Inter are a team on the up so why the Marcos Alonso link?

You may be reading the headline of this article and think to yourself that it is blindingly obvious why Inter are linked with Marcos Alonso. And your reasoning would be totally correct as Antonio Conte initially brought Alonso to Chelsea in the summer of 2016 after the left-back put pen to paper on a deal that saw him leave Fiorentina.

Conte is obviously a big fan of Alonso but interestingly enough so was Maurizio Sarri given that the 29-year-old was handed a five-year contract extension in October 2018 by the current Juventus boss. That deal saw Alonso earn a reported £100,000 a week which is now being cited as the reason for his drop off in form over the last 12 months.

Current Blues manager Frank Lampard has gone on record saying that Alonso needs to improve his performances in training if he wants to make the matchday squad in the future. So here we are, a clear link between Conte and Alonso but with the latter struggling to make an impact at Chelsea with his form being publicly slated. So what does Conte think he can do to turn the situation around and should Inter be looking for younger players without as much baggage?

There’s always an argument for experience and with Inter looking likely to go toe to toe with Juve for the Serie A title, a player with Alonso’s know-how may be the perfect addition to the change room. There is just a thought, however, that Alonso’s defending is being found out more and more these days with opposition manager’s targeting the left side of Chelsea’s defence with their attacks.

Do Inter really want a player prone to the odd defensive blunder being thrown into the cauldron this late on a title fight? At the end of the day, it’s up to Antonio Conte and if he thinks so then that should be enough but there is a growing belief that you roll the dice when it comes to an aging Alonso who is being questioned for his work ethic.

Even if it is only a loan move right now as it’s being reported, you’d imagine that Conte would look to make it permanent in the summer, but a £4.6million annual salary on player that is heading into the twilight of his career makes you question the logic of it all.

By all means, splash out on an experienced left-back, age doesn’t have to be a stumbling block. Just have a look at Jordi Alba, 30-year-old and helpping fire his team to the title, that’s at least what the latest La Liga betting suggests with Barca at a mere 2/5 to make it a hat-trick of league trophies.

Make no mistake, solid left-backs over 30 are out there and with Inter beginning to stir and look like a European giant once more, the club needs to go for the very best. What this whole situation goes to show is that the arrival of Antonio Conte has shaken up the club and has the Inter fans slowly adjusting their mentality as far as transfer targets go.

Inter need period of stability to regain Serie A foothold

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Il biscione e l’fc Internazionale III” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by batrax

Inter Milan have endured a staggering decline over the past six years, which has seen the club drop from conquering the Champions League to suffering embarrassing defeats in the Europa League. During Jose Mourinho’s tenure at the San Siro the Nerazzurri secured their first major European title in 45 years when they won the competition in the 2009/10 campaign, while they also reeled off their four Serie A crowns on the spin to dominate football in Italy.

However, since the Portuguese’s departure the club were brushed aside in the league by the rising talents of Juventus, who have established themselves as the prominent force in Italian football. On the continent, matters have been even worse for Inter, failing to compete in the latter stages of tournaments or otherwise not qualifying for them at all.

The Nerazzurri have been through a host of managers since 2010; eight to be precise. Rafael Benitez, Leonardo, Gian Piero Gasperini, Claudio Ranieri, Andrea Stramaccioni, Walter Mazzarri, Roberto Mancini have all come and gone at the San Siro. Frank de Boer currently sits in the dugout, although with the club’s struggles this season you have to wonder how long he will reside there.

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Inter have endured a stuttering start to the Serie A campaign, taking 11 points from their opening eight matches, while back-to-back defeats to Roma and Cagliari have knocked them out of the top half of the table, leaving them in 11th place.

Their inconsistent form has put them in trouble in the past, and as a result they are backed in the latest Bet365 Serie A betting odds at 3/1 to finish inside the top three, although Roma, Napoli and bitter rivals AC Milan have stronger credentials, while Juventus remain alone at the top.

For all their pitfalls there is a lot of quality in their squad after a surge of signings over the summer, with Joao Mario, Gabriel and Antonio Candreva all joining the club. This boosted the talent already at the San Siro with Mauro Icardi, Ivan Perisic and Geoffrey Kondogbia, giving De Boer plenty of attacking options, although their weakness lies in the defence.

Miranda has struggled to reproduce his form from his days at Atletico for the Nerazzurri, while Jeison Murillo and Andrea Ranocchia have proven to be unreliable, particularly the latter in his dismissal against Sparta Prague in the Europa League. Given that De Boer’s strength as a manager is his defensive tactics, time will tell if the Dutchman can rectify these issues.

On their day Inter are a match for anyone as their victory over Juventus proved at the San Siro. Unfortunately for the club those days have been few and far between, giving their supporters little to shout about. Discontent has been present in their fanbase for a while now, and Icardi’s outburst in his autobiography has not improved matters, with supporters even cheering when he missed a spot-kick against Cagliari and demanding his removal as captain.

Reports suggest that he could leave for Arsenal in January, which would leave the club without their top goalscorer and their captain. That would also put further pressure on their weak defence, deepening their problems as Stevan Jovetic, Eder Martins and Gabriel are not prolific enough to replace the Argentine’s impact.

Inter are a team in need of stability and losing further players, especially one at the core of the team would only put them further behind their rivals at the top. De Boer needs time to implement his style of management on the club, as only then will they be able to move forward and attempt to wrestle away Juventus’ dominance of Italian football.

Could Balotelli be back?

