Moratti plays down Guardiola link: For the future I'm thinking only of Stramaccioni

The Blaugrana boss has confirmed that he will be standing down in the summer but the Nerazzurri supremo is expecting the former Spain international to take a one-year sabbatical
Inter president Massimo Moratti has played down speculation linking the club with outgoing Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola, insisting that he is thinking only of current coach Andrea Stramaccioni at the moment.

Guardiola announced on Friday that he will leave Camp Nou at the end of the season, hinting that he intends to take a break from the game after four years in charge of the Blaugrana.

That has done little to quell talk that San Siro might be the Spaniard's next port of call, but Moratti does not believe that the 41-year-old will be on the market for at least another season.

"I think he'll take a sabbatical for a year," the Inter supremo told reporters on Friday. "And for the future I'm thinking only of Stramaccioni."

Moratti was keen to sing the praises of the Nerazzurri's former Primavera boss, who has led the club back into contention for a place in next season's Champions League after a five-game unbeaten run, which has featured victories over Genoa, Siena and Udinese, and draws with Cagliari and Fiorentina.

"Stramaccioni deserves a very good mark [for what he has done so far]," the oil tycoon mused.

"Against Cagliari and Fiorentina, although it didn't go well, he showed courage, and this is something that does not displease me in the least."

However, in spite of their resurgence, Inter remain three points in arrears of third-placed Lazio, two behind Napoli and one adrift of Udinese.

"We have to continue to do well," Moratti pointed out. "But we have a difficult match against Parma and then there's the derby!"

Before Inter travel to the Ennio Tardini next week, they must first tackle the already-relegated Cesena at San Siro on Sunday.

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