English League 1

Millers chief confident

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Fri, 19 Jul 2013 17:50:00

Juventus have rejected an approach from Serie A rivals Inter Milan for Chilean midfielder Mauricio Isla.

The 25-year-old arrived in Turin from Udinese last summer but a long-term knee injury played a significant part in restricting him to just 11 league appearances for the club.

Juve director Giuseppe Marotta on Friday confirmed Inter had made their interest in the versatile player known but that, following an internal discussion with coach Antonio Conte, he would not be sold "at this time".

Marotta told the Gazzetta dello Sport: "Mauricio has been the subject of interest from Inter. We sat around a table to look at the proposal from both a financial and technical point of view.

"At this time, in agreement with the coach, we won't be putting the player on the market. Isla remains our player in every way."

Isla originally joined Juve alongside Udinese team-mate Kwadwo Asamoah on a co-ownership arrangement, with the Italian champions purchasing both players' full registration at the end of the season.

The Bianconeri have already strengthened for a second title defence with the additions of strikers Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente, while defender Angelo Ogbonna made the switch from city rivals Torino last week.

"We have to pay attention to our finances," Marotta added. "Our model is this: we want to remain the top team in Italy and be highly competitive in Europe even if it is increasingly hard to compete in the international transfer market these days."

Stewart took over the Millers in 2008 and has poured millions into the South Yorkshire outfit, culminating in last season's promotion from League Two in United's first season at their brand new New York Stadium.

And Stewart is making no secret of the fact the Millers are targeting immediate promotion from League One next term and has full confidence in manager Steve Evans' squad, who host Huddersfield in their latest pre-season encounter on Saturday.

"This is a great opportunity to see the players before the action really gets under way," he told the club's official website.

"In my opinion this is by far the strongest Rotherham United squad we've had during my tenure at the club, and in fact one of the strongest I've known ever.

"There is an exciting nine months ahead of us as a football club, and one which we hope ends with us at the top end of Sky Bet League One.

"As a result, we're using these games at New York Stadium to test ourselves against real quality Championship opposition, as we believe this will prepare us for the teams we're going to face in the league this season."

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