Luciano Spalletti is excited about returning to former club Roma with his “strong” Inter Milan team.
The Tuscan boss left last season’s runners-up in May, a dispute with retiring Roma veteran Francesco Totti casting a shadow over his achievements at the Stadio Olimpico.
But he was not out of work for long as Inter – now under ambitious Chinese owners – charged him with leading a resurgence and a fresh assault on the top three places in Serie A.
While Inter’s summer recruitment has not been as dramatic as that of city rivals AC Milan, Spalletti is confident that the likes of Borja Valero, Matias Vecino and Joao Cancelo have brought real quality.
“This is a strong team, made up of strong individuals,” he told inter.it. “Everyone has a well-defined role and all the players I asked for have arrived.
“We have created a strong group that should be able to reach the goals we have set for ourselves.
“But I don’t want to set any limits here at Inter.
“I have faith in the players, they have a lot of potential and I want them to show that against all opponents.
“We’ve worked hard during the week, working in the right way, and the players have positive attitudes. They are ready to put on a show and demonstrate their qualities.
“We’ll have to find something extra if we’re going to compete with Roma and teams on their level – the whole season will be decided by games of this calibre.
“We have to make sure we’re ready for these kinds of games and we all want to face obstacles like these. We will have to play as a team, working for 90 minutes as a solid unit, even though we’ve had less time together than the Roma players will have had.”
On his prompt return to the Eternal City, and a potential reunion with Totti, now a club director at the Olimpico, Spalletti added: “I really liked Rome as a city and of course my group of players there, so I’m going back with a lot of enthusiasm.
“If I bump into Totti I’ll be happy to catch up with him, it would be a pleasure.”
Dalbert, a recent recruit from Nice, will travel while Portuguese full-back Cancelo could make his debut following a loan switch from Valencia.
Roma, who on Friday drew Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and Qarabag in their Champions League group, are reportedly targeting a late-window swoop for Sampdoria striker Patrik Schick.
Totti admitted as much while representing Roma at the European Cup draw, telling Sky Sport Italia: “We are assessing Schick and we’ll see if he becomes a Roma player. He’s suited to the club.”