Spalletti admits Inter must sell to secure Rafinha and Cancelo transfers

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The Inter boss told reporters the club wants to make their loan deals permanent, but need to shrink the squad to free up funds to do so

Luciano Spalletti admitted Inter will need to shrink the size of their squad this summer before the club can pursue permanent deals for loan duo Rafinha and Joao Cancelo, while also throwing doubt onto Mauro Icardi's future at the club.

Cancelo joined in August from Valencia while Rafinha came in during the winter from Barcelona, with both playing important parts in Inter's fourth-place finish this season.

However, while each player has a €35 million trigger in their loan deals to make the moves permanent, Spalletti conceded it will require the club to make sales in order to free up funds to make those deals happen.

"At the moment, Inter don't have the chance to pay Valencia and Barcelona to buy Cancelo and Rafinha," Spalletti told reporters. 

The club's transfer situation is further clouded by questions over the future of captain Mauro Icardi, as the striker is a reported target for both Chelsea and Real Madrid.

"It depends what he wants, keeping those who don't want to stay is difficult," Spalletti replied when asked about the talismanic forward.

"That’s not the case with him, but I can't sit here and tell you he won't make a request, it depends what happens in the transfer market.

"A professional can consider a different experience. Clearly, if important players leave it reduces your chances to grow, if other important players don't arrive."

Questions do not only surround Inter's players but Spalletti himself, as the experienced coach was expected to announce a new three-year deal at a news conference on Thursday.

But Spalletti, who saw his side secure Champions League football with a dramatic last-day win away at 10-man Lazio, instead revealed he is happy with the current situation and is yet to pen an extension.

"I have a contract at Inter and I'm very happy," Spalletti added. 

"For me, nothing would have changed had we not made the Champions League.

"When you're here, you realise that you don't just sign to guarantee your salary. There's no rush to sign the contract.

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"We want to continue to reduce the gap between ourselves and the sides ahead of us. We've already done a lot in this regard. If you look, the statistics on the team's growth are encouraging.

"The club has already started to move in a good way but we have to respect the financial side. Football has changed. Before the end of the month, we'll have to look at the books and strengthen the club, just like everyone does."

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