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The Rossoneri and the Nerazzurri are both looking to strengthen during the transfer window but, as recent events have shown, the pair might also need to sell before they can buy

ANALYSIS
By Mark Doyle

After Inter's 1-0 victory over AC Milan in the derby della Madonnina on Sunday, attentions have been refocused on the January transfer window, with both clubs looking to be active in the remaining two weeks of business.

Potential arrivals always generate more excitement among supporters than likely departures. Out with the old and in with the new, as the saying goes.

Regardless, there are a number of players plying their trade in the city of Milan, on both sides of the divide, who are currently facing fascinating dilemmas over whether to see out the season or push for a move away from San Siro in the days and weeks ahead.

And, as we can see from below, there are some who want to remain and some who are desperate to leave; those who would be missed and those who would not ...

AC MILAN
ALEXANDRE PATO | Forward, 22

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SEASON STATS
Appearances
10
Goals
1
Assists
2
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
30m
Interested clubs
PSG
Chance of leaving
25%
The player says he’s staying at Milan. The club’s CEO says the player is staying at Milan. And the club’s president says the player is staying at Milan. And yet, there is an inescapable feeling that behind the scenes Alexandre Pato’s future remains very much up in the air.

The Brazilian seemed destined to move to Paris Saint-Germain last week, with Milan having accepted a bid from the Ligue 1 leaders, but then the forward apparently dug his heels in, forcing Adriano Galliani to break off negotiations with Manchester City over the acquisition of Carlos Tevez.

However, after Pato's horribly ineffective showing against Inter on Sunday night, the suspicion remains that coach Massimiliano Allegri, despite all of his claims to the contrary, would have no problem selling a player with whom he is rumoured to have clashed with during the winter break – especially for the very generous €35 million PSG are reported to have offered.

STEPHAN EL SHAARAWY | Forward, 19

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SEASON STATS
Appearances
8
Goals
1
Assists
0
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
€3m
Interested clubs
Genoa, Torino, Koln
Chance of leaving
75%
Stephan El Shaarawy is in a somewhat similar position to Pato in that he has publicly stated that he wants to remain with the Rossoneri. However, there is one key difference: El Shaarawy is seeing precious little game time.

The teenage striker drew praise for a dynamic cameo appearance in the Derby della Madonnina, looking more lively in eight minutes than Pato did in 82, but the fact remains that he has featured only eight times in Serie A so far this season and the club’s enthusiastic pursuit of Carlos Tevez underlined that the club does not yet feel El Shaarawy is ready to make the transition from fringe player to first-team regular.

Consequently, a move away, perhaps just on loan, makes sense for one of Italy’s most promising young striking talents. Torino and Koln are both reportedly interested but a return to Genoa, a club with whom Milan have excellent relations, appears the most likely outcome.

FILIPPO INZAGHI | Forward, 38

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SEASON STATS
Appearances
3
Goals
0
Assists
0
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
 €1.5m
Interested clubs
Novara
Chance of leaving
90%
El Shaarawy has stated that while he is frustrated by his lack of first-team opportunities, he is content to bide his time. He is, after all, a young player with much to learn. The same cannot be said of Pippo Inzaghi.

The World Cup winner is now 38 and, aside perhaps from the ability to stay onside, there is nothing that he does not know about the art of goal-scoring. Inzaghi remains a darling of the Milan faithful but, as Alessandro Del Piero is discovering at Juventus under Antonio Conte, iconic status with the fans counts for little these days when it comes to game time and 'Super Pippo' has been frozen out of the Milan squad.

Inzaghi has been involved in just three Serie A games so far this season and if he is to realise his dream of retiring as the top goal-scorer in European competition, he will have to do so with another club.

The only problem is that struggling Novara are the only club to have expressed real interest in signing Inzaghi thus far, despite rumoured interest from Udinese back in October.

TAYE TAIWO | Defender, 26

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SEASON STATS
Appearances
4
Goals
0
Assists
0
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
 15m
Interested clubs
Newcastle, Benfica
Chance of leaving
65%
While Inzaghi would leave Milan with a heavy heart, it seems Taye Taiwo cannot wait to get out of the city.

The Rossoneri appeared to have pulled off something of a coup when they persuaded the out-of-contract Nigerian defender to reject the advances of Real Madrid and join them on a free transfer from Marseille instead. However, Taiwo has since made just eight appearances in all competitions and has now admitted that he has become increasingly frustrated and bewildered by his situation at San Siro.

The 26-year-old full-back has been repeatedly linked with Newcastle United but Benfica are also rumoured to be interested.

LUCA ANTONINI | Defender, 29

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SEASON STATS
Appearances
10
Goals
0
Assists
0
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
 3m
Interested clubs
-
Chance of leaving
25%
Luca Antonini has featured more regularly on the left-hand side of the Milan defence this season than Taiwo but the Italian has also failed to make the position his own.

Allegri still does not have complete trust in Antonini and, rightly or wrongly, there is an undeniable sense among Milan supporters that the player remains an accident waiting to happen.

It is worth noting that Antonini is 29 and even he must now realise that if he is still considered a defensive liability some three-and-a-half years on from his arrival from Empoli for a fee of €3.5m, it is never going to happen for him in what is his second spell at Milan.

Consequently, he has a decision to make in the coming weeks: remain a bit-part player at San Siro or seek out a move to mid-level Serie A side?

MARCO AMELIA | Goalkeeper, 29

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SEASON STATS
Appearances
4
Goals
0
Assists
0
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
 3m
Interested clubs
Roma, Cagliari
Chance of leaving
40%
Marco Amelia might also be asking himself the same question. The 29-year-old goalkeeper was a member of Italy’s victorious 2006 World Cup squad and yet he currently finds himself playing second fiddle to Christian Abbiati.

