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Inter linked to Atletico Madrid's Miranda because why not

Out of nowhere there have been reports of Inter being simply interested in Miranda to hours away from closing the deal. So what's really going on here?

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

So things looked relatively quiet on the defensive front for Inter in the transfer market in the last couple of days. There was a little bit about Montoya but a majority of stories related to the Nerazzurri were related to the midfield. Suddenly a number of articles appeared about Atletico Madrid center-back Miranda, some simply stating  that Inter were making moves towards the player, and others saying that they were so close they would sign him by the end of the week, by Thursday, or even within a few hours. Where did this come from?

A couple of these stories have came from Gianluca Di Marzio, who is supposed to be a fairly reputable journalist. And on the surface of things these rumors make a degree of sense. Miranda has been a solid defender in the past and helped Atletico win La Liga and reach the Champions League final in the 13/14 season. He is strong, commanding, and leads by example on the pitch. Inter have (to put it nicely) struggled defensively this past season and need somebody who knows what he is doing, not another defender fumbling around the field trying to find his feet. It could be a great match.

But on the other hand, is another 30+ defender with no Serie A experience what Inter needs? The team already tried to go the "experienced leader" route with Vidic and for a majority of this season it was a pretty epic failure. He took way too long to get adjusted to Serie A and made a number of big mistakes that ended up costing the team. While some might make the claim that Vidic was already declining when he left Manchester United, the same argument can be applied to Miranda. Over the course of this season, his performances have been much more erratic than his stellar 13/14 campaign, to the point where manager Simeone began to prefer the defensive pairing of Godin and 20 year old Jose Gimenez. There is a very real possibility that Miranda could end up being Vidic 2.0.

Another thing that seems off about this rumor is the money, or lack thereof. A number of these stories are strangely quiet about the potential figures for a transfer fee, which is usually one of the first things reported on. The ones that do have figures list the numbers around €13-15m, with Atletico possibly holding out for about €3-5m more. But it looks like Miranda's release clause in his contract is listed at  €30m. Even given the fact that he is going into the last year of his contract, it makes no sense that Atletico would be willing to entertain offers at half his contract value, even €10m less (like Inter, Atletico is not a side that exactly bursting at the seams with cash).

Call me a pessimist, but I just don't see the likelihood of this rumor being anything more than just a rumor. Maybe I'll be wrong. Maybe Inter will sign him for a reasonable figure. Maybe he will adapt seamlessly into Serie A and prove to be an inspired signing. If that happens I will gladly eat my words. Until then, I'm just going to assume these stories will not amount to anything and it was just another instance of "let's link a random player to a random team and see what happens".