It's fair to say Inter's mercato isn't moving at breakneck speed. While we wait for Luciano Spalletti to be announced and presented after the new Inter coach's trip to China in midweek, Milan are bringing in signing after signing and threatening to nab all the good players before our new transfer team have even got their feet under the table. Frustration and impatience is inevitable, and perhaps justified. But Thursday has at least brought us some good news on the transfer front, as it seems Inter have nearly sorted out their first genuine sale of the summer (Caner Erkin was sold to Besiktas earlier in the week, but that deal had already been sketched out last year).
The sale in question would regard Jonathan Biabiany, a player who was given next to no game time this season (except, well, that cameo appearance in the derby when... y'know let's not go back over that match) and is very much surplus to requirements at San Siro. According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Inter have agreed a fee in the region of €5-6m (bonuses included) with Czech giants* Sparta Prague for the 29 year-old French winger, who are now managed by former Nerazzurri boss Andrea Stramaccioni. Strama has been brought in to restore the club to their rightful place at the summit of Czech football, after a disappointing third-place in the season just finished which saw them miss out on Champions League qualification, and it seems he believes that spending up to €6m on Biabiany is the perfect way to go about doing that. Not really sure why he would think that, but I'm not about to complain.
*I mean they're giants in Czech Republic. Not anywhere else. (There's also a 0.001% chance that Biabiany himself will be reading this article, so we need to make his new suitors sound as appealing as possible to him. Go, Jonathan; Prague is a lovely place, once you've arrived you'll never want to leave again.
Seriously, clear off.)
With the clubs agreed on a fee, all that's left now is for the player to give the green light to the deal and agree personal terms. This isn't an insignificant detail to sort out - we know that more than any other fan base in Italy, given the amount of idiots who have rejected moves away from the club in recent years - but it looks as if it should ultimately be sorted out. Di Marzio believes Biabiany has expressed his approval for the destination and will soon start negotiating over wages with Sparta.
There are two reasons to love this deal. Firstly, it would enable Inter to make a miraculous profit for a player they've basically ignored for the last twelve months, after Biabiany arrived for free in the summer of 2015 (following Parma's bankruptcy and the health problems we know all about). To put into perspective just how highly Strama rates him, the current record transfer fee in the Czech First League is €2.7m - this deal would be worth more than twice that much (thanks to the excellent Fulvio Santucci for that interesting nugget). WHAT ARE THEY THINKING???
Secondly, it would help us towards that magic €30m that Inter need to recoup for Financial Fair Play reasons before 30 June 2017. We mentioned last week that Ivan Perisic could potentially stay with us if the club could find enough alternative sources of money before that deadline (and Luciano Spalletti is said to be keen for the Croat to remain), and along with new sponsorship deals this could be achieved through a succession of smaller-profile sales concerning players on the fringes of our squad. This would certainly help us in that direction.
Is this too good to be true? Quite possibly. Happiness is rarely this cheap when it comes to Inter. Let's just cross our fingers and hope everything goes to plan.