Club Focus – Inter – Snow game this weekend

Despite a protective sheet being laid down for the specific reason of saving the pitch from the elements, the game between Parma and Inter on Sunday was called off. The safety of the fans was also taken in consideration because a large amount of the stands in the Ennio Tardini stadium were covered in ice, and had the game had been sold out, it could have caused serious problems. This has given both sets of players a weekend off, and gives José Mourinho an extra few days to prepare his side for next week’s game against Cagliari.

Yesterday marked the close of the January transfer window, and, as this club focus was written, only two pieces business had been confirmed by the Nerazzurri. Firstly, the sale of Amantino Mancini to rivals Milan. The Brazilian will move to the Rossonero side of the city on loan at first, with an option to be bought at the end of the season should he impress. As talented as the winger clearly is, this could well be his last chance at a top club should he leave his new tactician Leonardo unimpressed, so he has a huge incentive to give everything for the rest of the season. The deal was originally thought to include Marek Jankulovski moving to Inter, but the versatile Czech player will stay with the Diavolo.

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It seems as if the Cristian Ledesma to Inter story has finally ended, because the Lazio player saw his bid to have his contract terminated fail, and President Claudio Lotito (who is making a strong attempt to be the worst President in Serie A) rejected a bid rumoured to be around €15m from Inter. It seems as if the Argentine will be left to sit on the Biancocelesti bench for the rest of the season. In his place, la Beneamata have signed Parma youngster McDonald Mariga, whose move to Manchester City had to be cancelled as he could not obtain the required work permit. The move is a co-ownership deal, costing the club around €4.5m for half of the Kenyan’s contract. There was also the rumour (once again proving just how convoluted deadline day gets) perpetrated by Ledesma’s agent that Palermo’s Fábio Simplício had joined the Nerazzurri. Ledesma and Simplício share the same agent, Vincenzo D’Ippolito, who claimed that the deal could be considered done, even if it was not yet official, but the lack of noise emanating from the Giuseppe Meazza about the deal suggests that this is not the case, especially considering the arrival of Mariga.

Another midfielder that had been expected to join the champions was Valencia’s former Everton and Benfica man, Manuel Fernanades. He was in Milan having a medical, but did not pass for reasons undisclosed. His agent claims that Fernandes is in perfect physical condition and it has been speculated that the deal was cancelled for other reasons. Either way, his transfer has been called off and he will remain at Valencia for the foreseeable future.

Inter’s next fixture is a home game against Cagliari, whilst Milan and Roma both face away ties at Bologna and Fiorentina respectively. This could well be another chance for la Beneamata to open the gap yet wider at the top of the table – and now that they also have the game against Parma in hand – the title rests firmly in their own hands. It would be forgivable if José Mourinho was already looking forward to the ties against Chelsea in the Champions League and devising a strategy to beat his old club and former Milanese nemesis, Carlo Ancelotti. The lack of significant transfer activity this month suggests that Mourinho feels that he has a team capable of challenging in Europe, and now is the time he begins to think about how he can prove it.

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Inter Club Focus 2009/10

Pre-season


Another Scudetto for the Nerazzurri?
– August 18, 2009

Week 1


A stuttering start, and a Portuguese explosion
– August 25, 2009

Week 2


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

Week 3


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

Week 4


They never had a problem with ugly wins
– September 22, 2009

Week 5


Partenopei are beaten Black and Blue
– September 25, 2009

Week 6


Blucerchiati run rings round Inter
– September 29, 2009


Champions League? You’re having a laugh
– October 2, 2009

Week 7


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

Week 8


The Puzzle continues
– October 20, 2009

Week 9


What next?
– October 23, 2009


Papering over the cracks
– October 27, 2009

Week 10


The pressure is on as Inter almost throw it away against Palermo
– October 30, 2009

Week 11


Judgement day awaits
– November 3, 2009


Just in time
– November 6, 2009

Week 12


A draw with Roma, but things look good
– November 10, 2009

Week 13


Back to the day job
– November 20, 2009


A Messi situation
– November 24, 2009


It was embarrassing
– November 27, 2009

Week 14


José gets ruffled
– December 1, 2009

Week 15


Derby d’Italia
– December 4, 2009


It could be worse
– December 8, 2009

Week 16


Disaster averted
– December 11, 2009


A missed opportunity? More for them than us
– December 11, 2009

Week 17


Resolutions
– December 18, 2009


How do you solve a problem like Mourinho [does]?
– December 22, 2009

Winter break


Grazie Marco
– December 29, 2009


Inter transfer rumours beaten black and blue
– January 5, 2010

Week 18


Mario Balotelli, hero and villain
– January 8, 2010


Wesley Sneijder: the human get-out-of-jail-free card
– January 12, 2010

Week 19


A potentially beastly decision
– January 15, 2010

Week 20


Bari wasn’t great, Milan must be better
– January 19, 2010

Week 21


Derby della Madonnina and Jermaine Jenas?
– January 22, 2010


Inter show why they are the champions of Milan
– January 26, 2010


A derby win, a semi-final, and disciplinary charges. Just another quiet week for Mourinho
– January 29, 2010

Week 22


Snow game this weekend
– February 2, 2010

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