Júlio Baptista? Really? The rumours of ‘The Beast’ moving to join the Nerazzurri are getting stronger, but why would Inter want him? One reason could be that the former Arsenal and Real Madrid player adopts a much more direct and physical approach than the other strikers Inter have (even though he is more of an attacking midfield player) and he would certainly provide a different problem for opposing defenders. However, if there is one thing that has characterised Baptista since he left Sevilla, it is his inconsistency. Sometimes he can be brilliant, (see the two goals against Lazio in the Rome derby or his wonderful goal against Genoa last season) but at other times he can seem like a man who could not score an open goal in 50 yards of space.
He is not a player that fans would like their team to rely on in a big game, and would certainly not be first choice at the Giuseppe Meazza given that Wesley Sneijder would tend to occupy a similar position on the pitch. Given that the rumours suggest that in order to sign Baptista, Inter would have to part with Nicolás Burdisso and cash – which although denied by his agent Alessandro Lucci remains a possibility – the price seems a bit too high. Maybe a loan deal with an option to sign him in the summer should he impress would be the answer.
Other transfer stories surrounding la Beneamata this week include more talk of the unhappy Biancocelesti duo of Cristian Ledesma and Aleksandar Kolarov joining the club. Reports claim that Juventus have gained the advantage in the race to sign the Argentine midfielder, but Ledesma has yet to give his thoughts on the subject (and the fact that Juve are playing horribly at the moment may well sway him towards the Nerazzurri). Kolarov could be brought in as cover for the injured Cristian Chivu, and would provide good defensive skills and an incisive attacking force from left-back. His international teammate Dejan Stanković has told a paper in Serbia that he thinks Kolarov may well join the club before the end of the current transfer window.
In a move that is unlikely to leave to many Nerazzurri fans unhappy, it looks as though Amantino Mancini will be joining Marseille on loan until the end of the season. The two clubs have apparently agreed a deal but the player himself has to decide whether he wants to leave or stay and continue to try and force his way into the Inter first-team. It would be in Mancini’s best interests to get some first-team football, because it seems increasingly likely that he will be offloaded at the end of the season and this is his chance to remind prospective new clubs of what he can do.
But any of these transfer deals depend on what the club is willing to do, and director Marco Branca says that Inter are not looking to make a big impact on the market this month: “At the moment I exclude the possibility of any negotiations. Tomorrow we will assess the extent of our injuries. Then we will decide.” So despite all the rumours, Branca says the club remain unlikely to sign anyone – the politics of football are never more complicated than during the transfer window.
As happens every January, the list of nominees for the ‘Oscar del Calcio’ have been announced to honour the best performers from the 2008-09 season, and several current and former Nerazzurri employees find themselves in the running. Zlatan Ibrahimović and Diego Milito are nominated for best foreign player, Mario Balotelli and Davide Santon for best young player, Júlio César for best goalkeeper, Douglas Maicon for best defender and, despite all the controversy, José Mourinho is nominated for best Coach. The awards will be presented at the ceremony in Milan on January 18th, and let’s hope that there will some prizes that remain in the city.
Inter Club Focus 2009/10
Another Scudetto for the Nerazzurri? – August 18, 2009
A stuttering start, and a Portuguese explosion – August 25, 2009
It’s derby time – August 28, 2009
A wonderful derby but the champions of Europe are waiting – September 1, 2009
All is well for la Beneamata – September 4, 2009
International week (Georgia-Italy, Italy-Bulgaria)
Friendlies, injuries and stolen boots… – September 7, 2009
Nerazzurri look to the future as Ibra looks back – September 11, 2009
Inter get a point, but that’s not the point – September 18, 2009
They never had a problem with ugly wins – September 22, 2009
Partenopei are beaten Black and Blue – September 25, 2009
Blucerchiati run rings round Inter – September 29, 2009
Champions League? You’re having a laugh – October 2, 2009
I’d rather be lucky than good – October 6, 2009
The international break – October 6, 2009
International Week (Republic of Ireland-Italy, Italy-Cyprus)
Transfer Talk – October 13, 2009
Back to Genova – October 16, 2009
The Puzzle continues – October 20, 2009
What next? – October 23, 2009
Papering over the cracks – October 27, 2009
The pressure is on as Inter almost throw it away against Palermo – October 30, 2009
Judgement day awaits – November 3, 2009
Just in time – November 6, 2009
A draw with Roma, but things look good – November 10, 2009
Back to the day job – November 20, 2009
A Messi situation – November 24, 2009
It was embarrassing – November 27, 2009
José gets ruffled – December 1, 2009
Derby d’Italia – December 4, 2009
It could be worse – December 8, 2009
Disaster averted – December 11, 2009
A missed opportunity? More for them than us – December 11, 2009
Resolutions – December 18, 2009
How do you solve a problem like Mourinho [does]? – December 22, 2009
Grazie Marco – December 29, 2009
Inter transfer rumours beaten black and blue – January 5, 2010
Mario Balotelli, hero and villain – January 8, 2010
Wesley Sneijder: the human get-out-of-jail-free card – January 12, 2010
A potentially beastly decision – January 15, 2010