Dog Days of the Internazionale Summer

Maurizio Lagana

With a week at least until the start of the summer transfer window everything and the ending or near ending of all the youth competitions - the U20 World Cup is still going on means that player moves, at least for youngsters, might be speeding up. Confederations Cup group stages are all done now I think so those players on teams still in the competition won't move until after their team is done.

Right now, all is quiet at Inter like a duck on a pond peacefully floating to and fro occasionally scooping up a drink here or there. What isn't seen, like the duck on the water, is all the movement under the water as the duck furiously paddles to keep afloat and locomotion.

So too is Inter furiously working to stay afloat. As of now - near the witching hour of Sunday June the 23rd - one week from the start of the actual transfer window here are all the moves of the senior team that are heavily rumored to have taken place:

Campagnaro to Inter is pretty much a certainty. The player himself nearly broke tradition and let the cat out of the bag himself. If there is one transfer this summer that I think will work out, it's this one. He's following the coach who got the best out of him to a place where he'll be in the same formation and the same expectations, if higher pressure to get there. Cost = €0

Andreolli to Inter is nearly a certainty as well. The player is probably happy to return to the team that he played his youth and Inter are happy to get what is considered a serviceable vet of Serie A at no cost. The expectation for Andreolli is to be at least a bench player. The team will be marching out 3 centerbacks and I have no doubt that there will be some rotation considering the age of at least 2 of what I am expecting to be heavy contributors. Cost = €0

Ruben Botta to Inter is considered a done deal but I wonder about the South Americans on the list here that something won't hijack these deals at the last minute. There might be a contract signed or whatever, but until that paperwork is put in when the calendar changed to July those contracts are just dirty paper. Ruben tore a cruciate ligament around late April and will be out for six months - which puts his return around October-November-ish when you figure in rehab and all. It has been Inter's pattern to give that player's care over to a team who would be willing to loan - at a discount - and then use that player for the remainder of the year. Argentine player coming to a new continent to play... where would a player like that find a smooth transition and familiar culture in Serie A that's not Inter? Sounds like a done deal to me. Cost = €0

Diego Lexalt will arrive on time to start Inter's training cycle for the year assuming he's considered for the senior team. If Stramaccioni were still the coach, I wouldn't be so ambiguous. But I don't know if he's still arriving, nor do I have a clue what Mazzarri would make of him. My gut says that Mazzarri will throw this fish back into the sea to grow some more... except he's exactly what Inter don't have right now. He's supposed to have some speed. He plays on the outside. He's supposed to have some technical skill. I don't know if he has any defensive ability. I don't know if he can do the job of a big boy team for 90. He's 20 so technically he can probably still play for the Primavera. Cost = €0

Mauro Icardi is one of the two big names on the list here and both "big" names are big because of the controversy. Mauro was a striker for Sampdoria this past season that played in 31 games, 7 as a sub, and scored 10 goals with 4 assists. The controversy starts with his age - he's 20. In Italian football, youth is not to be trusted and for good reason. The controversy continues in that 7 of his goals and 1 of his assists comes against 2 teams in 3 games. In two games against Juventus he scored 3 times and assisted 1. In a game against Pescara he scored 4 times. There are a lot of arguments against him including his Serie A inexperience and the overall cruddy 14th place and 42 point finish (last game of the season got them over 40 points) of Samp. But there's really only one question that counts - can he play? Well, I don't know. But I don't think he really has to immediately, although Inter didn't actually spend money with player compensation for his full card for nothing... I don't think. Cost = €11.4 million

Ishak Belfodil is the other big name on the list because of the controversy. The rumored amount of his transfer sent many supporters in a tizzy of late night Internet trolling, even the last century kind. Someone unfurled a diatribe against the last couple of season's transfers written on what looked like a bed sheet outside of Inter's offices. Cassano is slated to be heading the other way as is Silvestre as is a packet of cash. Cassano's transfer would officially be a loan - but he's only got the one year left on his contract and about €5.5 million gross salary. Silvestre, if he can be persuaded to go has a salary of around €3 million gross. Ishak isn't rumored to be making as much as Silvestre does. Unlike the deal for Icardi, this deal would be for only half Ishak's rights. As of right now, I have read at least one of the "news" agencies itemized the cash money changing hands if Silvestre agrees to go has been around €6 million. You can take that with a grain of salt, but I myself have attempted to track the money going back and forth and came up with similar money give or take. Even if that's the case there is no way for anyone outside of the teams involved to know what, if any, the cost of the second half of the card would be, if it is ever even sold. It certainly isn't written in stone that half the card is automatically half the money. Anyway, the real question regarding Ishak is that same question that plagues Mauro: can he play? If the answer is yes than the money, whatever it is, won't be an issue. Cost: ? €6 - 10 million

Caldirola is rumored to be sold to Werder Bremen. Caldirola for whatever reason has failed to impress during his time with the club and was considered excess to requirements. Caldirola has been considered a good Serie B player. His only Serie A experience was with Inter and he was never going to start above Lucio, Ranocchia, Chivu and Samuel who were his competition for time while with Inter. Sold = €3 million

Donati has already left for Bayer Leverkusen where he is going to compete for a place on a team that will compete in Europe. Donati was a part of the senior squad when Mourinho was at Inter. Mourinho thought enough of Donati to let him play in a Coppa game and a few friendlies. I understand the need for the money, but I thought that Donati should have been tried out at training camp. Was he worse than Jonathan? Schelotto? I guess the world will never know. Sold = €3 million

Stankovic is very close to leaving the team. I don't know if Deki will be given a golden handshake. If he is, then the overall effect of the transaction would be lessened but the roster spot would be opened and the griping that wold come from an upset player with Deki's dressing room presence would evaporate. Save = ? around €0-3 million

Chivu is pretty much in the same situation that Deki is in. There is a suggestion somewhere that he is getting ready to retire in a year, but there is also a hint of a rumor that he's willing to play in Turkey next season, too. I can't see what will happen here but if he leaves without a handshake the team will save much more, obviously. Save = ? around €0-4 million

Rumors

Much less certain are these rumors which I will put in here just for completeness:

Twenty two year old Dragovic is an Austrian defender who was born to Serbian parents. He has 3 years playing in Austrian top flight professional league and two playing in Switzerland for Basel. He is currently an Austrian international with double digit apps. He is considered a nice prospect but with a history of attitude problems. The price for his rights is in the €8-10 million range.

There are more Handanovic to Barca rumors, this time closer to the €30 million asking price. I still wouldn't give in, just to see how desperate they are. If they increase their price I would definitely think about it. Thirty million is game changing money. The real question at that point would be, is there competent replacement? How much of 30 million would be consumed to get decent replacement and what would be done with the rest of the money. Is Inter paying bills or are we reinvesting. Business wise this is great. Playing-wise this is a poor decision any way you look at it.

Biraghi is the next youth player that is rumored to be leaving Inter soon. There isn't a team that has been mentioned or anything, just a suggestion that he's on the market.

FORZA INTER

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