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Inter Milan want Dembele then to … China?

Reports suggest Nerazzurri could sign Tottenham midfielder for two seasons (or one) then ship him to Asia.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City - Premier League
Raheem Sterling of Manchester City is fouled by Mousa Dembele of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on April 14, 2018 in London, England.
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

This one is a little strange, but it could have some merit.

Several reports today are suggesting Inter Milan are close to a deal to bring Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Mousa Dembele to the San Siro next season.

But, that’s not the strange part.

On top of bringing him in, there is a plan (of course, there’s always a plan). That plan would be to keep Dembele at Inter for two seasons then allow him to leave for the Chinese Super League after the 2020 season.

AFC Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

Yeah, that’s the strange part.

So basically, Inter would sign Dembele to a deal with the provision that he would be leaving after two seasons to play in China.

And there is mention of him being shipped off to play for Inter Milan’s sister Chinese team Jiangsu Suning which is owned by the Suning Group – who also own a majority of Inter Milan.

Of course, there are varying reports that he would spend a season at Inter before going to China. Another report from have Dembele at Inter for three seasons before being shipped off to the Orient, so take it for what it’s worth.

The one constant is that Inter would sign Dembele to a three-year contract. The question becomes how many of those years would be in an Inter jersey and how many would be in China.

It’s been suggested that a number of teams in China have actually matched Tottenham’s massive valuation for Dembele – which is rumored to be more than €32 million – while Inter have reportedly only offered around €10 million (which is much closer to his €18 million valuation on

It is a bit unusual to have this kind of a deal even suggested, but considering the partnership between Inter and Jiangsu Suning, I guess it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility. Considering the recent Financial Fair Play decision that came down from UEFA this week and Inter’s recent penchant for making creative player deals, I suppose it is entirely possible.

The question is whether Tottenham or even Dembele would bite.

Clearly, it seems Dembele is on his way out of North London, but does this kind of a deal make sense for him? Actually, it kind of does. You get one last big contract to close out your career and you pretty much know where you stand.

But, does it make sense for Inter Milan and Jiangsu Suning? Not really. Dembele is not getting any younger. The Belgium international will be 31 in July and 33 by the time he is shipped off to China (or 32, depending on which deal you choose to believe). Experience is one thing but being more prone to injury is another.

I mean, how desperate are Inter to attract a midfielder after losing out on Rafinha? Are you telling me there are no other potential midfielders out there that we can get relatively inexpensive that wouldn’t require this kind of a deal structure? This is it? This is the best we can do?

I hardly think so.

But, of course, I could be wrong.

What do you think? Post your comments below!