Inter ponder defender swoop amid injury crisis

July 30, 2008

MILAN, July 30 (Reuters) - Inter Milan may be forced back into the transfer market because of an injury crisis in their defence, president Massimo Moratti said on Wednesday.

The Italian champions lost Marco Materazzi to a knock during Tuesday's pre-season mini-tournament also involving AC Milan and Juventus in Turin.

Fellow centre backs Walter Samuel, Cristian Chivu and Ivan Corboda are not yet fit for the Serie A kickoff on Aug. 31 after all undergoing surgery in recent months.

'Materazzi's injury is definitely annoying as soon there will be an important match,' Moratti told reporters. 'Anyway, we'll decide in the next few days if we must return to the transfer market, it all depends on the extent of the injury.'

Inter, who had been keen on Chelsea's Frank Lampard and Porto's Ricardo Quaresma, said earlier in the week they would not be buying any more players.

Jose Mourinho's Inter lost 1-0 to Juve and 4-3 on penalties to AC Milan after a 0-0 draw. AC Milan won the 45-minutes per game tournament thanks to a penalty win over Juve following a 2-2 draw where Clarence Seedorf scored twice.