Inter boss Luciano Spalletti has sent a not-so-subtle message to Barcelona and Real Madrid over their reported interest in defender Milan Skriniar.
The 23-year-old has firmly established himself as a fundamental figure for the Nerazzurri, making 40 appearances in his first season with the club last year to help guide them back into the Champions League.
He continues to impress in the heart of the defence this year, and so it would come as no surprise if speculation builds over his future and other clubs are linked with making a move.
However, Spalletti has warned the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid that it will take a monster offer to prise the Slovakian international away from Inter, such is his importance to the side in their pursuit of success both domestically and in Europe.
“If it’s Barcelona, they will have to pay €100m and if I am them I would pay a €20m tip on top,” he is quoted as saying by The Sun.
“And if I’m Real Madrid, the [€100m] with a €40m tip — that is how highly I rate Skriniar.”
Man Utd are also linked with being interested in Skriniar in the report, but it’s likely to be a similar case for Jose Mourinho if he wishes to try and convince Inter to sell.
In turn, it remains to be seen if any of the clubs linked with the centre-half are willing to spend that kind of money.
Given he is proving himself at the highest level in the Champions League this season as he produced an excellent display against Barcelona this week, it’s likely to confirm that he is indeed one of the top defenders in Europe.
With that in mind, his valuation is naturally going to go up, but whether it’s at the level that Spalletti is demanding is unclear. What is clear though is that Inter will have no desire to lose him any time soon.
Through a combination of injury problems and a lack of long-term solutions, it’s no surprise that Barcelona and Real Madrid have been linked, while United have conceded 18 goals in just 11 league games so far this season to expose their flaws at the back.