Inter’s January Mercato Roundup

From January the 1st rumours were flying all over the world about who was linked with Inter and who was leaving Inter but the whole of the month seemed to revolve around the Tevez transfer saga in which it seemed Inter were half heartedly chasing Manchester City’s want away striker just to drive the price up for rivals AC Milan, I have no doubt that there was no real desire in the management of the Nerazzurri to sign him at all, but regardless this worldwide story dragged on for nearly the entire month.

This meant that the one transfer that we acknowledged as being lined up, which was Juan Jesus, still hadn’t been completed by the 30th of the month and with just one day left of the transfer window it was looking very likely that Inter’s mercato was going to be a complete disaster. Then on deadline day itself Branca & co did what they do best and pulled some great deals out of the bag.

The most striking thing about this season’s winter transfer window was the obvious effect that the upcoming FFP rules are having with a large proportion of Italian deals being part ownerships or loan deals, especially for Inter as you will see throughout this article. Before I get to the exciting subject of who is new amongst the Nerazzurri ranks I’m going to go through who has departed from the squad whether permanently or temporarily.

Thiago Motta

Since Thiago signed for Inter from Genoa in the summer of 2009 he made 69 appearances for the Nerazzurri scoring 9 goals across all competitions. He made himself an important part of the squad with the ability to play defensively or in an attacking role. His major flaw in my opinion though was his tendency to make rash challenges which meant he accumulated quite a few cards and suspensions in the two years at Inter, including missing the 2010 Champions League final after being sent off in the Semi’s against Barcelona. He was also fairly injury prone too which meant he was absent for a large proportion of matches. His transfer to Paris Saint-Germain for a reported ten million Euros was a fantastic piece of business for Inter as Motta wanted to leave and only had six months left on his contract so would’ve left in the summer for nothing. The Motta sale was Inter’s only permanent sale of this window

McDonald Mariga

Mariga has moved to Parma on a loan deal until the summer after spending the first half of the season in Spain at Real Sociedad which didn’t go well for the talented defensive midfielder after making just 11 appearances for the spanish side. I’ve got high hopes for this guy, I hope he’s successful now he’s back in Serie A as I would like to see him break in to our first team squad next season and in the long-term I believe he should be in line to replace Esteban Cambiasso.

Luca Caldirola

The Italian defender has moved to Serie B side Brescia for the rest of the season and is another one of Inter’s youngsters that we must keep hold of as in my opinion he has got a very bright future despite not really having a chance so far this season to show it. With his move to Brescia he should have the opportunity to hone his skills and gain some necessary experience while helping his new team push for promotion back in to Serie A.

Lorenzo Crisetig

One of Inter’s forgotten youth stars, Crisetig has had half of his right bought by Parma though for the time being he is still at Inter. He is a talented young midfielder and is a star player in the Inter Primavera squad but through what could be bad luck or just not quite showing enough ability he is yet to fully break in to the first team squad. It is a shame really but even though he’s a great young player I can’t see how he would fit in permanently with our squad so I think a move to Parma is exactly what his career needs and hopefully he could fulfil his potential and gain valuable experience, who knows maybe one day return to Inter in the future to stake a claim for a starting position. This may happen in the summer but for now he has to carry on as a back up for us.

Emiliano Viviano

After the administration error that saw Inter buy the other half of his rights off Bologna in the summer for next to nothing, his early season injury meant that he didn’t get the chance to try to force his way in to Inter’s starting lineup ahead of Julio Cesar. But a promising goalkeeper like Emiliano needs match practice so it was inevitable that he would leave Inter again before long even though he is considered by almost everyone to be Julio Cesar’s long-term replacement, so a deal happened in August that would see half of his rights sold to Genoa in exchange for half of Kucka’s rights while both players stayed with their respective clubs. This month though saw a twist as Genoa sold their half of him to Palermo and so now he has moved to the Sicilian side, which will keep him match fit while waiting to take Cesar’s place as the Inter number one. I just hope that Inter don’t do anything stupid like sell their half of him!


When we bought Jonathan in the summer he was dubbed as the next Maicon and the natural heir to our legendary wingback who has long been rumoured to be leaving Inter. Of course Maicon didn’t leave which meant that Jonathan has been really left out in the cold this season so far with only four appearances for the Nerazzurri so when the proposal came from Parma to loan him I’m not surprised he jumped at the chance to get more regular starts. In the four showings he gave in an Inter shirt I have to say I was very impressed with the lad as like Maicon he was comfortable both defending and making forward runs which combined with a bit of trickery gave a certain flair to his play. The loan deal with Parma includes the option to buy half of his rights in the summer but I for one would like to see him back at Inter before long as now Maicon is in his 30’s sooner or later we will be needing a replacement and by the looks of things our other option for the role, Faraoni is being groomed in to Zanetti’s role instead.

Philippe Coutinho

The loan of Coutinho to Espanyol came as quite a shock to me and probably most Interisti as in his few appearances for Inter this season he has proven himself to be a very talented attacking midfielder, though since his arrival in 2010 he has largely been overlooked by the various coaches making just 18 appearances and scoring two goals. I think more regular playing time that will come with this loan will help him grow and gain more experience. For those of you that are worried that we are letting another talented youngster leave our ranks Marco Branca this week made a statement that Coutinho is most definitely in Inter’s future plans and I’ve got my fingers crossed that this really is the case.

