Inter Milan owners want quick Champions League return - Ausilio

Inter Milan's sporting director Piero Ausilio has stressed how ambitious the club's new Chinese owners are and how important it would be for the Nerazzurri to be playing Champions League football again in the very near future.

Inter have not played in European football's elite club competition since reaching the round of 16 in 2012. Since then, the gap to Juventus has continued to grow.

Juve reached the final in 2015 and have been Italy's most successful club in the competition in recent years, and consequently the one earning the most from the market share portion of television revenue.

For Inter to close that gap, they need to be back on European football's top stage once again, and Ausilio believes the new owners -- China's Suning Group -- are intent on leading them there.

"[You can see in] their mentality and their potential as a group, how strong they are," he told ESPN FC. "They are serious in China and have been ambitious with all they have done in their working life.

"They want success in football -- they have a team in China already and have now acquired a historic brand here with Inter.

"They want Inter to win Serie A again and get into the top 10 in Europe. We know it takes time and you need everybody pulling in the same direction on a clear project, managed well, and playing regular Champions League football will allow us to close the gap on the rest."

Inter have already been knocked out of this season's Europa League, having reached the round of 16 of that competition in 2013 and 2015. Going any further in that competition would nevertheless not compare with being a fixture in the Champions League and that is why Inter need to be back there as soon as possible.

A run of seven straight wins has lifted them to within three points of third-placed Napoli, and they head to league leaders Juventus with the chance to reduce the gap further at the weekend and boost their chances of a return next season, and that could not come soon enough.

"Just take last year, we had revenue of €150 million less than Juve, who earned a lot from being in the Champions League," Ausilio explained. "You can bridge that gap by developing your brand and increasing revenue from the stadium, but we are limited in how we do this as the stadium is not ours.

"Then there is the revenue from the Champions League, which is why we want to be back playing regularly in that competition."