Transfer Rumors and Perhaps a Little More…

Claudio Villa

It’s that time again – transfer fantasy - and you know I hate it. So, what do I do? I spend a slow morning writing about a thousand words on the subject. Sometimes, life just doesn’t have to make sense, you know?

This transfer season should be both easy and hard. Easy to tell the difference which rumors are made up – Is the player in his prime? Is the player even a little expensive? Is the player even a little hyped? – But hard to realize the realities of the situation – transfer fees are going to be rarer than penalty kicks for this team.

Section 1. Wide Players

I made a point of predicting that wide players were going to be something of a focus this January. I don’t know how alone I was in that – the comments section has been uncharacteristically quiet lately despite the usual transfer nerves. No one wants to weigh in, perhaps because there isn’t much hope of getting the marquee names and it’s a bit of a bummer.

But I don’t really see it that way, mostly because I happen to think that most of the time the marquee names are extremely overhyped. Also because most of time it’s the same 10 names that are circulated for every club. Plus, half the time fans want players for their team that aren’t a good fit.

But it looks like there is going to be an Argentine right winger at Inter no matter who plays. Jonathan is all but certain to go – YAY – back to Brazil – YAY - and it’s either Schelloto or Peruzzi for Inter. Today Schelloto is the favorite to come. Yesterday it was Peruzzi. Tomorrow who knows, but I think it’s Schelloto – if anyone comes. Why? Because with Atalanta there will be an option for rent to buy and to put his 6 or 7 million Euro registration on next years budget – which Inter is in desperate need to do.

Actually I have no problems with either of these moves. All the players involved are in their 20s and none of these are likely to be a stop gap – these are players that the team is seriously looking at to be part of the larger puzzle, and I applaud this.

Section 2. Defense

I think that there is some truth to the feeling that Silvestre will be moving on. Inter are not – rightly, I think - enthralled so far and there seems to be suitors – yes pluaral. So let’s make life easier on everyone and get it done. Plus, there seems to be no shortage of players coming back this way.

There are Andreolli rumors again, but I won’t hold my breath, this time.

Campagnaro seems to be all done for June.

There are Douglas rumors, the 6’ 4” defender from the Dutch League, whom I know nothing about personally, but I do know will need to acclimate to a much more… intense… environment than the Eredivisie. It seems like he is out of contract in June, so it’s Duck/Wabbit Season on him as he has many teams looking at his future signature.

Section 3. Midfield

If there was a position of chaos for this team, this is it. First let’s deal with the possible departures.

Wesley looks more and more the departed soul, so fare thee well. There are no RELIABLE rumors on his fee or destination, although Tuttosport is always good for a laugh on this (or any other occasion, really). My money is on ManU. I just have a feeling, but it’s pure speculation – if I had a fin I would put it on that.

Ricardo Alvarez, AKA Slick Ric, appears to be on his way out the door. There appears to be an offer of sorts on the table from River in Argentina, I think, for about €8 million. There are rumors of another suitor in Germany who will also be making an offer soon. The team is rumored to be holding out for around 10-12 which would just about cover the cost of transferring him in – he was brought to Inter on a €12 million deal according to transfermarkt.co.uk. Other sources have the actual amount at a little less than that at around €6-8 million. It’s hard to know exactly since Inter rarely disclose this stuff and the seller often inflates the amount when speaking to the media to influence future transfers. I am going with transfermarkt because they don’t care how much it is, they just put it on their website. For me, €10 million would be just about right to make the deal happen considering the conservative estimate of his original transfer to Inter.

It doesn’t look likely that Duncan is going to go. Over and over I read that Strama really likes the player and wants to keep him at home base. From what I have seen, I can relate – I would love to see more of the kid. I can only hope that we get to see more of him. On a related topic, it seems that some English teams are sniffing around Joel Obi. From what I have read, it’s been made clear that Inter have definite designs on him and that he’s essentially nontransferable. Now, does that mean that Inter need the homegrown element for Europe or do they really intend to use him is anyone’s guess. I, Positive Pete that I am, like to think that Inter really want to use him. On the one occasion that he was healthy enough to play, he did. That says a lot to me, considering how many others aren’t getting a sniff.

