Inter Milan are in a transitional phase this summer upon realizing that their club is in trouble after another disappointing finish in Serie A.
The much-lauded Italian club is always expected to contend for a title and while they were within six points of the title in 2011, they finished an abysmal sixth place in 2012. At one point in 2012 they were hovering around the relegation zone and a managerial switch was chosen to be the proper course of action.
Massimo Moratti sacked Claudio Ranieri and hired Andrea Stramaccioni in March of 2012. Stramaccioni righted the ship and brought Inter up to a sixth place finish, as well as a dominant victory over bitter rivals AC Milan in the penultimate match of the campaign.
The squad suffered from inconsistent team selections as Claudio Ranieri, AKA "The Tinker Man," is well known for changing up his starting XI very frequently. Stramaccioni offered some consistency to the squad and the team flourished.
The squad was always going to receive a shake up after such a performance and here's a list of Inter's moves in the 2012 summer transfer window.
Diego Forlan was signed in 2011 from Atletico Madrid for five million euros in hopes of producing a similar goal scoring haul to the departing Samuel Eto'o.
This, however, did not go to plan as Forlan only tallied two goals in his 22 appearances for the Nerazzurri. He was linked with a move away from the San Siro and then announced his intention to stay, only to finalize a transfer to Brazilian club Internacional soon after.
Forlan still has quality as he showed in the 2010 World Cup, but it may have been too late in his career to come to Serie A where the brand of football is more defensive minded and different to other leagues he has played in.
It remains to be seen if Forlan will ever find the run of form he was on when he set the world alight with his scintillating performances in South Africa.
Should he do that, Internacional have completed a good piece of business. He already has passed his medical and has a contract until 2015.
Source: Football Italia
Inter had already signed Rodrigo Palacio from Genoa for roughly 11 million euros which made the departure of Diego Forlan imminent. The Argentine international has earned eight caps for his country since 2005 and made 34 appearances in all for Genoa last season where he netted 21 times.
While he won't help make the squad any younger, he does possess quality and uses his pace and dribbling to run at and get past defenders.
After scoring 20 times in 69 appearances in his previous two seasons with Genoa, it seems as though Palacio has found his footing in Serie A and should improve the Nerazzurri's forward line.
He will likely start slightly behind fellow Argentine Diego Milito after Milito rediscovered his form with 26 goals in 38 appearances this past season. Palacio and Milito will give Inter an intimidating forward line going into the new season and should help hide their defensive incapability.
Dejan Stankovic has been an important part of Inter Milan since he signed from Lazio in 2004. He recently was one of three players that were left off the training squad, with the other two being Julio Cesar and Diego Forlan.
If Forlan's departure was any indication, Stankovic could be deemed surplus to requirements.
Recently promoted English side West Ham United has targeted the former Serbian international as boss Sam Allardyce is said to be an admirer. Stankovic won five Serie A titles with Inter and could inject a bit of quality as well as some veteran savvy to the Upton Park club.
He scored 29 times in 228 appearances for Inter during his tenure at the San Siro, yet only made 24 appearances for Inter this past season which was the fewest since he debuted for the Nerazzurri in the 2003-2004 Serie A campaign.
Source: The Mirror
One of Inter's major problem areas last season was the defense as they allowed 55 goals in total which was more than any club that finished above 16th place in the 2012 campaign.
A change at the back was definitely needed and a step in the right direction was made when defender Matias Silvestre was signed from Palermo.
Silvestre was originally the subject of a permanent deal, but it has been released that he will join on a year-long loan that cost Inter 2.22 million euros. Should the Nerazzurri wish to keep the player after the upcoming season, he can be signed for 8 million euros.
He's highly regarded in Serie A after a solid tenure at Catania that earned him a move to Palermo in 2011. Silvestre scored five goals in 29 appearances for Palermo which is remarkable for a center back. Inter need more help in defense than they do in attack, but a multidimensional center back will certainly be welcomed.
Under Stramaccioni, Inter play with a four man back line and Silvestre should feature greatly this upcoming season. He will likely partner Andrea Ranocchia in defense and will give Inter a much needed overhaul for their leaky defense.
Source: Football Italia
During his time at Inter Milan, Julio Cesar rose to prominence and was among the top keepers in the world. He was another player that was left off Inter's training squad along with teammates Dejan Stankovic and Diego Forlan—who have been linked with a move and have already moved respectively.
It seems as though his days at Inter Milan could be numbered. But Cesar could remain in net at the San Siro as he's recently been linked to AC Milan.
