As 2013 comes to a close, Internazionale sit in fifth place in Serie A. The recent derby victory over Milan brought a smile to the faces of Nerazzurri fans, but it masked some of the squad’s failings over the previous months.
Walter Mazzarri’s men were taken apart by the likes of Napoli and Roma in the early stages of the season and find themselves 15 points behind leaders Juventus and five points off Champions League qualification.
Both Mazzarri and club owner Erick Thohir have indicated that the team are preparing for an overhaul in the January transfer window.
Bearing that in mind, new arrivals are surely imminent—this article takes you through the most prominent rumours and will also guide you through the opening days of the window.
***Updated: Jan. 03***
As reported by Ed Maylor of the Mirror. Inter midfielder Esteban Cambiasso is set to be released by the club this summer. The Argentine earns £3.7million-per-year at the San Siro, a fee that breaks owner Erick Thohir’s ideal wage limit of £2.5million.
With Cambiasso unlikely to have any sort of long term future at the club, several major sides may choose to seek his signature in January. The 33 year old would likely be receptive to any kind of move, making him part of a likely Argentine exodus from the club.
Manchester United and Chelsea are two clubs who may opt to bolster their midfield options by chasing Cambiasso. The experienced player could add poise and a certain combativeness to the Red Devils’ midfield. He was also a Champions League winner under Jose Mourinho in 2010 and may also be tempted by a reunion with his former boss.
At 32, the forward was unlikely to ever be a long-term solution, but as a player with over four years of Italian football experience, he was potentially a figure who could tide the team over while some of the younger players find their feet.
Having struggled for first-team football at both Napoli and Udinese, Denis sought minutes at Atalanta. He certainly found them, bagging 16 goals in his first full season at the club. He already has six in 2013-14 and could, realistically, have contributed to the Nerazzurri forward line.
However, the Argentine striker yesterday killed any rumours linking him to Lombardy.
As reported by Sky Sports, the international claimed that Atalanta was his “second home” and refuted all suggestions that he may be heading for the exit door, “in January I’ll be there at 100 per cent.”
A number of Premier League sides, including Manchester United and Tottenham, have been linked to the player, but according to Perrin, it is Chelsea who lead the pack. A fee of £15 million has been considered enough to secure a transfer.
Centre-back Andrea Ranocchia continues to be a long-term target for Chelsea, with Jose Mourinho eyeing him as a replacement for an aging John Terry. As with Guarin, the Blues may also face competition from United and Spurs.
One factor that may give Chelsea the edge over their rivals in the hunt for Inter’s star men is the status of Juan Mata in the eyes of Mourinho.
Despite being the Pensioners’ key performer over the last two seasons, the 25-year-old Spaniard has not found favour in the eyes of the Portuguese boss and has been a peripheral figure at Stamford Bridge during the opening half of the season.
With Mourinho unhappy with Mata’s inability to adapt to his demanding approach, the World Cup winner’s best option may be to seek pastures new. Inter chiefs will be aware that the former Valencia man has the kind of reputation that could revitalise Inter’s flagging troops.
Bleacher Report had previously reported on a potential Premier League move for Diego Milito. The forward is now 34 and has been deemed surplus to requirements at Internazionale.
For a while, it had seemed as though the Argentine would be moving to East London, to West Ham United, where he would be seen as a solution—short-term at least—to the Hammers’ offensive deficiencies.
However, recent indications suggest that Milito will be taking his talents elsewhere.
According to Football Italia, the striker has let it be known that he would be keen to end his playing career in his homeland. He began his career at Racing Club back in 1999 and is eyeing a career swan song back at the Avellaneda-based side.
With their hunt for Milito ending in disappointment, Football Italia reported that West Ham may turn to his team-mate, Ishak Belfodil.
The Algerian only arrived at the club in the summer, transferring from Parma for £7 million as part of a swath of summer transfers. However, he has struggled to assert himself at the San Siro and has openly expressed his frustration at a lack of playing time.
With the World Cup on the horizon, Belfodil cannot risk biding his time on the bench at Inter. West Ham, by contrast, would surely give him the minutes he craves. Carlton Cole and Mladen Petric are both due to depart the club in the near future, and the Hammers are desperately short of attacking options.
Erik Lamela’s proposed move away from White Hart Lane also appears to be gathering pace. Like Belfodil, he only joined his new club in the summer, but he has struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League and has wholly failed to live up to his £30 million transfer fee.
The Mirror have confirmed that Lamela is keen to move away from the club, at least in the short term. A loan deal to Inter has been mooted, but it remains to be seen whether new Spurs manager Tim Sherwood would agree to letting such a talented individual depart.
However, should Inter offer to remunerate Tottenham, then the Lilywhites might be tempted to cut their losses on a player who is currently looking like little more than an extravagant substitute.