Inter Milan are selling up in a deal that could reach £1billion
ALVISE CAGNAZZO: Inter Milan are selling up in a deal that could reach £1billion as the club grapples with a financial crisis… the new owners will be forced to pick between Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez while nearly TEN players’ futures are in limbo
- Inter Milan’s owners are finally selling the club after a period of financial turmoil
- The club have instructed two advisors to start sounding out potential buyers
- Will be primarily be handled by Steven Zhang with the club ready to rubber stamp the sale as soon as a suitable offer is received
Inter Milan’s owners Suning are finally selling the club in a deal that could reach around 1.2billion euros (£1bn) – with chief Steven Zhang moving quickly towards a sale amid a financial crisis.
The club have instructed two advisors to start the search for potential buyers, according to the Financial Times, after showing losses of around 140m euros (£120m) at the end of September.
The sale will be primarily handled by Zhang. with CEO Giuseppe Marotta recently telling Sky Sports Italia: ‘These are negotiations above me.’
Steven Zhang (R) is the figure at Inter Milan who will oversee the club’s sale to any prospective owners
Should Zhang receive an offer in the region of 1.2bn euros then he will rubber-stamp a sale and the future of the club would change dramatically.
Inter’s financial position is so precarious that it is seen as no longer manageable considering all of Zhang’s other commitments in China.
The club’s minimum target in their search for investment is to pay off their 275m euro (£240m) loan from California based firm Oaktree Fund.
Zhang has met consultants at Goldman Sachs and now acknowledges he could no longer manage the full expenses of the club alone – as reported by Gazzetta dello Sport.
Simeone Inzaghi could have new owners soon – and perhaps a new look squad by the end of January
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE PLAYERS?
Inter’s plan is to sell the club to the highest bidder – with all players now waiting for the best moment to understand what will happen to the club and the best solution they can take for their careers.
Inter’s loan deal for Lazio’s Francesco Acerbi shows that the club need to wait before pouncing for new signings – especially after the disappointing signing of Romelu Lukaku so far.
The club have already spent a lot to renew the deal of midfielder Marcelo Brozovic – which was an important signing as a key player for the team.
Milan Skriniar is one of those players with a market value who the club could look to offload
Denzel Dumfries and Milan Skriniar are two players who have a lot of offers on the market and if the situation doesn’t change quickly they could be the first players offloaded in January.
CEO Marotta has maintained that the club are confident of keeping him – but it’s also true that Skriniar will soon become one of the most lucrative players on the market, so that could come into play as a factor.
Both players have been subject to offers from top European clubs and both may have the chance to significantly boost their salaries if they leave Serie A.
Unlike Nicolo Barella – seen by many fans as the heir to Javier Zanetti in the heart of midfield, the two foreign players do not have the same strong bond with the club and Milan – a city they consider a springboard for their careers.
LUKAKU OR LAUTARO?
If Zhang manages to sell the club, Inter will have to decide who stays and goes in attack.
Today Lukaku resembles an expensive ghost – who plays too little and costs too much – while his team-mate Lautaro Martinez can become the pillar of the teams future.
However, the Argentine’s contract is worth around 90m euros a year (£78m) and at the end of the year it will be decided who the club can afford to sacrifice – choosing between two strikers of different ages and different histories.
Inter Milan will have to decide who to keep out of Romelu Lukaku or Lautaro Martinez
The first task will be deciding who is the top man in the team.
Martinez is younger than Lukaku and to date he has shown he is in better shape physically – and considering Lukaku is on loan until next summer, it seems easy to predict that the club may choose to offload his 10m (£8.7m) salary to invest all of their funds in their superior number nine.
PLAYERS’ FUTURES UP IN THE AIR
At Inter there are many players in limbo: Robin Gosens, Matteo Darmian, Kristjan Asllani, Angel Correa, and Edin Dzeko and Roberto Gagliardini are players who for various reasons do not have concrete market proposals that could improve the club’s financial plight.
Inter are now playing a game of Tetris: attempting to figure out what parts of the squad fit, and which are surplus to requirements but can garner the club some much needed money in the face of a mounting financial crisis that has the potential to plunge them into serious trouble.
Francesco Acerbi is a good player for Inter Milan but they are paying him a a big wage to be at the club
Marotta’s Inter made the mistake of buying many good players by concentrating their efforts exclusively on top players. This, in combination with other factors, has exacerbated the economic problems felt so painfully by the club.
Acerbi, 34, is the most glaring example of such poor squad planning. He currently has the backing of the owner and the coach’s confidence but he is on an astronomical wage that Inter have taken off Lazio’s hands.
Acerbi is indicative of a squad that is far too old and whose wages are far too high. Inter have a lot to ponder in the coming weeks and months.
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