We’re almost halfway through the January transfer window, and Chelsea continue to play things rather quietly. That’s perhaps not too surprising, given that our supposed primary targets are all either unavailable or outrageously priced, or both. But at least we’re (so far) avoiding any stupid transfers for marginal (if that) gains, so that’s certainly a plus — unless of course this all comes back to haunt us when we miss a fourth place finish. Anyway...
Elsewhere on the continent, others are making moves that could mean the difference in a title-race. Some of those moves, in turn, could have an impact on Chelsea, too, especially those that Inter Milan are trying to engineer to set up Conte’s side to take on Juventus. (Inter are currently 2 points behind, following a disappointing 1-1 draw against Atalanta over the weekend.)
Inter have already agreed personal terms with Olivier Giroud, for example, but while the two teams are reportedly still a little bit apart on the transfer fee, perhaps more pertinently, Inter are looking to make room first by offloading Matteo Politano. That deal with Roma, to replace the unfortunately injured Nicolò Zaniolo, remains in the works, and could possibly become a player exchange, with Leonardo Spinazzola mentioned in the latest Italian rumors.
Spinazzola is a left back who could solve Conte’s other big need at the moment: wing-back reinforcements. Inter had also been linked with PSG Laywin Kurzawa as well as Manchester United’s Ashley Young, but apparently Spinazzola is preferred. One name who’s not been mentioned at all recently is a certain Marcos Alonso, possibly because Chelsea priced out Inter (or possibly because we don’t actually have a replacement for him at the moment).
With Inter also strongly linked to tired-of-being-Spursy Christian Eriksen — a deal and a steal at €20m, even with an expiring contract — the Nerazzuri appear to be making all the right moves. In Giroud, they should be getting a proven goalscorer and leader on and off the pitch. He probably won’t displace either Romelu Lukaku nor Lautaro Martinez (both in double digits in goals already), but he’s a perfect fit for Conte’s 3-4-3/3-5-2 and would serve as an excellent backup/rotation option. Even without Alonso (again, a perfect Conte fit), they should be well set up to dethrone Juventus at long last.