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Suning Could Lose Inter Milan To Oaktree As The Club Consider Alternatives To Their Number One Target

Written By Onyeka Daniel

It’s less than a week to the expiration of the loan that Inter Milan owners, Suning took from US-based funds, Oaktree Capital three years ago to help them run the affairs of the club in the wake of the corona virus pandemic and as collateral, Inter Milan was put up by the Chinese.

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It is now looking likely that they could lose control of the club by failing to pay back the loan at the agreed date as Oaktree is reportedly hindering the attempts of Suning and Pimco to refinance the loan before its expiry.

The total amount of the loan is €275 million and it must repaid, along with the interest rate before the deadline which is set on May 20th. Otherwise, they risk losing control over the club. So with only four days remaining until the expiry date, Inter president Steven Zhang is desperate for a solution. In recent weeks, he found himself a new ally in Pimco.


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The US-based investment company is reportedly willing to refinance the debt.In other words, Pimco would settle the loan with Oaktree with an investment that exceeds €400 million and thus replace it as Suning’s creditors. However, some reports emerged last evening suggesting that this plan risks collapsing.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Oaktree is the one placing obstacles in the way. As the source explains, the investment company is trying to hamper the operation. They are doing so in the hopes of extending the loan’s deadline while gaining more favorable terms.

The report claims Oaktree would like to extend the due date for just one year while raising the interest rate above 12%. On the other hand, Pimco have offered Suning better terms (a three-year agreement and a 12% interest rate).

The source also expects Suning to announce the final agreement with Pimco tomorrow. However, the latter won’t be able to transfer the funds until Tuesday, as Monday is a national holiday in Luxembourg. So it remains to be seen if this delay could constitute a problem since the loan expires on Monday.

The report believes that Oaktree could use it as a ploy to thwart the operation and negotiate better terms as earlier stated. But even if they did manage to default on the repayment of the loan, there is a report that Suning will be compensated by Oaktree for their remaining shares in the club, even if it will not be as much as they would have gotten if they sold the club themselves.

Meanwhile…

The Nerazzurri have made the signing of a goalkeeper in the summer a top priority, which is why they’re ready to move quickly for Brazilian goalkeeper, Bento. But they’re also reportedly considering their options and have set their sights on Josep Martinez and Michele Di Gregorio as backup. They would turn to one of them in case they fail to land Bento, according to a report from Tuttosport.

The 24-year-old rose to prominence at Athletico Paranaense, cementing himself as one of the finest goalkeepers in Brazil. He also earned his international debut against England in March and managed to impress at Wembley. As the source explains, this didn’t help Inter’s cause, as it drove his price up to €20 million. It also attracted the attention of other suitors.

Therefore, the Nerazzurri are now exploring other options for the role, beginning with Josep Martinez. The Spaniard is enjoying a fine debut season in Serie A with Genoa. The 25-year-old’s contract with the Grifone is valid only until 2025, so he could be available at an affordable price.

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But while the report identifies Martinez as Plan B, it also mentions Di Gregorio as another option. The Italian is a youth product of Inter who has been growing from strength to strength since joining Monza in 2020.The 26-year-old has now cemented himself as one of the best custodians in Serie B. Juventus are reportedly in the lead for his signature, but his past with Inter could sway the balance in their favor.

Finally, the source doesn’t rule out Emil Audero’s stay for another year. The Italian joined the club last summer and has been serving as an understudy for Yann Sommer. The 27-year-old is on loan from Sampdoria while Inter have the option to buy him for €7m. Therefore, Audero’s stay remains on the cards, albeit it isn’t the club’s preferred option.

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