Italian journalist Mina Rzouki has claimed that Inter Milan will not let Alessandro Bastoni join Spurs this summer as the Serie A club fear a backlash from the fans.
Bastoni’s agent Tullio Tinti said following his meeting with the Inter hierarchy last week that his client would be staying put at the San Siro (Football Italia).
However, according to The Athletic’s Jack Pitt-Brooke, Tinti’s statement might not necessarily mean Spurs’ pursuit of Bastoni is done and dusted.
The journalist claimed that the Nerazzurri could change their stance as the €60m (£51m) they stand to gain from the 23-year-old’s sale could prove to be too much to ignore, given their financial situation.
SportItalia journalist Tancredi Palmeri even claimed a couple of days ago that Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio was in London and was expected to meet with Tottenham to discuss a potential deal for Bastoni.
Meanwhile, Corriere dello Sport reported a couple of weeks ago that Inter fans were protesting against the club’s owners, demanding that the centre-back is not sold against his wishes, much like Romelu Lukaku was last season.
Rzouki has now predicted that the fear of fan backlash will cause the Inter hierarchy to do whatever they can to hang on to Bastoni.
She told Sky Sports: “At the very start, we felt this was a sacrifice that Inter would need to make on a financial level, considering where they are.
“They have been hit hard and have been sort of held hostage by their financial situation, despite the fact that they want to start this legacy of winning trophies.
“They missed out narrowly to AC Milan to the Scudetto, but Bastoni is a firm fan favourite. He is Italian. The future of the Italian backline, so it looks like he won’t be the man that will be sacrificed.
“I think they will do what they can to sell what they need to sell, in order to keep someone as important as Bastoni.
“The fans have come out and rallied and said ‘if you sell him, then we will stop coming to support you’. So there is a lot of backlash just simply over the idea of letting Bastoni go. He really loves Inter. I don’t think he will leave.”
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I think it is possible that Tinti’s statement on Bastoni’s future was made to appease the Inter fans. Perhaps the Nerazzurri hierarchy believe that selling the 23-year-old will be slightly more palatable to the Inter fan base if it is done later in the window after bringing a few players in through the door.
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