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Is Conte trying to force Eriksen out with insulting late substitutions?
Inter coach Antonio Conte refused to be drawn into a debate over Christian Eriksen’s future after another contentious episode involving the Dane on Saturday evening.
Eriksen was brought on in injury time of the Nerazzurri’s 3-1 home win over Bologna and walked straight down the tunnel after the final whistle having not even touched the ball.
In his two outings before this for Inter against Sassuolo and Real Madrid, he was handed just five minutes in both matches off the bench.
Conte was heavily criticised by sections of the media and on social media for again bringing Eriksen on with so little of the game remaining.
Some critics believe that Conte is trying to force Eriksen out of the club by humiliating an established player with late substitute appearances.
It was also pointed out just how unhappy Eriksen looked as he was standing on the touchline ready to come on.
However, Conte refused to debate Eriksen’s future when pressed on the issue after the game.
“My rapport with Christian is the same as all the other players,” he told reporters.
“I will never tire of explaining that what I do and the choices I make are for the good of Inter.
“The last thing I do is look at the face of the player, it’s about everything else.
“Eriksen is working and he is at our disposal.”
Eriksen arrived at Inter in January 2020 from Tottenham for €20 million but has been a big flop at San Siro.
He has scored just one Serie A goal all year and has fallen well down the pecking order of Conte.
This season, he has started just four games in all competitions – the last of which came back in October.
A transfer in January seems inevitable with Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta admitting last week that the attacking midfielder simply isn’t functional with Conte’s football.