Inter Milan have drawn up a four-strong midfielder shopping list for January – with a Manchester United man regarded as the most likely to sign, according to a report.
The former Chelsea man has made a solid start to life back in Serie A, helping Inter to second in the table and the club having boasted a 100% record from their first six matches until Juventus beat them prior to the international break.
But the ambitious Inter chief is refusing to rest on his laurels and knows it’ll take some doing to dethrone his former club Juve as Italian champions.
As such, Tuttosport claims Conte next has his eyes on strengthening his midfield options and it’s reported he has drawn up a four-man shopping list ahead of the January window.
As per the paper, Conte has placed Ivan Rakitic, Nemanja Matic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Donny van de Beek on his ambitious wish-list as he prepares to strengthen his hand for the second half of the campaign.
Of the quartet, Van de Beek might be the hardest to sign, with reports this week claiming Ajax had stuck a €100m fee on the in-form Dutchman’s head – a price that would certainly scare off Inter.
Milinkovic-Savic has long been linked with a move to Inter, but his fee too – the Serbian is valued at around €80m – might be a stretch too far for the Nerazzurri. It was also reported this week that the Lazio man had already agreed terms over a switch to Manchester City as a replacement for David Silva.
Inter, however, could have more joy if they opted for a move for Rakitic, especially given the Croatian’s admission that he is ready to move on in January if his lack of playing time does not improve at the Nou Camp.
“I have two years left on my deal and there’s no better place to play than Barcelona, the best club in the world, but I need to play and not just enjoy walks around the city and the beach,” Rakitic said.
“I spoke with people at the club, everyone knew I had other options.”
However, it’s claimed by FCInter.news that Manchester United man Matic is seen as the most obtainable for Conte, given the Serbian’s reduced role this season and amid claims he could be allowed to leave in January.
Matic, signed in a £40m switch from Chelsea in summer 2017, has seen himself usurped by Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira this term and seems likely to move on for a relatively modest fee of around €35m (£31.5m).
“Of course (it has been frustrating),” Matic said. “I want to play, I always give my best for the team.
“The coach is the man who picks the team and when you are on the bench you are not happy, but I am trying to convince him to change his mind and pick me to play.”
And with a report on Thursday claiming Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is planning further additions to his midfield in January, it seems Matic could be allowed to leave if Inter meet their asking price.
And the path from Old Trafford to the San Siro would, of course, be a well-trodden one too, with Matic set to renew acquaintances with Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez by joining Inter Milan.