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Report: Inter Looking at Free Agent Aissa Mandi to Bolster Backline

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With several expiring contracts, the Nerazzurri need to reinforce its defensive depth this summer and the Algerian fits the bill

Real Betis v Real Madrid - LaLiga Santander Photo by Ricardo Nogueira/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

While we may still be in the thick of Serie A’s run-in and months out from the opening of Serie A’s transfer window, the rumors aren’t slowing down. Inter is the latest to receive the media’s attention. According to the Spanish press, the Nerazzurri are looking into signing Aissa Mandi as a free agent when his contract at Real Betis expires in June. Center-back depth is a glaring need for Antonio Conte. Not only does the second string suffer a significant drop-off in quality compared to the starters, but the three main options on the bench all have expiring contracts as well. Andrea Ranocchia, Danilo D’Ambrosio, and Aleksandar Kolarov could all bid a farewell to the San Siro at the end of the season.

Real Betis v Levante UD - La Liga Santander Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Mandi, however, looks a capable replacement and would have an agreeable wage of €2m. The 29-year-old has been at Betis since 2016 when he signed from Stade Reims and has made 169 appearances for the Spanish club since. He can play all across a back-four and seems comfortable in either of the center-back roles. Mandi has played 28 times (27 starts) this season, scoring three and assisting twice. The Algerian is comfortable on the ball, averaging 56 passes a game with a success rate of 92%. What’s most impressive is his 13 long balls per ninety, a tally even Alessandro Bastoni would be hard-pressed to reach. On paper, Mandi looks like the type of depth signing Inter needs. At 29 he still has several years left to give at full power, is fairly cheap, and would allow Conte to rotate the back-three more often without fear of losing the stability that makes Inter so lethal.

What do you think? Would Mandi make for a good signing? Let us know in the comments below.

Forza Inter!