Inter Milan manager Antonio Conte has insisted that Christian Eriksen will not be allowed to leave the club this month.
The 28-year-old has been strongly linked with a loan move back to Tottenham Hotspur after failing to establish himself with the Serie A club.
Eriksen managed to highlight his quality last night, firing home a stoppage-time free-kick to seal a 2-1 victory for Inter over AC Milan in the Coppa Italia.
Speaking after the game, Conte told Rai Sport that Eriksen remains an important part of his plans.
“For a month now I’ve been saying the same thing – this is the Inter squad,” he said. “Nobody will arrive, nobody will leave. I keep saying it and nobody seems to believe me.
“We are working with Eriksen on a tactical level to find an alternative for (Marcelo) Brozovic, because we don’t have someone like that in the squad.
“Christian is a very intelligent lad, he has quality, he’s part of the project and I am happy he scored that goal. I really wanted him to take it, as we all know the quality he has from set plays.
“He’s very shy, so I hope this goal can shake him up and make him come out of his shell. We all like him, he’s a good lad – perhaps too good. He needs to be more determined.”
While Eriksen is believed to be keen to return to Spurs, Conte appears to be steadfast in his desire to retain his services.
The Serie A club are firmly in the title mix and the former Chelsea boss is unlikely to want to weaken his squad heading into the second half of the season.
Eriksen’s winning goal against Milan was a reminder of his talent and Conte will be eager to see more of the same over the coming weeks.
As highlighted by Gareth Bale’s failure to shine on his return to Spurs, Eriksen would be well-advised to get his head down and concentrate on becoming a regular starter with Inter.