New Inter boss Spalletti refuses to be drawn on Perisic and Icardi futures

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There has been plenty of speculation surrounding the star duo but the 58-year-old coach insists now is not the time to discuss it

New Inter boss Luciano Spalletti refused to be drawn on speculation surrounding the futures of star duo Ivan Perisic and Mauro Icardi during his unveiling as the club's new manager.

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Croatia international Perisic has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United while Icardi's prolific performances have been tempered by a fractious relationship with the Inter ultras, amid suggestions the burden of captaincy is too much for the 24-year-old.

However, while Spalletti confirmed Icardi will remain Inter captain during his tenure at San Siro, he insisted now was not the time to discuss talk surrounding the striker and Perisic.

"I'll avoid answering on Icardi and Perisic for now," Spalletti said. "There are strong players at Inter but they have to get into the team mechanism.

"It must be the team that works. I want all the players who are able to donate something to their team-mates with their quality.

Ivan Perisic Inter

Mauro Icardi Inter Serie A 2016-17

"Icard is captain. He'll need to show the right kind of behaviour as well as footballing ability."

Replacing Stefano Pioli at the Inter helm, Spalletti says he wants a team that measures up to the club's rich history but concedes there is plenty of work to be done to reach that level.

Spalletti led Roma to second place in Serie A last season, but by contrast, Inter languished in seventh after a season of upheaval that began with Roberto Mancini departing on the eve of the campaign to herald Frank de Boer's ill-fated tenure.

The Milan club are without European football next term but retain lofty ambitions under the ownership of the Suning Commerce Group.

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Antonio Conte and Diego Simeone were among the names linked to the post before Spalletti emerged as a more realistic frontrunner and the 58-year-old is well aware of the task at hand.

"We need to bring Inter back to where their history tells us they should be," he continued.

"I ask my players to have faith in me; I'll back them 100 per cent in every situation. We need them to recognise the shirt they're wearing, know how much this shirt weighs and give a strong impression right away of what the team must do on the pitch.

"What becomes apparent when you meet people is that everyone is wondering how you can have Inter out of the cups over the years, it is like a scandal.

"It seemed like this to me from the outside as well. I wanted to participate in this difficult period and then have an important and correct reaction.

"I am not smarter than the other coaches who came before me but I'm different. I work my way because I trust it."

This confidence extends to his preferred formation, with Spalletti confirming Inter would operate with a 4-2-3-1 system this season.

He added: "I'll gain a bit of experience here but, as long as the pitch measurements don't change, 4-2-3-1 is a complete formation to bring good performances out of the team, allowing those attacking qualities that decide results to come out."

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