MOURINHO: "TIME FOR TRANSFERS UNTIL 31 AUGUST"

"President, club and players know I want a midfielder with different characteristics"

APPIANO GENTILE - Part three of José Mourinho's news conference:

Mourinho, what do you think when I say Quaresma and Lampard?
"Lampard is a Chelsea player and Quaresma is a Porto player. I don't have to talk about players of other clubs. It's easy to understand that I worked with Frank for three and a half years. He was a fantastic player with whom I have an extraordinary relationship. In an interview given in Portugal a few weeks ago I said I like Quaresma, but I have to respect the players of other clubs."

What replies did you have from your players, in terms of their expressions, attention and euphoria?
"Today I arrived here before everyone else. I didn't speak much and observed a lot. In all of them I saw a great joy at being back to work. After, we talked for about 25 minutes and I saw great attention and concentration. We talked about tactics in general, about work and about training rules and codes of behaviour. We talked with tranquillity and I have positive vibes."

A month and a half ago you said you wanted 21 outfield players plus three goalkeepers. Have you changed your mind?
"No. This isn't my problem. I will start with 29 players, but with 5 injured players, so I have 24 players to work with - 21 on the pitch plus 3 goalkeepers, so the number is 24 and this is the number I like to work with. When the injured players are back there will be a few youngsters who will return to their teams. I told the team that I'm not a coach who tells the fitness coach to work with a group for half an hour and then makes them play a 14-a-side practice match. I want to work in an organised way with an organised group, with a maximum of 22 players on the pitch."

What is your relationship with Roman Abramovich, who is thinking of keeping Lampard to spite you?
"I need another midfielder. I told the players today because I like to be honest with them. A month ago I told Branca and the president that I would like to have a midfielder who is different from the midfielders we already have. As for Abramovich, I don't know what to say. I'm the coach of Inter and it's Moratti, Branca and Oriali, not me, who take care of transfers and relationships with other clubs. For Lampard I have no idea how it will end up. The transfer market is open until 31 August and I'd really like to have an extra player for the midfield. The club knows this and will see what to do."

There have been rumours of a possible transfer for Stankovic. What do you think of him?
"Stankovic isn't a problem. I like him as a player and what I will say now is what I told him earlier, otherwise I wouldn't allow myself to say it: for me the Stankovic at Inter has never been the Stankovic he was at Lazio. For me working with him is a challenge. If possible I will try to get him back to being like he was in his Lazio years."


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