With the clock ticking down until midnight on 30 June, Inter are busy completing all the sales that they need to complete in order to fulfill the club's Financial Fair Play requirements. However the mood filtering out of the club at the moment is one of serenity and satisfaction, as it seems there will be no problem in hitting the targets we had been told to hit.
As we've discussed on several occasions during recent weeks, Inter needed to raise €30m in 'plusvalenze' (capital gains) before the end of this month to avoid sporting sanctions in the coming seasons. This €30m, as far as I understand, had to come exclusively from player sales, and so for the past month we've been told by various news outlets that selling Ivan Perisic was a financial obligation we had to adhere to. But that has proved not to be the case: instead of recouping the money through the sale of one (or two) big player(s), Inter have seemingly managed to do it via a series of minor operations that together add up to €30m. (We'll explain this more thoroughly in due course, but that's the gist of the situation).
With Ever Banega and Gianluca Caprari having already been sold to Sevilla and Sampdoria respectively as part of this strategy (the latter of which should become official over the weekend), Friday saw Inter recoup another €7.5m by selling two young left-backs - although they haven't necessarily parted company with them for good.
The first player to depart is Senna Miangue, who will soon sign for Cagliari after spending the second half of last season on loan there. Having made his first two senior appearances for Inter before Christmas, when Frank de Boer was still in charge, the Belgian was sent to Sardinia in the hope of gaining more senior experience but played just four times under Massimo Rastelli, despite Cagliari having no relegation concerns from January onwards.
While that may make this transfer seem like a strange one, two things will ensure Senna gets much more game time next season. Firstly, Cagliari are about to sell their first-choice left-back to Sampdoria (Nicola Murru), which means Miangue should have more space; and secondly the player will be 100% theirs, which provides Rastelli with a far more compelling case to play him than when he knew that he was heading back to Inter at the end of the season anyway. Tommaso Giulini, the club president, said back at the start of June that Cagliari intended to sign Miangue on a permanent basis, and so it's not a surprise this deal has since come to fruition.
According to Gianluca Di Marzio, the fee Inter will receive for the 20 year-old, who has been with us since 2013, is in the region of €3.5m. However the part of the deal that has reassured most Interisti is the buyback option that the Nerazzurri have reserved themselves: for the next three seasons (2018-21) we have the option to repurchase Miangue for €10m, should he prosper at Cagliari and turn into a player we believe our first team can benefit from in the long term. This enables us to retain control over a player who has shown promise both with our Primavera side and our first team, but it also encourages Cagliari to valorise him as much as possible - on the face of it, it's a win-win scenario.
The second player Inter waved goodbye to on Thursday is Federico Dimarco, who has signed for Swiss club FC Sion (now coached by former Inter player Paolo Tramezzani). Dimarco made two appearances for the first team under Roberto Mancini in the 2014-15 campaign but has not made it back into the frame since, spending six months on loan at Ascoli in 2015-16 before spending last season at Empoli - the very team against whom he made his Serie A debut in May 2015. Despite impressing for Italy in this summer's U20 World Cup and last summer's U19 European Championships, though, Dimarco made just 12 appearances during his year in Tuscany and was left to return to base at the end of the season.
The Italian has been purchased by Sion for a fee that is slightly higher than the one Cagliari will pay for Miangue - around €4m (again according to Di Marzio). However just like with Miangue, Inter have secured themselves a buyback option that will allow them to bring back Dimarco should they wish to do so.
It hasn't yet been announced what that fee is, but the option has supposedly been agreed within the deal - indeed, when the player was intercepted by reports in Milan on Thursday evening, he was asked if he this transfer was simply an 'arrivederci' with Inter. 'I hope so' was his response. Dimarco had been linked with moves to Atalanta and Pescara in the last few days, but he added in his brief interview that the system Tramezzani intends to use at Sion convinced him to accept their offer instead.
Ostensibly these look like good deals. Some will argue, perhaps with a degree of reason, that Inter should have kept at least one of these two in the first-team squad for next season - even just as back-ups - but I'm not personally convinced that either are ready. The fact they only managed 16 appearances between them last season suggests that both still have a lot of developing to do - particularly if they want Inter to exercise those buyback options sometime in the future.
Yet both Miangue and Dimarco have shown promise at times, so sending them off where they can play regularly while also reserving the right to resign them seems like a good plan. Given that Inter will begin next season with more pressure to qualify for the Champions League than ever before, it's best that they pursue their fledgling careers elsewhere for the time being. And then of course, there's the fact that we needed the money to satisfy UEFA. Selling them (and others) enables us to take control of the Perisic situation, who now has two options: A) Find a club willing to offer at least €50m for you or B) Stay here and deal with it. I find it difficult to criticize what Inter have done here, as much as we'd all love to see our first XI full of Primavera products.