Esteban Cambiasso will join the exodus of senior players from Inter Milan this summer. Sporting director Piero Ausilio said at a press conference on Saturday that the 33-year-old Argentinian will not be offered a new contract, following on from the confirmed departures of Javier Zanetti, Walter Samuel and Diego Milito. Ausilio revealed he met with Cambiasso on Saturday, the day before their final match of the season away to Chievo Verona, to inform him of the club's decision.
"I talk to him every day, we're friends and there's mutual respect between us," Ausilio said. "This morning's meeting had a slightly more official air about it and we explained to him that as part of our strategy to freshen up the squad we won't be offering him a new deal.
"We've never spoken about money, he's never asked for anything in that sense. In any case I like to think that he's the sort of person who will come back to Inter in some shape or form one day."
Cambiasso joined Inter in 2004 and has played more than 300 league games for the club, while winning the UEFA Champions League in 2010, five Italians Serie A titles, four Coppa Italias and the FIFA Club World Cup. Zanetti is to end his playing career but stay on at Inter in a different role, but the quartet's exit from the dressing room leaves Ausilio with a major rebuilding job on his hands.
"We are a bit worried because Inter's recent successes have been built around those players," he said. "Of course there's a bit of concern about having to replace them but as a football club you have to make choices - they might be unpopular and difficult but they have to be made. We want to start a new cycle."
Among the players that could come in to start that process are England winger Tom Ince and Brazil midfielder Nilton. Ince finished the season on loan at Crystal Palace but with his Blackpool contract expiring the 22-year-old's future is up in the air, while the 27-year-old Nilton is with Cruzeiro in his homeland.
"It's definitely not a done deal for Tom Ince," Ausilio said. "He's a young player with an expiring contract. Him coming to Inter is an intriguing possibility because his dad played here, but nothing's been agreed yet. We're waiting for him to give us an answer. As for Nilton, he's one of the players we're tracking, like many others. We're looking into it."