According to Gianluca di Marzio, the much-discussed swap between Fiorentina and Inter Milan is finally going ahead. Viola left back Cristiano Biraghi has been open to the move all summer, but his Nerazzurro counterpart has refused to leave Milan. However, it sounds like the Brazilian has had a change of heart over the past few days, paving the way for the players to switch teams.
Inter have been in hot pursuit of Biraghi, who grew up in their academy. He never broke through, though, and was sold to Cittadella in 2012. He showed enough there for his former employers to buy him back in 2014, but he spent the next two years on loan before they flogged him again, this time to Pescara. An outstanding year for the Delfini brought Fiorentina around, and they acquired him in 2017.
Dalbert also arrived at his current side in 2017, although his trajectory has been a bit rockier. Since joining from Nice for a whopping €21 million, he’s made just 26 appearances, showing an inability to beat out the likes of Kwadwo Asamoah or even the much-maligned Danilo D’Ambrosio. Our sister site Serpents of Inter did a really good job of analyzing his strengths and weaknesses, so we’ll just let you check their work; in short, though, it sounds like he’s stout enough defensively, but offers relatively little going forward.
Based on that, he should provide an intriguing counterweight to the defensively suspect Aleksa Terzić, giving Vincenzo Montella the option to chop and change as necessary on a match-by-match basis, especially with the forward-thinking Pol Lirola on the opposite flank.
The problem, of course, is one of value. Dalbert turns 26 next week and seems to be more or less the player he’ll be as a professional: a useful but limited rotational option. Biraghi, whose birthday is a week earlier (weird), is an Italy international and one of the top fullbacks in Serie A. Dalbert’s €2.2 million wage is also twice that of Biraghi’s, so that may require some ironing out too.
The formula the sides seem to have agreed on is a loan with an option to buy moving both directions. However, given that Fiorentina would lose significant value on that deal, Biraghi will probably cost somewhere in the region of €20 million; we’d expect Dalbert, on the other hand, to set Rocco Commisso back only half that sum at the most, as Inter probably aren’t too worried about recouping their initial investment on him.
Despite these obstacles, it sounds like the deal’s nearly pushed through and should be announced in the coming week. It’s probably in everyone’s best interests, as Biraghi’s said to want a return to his childhood club and Dalbert could surely use a fresh start. Inter will get a top-notch player in a position of need. Fiorentina probably come out the worst in this deal, but they certainly don’t want to hold a player hostage and should make a fair amount of money while getting younger. We’re not thrilled to lose CB3, but if that’s what’s going to happen, this isn’t the worst way to go about it.