ROME (AFP) — Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho has dropped both Adriano and Ricardo Quaresma from his match-day squad to face Palermo on Sunday.
Adriano has been omitted from every squad since a spat with Mourinho two weeks ago, following which he was dropped for unprofessional behaviour.
But rather than forcing his way back into the side, he seems to be getting further and further away from a recall.
But Mourinho moved on Friday to suggest that there is a path back to first team football for the Brazilian, who missed training on Tuesday due to a cold.
"Without a cold Adriano would have played. I didn't get angry about him having a cold on Tuesday," said the former Chelsea boss. "Personally I have a good relationship with him. Professionally, he's like all the others, he needs to train every day, he needs to arrive on time.
"This week he didn't train Tuesday, Wednesday he trained alone and Thursday was his first session with the group. Today he trained at 100 percent but that's not enough for me."
As for Quaresma, he's paid the price for some poor form of late. "He's a player who's had his chances and he will have others," said the Portuguese coach. "But Mancini has worked brilliantly this week, he deserves another chance.
"(Victor) Obinna brought intensity to the game against Udinese, he deserves to stay in the squad. And so does (Mario) Balotelli and (Julio) Cruz, and Ibra (Zlatan Ibrahimovic).
"We have a nucleus of very good forwards and I can't pick everyone. I've given Quaresma three days off without football so he can return to Portugal and see his family.
"Next week he could be very important because there are international matches and Mancini, Obinna and Balotelli will have been away."
One forward he didn't mention among that lot is Hernan Crespo, a reported target for Real Madrid, for whom Ruud van Nistelrooy will miss the rest of the season.
Crespo did not figure among Inter's 25-man squad of players available for Champions League duty and hence would be available for Real in that competition.
And Mourinho, who has often said his squad is too big, did not rule out selling the Argentine.
"I'm completely happy to finish the season with the squad I have. I won't ask for any arrivals or departures," he said.
"As for Crespo, it's easy to imagine that a club like Real Madrid, who have to replace a great player, would turn to Hernan because there aren't many quality players available that could play in the Champions League.
"But if Hernan could be useful to Real, he could also be useful to us."
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