Inter head into Sunday’s Derby d’Italia against Juventus having finally closed the gap to the Bianconeri in Serie A, a report in Italy’s media has explained today.
Tuesday’s print edition of Gazzetta dello Sport highlighted that the Nerazzurri finished 21 points behind their bitter rivals in the 2018-19 season, before Antonio Conte’s appointment as head coach on a three-year deal.
Last season they finished just one point behind the Old Lady as they narrowly missed out on a first Serie A title since 2009-10, but this season they are in fact four points ahead of Juve at roughly the halfway point of the campaign, albeit having played a game more.
Conte has helped Inter to cancel out the gap that was created between themselves and Juventus and has lived through three phases in his 18 months in charge of Inter.
GdS explained how Conte has lived through three ‘phases’ of investment at the club as he has sought to catch up with his former club.
Phase one was the period of heavy investment during the summer of 2019 and last season, which saw the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Nicolo Barella, Christian Eriksen and Achraf Hakimi were all signed to bolster the Inter squad.
Phase two came after the famous Villa Bellini meeting between Conte and club management at the end of last season, in which it was decided there would be little money spent and money used would only come from outgoing transfers.
Phase three, the phase Conte is currently in, has been around for about a month now with there currently being no funds to operate on the transfer window.
Inter still hope to be able to offload Eriksen and Andrea Pinamonti and could perhaps bring in one reinforcement during the January transfer window.
The report adds, however, that Conte is doing his best to stop his players from becoming distracted by rumours of potential fresh investment into the club.
Off the pitch, GdS confimed that British investment firm BC Partners are in talks with Inter’s owners Suning over acquiring at least a minority stake in the club.
The due diligence is underway for Inter, who are now said to be worth €950 million.