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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Inter Milan Report: Inter's Summer of Madness (so far)- Part 1

It is an absolute understatement to say that Inter have been the center of attention during this summer's Transfer Market. All of their star players have been linked with moves away, and the club have been linked to just about every player not named Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It has been a stressful time for any Inter fan, but if you are like me, than you have faith that the club will figure this mess out and come back stronger than ever.

With each passing day, new rumors pour both fear and joy into the heart's of Inter's faithful. It almost seems as if their has been just too many transfer reports about Inter to even dream about attempting to create a list of the departures and arrivals that have been linked with the Italian Giants. Well, I am going to attempt to give you a look back at this crazy summer of reports about the club I love. The following list contains my opinion about each player. Enjoy!


Let us start with departures so that we can see just about every Inter player get linked elsewhere!


  • Julio Cesar - Yes, our beloved, yet sometimes clumsy keeper, had previously been linked with moves away from the Meazza! With the arrival of Emiliano Viviano, and constant reports that Inter were looking to reduce their wage bill, it was a given that Julio would be linked with moves abroad. Roma were listed as a possibility in order to clear up their keeper needs, as well as Manchester United, who could have used an experienced keeper to guide David De Gea/Anders Lindegaard through their first years in the Premier League. Julio seems like a lock to stay at Inter though and I am not sure just how seriously close he was to leaving the club. Chances of Departure: 0%
  • Luca Castellazzi - Luca was primarily Inter's top choice in the preseason as Julio was on international duty, Viviano was being linked with moves away/getting injured, and Orlandoni is a clear 3rd-4th choice keeper. He has been linked with a move to Chievo, but given Inter's goalkeeping situation with Julio cemented as the top choice, Viviano out for half the season, and Orlandoni no way near the level to be a top choice, it seems as though Luca will stay. Inter have been linked with another keeper however ( SEE ARRIVALS/KEEPERS) and if he were to arrive, then Luca would leave as he will not settle for 3rd choice keeper. Chances of departure: 10%
  • Emiliano Viviano - One of Italy's more promising goalkeeping prospects, Viviano made his way to Milan after Bologna's mistake led to Inter having the higher bid during the sealed-bid co-ownership resolutions. Viviano repeatedly claimed that he would not be comfortable with backup duty to Julio Cesar (Julio's Departure rumors gain steam at this point) and he looked increasingly likely to leave just shortly after his arrival. Genoa, Bayer Leverkusen, and Roma have all been linked with his signature. Viviano tore his ACL in training just as rumors of his departure were accelerating, and he will miss most of this upcoming season. However, it looks like once he is all healed up, he will be shipped out to Genoa on a co-ownership deal, as part of the co-ownership deal to bring Juraj Kucka to Inter either in January or next summer. Chances of Departure: 80% (when he is cleared to compete)
  • Vid Belec has been sent on loan to Crotone.

  • Lucio - With Lucio entering the final year of his contract, transfer rumors were to be expected. While the player was on international duty for the Copa America, Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Manchester City, and Juventus were all linked with his signature. Lucio's agent soon disregarded a transfer and insisted his client was happy at Inter. Lucio is an integral part of the Inter set up and has since reworked his contract after brief negotiations with the club. Chances of Departure:0%
  • Maicon - Maicon has been linked with a move away from Inter since Mourinho left, and it is no surprise that the saga would continue this summer. Many reports suggesting Maicon was unhappy at Inter were published and his agent only added fuel to the fire by suggesting the player's future was in Inter's hands. The signing of another right back, Jonathan, further increased speculation over Maicon's future in the coming weeks. Maicon has been linked with a move to Real Madrid to reunite with Mourinho, with Marcelo moving to Inter (Coentrao's arrival at Real Madrid made this scenario likely), but these rumors have since been disproved as Mourinho has made it clear that his squad is complete. Manchester City have also been linked with a move for Maicon, as he would likely be used by Inter in order to lower the asking price for Carlos Tevez. This is the only scenario that could see Maicon leaving Milan, but Moratti seems unwilling to part with his star right back after Maicon's stellar performance at the Copa America. Chances of Departure: 20%
  • Nelson Rivas - I believe that it would be a greater surprise to see Rivas stay, rather than leave Inter at this point. It is well known that the club have been attempting to rid themselves of the Colombian for some time now as he has failed to make an impact with the club. Expect him to join Dnipro, where he spent some time on loan from Inter, for next to nothing. Chances of Departure: 100%
  • Cristian Chivu - Chivu seems to be linked away from Inter every summer, but at the start of the season he always find himself still with the club. After some sub-par performances this past season, Chivu was linked with a move to Turkish Powerhouses Galatasaray, as well as Liverpool. Chivu turned down a chance to play for the Turkish Club, and Liverpool did not pursue him as aggressively as some thought they would, especially after losing out on Clichy. Chivu is a bit of a Center Back/Full Back hybrid and seems as though he will fit well into Gasperini's 3-man defense. Chances of Departure: 10%
  • ChivuLivorno.jpg (610×405)
  • Davide Santon - Once hailed as the heir to Paolo Maldini, Santon has fallen far since his debut season under Jose Mourinho. After failing to break into the first team at the beginning of last season, Santon was loaned out to Cesena, with Yuto Nagatomo arriving in his place. Yuto was exceptional, while Santon was just average. After some great pre-season performances, and an injury to Nagatomo that will sideline him for 2-3 months, it seemed as if Santon would finally receive his chance to live up to the hype. However, Inter Director Marco Branca stated that a youngster would be on his way out of Inter, and many pundits soon pointed in Santon's direction. The player seems intent on making his mark at the club but Inter management are keen on getting the player consistent playing time elsewhere. He has been linked to Cesena, Fiorentina, and Genoa, but his likely destination seems to be Germany, where Schalke 04 and Hamburg have expressed the most interest. Chances of Departure: 70% UPDATE: MAICON HAS BEEN SIDELINED WITH AN INJURY AND SURGERY WILL SEE HIM OUT FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME, SANTON SEEMS LIKELY TO STAY UNLESS AN IRRESISTIBLE OFFER IS MADE; WHICH LOOKS UNLIKELY. I PUT HIS CHANCES OF DEPARTURE AT 25%
  • Davide-Santon.jpg (400×299)
  • Marco Materazzi has left the club by mutual termination of contract, and seems primed for a position within Inter management next season. Cristiano Biraghi, the left back who featured prominently for Benitez during last year's pre-season, has been loaned to Juve Stabia.

