Inter fire sale: Lukaku to Chelsea, Lautaro-Spurs, Barella-Liverpool
Inter’s financial crisis means that it is likely Romelu Lukaku won’t be the last big star to leave the club this summer.
Lukaku is on the verge of completing a €115 million move to Chelsea, with the transfer to become official in the coming days.
Inter have been forced to sell Lukaku because their Chinese owners Suning are experiencing a financial meltdown.
While reports that that the club is facing liquidation are completely baseless, it is true that Suning are desperate to make as much money as possible in this transfer window to pay back the heavy debts exacerbated by the Coronavirus pandemic.
So which players will be sacrificed in this Inter fire sale? Here are some of the possibilities.
DONE DEAL: ACHRAF HAKIMI TO PSG
Achraf Hakimi was the first Inter star to be sold this summer. The Moroccan only joined the club a year ago from Real Madrid and enjoyed a brilliant season as the Nerazzurri won the Scudetto.
However, Inter accepted a bid from PSG in June worth up to €70m and publicly promised fans that the right wing-back would be the only big name to be sold in order to balance the books.
DONE DEAL: ROMELU LUKAKU TO CHELSEA
These promises proved to be lies as Inter have now accepted a €115m bid from Chelsea for Romelu Lukaku.
The Belgian striker was the key man last season under Antonio Conte – who has also quit the club – scoring the goals that led Inter to their first Scudetto in 11 years.
Lukaku has agreed a five-year contract to return to Stamford Bridge and the deal will be confirmed in the coming days.
LAUTARO MARTINEZ TO SPURS, ARSENAL OR ATLETICO?
The Sunday Times – among other British outlets - reported on Sunday that Inter this week accepted an offer from Tottenham for Lautaro worth an initial €70m, rising to €90m.
Lautaro’s agent insists that his client won’t force a move away from San Siro, while the Italian press believes that Inter will try to keep the player after agreeing to sell Lukaku.
However, the big problem for the Nerazzurri is that Lautaro’s contract expires in 2023 and they can’t afford to get even close to his salary demands.
Thus, if Inter don’t sell this summer then his price will plummet. Can Suning really afford that?
Gianluca Di Marzio claims that Arsenal and Atletico Madrid have also made bids for Lautaro this week.
NICOLO BARELLA TO LIVERPOOL?
It is no secret that Jurgen Klopp is a huge fan of Nicolo Barella and La Repubblica reported recently that Liverpool are preparing a €70m bid for the midfielder.
The Reds still need to replace Gini Wijnaldum, who left on a Bosman transfer this summer to join PSG.
Barella was expected to stay at Inter – as he supported the club as a kid – but there are reports he is now considering his future due to the financial crisis.
Man Utd could also potentially enter the bidding as they still need to sign a central midfielder this window.
STEFAN DE VRIJ TO LEICESTER?
Stefan De Vrij has been one of the best defenders in Serie A for many years now and he was the backbone of Inter’s title winners last season.
But at the age of 29, it is questionable if he will be willing to continue playing for a selling club that will no longer be competitive at the highest level.
Leicester are in the market for a centre back after the long-term injury to Wesley Fofana and the Daily Express claims they are ready to make a bid for De Vrij.
This will also be Inter’s last chance to get a decent fee for the Dutchman given his age and the fact his contract expires in 2023. He is valued at €30-40m.
Inter are already trying to sell veterans Arturo Vidal and Radja Nainggolan.
There is no interest in Vidal due to his high salary, while Nainggolan is expected to return to Cagliari before the end of the window.