The international break drags on, and all Inter fans have to talk about is a ‘B’ team friendly and a host of transfer rumours.
The action this week comes from a friendly in which Inter faced Piacenza with a squad full of players who were not busy turning out for their national teams. The mezzo Nerazzurro contrived to lose a game to the Serie B outfit despite taking a first-half lead through Amantino Mancini. The Inter side had five first team players in Francesco Toldo, Mancini, Patrick Vieira, Ricardo Quaresma and Marko Arnautovic, and six players from the primavera squad. A second half comeback from Piacenza saw them end as 2-1
Mancini and Quaresma have been the subject of a lot of talk lately, with both players having had multiple chances to prove themselves and failing to take them. Both may well be relieved to hear that should they be shown the Giuseppe Meazza door in January, Genoa are rumoured to be interested in giving them a chance. Quaresma, however, rejected the opportunity to make the move to the Luigi Ferraris in the summer, opting to try and fight for his place in the Nerazzurri first team, and it remains to be seen whether he has given up that ambition already – even though it may well be time to lower his sights and revive his career at a different team.
The other player who has been strongly linked with a transfer is Sulley Muntari, especially after his own fans appeared to have turned against him during the victory over Udinese. Tottenham Hotspur had been linked with the player, but Muntari has been quick to dismiss this possibility, saying he is happy in Milan: “I have not heard anything about this transaction, I honestly don’t know anything about it.” He said, “I only know that I am an Inter player. Therefore it is pointless to talk about other sides.”
A number of players have been linked with a move to la Beneamata during the January transfer window, and Lazio’s Christian Ledesma, who has fallen out of favour in the Bianocelesti half of Rome, is rumoured to be the latest target. Whether Inter need another central midfielder remains to be seen, but Ledesma is a very talented player and as such, the Nerazzurri would be foolish not to consider him were he to be available. A better option, perhaps, would be Udinese’s Gokan Inler who is a very exciting young player. He has recently been linked with a move away from the Zebrette, and has been coy about such rumours, saying that he wants to see what happens at the end of the season. One potential problem for Inter is that Arsenal have also been recently linked with the Swiss player, and would provide serious opposition in a transfer struggle. One good piece of news for Inter fans that will stop some transfer talk is that Diego Milito’s recovery from injury is currently ahead of schedule. Milito was originally expected to be out for over a month, but could well be back before then after making excellent progress.
A strange piece of news this week is that Inter are now sponsoring a school in Uganda, with a view to getting young players for their youth academy. The school in Naggalama competed in a world under-14 youth tournament and finished as runners-up, convincing the Milanese club that a link could well be beneficial. Inter have given the club football equipment and will also be giving the children the chance to train at their facilities.
The annual awards for banners in Serie A stadia were given out this week, and a banner about Nerazzurri coach Jose Mourinho was given fourth place, it read: ‘Mourinho learned Italian just so he could talk crap’. The awards are given to the most amusing banners seen over the course of the season, and unsurprisingly Mourinho has been a target of many rival fans given his controversial nature and larger-than-life media persona.
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