Chelsea and Manchester City are on alert after learning that a defensive target on each of their shortlists could be put up for sale in the summer.
According to a report from La Gazzetta Dello Sport, Alessandro Bastoni might be placed on the transfer list at Inter Milan. The Serie A side have been trying to renew his contract, but there has been little progress.
Bastoni has been asking Inter to double his salary to €5.5million per season, which would equate to around £93,000 per week. However, the Nerazzurri don’t want to go any higher than €4m per season (around £68,000 per week).
Because of their current differences, Bastoni and Inter might have to separate in the summer. Indeed, his contract is due to expire in 2024, so they could lose him for free next year.
With that in mind, La Gazzetta implies that a sale cannot be ruled out. In the event of Bastoni having to find a new club, he could end up in the Premier League.
The report has identified Chelsea and Man City as two likely bidders for Bastoni. He was already being discussed by the former when they lent Romelu Lukaku back to Inter last summer.
For City, meanwhile, Pep Guardiola is a long-term admirer of the left-footed centre-back.
Either of them should have the financial power to satisfy Bastoni’s demands, as well as any Inter might have in terms of his transfer fee.
Bastoni agent eases Inter nerves
Yet there may be less reason for Inter to panic than is being suggested. Italian outlet Tuttomercatoweb has just shared – with Fabrizio Romano verifying the news – that Bastoni’s agent, Tullio Tinti, has met with Inter’s board on Wednesday.
Following the talks, Tinti has said: “They are the first meetings. We are talking. There will be space in the coming weeks.
“He has always been an Inter fan. We are talking about it.”
Asked by TMW if there is indeed a lot of interest in Bastoni, Tinti replied: “Absolutely, but he is an Inter fan and wants to remain at Inter.”
Bastoni has been an Inter player since 2017, when they signed him from Atalanta and allowed him to stay there on loan. Another formative spell with Parma followed before he reached the Inter first team in 2019.
The Italy international hasn’t looked back since, going on to make 148 appearances for the club. With them, he won the Serie A title in 2020-21. He has also earned one Coppa Italia medal and two from the Supercoppa Italiana.
Due to turn 24 in April, Bastoni still has the best part of a decade ahead of him at a high level if he can maintain his standards.
During that time, it will only be natural for clubs like Chelsea and Man City to keep looking at him. Bastoni has attracted the interest of Tottenham before, too, although the departure of his former Inter coach Antonio Conte and uncertainty around the future of managing director Fabio Paratici might not have helped their hopes.
In the big scheme of things, staying with Inter seems like Bastoni’s preferred option. There will have to be some compromises in order to make it a reality, though.
And until then, vultures will be circling in the shapes of Chelsea and Man City, most likely among others too.