The January transfer market opens tomorrow and there have been rumors for months about what moves Inter might be making. A lot of talk has been centered around potential sales and two former Genoa players have attracted some attention. While Andrea Ranocchia and Rodrigo Palacio had both been looking like they would be departing at the new year, now it seems that one of them might be sticking around (hint: it's not Ranocchia).
When Ranocchia arrived at Inter in January 2010, he was heralded as the long-term solution at center-back. He made a few high profile mistakes during his first seasons but they were mostly excused given his age. Both Marco Materazzi and Javier Zanetti praised the Italian and predicted that he would go on to do great things at the club. As time passed however, these errors continued and became more of a feature of his time on the pitch rather than abnormalities. Despite this, managers continued to put their faith in Ranocchia, often due to a lack of other options at the back, and he was even named captain for the 2014-2015 Serie A season (a gesture which did not improve his performances all that much).
With the arrivals of Miranda and Murillo this season, Ranocchia was banished to the Inter bench. Their great understanding with each other and ability to secure what had been a comical defense at times allowed Mancini to no longer have sleepless nights worrying about the backline. When one of the two first choice center-backs have been unavailable Mancini has used Medel or even D'Ambrosio, further highlighting his lack of faith in the former captain. As a result Ranocchia has only started one match this season and is reportedly one of the first names on the chopping block for the January transfer market.
There have already been reports that a deal had been agreed to with Bologna, and now it seems that Premier League side Norwich have made an offer to Inter for the 27 year old. They are willing to pay €10m for him and are offering him a salary of €3m per year. This offer is more than his reported value of €8m so if this report is accurate then Inter should most definitely take it and hope that Ranocchia is willing to make the move to England. Hopefully there he can reach the levels so many thought he was capable of.
Another player who arrived from Genoa and faces an uncertain future at Inter is Rodrigo Palacio. His arrival in the summer of 2012 was greeted with much less fanfare, though like Milito (who also arrived from Genoa to a number of raised eyebrows) he quickly proved his doubters wrong. In his first season he scored 22 goals in all competitions, and the following season he scored 19.
By the 14/15 season his age had begun to catch up with him and his performances started to decline, though he still managed to score 12 goals. This season Palacio did not begin looking all that sharp, and a number of new attacking arrivals made his place in the side look increasingly uncertain. Rumors of the impending signing of Jonathan Calleri fueled beliefs that Palacio would leave either in January or the upcoming summer, most likely going back to Argentina. It seems that this might not be the case however. Recent reports have suggested that the 33 year old will sign a contract extension that ties him to the club until 2017.
This deal could actually make quite a bit of sense. Palacio will apparently have his wages reduced and with Calleri reportedly going to Bologna until the end of the season, it is useful to have him around as a backup striker. He could also help with training Calleri when he arrives in the summer and mold the young striker's playing style while he finds his feet in a new league. Hopefully this mentoring will make sure that Calleri is successful and does not follow in the footsteps of so many young players who arrived at Inter with expectations that were unable to be fulfilled.