It's been an open secret for almost a week and was unofficially announced as early as Wednesday evening, and now it is officially official: Felipe Melo is no longer an Inter player.
Let's repeat that: Felipe Melo is no longer an Inter player.
And one more time, just so we can linger on this piece of news in all its brilliance a little longer: Felipe Melo is no longer an Inter player.
Yes, that's right. Our lunchtime victory over Udinese is not the only reason Sunday 8 January 2017 will go down as a positive day in the history of F.C. Internazionale Milano. A mere three minutes before Ivan Perisic headed in our priceless winning goal earlier today, Palmeiras announced via a tweet on their official account that the Brazilian midfielder had signed a three-year deal with them that will tie him to the club until the end of 2019. His contract with Inter was due to expire in the summer, but it seems he has resolved it six months in advance and reached an undisclosed agreement with the club regarding a pay-off. Although we don't know for sure at the moment, as Inter, unlike Palmeiras, have not released any statement whatsoever confirming Melo's departure. To be honest though, I cannot say I particularly blame them for that. It's best for all concerned that we just forget this ever happened.
Melo told Palmeiras.com that he was “fulfilling a dream of returning to Brazil at an age that allows me to run and do what I love most without problems. I am honoured and thank God for this opportunity to return and play for such a great club as Palmeiras. It’s a great honour to be wearing this shirt. I never stop fighting for every ball. This is my strength, this is what I bring. I arrive at Palmeiras to help.”
During eighteen mostly torrid months at Inter, Melo racked up 38 appearances in all competitions, along with 1 goal, 3 red cards and 11 yellow cards. Perhaps fewer than some would have expected when he arrived, but it must also be noted that he leaves Inter with a one-game suspension still hanging over him, as he had only served one of the two games he had been banned for following his dismissal against Sassuolo. A fitting way for him to go out, really.
It's the end of an error.