It took them a couple of years and Barcelona deciding to clean house, but Inter finally managed to reunite Antonio Conte and Arturo Vidal, who was one of the first players the coach asked for when he joined the Nerazzurri. The signing was made official Tuesday and the 33-year-old midfielder agreed to a two-year deal with an optional third one. The Italian side will play just €1M bonus.
The Chilean international joined Juventus in 2011, a couple of months after the hiring of Conte and quickly won over the gaffer, becoming an integral part of his formation. After four years with the Bianconeri, where he totaled 178 appearances and scored 48 goals, he spent three seasons at Bayern Munich and finally the last two at Barcelona. Despite all the turmoil and a reduced role, Vidal had a decent campaign, bagging eight goals and providing three assists in 40 matches (20 starts). Throughout his career, he won five domestic titles with Juventus, three in Germany and Colo-Colo and one La Liga, on top of taking home Copa America twice in partnership with Alexis Sanchez.
Vidal will provide muscles, dynamism and leadership in a crowded midfield that currently includes Nicolò Barella, Marcelo Brozovic, Christian Eriksen, Stefano Sensi, Roberto Gagliardini, Matias Vecino and the returning Radja Nainggolan and lost only Borja Valero, who was let go at the end of his contract. At least one or two exits are likely and the pecking order will hinge on whoever ends up leaving the club.
Vidal is the second veteran addition of the transfer market window for Inter, who last week acquired Aleksandar Kolarov from Roma for €1.5M, inking him to a one-year contract with an optional third one. The versatile Serbian defender has been one of the core players for the Giallorossi in the past three years, where he notched 19 goals and 20 assists in 132 games and was often their main playmaker. He will back up Alessandro Bastoni as left centre-back and will alternate with Ashley Young as wing-back, although the Beneamata could bring in another specialist in and, like last summer, the coaching staff is trying out Ivan Perisic in that position, as the Croatian forward was not retained by Bayern Munich after the loan spell.
Two experienced players joined, one left as Diego Godin was allowed to transfer to Cagliari for free after just one season. Godin struggled to adapt to a three-man line at first but improved over time and was excellent in the final months of the season, outshining Milan Skriniar, who was pushed out of the starting XI. However, the team opted to go back to the younger option and decided to shed a big salary off the balance sheets. Godin, who has familiar ties with Sardinia, penned a three-year contract with the Rossoblù, where he will be an unquestioned starter and leader of the club. Inter will use Danilo D’Ambrosio as Skiniar’s back-up and are likely going to bring in Mattia Darmian, as stated by the new Parma director, who can potentially play in that role as well.
Last week Inter brought back Andrea Pinamonti from Genoa: the striker was purchased by the Grifone a year ago, but the two sides reportedly had a gentleman agreement for him to return in Milan after one season and that indeed materialized. Pinamonti was not great in 2019/2020, where he bagged five just goals, but in a team that had troubles creating chances, and was outplayed by Antonio Sanabria down the stretch. If he is not loaned out again, he will serve as Romelu Lukaku’s back-up.
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