7 Players That Inter Need to Sign This Summer After Achraf Hakimi Deal

Sandro Tonali
Sandro Tonali has been linked with a move to Inter Milan | Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Inter are back, baby, and they’ve just signed one of the best young right-backs in the world to prove it.

With Achraf Hakimi on his way to the San Siro, Antonio Conte couldn’t have dreamed of a better start to his second summer transfer window with I Nerazzurri, but he’ll be anxious that more work is done to a squad in need of major surgery.

With that in mind, here’s seven, yes seven, players that Inter are going to need in order to topple the might of Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus next season, and perhaps even upset the Champions League applecart…

Emerson PalmieriEmerson Palmieri
Conte will want two solid full-backs to transform his team with | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

What, not exciting enough for you?

With Conte, it’s all about getting the fundamentals right, and perhaps the fundamental in the five-man defence which is the very pillar of Conteball is using two dynamic, athletic full-backs who are equally capable at both ends of the pitch – think Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso when his Chelsea side won the league in 2017.

So far, though Ashley Young has looked the part further forward, he has decidedly not been that man on the defensive end of things – while deputy Cristiano Biraghi has not been much better. With Chelsea needing to sell this summer, a solid wing-back with a strong Serie A track record who knows Conte could be just the fix.

Pierre-Emerick AubameyangPierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Aubameyang’s contract at Arsenal expires in a years’ time | James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Now this is one to get the pulses racing.

He might be 31, but Aubameyang has showed no signs of stopping in the Premier League since joining Arsenal. He’s targeting a second Premier League Golden Boot this season, and a league that has been kind to players of an advanced age would be the logical next step for the striker.

Aubameyang’s contract at Arsenal runs out in 2021 and, assuming Lautaro Martínez finally makes his much-anticipated move to Barcelona, it makes much more sense to turn to the Gabon international rather than his Arsenal teammate Alexandre Lacazette as a perfect foil for Romelu Lukaku.

Jan Vertonghen is not part of Jose Mourinho's plansJan Vertonghen is not part of Jose Mourinho's plans
Jan Vertonghen is not part of Jose Mourinho’s plans | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Moving from one cut-price north London resident to another, don’t be surprised if Inter follow up on their long-term interest in centre-back Jan Vertonghen.

It seems as if Vertonghen’s race is run as a Premier League first-teamer, and this season has been the end of an era for his once-impregnable partnership with fellow Belgian Toby Alderweireld. He will now almost certainly be moving on from his eight-year stay in N17, with his Spurs deal expiring this summer.

This is fantastic news for anyone who has a glaring desire for an experienced left-footed centre-back, with Conte in search of some more squad depth in the defensive department after an underwhelming season from Diego Godín.

Christian Eriksen, Sandro TonaliChristian Eriksen, Sandro Tonali
Inter will have to fight for Tonali’s signature | Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Keep an eye on this one, because it looks like it has some serious legs.

Inter’s midfield has been impressive this season, with Stefano Sensi, Nico Barella and Marcelo Brozovi? giving Conte plenty of stability so far, but a player of Tonali’s ability showing a very active interest in a move to San Siro has understandably turned heads.

Perhaps Christian Eriksen, underwhelming since joining from Spurs in January, will be a casualty of Milan’s interest in Tonali, and it could be the case that his creativity at number 10 is sacrificed in favour of a more robust three-man midfield.

Arturo VidalArturo Vidal
Vidal is just the man to do the dirty work in Inter’s midfield | Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Speaking of robust…

Vidal’s talents as a do-everything midfielder who is proficient in both boxes has been vastly underappreciated by the Cryuff-or-bust diehards in Barcelona, but one man who has always had plenty of time for the Chilean is Conte.

Conte and Vidal won three titles together during a happy time in Turin, with Vidal and a certain Paul Pogba protecting Andrea Pirlo in a three-man midfield. With Pirlo’s anointed heir in Tonali set to join, Vidal could be just the muscle needed to reinforce a young, talented midfield three.

Alexis SanchezAlexis Sanchez
Hellas Verona v FC Internazionale – Serie A | Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Of everything to have happened in 2020, Alexis Sánchez becoming one of Inter’s most important players might be the strangest development of them all.

And yet the Manchester United loanee has shown himself to be an unexpected but invaluable cog in the Conte machine, contributing a goal and three assists since the restart and impressing with his ability to provide a much needed spark that Eriksen hasn’t quite been able to muster.

Sánchez’s career seemed to be going downhill ever since he touched that cursed Old Trafford piano, but he may have finally found a home, and Inter could do a lot worse than turning his loan into a permanent deal, though no mandatory fee has been agreed between the two sides.

TOPSHOT-FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MAN CITYTOPSHOT-FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MAN CITY
They couldn’t… could they? | PAU BARRENA/Getty Images

It’s a ludicrous idea, it’d never work, he’d ask for too much money, and besides, he’s only stirring up trouble to bring about some much needed boardroom changes in Catalunya.

Or is he…?

Where the greatest player of his era will be put out to pasture has been an increasingly vexed question in recent weeks, with nagging rumours in the Spanish media that Lionel Messi has shelved extension talks at Barcelona, such is his discontent at the current state of affairs at the Camp Nou.

