|CARLOS TEVEZ | Manchester City, Forward, 27|
The two deals, Milan CEO Adriano Galliani explained, had been dependent upon one another, which seems odd given that the Italian champions had long maintained that they were seeking a replacement for Antonio Cassano, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season after undergoing heart surgery, and not Pato.
Is Milan’s pursuit of Tevez over? It would seem so. But we remain sceptical. Galliani repeatedly claimed that the forward wanted to sign for Milan and Milan only ... not that the Argentine’s word counts for much these days, of course!
|MAXI LOPEZ | Catania, Forward, 27|
Galliani claimed at the time that Milan were willing to wait until the end of the January transfer window to thrash out a deal for Tevez and that it would have been unfair to keep both Catania and Lopez on standby until the situation resolved itself.
However, one imagines that if Milan came calling again, Lopez would spurn the rumoured advances of Roma and Fulham and move to San Siro.
|JAVIER MASCHERANO | Barcelona, Defensive Midfielder, 27 |
Mascherano, 27, is a valuable member of the Barcelona squad but he sees little game time in his preferred defensive midfield position and, despite his excellent adaptation to the role of centre-half, is currently being forced to play second fiddle to the ageing Carles Puyol.
One imagines that the Catalans would be unwilling to deal at this stage of the season but if the price was right …
|RADJA NAINGGOLAN | Cagliari, Midfielder, 23 |
Cagliari’s 23-year-old Belgian international Radja Nainggolan is considered one of the most talented young midfielders in Serie A and has been linked with not only both Milan clubs, but also Juventus.
Consequently, the former Piacenza man is unlikely to come cheap but there can be no doubt that Nainggolan would prove an excellent addition to a Milan midfield which contains more than a couple of players currently on the wrong side of 30.
|MATTIA DESTRO | Siena, Forward, 20 |
Destro’s transfer to Genoa was made permanent at the end of the season but he was loaned out to Siena last summer and has since struck five goals in 10 games for the Bianconeri.
His form has also attracted the interest of Juventus, Napoli and Fiorentina but Siena would be reluctant to part company with the player midway through the season. However, the striker would undoubtedly jump at the opportunity to return to Milan and prove a point to the blue half of the city.
|CARLOS TEVEZ | Manchester City, Forward, 27 |
Unlike the Rossoneri, the Nerazzurri were, right from the start, willing to pay cash upfront for the former Corinthians ace and that was always a far more agreeable proposition to City, who were repeatedly frustrated in their attempts to persuade Milan to accept an obligation to buy the player at the end of a proposed loan deal.
As already mentioned, Tevez reportedly has his heart set on joining Milan but it seems more likely that he simply wants to depart City. Indeed, does anyone really think that he would have any issue with declaring his love for the Nerazzurri just a couple of weeks after professing his desire to line out for the Rossoneri? Didn't think so.
Certainly, it is Inter who have the greater need for the 27-year-old striker. Diego Forlan has proved frustratingly injury-prone since arriving from Atletico Madrid last summer, while only against Parma last weekend did it seem that Diego Milito and Giampaolo Pazzini had rediscovered their predatory instincts of old.
The arrival of Tevez would undoubtedly reinvigorate the Inter attack.
|MARKO MARIN | Werder Bremen, Attacking Midfielder, 22 |
The deal could still happen, though. Firstly, Marin and Tevez are very different players. Secondly, with the future of Wesley Sneijder still unclear, Inter could very well end up in need of a new attacking midfielder – if not now, then almost definitely at the end of the season. And thirdly, Marin’s contract runs out next year so Bremen may be ready to cash in on their most saleable asset.
|EZEQUIEL LAVEZZI | Napoli, Forward, 26 |
Speculation over Lavezzi’s future resurfaced in recent days but his agent, Alejandro Mazzoni, is adamant that there has been no contact with Inter. In addition, it would not make any sense for Napoli, with a Champions League last-16 date with Chelsea on the horizon, to deal during the current transfer window - even if Lavezzi’s girlfriend would clearly welcome a move to Milan.
|ALEKSANDAR KOLAROV | Manchester City, Left-back, 26 |
Kolarov, though, would most likely be keen on a return to Italy given he has seen little game time at Eastlands this season, while the fact remains that Inter are still very much in need of a quality left-back.
In addition, it seems likely that if Inter do not make a move, the Serbian will end up signing for rivals Juventus, with general director Giuseppe Marotta said to have met with the player’s agent earlier this week.
|EDEN HAZARD | Lille, Attacking Midfielder, 21 |
Inter are not in a position to compete with the financial might of the Premier League’s finest and a successful bid for Tevez would make a move for the 21-year-old winger even more unlikely.
However, president Moratti has not been shy about discussing his admiration for the Belgian international, who would add some much-needed verve to Inter’s ageing forward line. Besides, signing both Tevez and Hazard would represent a most emphatic statement to their rivals that Inter are intent on re-establishing themselves as one of the strongest sides in European football.