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Goal.com analyses what impact the outcome of the city rivals' respective bids to sign the Argentine forward will have on their other reported January transfer targets

ANALYSIS
By Mark Doyle

The lead-up to one of the more intriguing Milan derbies in recent memory has been overshadowed by matters off the field, with the two great inter-city rivals locked in a tug-of-war over the acquisition of Manchester City's want-away forward Carlos Tevez.

AC Milan appeared to hold the upper ground but Alexandre Pato's surprising decision to resist the lure of a move to Paris Saint-Germain, where he would have been reunited with two of his former mentors, Leonardo and Carlo Ancelotti, has resulted in the Rossoneri seemingly abandoning their pursuit of Tevez.

Inter now appear to be in pole position to land the Argentine forward but there is an inescapable suspicion that there are more twists and turns left in this ridiculously protracted transfer saga.

And, as you can see from below, where Tevez ends up will have a massive bearing on which other players arrive in the city of Milan during the remaining weeks of the January transfer window.

AC MILAN
CARLOS TEVEZ | Manchester City, Forward, 27

Read more on Tevez
SEASON STATS
Appearances
3
Goals
0
Assists
0
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
£21 million
Interested clubs
Milan, Inter
Chance of leaving
75%
When Inter president Massimo Moratti admitted on Thursday afternoon that even he felt Carlos Tevez was likely to sign for Milan, it appeared that arguably the most annoyingly drawn-out transfer tale in recent memory was finally coming to an end. But then everything changed: Pato decided against moving to PSG and the Rossoneri promptly broke off negotiations with City for Tevez.

The two deals, Milan CEO Adriano Galliani explained, had been dependent upon one another, which seems odd given that the Italian champions had long maintained that they were seeking a replacement for Antonio Cassano, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season after undergoing heart surgery, and not Pato.

Is Milan’s pursuit of Tevez over? It would seem so. But we remain sceptical. Galliani repeatedly claimed that the forward wanted to sign for Milan and Milan only ... not that the Argentine’s word counts for much these days, of course!

MAXI LOPEZ | Catania, Forward, 27

Read more on Lopez
SEASON STATS
Appearances
14
Goals
3
Assists
1
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
£2.5m
Interested clubs
Milan, Roma, Fulham
Chance of leaving
90%
One wonders now if Milan’s failure to land Tevez will result in them resurrecting their interest in another Argentine, Catania’s Maxi Lopez. The Rossoneri do, after all, still need another forward and they had agreed terms both with the Sicilians and the former Barcelona player only to scrap the deal as they grew increasingly confident of landing Tevez.

Galliani claimed at the time that Milan were willing to wait until the end of the January transfer window to thrash out a deal for Tevez and that it would have been unfair to keep both Catania and Lopez on standby until the situation resolved itself.

However, one imagines that if Milan came calling again, Lopez would spurn the rumoured advances of Roma and Fulham and move to San Siro.

JAVIER MASCHERANO | Barcelona, Defensive Midfielder, 27

Read more on Mascherano
SEASON STATS
Appearances
11
Goals
0
Assists
0
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
£16.5m
Interested clubs
Milan, Manchester United
Chance of leaving
25%
There is mounting speculation that the Rossoneri are now considering making a move for Tevez’s compatriot and former West Ham United team-mate, Javier Mascherano. With Gennaro Gattuso now 33 and no longer the dynamic, destructive force he once was, Milan could certainly do with another snarling presence in the middle of the park.

Mascherano, 27, is a valuable member of the Barcelona squad but he sees little game time in his preferred defensive midfield position and, despite his excellent adaptation to the role of centre-half, is currently being forced to play second fiddle to the ageing Carles Puyol.

One imagines that the Catalans would be unwilling to deal at this stage of the season but if the price was right …

RADJA NAINGGOLAN | Cagliari, Midfielder, 23

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SEASON STATS
Appearances
16
Goals
1
Assists
0
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
 £12.5m
Interested clubs
Milan, Inter, Juventus
Chance of leaving
50%
Of course, should Milan suffer the embarrassment and ignominy of seeing Tevez, a player they have invested such time and energy in signing, join Inter, the Rossoneri might very well decide to reply in kind by acquiring a player who has long been admired by the Nerazzurri.

Cagliari’s 23-year-old Belgian international Radja Nainggolan is considered one of the most talented young midfielders in Serie A and has been linked with not only both Milan clubs, but also Juventus.

Consequently, the former Piacenza man is unlikely to come cheap but there can be no doubt that Nainggolan would prove an excellent addition to a Milan midfield which contains more than a couple of players currently on the wrong side of 30.

MATTIA DESTRO | Siena, Forward, 20

Read more on Destro
SEASON STATS
Appearances
10
Goals
5
Assists
1
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
 £4.2m
Interested clubs
Milan, Juve, Napoli, Fiorentina
Chance of leaving
25%
Milan would also undoubtedly take great pleasure out of acquiring the services of a highly-rated young forward who was once on Inter’s books. Mattia Destro scored freely for the Nerazzurri at under-age level before joining Genoa on loan in the summer of 2010 as part of the deal which saw centre-half Andrea Ranocchia move in the other direction.

