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How will the Inter-Osvaldo standoff end? Exploring possible legal ramifications and transfer destinations

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Tensions between the club and player have reached a breaking point and both sides are looking to end Osvaldo's time at Inter as soon as possible.

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Ever since Pablo Osvaldo's explosion towards Icardi and Mancini after the Derby d'Italia, the writing has been on the wall that Osvaldo would leave the club. He was first dropped from all subsequent match squads so far and then fined. Osvaldo escalated the situation by just disappearing for 2 days, going to Madrid to visit friends without informing the club. Mancini tried to smooth this over when Osvaldo returned but it seems as though things have not gotten better.

Ausilio has been meeting with numerous clubs and Osvaldo's agent to try to work out a deal that is beneficial for all parties, but it seems that a new avenue for resolution has opened up. There are reports that both Inter and Osvaldo will be looking to sue each other. First we will look at what this legal action is all about on both sides, and then discuss the reported destinations for the 29 year-old striker.

Lawsuit

Inter is reportedly looking to sue Osvaldo for breach of contract. This breach is likely referring to his going AWOL for two days and missing training, though it could also be pointing to the verbal and attempted physical assaults against Icardi and Mancini. The club would be looking for immediate termination of his contract as well as compensation for damages.

On the flip side, Osvaldo would sue for being banned from attending training. Apparently he tried to show up to the training grounds twice and was refused access under the club's orders. Now for most American readers this does not look like something that would allow for a lawsuit, but in Italy, there is a rule that clubs must allow their players a right to train.

(If this sounds familiar for Inter fans, that's because we have seen it before, but we were the ones benefiting from this rule. Back in 2010, Goran Pandev sued Lazio using this rule and won, thus allowing him to transfer to Inter for free while also winning €160,000.)

If the case were to actually be taken up by Lega Calcio's arbitration board it would actually be pretty interesting to see who they ruled in favor of. If Osvaldo's contract has a morality clause in it (which given his past behavior Inter should have insisted on having), then the club has a very strong case for a breach of contract. On the other hand, Osvaldo, as a Serie A player has a clear and defined right to be able to train, and on the surface it looks like the club violated that right. And as noted before, the league has no problem with ruling in favor of the player in instances like this.

So since both sides seem to have legitimate claims and neither can definitively believe they would win, a transfer is most likely to be the resolution of this dispute. The lawsuit is probably what would happen if Osvaldo does not get to leave and remains on the bench, essentially their 'nuclear option'.

Transfer Destinations

Ausilio has been busy recently trying to find a suitable destination for the Italian international, with there being a number of options. The problem is both Inter and Osvaldo have their preferences on where he should go. The following is a list of reported clubs and why each one is likely or unlikely to pan out.

AC Milan-For Osvaldo and Milan, this would be a great transfer. Osvaldo wins because he gets to move to another big club, and he doesn't even have to move to another city. Milan wins because they get a pretty reliable goalscorer (who will be extra motivated to stick it to Inter in the Derby) to add to their January addition of Alessio Cerci. This additional firepower could help them in their fight for Europe next season. Inter however have very little interest in strengthening one of their direct rivals, so the club would prefer a transfer elsewhere.

Boca Juniors-Osvaldo has long been a fan of Buenos Aires based club (even to the point of having a Boca Juniors themed birthday party this year) and this could be a perfect opportunity to return to Argentina. The problem is that Osvaldo makes a lot of money, and Boca's president has stated that Osvaldo would have to see his salary cut in half for any transfer to even be thought about. With this and other costs for the Argentinian club to consider, it is unlikely for this move to be completed in January.

Juventus-Osvaldo has been on loan at Juventus before, during the second half of the 13-14 season managing 3 goals in 18 appearances. He already has experience there, plus he is good friends with Carlos Tevez, so Tevez could vouch for him to convince Juventus to make an offer plus they could establish a good relationsihp on the field playing off each other. Again though, Inter have no intentions of strengthening one of their rivals. Plus it seems that Juventus management is not entirely sold on the idea of bringing the volatile striker back into their ranks.  He managed to get through one time at the club without any major incidents, they might not want to chance it a second time.

Southampton-Obviously the simplest option when dealing with Osvaldo would be for Inter to terminate his contract and to send him back to Southampton for the remainder of the season.  The problem is that Southampton don't really want him back, with their manager being quoted as saying that Osvaldo is on loan for the whole season and they "expect him to stay there until it ends". While they are not interested in taking him back, it looks like the club is not opposed to him spending the remainder of the season somewhere else, as long as it is not with them.

Torino-When rumors of Osvaldo's exit first began, it seemed like he would be heading to Torino. Inter had been discussing the prospects of a transfer with the Turin-based club and a deal seemed to be in the works since it benefited both sides. As mentioned in the preview for the Inter-Torino match, the side has a problem scoring goals, so adding Osvaldo would help alleviate that issue. In return Inter would have received defender Matteo Darmian, thus securing a young defender who could help shore up Mancini's defense .The problem is that Osvaldo doesn't want to go, he wants a bigger club than Torino (aka Milan or Juventus). .

QPR-This situation is very similar to the one with Torino. Ausilio has met with QPR about a possible transfer, with QPR offering Adel Taarabt in return for Osvaldo (Taarabt's arrival also being a loan). Again though, Osvaldo seems to have rejected this possibility, still dragging his heels in for a move to one of Italy's other big clubs.

With all this in mind, both parties seem to have reached an impasse. Neither side really wants a lawsuit, but they also cannot agree on where to send Osvaldo. Ausilio met with Osvaldo's agent yesterday to try to find some sort of agreeable resolution but from the way things look currently, it is hard to see which side will give in. Either Inter will allow the striker to move to a rival, potentially angering fans (like the cancelled Guarin-Vucinic trade) or Osvaldo will have to cave and go to a smaller club than he prefers. Of course, there is always that nuclear option of the lawsuit looming in the back of the minds of everybody involved in this saga.

Personally I have no idea how this will pan out. Thohir has really been trying to push Inter as a international brand and increase the club's marketing appeal and a lawsuit would greatly damage that image, especially if the club lost. Osvaldo's agent probably knows this and is trying to use this as leverage to force a move to Milan or Juventus. On the other hand, Thohir has already seen how angry fans can get when a player is sent to a rival and would most definitely prefer to avoid that situation from arising again. Hopefully, the club can convince Osvaldo that going to a smaller club for 6 months would not be the worst thing that could ever happen so that this long, drawn out battle between the two sides can finally come to an end.

(If you made it to the end of this whole article, congratulations. I did not intend for this to be nearly as long as it turned out.)