  • Thiago Motta - Despite having a good campaign, receiving a call up to Italy's national squad, and having his former coach join the club, Thiago was tipped to leave the Meazza in order to dump some wages. He was linked with a move to Arsenal after they lost out on Ricardo Alvarez, who was to join Inter. Roma and Juventus were also linked with the midfielder but perhaps the most puzzling suggestion was that the Italo-Brazilian would move across the city to butter rivals, Milan. It was hypothesized that Genoa would purchase Thiago from Inter, then ship him out to Milan in exchange for Antonio Cassano. It was difficult to believe that Inter would let Milan strengthen their midfield with one of their own players, but multiple sources were reporting the deal's possibility. After a multitude of rumors, Thiago's agent insisted that his client had no desire to leave Inter, and would continue on at the club. The arrivals of Casemiro, Montolivo, and Kucka could change that. Chances of Departure: 15%

  • Sulley Ali Muntari - Muntari handed in a transfer request in January and was granted a loan to Sunderland last season, but the club from England decided against signing him on a permanent basis and he is back in Milan. It is clear that Inter are not interested in his services anymore and the Ghanaian would like to go find regular playing time. However, the clubs that have shown interest in Muntari, do not particularly excite the player, and he may make it difficult for Inter to move him. Rayo Vallecano have showed the greatest desire to land the player and have been preparing an offer to entice him. Inter will try to move him as soon as possible and should be able to find a suitor for their former 14millionEuro buy. Chances of Departure: 100%
  • sulley-muntari_81249.jpg (328×500)
  • Philippe Coutinho - The Brazilian youngster did not have the dream start at Inter that we all hoped for, but showed his potential and intrigued us with his natural ability. Unused by Leonardo and clearly frustrated, Coutinho was tipped to spend his second season in Italy with a smaller club. Chievo, Bologna, and Cesena were linked with a loan move for the youngster, but his impressive performances at the U-20 World Cup in Colombia, and his apparent desire to stay with the club, it seems as if Gasperini will attempt to find a role for the diminutive Brazilian in his setup. Chances of Departure: 30% (On Loan)
  • Coutinho-0000036666.jpg (427×450)
  • McDonald Mariga - After being the subject of a bidding war between Manchester City and Inter on the last day of the winter transfer window during Mourinho's final year at the club, Mariga has found his opportunities for playing time very rare. Despite being a solid prospect, and certainly not a finished product, Mariga seems to have been shopped around by Inter. Real Sociedad seem a lock in for his signature, and the once promising Kenyan, seems on his way out of Milan. Chances of Departure: 90%
  • McDonald-Mariga.jpg (330×248)
  • Wesley Sneijder - This is the big one, baby. Wesley has arguably overtaken Cesc Fabregas as the player with the most back-and-forth/dramatic transfer saga of the summer. It seems odd that the player with the most buzz surrounding him would only be followed by two clubs, but when you take a closer look and see that the two clubs are the most cash-backed clubs in England, you begin to understand to magnitude of this transfer. This rumor began with the retirement of Manchester United legend, Paul Scholes. It had been well known that United had money to spend this summer, and with Paul out of the picture, Sir Alex Ferguson was thought to be seeking the best possible replacement. Wesley's attributes had been labeled as Scholes-esque, and United were thrust (by the English media) into pole position to land the Dutchman. The rumors intensified with reports that Inter would consider an offer for Wesley, as he commanded massive wages, and with Financial Fair Play on the horizon, President Massimo Moratti was believed to be in favor of some breathing room regarding wages. On numerous occasions, reports were published confirming that Sneijder-to-United was a done deal and only a matter of time. English reports were consistently conflicting with Italian reports. Both agreed that Sneijder-to-United was a real possibility, but the English media believed that a deal was in place, which contradicted Italian reports that Sneijder would not agree to take a pay cut to move to England. Soon after, Cash-Cows Manchester City would make their impact on this Saga as they were reportedly prepared to offer 45m.Euros (United's offer was believed to be in the range of 35-40) or a player exchange with Carlos Tevez. As reports heated up, Sneijder came forth and declared that if an acceptable offer was made to Inter, that he would move on from the club. After an inspired performance against Milan, Sneijder was unable to lead his team to victory and it looked as if he was on his way out of the club. Eventually, Luc Castaignos and Nigel De Jong, both agreed that Sneijder was likely to stay with Inter, and Sir Alex even claimed that he was not pursuing Sneijder, and was comfortable with his youth players stepping up. Manchester City were linked with Samir Nasri, and Anzhi were prepared to make Samuel Eto'o the highest paid player in the world. Slowly, but surely, Sneijder leaving Inter was no longer definite. Manchester United had grown content with the talent at their disposal, Manchester City were chasing Samir Nasri, and Inter were prepared to lose their highest earner; all scenarios that would set up Wesley to remain with Inter. With two weeks left, it is impossible to say what will happen with Wesley Sneijder, but with both the interested clubs seemingly pursuing alternatives, and with the wage problem being resolved in the form of the sale of Eto'o, I believe Wesley Sneijder will be an Inter player for this upcoming season. Chances of Departure: 40%
  • Wesley-Sneijder-Football-Profile.jpg (800×600)
  • Houssine Kharja has not been retained by Inter following his loan spell, and has left on a free transfer.

