Marotta: Spalletti has right to pick Inter team amid Icardi absence

Giuseppe Marotta defended Inter head coach Luciano Spalletti prior to Sunday's loss to Lazio.

Inter striker Mauro Icardi and coach Luciano Spalletti   -  Getty Images

Inter general manager Giuseppe Marotta said Luciano Spalletti has the right to name whoever he wants in his starting XI after Mauro Icardi was snubbed again.

Icardi has not played since he was stripped of the captaincy in February and the Inter striker was absent again as Spalletti's team lost 1-0 at home to Lazio in Serie A on Sunday.

The 26-year-old Icardi returned to training on Tuesday but Spalletti took aim at the former skipper post-match, insisting the Argentina international cannot play until he solves his problems in the dressing room.

Prior to Inter's defeat at San Siro, Marotta backed head coach Spalletti's stance amid the ongoing feud in Milan.

"I admire [Paolo] Nicoletti a great deal for his professionalism, but you cannot expect a lawyer to know who is called up to a match before anyone else. That's fantasy football," Marotta told Sky Sport Italia.

"Icardi is being brought back in gradually. It's a very difficult role, but the coach has the right to choose his collaborators, the players to put on the field and the players to call up for every match.

"Nobody can complain about Spalletti, as he is doing what is best for Inter."

An intermediary was reportedly brought in to help Icardi return to Inter training, something that angered Spalletti post-match.


"This mediation is humiliating for Inter fans and for those who love Inter. The need to mediate with someone just to get him to pull on the shirt that they love. It's humiliating," Spalletti said.

"Negotiating with someone just to get him to pull on the Inter shirt. What, do I need to email 20 lawyers and ask them if I can call someone up?"

On Icardi's absence, Spalletti added: "It's obvious for everyone to see what happened. It's obvious. The way he has behaved, he needs to stay away and others have to play. I think he could have played 20-30 minutes, even half a game but that's not the point.

"The ones in the locker room need to play. You need to have credibility in the group. If he continues to behave the way he has recently, then he can start to come back in. I've left players out for far less in my time. You must have respect and behave in the locker room."

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