As always, the proverbial grapevine is replete with utterances when it comes to FC Internazionale. Seeing as the season's end is looming, I don't suspect that this catches anybody by surprise.
To put it bluntly, if Inter Milan had to acquire the services of half the players the press in - more than just - Italy have associated with an imminent move to the club thus far, one would be forgiven for assuming they are attempting to set up one or two satellite-clubs in order to house their acquisitions.
Of course, most of the stories are just that; stories. They have little-to-no basis other than sheer conjecture, a little inference and perhaps a pinch of fabrication to entice the news-reader/buyer. But there are others that are based on more solid foundations, to the extent of commanding a considerable degree of credibility.
One of these 'stories' links defensive stalwart Diego Godin to a summer-move to Inter. In fact, this one is more than a mere story. Newly appointed Inter-CEO Beppe Marotta has spoken openly of the club's dealings with Godin, which were also confirmed by elements within Atletico Madrid.
It seems like a done deal; Godin will be wearing Black and Blue next season and Inter have gone through some lengths to make that happen. Allegedly, Godin would become Inter's highest paid player, as he is set to earn a whopping €20.25 million over the next three seasons (or €6.75 million per season) and this, at the far-from-tender age of 33.
There is no doubt in anyone's mind about Godin's abilities. Despite his age, he remains one of the best central defenders in world football and Diego Simeone's evident reluctance to part with the Uruguayan is intelligible. To anyone who has followed Inter this season however, it should be glaringly obvious that their defensive line is the last 'department' in need of strengthening. Samir Handanovic currently enjoys the greatest number of clean-sheets in the Serie A, and Inter's defense has conceded a mere 28 league-goals since the season's outset, only three more than runaway league-leaders Juventus.
This is partly thanks to the two central-defensive giants (Skriniar and De Vrij) manning the ramparts on a weekly basis. Rendering Inter's central defensive line even more formidable, is Brazil's national team captain Joao Miranda, who's got a season left on his Inter-contract and again, despite his age, has proved to be far from spent when called upon to contribute this season.
Add to this Inter's palpable lack of league goals this season (a mere 52, which is miserly when compared to Juve's 69, Napoli's 66, or even 4th placed Atalanta's 71) and you will be forgiven for posing the obvious question, "why Diego Godin?"
Well, this brings us to the whole point of this fan-post.
To me, Inter's efforts to sign Godin despite having three Centre Backs of considerable quality can only mean one thing; that they are planning to switch to a 3-man defense next season. What makes me think that? Several things.
Firstly, I've already alluded to Inter's defense being, arguably at least, the best that the Serie-A has to offer.
Secondly, it would make very little sense for Inter to relegate Stefan de Vrij to the substitutes' bench, seeing as his performances have been nothing short of stellar this season.
Thirdly, Milan Skriniar seems to be the only untouchable player for pretty much all Inter fans, so despite his would-be tempting price-tag, the idea of Inter selling off the Slovak for a hefty profit is unthinkable, unless they're prepared to reckon with an angry mob of Interistas camping outside the club's offices in protest.
Fourthly, investing so heavily in Godin only to have him warm the bench is just as unthinkable, even because it wouldn't make sense for the Uruguayan himself to leave one of the most competitive clubs in the world to join what is, at the moment at least, a less competitive club, only to sit on its substitutes' bench.
All of this put together therefore, incites the most logical conclusion; that Inter's intentions as far as Godin is concerned, are to have him lead a three-man defense, with Skriniar and de Vrij on either side of him.
And what does this mean in turn? You got it; that another "story" making the rounds is also one that is based "on more solid foundations, to the extent of commanding a considerable degree of credibility," and that is that on Inter's bench next season, we are very likely to see Antonio Conte.