The transfer business Inter Milan have done this summer could hint at an imminent change in ownership.

Today’s print edition of Rome-based newspaper Corriere dello Sport, via FCInterNews, note the proportion of the Nerazzurri’s signings that they have made on the basis of initial loan deals with subsequent purchase obligations.

Inter will make what is likely to be their final signing of the season today – defender Benjamin Pavard.

The Frenchman will arrive from Bayern Munich for a fee reportedly around €30 million, plus €2 million in add-ons.

This takes Inter’s total expenditure during the transfer window to €105.5 million. Meanwhile, the club have brought in €109 million in revenues.

Goalkeeper Andre Onana’s sale to Manchester United was their biggest outgoing.

When all is said and done, this will be a window where Inter make a slight profit. But for all intents, Inter have sold to buy – there is little in the way of “net spend” in either direction.

One significant aspect of the signing of Pavard is that Inter will pay the fee up front.

The Frenchman will not arrive on loan, with some manner of purchase obligation. It’s very simple – Inter will pay Bayern the fee they agreed to, and then some add-ons if and when they are triggered.

Why Inter Milan Loan Moves This Summer Could Suggest Changing Ownership

The straight-cash deal for Pavard is in contrast of most of Inter’s business this summer.

Big signings from Serie A like Davide Frattesi, Carlos Augusto, Marko Arnautovic, and Emil Audero have all arrived on initial loan deals.

Moreover, the Nerazzurri had been ready to sign Lazar Samardzic on a similar deal, before talks collapsed.

In some cases – like with Frattesi – there is no question that Inter will sign the 23-year-old on a permanent basis eventually.

There is a purchase obligation in the midfielder’s initial loan deal from Sassuolo.

And in other cases, it may not be quite as ironclad. However, there’s little doubt that sooner or later Inter will be on the hook for most of the money they’re spending this summer, and possibly all of it.

But the structuring of the signings as loan deals does accomplish one thing – it staggers the payment.

Inter may well be outlaying loan fees this summer. But the bulk of the fee for a player like Frattesi won’t need to be paid until next summer, despite the fact that the Italian international is for all intents and purposes a permanent signing.

For the Corriere, this may well be a hint about the future.

Inter have clearly shown that they will commit financial resources to the squad this summer.

After all, failing to do so could have disastrous consequences. Without a strong enough squad, the Nerazzurri could miss out on Champions League qualification for instance.

But unlike with the transfer revenues, the actual payment of a lot of these fees won’t come right away.

In the view of the Corriere, this is salient considering the persistent rumours about Suning selling Inter.

The current owners’ pandemic-related financial problems have prevented them from investing in the squad in recent years.

But if a sale were to take place, the new owners could cover some of these costs – something Suning cannot do.