Soccer

Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar moving to PSG this January would be a win for both teams and the defender

Inter Milans Milan Skriniar moving to PSG this January would



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Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar will not extend his contract with the Italian giants and will leave on a free transfer this summer unless a deal gets done this month. The 27-year-old has been with Inter since 2017 and was close to joining Paris Saint-Germain last summer with the French champions even having an agreement with the player.

Skriniar’s agent has now confirmed that their client has no intention of extending their stay with the Nerazzurri and will discuss terms with interested clubs including PSG: “Yes (there are ongoing negotiations), as well as with other non-Italian clubs,” Roberto Sistici told Telenord. “At the moment there’s no such possibility (to renew with Inter). The truth is that the decision to put Milan up for sale was made by Inter last summer. Obviously not by the player.

“We responded to all the meeting requests that the club made. After a series of preliminary meetings we presented our financial request and then the club presented us with an offer in November of 2022. About a month later, before Christmas, I communicated to Inter the decision not to accept their offer.

“That decision that was reaffirmed at the beginning of January, before the Supercoppa final. At this point I also informed Nerazzurri directors who we told that we were free to listen to offers from other clubs. We have already communicated to Inter that Milan is not extending his contract as things stand. We told them that we feel free to speak to other clubs.”

This situation creates an interesting dynamic given that Inter will lose Skriniar for nothing if he stays until summer, the defender wants to leave, and PSG remain keen on the player because of their own defensive needs. Presnel Kimpembe remains injured, captain Marquinhos‘ form has suffered of late, and veteran Sergio Ramos has looked unconvincing.Β 

Skriniar, who plays primarily on the right side of a back three for Inter, as his defensive action map below shows, would either allow PSG to return to a back three they played early in the season, or adjust to being part of a center back pairing in Paris.

Skriniar has largely played on the right of Inter’s back three system
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PSG head coach Christophe Galtier admitted on Monday that Skriniar is of interest and that Les Parisiens had expected him to join last summer: “I cannot tell you if he will join in January or in the summer,” said the PSG boss after the 7-0 Coupe de France win over Pays de Cassel. “He is a player that we have followed for a long time. We thought that he was close to joining us last summer.”

Now that Skriniar has clarity on his future, it seems like an obvious fit for all parties as the situation can still give everybody a solution in the final week of the transfer window. For Inter, it is their last chance to cash in on a player who will not stay beyond summer. For PSG, it is the chance to acquire a high quality defender for less than they were quoted last year.

Skriniar himself was happy to make the move last summer but the two clubs could not find a deal. If he joins now, he is almost certain to play a starting role for the remainder of this season and may well permanently dislodge Kimpembe who could have moved on last year too. Ramos’ contract extending could free up the sort of wages Skriniar will command as well as the money created by Pablo Sarabia’s exit.

Although an attacking reinforcement would be useful, there is no denying that PSG’s most pressing concern is their defense. Chances to add truly quality elements to the squad in January are rare and Skriniar could make a big difference — especially in the UEFA Champions League where he would not be cup tied despite Inter still being involved.

Should this move happen, it would arguably be the best solution for both PSG and Inter as one needs the player and the other needs the money. Of course, it will be difficult for the Italian giants to replace Skriniar with a player of similar quality immediately, but their financial situation dictates that they cannot afford to not do a deal now. The French champions could change the course of their season which has started to wobble since the return of club action post-FIFA 2022 World Cup.

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