Inter’s main executive Piero Ausilio was interviewed today by Gazzetta dello Sport and gave very interesting answer concerning the plans of the club for the future.
When did Ausilio and Inter met?
January 1998, I was the responsible of Pro Patria youth sector, Mario Meneghetti calls me to reorganize Inter’s one. 2001 was a year zero for me and the club, Moreatti decided to invest also abroad with the Primavera. I was the organizational responsible, Beppe Baresi the technical one: we buy Pandev, Martins, Pasquale, Potenza and with Verdelli we win Viareggio and Scudetto.
In the meantime, you start to be involved in the transfer market.
Immediately, it didn’t matter if there were Mazzola, Terraneo, Oriali or Branca. In 2004, I went for a year to Spezia, entering the board and winning Coppa Italia. Starting from 2004/205 I’m Inter sporting director and closer to the team since 2009/2010.
A coup you remember more than the others?
I’m forced to say Balotelli, considering what Mario represents today for Italian football. I’m very attached to Bonucci, I know how hard it was to buy him, or Destro that I brought to Inter at 14. Not to mention Pandev and Martins, because everything started from there for me.
You say Balotelli and think of…?
He had decided to go to Bellinzona, it took us two days to convince Lumezzane to give him to us. Only on loan, because he was already, let’s say, exuberant: €30.000k immediately and redemption for €340.000.
A missed purchase?
In the finals of the U-17s, we were close to buying Immobile from Sorrento, but we already had Destro and Balotelli.
The biggest regret: Destros, Balotellis and the others that are no more at Inter.
The dream for somebody who does my job is to build a team made of players that grow up and establish themselves with you. Some renounces were decided to arrive to more important players for that moment: Bonucci, Acquafresca, Bolzoni, Meggiorini to spend less for Milito and Thiago Motta; Destro to save on Ranocchia.
A player you were very close to?
Fabregas. At 16 he decided to leave Barcellona and our Pierluigi Casiraghi put us in the conditions to buy him: we tried, but he found Arsenal project more convincing.
You were splitting the tasks with Marco Branca, among scouting, transfer market appointments, presence close to the team. Will you now walk alone or somebody will help you?
Thohir decided to invest in this structure, I already chose a responsible for the scouting that I trust. A technical director doesn’t have to be every day at La Pinetina, there are also the team manager Cordoba and the technical area consultant Santoro: if I can use a strong and well-organized structure, it’s not impossible to do alone what we were doing in two people. Anyway, I would be ready to collaborate with anybody the club thinks it’s necessary to.
And Mazzarri? There were hypothesis about expanding his role, like an English manager…
I start from him for the previous discourse: great personality, he lives his job 24/7, he follows all the team dynamics like Mourinho.
The CEO Fassone deemed Mazzarri a pillar of Inter, also for the future: even if for a series of negative circumstances he will the fail the goal of arriving in Europe?
He says pillar, I say basement: his career speaks on his behalf, you already see a growth of the team, an idea of football, defensive solidity, something to start from next year. You look at that, not to the standings. Mazzarri stays, regardless.
Speaking of the transfer market: you are looking for a winger, a central midfielder, a striker.
We are monitoring at least three names for every role: they’ll be high level players. The winger can be right or left-footed, as we have two versatile elements like Nagatomo and D’Ambrosio. The striker? One that can score a lot, we lacked of goals this year, due to Milito’s and Icardi’s absences, beside Palacio, who is at 12 without a penalty.
Speaking of penalties: do the players still practice them?
No, we stopped…
Many players on expiring contract, let’s start from Rolando, will he stay?
All the credit goes to Mazzarri. Last year, when we needed to buy a CB, he made only one name: Rolando. Branca and I were a little surprised and he said: ‘Relax: he’s a smart guy that can play in three positions’. He’s on loan: he wants to stay, we want to keep him…
We were clear with him a month ago: we’ll face the question at the end of the year. I don’t rule out a renewal.
The renewals. Palacio’s is close, there are some little problems with Alvarez and with Guarin?
Fredy’s agent arrived and we are talking about it: there is mutual availability to adequate and prolong the contract. We want to keep Alvarez and he’s fine here: but his contract expires in 2016, so we have more time to sign.
The treble heroes have all expiring contracts: is Cambiasso the only one with a chance to renew?
We’ll talk with everybody at the end of the seaons, like for Samuel last year that renewed in five minutes. Maybe even Milito will renew, he would give experience and quality even if he’s not a starter. The only condition is that we can’t go over certain parameters about the wages, the current ones, like Thohir wants.
He established a precise cap.
It’s cumulative: today the cap is €80M, in 2010-11 it was €180M, the next year it will be between 70 and 80.
Something that impressed you about Thohir?
He has great enthusiasm, he knows well the responsibility of having bought Inter and he knows where to bring it: a style of management that goes beyond the immediate result. An Inter to be built in time and that can last.
Mbaye, Duncan, Bardi and the others: will they return?
Not because we have to cut down the costs, but because they have grown after playing consistently elsewhere. Without considering the needs of the European squad list.
Have you ever thought about sending Kovacic elsewhere to play?
Mateo is useful for present and future Inter. Continuity does not mean always playing 90 minutes: Inter will have to be a quality team not only in the 11 that play, but in 16-18 interchangeable players.
Dzeko, Torres, Hernandez, Mandzukic: dreams or possible hypothesis?
For our technical needs they’ll be ok, but not for our financial ones: we can’t afford players that earn 5-6M per year and in normal conditions we can’t buy them.
What do you mean with normal conditions?
I mean buying them at their transfer market value. And I don’t think it’s easy to bring in these players on loan.
We liked him since he was at River Plate. But he was already expensive and since he cost €30M I’m afraid he’ll keep being expensive.
The backstage of Vucinic-Guarin?
It all lasted for no more than a day. We were talking about Vucinic, Juventus asked to insert Guarin: we had already started the negotiation for Hernanes and so it could happen, but only with some cash compensation.
Did they really offer you only a million?
We would have talked about that only for 7-8. I can say that the deal collapsed for the 70% for economic reasons and for the 30% for environmental conditions. I don’t think that stopping to reflect on the opportunity of an operation is something to be ashamed of.
With Juventus you also talked about Isla in the summer.
I’m still at Pinzolo waiting for the press conference…
Another intrigue: Mbaye in the Hernanes deal.
Tare asked for him a month before, Lotito wanted him: selling him would have meant a discount, but we decided not to do like we did with Destro and give only cash.
If Moratti had told you in 2010: ‘Let’s sell Milito and Maicon’, what would you have answered?
The same I would answer today: ‘Only for offers you can’t say no to.’ They didn’t arrive, considering they were the best striker and the best RB in the world. We sold Ibra for €50M and Eto’o. The same then for Eto’o, €20M and saving €10M in wages, didn’t we?
Vidic is your first purchase as technical director.
It belongs to Thohir, not to me.
Why did he choose you?
He was convinced by Inter’s history and the desire, after winning 15 trophies with United, to bring it where it has always been.