Handanovic believes it's 'essential' PSG-linked Skriniar stays at Inter

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Samir Handanovic says it is "essential" Inter team-mate Milan Skriniar stays with the club, as the Nerazzurri look to come to a contract agreement with the defender.

The Slovakian centre-back has been linked with a move away from the San Siro, with Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain reportedly launching another bid this week after previous attempts had been rejected.

Skriniar made 35 Serie A appearances for Inter last season as they failed to retain the league title they won in the 2020-21 campaign – a triumph that represented their first since the 2009-10 season.

Inter have reportedly offered a bumper new contract to the defender and Handanovic feels it is vital Skriniar remains at the Nerazzurri for their bid to wrestle back the Scudetto from city rivals Milan.

Handanovic told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "I say that it is very important, for me it is essential, that he remains with us.

"Extending at the last minute had never happened to me, but it was automatic on my part and the club also had no problems.

"We cannot lose any more pieces. I see him everyday calm and serene in Appiano [Inter's training ground]."

Handanovic also spoke on the return of Romelu Lukaku, who scored 24 goals in 36 Serie A appearances to help Inter to the title in 2020-21.

The Belgium striker made a big-money move to Chelsea, but an underwhelming first season back in England has led to him returning to Inter on a season-long loan.

"I am not surprised that he is back because I saw how he was at Chelsea," Handanovic added.

"In his famous statements, they felt melancholy and nostalgic.

"Now it is as if he had never gone away, he is the same person as before."

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