Italian international Antonio Candreva who had an excellent campaign with the Italian national team on EURO 2016 is reportedly closing on the Inter transfer.
Candreva played a pivotal role in Italy this summer. They played better than most people expected, but they finished the competition in quarterfinals, after they were eliminated against Germany after a penalty shootout.
Excellent performances from the experienced midfielder weren’t unnoticed and he was immediately linked to bigger clubs. Inter was the favorite for his signature, but Lazio refused their first offer, which was around 20 million euro. However, Inter coach put pressure on the board and reportedly told them they had to bring in reinforcements, so Inter board gave the green light to sending a more lucrative offer, around 25 million euro, which Lazio allegedly accepted. Although board members felt that 25 million euro is a lot of money for a 29-year-old, they didn’t want to miss on the Italian national team player. Candreva should reportedly earn around 2.7 million euro yearly, plus bonuses.
Antonio Candreva went through a long road from one of the most talented Italian players, to a “lost talent” and after that a “late bloomer” in Lazio. As a teenager, he attracted interest of numerous Serie A clubs after excellent performances as a Ternana player in Serie B. Udinese signed him and despite the fact that he had some notable appearances in their primavera squad, he was struggling to become a first team regular.
However, in 2010 Juventus loaned him with an option to buy him, but they didn’t exercise that option, as Candreva again didn’t make a notable impression. It was similar in Parma and Cesena, and Candreva was 25 when he signed for Lazio as a backup player, with nobody believing he will fulfill his potential.
However, with his work rate, excellent goals and solid passing skills he established himself as a first team regular in Lazio and even broke into national squad. Candreva’s nickname is Il Timido, or the Shy One, which describes his style of play – he is a safe passer, has immense fighting spirit, but when it comes to taking responsibilities he can do that also and he became one of the fan favorites with numerous attractive goals.
He should fit in Inter nicely, especially if they don’t sell Icardi, Mancini will have at his disposal several excellent players, especially in the middle and in attack, but he will probably have to strengthen his defense more this summer in order to clinch a top three spot in the forthcoming season.
Candreva played 30 matches in Serie A for Lazio last season and scored 10 goals and added 3 assists.