Striker Islam Slimani has revealed that he was close to joining Inter Milan from Leicester City in January of 2020.
The 35-year-old Algerian revealed the background of his near-move to the Nerazzurri speaking to GianlucaDiMarzio.com, via FCInterNews.
In January of 2020, Inter had been considering signing a striker.
Then-Nerazzurri coach Antonio Conte was keen on adding an attacking reinforcement. At the time, there were really just Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez, and Alexis Sanchez as forwards.
And there was little doubt regarding the kind of profile who Conte wanted.
The former Chelsea and Juventus coach was hoping that Inter would bring in a tall, physical centre-forward who could act as a real reference point in terms of holdup play.
Conte is also a coach who certainly has a reputation for prioritizing signing experienced players.
The likes of Olivier Giroud – now of AC Milan – and Edin Dzeko – who spent two seasons at Inter eventually – were among those linked to Inter.
And Slimani is another player who certainly fits the profile that Conte was after.
The Algerian international was on loan at Monaco from Leicester at the time. But reports suggested that a move to Inter midseason was a possibility.
According to Slimani himself, it is indeed true that he had been close to the Nerazzurri.
Islam Slimani Reveals: “I Was Close To Inter Move From Leicester”
Striker Slimani looked back, “During the period where I was at Monaco in 2020, I was very close to joining Inter.”
“Antonio Conte wanted me with Lukaku,” he went on.
“But by that point it was already January 31st. There was no time.”
“It’s too bad,” Slimani added. “I would have enjoyed moving there.”
“But at 35, I’m still young,” the Algerian, who currently plays for Belgian Pro League side Mechelen, mused. “Who knows.”
Slimani has also played for the likes of Newcastle United, Lyon, and Sporting CP, among others.