The Nerazzurri are coming off a season in which they finished second in Serie A to rivals AC Milan. Surely they will be looking to return to the form they enjoyed in the 2009-10 season under Jose Mourinho. With Leonardo having moved on to PSG, new boss Gian Piero Gasperini will attempt to return the Italian giants to the top of the table.

One of the key players for Inter Milan is Brazilian right-back Maicon. During Inter’s 2009-10 dream campaign, Maicon appeared in 51 games – scoring 7 goals and assisting 12 others. At the time, he was vastly regarded as the world’s best right-back. He was named to the FIFA FIFPro World XI and UEFA Team of the Year. He also won the honours of UEFA Club Defender of the Year and the Samba d’Or, given to the best Brazilian footballer in Europe. All of these individual accolades helped Inter secure five trophies in 2010: the Serie A, Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italiana, UEFA Champions League, and the FIFA Club World Cup.

With Real Madrid reportedly keen on acquiring his services his days at Inter may be numbered, but is time for Inter to cash in on the Brazilian? I would say very much so and I can think of four reasons why Inter can afford to sell Maicon to Los Blancos.

Firstly, Gasperini’s desire to play a 3-4-3 formation does not suite the play of Brazilian attacking right-back Maicon. Secondly, Maicon’s form took a dip last season and he only found the back of the net on one occasion. Thirdly, Inter can still get a decent transfer fee from Real Madrid because Maicon is 29 years old. Lastly, Maicon’s successor is already at the San Siro. Davide Santon – the 20 year old Italy international – is the future of Inter’s defense. He is also better suited for a 3-4-3 than Maicon because he is better defensively. His pace would allow him to cover the necessary ground required to play in a 3-4-3 system and his height would allow him to mark most Serie A strikers.

Prior to Brazil’s first Copa America game versus Venezuela on the 3rd of July, Maicon told Il Corriere dello Sport that he would not speak about a possible transfer from Inter to Real Madrid until after the tournament.

“I am happy at Inter, but we will speak about Real Madrid and Inter after the Copa.”

“I want to win a trophy with Brazil and this is my only objective right now.”

Maicon should join Madrid if Mourinho’s bid for the player meets Inter’s valuation, but the end of the story remains unwritten for now.