Hakan Calhanoglu agrees three-year deal to make dramatic switch from Milan to Inter
Hakan Calhanoglu has completed a dramatic move from Milan to cross-city rivals Inter ahead of the new season.
The Nerazzurri confirmed the remarkable capture of one of their rival’s key players in a statement on Tuesday, when they announced that the Turkey international had agreed a three-year-deal to join them this summer.
Calhanoglu is one of a number of high profile players who have let their contract run down this summer, with the likes of Sergio Aguero and Memphis Depay joining Barcelona for free from Manchester City and Lyon respectively.
Unfortunately for Milan, two of their key players from the last few seasons will leave for free, with Gianluigi Donnarumma looking likely to join Paris Saint-Germain.
Calhanoglu has been locked in talks with club directors for most of this season, but no new extension had been agreed which means Milan will lose him for nothing.
And, to add insult to injury, it is Inter who are now set to steal him from across the city as they have tempted Calhanoglu with a reported salary of €5 million per year.
That level of pay has certainly come as a shock to many as Inter are reportedly attempting to cut down their wage budget.
Just last month Antonio Conte left the club after leading them to Serie A glory, with Juventus' decade-long period of dominance over the Scudetto coming to an end.
The former Chelsea boss fell out with the club hierarchy after he was informed that his title-winning side could be dismantled to balance the books.
Conte was told that one or more of Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez, Achraf Hakimi or Nicolo Barella would have to be sold.
The Italian, wanting to build a squad for an assault on the Champions League rather than see the current one weakened, subsequently left San Siro.
The report from Sky Italia confirms that Calhanoglu will undergo a medical on Tuesday before putting pen to paper on a three-year deal.
Who else were interested in Calhanoglu?
A dead ball specialist, Calhanoglu regularly tallied up goal contributions during his time in Serie A.
Over the past two seasons in the Italian top flight he has scored 13 goals and recorded 18 assists in 64 starts.
As a Milan exit looked likely, speculation started to mount surrounding his next move.
Initially, Manchester United were mentioned as a possible destination due to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wanting to lessen the creative workload of Bruno Fernandes, though that rumour didn't gather too much steam.
Arsenal, too, wanted Calhanoglu but his desire to play Champions League football would mean the Gunners trying to tempt him with big wages which they can't afford at the moment.
The strongest suitor then became Atletico Madrid, but it appears Los Colchoneros ultimately decided on Udinese's Rodrigo De Paul instead.
That allows Inter to swoop in, with the deal set to be concluded this week.