Giuseppe Marotta

Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta admits rumours about Luciano Spalletti’s future are not helpful as the Serie A side continue to be linked with Antonio Conte.

Despite third-placed Inter set for their best finish in the league since 2010-11, doubts remain over head coach Spalletti and whether he will continue in Milan next season.

Goal has revealed that former Juventus, Italy and Chelsea boss Conte is set to replace Spalletti – who led Inter back into the Champions League last season.

Marotta, however, leapt to the defence of Spalletti prior to Monday’s 2-0 Serie A victory against Chievo.

“The rumours about Spalletti’s future aren’t helpful,” Marotta told Sky Sport Italia.

“I believe it’s the new generation of communication that spread these stories so easily, they create a distraction and can be annoying to read sometimes.

“Spalletti has done a good job and that should be recognised. Our goal was to get into the Champions League spots, and we are going about it the right way.

“I don’t understand the criticisms of the last few weeks, as we have almost achieved our goal.”

Inter are third – a point clear of Atalanta and three ahead of rivals AC Milan – with two matches remaining.

Spalletti has insisted that his focus remains locked on ending the season as positively as possible, with no thought being given to his future.

He has said: “The newspapers have been writing for months that I won’t be Inter coach next season and they must have their reasons for that, because that’s how the game works.

“That doesn’t change one iota what our goal is this season. I’d happily open the doors to our training sessions to prove just how well the players are training.

“There is only one route forward for us, which is to win matches and to secure Inter’s place in the Champions League once again. That is the future. End of story.

“The players aren’t thinking about Spalletti or other coaches, there is only Inter on their minds. The same goes for me.

“We want to qualify for the Champions League this season, just as we did last term. That would be a significant objective.”

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