Inter Milan CEO Beppe Marotta has revealed the club are interested in bolstering their squad with the signings of Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin and Manchester United left-back Alex Telles.
The recently-crowned Serie A champions are in the market for full-back reinforcements following the sale of Achraf Hakimi to PSG, as well as the departure of quasi-left wing-back Ashley Young, who left on a free transfer upon the expiration of his contract, and has since rejoined Aston Villa.
The 19-time Scudetti holders are preparing for life post-Antonio Conte, following the Italian’s swift exit after he dethroned former club Juventus last season, with Simone Inzaghi the man drafted in to maintain Inter’s presence at the top of the Serie A table.
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The ex-Lazio boss will no doubt be eyeing up wing-backs to shore up his flanks as he is also a devout advocate of a 3-5-2, a system used exclusively by Conte at the San Siro, with both managers placing a heavy emphasis on overlapping ‘2s’ and ‘3s’.
Two players Inzaghi is supposedly keeping tabs on, come in the form of Premier League duo Bellerin and Telles, with the latter very much on the fringes at Old Trafford given the exceptional form of Luke Shaw, who scored in the Euro 2020 final for England.
When asked about the possibility of moving for Bellerin, Inter chief Marotta told Sky Italia: “His is a name that is mentioned by you, there’s our interest, but I won’t go any further, because he’s not our player.”
He was also quizzed on reported interest in Telles, to which he responded: “I won’t rule out anything, but at the moment we are focusing on evaluating all the opportunities without the haste of having to close this or that operation.”
Telles heading for the exit door?
Signed last summer for around £15m from Porto, Telles looked set to offer a competent attacking threat to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s left byline given his forward-thinking exploits at the Estadio do Dragao, in which he scored 11 goals and registered eight assists in 31 Primeira Liga matches the season prior to his arrival.
However, few would have expected to see Shaw burst back onto the scene in the manner he did across 2020/21, which culminated in the Londoner creating the second-most chances of any defender (72) behind only Trent Alexander-Arnold (77), outranking the likes of Andy Robertson (66) and Lucas Digne (46).
Trent Alexander-Arnold was the only defender that created more chances than Luke Shaw in the Premier League season, Andy Robertson was next on the list.
It's Shaw's first start in a major tournament since the 2014 World Cup. #ENG
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 18, 2021
As such, Telles may feel his best option for regular playing would be an exit from Old Trafford, with the four-capped Brazilian afforded just eight Premier League starts last term under Solskjaer, while he recently started on the bench in the club’s pre-season win over Derby, with Brandon Williams given the nod at left-back.
Despite this, Telles has revealed his hunger and “desire” to return for next season and fight for trophies, saying it’s a “pleasure” to be of the Man Utd set-up ahead of his second campaign in the Premier League.
Alex Telles Minutes Played and Positions for Man Utd in the 2020/21 Premier League season
“It’s a pleasure to be at Manchester United coming into my second season,” Telles told the club’s official website.
“Last season, we came really close to winning trophies, so we go into this next season with a lot of desire and I really want to show my work and my value here at the club.”