Seeing as how disappointing the results have been the past few matches... Let's try that again. Seeing as how disappointing the results have been the second half of the season... Still not right. Seeing as how disappointing the results have been this entire season, those in charge at Inter have been speaking in recent days about an upcoming revolution at the club (I was tempted to cross it out again and put in how disappointing the last few seasons have been but that's too depressing). There has been talk of new players coming in (and maybe a big star or two), and determining who is worthy of being an Inter player from among the current squad.
With all signs pointing to a major upheaval in the upcoming transfer window we'll look at the current status of the Nerazzurri players and which ones are more likely to still be wearing black and blue next season.
Youth players and those out on loan will not be included, otherwise this would take forever to read. (Granted this is still going to be pretty long)
Samir Handanovic: One of the best players on this team without a doubt, the 30 year old Slovenian international has a number of suitors both in this league and in England. With his contract expiring in 2016, renewal talks have been ongoing, but so far there have been no results to show for it. Though his agent says he is committed to Inter, there are definite concerns that a player of his caliber should be plying his trade at a club that can provide Champions League matches, and this club cannot. Even if there weren't contract issues going on, his age, high market value (about €18.5 million) and (deservedly) high wages (€2 million) make him one of the most likely to be sold this summer to pay for new arrivals.
Juan Pablo Carrizo: Before the EL matches against Wolfsburg I would have said that the 30 year old goalkeeper was a solid backup who could step in and put in a good shift when needed. Now...I'm a little more hesitant. It's not just that he played badly in a couple of matches. It was really bad. It was god awful bad. His contract expires at the end of this season and though he had those couple of those games that made me close my eyes every time the other side shot the ball, I think the club will give him a contract extension especially if Handanovic leaves simply because I doubt the club would want to try to replace 2 if not all 3 senior goalkeepers in one transfer market.
Tommaso Berni: A 32 year old goalkeeper who hasn't played a single competitive match. Plus in the friendlies he played in he didn't exactly cover himself in glory. He was signed for free on a one year contract to be a last-ditch 3rd choice goalkeeper after Castellazzi left and I don't expect him to get a contract extension. Though given that he is the 3rd lowest paid player (€200,000) the club might keep him around if there isn't a suitable youth keeper to promote just to avoid the hassle of finding somebody else. Still, it is considerably more likely than not that he goes.
Yuto Nagatomo: The versatile Japanese fullback is likely to stick around next season. His performances this season haven't been great but he has been consistently decent (which sadly has become the standard for a good fullback at this club). The 28 year old did have one or two clubs looking into him in the January transfer market but nothing came of that interest. His contract goes until the end of next season so any renewed contract will probably be his last at the club. He is definitely a sellable asset but it is probably better for the club to keep him around for a little while longer at least.
Jonathan: Also referred to as "Il Divino" (somewhat mockingly), the 29 year old right back has only started 2 league matches this season, mostly due to a to a series of injuries that led to him needing surgery on his knee back in February, ending his season. When the Brazilian first arrived his performances were pretty bad, though they improved over time. He never played consistently well, but he always played with heart, and that counts for something, right...? His contract ends at the end of this season and it looks like the club will not renew (especially given the impact Santon has had since his arrival) so this looks to be the end of his time playing for Inter.
Davide Santon: The former Inter youth player returned home from Newcastle in January, and he has very much impressed upon his arrival. He has been able to play on both wings, and he finally allows for consistent reasonably accurate crossing. Due to his lack of playing time in the first half of the season in England, his loan had an appearances requirement to activate a mandatory buyout clause. But it turns out his fitness wasn't an issue, and he has played in every match since his arrival but one (Sampdoria due to the flue). He quickly met the requirement for the buyout clause so Santon will be officially owned by Inter next season (and for considerably less than what he was originally sold by Inter for). Expect him to stick around for a while.
Danilo D'Ambrosio: Over the course of the season D'Ambrosio has been solidly consistent and his ability to play on both wings has made him a pretty valuable player for the club. The 26 year old is tied to the club until 2018 and I see no reason why he would be sold this summer.
