MILAN: Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte has rejected suggestions that underhand tactics could deprive his team of a place in the Champions League knockout stages, dismissing such talk as depressing.
Conte's side need to beat Shakhtar Donestk at home on Wednesday in their final Group B match to have a chance of finishing in the top two.
However, if Inter win and Real Madrid and Borussia Moenchengladbach draw the group's other game on Wednesday, then Real and Borussia would both go through instead.
The Italian sports media thrives on conspiracy theories, which are bizarrely known as "biscuits", and Conte was inevitably asked if he was concerned about what might happen in the other game.
"This is the Champions League - we are talking about big clubs, not a kickaround in the park," he told reporters. "I'm not at all worried about what will happen in Madrid, let's not talk about other matches.
"I hope the media don’t focus too much on rumours about flaying for a mutually beneficial result. It’s depressing to hear about it.
"This is all conjecture: Inter, Shakhtar, Real and Borussia will all play to win their own games."
Borussia lead the group with eight points followed by Real and Shakhtar on seven and Inter on five.
In any case, a draw would only be useful to both Real and Borussia if Inter win. If Real and Borussia draw and Shakhtar draw or win, then Ukrainians would go through along with Borussia.
Inter beat Shakhtar 5-0 in last season's Europa League semi-final in August but were held 0-0 away in their previous match in the group.
"They're a really good team with a great coach," said Conte. "They have quality on the ball and good technical players, some pace ones too."
(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Christian Radnedge)