By April 27, 2013 2 Comments Read More →

Inter Milan Target Benfica Star Nicolas Gaitan

Nicolás Gaitán of Benfica (Wikimedia Commons)

Nicolás Gaitán of Benfica (Wikimedia Commons)

TalkSPORT are reporting that Italian giants Inter Milan have made Benfica midfielder Nico Gaitan a transfer target heading into the summer transfer window. The San Siro outfit seem primed to overhaul their squad this season after their poor second-half form has seen them slip all the way down to fifth in the Serie A table.

The 25-year old Argentina international can play either as an attacking midfielder or a winger, utilizing his pace, dribbling and great passing ability to drive the attack. He can be fielded on the left side of midfield, where he’s able to use his favored left foot to flight crosses into the box, on the right where he can cut inside to get the ball on his left foot and rip shots from distance or through the middle where he can play killer through balls to his teammates. The versatile midfielder has scored 14 goals in 71 appearances since joining Benfica in 2010, after Real Madrid bought Gaitan’s predecessor Angel Di Maria.

TalkSPORT is suggesting that £12 million in addition to Ricardo Alvarez could be enough to force Benfica’s hand and bring Gaitan to the blue side of Milan. Alvarez has been utilized in large part as a substitute this season, making 11 substitute appearances as compared to just seven starts. Since joining Inter in 2011, he’s made only 37 league appearances and scored just six goals, which are both underwhelming statistics considering what was expected of Alvarez. Also capped for Argentina at the senior international level, Alvarez could definitely use a change of scenery and a switch to Benfica could be just the move to reignite his career that has gone stagnant in recent times.

Inter’s struggles have led to speculation that coach Andrea Stramaccioni could be axed over the summer but Inter owner Massimo Moratti recently stated that the man affectionately known as Strama will be still be the man on the touchline for the Nerazzurri for the 2013-14 season. Stramaccioni has tinkered with his choice of formation at Inter, utilizing a 4-4-2, a 4-2-3-1, a 4-3-1-2, a 3-5-2 and even the 3-4-1-2. While it can be disconcerting that the manager has not settled on one definite formation, the constant is that each formation features a spot that Gaitan could easily slide into.

Stramaccioni has numerous options at the position and Gaitan would only further bolster their corps of attack-minded midfielders. Colombian international Fredy Guarin has been played there, though his skill-set aligns better with the box-to-box midfield position. The versatile Rodrigo Palacio and experienced Italy international Antonio Cassano can both be played either on the wing, through the middle or at striker and have been two of the club’s best players this season. Croatian youngster Mateo Kovacic is listed as a central midfielder but has the attacking acumen to play in a more advanced role. Joel Obi, Ezequiel Schelotto and Marco Benassi represent three other options.

Based on their personnel, it appears that Europe’s favored 4-2-3-1 should be the formation of choice for the Nerazzurri. They have a supremely talented keeper in Samir Handanovic and Andrea Ranocchia, Juan Jesus, Javier Zanetti and either Yuto Nagatomo or Alvaro Pereira comprise the Inter defense. Though he’s getting older, Esteban Cambiasso is still a very reliable player and would excel in a pivot role alongside Fredy Guarin. Rodrigo Palacio, Antonio Cassano and should his transfer go through, Nico Gaitan could be fielded behind lone striker Diego Milito. Gaitan’s potential transfer would yield one of the better attacking midfield triumvirates in European football, let alone in Italy.

With both Manchester United and Tottenham interested, Inter could find themselves in a bidding war. Moratti has shown his willingness to invest in the squad and will make funds available in order for his beloved Inter to compete not only in the transfer window but in the Serie A and in Europe as well. Inter have the worst offense, in terms of goals scored, out of the Serie A’s top six teams and could certainly use a player like Gaitan, who has the ability to create opportunities for his teammates as well as get goals for himself.

2 Comments on "Inter Milan Target Benfica Star Nicolas Gaitan"

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  1. Man. United is the team that seems more interested.
    All the press in portugal talks day yes day yes that Man. United spyied the game.
    In my opinion SLB should keep it. The team has a group of 7-8 players that have been on the roster season after season (luisão, maxi, cardozo, gaitan…) and are important for next season (reach the UCL quarter finals)

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for commenting Luis. The rumors of gaitan to united just keep popping up and he could do well there. He’s a great player and benfica would do well to keep him but they might receive an offer they can’t refuse. I haven’t seen this link but with nani looking unsettled at man u, a swap deal back to his native Portugal could be a good bit of business. It remains to be seen whether he’d agree to go to Portugal because though benfica is a great club, the Portuguese league doesn’t get much universal acclaim. Also he’ll likely demand huge wages. If nani were to agree benfica would be getting a superstar and united would be getting their man gaitan as well as unloading an unhappy player.

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