It is not often the case that a manager is sacked midway through the season. And it is rarer at a huge club like Inter Milan that a manager is sacked within the first 6 months of his arrival. But, that has been the case with the Nerazzurri this season as they have struggled to fill the void created by Jose Mourinho after his unparalleled success with the Italians. Even though Benitez won the Club World Cup, Moratti dismissed the Spaniard as not good enough to lead them to the expected glory.
Potential suitors were mentioned in the press to step in for the departed Benitez and out of all candidates, a wildly surprising choice was made by the president when Leonardo, a Milan hero was appointed the coach. Reactions were etched by the supporters from both sides of Milan as “Traitor Chants” came across from the Red side of Milan. Besides that, the Inter fans complained about Leonardo lacking the experience and vision that the other candidates such as Hiddink and Cappello have. However, Leo was not short of support from his players with Captain Fantastic Zanetti welcoming the Brazilian to the Inter dressing room. With the Winter break on, Leonardo has plenty of time before his first game and has a positive dressing room beaming with confidence after being the World Champions for the first time in the history of the club.
One of the main reasons why Benitez and Inter parted ways was because of the lack of funds as stressed by the Spaniard. Yet, Inter is one of the most discussed clubs for the winter transfer window and have already captured talented Italian centre back Andrea Ranocchia from Genoa for a sum of €12 million. Let’s have a look at the player profile and stats so far in his career.
Date of Birth: 16 February 1988
Place: Assisi, Italy
Position: Centre back
The tall tough-talking Italian International has been the beacon in the Serie A this season with his assured performances for Genoa. Having gained experience with Bari in the Serie B in 2009 and helping them to gain promotion; Andrea has progressed in leaps and bounds this season. Basically operating as a Centre back, Rana is known for his ability to read the game and composure. His positioning has been talked about in Italy and is expected to be the rightful successor of Nesta and Cannavaro. Initially, Andrea was supposed to join Inter in June 2011 but the transfer was concluded before that because of a season ending injury to Walter Samuel. The timing of the transfer couldn’t have been better. Inter get the much needed defensive cover. Genoa gain financially. And Ranocchia gets a perfect platform to showcase his abilities.
Appearances in 2010-2011: 16 for Genoa
THT Rating: 8
Having completed the signing of Ranocchia, Inter is looking for further reinforcements because of their horrific injury list. A host of stars being linked to a big club is a cliché and Inter Milan is no exception.
Let us have a look at some of the possible signings Inter would make.
If this move indeed happens, it would be a double heartache for the Rossoneri. With Kaka struggling to make a mark at Real Madrid and the injection of Ozil to the Madrid setup, has made it difficult for the gifted Brazilian. Having already known that Mourinho is not a man of experimentation, it would be difficult to see Kaka getting back to the first team and holding onto his place with his current status. However, any manager would be satisfied at having an extra pair of legs and more so if they belong to someone like Kaka. Mourinho might be tempted to use Brazilian in the later stages of the Champions League. From Inter’s perspective, Kaka would be a welcome addition but his similarity to Sneijder would make it difficult to accommodate them together. It is also virtually impossible to see Moratti splashing out €50 million on someone who’s past his prime.
The Lazio born striker looks like an interesting prospect and with his age on his side, Inter could well use his enthusiasm and hunger to inject freshness into the squad. The Manchester United player has managed to gain Fergie’s trust after a remarkable cameo against Aston Villa and has improved. Michael Owen’s return from injury will limit the Italian’s chances and a loan move would do him a world of good. However, Inter isn’t exactly short of strikers, but keeping in mind the frailties of the human body, Macheda would be handy.
The talented Chilean has become a household name in the European circuit and has been linked to Inter for quite some time now. After his exploits with Chile in the World Cup and his ever improving performance for Udinese, it would not be too distant in the future before Sanchez switches to an elite European club. Known for his dribbling and sudden acceleration, Alexis would fit in at Inter perfectly as he could be used on both the wings to support Eto’o and Co. He has the experience in the Serie A and this could be useful for the Nerazzurri. However, it is unlikely that he will make a move in January.
Other big names, linked to Inter, include Luis Fabiano, Luca Toni, Montolivo and even Fernando Torres. Nevertheless, it’s implausible that Leonardo would make any of these signings in January.
The highly rated Brazilian full back has struggled to replicate his previous season’s form and could be one of the few heading away from Giuseppe Meazza in January. After his dreadful outing in Europe against Bale and Co., Maicon would be looking forward to change his work environment and get back to his best before the Copa America. A possible destination is Real Madrid, as they had shown interest in Maicon in the past. This could be a perfect platform for the dynamic Brazilian to show his mettle. A January transfer isn’t very likely. However, Maicon might move in summer.
With a new guardian coupled with a few fresh talents, Inter can well be looking to achieve what they did last season. Everything comes at a price, and more so in case of an ailing Inter Milan. Whether Moratti has plans to spend or not, your guess is as good as ours.