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With Nainggolan, Inter Milan move past Rafinha

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Nerazzurri end interest in Barcelona midfielder.

Spal v AS Roma - Serie A
Radja Nainggolan of AS Roma in action during the Serie A match between Spal and AS Roma at Stadio Paolo Mazza on April 21, 2018 in Ferrara, Italy.
Photo by Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images

The deal is almost done to reunite AS Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan with his former boss Luciano Spalletti.

When that deal is finalized — according to reports it will be announced in the coming days — Inter will no longer have an interest in Barcelona midfielder Rafinha.

The deal for Nainggolan will cost the Nerazzurri around €24 million plus Davide Santon (which isn’t all bad) and Inter youth product Nicolo Zaniolo. In return, Inter will receive one of the best midfielders in Serie A who made more than 40 appearances for the Giallorossi in all competitions last season.

He brings Champions League experience to the San Siro and a working relationship with Spalletti who was reportedly a driving force in making the deal happen.

On Thursday, Inter communicated to both Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United they have stopped their pursuit of Rafinha who spent the last half of last season on loan with Inter. He impressed both Spalletti and Inter management, but his €35 million price tag from Barcelona was simply too much to bear considering Financial Fair Play obligations for the club.

In all, this appears to be a solid deal for Inter.

With the exception of parting ways with Zaniolo who was a mainstay for Inter’s Primavera side that won countless trophies. Losing Santon won’t likely prove to be that big of a loss for the Nerazzurri as his play late in the season was suspect at best.

The signing of Nainggolan likely means Inter won’t be pursuing any other high-priced or high-profile midfielders for the remainder of the transfer window.

As for Rafinha, if it comes down to deciding between Tottenham and West Ham, due to his wanting to play in the Champions League, Tottenham would have the upper hand as they are in the competition next season while West Ham is not.


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