Whom should Inter Milan bring in during the January transfer window, and whom should they ship out?
Despite finishing 2013 in fifth place, Inter manager Walter Mazzarri will be looking to strengthen the team by bringing in at least three new players. These are the areas that Inter need to strengthen if they are to push on and grab a Champions League place.
Defence: Inter have conceded more goals than anyone in the top five of Serie A, and a leaky defence has cost Inter at least five points this season. The challenge when it comes to finding defenders, especially in January, is that Inter play with a three-man back line, so any new signings will need to already be comfortable playing in that system. Which is why we can expect Inter to target someone like Napoli's Paolo Cannavaro in January to help out defensively.
Wing-backs: In Mazzarri's system, the wing-backs are critical as they need to be good going forward, but also strong defensively. The right-sided wing-back has been a troublesome spot for Inter this season. But with a limited budget and Jonathan's improved form, it would not be a surprise to see Inter wait until the summer to address this need.
Midfield: With Fredy Guarin expected to be sold to Chelsea in January, Inter need a replacement for the creative midfielder. One name being strongly linked with a loan move to Inter is Tottenham midfielder Erik Lamela. Lamela has struggled to settle at Spurs after a big summer move, and with the World Cup fast arriving, Lamela knows he needs to play on a regular basis if he is to make Argentina's World Cup squad. His strength and power would make him a great addition to the Inter line-up.
Attack: Rodrigo Palacio has run himself into the ground in the first half of the season and Inter need an experienced striker. PSG's Argentinian striker Ezequiel Lavezzi, who played for Mazzarri at Napoli, is available on a six-month loan. If that doesn't come off, then I expect Inter to target Cagliari striker Mauricio Pinilla instead.
To pay for these new additions, Inter president Erick Thohir has made it clear that the club need to sell before they can buy. The two players most often linked with a permanent move away from the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza are Guarin and defender Andrea Ranocchia. Both have been linked with move to the Premier League with Manchester United and Chelsea their most likely destinations.
In addition, striker Ishak Belfodil has expressed his desire to go out on loan so that he can get some much-needed playing time.