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Italian Serie A
 By Ben Gladwell

Lukas Podolski not in Inter's Europa squad, Xherdan Shaqiri included

Lukas Podolski wants to help Inter Milan get back to their position as one of the top clubs in European football.

Lukas Podolski has not been named in Inter Milan's squad for the knockout stages of the Europa League with coach Roberto Mancini preferring Xherdan Shaqiri to the Germany international.

According to UEFA's Europa League regulations, three new players can be registered to take part in the knockout stages of the competition who were not included on their club's list for the group stage.

Point 18.19 clarifies further that "one player from the above quota of three who has been fielded in a UEFA club competition group stage match for another club in the current season may exceptionally be registered, provided that the player has not been fielded a) in the same competition for another club; or b) for another club that is currently in the same competition."

That meant only one from Podolski, who played for Arsenal in the Champions League group stage, or Shaqiri, who represented Bayern Munich in that competition, could be one of the three new names featuring in Inter's squad.

Mancini has opted for Shaqiri, who has arguably impressed more in his few games since arriving at Inter last month than Podolski.

The other two new names are Davide Santon, who joined on loan from Newcastle on Monday, and George Puscas, who made his Serie A debut in last weekend's 3-1 defeat to Sassuolo.

Pablo Daniel Osvaldo is not included, while Rene Krhin, who left the club this winter, has also been omitted.

Inter will face Celtic in the last 32, with the first leg at Celtic Park on Feb.19 and the return game at the San Siro a week later.

With the Nerazzurri languishing in 13th in Serie A, 13 points adrift of third-placed Napoli, winning the Europa League may be regarded as their best chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season.


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