Felipe Melo has been linked with Inter Milan, as manager Roberto Mancini is said to be keen on the Galatasaray midfielder after missing on Giannelli Imbula, who moved to Porto from Marseille. However, the potential arrival raises key questions for Mancini to answer.
Melo has experience in Serie A, having played for Fiorentina and Juventus, and also knows life under Mancini, having played under the Italian during his time at Galatasaray in 2013-14. Melo and Mancini won the Turkish Cup under Mancini and the Brazilian seemed set for a medical with Inter, but the final details on the potential move remain incomplete.
Signing Melo would be a decent piece of business for Inter Milan, as they look to reinforce the side that finished eighth in Serie A last season. While Antonio Conte removed Melo from the line-up as soon as he arrived at Juventus in 2011, Luigi Delneri had previously revitalised the midfielder and built him into one of the best in his position in Serie A.
Admittedly, the player has suffered from indiscipline throughout his career and was blamed for Brazil's World Cup exit in 2010. A former recipient of Italy's Bidone d'Oro -- given to the league's worst player -- further underlines how his fortunes often fluctuate.
Mancini knows him well, though, and must believe he can get the best out of him. Arriving as cover for Gary Medel, Melo would add depth to the squad so interest in him is understandable.
To sweeten a possible move, full-back Yuto Nagatomo could go the other way in a swap deal. The Japanese defender has struggled to fit in at Inter and is not up to the standard required. Mancini may look to move him on if and when Melo comes.
Hamza Hamzaoglu, the Galatasaray coach, says Inter have offered his club players to act as makeweights in the potential Melo deal and he says he wants Medel.
Medel and Galatasaray have been linked before, but his agent Fernando Felicevich is adamant the Chilean is not heading to Turkey. While Felicevich says the Turkish club has a "zero percent chance," of signing Medel, situations in football can change quickly. Mancini, however, would be wise to block Medel's departure.
Medel is five years younger than Melo, so swapping the two players makes little sense from an Inter perspective. Why remove a younger, more accomplished player for an inferior equivalent who is older?
There is a place for Melo at Inter, though, as long as it's as back-up to Medel. Mancini knows how to get the best out of the Brazilian and would back himself to get his former player back to his best.
Turkish media suggested Inter had offered €5m plus Medel for the services of Melo, but said this was rejected by Galatasaray. The Chileans arrival was later refuted by Hamzaoglu, who seemed to have a change of heart after saying 'PitBull' was far too aggressive for his team.
The deal still rumbles on with the 'Gala' coach also now insisting that Melo is no longer of any use to his side. He told Turkish outlet 'Akam' that if the Brazilian did not want to be there then he should certainly leave.
The plot thickened further on Monday with Ntvspor claiming that Inter will not pay any cash at all and instead have offered players again for the switch. These include Saphir Taider, Juan Jesus, Dodo and the preferred option, the aforementioned Nagatomo.
While Taider is clearly not in Mancini's plans, he is younger than the Brazilian and plays in a similar role. On loan at Sassuolo last season he performed adequately at best last year. It would come down to whether the Turkish club would feel that even with his age, he would offer enough added value to warrant a move.
Juan Jesus would be an unlikely option for the Nerazzurri to offer as with his tender years also. He has the potential and adaptability to play both at centre-back and at left-back it would not equate to equal value. The Nerazzurri would no doubt need a deal that saw cash also for this to take place as they have invested a lot of time and money in the young centre-back.
Dodo is perhaps, like Nagatomo, surplus to requirements and due to the fact that there is ample cover in these positions it maybe a more realistic target for Galatasaray to look at. This does not mean that a deal has to be struck by a swap, but it certainly seems that it is getting closer.
Mancini seems intent on getting his man, but the move does pose more questions than answers. Firstly it is yet to be seen which version of Melo will arrive at San Siro and whether the Inter coach will be able to get the best out of him.
Melo is clearly a player for now, and while deals may be done to limit the danger of him failing, there are some high-profile names linked with a swap deal that are nonsensical. Mancini will have to make this a low-risk swap or risk making the deal look like a disaster.