Due to the controversy caused by Inter’s market moves, I have decided to break down Inter’s Transfer Window in order to help fans of football understand why and how, Inter will maneuver through the final weeks of the summer in order to prepare not only for next season, but for a project to be continued for many years to come. Part I will cover Inter’s new footballing philosophy, and how this has helped to form their transfer policy. Part II will encompass the departures to be expected and why they are happening. Part III will look at the potential arrivals to Inter’s squad for next season.
Part III: Understanding the Transfer Window
Being as Part III will focus on arrivals, please understand that I will not be analyzing EVERY single name that has been linked to Inter. There are literally hundreds, and it would not make much sense to waste time on players that are not realistic for the club. This article will highlight the names that I believe are realistic targets for Inter, and that could be seen wearing the Black and Blue at the San Siro next season. Keep in mind that it is still early in the summer, and many more names may come up and be ruled out.
4 Main Characteristics of each transfer will be highlighted:
1) How it affects the Transfer Budget
2) How it affects the Wage Budget
3) How it affects the team’s Football Philosophy/Transfer Policy
4) How it affects the future of the position
This is rather fitting as Inter have just signed Samir Handanovic. Inter have made a youthful upgrade in the form of the Slovenian goalkeeper, Samir Handanovic. Samir has been highly regarded in the footballing community as one of the best up and coming keepers in the world, and had he made the jump to a big club sooner, we may already be talking about how world class he is. Inter have shelled out €11 million plus the entire card of Marco Davide Faraoni for the player, who has reportedly signed a 4 yr contract at around €2 million per year. Regarding the transfer and wage budgets, Inter have been able to facilitate the move for the goalkeeper, who will cost less than keeping Julio Cesar at the club, through the clearing of some of the larger wages in the squad. Tactically, Samir will be expected to be starting from day one and will play the same role as Julio, except with a smaller leadership role. He is a veteran of Serie A (A pattern that will become apparent with Inter’s signings) and does not have to adjust to the league. His arrival fits in with the Football Philosophy of Inter because he is a younger player, as well as with their Transfer Policy as his wages are not excessive. The most overlooked aspect of this signing, is how it will affect the position of Goalkeeper in the future. Inter eventually want to hand over the reigns to their young Italian prospect, Francesco Bardi. By the end of Samir’s contract, he will be 32, and Bardi, will be 24. It becomes easy to see Inter’s ideas with signing a player who will be experiencing his prime years with the club, before handing the position of goalkeeper to a player who will be old enough (24) to accept a prominent role at the big club. Samir Handanovic’s arrival, is one that I believe will prove to be crucial for Inter going forward.
Inter had needed Central Defender reinforcements following the departure of Lucio, and have recently signed Matias Silvestre on a Loan deal with right to purchase from Palermo. Silvestre adds to the argentinean contingent at Inter, and will provide quality and depth at a position that has lost its stability as the Samuel-Lucio partnership grew old, and Andrea Ranocchia failed to show his true colors in the past season. Silvestre is a tall, physical defender, who will likely partner Walter Samuel from day one. Much deserving of a big club, Silvestre has cost Inter a reported initial cost of €2 million with a further €6.5 million expected at the end of the season. This initial loan deal has allowed Inter to put more cash towards transfers set to take place this summer, while it’s affect on the wage budget is unclear yet, as he is not fully owned by Inter yet. Silvestre is 27 yrs old and holds an Italian passport, as well as being a veteran of Serie A (Again, no adjustment-to-league period). By the time Silvestre has peaked out, Inter’s young brazilian Juan Jesus, will be at a more mature age to lead the backline, with Andrea Ranocchia. The pattern of Inter purchasing players that are entering their prime final years, allowing the younger players to develop under their tutelage, continues with this signing, and In my opinion, it is a great move. Other central defenders that could be on their way to the Meazza are Alexis Rolin, and Marco Andreolli, but it is believed that only one of these names will arrive, ONLY if Inter sell Ranocchia to one of the big clubs that have set their sights on him (Juve, ManCity, PSG) but it is unlikely.
Inter’s other area of need defensively is in the Right/Left Wing Back area. Four names have been prominent in the reports for Inter recently and they are, Aleksander Kolarov of Man City, Mathieu Debuchy of Lille, Aly Cissokho of Lyon, and Sebastian Jung of Entracht Frankfurt. Aleksander Kolarov (26) was heavily linked to Inter early on in the summer, but interest from rival’s Juventus and Milan, as well as Man City’s initial asking price of at least €10 million + his high wages, has led to Inter cooling their interest on his front. Mathieu Debuchy (26) is continually being targeted, with Inter preparing to offer between €7-8 million for his services, but are waiting to see on his apparent desire to play in the Premier League with Newcastle before they make the commitment. Aly Cissokho (24) seems like a realistic option for Inter, as he has previously stated a desire to play in Serie A before (A failed medical scrapped a move to Milan last summer), but Lyon are looking for an offer in the region of €10 million for the player. Finally, Sebastian Jung (22) is liked by the scouting team at Inter,but Frankfurt are unwilling to let the player go this season, and it has been reported that Inter are seeking a first option to buy agreement with the German Club, in order to bring the player into the squad next year.
My prediction for the incoming defenders for the rest of Inter’s transfer window is that Inter pursue a deal for Cissokho, as well as move forward with their relations with Frankfurt for Jung. By bringing in a left back now, it allows Javier Zanetti to play out his final (my opinion) season with Inter as a starter in his preferred right back position, while making arrangements to bring in his successor in Sebastian Jung next season.
