Inter came back from a poor first half to destroy Crotone 6-2 in Milan. It was a result that Antonio Conte needed, as it fuelled the Nerazzurri’s title challenge. It also showed that they are a force to be reckoned with, as Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez put on a master class.
Even though they have been in good form, there has been much talk about whether they would strengthen the squad in January.
The summer transactions have been criticised, as there have been success, but also some big failures.
Conte is never quiet when it comes to the possibility of strengthening his squad. The summer window was dominated by the coach asking for experienced players to the point of actively walking away from signing Sandro Tonali.
Achraf Hakimi was a youthful acquisition and arguably has been the best performer of the arrivals although Matteo Darmian has also made a good impression.
The problem has come in the signings of Arturo Vidal and Aleksandar Kolarov; both have looked way past their best and certainly have brought the steel that the coach expected.
Perhaps the biggest elephant in the room has been the signing of Christian Eriksen. The Dane has hardly featured and the ‘mister’ has made it public that that his future will be elsewhere.
Inter CEO Beppe Marotta talked media this weekend and the January transfer window was one of the main topics. There had even been rumours that Suning were going to sell the club, but Steven Zhang in a statement quickly quashed this. Marotta backed this up and then addressed how Inter would approach the market in January.
The CEO indicated that there would be no major investments in this period. This is probably similar for many clubs, as everyone has been effected by the pandemic.
He went on to point out that, the revenues had been reduced by this and that this will not just effect whom Inter can buy but also who will possibly purchase players from them.
He said that, in Italy the cost of wages and transfers has risen substantially, this is from 50-55% of revenue to now looking like being closer to 70%; this in itself shows how movement of personnel will be much reduced.
Inter are still linked with players and the situation with Eriksen is a critical one, as any move away from San Siro he can get will be a welcome one, not just on the club’s wages but also to help them reinvest.
There has been much talk of clubs like PSG, the Madrid duo and Manchester United looking at the Dane but there is also another possibility that has been touted.
Down the road in Bergamo, Papu Gomez has fallen out with Gian Piero Gasperini and is set to leave Atalanta this January. It is believed that the Nerazzurri are interested.
Inter have also been looking for another back up striker as Conte does not seem to favour Andrea Pinamonti and it looks like he could be leaving Inter after only returning this summer.
His agent, Mina Raiola, will certainly not be standing still if he can see any chance of getting the Italian under 21 International a deal at a club of good stature.
Both the Nerazzurri and Juventus are interested in Graziano Pellé who is going to make a final decision about this future in the coming days. Parma’s Gervinho is also being linked with a move to the Stadio Meazza.
Inter’s 6-2 win over Crotone did show that the squad is strong and has depth albeit far from perfect.
It seems that it will be unlikely that any major moves will be made, unless a club decides to invest in the likes of Eriksen, Pinamonti or perhaps Ivan Perisic.
Instead, what is more likely is that Inter will try to recoup on transfer fees and wages when possible, as they did by loaning Radja Nainggolan back to Cagliari.
This trimming of the squad does make sense, as it may increase the harmony in the team by getting rid of players who do not want to be there and set themselves up to be in a much better position when the summer window comes around. It may not be exciting, but it is certainly sensible.