If you believe this report from Viola News, Inter Milan owners Suning are planning an audacious raid on Fiorentina that would see them offer in excess of €80 for Federico Bernardeschi and Nikola Kalinić in an effort to take some of the burden off of club captain (snicker) Mauro Icardi.
Inter have been sniffing around Berna, at least, for close to a year. On the one hand, it makes perfect sense: the 23-year-old Italian international has proven his ability to carry a team in Serie A, and Suning have the steamer trunks full of cash it’d take to pry him away from Florence. On the other hand, amidst purported interest from Chelsea and Bayern Munich, it seems unlikely that Fiorentina would sell their young superstar to a domestic rival.
Of course, this all presupposes that Fede wants out of Florence. While various pundits have insisted that he does, neither the player nor his agent have said anything of the sort; indeed, he signed a contract extension just last year, which is hardly the action of a man desperate to get out of town.
Kalinić would, admittedly, also fill a need for Inter, whose lack of a proven backup goalscorer (sorry, Éder) is a serious problem for a team that’s looking to compete in Europe next season. The Slim Reaper offers something different from Icardi—aside from consummate professionalism—and would be a perfect foil to the Argentine up top.
However, he’s got even less reason to leave Florence, where he’s assured a starter’s role and thus a chance to strut his stuff for Croatia boss Ante Čačić, who’s openly mused about finding a younger, more dynamic backup for Mario Mandžukić for the Vatreni. Languishing on the bench somewhere probably isn’t high on Kalinić’s list.
Moreover, his choice to remain in Florence last January after strong interest from Tianjin Quanjian indicates a certain attachment to the club, which after all offered him his big break into the international spotlight. Combined with his outspoken desire to follow Paulo Sousa to the ends of the earth, Milan seems right out of the question. And, of course, it’s doubtful that Corvino would sell his star striker to a direct rival.
Look, we’re all adults here. We can admit that stars like Federico Bernardeschi may well have futures outside of the friendly purple confines of our favorite city, even though we feel the iron claws of real life gripping our hearts as the words leave our tongues. But this right here feels like fantasy football more than anything else, and it’s probably just journalists looking for clicks. Again, maybe Berna jumps ship this season, but Inter is hardly the yacht he’d hope for.