Mancini vision for Inter decisive for Shaqiri

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Xherdan Shaqiri signed a four-and-a-half-year contract with Inter Milan last week. Photo: Global Panorama
13:05 CET+01:00
Xherdan Shaqiri claimed his unhappiness at warming the substitutes' bench at Bayern Munich, and Roberto Mancini's vision for Inter Milan, prompted his decision to join the Italian giants.

Swiss international Shaqiri signed a four-and-a-half-year contract last week, joining former Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski at the Nerazzurri as they bid to end a three-year absence from the Champions League.

Despite scoring three goals at last summer's World Cup, Shaqiri continued to find his path to a regular starting place at the Bundesliga giants blocked by the likes of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.

The 23-year-old said he had offers from England, where Liverpool were reported to have followed him, and Germany, but made his decision after speaking with Mancini by telephone.

"I received other offers from England and Germany, but I always knew what I wanted to do. I spoke with Mancini on the phone, he explained his plans to me and I didn't look back from there," Shaqiri told reporters at his official unveiling on Wednesday.

"It was always a clear choice for me - I want to help the club so that we can achieve big things once again."

Born in the former Yugoslavia to Albanian parents, Shaqiri has forged a reputation as being one of the fastest and most skilful wingers in the game.

The skills of the 'Alpine Messi' were ultimately left untapped at Bayern, but Shaqiri is determined to put them to good use at Inter.

"I wasn't completely happy at Bayern. I need to play because that's the only way I can show what I'm worth," he said.

"I learnt lots of things and played with a lot of great players. I'll try to use my experience from Munich to help Inter win silverware. I'm hungry for success and I'll do whatever it takes to win something for this club.".

Shaqiri could make his debut away to Empoli this weekend as Inter look to claim a second consecutive win for the first time since Mancini took over in November.

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Last week's 3-1 win over Genoa left Inter ninth, 18 points behind leaders Juventus and six adrift of Lazio, who occupy the third and final Champions League qualifying spot.

Mancini has been tasked with securing a third-place finish and qualification for the Champions League, which Inter last won in 2010 when Jose Mourinho led the Nerazzurri to an historic treble.

But with seven teams within seven points of Lazio, the second half of the season will be tense for the likes of Napoli, Sampdoria, Fiorentina, Genoa and both Milan clubs.

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