Italian Serie A - Sneijder has not been bullied, says Inter coach

Inter Milan coach Andrea Stramaccioni has hit back at critics who have accused the club of bullying Dutch international playmaker Wesley Sneijder over a contract dispute.

Reuters
Serie A - Inter drop Wesley Sneijder for Napoli clash
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Inter Mailand, Andrea Stramaccioni, Wesley Sneijder

The midfielder has been left out of the side recently and was again absent for Sunday's 1-0 win over Palermo in Serie A, with media reports saying he had been told to accept a pay cut or face being sold.

Stramaccioni, who has won plaudits for reviving third-placed Inter after poor spells under predecessors Rafael Benitez and Claudio Ranieri, said it was stupid to talk of bullying a player who earns as much as Sneijder.

"We should be careful about using the word 'bullying' when an ordinary worker earning 1,000 euros ($1,300) a month might hear it. That's my opinion," the Inter coach told reporters.

"As regards Sneijder I don't think there has been any type of violence, abuse or discrimination."

According to media reports, the Dutchman earns around six million euros a year.

Stramaccioni denied he had been forced by the club to drop Sneijder, saying he alone made the decisions regarding team selection.

"I have the right to choose who I want to play and at the moment I see better players for me to pick," the coach said.

"I'm the Inter coach and I'm in complete harmony with my president (Massimo Moratti). I will make my decisions but let's not talk about bullying please."

Inter's victory on Sunday, achieved with a 74th-minute own goal from Santiago Garcia, lifted them within four points of leaders Juventus.

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