Porto coach Sergio Conceicao came to the defense of Mehdi Taremi ahead of his widely expected move to Inter Milan.

The Iranian striker has reportedly agreed to join the Serie A leaders in the summer.

He is now free to sign a pre-contract agreement with a new club as his deal with Porto will expire at the end of the season.

Earlier this week, press reports revealed that Taremi was on his way to Milano to undergo a medical before signing for Inter.

However, the parties decided to postpone the trip following the news leak to avoid undesired media attention.

In his pre-match press conference on Friday, Porto coach Conceicao insisted that the club must respect Taremi’s decision.

The Portuguese tactician shrugs off talks about the canceled flight, preferring to focus on the striker’s contribution to the club.

“I don’t work at the airport. So I have no idea if there were flights or not,” said Conceicao in his press conference via FcInterNews.

“Here it’s not enough to have a contract, you have to have respect for the player.”

The former Inter Milan and Lazio winger insists that Taremi deserves recognition, reminding that the latter is Porto’s third all-time goalscorer.

“We’re talking about a player who is in the Top Three of the club’s top scorers. He’s only behind Jardel and Jackson. He is ahead of Hulk.

“People seem to forget Taremi’s 100 goals and 50 assists. Mehdi respeccts the club.

“He took a trip back from Qatar without getting any sleep and made himself available against Arouca. So let’s not get carried away.

Porto Manager Sergio Conceicao Demands Respect For Inter Milan Bound Striker Mehdi Taremi

“Taremi can give you all sorts of solutions upfront. It depends on the strategy. There is an appropriate system for every match.

“So we need to see if we need players with Mehdi’s traits or not.

“As for tomorrow, Taremi won’t start, but I’m not saying this to justify his exclusion.”

Conceicao concedes that the 31-year-old will leave Porto at the end of the season. Nevertheless, he expects the Inter bound striker to give his all until his last day at the club.

“Porto pays him and pays him well. But you have respect Mehdi, because he has always had respect for the club and he is a professional through and through.

“I respect his desire. I feel it because I am here every day with the players. There were some players who left and worked magnificently until the last day of their contract.

“They were great professionals. And now we are faced with a player whose contract is expiring and who is a great professional as well.

“Taremi will not be different from Marega, Herrera, Brahimi and so on,”