It promises to be a formative few months at Inter Milan, where as many as eight new players could be unveiled by the club ahead of next season.
Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic has already signed on as a free agent, but chairman Erick Thohir looks poised to go on a summer spending spree in an attempt to revive the Serie A giant’s sagging fortunes.
Considered a contender for the Champions League places back in the autumn, the Nerazzurri have largely disappointed since the winter break and now, with two matches remaining and in fifth place, may have to win out to secure a Europa League berth.
A free-scoring outfit as recently as five months ago, the goals have dried up for Inter in 2014, with only Rodrigo Palacio providing reliable offense throughout the campaign.
And while Palacio’s Argentine counterpart, Mauro Icardi, has tallied four times in his last five outings, Sport Mediaset has reported, as per Football-Italia, that Thohir would be willing to swap the 21-year-old for the Atletico Madrid striker.
The Daily Mail has suggested the Spain international would be available for £10 million (£40 million less than what Chelsea paid for him in 2011), although Inter would prefer a loan arrangement before making the deal permanent.
Dzeko, who has scored at least 14 Premier League goals in each of his three full seasons at Etihad Stadium, will no doubt be a hot commodity this summer. With City having fallen foul of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules, the club may be more keen than usual to bring in some transfer revenue during the summer.
Already the Mirror has linked the Bosnia-Herzegovina international to the San Siro, although City’s price tag could deter Thohir from making a bid.
But whomever he acquires to lead the line, they will no doubt benefit from new support attackers and a central midfield that could be in store for a shakeup as well.
Longtime transfer target Nicolas Gaitan, who joined Benfica from Boca Juniors in 2010, is thought to be well into talks with the Nerazzurri, and talkSPORT has reported Ricky Alvarez could be heading to Lisbon as part of an exchange.
Cruzeiro midfielder Nilton is also thought to be on his way to Inter following a breakout season at the Brazilian champions. According to Sambafoot, the 27-year-old is closing in on a deal that would pay him €50,000 per week on a four-year contract should a €5.5 million payment for his services be accepted by the Foxes.
Negotiations are also reported to have opened between Inter and John Obi Mikel, who still has three years left on his current pact at Chelsea.
But the winter arrival of Nemanja Matic has made the Nigeria international expendable, and the Express has reported the 27-year-old’s agent is already well into discussions with the three-time European champions.
The 24-year-old has been capped 26 times by Turkey and would challenge Yuto Nagatomo for a place in the first team, although he could also be deployed on the right.
One area—and perhaps the only one—in which change will not be coming is that of the coaching staff.
On Saturday Thohir once again confirmed that Walter Mazzarri would be staying on at Inter Milan, as per the BBC, although the squad at the manager’s disposal will no doubt have a much different look next season than it had this one.
Potential Inter Milan squad for 2013-14 (3-5-1-1): Handanovic; Ranocchia, Vidic, Rolando; D’Ambrosio, Hernanes, Mikel, Kovacic, Nagatomo; Gaitan; Torres
Bench: Castellazzi, Juan Jesus, Campagnaro, Andreolli, Nilton, Cambiasso, Kuzmanovic, Jonathan, Taider, Nagatomo, Palacio