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Non - Coaching Rumors, News and Notes

Let's take a step away from the media blitz that’s happening around the coaching position and looking at other aspects of the club.

Claudio Villa

-- There are continuing negotiations regarding the sale of shares. Moratti is adamant that he will not give up a controlling interest, but apparently the biggest fish on the line for investment wants exactly that before there is investment in a stadium. Fassone has restated his idea that the team needs to wait until the end of 2013 before the financial stage of building a stadium can be completed and the design process can begin. Personally I am comfortable with Moratti, even if I am not always thrilled with his style of leadership. Does that mean I would welcome an Indonesian outsider as the President of the club? Hard to say that about a man I know nothing about.

But all that might be moot. The reality of the situation is this; Moratti is looking for a partner to build a stadium with who will take a minority stake in the team. However as we have said here that the accounts of Inter are less than thrilling even if things seem to be getting closer, at a snails pace, to what we want for the club. However, the idea of someone investing as much as Moratti is hoping for, for as little as Moratti is willing to give up doesn’t seem feasible with a club that isn’t earning money at the end of the fiscal year, that doesn’t have the notoriety of Champions League and doesn’t have the household names that it used to. If one is a die hard football enthusiast you know who Kovacic is or who Handanovic is. Joe Schmoe out in the street probably doesn’t. There is no “juice” that is making any excitement for minority investment. I understand that there are people who are willing to invest long term, tons of money and build a stadium for controlling powers at the club, but that seems unlikely at this point. There are rumors that after a stadium is built Moratti is willing to step down, but again, that’s a cart before the horse.

So talking finances only, we now come to one - only one, the man is a very good coach - of the reasons we see why Mazzarri is being considered by Moratti, who clearly favors Strama in football style. Mazzarri has a name, not a European Champion name, but a respected in Italian Football name. A name that can go toe to toe with whomever Milan picks as a coach, Conte or Benitez/Mancini – whichever one comes for Napoli. There needs to be something to talk about in a positive way for this club going forward in order to give that appearance that Big European Money is coming. Stama is not that name, and the way the season ended probably didn’t help the financial cause. Lack of Champions League money is an issue, but a bigger one is the lack of a promise for future Champions League money.

The idea or promise of a stadium has to be a big draw, but the other one has to be some energy at the club that will make people want to become a part of it. There has to be the perception that financial return is a safe bet. I don’t know how this story will end, but that stadium is the key to this club’s survival. I keep thinking in my mind that a healthy youth system, a return to the Champions League and a stadium will give this club the biggest stick in all of Serie A.

Would Moratti agree to a structured deal where he sells shares scaffolded over 5 years in which he eventually gives up control after the stadium is built?

-- Altobelli has thrown his hat into the ring as a “Strong Man” director. He’s never held any office in a club other than player before that I know of and has spent the last several years as a commentator for Arabic television, if I am not mistaken. Everyone has to start somewhere but I don’t think that General Manager is the best place for Sandro to get his feet wet.

-- Zuniga is the hot name on the lips of people who think that Mazzarri is going to be the new coach. I have no problem with this as I think he’s decent at the least player. He’s athletic and has an understanding of Mazza’s system. Plus he beats the holy hell out of us everytime we play against him. It’s like Rome and the Barbarian hordes – pay them to fight for us instead of bleeding us. I’ll just conveniently forget the ultimate ending to that particular policy…

-- All the players that Branca signed over the course of the last few months for free in a desperate plan to save his carcass are apparently going to be honored by Mazza according to newspapers (read as: rumor). Meh, I don’t really care about that.

-- I read Conte make his comments about “Juve not making the same mistakes Inter made after winning The Treble” twice already. My biggest critique of this statement is that before Juve can make Inter’s mistakes AFTER winning The Treble, they have to win The Treble first. Or heck, win The Double under Conte. Unless of course he has heard of some guarantee that Juve will win The Treble. That is unfortunately a very real possibility, of course. And I am only laughing ruefully while writing this.

-- The media is continuing to link us to Paulinho. Is there anyone who really thinks that ship will sail? Near as I can tell, any rumor of Inter being interested in Paulinho for this coming transfer session is coming from Brazil. There is nothing coming from this end. All I have been reading is that Paulinho was considering Inter, Inter made an offer in January but we didn’t take it, blah, blah. The only thing I am hearing that is coming from Europe is that Monaco is interested. Apparently one of the three parties that have control of Paulinho’s card is trying to squeeze as much out of the player as possible. I would be very interested to see how much they get for him. I have a feeling that Inter aren’t that interested anymore – Inter brought Kovacic to do what Paulinho was supposed to be able to do. Inter paid around €12 million or so for the young man. I wonder what ransom Paulinho is going to reap. Here’s my opinion, I think that the Paulinho gravy train already pulled out of the station. I don’t think that the various investors in Paulinho are going to get much more than €15 million for him. Inter were never going to get him for less – all that talk about getting him when he was €8 million is gibberish, they were never going to sell a kid that young for that amount, always knowing that they could get more a year or two later. But at this point it could be diminishing returns. He might have been worth more last season. Teams in Europe that need him aren’t going to have the money to buy him and teams that can afford him or be of interest to him already have a player in that role. Is the era of the Brazilian starlet over because Brazilian teams, with their improved economy can now afford to hang onto their own players?

-- More Mancini rumors. Like Paulinho, I get the impression that they are coming from his entourage and not the team’s officials. Are they trying to foist themselves on Moratti or are they trying to scare up business by using Inter as a decoy? Whatever is going on from Mancini’s camp, I don’t think its working. I think that anyone who believes that Mancini is the next Inter coach is fooling themselves. I just can’t see it. Doesn’t mean he won’t be, just that I can’t see how this plan works. Besides, it’s like the movie Titanic. I never saw that movie because I know how it ends. The boat sinks. I know how Mancini’s tenure would end as Inter coach – him not fulfilling his contract, failure in Europe, everyone hating him – again - and his refusing to go without absurd compensation. If only it would end in 4 hours…

-- Reliable names for new signings? Zuniga, Nainggolan, Fernando. Anyone think of anything else?