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Spalletti determined to keep Candreva despite continued Chelsea speculation

Despite reports a deal has been agreed with Chelsea for Antonio Candreva, Inter coach Luciano Spalletti is determined to keep the winger.

Antonio Candreva
Inter winger Antonio Candreva has been linked to Chelsea

Luciano Spalletti has reiterated his determination to keep Antonio Candreva at Inter after the Italy international was again linked with Chelsea.

The winger is reportedly a top target for the Premier League champions, with some outlets claiming a deal worth €27million has been agreed between the clubs.

But Spalletti, who has repeatedly asserted his desire to retain Candreva's services at San Siro, denied that was the case and insisted he is happy with the balance of his squad ahead of the new Serie A season.

"My position is to keep him and the club agrees with me, for now he has not given any other signs," a frustrated Spalletti told reporters on Saturday.

"We go forward calmly, but I don't know what could happen tomorrow. As far as I can tell, Chelsea could try to do something. You are the ones who always anticipate these situations, so I should ask you.

"You are very good at writing names in the papers and getting people swept up in it. I had fallen for it too this time, when you talked about [Arturo] Vidal and [Alexis] Sanchez, I was there staring at the gate to see if they would walk in. Then I pinched myself.

"The truth is, I am happy with what I've got, four or five players have left and as many came in. Naturally, if you can get world-class players, it provides an advantage because they are immediately ready to give results, but when you have great players who are just about to become world-class, it depends on communication and how ready they are."

Spalletti's men open their campaign with a home game against Fiorentina on Saturday and the Italian confirmed captain Mauro Icardi and Ivan Perisic are both ready to play, with the striker recovering from injury and interest in the Croatian midfielder from Manchester United having been successfully rebuffed.

"Mauro is fine, he perhaps hasn't had enough training and playing time but we're relaxed," Spalletti said. "If he can't maintain his condition for 95 minutes, we'll evaluate things. There are certainly other players who can do so and there’s no need to be worried at being without him.

"Perisic? We've spoken with Ivan. Both myself and the club.  There's no sense of regret after those meetings. He's someone who almost always stays behind after training for personal work. Ivan is one of the most professional payers and his behaviour on the pitch has only showed that he has feelings for the team. The new arrivals are also showing that they've got an Inter heart so I'm happy with that."

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