"There's nothing to laugh about!" cried Tuesday's indignant edition of Corriere dello Sport. "While Mauro Icardi and Gonzalo Higuain stamp their feet but nevertheless make themselves available for their respective clubs, it's possible in the crazy world of modern football for Keita Balde and Amadou Diawara, 21 and 18 year-old kids, to refuse to even turn up for pre-season training. Is all of this acceptable?"
The inexorable rise of player power in modern football is something Inter are having to bear the brunt of at the moment, with ongoing tension between the club and the Icardi family that is only likely to grow as the summer continues, but we might just be able to use it to our advantage when it comes to Lazio's talented Senegalese forward, who has taken a very strong stance against the capital club by releasing a statement on his Twitter account.
Reading that open letter, we can almost be 100% sure of one thing: Keita is going to leave Lazio this summer. Something fairly miraculous would need to happen to get him to stay after that. The second thing we can say with certainty is that Inter are looking for a winger (preferably a right-sided one) - if not two - to fit the 4-2-3-1 system Roberto Mancini intends on using next season. A third is that the Suning Group are keen to invest money into exciting young talents as opposed to experienced men whose best playing days might be behind them (people like Antonio Candreva, in other words), and a fourth is that Piero Ausilio has always been a fan of Keita and was interested in signing him last summer. Can you see where this is going?
This is at least where the team at Sky Sport have gone in the last 48 hours. They are reporting that Keita would like to meet with club representatives this week to discuss his future and could ask to be sold (which some outlets reported he also did last summer), with Inter being the club most strongly interested in acquiring his services as things stand. We are not the only club with our eyes on the 21 year-old - far from it; Juventus, Barcelona (whose youth system he spent seven years in), Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, Monaco and even Watford have all been linked to him during the last six months - and there has been no attempt made to speak to either him or Lazio just yet, but at the very least it's another name worth adding to the increasingly long list of wingers we might choose to pursue.
Although he works better as a left-winger than as a right-winger, Keita has occasionally played on that side and is the kind of profile Suning are said to be interested in, and he's a player we were already linked to a year ago before they turned up, as Mancini and Ausilio are both fans of his. The asking price would probably be in the region of €20m, which would make him a more feasible target than Candreva was, so although there have been no official offers or contact just yet, it wouldn't be a surprise if there were some soon. Inter want a winger, and Keita could be our man.