Inter fans have said their goodbyes to captain Samir Handanovic as the 38-year-old is not expected to stay at the club past the end of the season when his current contract expires.
This according to today’s print edition of Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, via FCInterNews, who report that the Slovenian is set to leave the Nerazzurri after eleven years in the summer rather than signing a new deal with the club.
Handanovic was not eligible to play in yesterday evening’s Coppa Italia semifinal second leg match against Juventus, as the Inter captain had been suspended for receiving a straight red card for a postmatch altercation with Bianconeri wingback Juan Cuadrado in the first leg.
However, the Slovenian’s presence was nevertheless felt, and the fans made their appreciation known.
During the second half of the match, a banner addressing Handanovic was unveiled, which read “You can always be proud to feel that you belong here, Milan will always be your home.”
The message of the display was clear, as the Nerazzurri supporters are beginning to sense the end of a story that has lasted for more than a decade.
Handnaovic joined Inter from Udinese during the summer of 2012, and during his time at the club he has often been one of its absolutely outstanding performers even when the rest of the team has been in chaos.
Over the past few seasons, the Slovenian’s individual form has dipped somewhat, but he has been rewarded for his loyalty with a Serie A title, a Coppa Italia trophy, two Supercoppa Italiana titles, and possibly more to come before this season is over.
Handanovic signed a one-year contract extension last summer, but after beginning this campaign ass the first-choice option in goal, has been largely displaced from the starting eleven by summer arrival and his expected long-term successor Andre Onana.
As such, the Slovenian is set to leave when his deal runs out at the end of June, having made 451 appearances and counting.