Inter Milan Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Dec. 16

Ed Dove@EddydoveContributor IIIDecember 16, 2013

Inter Milan Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Dec. 16

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    Another weekend came and went and Internazionale suffered another poor result.

    Their 4-2 defeat to Napoli could easily have been lost by more goals, particularly if Goran Pandev’s late penalty hadn’t been saved by Samir Handanovic.

    As the erstwhile Italian giants continue in their malaise, the need for fresh blood and new recruits becomes ever more pressing.

    Fortunately, January, and the promise of the transfer window, is nearly upon us.

    Both manager Walter Mazzarri and owner Erick Thohir have expressed a desire and indicated an intention to recruit heavily next month. This article looks at some of the week’s key Inter transfer rumours, considering both arrivals and departures.

    ***Updated: December 19***

Belfodil off to SJP?

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    The latest rumours emanating from Internazionale concern Ishak Belfodil—the Algerian’s stay at the club may turn out to be brief.

    With the World Cup looming, the forward is getting itchy feet according to Le Buteur (via Charles Reynolds at The Independent). The 21 year old is keen to play regularly in order to take his place in the Desert Foxes’ line-up this summer and has indicated he would be prepared to move in order to get it.

    The striker has only been at the club a matter of months, having arrived in July in a €7.5 million deal from Parma. He has struggled to make an impact, however, and with Walter Mazzarri seeking to reshape the side, he may well be considered expendable.

    Reynolds has suggested that Newcastle has been mooted as a potential destination. The Magpies have been over-reliant on Loic Remy for goals this season and Alan Pardew has identified this as something to improve in the New Year.

    Belfodil might, therefore, be a sensible acquisition. He would certainly fit in well in the club’s French-speaking dressing room.

Hulk Heading to Lombardy?

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    Reports in Italy and Brazil indicate that Inter are set to bid 40m to snare Zenit Saint-Petersburg forward Hulk.

    The Italian giants will face severe competition for his signature though; Chelsea are long-term admirers and would also look to secure the signature of a player who has long been tipped for a stint in the Premier League.

    Hulk’s spell in Russia has not been the success story that Zenit would have hoped for. He arrived in 2012 as part of the club’s ambitious re-modelling, but the novelty of the project at the Petrovsky Stadium appears to have worn off and he is now keen to try his hand in one of Europe’s major leagues.

    Inter may be a fading force, but they and Serie A still possess the lustre to appeal to the Brazilian international. He is the kind of figure who could, potentially, revitalise the Nerazzurri’s flagging season.

Inter May Turn to Kostas

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    Konstantinos Mitroglou is one of Europe’s most in-form strikers. The Greek hitman has bagged 17 goals in 15 games so far this term and was one of the stars of the Champions League group stage.

    also indicate that Inter are taking a serious look at the player.

    In principle, now might not be the ideal time for Mitroglou to change clubs.

    His beloved Olympiacos have qualified for the Champions League last 16 for the first time in four years and now face a glamour tie with Manchester United. Similarly, he will be seeking to lead the line for Greece at the World Cup and may not be willing to risk potential upheaval ahead of such a major event.

    Nonetheless, the appeal of Inter and a move to one of Europe’s major leagues would likely appeal to Mitroglou. He would ease the burden on youngsters Mauro Icardi and Ishak Belfodil while also allowing Diego Milito to leave.

Chicharito on the Way?

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    News that will surely excite Inter fans is that the club are actively pursuing a move for Manchester United’s clinical frontman Javier Hernandez. The Telegraph are just one source for this story.

    The Mexican striker is itching for more first-team football ahead of the World Cup, and the Lombardy club might be prepared to offer him just that.

    With Moyes expectant on Robin van Persie’s return to fitness for the second half of the campaign, he appears confident that Hernandez can afford to leave.

    The striker may well be used as a makeweight as part of a deal to bring Colombian midfielder Fredy Guarin to Old Trafford—Moyes is willing to sacrifice one of his forward options in order to improve his midfield strength.

Guarin to Chelsea

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    Any potential deal for Chicharito, however, might be affected by the fate of Fredy Guarin.

    The Colombian midfielder is a dynamic presence in the heart of the park, but he is one of the club’s most saleable assets and might be moved on to generate some transfer leverage.

    According to Tom Hopkinson of the Mirror, it is Chelsea, and not Manchester United, who are primed to acquire the Colombian star.

    Reportedly, Inter officials were at Stamford Bridge last week in order to thrash out the key details of a potential move to West London. His £15 million value is unlikely to be a problem for the Blues as they seek to enforce their team ahead of 2014’s inevitable title push.

    Barcelona are also said to be keeping tabs on the player.

Liverpool: Competition for Rondon

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    Rubin Kazan forward Salomon Rondon is another name to have been linked with a move to the San Siro. The 24-year-old Venezuelan has the best years of his career ahead of him and has the talent to make a considerable impact at the struggling side.

    However, the Express reported last week that Liverpool are keenly watching the situation regarding Rondon’s future. The Reds may want to bring in support for Luis Suarez, and Rondon, with his fast, fluid style, would fit into Brendan Rodgers’ plans.

    Inter may still have the last laugh, however, as they have reportedly already opened talks with the Russian club and might have made precious headway on the Merseysiders.

Loan for Lamela

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    The Metro have reported that Mazzarri and Thohir may be primed to offer Tottenham winger Erik Lamela an escape route from White Hart Lane.

    The former Roma man’s issues have been one of the most vivid indications of the troubles abounding at managerless Tottenham.

    The immediate future of the club’s personnel has been thrown into doubt following the dismissal of Portuguese manager Andre Vilas-Boas. Any new manager brought into the club will doubtlessly hope to have his own say over the Spurs squad.

    While Lamela is reportedly still hopeful of building a legacy for himself in the Premier League, a six-month move away might help him rediscover his form ahead of the World Cup.

Ranocchia's Future Undecided

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    Inter bosses have indicated that some players might need to depart before a potential transfer splurge in January. One of the names that has been incessantly linked with a move away is centre-back Andrea Ranocchia.

    The Express again reported this week that the Italian international is close to signing for Chelsea.

    The West London club are keen to strengthen an area of the team that has become a weakness in recent months. Mourinho apparently sees Ranocchia as a valuable addition to his defensive options.

    Speculation linking Brazilian defender David Luiz with a move to Barcelona will surely leave Chelsea requiring greater strength in depth. Doubts may linger about his suitability, but don’t bet against Ranocchia being that man.