On the plus side for Amelia, Abbiati is five years his senior so if the former Palermo and Genoa ace were to bide his time, it is likely that his opportunity would eventually arrive.

However, Amelia recently squandered an excellent chance to stake his claim for a regular berth in the team when, having been selected in place of the injured Abbiati for the recent trip to Bologna, he made a dreadful hash of trying to keep out a shot from Alessandro Diamanti and ultimately cost Milan two valuable points.

With the Rossoneri now being linked with other goalkeepers including Cagliari’s Michael Agazzi, which raises the possibility of a possible swap deal, Amelia might try to realise his dream of a return to the club where he started his career, Roma, with whom he was linked last summer.

INTER
WESLEY SNEIJDER | Attacking Midfielder, 27

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SEASON STATS
Appearances
7
Goals
1
Assists
3
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
 €35m
Interested clubs
Manchester United, Manchester City
Chance of leaving
30%
While Inter are primarily focused on acquiring Carlos Tevez at the moment, the Nerazzurri will also be paying close attention to the noises currently coming out of Wesley Sneijder’s camp. Only last week the Dutchman said he was 90 per cent certain to stay at San Siro but conceded that “something unexpected” could yet happen.

In truth, though, it would not be that surprising if Sneijder began agitating for a move. The playmaker appeared keen to leave for Manchester United last summer and although his current campaign has been interrupted by injury, when he has played, he has had the unmistakable air of a disillusioned player whose heart is really not in it anymore.

Indeed, one imagines that Sneijder would welcome a fresh bid from United and there can be no denying that in spite of Paul Scholes' recent decision to come out of retirement, the Premier League champions are still very much in need of a new playmaker.

MAICON | Defender, 30

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SEASON STATS
Appearances
10
Goals
1
Assists
4
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
18m
Interested clubs
PSG
Chance of leaving
10%
It still seems likely, though, that Sneijder will stay at the Guiseppe Meazza until at least the end of the season – and the same goes for Maicon. It was reported shortly after the opening of the transfer window that Paris Saint-Germain were not only keen on Pato and Kaka, they also had their eye on a third Brazilian.

Now, as it has transpired, it would seem the mystery man was Barcelona’s Maxwell, who last week completed a transfer to Parc des Princes. In addition, Maicon’s agent declared that no approach had been made from PSG. As a result, the right-back appears certain to stay put.

There is, however, still an outside chance that he could yet move given Inter would no doubt be willing to talk if a club came in with a significant bid for a player who has been on the wane for about 12 months and yet remains one of the Nerazzurri’s most saleable assets.

SULLEY MUNTARI | Midfielder, 27

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SEASON STATS
Appearances
4
Goals
0
Assists
1
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
1m
Interested clubs
Galatasaray, Napoli
Chance of leaving
90%
It is fair to say that Sulley Muntari is not one of Inter’s prized assets – for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the Ghanaian only has six months to run on his current contract and secondly, well, he has not exactly excelled since arriving at San Siro from Portsmouth in 2008.

The midfielder appeared set to join Galatasaray before the end of the summer transfer window but the move never materialised and he has most recently been linked with Napoli. A switch abroad appears the more likely outcome but while his next destination remains unclear, it is obvious that he does not have a future at Inter.

JONATHAN | Defender, 25

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SEASON STATS
Appearances
4
Goals
0
Assists
0
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
 1.5m
Interested clubs
Parma
Chance of leaving
95%
Jonathan is also bound for the exit door at Appiano Gentile. The Brazilian defender only arrived at Inter last summer but, just over six months into a four-year contract, he is reportedly on the verge of a transfer to Parma.

Indeed, the two clubs have apparently agreed a fee for the former Santos full-back, who has made just four appearances in Serie A to date, and the proposed deal is expected to be confirmed in the coming days.

LUC CASTAIGNOS | Forward, 19

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SEASON STATS
Appearances
4
Goals
1
Assists
0
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
€7m
Interested clubs
Liverpool, Bologna
Chance of leaving
50%
Luc Castaignos is another recent arrival who has been linked with a move away from San Siro. However, unlike Jonathan, if Castaignos is allowed to leave, it will only be loan given the Dutch teenager has shown flashes of what he can do. Indeed, Castaignos came up with a crucial late winner for the Nerazzurri against Cesena back at the tail-end of November.

However, there is every chance that he will be farmed out on loan for the rest of the reason. Speculation linking him with a move to Liverpool has been dismissed but Bologna are also said to be keen on acquiring the forward on a short-term basis.

Certainly, a loan would make sense for both Inter and the player, given he is likely to be soon facing even more competition for a starting place with Diego Forlan fit again and Tevez possibly on his way from Manchester City.

MAURO ZARATE | Forward, 24

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SEASON STATS
Appearances
12
Goals
0
Assists
1
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value
10m
Interested clubs
Lazio
Chance of leaving
30%
The potential arrival of Tevez does not bode well for Mauro Zarate either. The 24-year-old Lazio forward is still only half way through his season-long loan deal at Inter but it has already been reported that the Nerazzurri have decided against taking up their option to sign the player on a permanent basis in the summer.

It seems likely that Zarate’s services will be retained until the end of the season, even though coach Claudio Ranieri has admitted that he finds the Argentine maddeningly inconsistent.

However, given he is now effectively surplus to requirements, a compromise agreement which would see the player return to Rome early and Inter get back some of the €2.7 million they paid to take him on loan would no doubt suit everybody concerned.

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