Inter CEO Beppe Marotta has downplayed the significance of a recent meeting between Nerazzurri Sporting Director Piero Ausilio and his Barcelona counterpart.

Speaking to Italian broadcaster Sky Sport Italia ahead of this evening’s Serie A match against Monza, via FCInterNews, the Inter executive called the recent meeting “nothing special,” whilst he also stressed that Kristjan Asllani has plenty of time to grow into the team.

There have been widespread reports regarding a meeting between Inter’s Ausilio and his Barcelona counterpart Mateu Alemany that was held on Thursday.

These rumours have focused on everything from continued talks for a Marcelo Brozovic-Franck Kessie swap, to possible Blaugranas interest in Andre Onana and Denzel Dumfries.

The likes of Samuel Umtiti, Andreas Christensen, and Marcos Alonso have also have been reported to have come up in the discussions.

However, Marotta poured some cold water on all these rumours, stating of Ausilio’s presence at the meeting that “Right now Piero is going all around and establishing contacts, he’s using these talks to try and get some ideas on how to build the team for future seasons.”

“There’s nothing special to it, a director has to know how to put himself out there and he certainly does,” he added.

Asked if this evening’s match against Monza is important as the matches against Benfica in the Champions League, Marotta replied “Absolutely, yes, Inter must honor every commitment we have at our best.”

“This is a seemingly easy match, but in reality it will be very difficult, because it comes during a period where we’ve been struggling.”

“It’s not easy for the coaches to deal with these kinds of moments,” Marotta said.

Of Asllani, who makes a start this evening, the CEO said that “We’re happy to have bought him.”

“He’s still carving out a place for him, but he’s just been at Inter for a year after making the leap up from a provincial team,” he added.

“He has plenty of time ahead of him to play an important role here,” the CEO said of Asllani, “we know he has all the qualities necessary to do so.”

Of the role played by coach Simone Inzaghi in the team’s win against Benfica in the Champions League, Marotta said that “He’s always had a leading role in those results, which is particularly impressive when you consider the group that we had.”

“The coach is the leader of the group, he’s always hugely important, he gets the squad fired up and he chooses which players to play.”

“The club’s task is to to support his work, and we do it every day by being behind him all the way.”

“He’s done what he’s had to do, and he does it in the best way possible,” Marotta defended the coach.

“And then the coach is always subject to criticism, but they have to have a thick skin for things like that and know how to file them away,” he remarked.