Hakan Calhanoglu reveals how he was convinced to quit Milan for their arch-rivals Inter. ‘Stefano Pioli was the only one who really wanted me there.’
The midfielder joined the Rossoneri for €23m from Bayer Leverkusen in 2017 and had seemed to be on the verge of signing a new contract when instead he walked away as a free agent, going across the city to Inter.
“It’s normal the fans are upset, but I am not the first to do this and I won’t be the last, as many players have gone from Milan to Inter, or vice-versa,” Calhanoglu told DAZN.
“I just wanted to look to my future, with all due respect to Milan. I did a lot for Milan over four years, I respected everyone, but I have a new chapter at Inter and have to look forward now.”
The Turkey international was never the most popular player with Rossoneri supporters and he assures the negative atmosphere was a big part of his decision.
“Pioli was the only one who really wanted me at Milan. I spoke to him many times, but he respected my decision and wished me all the best.”
The Inter idea seemed to come out of nowhere and was finalised within a couple of days.
“It did happen very quickly, I received a lot of calls from director Piero Ausilio and coach Simone Inzaghi. If people show they want you in their team, that makes you want to go there.”
It’s going to be a very different tactical approach for Calhanoglu at Inter, where new coach Inzaghi plays a 3-5-2 formation.
“I like this system, as Luis Alberto took this role for Inzaghi at Lazio and we are quite similar. Pioli worked really well with me, he let me play in the role that I like, which is why I provided so many assists. Now I can’t wait to create chances for Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez.”