Spalletti pens Inter extension

Balotelli trains with Brescia after signing for home town club

Inter Milan head coach Luciano Spalletti has been handed a new contract until 2021 as reward for an impressive debut season at the San Siro.

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The 59-year-old was appointed Stefano Pioli’s permanent successor at the helm in June 2017 and guided the Nerazzurri to a top-four finish in Serie A last term.

Inter pipped Lazio to fourth place on the final day of the campaign courtesy of a 3-2 win at Stadio Olimpico, which saw them qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in six years.

After penning a three-year extension, Spalletti told the club’s official website: “I want to thank the Zhang family and the club for giving me the chance to extend my contract.

“I would also like to stress that the signature was merely official confirmation of what was already in place, as my desire to continue fighting together for the good of this massive club was never in doubt.

“We’ve always had a relationship based on respect and mutual trust. Our daily discussions have made it clearer than ever that we want the same things for this club and its fans. Today, we have strengthened the shared ambitions of the Nerazzurri’s world.”

Inter chief Steven Zhang added: “During the 110th year of the club’s history, we made many good decisions in order to put the club on the right track, and today we start the season by sealing our relationship with Luciano Spalletti.

“Last season, Mr Spalletti and his staff were able to improve the team and take Inter back to Europe’s biggest competition. This demonstrates the hard work and commitment our coaching staff puts in.

“We are pleased to extend our contract with Mr Spalletti and continue our efforts to build one of the top teams in the world of football. Today’s agreement shows our strong confidence in him and the long-term solidarity of the group.”