Inter director Beppe Marotta backed Coach Luciano Spalletti and welcomed Ivan Perisic back into the fold. “Players are also assets and must be given their due value.”

The Serie A meeting with Bologna kicks off at 17.00 GMT, click here for the line-ups and LIVEBLOG.

It has been a tense week for Inter, as Spalletti was irritable with the media after reports Antonio Conte had met with Marotta at the club headquarters.

“There is a lot more gossip now than in the old days. Spalletti said some wise things, very directly, and I share them,” Marotta told Sky Sport Italia.

“I don’t see how the Coach can be criticised, because we only went out of the Coppa Italia on penalties and are currently in fourth place, fully in line with our objectives. Let’s not try to drag people over the coals before we’ve even started.”

Perisic and Radja Nainggolan are back in the starting line-up this evening after criticism and tension.

“I am very happy with this decision, as the Coach sees them every day and therefore considers them to be fully focused and ready.

“Perisic had felt a bit restless, but these things can happen in football and nowadays we must forget the idea of a club symbol who stays for life. It no longer exists.

“If the Coach chose them for the starting XI, it means they are in good shape.”

Spalletti said it was better not to make Perisic’s Arsenal transfer request for public, but Marotta explained times have changed.

“There was no reason to hide. It is only right that we listen to what the players want, but also take into account the duties those players have towards a club. They aren’t just people, but also club assets and need to be given their due value.

“In the modern dynamics of football, we need to get more accustomed to speaking to the players and reminding them that they are professionals, they are under contract and have certain obligations.

“Perisic is a great professional, he is a World Cup finalist and will always honour the jersey.”

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