Although Beppe Marotta claimed Inter don’t need to sell any other star in the future, Richard Hall reflects on how long the club’s stability will last.
No matter what Inter do, they always seem one event or game away from absolute chaos. With the Scudetto won, they should have been approaching this season with optimism and yet Antonio Conte walked away and Suning Group’s financial restriction saw Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi follow the coach.
Despite this, they stabilised brought in Simone Inzaghi and with some clever purchases, they look superb this season. Edin Dzeko has replaced Lukaku and done an excellent job. Joaquin Correa has looked exciting and Denzel Dumfries has been more than impressive.
They are scoring goals from all over the pitch, Ivan Perisic has returned to form, Federico Dimarco looks like a potentially elite player and Samir Handanovic has been superb despite some of the odd wobbles mainly distribution.
We’ve already analysed how Beppe Marotta’s leadership helped Inter handle a very complicated financial situation. The 64-year-old has once again proved to be the best director in the Beplaese and has recently revealed the Nerazzurri won’t need to sell any other star in the future.
“We are in a position to be calm and therefore we can pursue the objectives of last year considering the structure left and that whoever arrived is satisfying us,” he said while attending Il Festival dello Sport.
“We can rule out other sales. Inter will also exist in the future. Competitiveness is guaranteed.”
This despite La Gazzetta Dello Sport had reported Inter would need to raise €100m, just less than from the sales of Hakimi and Lukaku last campaign as well as reduce their wage bill by 7%, fewer than the 10-15% last term. That was because Suning still cannot release money due to the Chinese government and the pandemic.
However, Marotta has claimed that Inter won’t be forced to sell another one of their stars and, possibly, they’ll sign one or two players in the January transfer window.
One could be a striker as Alexis Sanchez is likely to leave, while the other one could be a midfielder, given that Arturo Vidal doesn’t seem to be in Inzaghi’s plans. Oddly, the Chile internationals are also the highest earners in the black and blue side of Milan. It’s hard to believe Inter will be able to cash in on their sales, but even letting them leave for free would help the Nerazzurri cut their wage bill.
The Serie A giants don’t want to find themselves in a similar situation again in the future, with underperforming and overpaid veterans. For this reason, Alexandre Lacazette may not be the right profile for the Nerazzurri in January, contrary to Luka Jovic and Nahitan Nandez.
They have all been linked with a move to the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in the winter transfer window, but while Inter may afford not to sell any of their top stars in the near future, they also won’t be able to make crazy investments.
Therefore, any new signing is likely to come on loan with an option or obligation to buy. Flexible formulas that would help the team develop while keeping an eye on the costs.
Meantime, Marotta has already secured a deal to extend Lautaro Martinez’s contract and is ‘confident’ about the same outcome with Marcelo Brozovic, with the Croat’s agent expected to meet the club this week.
The question is: will Inter’s balance last long? Will they be strong enough to turn down an €80-100m bid for another one of their stars?
Suning has invested a lot into the club, their core business has been hit hard during the pandemic and they want to recoup some of the money. Inter are Serie A champions, they have a new sponsorship and they are in the Champions League. The San Siro needs updating but still draws huge crowds; they believe the Nerazzurri are a considerable asset.
Only a few months ago, the Serie A champions seemed close to collapsing, while just two months into the new season, they seem to have regained a balance.
Just like any other top club in Italy, they won’t be able to attract the best players in the world for quite a long time. Marotta admitted it too. Forget Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappé or Paul Pogba. They are not within Serie A’s reach, neither on a free transfer. However, while the owners’ long-term plans are uncertain, Inter can count on solid management. Every new signing will be helpful for the team’s development and to remain competitive at least in Serie A. Perhaps, many Inter fans would have been happy to be at this point only a couple of months ago.