Christian Eriksen really was close to leaving Inter for the Premier League in January, as explained by a report in the Italian media today.
Eriksen nearly left the club last month, however, with Gazzetta dello Sport’s print edition revealing why deals with Leicester City and his former side Tottenham Hotspur fell through.
“Everything was in place,” the Milan-based paper recalled.
“Eriksen’s salary wasn’t the problem, because both Leicester and Spurs had agreed to cover it in full.
“Talks collapsed because Inter wanted a fee for the loan deal.
“They were asking for it from the start of January and their stance never budged, not least because something else was changing in the meantime: Eriksen was showing signs of wanting to stay at Inter.”
Conte spotted a new tactical opportunity for the 29-year-old last month and trialled him in a deep-lying play-maker position during games against Fiorentina (in the Coppa Italia) and Benevento.
Inter’s management then decided it made more sense to try and rejuvenate a player they already had than to seek a replacement midway through the season.
Gazzetta said it would not be easy to remove Eriksen from the Nerazzurri’s starting XI now, following his impressive performance in the 3-1 win over Lazio on Sunday.
He will be hoping to repeat his derby heroics against AC Milan this weekend after scoring a last-minute winner during Inter’s Coppa Italia quarter-final victory three weeks ago.