Mariga, Romano and others are still in limbo. The rumors are there, there seems to be no shortage of suitors for loans, it’s just a matter of placing the players. I say good; if they aren’t going to play here, than send them out to play somewhere else. I only hope it’s a worthwhile experience. Also, I hope that as many of them get to play in Serie A as possible.

Incoming, the picture gets cloudier. It’s really easy to say that many of those players go out on loan to get experience, but having said that there is a need for that director. Inter already have every other kind of midfielder. And names are coming in fast and furious.

Sahin’s name has popped up recently despite the fact that he’s still out on loan to Liverpool from Real Madrid. Essentially, too much has to go Inter’s way for this to even have a chance to work – all three big clubs would have to agree to a massive doesy doe move. I have little faith that three massive organizational egos would be able to order room service let alone come to some sort of agreement on a player. Better to wait for him to come back from the unsuccessful stint on loan.

Much more promising is the name of “Lucky” Lewis Hotlby. Hotlby – whose last name I can’t stop saying and giggling over, rather like Hansel from the Looney Tunes cartoons – is out of contract with the German club Schalke 04 where he has been something of a regular lately. This contrasts with his early Schalke career where he was sent out on loan for 2 years. He’s 22 and by all accounts had a very decent season – if anyone else knows a whole lot about him, please feel free to expound. Ah yes, he’s also a German International from the U19s up to the senior group.

The last name on this group is Lodi from Catania. I don’t know how this rumor got started but I have not seen a single piece of rumor about Inter contacting Catania. On the contrary, didn’t Catania deny any contact with Inter on this player? This one seems fishy to me. Inter have been rumored to be after several Catania players in the past, mostly because of the Argentine connections, but I have yet to remember anything really happening between the two. As a matter of fact, I was under the impression that the two presidents were extremely apathetic to each other… or am I thinking of someone else? Either way, when I see this rumor I generally skip past it on my reading. If it doesn’t happen, I won’t be surprised. If it does happen, then he’ll get every chance to nail down that regista, midfield director, deep laying playmaker, 433 center midfielder… whatever you want to call it. Personally I still think that Cigarini should be a target. I mean, we are still on very good terms with Napoli, right? We sent them Pandev, now it’s their turn, yes?

Section 4. Attack

This section is still in construction mode. Rocchi is incoming and I made my feelings known in the last article. I don’t see a downside in paying 1 million for 6 months of veteran potential come off the bench help. And he certainly is a match for the style of play. So whatever.

Livaja is still on the roster, although there are rumors circulating faster than Charybdis. It looks like there might be a Serie A port for him which would be a nice thing to have, assuming he’ll get playing time there. Otherwise he might as well go to a Serie C team. At least he’d be guaranteed time.

Further, there is a lot more talk of GRossi coming to town. I have no idea how likely this is, but if… IF, IF he’s healthy, great. He’s like a younger Palacio, really. They both like to play a bit wide, like to roam a bit off center and easy with the pass – but definitely forwards who can pass, as opposed to midfielders who like to go forward and wide. I have no problems with this – IF.

A Little More…

More and more is coming out about Inter’s general movement towards adherence to FFP. There have been several unofficial “releases” by some people who are trying to sell a sports finance magazine/newspaper or website – I can’t remember off the top of my head – showing that Inter are getting closer to the target ratio of payroll to profits. Inter, according to these people is also making very positive profits in selling on players the last fiscal year like Maicon, Santon, Pandev, Eto’o and Viviano. Unfortunately Inter still have a ways to go in dropping the overall wage scale to something more manageable and the overall red ink from -79 to -40. Of course, getting to the Champions League would do a lot to help solve that problem. As unpleasant as it is not to have that money this season, it’s been something of a mixed blessing that has finally forced the team into some action to fix that part of the business. It’s nice to see some real progress finally.

FORZA INTER


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