They came, they saw, they complained, they complained again, they abused the club's Twitter account and finally they began to do something vaguely resembling conquering. Interisti asked Erick Thohir and his not-so-trusty steeds to deliver them an avalanche of summer signings after last year's campaign to forget (to put it politely), and reports suggest that the first of them is tantalisingly close to being unveiled.
According to several reliable sources, including Gianluca Di Marzio and Gazzetta dello Sport, the men upstairs at San Siro have agreed to purchase the 30 year-old defender for a fee of around €15m. Di Marzio believes that said fee will be split into €12m up front and €3m in 'bonuses', while Gazzetta reckon there will be €3m paid for an initial loan period before an obligatory purchase of around €9.5m (in a similar deal to those which brought Xherdan Shaqiri and Marcelo Brozovic to Italy in January). Either way, the money spent remains roughly the same, with the Brazilian's medical set to be undertaken after he has finished taking part in the Copa América.
There is both ostensible good and ostensible bad to this deal. The good is that Miranda is a proven defender in Europe, having been a fundamental component of the defence that conceded only 26 league goals in Atlético's jaw-dropping title success of 2013-14 under the guidance of ex-Interista Diego Simeone. Taking both that and his solid form across his four years in Spain into account, he can count himself rather unlucky not to have even made the squad for Brazil's tragicomic World Cup campaign last summer. This is a defender who knows how to defend; a concept which has fallen out of fashion with remarkable speed at Inter since 2010. He is not Juan Jesus, who doesn't have a head, and nor is he The Frog, who doesn't have a hope. For these reasons alone he seems absolutely perfect. On top of that, his arrival nicely compliments that of Jeison Murillo, who is at the other end of the age spectrum. On paper everything looks good. One defender to provide youth; another to offer experience. What could possibly go wrong?
The bad is that we're about to spend €15m on a 30 year-old who's never played in Serie A before, in a summer that needs to produce a fairly substantial squad overhaul and where funds are at a premium. Given the success (or lack thereof) of our seemingly ingenious Nemanja Vidic experiment last season, it's easy to imagine just how horrifically wrong this deal could go. What if he doesn't adapt well to the specific demands of Italian football? What if he starts picking up various injuries as he enters his thirties? What if he proves to be too good a defender to fit into Inter's pre-existing defensive unit, disrupting his team-mates' cohesion and thereby forcing Mancini to bench him and play Ranocchia and Juan together for the rest of our lives, until it reaches the point where we can no longer boast about being the only team never to have played outside of Serie A? There are many questions that need answering with this.
But the deed has apparently already been done. We're buying him, along with Jeison Murillo, and there's nothing fears of second-tier calcio can do about that now. So here we are. This is unquestionably a risk, but the standard of our defending in recent years leads me to believe it's one worth taking. When analysing any defensive acquisitions of Inter's from now on, I personally think it's important appreciate the value of not being Andrea Ranocchia - because at the end of the day, isn't that all football should really be about?