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MUNICH

Mancini vision for Inter decisive for Shaqiri

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.

Mancini vision for Inter decisive for Shaqiri
Xherdan Shaqiri signed a four-and-a-half-year contract with Inter Milan last week. Photo: Global Panorama

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.

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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MILAN

Dutchman Frank de Boer is new Inter Milan coach: club

Dutchman Frank de Boer was officially appointed Inter Milan coach on Tuesday, taking over from ousted Roberto Mancini.

Dutchman Frank de Boer is new Inter Milan coach: club
Frank De Boer is now is the new coach of Inter Milan. Photo: STR/AFP

“Frank de Boer is the new Nerazzurri coach,” the Serie A club said on its Twitter page, followed by the hashtag #WelcomeFrank.

De Boer, 46, who left Ajax at the end of last season, touched down in the northern Italian city of Milan late on Monday to take over from Mancini, who left amid reports the club's new Chinese owners wanted fresh blood at the helm.

Inter said the new coach would be unveiled at a press conference at 2pm (1200 GMT).

“De Boer will join the Nerazzurri on a three-year contract and will take charge of first team training this afternoon,” the club said in a statement.

The Dutchman, the most capped outfield player in the history of the Netherlands national team, had been linked with Premier League clubs Southampton and Everton before those positions were filled.

At Inter he will have under two weeks to sign more players before the Serie A season starts against Chievo on August 21st.

“Hello Inter fans. I'm very happy to be here and I hope to see you soon,” he said in a video posted by the club as he arrived in Italy.

The club said he “brings with him a wealth of international experience having played at the highest level for both club and country”.

At club level for Amsterdam's AFC Ajax he lifted five Eredivisie titles, the Uefa Champions League trophy, the Uefa Cup, the UEFA Supercup, and the Intercontinental Cup. He also played for Barcelona, Galatasaray and Rangers.

As head coach of Ajax, De Boer won four straight Eredivisie titles between 2011 and 2014.

Mancini said his farewells to the blue and black stripes of Inter Milan on Monday after failing to usher the club back into the Champions League and reportedly falling out with the owners over transfers.

The 51-year-old had been coach for two years, having previously led Inter to three league titles and two Coppa Italias during his first spell in charge between 2004 and 2008.

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