A game at the weekend could have a decisive impact on the chances of one player ending up at one of his many Premier League admirers, according to reports.
Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa were said to be neck and neck for the signing of Mikkel Damsgaard last month. Then, it emerged that Liverpool and Leeds United were genuine contenders as the deadline approached. Ultimately, the Denmark international stayed with Sampdoria.
But the 21-year-old will remain on the radar of big clubs if he continues his current rate of progress. However, his next destination may not be in England, but still in Italy.
According to a recent report from Calciomercato, Damsgaard will be the centre of attention when Sampdoria play Inter Milan on Sunday upon the return from the international break.
Several players have switched between the two clubs in recent years, such as current Inter defender Milan Skriniar. The Serie A champions have an interest in making Damsgaard the next.
There has reportedly been “contact” between the two clubs for Damsgaard, who “immediately convinced” Inter when he arrived in Italian football last year.
The Nerazzurri are therefore keen to beat their Premier League competition for the Dane’s signature. But there is hope for his English suitors yet.
Inter may be restricted by the price tag Sampdoria have placed upon Damsgaard. Under contract until 2024, the Blucerchiati do not want to let him go for less than €35m.
It is a situation on which Inter will have to reflect. They may have to be patient to see how Damsgaard, who they feel is still “raw”, develops over the next few months before deciding whether it is worth paying that when they have been a club dealing with financial difficulties recently.
Damsgaard set for Inter test
In fact, they will get their next glimpse on Sunday, when the two sides face off. Damsgaard is almost guaranteed to start for Sampdoria.
Inter believe their defence will pose a tough test for the attacking midfielder to deal with. If he passes the test, it would only enhance his reputation in their minds.
Over the course of the season, though, it is likely Damsgaard will have other clubs watching him from further afield in England.
The former Nordsjaelland youth product scored two goals and added four assists in his debut Serie A season. He went on to match those tallies in far fewer games at Euro 2020 with Denmark.
This season will be a major one for his development, after which he may be more likely to earn a transfer.