Zanetti: Strange seeing Ince link

Inter Milan's retiring captain Javier Zanetti has told La Gazzetta dello Sport of his "strange feeling" about seeing Tom Ince on the verge of replacing him in the Nerazzurri's midfield next season.

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Zanetti, 40, played with Tom Ince's father Paul for two seasons and forged a close friendship with the former England international.

Tom Ince spent the last few days in Milan getting to know what could become his new surroundings, if he can agree terms with the Serie A club.

"I used to go to Paul's house with my wife to play cards and his son was there, he was five at the time and he was already playing around with a football," Zanetti told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Seeing him again now, when he could become a new signing for our team, is a strange feeling."

Zanetti will not get the chance to play alongside Ince, having already announced his retirement from the game.

Should he sign, Ince is unlikely to inherit Zanetti's No. 4 shirt either with the Italian club contemplating retiring that number.

"That would honour me, but it's up to the club," added Zanetti, who is not yet certain of what his future role will be within the club.

"I think that we all just need to do the best we can for Inter, which is the most important thing of all."

Zanetti, who spent 19 years with the Italian club, made 858 appearances before being promised a managerial position by club president Erick Thohir this summer.