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We all expect a lot from him – Spalletti thrilled to keep Perisic

Luciano Spalletti has told Ivan Perisic to step up and take increased responsibility at Inter after signing a new contract at the club.

The Croatia international was strongly linked with a move to Manchester United during the transfer window, but instead opted to commit his future to Inter by putting pen to paper on fresh terms on Friday.

Perisic has helped Inter to record successive victories over Fiorentina and Roma to start the Serie A season and Spalletti is clear about his expectations for the 28-year-old.

“The club has done good work to keep Ivan here,” Spalletti said at a press conference ahead of Inter’s home game against SPAL on Sunday.

“We all hold him in high esteem and see him as a great player and a great person. I see a footballer who can show the way, he’s an incredible example and he has to show it on the pitch because we all expect a lot from him.

“We know he’s willing to take this responsibility, you can see that in how he prepares.”

Despite a strong start to the campaign, Spalletti played down suggestions Inter could challenge for the Serie A title this season, insisting Champions League qualification remains the club’s goal.

“You don’t build the base of a team in a day,” said Spalletti. “We’ve worked every day from the first time we met to become a strong team.

“Apart from the results, I’m happy with the attitude that I’ve seen up to this point. Results obviously affect the judgements made but what matters most is the road that you want to follow.

“We have to create something that allows us to move forwards next year, to create the criteria with which we can see who we are as a team. It’s okay with me if you say that we need to fight for Champions League qualification and we’ll have to check-in for that in games such as tomorrow’s if we’re to fly around Europe.

“We know that we need to close a certain gap with the top four teams and we want to do so by looking to win every single match. A team such as Inter can’t ever settle and we’re only happy if we win matches.”

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