It's fair to say that Inter have had a good start to the January transfer window. Not only have we secured the services of one of Italy's brightest young talents in Roberto Gagliardini, we have also managed to get rid of two very highly-paid players who have not found much space this season in Stevan Jovetic and Felipe Melo. If someone had come to me on New Year's Eve and offered me this state of affairs just ten days into the transfer window, I would certainly have accepted it with open arms. Things are going pretty well.
But such is the bloated nature of our squad that we cannot be satisfied with just two departures. The main objective of this mid-season transfer window has always been to sell on as many people we don't need as possible, in order to give Stefano Pioli a manageable group of players to work with between now and the end of the year, and that is still the case despite a surprisingly successful start. So who is realistically likely to leave between now and 31 January?
In defence, there are four men as far as I'm aware who are being linked with moves away. Of these, the man who's featuring the most in transfer stories at the moment is Andrea Ranocchia, who left Inter this time last season on a loan deal to Sampdoria only to return at the end of the season. According to Gianluca Di Marzio there are two Premier League clubs who are interested in kindly taking Froggy off our hands, namely Hull and West Ham, while closer to home the Italian has been catching the eye of Bologna, Sassuolo and Palermo (although the last two have been mentioned a lot less in the last few days), with the player supposedly preferring to wait for a concrete Serie A offer instead of moving to England. Presumably it is a loan with option to buy deal that Inter are after, but it isn't totally clear yet; let's hope a permanent solution is found because Ranocchia's time at Inter has long since come to an end. The other player Interisti wake up every day hoping to see on the way out is Yuto Nagatomo, and he too is not guaranteed to stay in this window after attracting interest from Burnley, with SportItalia reporting on Thursday that Inter want about €6-7m for the full-back.
On the other side of the back four there is once again a possibility that Davide Santon could move on, although as we learned in the summer any potential deal hinges on his ability to pass a medical, and he is the player Inter would prefer to sell instead of Nagatomo should the opportunity arise - but at the moment there are no teams showing genuine interest in the Triplete winner. Sampdoria were linked a week or so ago but appear to have begun looking elsewhere, so we'll have to wait and see what happens there. More laden with requests meanwhile is Senna Miangue, even though the young Belgian had recently stated his desire to remain at Inter to fight for his place. While Verona, Sampdoria and a couple of unnamed English teams have all been after him on loan it seems Cagliari are his most likely destination, with Gazzetta dello Sport reporting a positive meeting between the Sardinian club and the player's entourage on Friday.
Finally, there's Yao, who has not played at all this season after failing to secure a loan move away on deadline day in August, and it seems he is the closest of all to actually leaving after being excluded from the match-day squad to play Chievo on Saturday. Ligue 1 team Bastia are reportedly in pole position for the Ivorian centre-back after the player said no to an offer from Cagliari last week (via Di Marzio again), with Bundesliga outfit Hamburg sniffing around him as well; it remains to be seen whether this would be on loan or permanently, but given how well he performed at Crotone last season I imagine Inter aren't keen to let him go just yet. Nobody else is thought to be up for sale.
Onto midfield. With Melo having left and Gary Medel considered a centre-back by Pioli, some people might be expecting an extra arrival alongside Gagliardini in the next few weeks, but there is currently no sign of Inter adding to the five men we would be left with should everything remain as it is. With the club unwilling to sell Geoffrey Kondogbia despite voices suggesting he's received offers from China (Alfredo Pedulla has certainly reported that), the only thing that could open up the possibility of another signing is an eventual departure of Ever Banega, but for that to happen someone will have to offer at least €25m for El Tanguito and nobody seems keen to do so as of yet. Assane Gnoukouri is therefore probably the only name we need to keep an eye on over the next few days, as Crotone are keen to get him on loan with Udinese and La Liga team Leganes reportedly next in line (Di Marzio).
As for our attacking options, I would not expect anything drastic to happen here like in midfield. The player everybody wants to know about is of course Gabriel Barbosa, who continues to be left on the bench by Pioli after De Boer had spent two months doing exactly the same thing, but with each day that passes it seems ever more likely that the Brazilian will not be sent out on loan to get some game-time after all. Pioli was asked about him in his pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon (just for a change) and suggested his forward options will remain unchanged for the rest of the season, despite Atalanta, Genoa and a handful of overseas clubs having enquired about the player. Barbosa also doesn't seem inclined to leave - 'playing at San Siro is fantastic, I will be patient' etc. - so for now let's assume he stays.
With Jovetic out of the door though it is plausible that no one else will leave either. Gian Piero Gasperini is said to be keen to bring Rodrigo Palacio to Atalanta for six months, but Inter are seemingly not so excited about this idea and wish to keep him until his contract expires in the summer. Jonathan Biabiany is another guy who we've hardly seen this season, but he does not have anything particular lined up yet; Corriere di Bologna believe Bologna are interested in taking in him on a straight loan, but Inter are only willing to let him go for a permanent deal and so negotiations are not exactly moving at the speed of light. And finally we come to Eder, but if Biabiany is struggling for offers then he is even more - nothing is being reported at the moment. Nothing, not a single team. The Corriere dello Sport reported a week ago that we had rejected a loan move from a Premier League, but that’s it. Sigh.
So, in summary: Miangue, Yao and Gnoukouri are likely to leave, Ranocchia and Nagatomo are less likely to leave but it's still possible, and the rest are seemingly going to stay. But the world of the calciomercato moves very quickly, so this might all have changed by tomorrow morning.