I could have named this article “The Cold War Between Milan and Turin + Rome”, or “Should Inter press the panic button?” or “Conte is furious: where are my strikers?” but none of those would have made the point I’m going to try to raise with this piece.
I see you rolling your eyes, frustrated by the waiting. Asking where are Suning’s billions, and when will their promises become reality. Pointing out that our new manager has done the whole summer preparation without the two strikers he need to complete his game strategy. Nervously checking the news to see where Lukaku is going and if we managed to sign Dzeko. But, hey, a little reality check for you: if this is stressing you out; if you are not used to this; if you are not bitterly smirking and telling yourself that Inter is being Inter, then why and how are you an Interista in the first place?
The only one who is living the dream is Sebastiano Esposito, who has been our only striker for the first few friendly games. He is soaking the instructions, gaining experience, getting to know what and how to be ready, when his time will come, to put the ball behind the keeper. But going back to the point, art is pain, suffering and misery. Ask a painter. Ask a songwriter. Without struggle and sorrow, there is no art. And Inter is art. It was founded by an artist, who designed its logo and picked the colors. And it was made for all of us, for the dreamers in every corner of the planet. It could not be always beautiful like Inter – Sampdoria 3 – 2 in the last 4 minutes or Arsenal – Inter 0 – 3. Hell, it can be painful and ugly as Inter-Arsenal 1-5. But it is still art.
Yes, you might say that I am being philosophical and I am trying to distract you from the facts: we have money, why we do not spend them? Why is our new coach have to wait the last minute to complete his squad? How come Juventus signs this and that and we have spent a good six weeks trying to negotiate for Lukaku and Dzeko and still we do not have them in our squad?
But if you check your facts through the media, Italian ostracised football journalist Maurizio Pistocchi asks on his Twitter profile how come “the best manager in the world” Massimiliano Allegri was sacked? And why “a loser” as Sarri replaced him? How come “the new Messi” Dybala is being offered around? And why are they chasing Icardi or Lukaku if “the main striker” is Ronaldo? How come “the best fullback in the world” Joao Cancelo, “stolen from under Inter’s nose”, has been sold after a single year? How come “wonderkid” Kean was sold for peanuts, “the new Buffon” Perin kept on the bench for the whole season and sold for the “old and cooked” Gianluigi Buffon? That is the fun thing about the truth: your truth is different from anybody else’s. Then there is the unquestionable truth, but that belongs to who is inside it.
Look, transfer market has changed in the last 20 years. Back then, Papà Moratti would have signed a check for every single player he, or his entourage, asked for. But with the $83m that Man Utd is asking for Lukaku, Moratti could have bought two Christian Vieri. Even Ronaldo did not cost him that much, also considering the bet/agreement he had with Nike about the Fenomeno acquisition. Now football clubs are forced to generate money and keep that trend up for set periods of time. And how much they make, that is how much they are allowed to spend. It is business more than passion, sad but true. Suning’s billions cannot be used to buy players. But saying that the Chinese are not spending for the club is the biggest lie you could believe.
And let me tell you another thing: you may have been lead to believe that Inter is struggle in this transfer market because Juventus and Roma are allied against them. Because Juventus is close to sign Lukaku and sell Dybala outside Italy. And Roma will not lower their requests for Dzeko. But how close is Juventus to Lukaku? Did they match the $83m that United asks for the striker? No, they offered two players and no money. Because they need to sell. They have a great squad, do not get me wrong. But they are in need to sell. They cannot afford Icardi, and he is their first choice. Paratici has pressed him since January, that is a whisper that could be an unquestionable truth. But Inter will not give him to them without getting Dybala in exchange, so Juventus tactic is to wait two years to sign him for free? Will Mauro be the same player after two years without playing? And again, Inter’s main targets are Lukaku and Dzeko, not Dybala. Dybala would be a nice extra, but he is not a main target. He is a “if we sell Icardi” plan. So, who is freezing who’s market?
Power is nothing without control, here is why I picked that title. Overpowering Juventus would be galvanizing for Inter’s supporters. But it could lead the club to financial troubles, and we do not need that. Inter has sacrificed many youngsters to overcome the FFP Settlement Agreement and now needs to respect the rules of the FFP. That is another unquestionable truth. Sad one, too. And that is the same for Juventus, and any other club. And Marotta has taken full power, and full responsabilities, of Inter. He is leading the market his way, after Suning has tried their way, listening to agents instead of trusting a director of football. Joao Mario and Gabriel Barbosa have not proven to be great acquisition, and they were expensive. And, this could be another unquestionable truth, they could have been two setbacks in Inter financial position with UEFA and have lead Inter to bigger sacrifices in their selling youngsters for cash. Marotta knows better than Uncle Ben that from great power comes great responsability.
So let me lead you believe that Inter is in control, or is bluffing with a credible poker face, in this transfer market and that Antonio Conte will have his two strikers by the end of the transfer market window. And if you really wanna keep your idea, just have a media hiatus until our club releases an official statement. Or until the end of the market window, whichever comes first. But do not forget that Conte was hired and paid crazy money because he valorizes what he has, and that he will not allow Inter to be Pazza on the football pitch, but Inter is Inter and Inter must be Pazza somehow. Pazza in the transfer market?