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Conte shuts down Vidal talk as he bemoans Inter injuries

00:25 GMT 12/01/2020
AntonioConte - cropped
The Nerazzurri were often overrun in the 1-1 draw at home to Atalanta, but their manager did not want to discuss a possible new signing

Antonio Conte was in no mood to discuss Inter's prospective move for Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal after his side's laboured 1-1 draw at home to Atalanta in Serie A.

Lautaro Martinez gave the Nerazzurri an early lead at San Siro but visiting Atalanta were in the ascendancy for much of the contest from that point on Saturday.

Robin Gosens netted a deserved equaliser 15 minutes from time and only Samir Handanovic's superb save from Luis Muriel's late penalty averted Inter's second league defeat of the campaign.

Inter will fall two points behind Juventus at the summit if the Italian champions win at Roma on Sunday and head coach Conte was keen to focus on the absence of key personnel after the match.

"I am not talking about players who are not part of the Inter squad," Conte told DAZN when reported transfer target Vidal was raised.

"I faced this game without four key players. Atalanta are intense, with a lot of physical force.

"We did everything we could to try and win the game. The lads are exceptional.

"Today we had Nicolo Barella suspended, Matias Vecino with a calf problem. I'm trying to get Alexis Sanchez back in shape  but in my view we are giving everything in a very difficult situation."

Stefano Sensi eased Conte's concerns in that sense, completing 71 minutes in midfield on his first start since suffering an abductor tear in October.

"I am happy because he did 70 minutes in a very intense game, he will slowly come back up to speed," Conte added.

"We continue to work, the ranking [in the table] must not deceive us."

Earlier on Saturday, Inter CEO Beppe Marotta said that Vidal's potential move to San Siro will depend on whether Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde is sacked.

“It depends on various factors. He's a player that interests us but I think at the moment Barcelona's coach is at risk [of being sacked], so the situation depends on that," Marotta told Radio Rai.

Inter return to action on Tuesday when they take on Cagliari in the Coppa Italia last 16 before they face Lecce next Sunday in a Serie A encounter.