Dodó: The young Brazilian fullback came in at the start of the season from Roma on loan and will remain here until the loan ends (at the end of next season) and his buyout clause is activated (€7 million). So it's basically guaranteed that he will be around next season. In terms of his form, he plays with a heavy emphasis on attacking and less so on defending (as is fairly typical with Brazilians in his position-Maicon, Dani Alves, etc.). While the other players mentioned (in their prime) were either good enough in attack to make up for this imbalance or smart/quick enough to get back and do a decent job of not getting caught out often, Dodó does not have either of these yet, and this is part of the reason why the 23 year old had seen his playing time reduced by Mancini before getting injured and needing surgery. He needs to improve on his defensive side of the game, and he will be around next season for us to see if that does happen.
Hugo Campagnaro: The 34 year old defender was brought in when Mazzarri arrived due to his understanding of his 3 man defensive system. This season though he has received limited playing time under both Mazzarri and Mancini. With his contract expiring at the end of the season expect to see him heading off in the summer.
Nemanja Vidic: Vidic has not adapted well to Serie A and Inter's playing style. Since his arrival from Manchester United for free he has been sent off, given away penalties and committed errors that have lead to goals. While he has had a couple of okay performances the 33 year old has not been trusted to start most matches both by Mazzarri and Mancini. Apparently Mancini and Vidic have not been on the best of terms either. There have been stories about him leaving the club in the summer, though both him and his agent have stated that he wants to stay at Inter. I think once he settles down and gets his bearing an experienced head like his could be good for the younger players so he will probably stick around.
Andrea Ranocchia: Oh the enigma that is Ranocchia. On one hand, he's the captain and appointed heir by Zanetti and given Materazzi's jersey number. On the other hand, he hasn't led and motivated the team all that well this season. On one hand, he's the defender who has been wearing an Inter jersey the longest. On the other hand, he's been the most inconsistent defender I've ever seen wear an Inter jersey. All things considered, it would look like the 27 year old would be one of the most likely players to be sold in the summer but there is one small issue in all that: his contract expires at the end of this season. It seems that the official board position is that his expiring contract isn't a problem, he will be an easy renewal so they can focus on Handanovic and Icardi for now, but that still raises some questions in terms of him leaving. First of all, yes he is the captain and has shown that he does really love Inter but given all the criticism aimed at him by the fans the Italian international could easily decide "forget this" and leave for free to somewhere he isn't perpetually made a scapegoat (and I really wouldn't blame him for that). Secondly, usually a team doesn't sign a player to a contract extension and then immediately sell him in the following transfer window. If one of the parties wanted them to split up either the player wouldn't have signed the contract extension or the team would have sold him earlier. Now there are exceptions to this, with usually both player and club trying to get more money out of a potential suitor, but it makes it difficult to see Ranocchia leaving. Definitely possibly, but a little difficult.
Juan Jesus: For a long time now, JJ has looked like the team's most promising defender. His strength and aggression has made it seem like he would turn out to be a very good player. This season his growth has stagnated though, and a number of concerning errors have started to appear in his play. Since he is only 23 he is still likely to keep getting better as time passes but he is going to need to cut out those mistakes. His contract goes until 2018 and unless some great offer comes in, I believe he will still be around next season.
Felipe: Honestly, he was nothing but a stopgap signing. He was brought on for extra defensive cover and has played in one match (against his old club Parma). He was signed as a free agent (since he had broken away from his contract at Parma due to their financial...difficulties) until the end of the season. Unless he has some incredible performances before the end of the season or really impresses Mancini to give him a contract extension, I see no reason that he will still be here at the beginning of next season.
Marco Andreolli: I've always kinda liked Andreolli. He has never been a great centerback but he can be expected to put in a solid shift in defense without making any major errors (which is something we could not say often about the other CB's this season). He has also been pretty loyal to the club, coming back after going through the Primavera here and not complaining when accepting a squad rotation role. There have been recent rumors that the 28 year old has suitors both in Italy and England, and though he is a useful player to have on the bench I wouldn't be surprised if Inter sold him. I would definitely prefer him to stay though.
