Exclusive – Inter Milan Legend Gianluca Pagliuca: “I’d Only Sell André Onana For €100M”
Interview by: Simone Togna
Edited by: Nima Tavallaey Roodsari
Legendary former Inter Milan goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca believes the Nerazzurri should not sell goalkeeper André Onana unless a huge €100 million cash offer were to arrive.
On Sunday we published the first part of SempreInter.com’s exclusive interview with Nerazzurri legend Gianluca Pagliuca focusing mainly on the Juventus clash at the San Siro.
Today, we publish the second part, an in-depth conversation touching on the hottest topics concerning Inter Milan, with a legendary goalkeeper who wrote history in the Serie A. Check out Pagliuca’s new autobiography Volare Libero.
The former Nerazzurri stopper also believes Onana was the Man Of The Match in the goalless away clash against Porto in the Champions League which saw Inter go through to the quarterfinals for the first time in 12 years.
“Against Porto, in my opinion, he was the best player on the pitch. I really liked his performance a lot.
“The sense of security he spreads, his ball distribution, rushing out, the decisive saves, especially the ones that look easy but in reality are very difficult, when the ball bounced around in front of you.
“He really did well, he gave me a sense of security. He had a fantastic game.”
If a big money offer were to arrive for Onana, would you sell him? And who would you sign someone like Empoli’s Guglielmo Vicario in his place?
“Vicario is a very good goalkeeper, he will be the most sought after goalkeeper of the transfer window. Having said this, if a foreign club were to arrive and offer €100 million, Inter would do well to sell him.
“Otherwise, unless a huge big money offer were to arrive, I think Inter will keep him.”
Inter coach Simone Inzaghi has been very criticized for rotating goalkeepers, with club captain Samir Handanovic at times replacing André Onana.
Pagliuca believes that the veteran Slovenian goalkeeper will feature for Inter in the Coppa Italia as well as the off Serie A game, but that Handanovic time as Nerazzurri number 1 is over.
“If I have understood Inzaghi’s mentality correctly, Handanovic will play in the Coppa Italia and a couple of matches in the Serie A.
“He [Handanovic] will still give satisfactory performances but the club’s decision is clear. Handanovic has done some extraordinary things [in his career]. He no longer is what he once was but he remains a seasoned goalkeeper.
“It’s only right that he plays in the Coppa Italia.”
Maybe Handanovic will end his career at Inter by lifting the Coppa Italia?
“I wish that for him. He deserved to after many years at Inter to win trophies, like the Scudetto a few years back.
“He could have win the Serie A last season too but in the end the Nerazzurri won the domestic cups and not the league.”
With Napoli looking destined to win the Serie A this season, Inter’s main objective in the league is to finish in the top 4, something Pagliuca believes they will do.
“I think so [Inter will finish in the top 4 of the Serie A]. I will also say this, I believe Juventus can as well despite the 15 point penalization.
“They [Juventus] are a team in form who are getting back on track. The Bianconeri are also among the favorites to win the Europa League as well.
Meanwhile, the Nerazzurri have been drawn with Benfica in the Quarterfinals of the Champions League and should they go through either Napoli or AC Milan await them, a draw which Pagliuca believes allows Inter to dream of European glory without underestimating any of their opponents.
“It was a good draw [for Inter]. But Benfica are a very dangerous side and are a very good team that can go all the way in this competition.
“Having said that, if I was Inter’s coach, I would have chosen to play Benfica or Chelsea. Then if you go through you play Napoli or Milan, which means you avoid Real Madrid, Man City and Bayern Munich.
“The draw went very well even if it will be very hard and this must be reiterated.
“Both times Inter have faced AC Milan in the knockout stages of the Champions League they have been knocked out.
“Napoli are a team that we all know, that are dominating in Italy and are devastating. But having said that of course you can dream big, also because the other half of the draw is much more complicated.
“I remember through the years how sometimes a team has won the Champions League like this. Then of course, it is decisive to be in form at the right time.
“Right now, Inter are experiencing a decline in all competitions they’re competing in. But now the real objective, aside from finishing in the top 4, is to try to go all the way in the Champions League as well as the Coppa Italia” Pagliuca concludes.