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'Everything is possible' – Inter's Brozovic responds to Arsenal links

The Croatia international has refused to rule out leaving San Siro this summer but says it is too early to discuss his future and he will wait until after the European Championship

Inter midfielder Marcelo Brozovic has refused to rule out the prospect of a transfer at the end of the season, amid speculation linking him with a move to Arsenal.

The Croatia international has been linked with a possible move to Arsenal after impressing under Roberto Mancini in Serie A.

Reports in Italy have also claimed that Roma are preparing a player-plus-cash offer to sign the 23-year-old, who has scored six times in 27 appearances in 2015-16.

Brozovic insists he is committed to Inter’s attempts to qualify for the Champions League but suggested that a transfer could be possible after Euro 2016.

“I have heard about these rumours. For now, I am an Inter player and I will behave as such,” he told Jutarnji when asked about the Arsenal speculation.

“Everything is possible. We’ll see. We’ll know more after the Euros. There’s nothing more to say at this time, it’s too soon.”

READ MORE  | Wenger wins Usmanov backing

Brozovic went on to admit that Inter’s failure to keep in the running for the Serie A title has been a huge source of frustration.

“To be honest, I’m not satisfied with the position in the table. We were supposed to be among the top three teams,” he said.

“There were games where we needlessly dropped points and now we’re around the fourth and fifth positions.

“There are still eight games to go and I believe we can still reach third.”

Brozovic set up Ivan Perisic to score before doubling the lead himself in Croatia’s 2-0 friendly win over Israel on Wednesday.

Zanetti dismisses Mancini exit rumours

The former Manchester City manager had been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium but the Serie A club’s vice-president says the Italian will remain in charge at San Siro

Inter vice-president Javier Zanetti is adamant that Roberto Mancini will remain as head coach next season despite speculation linking him with Arsenal.Wenger has been Gunners manager since 1996, but the Frenchman has come under pressure in recent weeks as their Premier League title challenge has stalled, while they have also been knocked out of the Champions League and FA Cup.Reports in the Italian media subsequently suggested that former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has been identified as a potential candidate to take over at Emirates Stadium should Wenger move on.But Zanetti has now denied the rumours, telling Mediaset Premium: “The club has been clear and Roberto is keen to remain with us.”Now we must focus on the end of the season, which will be very tough, but I think we have what it takes to move forward.”READ MORE  | Bayern to play Real, Inter and Milan

Inter were leading Serie A at the mid-season break, but erratic form in the second half of the season has seen their title ambitions fade, and they now sit fifth.The Milan outfit are also five points adrift of Roma, who occupy the final Champions League space, but Zanetti remains optimistic of securing third place.”We believe we can finish third,” he added. “The draw at Roma gave us a strong response and great confidence.

“The lads have been doing well for the last month and even if we are five points off Roma, I say anything can happen.”

Mancini: Inter not out of the fight for third yet

Roma equalised with just six minutes remaining to stay five clear of the Nerazzurri when the two faced off on Saturday, but the former Manchester City boss says the race isn’t over

Roberto Mancini insisted Inter are still well in the race for a top-three finish despite Radja Nainggolan’s late strike denying them victory at Roma.

Inter were six minutes away from a first Serie A victory at Stadio Olimpico since 2008 after Ivan Perisic’s goal early in the second half on Saturday, before Nainggolan netted with a sliding effort after Edin Dzeko had mishit a shot into his path.

The Belgian midfielder’s strike meant Roma, whose eight-match winning streak in the league was ended, remain five points clear of Inter in the third and final Champions League qualification place, but Mancini is still hopeful of catching them.

“The team put in an excellent performance, which builds on our recent displays,” he said.

“There are still so many points up for grabs. If we finish on level points with Roma, we have got the advantage of a better head-to-head record.

“It’s still open, we have got eight more games and a long way to go. We need to win every game from now until the end. If we do that, I’m sure we will get third spot.
READ MORE  | REPORT: Roma deny Inter CL boost

“There are three teams in front of us [Juventus, Napoli and Roma] who began the season with their eyes on the Scudetto, we are still in the mix and we will keep on pushing for the third-place finish.

“We did really well until Roma threw on Edin Dzeko. After that we found it tough as they switched to long balls.

“Clearly if you concede an equaliser that late there is going to be regret and perhaps we should have scored the second goal.

“We are frustrated that we had to do without three strikers – if we had at least one of Mauro Icardi, Rodrigo Palacio or Stevan Jovetic, we would probably have won the game.

“Roma stepped on the accelerator in the final 10 minutes and they scored on the least well-worked move because Dzeko scuffed that ball and it turned into an assist.”