Bramall Lane, November 2007, its cold and the night drew in long ago. Sheffield United have invited Inter to play a friendly to commemorate their 150th anniversary. Despite the Nerazzurri winning 5-2, it was played at a slow tempo and the game dissipated into the memory of the few who attended. Little did they know that they had witnessed the debut of one of football’s most frustrating stars. Mario Balotelli had scored a brace that night and that is where it all began, not just for Inter but in his career. He has risen and fallen a long way since then but now it looks like he may go back to where it all began.

Unexpected news

As the Milanese took in their morning coffee they would have been forgiven for spitting it back out as Tuttosport announced that Mario Balotelli could be joining Roberto Mancini in Milan after his disappointing time at Liverpool. The rumour certainly holds some sense of truth as the Nerazzurri ‘mister’ has previously looked for players he has worked with before. His purchase of Stevan Jovetic and the constant pursuit of Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta are testament to that.

It has been reported in recent weeks that the relationship between the coach and the club has been tense of late as the Chinese Suning Investment group have different ideas about the transfer market. They have been more inclined to lean towards a youthful policy whilst the coach wants players for now who have experience and have trophies under their belt as he battles among the title challengers.

Perfect fit?

This is why Balotelli also fits the bill as at the tender age of 25 he could be seen as a long term prospect. He would also be cheap, Inter sold him back in £22m to none other than Mancini at Manchester City but now he could be available for as little as £6m. There is no questioning his talent either and he would be returning to an environment he knows well. Milan has been his home for many years and he scored 20 goals in 59 appearances the last time he put on a black and blue shirt.

Whether he would be welcomed by the Nerazzurri faithful is another thing however as he played for Milan, (the team he supported since childhood) 63 times scoring 27 goals in two spells. Even so he would not be the first player to swap benches at the San Siro as Ronaldo, Roberto Baggio, Andrea Pirlo, Christian Vieri and Clarence Seedorf are just some in a long list that have worn both shirts in anger.

Balotelli certainly has a lot to prove and yet there is something fascinating about him being back under the bright lights of the Giuseppe Meazza. Mauro Icardi aside, Inter have struggled for goals, Eder could not repeat his Sampdoria form and Rodrigo Palacio’s best days are behind him. Could the wandering Super Mario go back to where it all began and resurrect his career? He will hope so or it well and truly could be game over.

Inter press on for Toure

Reports say Inter want to sign Yaya Toure from Manchester City on a free transfer as they consider spreading his salary. The chances are like winning on hityah.com, you never know.

The Ivory Coast international has been linked with the Nerazzzurri since last summer and Roberto Mancini is believed to want a reunion with his former pupil.

There have been reports this week that the midfielder has received two lucrative offers from China, but Corriere dello Sport writes that Inter are still hoping to secure the 33-year-old.

The imminent arrival of Ilkay Gundogan at Man City will help push Toure out the door, but the problem remains the high costs of the deal.

Inter could try to spread Toure’s current salary of €11m per year over two or three seasons, according to the outlet.

But the Beneamata are also hoping that the midfielder could leave the Etihad Stadium for free, which would offer the only opportunity for Inter to sign him.

Toure has one year remaining on his contract but is believed to be against working under incoming manager Pep Guardiola.

His agent Dimitri Seluk will be in Milan for Saturday’s Champions League final, which could provide an opportunity for a discussion with the club.

Inter Milan: Can they compete with Juventus for the Serie A title?

After an incredibly disappointing 2014-15 Serie A campaign, Inter Milan will look to compete for their first Italian top-flight title since 2010 as they attempt to re-establish themselves as a giant of European football. Since they won the treble under former manager Jose Mourinho in the 2009-10 season, Inter have struggled to dominate Italian football and, after a number of years in decline, finished eighth last term under former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini.

The 50-year-old has insisted that Inter will be much improved this season and they have already moved in the summer transfer window to acquire Monaco midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia for a reported fee of around £25 million. With a few more signings, the 18-time Serie A champions could compete with the likes of Juventus, Napoli and Lazio for silverware.

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It will be difficult to compete with a dominant Juventus side this term but Inter are certainly capable of competing financially in the transfer market with the Old Lady. At the time of writing, Juve – who have lifted the Serie A title for the past four years – have acquired three players already in the summer window and have laid the benchmark for their competitors to follow.

The club have secured the services of Paulo Dybala from fellow Italian side Palermo for around £23m while they have also signed Sami Khedira and Mario Manzukic from Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid respectively. It is vital that Inter are able to follow suit in the transfer market and the acquisition of Kondogbia – who admitted that Mancini was a huge factor in his decision to move – proves that the Italian giants are still capable of competing with Europe’s top clubs. A few more signings like this and Inter, who are priced at 10/1 when this article was produced, will be supported in the football betting markets in Italy.

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Realistically, it may be more sensible for Inter to target a top-three finish this season and secure a return to the Champions League. Europe’s elite club competition is a huge factor for many players nowadays and a club becomes a lot more attractive if they are playing European football on a regular basis.

Mancini’s side are more than capable of climbing up the division to finish as one of the top sides in Serie A this term, especially as they can focus all of their efforts solely on their domestic league games throughout the 2015-16 campaign. With no European distractions, Inter should channel all of their efforts on the Serie A season and bringing Champions League football back to the club for the first time since 2013.

However, that isn’t to say that Inter cannot compete for their 19th Serie A crown this season. They already possess a young, talented squad that are hungry to succeed and, with experienced boss Mancini at the helm, they could spring a shock and push Juventus all the way for the title. Massimiliano Allegri’s side are certainly red-hot favourites for their fifth successive top-flight trophy but Inter shouldn’t be overlooked and, with a bit of luck, will finish back in Italy’s top three and secure Champions League football at the very least.

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