By Romeo Agresti
Inter have pulled the plug on a proposed swap deal with Juventus involving Fredy Guarin and Mirko Vucinic because of a backlash from fans.
It emerged on Monday that the Nerazzurri had agreed to allow the Colombia international to move to Turin in exchange for the Bianconeri's Montenegrin forward and an undisclosed sum of money.
Vucinic's agent had been due in London on Monday for talks regarded a loan move to Arsenal, though the Gunners' reluctance to sign the 30-year-old on a permanent deal was a stumbling block, with Juve preferring the part-exchange deal for Guarin.
The former Porto midfielder, meanwhile, had also been linked with a move to the Premier League with title-challengers Chelsea, but the Blues' capture of Nemanja Matic ended their interest in Guarin, who was thought to be extremely keen to join the Italian champions after his hopes of a move to Stamford Bridge were dashed.
However, Inter supporters reacted furiously to the proposed deal, inundating their club's official Twitter feed with messages of outrage, while fan group Curva Nord Milano issued the following statement:
"What kind of club policy is it to weaken an already limited squad in order to strengthen a rival? Guarin to Juve is not acceptable.
"A young and technically gifted player for an older one? All of this leaves us perplexed ..."
The fan reaction prompted the Nerazzurri to call off the transfer, much to the fury of both Juventus and Guarin, who is desperate to not only leave San Siro but now also join the current Serie A leaders.
In addition, Vucinic's agent, Alessandro Lucci, is trying to push through a straight transfer to Inter for his client, but the Bianconeri are now refusing to even entertain the idea of allowing the 30-year-old move to the Giuseppe Meazza without Guarin coming in the other direction.
However, despite Inter's dramatic U-turn, the former Porto man has not yet given up hope of forcing through a transfer to Turin, meaning this latest Italian soap opera may not be over yet.
After a meeting between officials from both clubs on Monday, Juventus general director Giuseppe Marotta told reporters: "It's not done but the deal can still go in a good way."