Fifth-placed Fiorentina are also in the mix to finish in the top three and they sit one point behind Inter with a game in hand against struggling Frosinone today.

Roma 1-1 Inter: Mancini's men denied boost in Champions League bid

The Nerazzurri took the lead through Ivan Perisic but were unable to hold onto their lead in a game that ended in a stalemate – a result that benefits neither team

Roma held Inter to a 1-1 draw as Serie A’s principal contenders for Champions League qualification next season slugged it out on Saturday.The Nerazzurri had been looking to close to within three points of their hosts, who sit third and occupy the final berth for Europe’s elite competition, with a win.Ivan Perisic sent Inter on their way when he latched onto Marcelo Brozovic’s terrific ball to fire past Roma goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.Despite their best efforts to preserve their advantage, Roberto Mancini’s side were pegged back when Radja Nainggolan netted from Edin Dzeko’s scuffed effort.The draw means Roma remain five points clear of Inter in Serie A’s third and final Champions League spot. Both sides will eagerly await the result of Fiorentina, who drop to fifth as a result of Inter’s point, when they play at Frosinone on Sunday.
Roma are now unbeaten in seven home matches against Inter in Serie A, having not lost against them at Stadio Olimpico since 2008.Roma, who welcomed Antonio Rudiger back from injury and brought Miralem Pjanic back into the side, threatened first when Diego Perotti fired just over after good wing play from Stephan El Shaarawy set up the chance.
Inter – without injured captain Mauro Icardi – made a decent response, with Adem Ljajic shooting straight at Szczesny against his parent club and Perisic sending an effort just over.
Brozovic could not trouble Szczesny from a decent opening, before Roma had the ball in the net at the other end.
Pjanic floated a wonderful ball over the top and Mohamed Salah showed great composure to control and flick his finish over Samir Handanovic, but he had strayed narrowly offside.
The hosts finished the first half on the front foot and persistence from Salah gave El Shaarawy a chance to shoot, but Handanovic made a solid stop from his acrobatic volley.
El Shaarawy forced Handanovic into action again with 30 seconds of the second half gone, but it was Inter who moved into the lead after 53 minutes.
Brozovic slipped through a pass to Perisic and his left-footed strike found the far corner, despite Szczesny getting a hand to the ball.
Luciano Spalletti responded by bringing on Dzeko, who had been left out of the team even though he had scored against Udinese last time out.
The striker was quickly involved in the action with two chances in quick succession. His header from Perotti’s cross was first well saved by Handanovic after appearing to touch the hand of Miranda on the way through, before he poorly lashed a shot over when Salah’s pass had given him a presentable opportunity.
Roma continued to press and El Shaarawy found the side netting, while Salah was denied by another Handanovic save after a neat turn in the area.
The assault continued and Inter defender Yuto Nagatomo had to hack clear from the line during a goalmouth scramble, before the equaliser arrived.
A scuffed effort from Dzeko inadvertently set up Nainggolan and he stretched to fire a low shot into the bottom corner to claim a point, keeping his side in pole position to reach the Champions League.

Icardi out of Roma clash

The Nerazzurri captain was set to be assessed on Saturday after damaging knee ligaments last weekend, yet will now miss the crucial Serie A clash

Inter captain Mauro Icardi has been ruled out of Saturday’s trip to fellow Champions League hopefuls Roma.

Nerazzurri boss Roberto Mancini stated earlier in the day that the striker’s fitness would be assessed on Saturday after he sustained medial knee ligament damage in last weekend’s 2-1 defeat of Bologna.

But when the squad to travel to the capital was named later in the day, Icardi’s name was conspicuous by its absence.

There was better news, however, on Geoffrey Kondogbia with the powerful midfielder included.

“Geoffrey Kondogbia has trained and he’s okay. He’ll travel to Rome and we’ll see whether he can play.”

The clash at the Stadio Olimpico is key with both teams seeking at least a place in next season’s Champions League.
READ MORE  | Inter confirm Icardi knee damage

Inter are fifth, two places and five points adrift of third-placed Roma, but Mancini doesn’t believe the tie is pivotal in the race to qualify for Europe’s elite club competition.

“The players know it’s a big match, I don’t know if it’s decisive. We’ll see what happens tomorrow,” Mancini added.

“There are 27 points to play for, an awful lot. I still believe it’s open.

“Roma started out this championship with the aim of winning it. I always said that there were three or four teams that were stronger than us, and now they’re back to form.

“My regret is that we lost so many games in the second half of the season, especially as some of those losses were undeserved. If we win tomorrow, we’ll be well-placed.”