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Mourinho ideal coach to reunite Inter dressing room after Icardi affair, says Simoni

9:40 AM GMT 05/04/2019
jose mourinho - cropped
The Nerazzurri squad is divided and it needs a figure like the Portuguese to repair the damage, according to the club's former boss

Jose Mourinho is the ideal coach to reunite the Inter dressing room following the damage caused by the Mauro Icardi affair, according to Luigi Simoni.

Icardi made his first appearance in almost two months on Wednesday to help lead Inter to a 4-0 win at Genoa that strengthened their grip on third place in Serie A.

It was the first time Icardi had been involved since being stripped of the club captaincy amid reports of problems with the club's hierarchy, which left him ostracised from Luciano Spalletti's squad.

Ivan Perisic is rumoured to have had a furious argument with the Argentina forward after his wife and agent, Wanda Nara, spoke on TV about "personal problems" between the team-mates.

Mourinho found his relationship with senior players at Manchester United had deteriorated significantly before he was sacked last December, with Paul Pogba said to be chief among those who fell out with the manager.

But former Inter boss Simoni thinks the man who delivered the treble to San Siro in 2009-10 would be able to restore harmony to the dressing room.

"We need to rebuild the atmosphere," Simoni, who won the UEFA Cup with Inter in 1998, told FCInternews. "Mourinho would be ideal, as he was good at creating a rock-solid group during his Nerazzurri experience.

"Of course, returns are always complicated, but in the event of a separation with Spalletti, whom I respect, I would bet on the Portuguese. I'm in favour of his return."

Simoni, who was a popular figure with players and fans in his brief spell in charge, thinks Icardi and Perisic are likely to leave given the damage that seems to have been caused to the squad's morale.

"Situations like these break dressing rooms," he added. "The management was a bit absent. Immediate action was needed to quell the problem.

"You need harmony within the group to get results. You don't win and you don't go far if there are problems in the dressing room.

"Players today are more individualistic. They think of themselves first, and then of the good of the team.

"That Inter [of 1997-98] had so many strong and prominent personalities. The boys created a fantastic harmony. [Former president Massimo] Moratti always tells me, 'There was never an Inter where all the players got on so well together as in 97-98'.

"There needed to be an effort from the club to protect the coach, who was left alone. It's not possible for there to be problems in the dressing room without the club immediately putting a halt to them.

"I imagine that, at the end of the season, Icardi and Perisic will leave."

Next up for Inter is a crucial Serie A clash at home to Atalanta on Saturday, as they aim to chase down second-placed Napoli in the league standings.