The imminent transfer of French defensive midfield talent Geoffrey Kondogbia from AS Monaco to Inter Milan for fee believed to be in the region of €40 million, has been causing quite some controversy in Lombardy’s capital in the last few days. In this context, Milan boss Adriano Galliani claims that the French international had already committed himself to the Rossoneri, after a deal was agreed in Monaco last Friday. However, Kondogbia’s management seem to have pulled out of the deal in its final stages and instead, one of Europe’s hottest prospects will now be heading to city-rival Inter, rubbing salt in the wound in the process.
It generally seems as though, Milan are struggling to keep up with the pace of the Nerazzurri, who seem to be intent on restoring former glories under manager Roberto Mancini, who had once led the club to three Serie A titles in a row, before leaving the club for Manchester City. Inter’s squad is certainly taking shape and with Kondogbia joining fellow talents such as Mauro Icardi and Swiss international Xherdan Shaqiri, key positions are now being filled with top-quality playing personnel. Another who seems likely to become part of Mancini’s squad is Brazilian defender Miranda, who looks set to join the club in the next few days.
In addition to this, Inter have also announced the return of club legend Dejan Stankovic who will be taking up the role of first team club manager, essentially supporting Roberto Mancini in his role. Stankovic’s appointment is just another sign that Inter are looking for consistency and seem keen to return to the top sooner rather than later.
The story could not be any different at the red and black end of the city however, with Milan finding themselves in the middle of a mess. Although having been heavily linked with Porto striker Jackson Martinez, who was agonisingly close to joining the club, the deal is now off and Martinez seems to be on his way to Atletico Madrid instead. Although Milan recently appointed Sinisa Mihajlovic and thus, solved or at least paused the manager riddle, there are too many areas that need improvement.
Mihajlovic will find himself dealing with a poor defensive unit, an attack that struggles to score and a disciplinary record that is more than disappointing. In other words, before anything else, the new manager will have to establish a genuine team. Add to that the controversy caused by Mihaijlovic’s Inter past, and the incoming chief will have to deal with a wave of issues before even beginning to lead the club out of a major crisis.
As things stand, Inter can look ahead to an interesting season and the beginning of a healing process, whereas Milan will spend the next few months and the upcoming season as an underdog that is struggling to compete. As such, Juventus must not be too concerned with developments at AC, but will be keeping an eye on Mancini’s potential return to Serie A glory.