Inter’s transfer wish list: Tomiyasu, Djalo, Pavard, Chalobah and more seen as defensive targets

Having seen Milan Skriniar leave the club, Inter are still hoping to make a major defensive signing this summer, with names from Bayern Munich, Arsenal and Chelsea all being linked.

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Inter reached the final of the Champions League in the 2022/23 campaign, yet work still needs to be done during the 2023 summer transfer window to ensure that Simone Inzaghi has got a defence that can cope with the rigours of another season.

The Nerazzurri have already permanently signed Francesco Acerbi following his successful loan spell last season, whilst also adding Danish youngster Yann Aurel Bisseck to the squad, but that is not where they plan to stop.

Bisseck and Acerbi will both offer cover in the middle and on the left-hand side of the defensive three, however, Inzaghi still is in the market for cover for the right side. Matteo Darmian and Stefan De Vrij can be used there but the desire is to ensure there are multiple players comfortable in specific roles, as reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport.

What defenders are Inter targeting?

Trevoh Chalobah

The Englishman has been on Inter’s radar for some time now. After failed attempts to get the defender in the 2023 January transfer window, the club’s interest never diminished. As such, Trevoh Chalobah was a big focus of the transfer meeting that took place at the beginning of June with Chelsea, though no progress has been made until now.

Chalobah has played almost exclusively on the right side of the Blues’ defence, whether that be on the right of a three, or at right-back. However, he also offers an option as a holding midfielder.

Inter’s hopes of signing Chalobah are fairly slim. Although the Blues completed the signing of Axel Disasi from AS Monaco recently, they also lost Wesley Fofana to another ACL injury, which is likely to keep the Frenchman out for six months, making a deal for Chalobah more difficult to negotiate.

Takehiro Tomiyasu

Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu leaving the pitch. [arsenal.com]

Takehiro Tomiyasu’s time at Arsenal hasn’t gone as planned with large periods out of the team. However, with considerable Serie A experience with former club Bologna, a move back to Italy may be on the cards.

Tomiyasu, originally brought to the club to play as a right-sided defender in Mikel Arteta’s back three, saw much competition with Ben White last season. The role also developed further, with Tomiyasu often then shifting further wide to allow a wing-back to push higher. This is something which, if he moved to Inter, would benefit Denzel Dumfries greatly.

The Gunners would only consider a sale of the Japanese defender, as opposed to a loan move. This is off-putting for the Nerazzurri, especially given the North London club’s reluctance to offer a discounted price.

Rafael Toloi or Merih Demiral

Atalanta’s Merih Demiral beats Empoli’s Mattia Destro to a header. (@Atalanta_BC)

From Atalanta, Inter have a preference for Rafael Toloi, the 32-year-old who started 32 games last season for Gian Piero Gasperini’s side. As such, La Dea are unwilling to depart with the Italian, though would be willing to discuss a deal for one of their other defenders. Step forward, Merih Demiral.

The Demiral situation with Atalanta seems as though it should reach its conclusion soon, with the Turkish defender being offered to several clubs throughout the window thus far, if not even in the months before.

Having not been included in any of Atalanta’s pre-season fixtures, the club have sent their message loud and clear. At 25, the defender still has room for growth and with his profile also suiting the right-hand side of defence, it makes him a valid option for Inter to consider.

Luiz Felipe

Luiz Felipe in action with Real Betis. [Getty]

The Italian defender only left Serie A last season, but it seems as though a route back to Italy may be on the horizon by reuniting with Inzaghi, who he worked with at Lazio.

Luiz Felipe played 30 times for Real Betis last season, mainly as a right-sided centre-back in a back four. However, under Inzaghi at Lazio, he was most prominent on the right of a three.

At 26 years old, Felipe has still got plenty left in the tank should he head back to Italy.

Benjamin Pavard

The first choice for the club is Benjamin Pavard, however, for Inter it seems like a deal for the Frenchman is unattainable. Links between the parties have been around since the 2023 January window, though nothing came to fruition.

The 27-year-old has been excellent for Bayern Munich for some time now, featuring in several different roles, all on the right side of defence, making him a valuable member of both the Bavarian side’s squad and also France.

Bayern will request €30-40 million for the versatile defender in order to assist their move for Harry Kane, and it is unlikely that Inter will be able to reach that valuation. It is possible that the club will lower their asking price in order to boost chances of a sale, given Pavard wants a move to Italy, with both the Nerazzurri and AC Milan interested.

Tiago Djalo

Formerly of AC Milan’s Primavera side, Djalo moved to France in 2019 and has only been on the rise since. Having been part of Lille’s Ligue 1 winning side in the 2020/2021 season, his involvement within the side has only grown.

At only 23 years old, and with 102 senior games played, he already has a vast amount of experience including playing in the Champions League ten times.

The silver lining, though, is that the Portuguese youngster is currently recovering from a serious knee injury which sidelined him for six months, meaning that the club may only sanction a deal for him in the 2024 January window. If not then, then the summer transfer window following that is when Inter will pounce, given his contract expires at the end of the 2023/2024 season.

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