Zanetti backs Pioli to 'build something great' at Inter amid Simeone links


Inter vice-president Javier Zanetti insists that Stefano Pioli has the backing of the club despite Diego Simeone being linked with a move to San Siro.

The former Lazio boss replaced Frank de Boer as head coach in November and appears to have steadied the team's fortunes following three victories in their last four matches in all competitions.

Simeone has stated on a number of occasions that he would like to coach Inter in future, having enjoyed a successful two years in Milan as a player, and Atletico Madrid's poor recent form has prompted speculation that he could take over within the next year.

Zanetti, however, says the club want to build a new era of success around the current man in charge.

"Simeone has expressed his desire but, for our part, we've never said anything like that," he told Premium Sport.

"We have a great coach called Pioli and we want to build something great with him.

"We wanted the victory, it was difficult against Genoa, who are a very good team. At this moment we need to focus on the remaining games - we want to move up the standings."

Zanetti refused to confirm whether young striker Gabriel Barbosa will be allowed to leave on loan in the transfer window.

The Brazil international has made only one appearance since joining Inter from Santos for a reported EUR29.5million fee in August and has been linked with a temporary switch to another Serie A club.

"Gabigol is very young, he's working well with great humility," said Zanetti. "We'll decide what to do for him in agreement with the coach."