Suning are reluctant to sell Inter while the Nerazzurri are fighting for the Serie A title, according to leading Italian journalist and football finance expert.
Speculation over the future of the club has reached fever pitch this week, with news breaking last night that Suning were preparing to sell shares in their own company, Suning.com, in a bid to raise funds.
Friday’s papers argued the developments were a sign that Suning would soon sell Inter as well, but Il Sole 24 Ore reporter Marco Bellinazzo is not so convinced.
“Despite the need to resolve this situation as soon as possible, Suning are playing for time,” he told Radio Nerazzurra today.
“This is perhaps because Inter are having their best season on a sporting level for some time and Suning are seeing the fruits of their investments.
“The Zhang family recognise that it would be a contradiction if they were to leave now, but let’s not talk about conflicts between Jindong and Steven.
“We can certainly say Steven would be disappointed to leave given he’s now so attached to Inter.
“This is why alternative paths are being explored, such as securing a loan to cover costs.
“The talk is that Inter are now in very bad financial conditions and it’s only thanks to a very strong management they are they holding up.
“But it is clear that Suning will have to make a decision.
“The club’s growth has halted and Inter can’t afford to still be in this position in May.”
Inter are sat top of Serie A with 15 games left, after Antonio Conte’s side opened up a four-point lead over AC Milan with victory in last Sunday’s derby.
The Nerazzurri have not won the Serie A title since the 2009-10 season and appear to be in the best position since then to win what would be the 19th Scudetto of their history.
Bellinazzo also offered his interpretation of the news Suning would be relinquishing control of Suning.com, with Jack Ma’s Alibaba and the Chinese state both touted to take over.
“It’s always difficult to work out what’s happening in China on an economic level,” he admitted.
“It’s clear that Suning have suffered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and because of certain choices which have turned out to be a boomerang in a financial sense.
“Now they have to focus on their core business, which is retail, and from this point of view there is a delicate situation which is perhaps much more serious than what has emerged.
“This also involves the desire to sell off a part of Suning.com, with the possible entry of the government into the company’s organisation.
“Suning have also spoken about needing to cut ‘non-relevant’ activities but Inter is anything but irrelevant to them, given that their investment into the Nerazzurri represented their opportunity to expand into the western world.
“Let’s say that Inter today is not a priority investment, but not irrelevant either.
“They will soon need to agree or solution or sell the club, but this has never been among the Zhang family’s intentions.”