Internazionale’s fortunes changed this week as they recorded a derby victory over fierce rivals AC Milan. A poor-quality contest was settled in the last 10 minutes, as Argentine forward Rodrigo Palacio fired home a Fredy Guarin cross.
The 1-0 victory is the kind of result that could ignite a flagging season, and it may well give Inter boss Walter Mazzarri the kind of stability he needs heading into the January transfer window. The triumph was the manager’s first derby win.
While Inter’s victory certainly puts their season in stark contrast with that of their city rivals, who are currently languishing in 13th place, it doesn’t solve the Nerazzurri’s myriad of problems—Mazzarri and club owner Erick Thohir are unlikely to be swayed in their planned January overhaul of the squad.
Continue reading for the latest transfer news and rumours at Inter Milan.
***Updated: 28 Dec.***
Should Andrea Ranocchia head to the Premier League, as the indications suggest he will, then Inter will likely need some new defensive recruits.
Football Italia have presented Paolo Cannavaro’s name as a possible addition for the Nerazzurri.
The centre-back is a hero among the fans at Napoli, but his relationship with Rafa Benitez has become strained and Cannavaro has revealed he is open to a move away from Stadio San Paolo.
Two former Napoli bosses may well be occupying important roles at Serie A clubs by January; Edy Reja looks set to take over from Vladimir Petkovic at Lazio, while Walter Mazzarri is the incumbent at Internazionale.
Could Cannavaro be set for a reunion with one of the pair?
Recently, Bleacher Report acknowledged the rumours suggesting that Erik Lamela was set for a return to Italy. Inter were linked with a loan move for the player and subsequent reports appear to add weight to this suggestion.
The Argentine winger has struggled to adapt to life in London and in the Premier League, and the Daily Express have indicated that the player’s agent, Pablo Sabbag, has entered “exploratory talks” with the Nerazzurri.
However, Juventus have already been linked with a move for the player. A swap deal for Mirko Vucinic has been mooted and this would certainly end with Lamela departing White Hart Lane on a permanent deal.
The Brazilian has endured a frustrating time at White Hart Lane, where injuries and increased competition for minutes in midfield have affected his influence. ‘The Beast’ was one of several players rumoured to be discouraged by the club’s summer recruitment and any desire to move may also be influenced by a fading hope of representing Brazil at the World Cup.
Rumours linking Sandro to the San Siro surely come in light of the potentially-imminent departure of Fredy Guarin. The dynamic Colombian has been targeted by a number of major sides and his fellow South American could be seen as someone who would help soften the blow of losing such an influential individual.
While Mazzarri and Thohir are keen to recruit players in January and improve the overall quality of the squad, they cannot seem to escape the rumours that link Colombian midfielder Fredy Guarin with a move away from Lombardy.
While Chelsea appear to be his pre-eminent option, Alex Richards of The Mirror quotes the midfielder as saying that he “really wants to stay” in Northern Italy. Guarin admitted that there had been interaction with the Blues, but he was unswerving in his expressed commitment to remain at the San Siro and help improve the team’s league position.
A combination of this loyalty as well as his starring role in the Milan derby ought to convince Mazzarri and Thohir that a player sale would not be in their best interests.
Inter’s hopes of recruiting Chelsea forward Demba Ba may well have been encouraged by the player’s dismissal of a potential transfer to Arsenal. The Senegal striker, when questioned about a switch to the Gunners, assured reporters that there was “nothing going on” between him and the club, per Paul Collins of The Daily Mail.
The West African appears set for the exit at Stamford Bridge; he has struggled to make an impact since arriving in West London in January and could well be offloaded in January.
According to Ben Jefferson of The Express, Inter have enquired about the forward, potentially as a makeweight in any deal for Fredy Guarin, and with Arsenal apparently out of the running, they may now increase their attempts to seal a move.
While the majority of speculation concerning Inter and Italy centre-back Andrea Ranocchia has been linking him with a move to Chelsea, The Daily Mirror have reported that both Manchester United and Arsenal are also seeking his signature.
Both clubs have had issues in the heart of the defence and have been alerted to the potential availability of Ranocchia.
The defender has received limited opportunities under Walter Mazzarri and may well be one of the players sacrificed in order to generate funds for an overhaul of the squad.
According to Nick Lustig of the Express, Tottenham, whose defensive frailties have been scrutinised in recent weeks, have also been linked with a move and may well be keen to wrap up a deal.
Recently we indicated the potential of an Inter move for Manchester United forward Javier Hernandez. The Mexican forward was touted as a potential makeweight in any potential move for Fredy Guarin and, indeed, had been linked to various European clubs.
A potential departure no longer looks to be on the cards.
The player’s agent indicated last Wednesday that he had recently met with United officials to discuss the player’s future.
Eduardo Hernandez said: “They confirmed that there has been interest from some European clubs, but that they aren’t planning to let him go.”
These words would seem to indicate that Chicharito, who has only started three games so far this season, was still required at Old Trafford. If the Little Pea does not move, then the potential departures of the likes of Diego Milito and Ishak Belfodil from Lombardy may also be affected.
One Manchester-based forward who could be on his way to the San Siro, however, is City’s John Guidetti.
The youngster has long been earmarked as a future star at the club, but now 21, it would appear that opportunities to "make it" at the Etihad may not be forthcoming.
The forward originally arrived at the club in 2008 but, despite impressing during several loan stints, has had little chance to truly make a name for himself in the North West.