  • Goran Pandev - A brilliant debut season led many to believe that Goran was on to big things with Inter, but a massive dissapointment(he just seemed lost, really) in his second season and it is plain to see why Inter are attempting to move the Macedonian. Believed to be on his way to Genoa in an exchange with Rodrigo Palacio/Juraj Kucka, Pandev emphatically rejected a move away from Inter, and has continued to do so claiming that this season will be a great one for him. Bayern, and Fiorentina were also considered as possible destinations for striker, but Chelsea and Napoli have come to the forefront in recent weeks. Inter are believed to be offering 15m+Pandev to Napoli in an attempt to lure Lavezzi out of the club, while new Chelsea boss, Andre Villas-Boas, is believed to want the Macedonian in an attempt to increase the versatility of his side. Inter have been linked to many different forward options and it would be hard to see him in Milan next year. Inter do not see Pandev as a valued member of the squad any longer, but he may make it difficult to move him as he is determined to stay in Milan. Chances of Departure: 80%
  • 8393.jpg (400×500)
  • Diego Milito - The strange part about the rumors of Milito's departure seems to be that new Inter coach, Gian Piero Gasperini, is the man that brought the best out of Diego not too long ago. Milito fits perfectly into the system that Gasperini plays, and is the only pure poacher in the squad behind Pazzini. However, Turkish giants Galatasaray and Russian club Rubin Kazan are both keen to bring the striker to their respective clubs. Diego has repeatedly stated his desire to stay, and given his relationship with Gasperini, it is difficult to see a scenario where he does not play for Inter next season, despite all the links with other attacking players. Chances of Departure: 15%
  • diego-milito.jpg (800×600)
  • Samuel Eto'o - Early on in the summer, Eto'o claimed that he would like to play in England someday, prompting many to believe that he would move to Manchester City to ply his trade in the Premier League. Eto'o eventually retracted his statements, and Massimo Moratti stated that he had talked to the player and he would be staying in Milan. It was originally believed that Sneijder would not fit in well tactically with Inter ( due to Gasperini's 3-4-3) and that he would be sacrificed to clear up room for the club financially, but after a terrible performance by Eto'o (and a brilliant one from Sneijder) in a central striker role that he had reportedly asked to be put in (Gasperini wanted to play him on the left where he could cut inside to his right and attack the goal; this is where reports of an argument between the two surfaced), it was decided that Eto'o would make his way out of Inter. Russian club Anzhi, offered a deal to Eto'o that would make him the highest paid player in the world, and a fee between 35-40 million Euros to Inter. The question became whether or not Eto'o would turn down the money in order to compete with the elite of Europe. Although this transfer is not yet completed, it seems as if Inter will finally get his wages off their hands, and Eto'o will be heading to Russia. Samuel reportedly had his last training session with Inter today, and I wish him the best of luck, and thanks for the memories. Chances of Departure: 98%
  • 97939.jpg (800×600)
So that is my take on the possible departures for Inter this year. Just remember, anything can happen over the next two weeks. Come back for part TWO!! As I discuss Inter's potential arrivals!

Written by Alessandro Raffa
Follow me on Twitter: @FCInterBlogGFT