Inter have been pretty persistent admirers of the thought-to-be unattainable Argentine, with Joan Laporta revealing that they were prepared to pay a ridiculous €150m for the megastar in 2006, and Massimo Moratti recently hinted to Radio Rai that a sensational move for the legend might not be the ‘forbidden dream’ it once was.

But it probably still is…isn’t it?

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Inter Could Be Forced Into Lowering Asking Price for Milan Skriniar

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United have been linked with Skriniar | James Worsfold/Getty Images

Both Manchester clubs have launched €65m bids for Inter defender Milan Skriniar this summer.

United and City have repeatedly been credited with holding an interest in the Slovakian international, but the Nerazzurri’s exceedingly large asking price has prevented any move from materialising in the past.

Luciano Spalletti, Milan SkriniarLuciano Spalletti, Milan Skriniar
Skriniar excelled under the tutelage of Luciano Spalletti at San Siro | Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

However, Italian news outlet Tuttosport (via Sport Witness) report taht Inter can no longer demand a fee which exceeds €80m for Skriniar due to the defender’s struggles this term, while the COVID-19 pandemic has also led to a deflated market.

The report claims United ‘put €65m on the table’ for the 25-year-old earlier in the season, an offer matched by noisy neighbours City.

Real Madrid and Bayern Munich have also expressed an interest in acquiring the Slovak, but their proposals were turned down by Inter.

However, the Nerazzurri are said to have altered their stance on Skriniar, with the Italian giants certainly more open to allowing the previously invaluable asset to depart this summer.

The arrival of Antonio Conte and his 3-5-2 system has coincided with a dip in form from Skriniar, with the feeling at San Siro that he’s struggled to adapt to the demands brought about by playing in a back three.

Antonio Conte, Milan SkriniarAntonio Conte, Milan Skriniar
Skriniar has struggled to adapt to a different role under Antonio Conte this season | Lintao Zhang/International Champions Cup/Getty Images

Since the restart, the Slovakia international was needlessly sent off in Inter’s 3-3 draw with Sassuolo and was beaten way too easily one on one by Darko Lazovic for Verona’s opener in their recent 2-2 draw.

Thus, Inter are more willing to see the back of the 25-year-old if there’s a sizeable enough offer. Although it’s not clear how much the interested clubs will have to stump up if they are to secure Skriniar’s services this summer.

United’s interest in a new centre-half has already been widely reported in recent weeks, while Pep Guardiola is set to go in search of his long-term reportment for Vincent Kompany at the Etihad.

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Brescia Sticking to €50m Price Tag for Italian Starlet Sandro Tonali

Sandro Tonali
Brescia’s Sandro Tonali. | Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Brescia remain adamant that they will not accept any offer lower than their €50m asking price for midfielder Sandro Tonali.

The 20-year-old has grabbed the attention of some top Italian clubs with impressive performances all season, and Brescia look set to sell him in the upcoming transfer window thanks to overwhelming pressure from some high-profile sides.

Sandro TonaliSandro Tonali
Brescia’s Tonali in Serie A action against AS Roma. | Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images

La Gazzetta dello Sport report that Brescia are standing by their initial asking price of €50m for Tonali, but his contract situation – set to expire in 2022, with a cut-price sale likely if he doesn’t leave this summer – means that they may be forced to bend a little on that if no fierce bidding war breaks out.

Tonali has attracted interest from across Serie A, with teams from Juventus to Inter and Milan all battling it out to sign the 20-year-old.

Although they are vying to sign the midfielder, all three clubs are only prepared to offer €30m. The reluctance to spend big is likely due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the financial implications it will have on football clubs and the transfer market – although the Old Lady and Milan have budgetary issues of their own making, of various degrees.

Genoa CFC v Brescia Calcio - Serie AGenoa CFC v Brescia Calcio - Serie A
Tonali celebrates his goal against Genoa in Serie A. | Paolo Rattini/Getty Images

Tonali has made 29 league appearances this season, with one goal and six assists to his name, but despite his best efforts the Lombardy club are currently facing relegation to Serie B, sitting 19th and seven points adrift of safety with just six games to go.

Brescia are keen to sell Tonali for a sizeable financial gain, accepting that they will not be able to keep him if they are relegated – although anything they receive will likely obliterate their long-standing record sale, when they received €14m for midfielder Matuzalém in 2004.

Sandro TonaliSandro Tonali
Tonali on his Italy debut against Liechtenstein in a Euro 2020 Qualifier. | Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Brescia travel to Atalanta next Tuesday, aiming for their first away win in eight outings. The Rondinelle then host bottom club SPAL on 19 July in a huge relegation clash in their bid to renew their Serie A status.

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Inter Reduce Asking Price for Barcelona Target Lautaro Martinez to €90m

Inter have reduced Martinez's asking price to €90m
Inter have reduced Martinez’s asking price to €90m | Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Inter have lowered their asking price for Lautaro Martinez to €90m, with Barcelona in hot pursuit of the Argentinian striker.

Martinez is one of Barcelona’s top summer targets, and is being lined up as the long term replacement for Luis Suarez at Camp Nou.

