Inter edge closer to title

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The Independent Online

Internazionale coach Jose Mourinho is confident that his side are close to retaining their Serie A title after moving nine points clear of the chasing pack.

Inter edged a 1-0 victory at Udinese on Sunday, while nearest rivals Juventus were held to a 3-3 draw at home by lowly Chievo to drop further behind the Nerazzurri.



Mourinho said after a crucial victory: “The Scudetto is closer now, but it's not over yet.



“There are many points still up for grabs and we need at least five more victories.



“We have been able to improve our lead upon second place even in a round that on paper was very difficult for us.



“With a bit of luck we were able to win. We were fortunate, as we won with an own goal and also a penalty on Fabio Quagliarella could have been given.



“Udinese have many great players and they put us under pressure.”



Chelsea are reported to have joined the race to try and sign Inter’s Brazilian wing-back Maicon.



Real Madrid have been strongly linked with the South American, but Maicon’s agent, Antonio Caliendo, has claimed that several clubs in England are now showing an interest.



He told Terra: “Not only Real Madrid have asked me about Maicon.



“The other team that has asked about Maicon is Chelsea and there are also three other English teams that are interested.



“However, personally I think that Inter are not interested in doing business. I think that the only way they would let him go is if there is a very large offer.”



Maicon joined Inter in the summer of 2006 from French side Monaco, having made his name in his homeland with Cruzeiro.



Fiorentina striker Adrian Mutu will find out the full extent of his knee injury when he undergoes keyhole surgery this week.



The 30-year-old Romania international has been suffering with pain in his left knee for some time and admits that he may miss the rest of the season if the damage proves serious.



He told the Corriere dello Sport: “It is impossible to continue with this situation. Now finally we will see exactly what’s going on with my left knee.



“I have played this season even when I only felt 20 per cent fit, as the pain stopped me from performing the way I can.



“I want to heal as quickly as possible and then return to give my team a hand in this important final push.



“It doesn’t make sense to drag matters on like this, as I want to help my squad and to do that I need to be in good shape.”

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