Fighting tooth and nail with Juventus for the Serie A title – with just over a quarter of the season played – and with a talented coach who boasts title success in both of his last two club roles, things are looking up in the blue half of Milan.
Some fine bits of business over the summer addressed the need for a big, commanding centre-forward, while quality was also introduced in the troublesome wide areas for the Nerazzurri.
What’s left is a squad capable of posing most sides a decent contest; however, there is certainly still a lack of depth in certain areas that will require a few more bodies coming in. Well, it appears as if there could be some movement to resolve that in January, after Inter CEO Beppe Marotta ?confirmed the club would look at options over the winter in a bid to boost their title hopes.
If he is true to his words, then who could the club bring in to add an injection of quality?
These six, that’s who.
Bruno Fernandes – Sporting CP
We’re not entirely sure Bruno Fernandes actually exits. However, whatever entity is taking up the role of Fernandes, they’re doing a damn fine job of playing football.
After contributing to 33 goals in 33 league appearances for Sporting last season, Fernandes’ stock rose to immeasurable heights. Unfortunately for him, no summer move to one of Europe’s elite leagues materialised and he was stuck with another season in Portugal.
Showcasing his talents once more, he’s already netted six goals in ten matches this season, adding a further four assists in the Primeira Liga.
In midfield he is almost the complete player. In a creative sense he has superb vision and exceptional passing range, while in an attacking sense he is brilliant at finding space in between the lines where his hammer of a right foot means he is capable of scoring from nigh-on anywhere.
Sporting will not want to sell him midway through the season, but if ?Inter mean business then going hard for Fernandes would signal intent on their side, not to mention he’d be the perfect partner alongside Marcelo Brozovi? in the heart of midfield.
Emerson Palmieri – Chelsea
Left-back is an area that Conte will definitely be seeking to reinforce over the summer, with plenty of options across the continent that may whet his appetite.
However, aiming to secure someone with previous experience of the division who has shown he possesses the necessary quality may prove problematic.
With Frank Lampard opting to reintroduce Marcos Alonso in the full-back position this season, Emerson has struggled for minutes in west London. That said, the Brazilian usurped Alonso last season under Maurizio Sarri, and put in some solid displays towards the latter end of the campaign. Furthermore, with ?90min revealing that ?Chelsea are looking to offload the 25-year-old, he could be picked up for a cut-price deal.
Sandro Tonali – Brescia
It has been a meteoric rise for 19-year-old Sandro Tonali over the last year, having helped Brescia get promoted to ?Serie A and since earning his first full cap for the Italian national team.
Already labelled as ‘the new Andrea Pirlo’, it is of no surprise that the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid and Juventus have all been linked with the deep-lying playmaker in recent months.
Showing they still have the bargaining power to secure exciting young talent, Inter managed to snap up Nicolo Barella over the summer, while Tonali could be also be tempted to remain in Serie A as he continues his development.
Strong in the tackle, energetic and boasting the kind of elegance on the ball that Pirlo was synonymous with, there is a bright future ahead for young Tonali.
Olivier Giroud – Chelsea
Certainly an obscure suggestion, but ?Olivier Giroud still demonstrates for the French national team that he has the knack of scoring goals at the age of 33 – albeit not as regularly for the Blues.
With Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez shining for Inter at present, the undisputed champion of the ‘Plan B’ would only play a similar role at San Siro. But still, he isn’t in Frank Lampard’s plans and to add some depth to his squad, Conte moving for Giroud may not be as crazy as it sounds.
Ivan Rakitic – Barcelona
Frenkie de Jong has firmly cemented his place in the heart of midfield for ?Barcelona this season, but his supreme form has consigned another fine talent to the role of bench-warmer: ?Ivan Rakitic.
It’s believed Rakiti?’s price could drop below €35m in the winter window due to Ernesto Valverde no longer having the Croatian in his plans, and the rumours of a move to Italy have been bubbling to the surface for a number of transfer windows.
Oozing composure on the ball and stacks of experience at one of Europe’s biggest sides, few clubs on the continent wouldn’t benefit from the addition of the 31-year-old. He’s a player who screams ‘Inter signing’, and, on this occasion, a punt most definitely worth taking.
Isco – Real Madrid
Coming into the prime of his career, there is no doubting that we haven’t seen the best of Isco over the last two seasons.
You do not, however, become a bad player overnight and with ?Real Madrid enduring struggles of their own it could be a case of the environment bringing the Spaniard down at the moment. Now at the age of 27, he may need a fresh challenge to return him to the player everyone drooled over between 2016-18.
Its a very stagnant midfield that Inter have at present, with three central players that don’t fall into the ‘creative’ category, and therefore the technically gifted and inventive playmaker may be the perfect solution to that problem.
Prizing him away from ?La Liga would be no easy feat, though. But first-team options hard to come in the Spanish capital, the club could look at generating a decent fee for the forward.