The forward had previously been available had his €111m release clause been met, however this expired on 7 July.

Lautaro MartinezLautaro Martinez
Martinez is a long-term target of Barcelona’s | Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

The expiration of the release clause means that an alternative fee for Martinez could now be accepted, and according to Italian news outlet Corriere della Sera, Inter have lowered the 22-year-old’s asking price by around €21m.

However, due to the financial uncertainty triggered by the coronavirus, this figure could still be beyond the Barcelona budget.

The Catalan giants recently sold Arthur to Inter’s Serie A rivals Juventus for €72m, but with Miralem Pjanic heading in the opposite direction, Barcelona only turned a profit of €10m from the deal.

The club orchestrated the Arthur-Pjanic deal as a short-term solution for their current financial troubles following years of wage mismanagement.

Arthur MeloArthur Melo
Barcelona’s sale of Arthur demonstrates the financial struggles at the club | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona are desperately trying to offload Philippe Coutinho, who has spent the past two seasons out on loan following his £105m move from Liverpool, and whether they can afford a move for Martinez could hinge on the success they have in finding a buyer for the Brazilian.

The club have been exploring another potential swap deal in order to secure the signing of Martinez, with Arturo Vidal and Nelson Semedo both linked with an move to Inter.

Martinez has scored 17 goals in 38 appearances in all competitions for Antonio Conte’s side this season, but has struggled somewhat since Serie A returned in June.

The striker has only found the net once since the Italian top flight returned, and is without a goal in his last five appearances having missed a penalty during Inter’s recent defeat to Bologna.

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Inter vs Torino Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

Torino FC v Brescia Calcio - Serie A
Inter face Torino at the Guiseppe Meazza on Monday night | Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

Inter will be looking to put their recent Serie A woes behind them when they entertain struggling Torino at San Siro on Monday night.

The hosts have seen their title challenge fall apart in recent weeks, with slip-ups against Sassuolo, Bologna and Verona costing I Nerazzurri dearly in their bid to dethrone bitter rivals Juventus. Antonio Conte’s side are now fourth, with Atalanta’s recent good form lifting them above Inter in the table.

Miguel VelosoMiguel Veloso
Diego Godin showing clear frustration as Miguel Veloso equalised for Verona | Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Torino, meanwhile, aren’t mathematically safe, but should have enough points in the bag to retain their Serie A status for another season, after a 3-1 win over Brescia took them seven points clear of Genoa. They do, however, have a shocking record against the best teams in the league, which will be of obvious concern to manage Moreno Longo.

Here’s 90min’s preview of the clash.

When is Kick Off? Monday 14 July
What Time is Kick Off? 20:45pm (BST)
Where is it Played? San Siro
TV Channel/Live Stream? Premier Sports

Antonio ConteAntonio Conte
Inter have no new injury worries | Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Inter have no fresh injury concerns, but are unlikely to be without Nicolo Barella once more – he’s struggling to overcome a thigh injury. Alessandro Bastoni is back from suspension and is likely to be restored to the starting lineup.

Torino also have a relatively clean bill of health, with only Daniele Baselli sidelined – he’s out for the est of the season with a knee injury.

Inter: Handanovi?; Bastoni, De Vrij, Škriniar; Candreva, Gagliardini, Valero, Brozovi?, Young; Martinez, Lukaku.

Torino: Sirigu; Izzo, N’Koulou, Bremer; De Silvestri, Rincón, Luki?, Ansaldi; Berenguer, Verdi, Belotti.

Lautaro MartinezLautaro Martinez
Lautaro Martinez’s poor form saw him dropped from the starting XI against Verona | Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Inter’s inconsistent form has seen them drop out of the drop three, placing pressure back on the shoulders of Antonio Conte. Three wins since Serie A restarted isn’t disastrous, but isn’t title winning material that’s for sure.

Torino’s form is synonymous with their position in the league; losing to the teams above them while picking up wins against those also struggling. Conceding goals against the top sides has been a real concern, evidenced by some real thumpings this season.

Here’s how both have got in their last five games.

Inter:

Verona 2-2 Inter (09/07)
Inter 1-2 Bologna (05/07)
Inter 6-0 Brescia (01/07)
Parma 1-2 Inter (28/06)
Inter 3-3 Sassuolo (24/06)

Torino:

Torino 3-1 Brescia (08/07)
Juventus 4-1 Torino (04/07)
Torino 1-2 Lazio (30/06)
Cagliari 4-2 Torino (27/06)
Torino 1-0 Udinese (23/06)

Despite Inter’s rocky form, they are still one of the top sides in the division and when Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku click, they are one of the most frightening strike partnerships in Europe.

Antonio Conte won’t accept results like the one against Verona on Thursday and he will be pleased with Bastoni’s return from suspension.

Simone EderaSimone Edera
Torino’s form against the top teams in Serie A is poor. | Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Torino will be feeling good after coming back from a goal down to beat Brescia, and they might fancy their chances of nicking a point. However, this season has shown they struggle to perform when it really matters, and this should be a comfortable home win.

Prediction: Inter 2-0 Torino

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