Destro’s transfer to Genoa was made permanent at the end of the season but he was loaned out to Siena last summer and has since struck five goals in 10 games for the Bianconeri.

His form has also attracted the interest of Juventus, Napoli and Fiorentina but Siena would be reluctant to part company with the player midway through the season. However, the striker would undoubtedly jump at the opportunity to return to Milan and prove a point to the blue half of the city.

INTER
CARLOS TEVEZ | Manchester City, Forward, 27

Read more on Tevez
SEASON STATS
Appearances
3
Goals
0
Assists
0
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
 £21m
Interested clubs
Inter, Milan
Chance of leaving
75%
Of course, Milan’s apparent withdrawal from a two-horse race to sign Tevez surely means that the player is now certain to sign for Inter, right? Well, it's not as simple as that.

Unlike the Rossoneri, the Nerazzurri were, right from the start, willing to pay cash upfront for the former Corinthians ace and that was always a far more agreeable proposition to City, who were repeatedly frustrated in their attempts to persuade Milan to accept an obligation to buy the player at the end of a proposed loan deal.

As already mentioned, Tevez reportedly has his heart set on joining Milan but it seems more likely that he simply wants to depart City. Indeed, does anyone really think that he would have any issue with declaring his love for the Nerazzurri just a couple of weeks after professing his desire to line out for the Rossoneri? Didn't think so.

Certainly, it is Inter who have the greater need for the 27-year-old striker. Diego Forlan has proved frustratingly injury-prone since arriving from Atletico Madrid last summer, while only against Parma last weekend did it seem that Diego Milito and Giampaolo Pazzini had rediscovered their predatory instincts of old.

The arrival of Tevez would undoubtedly reinvigorate the Inter attack.

MARKO MARIN | Werder Bremen, Attacking Midfielder, 22

Read more on Marin
SEASON STATS
Appearances
11
Goals
0
Assists
3
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
£12.5m
Interested clubs
Inter
Chance of leaving
30%
One wonders what the latest development in the Tevez saga means for Inter’s reported interest in Werder Bremen playmaker Marko Marin. The Nerazzurri had reportedly identified the Germany international up as a back-up option and it now remains to be seen if Claudio Ranieri will cool his interest in the player.

The deal could still happen, though. Firstly, Marin and Tevez are very different players. Secondly, with the future of Wesley Sneijder still unclear, Inter could very well end up in need of a new attacking midfielder – if not now, then almost definitely at the end of the season. And thirdly, Marin’s contract runs out next year so Bremen may be ready to cash in on their most saleable asset.

EZEQUIEL LAVEZZI | Napoli, Forward, 26

Read more on Lavezzi
SEASON STATS
Appearances
15
Goals
3
Assists
3
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
£25m
Interested clubs
Inter, Milan, Man City
Chance of leaving
10%
The Tevez affect would also appear to quash the latest rumours linking Inter with a move for Ezequiel Lavezzi. The Nerazzuri have long been tipped to make a bid for the Napoli forward but thus far no official approach has been made.

Speculation over Lavezzi’s future resurfaced in recent days but his agent, Alejandro Mazzoni, is adamant that there has been no contact with Inter. In addition, it would not make any sense for Napoli, with a Champions League last-16 date with Chelsea on the horizon, to deal during the current transfer window - even if Lavezzi’s girlfriend would clearly welcome a move to Milan.

ALEKSANDAR KOLAROV | Manchester City, Left-back, 26

Read more on Kolarov
SEASON STATS
Appearances
6
Goals
1
Assists
1
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
 £8m
Interested clubs
Inter, Juventus
Chance of leaving
30%
Somewhat bizarrely, the outcome of the Tevez affair will also reportedly impact Inter’s attempts to sign defensive reinforcements. According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, the Nerazzurri do not have the financial clout to land both Tevez and his Manchester City team-mate Aleksandar Kolarov, meaning they now look set to abandon their interest in the former Lazio defender.

Kolarov, though, would most likely be keen on a return to Italy given he has seen little game time at Eastlands this season, while the fact remains that Inter are still very much in need of a quality left-back.

In addition, it seems likely that if Inter do not make a move, the Serbian will end up signing for rivals Juventus, with general director Giuseppe Marotta said to have met with the player’s agent earlier this week.

EDEN HAZARD | Lille, Attacking Midfielder, 21

Read more on Hazard
SEASON STATS
Appearances
19
Goals
7
Assists
7
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
£29m
Interested clubs
Inter, Chelsea, Arsenal, Man United, Man City
Chance of leaving
50%
Inter must also be wondering whether to go for broke in relation to long-time target Eden Hazard. The Lille starlet has attracted the interest of the top clubs in England and there have been reports this week that Chelsea are ready to offer £25 million for the player.

Inter are not in a position to compete with the financial might of the Premier League’s finest and a successful bid for Tevez would make a move for the 21-year-old winger even more unlikely.

However, president Moratti has not been shy about discussing his admiration for the Belgian international, who would add some much-needed verve to Inter’s ageing forward line. Besides, signing both Tevez and Hazard would represent a most emphatic statement to their rivals that Inter are intent on re-establishing themselves as one of the strongest sides in European football.

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