategy, one that is shared by the coach and the owners.
"We know what we have to do to complete the squad and the fans need to remember that last year Inter showed that we could be competitive. Together with the coach, we decided to stick with the same group and make decisions based on the signals the players are giving off right now. We’ll work on the squad in the meantime, but this is a strong group and just needs to be tweaked, not completely rebuilt.
"You can operate silently in the transfer market too. I understand that hopes and dreams can be made at times like these, but there’s a silent side to the market too. Inter has and is going after some very tough targets, and we’ve come up against the will of the clubs involved. We need a bit of time, but I’m not here to reassure anyone because Inter in and of itself is the guarantee. We will do whatever is necessary to ensure that the squad has the impetus it needs to play a key role, as is right for a club like ours.
"I’ve seen the great work done by Giovanni Gardini and Piero Ausilio. I was already aware of it but now I’ve been able to appreciate it up close. They’re very able professionals, very committed to the cause. They are both great officials and that is a big asset for Inter. I provide support to the sporting director, Ausilio, who is a man that understands football. I think it can be a very productive partnership for Inter.
"So far we've bought two players: Skriniar, a strong, sturdy lad who gives us an extra option in defence, and Borja Valero, who is a top-quality player who controls the play, offering great technique and tactical versatility. Both are very important signings for us, even if they don't grab the headlines.
“We're very happy with what we've done so far. We know we need to bring in more players and we will, but as we have refined tastes we're targeting top-quality players who aren't easy to get because often their clubs want to keep them.
“We'll add players who are suitable to Spalletti's playing style and are sure to perform well. Suning are a very ambitious group and they'll do everything that's needed.”
Sabatini also commented on the recently appointed coaches of Jiangsu and Inter.
“Suning opted for Fabio Capello because they needed a strong, charismatic individual who thinks big. Capello surprised me because I thought he'd be more tired but he's really active and totally committed to the cause, both mentally and physically.
“He's brought in a young coaching team who understand what job they have to do in Nanjing. We're pleased with our choice, which was made together with Suning.
“Spalletti was a natural choice. Inter already had him in mind before I joined, then I obviously helped push things along.
"Spalletti is a top, top coach and his qualities shine through in his work. He knows what he wants and how to get it and he deals with problems first hand.
“He has two main attributes: he is very hard-working and very brave. That's enough for him to qualify as a great guy in my book. He'll do what he has to do and do it very well.
“Inter need a coach like Luciano Spalletti, someone who will shape his idea of Inter day after day, and convey that idea to the squad.”