It’s been quite a three-month period for Inter Milan. From winning the Serie A and breaking the Juventus stranglehold on the league, to Antonio Conte leaving his managerial role and this week’s news that Romelu Lukaku has instructed his board to accept a suitable offer that will see him return to Chelsea.
The league triumph might have heralded the start of an Nerazzurri dominant period, however that moment now seems like the dawning of a premature end. Antonio Conte and Inter were never meant to be an everlasting marriage – however it now seems more like a lust-filled fling left with a crash and burn taste to the aftermath.
Clearly the new head-coach Simone Inzaghi has an unenvious task on his hands. A talented squad remains, even if Romelu Lukaku leaves, but if the cost-cutting continues it will be interesting to see what sort of squad might be left for Inzaghi come the end of the transfer window.
In early July Achraf Hakimi left for PSG in a €60million and is yet to be replaced despite constant noise around PSV Eindhoven’s Denzel Dumfries following his fine showing for Netherlands at Euro 2020. Speculation also surrounds the future of another forward in Argentina’s Lautaro Martinez having recently been linked with Arsenal.
Whilst it is hard to imagine a transfer window whereby both Lukaku and Martinez might depart, this clearly isn’t any normal window.
Sides from the English Premier League seem to have the pick of the finest players on the continent. Whilst the Coronavirus financial effect has taken a toll on the game as a whole, the English sides certainly seem more adept to weathering the storm thanks to their mammoth television deals – which is further emphasised by their transfers so far this summer.
Compare that with the cost-cutting at Inter. Their owners Suning Holdings Group have been a cause for concern for some time. This resulted in their failure to convince Antonio Conte that his key players would not be sold and led to his departure.
Conte has certainly been proved right – more so if Lukaku and Martinez join Hakimi in departing.
With this in mind a group of Inter ultras have thought enough is enough. Expecting to push on from their Serie A triumph, they’re now staring down the barrel with Suning Holding Group holding the trigger.
A huge banner was recently unfurled outside Inter’s headquarters reading “To the club, watch out, promises must be maintained.”
Former Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti has also publicly said Romelu Lukaku’s sale will be a huge blow.
“I don’t know the exact situation, but I think they are certainly attracted by the idea of such a huge sum. I don’t know if that’s enough to change Inter’s economic status,” Moratti told Calciomercato.it.
“In one respect, keeping Lukaku means having a strong team, so we need to see what’s more important to them, if it’s cash or the team.
“It depends I guess on whether a sale is absolutely necessary for them. It’d be a huge disappointment on the sporting level to lose Lukaku, that’s for sure.”
What happens now remains to be seen. Much depends on whether Lukaku does leave, and whether he is then quickly followed by Martinez. What once seemed like the dawning of a new Inter dynasty now seems like a farfetched dream.