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Now what? Inter Milan ponders midfield situation

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Well, that was unfortunate. Or was it???

FC Internazionale v Cagliari Calcio - Serie A
Simone Padoin (L) of Cagliari Calcio is challenged by Rafinha Alcantara of FC Internazionale Milano during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale and Cagliari Calcio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on April 17, 2018 in Milan, Italy.
Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Now that a deal sending Arturo Vidal from Bayern Munich to Barcelona appears to be done, Inter Milan are still left trying to figure out what to do with its need at midfield.

Inter hotly pursued the Chilean international until the prospect of signing Real Madrid and Croatian international Luka Modric became a possibility. But, because of that, the Nerazzurri appear to have lost any hopes of getting Vidal.

Of course, if Modric’s interest in Inter is just a ploy to renegotiate his contract with Madrid, Inter may be left with no one, which is unfortunate.

This may have just been a case of overplaying a hand for Inter. Piero Ausilio has otherwise been brilliant in his transfer window dealings by picking up players like Stefan De Vrij and Kwadwo Asamoah on free transfer and adding Argentinian striker Lautaro Martinez, Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan, Sassuolo’s Matteo Politano and Atletico Madrid right back Sime Vrsaljko on loan-purchase deals.

But, it still leaves a potential gap in Inter’s midfield.

Of course, the Nerazzurri have Marcelo Brozovic, Matias Vecino and Nainggolan who could all fit the bill. However, with Champions League football in addition to league play this year, adding one more midfielder would certainly help Luciano Spalletti with options.

Inter has already called up Xian Emmers from its championship Primavera squad, but he lacks experience to be a full-time, or even part-time starter.

One option for Inter could be renewing interest in Rafinha Alcantara. With Barcelona picking up Vidal, there might be some interest on the part of the Blaugrana to offload Rafinha. Oh, wait ... could that have been a mastermind plan on the part of Inter and Ausilio???

In the Brazilian, we have a player with experience and one who is already familiar with Inter’s system after spending half of last season with the Nerazzurri. He also has expressed his desire to return to the San Siro on multiple occasions.

The issue with Rafinha has been the asking price from Barcelona. Initially, they wanted €35 million in return for the midfielder. However, one might wonder if that would go down now with Vidal in the mix in Catalonia.

Rafinha would be an obvious choice for Inter, if there was room to negotiate. Perhaps another loan-purchase deal could be struck here.

Another potential target could be Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan, but City would need to find a replacement in the next week before the transfer window in England closes in order for them to have any interest in sending Gundogan anywhere.

Then, there leaves Modric.

Of course, it is possible that Inter are able to come in and pick up the Golden Ball winner from the 2018 World Cup, however Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has stated he won’t let Modric go for anything less than the €750 million buy-out clause which is something Inter cannot afford to do.

To finance such a deal, Inter would have to sell, at the very least, Brozovic and Vecino, but that still would not come close to raising the necessary funds for Modric, unless Real was willing to strike a deal.

Personally, I think Rafinha is the best option here. He has already shown his desire to play for Inter and he has already proven himself in the jersey. The price is certainly one that Inter could afford — even if only by selling Vecino or Brozovic.

One last darkhorse is Boca Juniors midfielder Wilmar Barrios. The Columbian international has been identified by Calciomercato has a potential target for the Nerazzurri. Barrios is only 24 and his market value is set at €9 million, according to Transfermarkt. However, Inter would face competition to sign Barrios from Tottenham Hotspur. But, Tottenham have reportedly entered talks with Valencia to pay the €80 million fee to get former Inter midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia, so there could a light here.

No matter what Inter decides to do, getting another midfielder for this season’s run in Serie A and the Champions League is vital. Ausilio will have to work some magic to get it done, but it is the last priority for the Nerazzurri in an already successful transfer window.


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