One of the more recent names to pop up in Chelsea’s summer (non-)shopping spree is Inter Milan’s box-to-box midfielder Matias Vecino. The rumors originate in Italy, where all of our (non-)business seems to be concentrated these days.
Vecino, soon to be 27, is currently starting for Uruguay at the World Cup. He had a solid first season at Inter after joining last summer for €24m from Fiorentina, but he may be displaced already by the incoming Roma mohawk Radja Nainggolan. And that may be how the exit rumors were born.
They come in two forms. One is a swap between Chelsea and Inter, essentially Davide Zappacosta (previously linked with Inter) for Vecino. Both players are represented by the same agent, Alessandro Lucci, which helps. So does the aforementioned Nainggoal deal, which saw Inter send two players (Davide Santon, Nicolò Zaniolo) plus cash for the out-of-favor Belgian international. On Wednesday, Lucci was asked about a potential swap, but he shot down any talk of an exit.
“Suso? No, we talked about Vecino and his contract renewal. I am confident, Vecino will be a firm fixture for Inter next season.”
“No, I repeat, we talked about other things.”
-Alessandro Lucci; source: SportItalia
Linking Chelsea at this time, a classic move, should of course give Lucci some leverage in contract renewal negotiations.
The second form of this story is Chelsea outright buying the player at the request of Maurizio Sarri, for whom Vecino played one season (on loan from Fiorentina) at Empoli in the 2014-15 season.
The rumored price is €35m, which isn’t unreasonable these days for a dynamic box-to-box who’s having a very good World Cup. It’s money that Inter would reportedly be happy to get as they shape their own shopping list. Reports claim that agent Lucci will be meeting with Chelsea brass this week to work contract details, but somebody’s always meeting with someone else in the Italian rumor mill.
As it stands, this is just another story to keep an eye on. In the meantime, here’s a video of Vecino at work.