Inter halt talks over Maicon sale

MILAN - Inter Milan have halted talks with Real Madrid about selling Maicon and the chances of Liverpool's Javier Mascherano joining the European champions look remote, club president Massimo Moratti said on Monday.

New Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, who guided Inter to an unprecedented Italian treble last term, was keen to take Brazil right-back Maicon with him to the Bernabeu but a deal has not been reached despite weeks of discussions.

"Personally I consider him such a good player that maybe I've decided not to sell him," Moratti told the usual scrum of reporters outside his offices.

"I have pulled the player out of any transfer talks."

Negotiations are still ongoing regarding Manchester City target Mario Balotelli, who is set to make his Italy debut in Tuesday's friendly with Ivory Coast in London.

"There have been no big steps forward, we will see," Moratti added about a deal to sell his rebellious teenage striker.

If Inter do not sell during a quiet transfer window generally in Europe then moves for Argentina captain Mascherano and Genoa midfielder Giuseppe Sculli will not go ahead, especially with Liverpool wanting big money for the former.

"At these prices it's not possible at this moment, especially having not sold anyone," the president said ahead of Inter's first Serie A game at Bologna on August 30.

Inter also announced in statements that Argentine duo Diego Milito and Javier Zanetti had extended their contracts until 2014 and 2013 respectively.

Milito scored 22 goals in Serie A last term, grabbing the goal which sealed a fifth straight scudetto, while he also netted the winner in the Italian Cup final and bagged two in May's 2-0 Champions League final win over Bayern Munich.

The 31-year-old, who has extended his deal by a year, had been coy about his future in the season's aftermath.

Inter's evergreen captain Zanetti has been at the club since 1995 and looks set to play on until he is 39 after adding two years to his contract.

The always committed Zanetti never stops running, very much like AC Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi who turned 37 on Monday.

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