Gary Medel: Medel was brought in after a pretty successful World Cup with Chile to help shield the defense along with Yann M'Villa. Since M'Villa failed to impress Medel has taken over that duty full time, with him having the most league starts of any outfield player. He has lived up to his nickname , "Pitbull" so far; his aggressive (yet smart) tackling as well as his awareness to fill in any gaps in the defensive line has proven very useful. He is under contract until 2018 and I see no reason why the club would sell the 27 year old.
Zdravko Kuzmanovic: I've never fully understood Kuzmanovic and what he does. He started as a defensive midfielder then he began pushing forward and became more of a pure central midfielder but whatever he does, he's just kinda...there most of the time. He never really stamps his authority on matches; he'll pop up enough for you not think the side is playing with 10 men, but it's fairly easy to forget he is playing. Anyways, the Serbian midfielder has a contract with Inter until 2017, but back in January it very much looked like he was going to leave. The club had a series of productive negotiations with Hamburg only for the deal to not happen in the end. With his wages at €1.5 million (more than JJ and Nagatomo, tied with Kovacic before his contract extension) it makes sense for the club to move him along. Expect the 27 year old to leave if another club shows interest in him in the summer.
Fredy Guarin: Like Ranocchia, Guarin is a player who is most easily described as wildly inconsistent. When he's on his game he's a powerful box-to-box midfielder who can do it all, dominating a match in impressive fashion. When he's not he drifts in and out of games, misplaces passes, and his shots from distance have a better chance of hitting a bird than the back of the net. Once Mancini arrived the 28 year old had a marked improvement in his performances, becoming a very important player in Mancini's system. But in recent weeks his form has dropped off, worrying fans that his good play was just another upturn before the inevitable decline. As of January I would have said that he would definitely be one of the players sold, but in the second half of the season he has really stepped up in terms of leadership and shown that he cares about the club. If Ranocchia leaves I believe that he would be the next captain. So I think that at this point Guarin is probably going to stay outside of a big offer coming in for him.
Hernanes: When Thohir first arrived at the club and needed an important signing to show to the fans, he brought in Hernanes from Lazio. That Hernanes was a controlling force in midfield who had a great shot from distance. We haven't seen much of him. There have been a few games where he has shown flashes of that brilliance but so far he has not been as good as expected. Mancini has not shown much faith in the Brazilian midfielder and he has seen his playing time greatly reduced (with Mancini preferring the trio of Guarin-Medel-Brozovic). His contract runs to 2018 and at the age of 29, now would be the best time to sell him and make back some of the money paid for him. Maybe somewhere else he can return to the Hernanes we had all hoped to see at Inter.
Marcelo Brozovic: The Croatian midfielder joined the club in January from Dinamo Zagreb (just like our other Croatian midfielder Kovacic). He slotted into the first team almost immediately and impressed with his calm influence on the pitch and much needed ability to connect the midfield and attack without having to resort to long balls. While his form has dipped recently he has still shown himself to be a quality player for his age. His is here on loan with a option to purchase which is essentially mandatory. So the 22 year old will be around next season.
Joel Obi: I wonder where Obi's head is going into the end of the season. He is very clearly a player not suited to either style of play seen this season under both Mazzarri and Mancini. He used to be a wide player suited for the midfield wings of a 442 formation, but neither coach has tried that. So in order to fit him in (often in emergency situations due to injuries) the 23 year old has either been played as a fullback (which didn't exactly go to well) or in central midfield (where pretty much every other midfielder we have plays better than him there since all he really does is just run). His contract goes until 2017 and last summer Al-Arabi was interested in him but the club and player rejected the offer, looking for something better. If a decent offer come in the club will probably sell him this summer, but I don't expect too see many clubs lining up for his services.
