After the annus miserabilis, Internazionale can't waste any time returning to the top of Serie A. Andrea Stramaccioni's work on the San Siro bench was patchy and the young Roman ultimately paid the price for a string of lacklustre results.
Not all of those results were strictly his fault, but a club like Inter cannot afford to languish in ninth place in the league, outside of European competition and with nothing to show for a season's efforts.
The club's president, Massimo Moratti, now has a new coach in Walter Mazzarri, but he needs a new squad too. Too much of Inter's transfer policy has been focused on the exit in recent years, and this summer they'll need some key arrivals to challenge Juventus' dominance and return to the continental stage.
Let's start with an early bit of transfer cheer for Mazzarri's side that also illustrates the benefits of getting business done early in the transfer window. A quick signature should provide an important moral boost at the San Siro.
The former Lyon player is just 21 years old and scored eight times last season for the Crociati, on top of several assists. He's rightly considered to be among the most exciting young talents in Serie A, and his early capture should please Interisti.
Sometimes, good transfer strategy can be simply working to hold on to what you have.
According to the Guardian, Daniel Bessa is the latest youngster from the Nerazzurri to be linked with a move elsewhere, but if Moratti wants to stop the rot he needs to stop unloading all of his young players.
Stramaccioni was promoted to the senior job last year, largely on the back of his impressive tenure in charge of the Inter youth set-up. The Milan club has been producing a staggering amount of talent—but almost all of it now plays elsewhere.
Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho and Roma's Mattia Destro are just two of the Inter products now flourishing elsewhere. The current crop needs to be kept at home.
According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, Inter now look set to sign highly-rated Calgiari midfielder Radja Nainggolan (here in English, via football-italia.net). The Belgian is among the most in-demand Serie A players this summer, and with good reason.
Nainggolan is both talented and, at 25, quite young. It's exactly the kind of signing needed to reinvigorate a creaking, over-the-hill squad like Inter's.
The Nerazzurri are also heavily linked with Sao Paolo's Wellington, according to comments made by the Brazil club's president (here in English, on football-italia.net).
The Brazilian defensive midfielder is just 22 years old, but has been a firm fixture in the senior squad for five seasons now. That rare blend of youth and experience would add much to Mazzarri's side.
The site reports on an interview transfer specialist Dario Canovi gave to Italian TV. Speaking to Mediaset, Canovi said:
It is true that Inter are tracking Richards and have had talks with agent Alexander Livac, who I collaborate with, even if there’s a long way to go. He is an important player who was in the Olympics last year.
City rate him highly, but if a big club like Inter comes along, then he will reflect on it. I wouldn’t be able to say whether a loan deal is to be excluded. In any case, Inter and Manchester City have an excellent rapport. The Napoli talent scouts last year were convinced Richards was the right man for Walter Mazzarri’s football.
The 25-year-old England international would be an ideal signing for the Nerazzurri. He has extensive experience at club level and is only now approaching what should be the peak years of his career. If Mazzarri wants to build a three-man defence, he'll need players with ability and plenty of energy. Richards has both.