'Inter need men like Valero' - Spalletti demands character for Champions League push

Valero - Cropped
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Borja Valero appears to be a top transfer target for Inter, with Luciano Spalletti singing his praises.

New Inter boss Luciano Spalletti says he wants to sign "men" like Borja Valero as reports of the midfielder's potential transfer from Fiorentina to San Siro intensify.

The 32-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to the Nerazzurri if, as is expected, Ever Banega completes his return to former club Sevilla.

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And Spalletti, who also targeted a move for Valero while in charge of Roma, made it clear he is a big fan.

"Borja Valero can be a playmaker or a trequartista, he has plenty of character and he does not give the ball away," Spalletti told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"He can act as a leader to the others and we need men like that. I want a couple of players like him because it is hard to get a result focusing only on players who are just 22 or 23 years old.

"Character is essential in football and we need to immediately show our identity. Inter must have a clear profile."

Spalletti, who signed a two-year deal with Inter this month, was asked for his objectives in his first season, but wants to assess his squad fully before setting a definitive target.

He said: "Our duty is to feel like Champions League qualification is a minimum requirement. However, looking at the final standings for last season, the top three were far off ahead.

"We would need another nine or 10 victories to bridge the gap and they are strengthening their own squads too.

"So before any of that, let me look my players in the eye and see how they react to my suggestions.

"Those who play here must feel they are Inter, not just a player who is at Inter. Otherwise there is no point talking about a sense of belonging.

"I will keep hammering this concept into them. If they don't understand what it means to wear the Inter shirt, then we will get nowhere."