Inter conceded too many goals in the 2011-2012 campaign and changes at the back have been deemed necessary. Julio Cesar could be the next man to leave Inter and while he has iterated his desire to stay with the Nerazzurri, the club has signed another keeper (slide to follow) that looks to supplant Cesar as first choice keeper.
Source: Football Italia
Samir Handanovic has been in contention with Gianluigi Buffon for the best keeper in Serie A for a while now. Considering Buffon's standing among the world's best, it's a testament to how good Handanovic is.
He's made 57 appearances for his Slovenian national side where he is the first-choice keeper and has made 182 appearances for Udinese since 2004. He's regarded as one of the best penalty-kick saving specialists in the world, but that's not all that he's good for.
Udinese conceded 35 goals—20 less than that of Inter—last season with a back line of similar quality to that of the aforementioned Nerazzurri.
Handanovic is an upgrade over Cesar and regardless of whether or not Cesar moves, Handanovic should be named Inter's first-choice keeper. A fee of 11 million euros and 50 percent share of highly rated youngster Davide Faraoni has been agreed, so the move seems a formality at this point.
Handanovic will definitely help the Nerazzurri and has Serie A and Champion's League experience that will prove invaluable to an Inter squad who needs as much help as they can get in the goal-preventing area.
Source: Football Italia
Lucio signed for Inter from Bayern Munich in 2009 and was regarded as a huge coup for the Nerazzurri. He was a consistent cog for the Inter defense during his time with the team as he made at least 41 appearances in each of his three seasons with the club.
He adjusted well to Serie A at first, but it looks as though age has finally caught up to the Brazilian.
He was linked with a switch to Fenerbahce before making a switch to Italian rivals Juventus. Lucio will likely not get a run in the first team given his advanced age and the fact that Juve maintained the stingiest defense in all of Serie A, conceding a meager 20 goals in league competition.
He's still a quality squad player known for his leadership and surging runs into the attacking third so he will add depth to the Turin side's defense.
Source: Football Italia
The France international seemed to be on the verge of an Arsenal move for what seemed to be an eternity until Arsene Wenger was said to be displeased with M'Vila's locker room etiquette following France's Euro 2012 campaign. Should Wenger's displeasure be true, Inter find itself in good position to sign the Rennes midfielder.
A brash tackler who could stand to improve his passing, M'Vila is a player that would definitely inject some quality into the Nerazzurri. It's a shame that Inter signed Fredy Guarin permanently, as they may be hesitant to sign M'Vila given that they have already signed a midfielder during this transfer window.
While Guarin is not as good defensively as M'Vila, he is a slightly better attacking force given his penchant for taking shots from near impossible positions with his cannon of a leg.
I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that I would rather have M'Vila than Guarin, but it remains to be seen if Inter will capitalize on their interest after Arsenal have seemingly pulled out of the race for the Frenchman's signature.
Much of this could hinge on the sale of Robin van Persie as Wenger could be more inclined to take on a potential locker room problem with a nice stack of cash he would receive from the sale of the Dutchman.
Lucas Rodrigues Moura Da Silva, more commonly known as Lucas, has been considered one of the best prospects in world football for a while now.
Back in May, Inter were said to be the front-runners in the chase for the Brazilian, beating out clubs such as Chelsea and Real Madrid. More recently, the Daily Mirror reported Manchester United has entered the fray for the Brazilian, but Inter still seem to be in the running.
Needless to say, Lucas would be a huge signing for Inter and could play alongside Wesley Sneijder and Rodrigo Palacio, which would give Inter a trio of highly gifted attackers. Andrea Stramaccioni has experimented with a 4-2-3-1, where Lucas, should he be signed, will almost certainly start as a member of the three advanced midfielders.
He's fast, a fantastic dribbler and has scored 14 goals for Brazilian club Sao Paolo in 56 appearances. He seems to have unlimited potential and could join fellow Brazilians Maicon, Julio Cesar, Juan, Jonathan and Philippe Coutinho at the San Siro.
First off, let me say that I highly doubt this move will come to fruition for multiple reasons.
Balotelli wants to play under Roberto Mancini, recently had a 250 million euro price tag slapped on him and had a phenomenal Euro 2012 campaign.
He will likely start for Premier League Champions Manchester City and his agent Mino Raiola has stated that Balotelli wishes to spend another five years in England.
Finally, he's an AC Milan fan.
Now, with all that being said, Inter had been linked with the mercurial striker before Euro 2012. Since it's been rumored, I decided to throw it in here, but don't bank on Balotelli wearing the Nerazzurri shirt anytime soon, if ever again.
Who knows what Mino Raiola will advise his client to do, but I expect Balotelli to frustrate both opposing defenses and police forces alike in England for the foreseeable future.
Source: The Metro