Tottenham Hotspur and Inter Milan want a defender from Napoli (c) Napoli Facebook

Inter Milan keen on signing Napoli defender in the summer

Current Serie A leaders, Inter Milan are looking to replace Andrea Ranocchia who is set to leave the club in the upcoming summer.

Things have certainly gone according to Antonio Conte’s plan this season as Inter Milan are currently sitting on top of Serie A, with a six point lead over their closest rivals, AC Milan with an extra game in hand. The Nerazzurri’s success this season can be attributed to their resolute defence which has stood tall against some of the best oppositions.

Andrea Ranocchia who has spent the majority of the season on the bench for Inter Milan and will leave the club in the summer once his contract expires. The 33-year old Italian has started just four league games under Conte, and has failed to break into the starting lineup this season. Although not a part of Conte’s plan A at Inter, it will be vital for the club to find his replacement in the summer.

Nikola Maksimovic has emerged as a likely candidate to replace Ranocchia at the club, as reported by Gianluca Di Marzio. The Napoli defender finds himself in a similar situation as his Italian counterpart, with his contract running out this summer. Moreover, opportunities in starting lineup have been hard to come by for him this season.

The Croatian has started 16 league games for the Partenopei this season. Kostas Manolas is the club’s first choice centre-back alongside the formidable Senegal international, Kalidou Koulibaly.

Manolas suffered an ankle injury in February which has impacted his match fitness and he has been a bench warmer for Napoli in their past few outings. Inter Milan can snap upon the 29-year-old on a free transfer, which perfectly fits their plans despite ongoing financial struggles in light of the coronavirus.

Antonio Conte prefers playing a back three, a strategy that he has seen reap huge dividends during his first season in-charge of Chelsea, where he played a three-man backline. In such a formation, it is absolutely vital that a club has several centre-back options in case of injuries.

Alessandro Bastoni, Milan Skriniar, Stefan de Vrij have done well for the club so far this season and are expected to be a part of Inter’s plan for the next season.

Inter Milan must also ensure that Bastoni remains at the club as the 21-year old has attracted a lot of attention from top European clubs, including Barcelona. The Italian’s contract at the club expires in the summer of 2023 and it is expected that the club will not get rid off him on any condition.