Mateo Kovacic: The vultures are circling for the young Croatian midfielder, and it looks like Inter might unfortunately be willing to let go of one of their prized possessions. Since Kovacic first arrived he was proclaimed as the future of the team, a promising playmaker that they club would build the team around. He has struggled to really find his place during the constant changing of coaches and their ideas of how he should play, but he still has shown the quality that many are sure he has inside him. With the arrival of Shaqiri the pressure to carry the team was lifted from the 20 year old's shoulders, but Shaq has gone on to pretty much completely displace Kovacic from the starting lineup causing clubs like Liverpool and Barcelona to begin eyeing Kovacic. He did just sign a contract extension that ties him to the club until 2019, but it looks like if Handanovic is not sold (and possibly even if he does go) Kovacic would be the next most profitable asset. I just really hope we don't see another situation like Coutinho (sell for cheap and then goes on to tear it up for his new club).
Xherdan Shaqiri: The biggest signing the club has made since Eto'o, getting Shaq from Bayern Munich was heralded as a coup for Inter. Their CEO even said they accepted less from Inter than they would have gotten from Liverpool because that's where the Swiss international wanted to go. His arrival finally offered a chance to relieve some of the playmaking pressure from Kovacic, and it worked (maybe a little too well). When he first started he was on the wing of a 4231 that allowed for both Shaq and Kovacic to play together. But as time went on it seemed that the 23 year old played better in the center so Mancini switched to a 4312 with Shaq playing in the hole. He has played pretty well so far and once he gets a good understanding of the league could become one of its best players. His deal from Bayern was a loan until the end of the season with an obligatory purchase at €15 million. He is the closest thing to an untouchable at the club and we can expect to see him around for quite a long time.
Lukas Podolski: When the German international was signed from Arsenal on loan in January, a lot of Inter fans were excited, but my friends that were Arsenal fans told me they were glad he was going to be gone because he only dissapoints. I wasn't sure what they meant back then but I do now. He's played in 11 games since his arrival and has scored a grand total of 0 goals. Aside from his debut against Juventus he hasn't had any games that he's really lit up the pitch, and he honestly seems cursed to not score. It reached the point where while we were still in the Europa League that Mancini started dropping the 29 year old from the starting lineup in league matches, even though he wasn't registered to compete in the EL. The fact that Mancini would rather play Icardi and Palacio together in every match and risk them being tired rather than play Podolski spoke volumes about his confidence levels. His loan deal has no purchasing clause in it and the two clubs are supposed to meet at the end of the season to discuss his future. It looks like Arsenal will slap something around a €7 million price tag and Inter currently have no interest in paying that so he will most likely not be sticking around.
Rodrigo Palacio: At the start of the season, he was bad. Like really bad. Not having a break due to the playing in the World Cup for Argentina and losing in the final probably did bad things to him physically and mentally. Just when fans were beginning to call for his head he suddenly found his form, scoring 9 goals in 16 matches. But even outside of scoring goals Palacio is a very important player in the team; he runs constantly, drifts wide to find space for himself, sets up chances for his teammates, defends, and just has a great work-rate and mentality. The 32 year old's contract goes until the end of next season and he probably will not be sold this summer. His contributions to the team are too high and even though he might be declining, he still has a lot to offer the team.
Mauro Icardi: The last of the "we don't want you to get sold but we need money so we kinda have to" trio, Icardi has been lighting it up in front of goal this season. He has 15 league goals, 2 behind the league's top scorer in Carlos Tevez. Icardi has shown that he can do it all this season, scoring with both feet, his head, from the penalty spot; he is just lethal in the box. He has a contract going until 2018 but the club has been looking to renew his contract and get his wages (deservedly) up with the top earners at the club. Since those renewal talks have been taking a while Manchester United and Chelsea have been sending scouts to watch Icardi in preparation for a bid in the summer. The 22 year old striker has said that he wants to stay at Inter and will only leave if the club tells him to. If neither of the other two potential big sales (Handanovic and Kovacic) have gone through yet in the summer and Inter gets a great offer for the Argentine, he will probably be packing his bags and heading out.
So there you have it folks, thanks for making it all the way through this piece. What do you think? Any players that you you want to leave (or stay) that I thought otherwise? Sound off in the comment section