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Inter Milan Have 'Confidence' Amid Olivier Giroud and Christian Eriksen Rumours

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJanuary 16, 2020

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 24: Oliver Giroud of Chelsea during the Carabao Cup Semi-Final Second Leg match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on January 24, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Signing Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud and Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen during the January transfer window would be a major coup for Inter Milan. Wrapping up both deals may seem like a tall order, but Nerazzurri director Piero Ausilio says there is optimism at the club things can be done. 

Ausilio was asked about Inter's attempts to reinforce the squad this winter, per Sky Sports: "No important news, we have confidence in our work and not only for these two players."

His expression of confidence represents a stark contrast to the recent thoughts of Antonio Conte. The manager had said funds are lacking for new signings, per Goal's James Westwood.

A hefty transfer budget may not be needed to sign either Giroud or Eriksen, though. Both are on the outside looking in with their current clubs.

Eriksen has already been the subject of a bid from the team second in Serie A, but Spurs want twice the amount offered, per Fabrizio Romano of the Guardian:

B/R Football @brfootball

Inter have offered Christian Eriksen a contract to join the club on a free transfer next summer and are exploring the possibility of making a bid to get him this window, according to @FabrizioRomano https://t.co/j7wrQkzvOL

Meanwhile, Sky Italia (h/t Football.London's Robert Warlow and Joe Doyle) reported Giroud has agreed personal terms with Inter, but a fee hasn't been settled on with Chelsea.

Eriksen has been merely a bit-part player for the Lilywhites this season, after declaring his desire to leave the club last summer. The 27-year-old has made just 10 starts and eight appearances off the substitutes bench, but he's still scored two goals and provided as many assists.

He was on the pitch when Spurs lost 1-0 at home to Premier League leaders Liverpool on Saturday. As many noted, Eriksen's actions after the full-time whistle looked like a goodbye gesture to the Tottenham faithful:

Alasdair Gold @AlasdairGold

I didn't see it but I've now had two different people tell me Christian Eriksen handed his shirt to someone in the South Stand, waved to the crowd and then instead of walking across the pitch to the tunnel, walked around the touchline waving to the fans along the way. A goodbye?

Alasdair Gold @AlasdairGold

Here's the start of that post-match Christian Eriksen moment people have been talking about, captured by @RachelVMartin. https://t.co/6621W50UdS

Conte knows how valuable Eriksen can be from his two seasons in charge of Chelsea. Eriksen would add a bit more guile and vision to a workmanlike Inter midfield underpinned by Marcelo Brozovic.

Yet letting Eriksen go this month would be a risky proposition for a Spurs squad dealing with a few injuries. The walking wounded includes midfield powerhouse Moussa Sissoko, who is set for a lengthy spell on the treatment table following knee surgery.

Tottenham's depleted numbers were supplemented on Wednesday by the arrival of Gedson Fernandes on an 18-month loan deal from Benfica, per the club's official website.

Fernandes will add athleticism and versatility to the engine room, but Eriksen's technique and eye for a pass would surely be missed. Letting him go would increase the burden on Dele Alli and Giovani Lo Celso to carry the creative load.

Giroud's value to Chelsea has become less obvious since Frank Lampard took charge last summer. Lampard has made youth the focus of his team, and in 22-year-old Tammy Abraham, he has a prolific attacking talisman with 15 goals to his credit in all competitions.

Abraham's most obvious deputy is Michy Batshuayi, who offers the pace Giroud lacks. Yet while the Frenchman appears surplus to requirements, he's proved his worth in the past.

Giroud's aerial power and ability to link with runners from midfield made him an instant hit with the Blues when he arrived from London rivals Arsenal in early 2018. His goals helped Conte's men win the FA Cup the same year, while he was also prolific en route to helping Chelsea lift last season's UEFA Europa League trophy:

William Hill @WilliamHill

Most goals and assists in European competition in 2018/19: Lionel Messi 👕10 games ⚽️12 goals 🅰️3 assists Olivier Giroud 👕14 games ⚽️11 goals 🅰️ 4 assists But only one of them won a trophy at the end of it. 😉 https://t.co/OkTGo2wHHQ

Signing Giroud would give Conte a natural backup for main frontman Romelu Lukaku. His partnership with Lautaro Martinez has helped the Nerazzurri becomes the main challengers to Juventus in the Italian top flight.

Bolstering depth up front, while adding more creativity to midfield, would boost Inter's chances of overcoming a two-point deficit and breaking Juve's grip on the title.

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