It has been a relatively quiet, yet paradoxically stressful, week for Inter and us fans. The sword of Damocles still hangs over our heads as Maicon is courted by loathsome English clubs, though "As the Ibra Turns" seems to be winding down (whew). Still, the rumor mill turns merrily along, grinding out all sorts of odds and ends for our mercato amusement. Remember, all transfer speculation here is just gossip and probably flat-out wrong. That said, lets dig in...
WAIT, I NEVER SAID I WANTED TO LEAVE!
Oh, Ibra, Ibra, Ibra...
Remember, just a few short weeks ago, Ibra was making googoo eyes at Barcelona and Pep was ready to welcome him with open arms. We were all bracing ourselves for what seemed to be the inevitable picture of Eto'o holding his new Inter jersey in front of the giant Inter crest. Ibra even went so far as to say that he knew where he would play next season but was keeping it to himself. I must say, that last bit made me a little angry. Basically, that Swedish sadist could have ended my pain right there - one way or the other - but no. He wanted me to suffer... [deep breaths] But I am letting that go.
Now, finally, Ibra has said:
"The reality is that today my future is Inter."
Cripes! Was that so hard? I do think it is interesting that he only came out with this after Moratti dropped this bombshell:
"As a fan I'd want them to stay, but as a president with a balance sheet to keep an eye on, I say that if they want to go, they can go. It would be counterproductive to keep them. I'd give them both a 50 percent chance of staying at Inter."
Moratti's shot over the bow certainly had and effect on Ibra's agent, Raiola, who immediately backpedaled saying that Ibra never said he wanted to leave Inter, only that he didn't want to spend the rest of his life in Milan.
So were does that leave us?
Mourinho has been quite clear that Inter's mercato must be finalized before July 12 when Inter begin their pre-season training in Los Angeles. In addition, Moratti told La Gazzetta that Ibra would be taken off the market July 1. To my mind, it is increasingly likely that Ibra will stay with Inter for the next season at least. Next summer, though, all bets are off.
AND THE OTHER ONE
Maicon is giving me agita. Both Chelsea and Manchester City (the loathsome English clubs I mentioned above) are sniffing around and I have just about had it. Manchester City are reportedly offering £10 million plus Elano.
If, like me, you are wondering what the hell happened to our sweet guy who just a few weeks ago was 100% Inter? Well, take a look at this recent picture from South Africa:
Everyone knows that the evil version of a person has a goatee. Clearly, this is Evil Maicon. Maybe if we hold him down and shave him he will go back to the guy we all love.
Arnautovic had his medical with Inter today and by all accounts it went well. Combi (Inter's doctor) thinks Marko will only be out for 2 months. Apparently Inter and Twente will meet next week and iron out the details, but the scuttlebutt is that he will come to Inter for 3 million Euro until January when Inter will have the option to buy for an additional 6 million.
Another name that has recently popped up is Mikel Arteta. This one is baseless and speculative, but so are the rest so what the hell. So far though, all that I have read is that Mourinho likes him. I wouldn't count on this one.
Deco is still begging Inter to save him from Chelsea. Carvalho would also like to join but the stumbling block is now money. Chelsea want lots to recoup some of their losses on the pair. Inter's take, on the other hand, seems to be that the club will pay for Carvalho, and, as a favor, will also take Deco off their hands but for considerable less than the 8 million pounds Chelsea paid for him last year. Hopefully this deal will not go over 8 million Euro for both of them.
Oh, and then there is the new horror of Luca Toni. He wants to come back to Italy and thinks Milan would be just the city for him. He told the Corriere dello Sport that Moratti has made contact with him and even asked after Franck Ribery (sorry, I cant link this in, I read it in the digital version of the paper). Toni is even willing to take a pay cut if either Inter or Milan extend a hand. Yikes. That may be a hard sell all around. I mean, I would love to have Ribery, but what on earth would we need Luca Toni for?
Jimenez is off to
Everton West Ham on loan for the season (what was I thinking?). They will have an option to buy at the end of the year. Tottenham Hottspurs have officially offered €7 million for Obinna, but apparently other clubs are interested as well.
Vieira is clinging to Inter until Mou tells him otherwise. If not Inter, though, he wants France so he turned down an offer from Birmingham. Bon Voyage, Patrick, and please, dont be too choosy.
Similarly, Nico is hanging on for dear life, saying: “My desire is to continue playing for Inter. I am not thinking about changing team.”
As for Mancini, I have read some rumors linking him to Parma, but I cant seem to lay my hands on them right now so I cant be certain. Hopefully he is being used to bring down the price of some wonderful attacking midfielder (fingers crossed). And joy of joys, there is finally some interest in Nelson Rivas. Bologna may take him off our hands yet.
Friday was the deadline to work out co-ownership deals for the coming season. This year, Inter had 20 players to deal with
Enrico Alfonso (goalkeeper) co-ownership between Inter & Chievo
Marco Dalla Costa (striker) Inter/Pro Sesto
Jean Mbida Bindzi Ebila (defender): co-ownership between Inter & Vicenza
Daniele Federici (defender) co-ownership between Grosseto & Inter
Nicolas Giani (defender): co-ownership between Chievo & Inter
Luis Jimenez (midfielder): co-ownership between Inter & Ternana
Michele Rigione: (defender) co-ownership between Inter & Chievo
Emiliano Viviano: (goalkeeper) co-ownership between Inter & Brescia
Resolved in Favour of the Other Team
Ilario Aloe (midfielder) to Ascoli
Ivan Fatic (defender) to Chievo
Ibrahim Maaroufi (midfielder) to Vicenza
N'Ze Kouassi Desmond (defender) to Avellino
Federico Piovaccari (striker) to Treviso
Nicola Redomi (midfielder) to Valenzane
Guillerme Siqueira (striker) to Udinese
Resolved in Favour of Inter
Gianluca Litteri (striker): co-ownership between Treviso & Inter resolved in favour of Inter
Riccardo Meggiorini (striker): co-ownership between Inter & Cittadella resolved in favour of Inter
Daniele Pedrelli: (midfielder): co-ownership between Treviso & Inter resolved in favour of Inter
Still to be Resolved
Matteo Lombardo (midfielder) : co-ownership between Legnano & Inter
Daniele Marino: (midfielder) co-ownership between Sambenedettese & Inter
Wow. All that and I still feel a bit let down by how the mercato is progressing. I am still waiting for that "wow" signing. You know, that player that you really feel will make a difference next season - be a positive step forward. Last year, that signing was Mourinho. This year, meh.
I want to be excited about this Austrian kid, but, well... He just doesn't do it for me yet. I am sure Milito will do well at Inter, but he is on the down curve of his career. I have no idea what to think about Thiago Motta. With those two, it sort of feels like Orali and Branca went out brokered this deal without a whole lot of input from Mourinho. Now, I am not exactly saying that they are like the cold, soggy, dead mice your cat leaves for you on your bath mat as a special present (and you inadvertently step on with your bare feet in the middle of the night), but, as nice a gift as Milito and Motta were, I just dont think it was quite what Mou was expecting. Frankly, neither was I. I am sure I will come around, but I think it is going to take a few games and several goals to do it.
Obligatory Julio Cesar photo. Here he is breaking South Africa's heart.