President Erick Thohir talked to journalists just outside today’s board meeting that took place at the club’s headquarters in the middle of Milan. Here is what he had to say:
President, tell us about your feelings ahead of this season. What was discussed at the board meeting?
“Today we talked about the club’s budget that will be presented to UEFA, as the new Financial Fair Play rules will take effect this season. As we are playing in Europa League, and maybe in the Champions League in the future, we will have to respect these rules. The important thing is that we have a budget and the major part of this board meeting was spent on setting the new figures for marketing and developing new international sponsorship deals. As I have explained to you before, in order to compete with the best clubs in Europe we need to find new ways to increase our revenue. Because of this, we are constructing a team with this particular objective: to compete with the other big clubs and make sure we keep up with them.”.
Can you tell us about the future of the medical staff and what will happen with Zanetti and Cordoba?
“Zanetti will be the new Vice President, he has signed a contract for two years and the entire management staff agreed that his shirt number should be retired. There will be several changes around the first team, we have talked to Fassone, Ausilio and of course Mazzarri about this. We are thinking af how to improve the team, on and off the pitch. We want to understand if a profile is adapted to Inter or not. We want to make the team more established with these new objectives: last season our goal was to reach Europe, this season it will be to stay in Europe”.
Will Mazzarri have a team strong enough to compete for a Champions League spot?
“To compete for the Champions League takes time, now we need to focus on the Europa League group stage. In the World Cup we have seen that even teams such as Costa Rica can qualify. Maybe it’s enough to say that Costa Rica’s squad is worth a total of 26 million euro while the Italian squad is worth 25o million. It is very important to have good players of high quality. but it’s also important to build a strong team and unite the group”.
Will M’Vila be the only replacement for Cambiasso?
“You know very well that the transfer window hasn’t officially opened yet and, for me, this is the first experience with this club. Time will be needed”.
Have you recieved offers for Icardi and Handanovic from Atletico Madrid?
“After having talked to Ausilio, I have learned about Atletico’s interest, but we have decided to keep both players. They are two important players for Inter next season and I don’t think there will be any doubt regarding the future of Handanovic and Icardi”.
Do you like Alessio Cerci?
“I have said earlier that he could have been a starting player for Italy, but that doesn’t mean that we like him as a player”.
The Italian media talk about a one-year extension of Mazzarri’s contract. Is there any truth in this?
“The club had a discussion with the head coach and we hope to reach an agreement soon. Everything is evaluated based on that there will be a renewal, then we will work together for two years. I think this is the right thing to do. The last season was a transition period and now we want to build a united team around Mazzarri, we need stability. Growing stronger with him is the right way, but at the same time we need to find players who are adapted to our work”.
What is the real target for next season? Juventus seem very far away..
“As I have already said, the objective is Europe, but we can’t say for sure. Just look at what Costa Rica have accomplished and maybe the US can beat Belgium as well (laughs)”.