With the January transfer window quickly approaching, we take a look at the business that may be conducted by some of the top clubs in Europe. Here's a look at Inter Milan..
This Season's Stats
||Serie A: 4th
Europa League: Round of 32
Coppa Italia: Quarter-finals
Win %: 58.62%
GF ratio: 1.72
GA ratio: 1.10
Their Season So Far
The 2012-13 season started off on a positive note for the 2010 European Champions with a emphatic 0-3 victory away to newly-promoted Pescara. They followed that with a home loss to Zdenek Zeman's high-flying Roma, a win away to Torino and another home loss to Siena. After that Inter clicked into a higher gear as they were unbeaten in 10 games in all competitions which included a victory in the Milan Derby and also the defeat of Italian champions Juventus at Turin.
Since then the Nerazzurri have struggled to maintain consistency as they manage to win the odd game but follow it up with a loss or a draw. They finished second in the group stages of the Europa League and will Romanian side CFR Cluj in the Round of 32 stage of the competition. A 2-0 victory over Hellas Verona has ensured their progress into the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia where they square up against Bologna.
Though the team has made remarkable progress under young manager Andrea Strammacioni, Inter need to attain a level of consistency if they are to entertain any hopes of a return to the glory days for the club.
What They Need
Inter Milan were a busy club over the summer of 2012 as they brought in many fresh faces in an attempt to dismantle the Champions League winning squad assembled by Jose Mourinho. The squad was definitely ageing with deadwood needed to be removed. Once upon a time Inter's undisputed Number 1 Julio Cesar was allowed to leave to Queens Park Rangers and Maicon left for Manchester City.
The midfield was shored up by the arrivals of Walter Gargano and Gabi Mudingayi from Napoli and Bologna respectively. The defence was still shaky thanks to Andrea Ranocchia's erratic form. Juan Jesus and Matias Silvestre were brought in from Internacional and Palermo respectively to add some teeth to the Inter backline. Antonio Cassano, Alvaro Perreira and Rodrigo Palacio were the last of Inter's additions in the summer as they were seen as backup to striker Diego Milito
A highlight of Strammacioni's reign at Inter has been their transition from a four-man backline to one which has three. The wing-backs of Jonathan, Perreira and Yuto Nagatomo have provided the width to the midfield, something the Nerrazzurri were not renowned for.
The partnership between Juan Jesus and Ranocchia has proved to be a success at some level, but the Italian has struggled to maintain consistency in the position ever since his move from Genoa. It has prompted Strammacioni into using Esteban Cambiasso as part of the backline to good effect. But this in turn has reduced the bite that the Argentine offers, the 18-time Serie A champions, in midfield. The San Siro side will need to shop for a specialist centre-half post Christmas.
Another problem is that Inter's primary strike force is finally starting to show that he is ageing. Diego 'El Principe' Milito was instrumental in Inter's Champions League triumph in 2010 and is still a vital part of the Nerazzurri setup. But at 33 years of age, his reflexes have slowed and his pace has slacked off a little. Inter would do well to look for a target man in the Milito mould during the January transfer window as neither Cassano nor Palacio are adept at being the primary striker.
|Will he make the move to Inter?|
Few at Manchester City would remember the name Rolando Bianchi. The Atalanta youth product appeared on 20 occasions and scoring four goals, for the Eastlands side before making a return to Italy. Though a loan move to Lazio did not work out for the 29-year old, it was at Torino where he truly proved what Manchester City were missing out. Bianchi has scored 65 goals in 149 appearances for the Turin club and is now a target for the Nerazzurri. Bianchi is a traditional 'Number 9', one who turns up at the right place and at the right time to put the ball into the back of the net. With age catching up with Diego Milito, Inter's hierarchy feel that Bianchi would be an ideal replacement for their talismanic Argentine.
|Is he Diego Milito's heir?|
Inter's fetish to have Argentines leading their frontline has been upheld as they are again linked with a move for Banfield striker Facundo Ferreyra. Nicknamed Chucky, the 21-year old has been in prime form for Argentine club Velez Sarsfield by scoring 13 goals in 15 games. Ferreyra is seen by the Inter moghuls as heir to their current Argentine striker Diego Milito. If they do snap up the young striker in January it would be a signing that they would feel was worth it.
|Will Inter raid Napoli for their imposing centre-half?|
Inter's preference to play a three-man defence has seen Juan Jesus and Andrea Ranocchia being paired together. Although the pair looked like they were gelling, schoolboy errors have resulted in Inter's defensive stats making unpleasant reading. Hugo Campagnaro's name has been doing the rounds at the San Siro. The 32-year old Argentine has been one of the mainstays of the defence at Napoli and will fancy a move to the 2010 European Champions. Unlike Juan Jesus or Ranocchia, Campagnaro has played in a team that employs three at the back for over two seasons now and hence will possess more know-how on dealing with attacks from the opposition when the Inter midfield is exposed. This move, if it does materialise, will allow Cambiasso to return to the midfield position that he thrives in.
Who Could Leave
Once indispensable for Inter has now become a liability for the Italian club. Inter's dispute with Dutchman Wesley Sneijder has seen him being frozen out of first-team affairs and also a block on his Twitter account. The 28-year old Dutchman was agonizingly close to a move to English giants Manchester United last summer and is most certainly on the parth to saying goodbye to Inter. Sneijder's services would be welcome by many clubs around Europe with Manchester United and Manchester City interested in adding the prolific Dutchman to their roster.
|Who do you think Inter Milan should sign? Leave your comments below|
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