Midfield reinforcements have already begun as Fredy Guarin was acquired permanently for €11 million, and MacDonald Mariga has returned. Andrea Poli, another player Inter is very familiar with, is currently being targeted on a permanent deal, and Inter are working with Sampdoria to close with the player in the next few days. Apart from the players who have spent time at the club, Inter are also expected to bring in some new blood to freshen the midfield. The name most reported has been Gaby Mudingayi (30) who is expected to sign for Inter within the next week, as Bologna’s president and the player’s agent have confirmed that a move is to be made. The transfer fee is reported to be around €2 million + half/loan of Juan Jesus, with the player close to signing a 2-3 yr deal. Mudingayi, a veteran of Serie A (is anyone else seeing this?) is known as a work-horse in the middle of the park with great defensive awareness, as well as crossing ability. This deal would not put a major dent in Inter’s transfer/wage budget, and would allow for further spending the strengthen the team. His experience will cover for Stankovic’s possible departure, and will be an option for Stramaccioni in the 4-2-3-1 alongside Cambiasso/Guarin, or in a 4-3-3 as the defensive force sitting in front of the defense. As with Handanovic, the most overlooked aspect of this transfer is that it allows Inter to let Lorenzo Crisetig(19) gain first-team experience away from the club, and when Mudingayi’s contract runs out in 2-3 yrs, Crisetig will have gained the experience, and will be mature enough to take his place in the side. Another move that allows Inter to experience the prime years of a player, before inserting a younger option into his position.
With the addition of Mudingayi, and the impending arrival of Poli, Inter do not need much more in the middle of the park. The club is being continuously linked with names such as Fernando of Porto, Nigel de Jong of Man City, and Yann M’Vila of Rennes, but the only name that is being pursued with strong intent is that of Paulinho (23) of Corinthians. The versatile Brazilian youngster is a major talent in South America, and although he has claimed he is content to stay in Brazil, he only made these statements after Inter appeared to pull out of the race for hi signature. The fact of the matter is, that Corinthians only own 10% of the player’s card. They have said that they will absolutely not sell, but the truth is that they are seemingly powerless to a transfer in any case. It has been reported that Inter will conclude an €8-9 million deal for the player by the end of the week. Another injection of energy and life into Inter’s midfield is expected to bring a faster, more fluid squad. I expect Inter to end their midfield reinforcements with the signings of Mudingayi, and Paulinho.
Inter have taken this transfer window to revamp their offense. Their first major signing of the summer came in the form of Argentinean wide forward, Rodrigo Palacio (30), in a deal reported to be worth €11 million. Palacio has been one of Serie A (there’s no way you have missed it this time) most electrifying players in recent seasons and was coveted by Inter’s former coach Gian Piero Gasperini. Palacio is a goalscoring machine with good pace and a knack for finishing, that Stramaccioni wants to fill in one of the wide forward positions in his 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formations. Palacio will command higher level wages, but nothing that Inter will struggle to afford. Another understanding of this deal, is that when Palacio is past his prime, Luc Castaignos and Coutinho, will be ready to occupy his position. Rodrigo is highly regarded by his teammates, and is truly a must-watch talent in Serie A.
Giampaolo Pazzini’s expected departure will be used to facilitate the transfer of another one of Inter’s most coveted targets, Mattia Destro (21). Destro is the hottest name in Italy, and for good reason. He is an intelligent, crafty, poacher-type forward, whose talent was on full display this past Serie A season. He is a product of Inter’s youth system, and is currently co-owned by Siena and Genoa, and is being followed by Juventus, Roma, Milan, and PSG. His valuation has been set at €12 million but hopefully Inter’s good relations with Genoa can lead to a reduced transfer fee. It is widely expected that Inter’s next move will be to finalize the Pazzini/Destro situation so this saga could find a resolution within the next 2 weeks.
Although Inter have been linked with multiple offensive targets, Sao Paolo’s Lucas Moura is the only other name that will be receiving considerable attention. Lucas has long been admired by Massimo Moratti, and has been followed by Inter for over a year. Brazilian clubs tend to handle situations in which their top prospects are being followed by European clubs as hostage situations, where they demand ridiculous sums of money for players that they describe as the best ever of all time even at a young age. It is tragic, because they often put the player in a situation where they make them believe that Brazil is the best place to develop as a player, when in reality, Europe is the place to be. All the big time Brazilian players urge the youngsters to move to Europe, but the Brazilian club presidents try to convince them otherwise. The truth is that these negotiations will not be easy, and the chances that Inter acquire Lucas, and hold onto Wesley Sneijder, are very slim. Inter’s only shot at making a trasnfer for Lucas, would be to finance the move through the sale of Sneijder, and the backing of Pirelli. In my opinion, a 19 year old who is unproven at a European level, is not worth the close to €40 million that Sao Paolo are demanding, and is especially not worth losing the fulcrum of our offense in the form of Wesley Sneijder. Lucas Moura may one day be an Inter player, but I do not believe we will see him in the Black and Blue this summer.
I have thoroughly enjoyed bringing you my opinions regarding Inter’s new footballing philosophy, and Transfer Market policy. I understand that many Inter supporters have been unsure of what exactly Inter are doing on the transfer market, and how exactly their moves are supposed to be benefitting the team, and I hope that I have been able to shed some light on the questions, and show that Inter really are moving forward in a positive direction. The club can make all the right moves no matter what, but they still need two things. Time is one of them and is very crucial. All great things take time. The second is, the support of their fans. This is a call to all the supporters of Inter. Rally behind your team, speak positively of the club you love, and strike fear into the hearts of the Juventus and Milan supporters with our strength. Divided we will fall, United we will conquer.
Check out Part I of this article which covered Inter’s new footballing philosophy, and how this has helped to form their transfer policy. And Part II about the departures to be expected and why they are happening.