Sulley Muntari

The last outgoing Inter player of the winter transfer window is possibly the one I’m most happy about, the waste of space that is Sulley Muntari has finally been offloaded which in itself is a great thing for us but it gets even better when you find out that his destination is our city rivals AC Milan. Regular readers of this site and my tweets will know how much I dislike Muntari so you can imagine how happy this news has made me 🙂 Even as I’m writing this I’m grinning from ear to ear. The icing on the cake for this transfer is that even though it is only a loan move he has only got six months left on his contract so it is highly likely we will never have to endure him wearing our glorious colours ever again and that my friends is what a call a fantastic result!

So with eight players out in this window what about incoming players? I hear you ask, well Branca did manage to secure some signatures despite it looking very unlikely two days before the deadline.

Joel Obi

Obi of course was already playing as an Inter player but we only owned half of his rights while Parma owned the other half and it seems the young Nigerian midfielder has done enough in the first half of the season for Inter to secure all of his rights by exchanging half of Crisetig for the remainder of Obi’s. Recently I’ve heard a bit of criticism for the 20-year-old but you have to remember that he is only young and still has a lot to learn, I for one do think he is a good player and am glad to see that Inter have signed him permanently. Although he is never going to be a club great I believe he will prove his worth and be very useful in the coming months and years.

Marko Livaja

I have to admit I know nothing about this young Croatian player except that we have signed him permanently from Cesena to play in our Primavera team, so I have to presume that the lad is a player that has shown some potential to be a good player. If anyone knows anything more about him please feel free to share with us using the comments box at the bottom.

Angelo Palombo

Even though the ex Sampdorian captain is 30, going against our new transfer policy of only signing young players, he is a very welcome addition to our squad as he is well-known for being a Tenacious and hard-working midfielder who has great play-making skills and a never-say-die attitude. One thing Inter has lacked for a while is a central midfielder that will fight tooth and nail to take and keep the ball and I can see him becoming a very important part of our squad very quickly an opinion that I’d say Claudio Ranieri shares as less than 24 hours after signing for us he was brought on as a substitute in our 4-4 draw with Palermo, even though he had yet to train with the squad he still provided a ball that led to one of Milito’s four goals that night. The deal agreed for his services is a loan deal that has cost Inter one million Euros with the right to buy him outright for an additional four million on a contract that lasts untill 2015.

Fredy Guarin

Guarin is another strong midfielder that has been brought in as the replacement for Thiago motta, from what I’ve seen of his time with Porto I’m excited to see what he can do for us, but we will have to wait a few weeks for his debut as he’s arrived with a thigh injury. 😦 In his presentation interview this week he was quoted as saying that he was proud to be at Inter and wants to help us to win plenty of silverware in the future, I’m hoping he can be true to his word a become a fan favourite for us. The 25-year-old Columbian midfielder has initially arrived on loan which has cost us a reported 1.5 million Euros with the option to buy him in the summer for an additional 11 million Euros which will activate a contract valid until 2016 if redeemed.

Juan Jesus

Juan Jesus is Inter’s one first team permanent signing of the winter transfer window and although the deal had been in the pipeline for months in true Internazionale style it wasn’t completed until deadline day. The 20-year-old center back can also play as a left full back and in brazil he has been compared with Brazil captain and Inter center back Lucio. From what I’ve seen he is a very promising player and with his pace he will be a very useful addition to our aging and slow backline. He has reportedly been signed on a contract lasting until 2016 and has cost Inter just 3.7 million Euros which if he does live up to expectations will make him a very good buy indeed.

That sums up our January transfer window, what do I think of our dealings? To be honest I’m quite happy with the deals we’ve made with given some important players for our future the opportunity to gain match experience and keep their fitness levels up while also making a great return on a player whose contract was coming to an end and of course the best news of all that Sulley Muntari is no longer an Inter player 😀

The incoming player side of things are promising too with us bringing in a couple of strong central midfielders to add depth to the squad and a faster and promising young defender to bolster the backline. My only real criticism of the window is that in my opinion we still haven’t brought in suitable replacement for Eto’o, as in a striker that can roam the top of the pitch and not only score plenty of goals but also add an extra dimension of creativity, though reports suggest that the foundations of a deal for the promising Brazilian striker Lucas have been laid in preparation for bringing him to the San Siro in the summer.

Follow me on Twitter: @Don_Nerazzurri

If there’s anything you want to say about this article or you want to share your opinion with the Inter Family please use the comment box below


Posted on February 4, 2012, in Transfers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. hi, i’m from Croatia so I can tell you something about Livaja. Livaja moved from Hajduk to Inter in summer 2010. for about 180k euros. Hajduk, given that the Livaja was then a minor, failed to challenge the transfer, so Livaja used detour to end at the San Siro. First he was in Lugano and in Cesena. He’s perspective striker, people here say he’s like Bobo Vieri, but we’ll see. Milan was interested in him too

    • Thank you for letting us know about Livaja, sounds promising! If he can do for Inter in the future what Bobo did for us in his time in our shirt he will be a very good purchase for us 🙂

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