APPIANO GENTILE – Inter technical director Marco Branca gave an interview to Sky Sport 24 today. You can read his statements in full here on inter.it:
The Inter side fielded against Rubin Kazan had an
average age of less than 23, with lots of youngsters who are already a
part of the team and others who are future prospects. What
picture emerges from that trip about Inter's project?
"I think the picture is there for everyone to see and it's received widespread recognition, both nationally and internationally, after what our kids achieved last season. It's also a resource for the transfer market, especially in current times when there's an even greater need to be able to produce excellent players, whether they then remain or are used as part of other deals. We're very proud of the work carried out by Piero Ausilio and Gigi Casiraghi, with the managerial and organisational assistance of Roberto Samaden. There's no doubt they've done an extraordinary job, it's a great help to the club, a great satisfaction for the fans, and it's particularly rewarding for those who work here, for the directors, for the coach, for the president, it's particularly rewarding to see young lads who have come grown up with you playing their first, second, third game in the Europa League."
A week on from the Cagliari match, what is Inter's position now, with a clear head?
"I think our position was made clear right from the beginning because we clearly don't regret anything we have said, but I'm sure, we're all sure, that everything had already been put behind us before our European fixture. We've turned the page, we've accepted the disciplinary decisions. We're sorry for Antonio, but it's something we prefer to move on from, it's water under the bridge, and we're looking ahead to the next game positively and calmly. We're aware that there's a long way to go, especially in the league, and there's no point wasting energy given that we're also a bit short on numbers at the moment. We've had a series of injuries in specific areas of the pitch which make it hard for the coach to play the game as he would like, so we must channel all our resources into the only thing that matters, which is getting results."What will the January transfer window be like for Inter?
"I think it will be different to all the other years. Last January we brought in a couple of players, three players, for needs that arose mainly due to injuries. The year before then we only signed Pandev on a free. This year, since every year is different, and this is something I've said well in advance – even though I realise it's not good for journalism and maybe it doesn't allow people to dream – we have great belief in the strength of the group we have here. As things stand, the current economic situation, both generally speaking and in our specific case, doesn't allow us to budget for any sort of outlay."
So is it correct to say that Paulinho costs too much at the moment?
"I'd remove the name and leave 'costs'. If there's a 'costs' we can't do it at the moment."
Looking forward, if we were to talk about a centre forward, a Milito back-up, who offers substance and goals, and a central midfielder, would we be very far away from what Inter's future might be?
"I have great respect for your work and I'm not contradicting you. I can also say that those are choices for the club to make with the coach. When the time is right, we'll assess what we need. We have clear ideas, we've always had clear ideas: if we can do something we will, if we can't do them or if we do other things then we'll explain why we had to do those other things."
Connected to transfer dealings is Wesley Sneijder's situation. He's better now. What is his situation exactly? It's been said the club have started negotiations to extend his contract and spread his earnings out over a longer period.
"The situation with Wes, who is part of the history of this club and a player we all care about, is that we've been discussing a possible - and for us necessary - adjustment to his contract for a while. We want to give the player and his entourage all the time they need to consider the terms of our proposal carefully, so the coach and the club have decided not to use the player in this period until things are clearer. This also allows our coach to give more playing time to the other players."
So Sneijder won't be included in the squad for a game until he agrees to the club's proposal?
"I said 'used'. It's a situation where serenity and clarity for our project come into play, and at the moment the coach and the club agree that it would be better to wait for that serenity and clarity before talking about the playing side again."
And has this delay, the fact that the player and his entourage are taking their time, disappointed you a bit?
"No. I've been in this world for a long time. We totally respect the work other people do, just as others must respect the work we do, the needs we have, and there's no reason to hide them any more because you mustn't pretend to be something you're not. It's a very serious matter. We're patient precisely because we have a certain sort of relationship with Wes, and I'm sure it's the same for him. We're patient and calm as we wait for the situation to evolve."