In the previous fortnight, football headlines have been dominated by Real Madrid and their activity in the transfer market. They are ready to sign yet another big name, which could be any of David Villa, Franck Ribery or Xabi Alonso. Maybe even someone else.
But there is another team that has not been so active in the transfer market, but instead are quietly getting on with the job of building a team ahead of 2009-10.
The name is Inter Milan.
They are not grabbing attention of all like Real, but are busy trying to make a team that can not only win the Serie A, but also put up a tough fight in the Champions League.
Jose Mourinho, their manager, is reportedly moving for Chelsea duo Anderson Deco and Ricardo Carvalho. Ricardo Quaresma is most probably returning from loan to the San Siro. The thought that first occurs to me when I think about the two statements above is that all these players are Portuguese and all are currently at Chelsea.
Chelsea's Portuguese contingent is one that first emerged when Mourinho brought with him Paulo Ferreira and Carvalho from FC Porto. When Luiz Felipe Scolari took over, Jose Bosingwa had already been signed.
Scolari brought in Deco from the Nou Camp, where Pep Guardiola had told him that Deco wasn't part of his plans. In January, when Scolari was only just hanging on to his job at Chelsea, he captured Quaresma from Inter Milan on loan.
This left Chelsea with six players from Portugal; Namely Deco, Carvalho, Ferreira, Hilario, Bosingwa and Quaresma.
This contingent now might be set to come to an end. Paulo Ferreira might be moving, since he has been out of favour at right-back due to Bosingwa's arrival and Ivanovic becoming back up to him. I think he should move, not because he isn't good but because he has served Chelsea well and deserves first team action.
Ricardo Quaresma is surely going back to Inter as Jose Mourinho has said that he expects him back. In my opinion he was a part of Scolari's plan and Scolari's sacking meant that Quaresma was no longer a part of the club's plans.
Even though I thought he was impressive and deserved more playing time, it is unlikely that he will be signed permanently.
As for Deco, he has said that he wants out. Reportedly unhappy at Stamford Bridge, he apparently fancies a move to Inter and the opportunity to reunite with Jose, the Special One. Limited playing time under Hiddink has left him thinking his future is away from the Bridge.
Just like Quaresma, he was also part of Scolari's plan which went into the dumps with the Big Phil being fired. Also, the Chelsea midfield is already filled up.
As for Ricardo Carvalho, he is also being quoted as open to a move away from Chelsea. Inter are once again hot favourites for his signature. An injury-plagued season has meant only 13 appearances for him. Apparently, he has fallen down in the pecking order for centre-back position.
Brazilian Alex and Serb Branislav Ivanovic have impressed at the back this season, after getting more chances. Carvalho also wouldn't mind rejoining Mourinho, given the time they spent together at Chelsea.
So, the questions that arise are: How may Portuguese players will be at Stamford Bridge when the new season gets underway, and what kind of team will Inter have by then?
Do comment and let me know what you think is gonna happen.