New Parma striker Antonio Cassano has blamed new Inter coach Walter Mazzarri for his San Siro departure following the completion of his transfer on Wednesday.
The Italy international scored seven goals in 28 Serie A appearances last term, but struggled to nail down a regular starting berth under Andrea Stramaccioni in his first season at the Giuseppe Meazza.
The 30-year-old claimed that Mazzarri forced him out of the Nerazzurri squad this summer as he was not in the new coach's first-team plans, while making it obvious that there was no love lost between himself and ex-Inter boss Stramaccioni.
"I thank [president Massimo] Moratti, [sporting director Marco] Branca and [director Piero] Ausilio, but not Mazzarri, because before he signed he told me that I was a fixed starter with the team and then after he arrived he said I was a starter, but one that should go home," Cassano told reporters on Thursday.
"He pushed me to go away. I went away because I could not return to Inter in his plans. Everyone must be aware that when you have Antonio, it is for better or worse. Throughout my career I have achieved 30-40 percent of what I was capable of.
"With the [Inter] players I had a wonderful relationship. I leave behind many friends. They told me that they will miss me, and I even saw the president.
"Stramaccioni, on the other hand, I have nothing to say about."
Mazzarri, however, has disputed the forward's version of events and insists that he is yet to speak to the squad properly as preseason has not begun at the Serie A side.
"I wanted to set the record straight following statements made by Antonio Cassano during his press conference at Parma this afternoon," read a statement on Inter's website. "What I said to the club is exactly what I said when I held my press conference in Appiano Gentile. I haven’t spoken to or about the players since then because I was waiting for the start of the season.
"I don’t see how I can have decided who my first-choice players and squad players are before I’ve even had the chance to coach them.
"I’d like to put on record that the last time I spoke to Cassano was at the Inter-Napoli match in the first half of last season. On that occasion I just said hello to him on the pitch."
Cassano, who has signed a three-year deal with Parma for an undisclosed fee, will wear the No. 99 at the Tardini.
- Sports & Recreation
- Antonio Cassano
- Andrea Stramaccioni