Well this has been an exciting few days for Inter fans. What had originally sounded like a minority purchase as a source of new cash has quickly turned into a takeover of Inter. Suning Commerce Group is nearing a deal that will see them buy 70% of the club's shares with a view to acquire more in the future. Since the news first broke of this impending takeover there have been a lot of stories about the deal and rumors about what could take place under this new ownership so we're going to take a look at some of them here.
One of the rumors is about where these shares of the club will be coming from. Right now, it looks like Massimo Moratti will be selling all 30% of his shares (either directly or through a clause with Erick Thohir that allows the Indonesian businessman to buy the shares from Moratti and then sell them to the Chinese) while Thohir will sell a portion of his. This means that Thohir will still have a place at the table, while the Moratti family will not (though Thohir's involvement might not last that much longer as some reports indicate that he will sell his final shares of the club by the fall).
This shuffling has a lot of implications, especially in terms of Inter's sponsorship with Pirelli. One of the main reasons that Inter has had such a long-standing partnership with the tire company is due to the relationship between Moratti and Pirelli CEO Tronchetti Provera. Furthermore, Corriere dello Sport reported that the new contract between Inter and Pirelli included a clause that allows the company to break away from Inter if there is a change in ownership. If Pirelli does leave we can only hope that the new owners will be able to find Inter a new sponsor, one that offers a better deal than Pirelli's.
Another rumor regarding the change in ownership deals with the management structure currently in place at Inter. With Thohir no longer running the show some of his people will depart, and a few names are already on the chopping block. CEO Michael Bollingbroke and corporate director Michael Williamson are the two most likely to depart, and initial reports are suggesting that the Suning Group might be looking to replace them with people more familiar with Italian football. Sporting director Piero Ausilio and chief football administrator Giovanni Gardini look like they might be safe for now, but the only person in a top-level position who can feel secure in his job is vice-president Javier Zanetti (due to the contract for life that he signed with the club).
While the previous topics have been discussed by the Italian media, the most attention has been paid to the potential new players that could join the club as a result of the Suning Group takeover. A large number of names have been mentioned, including Yaya Touré, Alex Teixeira, Erik Lamela, Ramires, Jo, and Arkadiusz Milik. Some of these are players for Jiangsu Suning (a club in China also owned by the Suning Group), while others are players who have been targets of the Nerazzurri at one time or another. While the Suning Group will come in and open their wallets for Inter, I doubt that very many of these players will end up as Inter players. Teixeira would probably be the player that Inter wants the most and would be the easiest to acquire since he plays for Jiangsu Suning. Lamela could be useful but Tottenham will not be eager to let the Argentine go. Milik could be useful but I don't think he would be necessary unless both Jovetic and Eder are sold, while the idea of Jo on this team is laughable. I feel like Yaya Touré could be obtainable with the new investors since the club would have more money to spend on his wages but I don't think that is a wise use of money. Like Teixeira, Ramires would be relatively easy to acquire since he also plays for Jiangsu Suning and while I think he would definitely be an upgrade to Felip Melo, I also do not think his purchase should be a priority.
Finally, there is the question of Roberto Mancini's status as manager. Some initial reports indicated that Mancini was not told of the impending sale of Inter and was not pleased that he was shut out, but now it seems that he is okay with this takeover and welcomes the new owners. This is probably due to the fact that the Suning Group will be able to back him in the transfer market more than Thohir has, though this will probably not occur during this summer transfer market when they first arrive. While it looks like the Suning Group is willing to stick with Mancini, he should be just as wary about the status of Diego Simeone as he was before. If the Atletico Madrid manager does decide to leave Spain and indicates that he wants Inter to be his next job, the Chinese owners would likely be more than willing to cast Mancini aside for one of the most recognizable managers in the game right now.