Calhanoglu situation offers Oaktree an opportunity to prove the project’s solidity


Calciomercato outline how Inter’s new ownership has the chance to demonstrate their commitment to the club’s sporting project by deciding the future of Hakan Calhanoglu. Bayern Munich have shown interest in the midfielder, who has pledged his loyalty to Inter, provided his contract is extended by another year. This situation presents a critical test for Oaktree: can they prioritize the sporting project above all else?

The appointment of Giuseppe Marotta as president and the contract renewals of Lautaro Martinez and Nicolo Barella have given fans hope that Inter’s management can operate differently from their city rivals, AC Milan. However, the handling of Calhanoglu’s situation will reveal much about the new ownership’s approach. Like his teammates, Calhanoglu has a price tag, and while selling players is inevitable when big clubs come calling, the manner in which it is done is crucial.

Currently, there is no inclination at Inter’s headquarters to offer Calhanoglu a new contract extension. This stance is understandable, as is the management’s wait-and-see approach for an official offer from Bayern. The key question now is: what offer would make Inter reconsider? The answer will indicate whether Oaktree thinks like a typical investment fund, akin to RedBird, or as a committed owner, as they have presented themselves.

Rumors from Germany suggest that Bayern Munich is preparing an offer between €30 million and €40 million for Calhanoglu. While this is a substantial amount considering the player’s age, it falls short in other critical aspects:

– Inter has not put Calhanoglu up for sale, and if Bayern wants him, they should push for a higher price.
– Calhanoglu is one of the team’s three irreplaceable players, and selling him would send a negative signal.
– Selling him for €30-40 million would likely leave the management with insufficient funds to find an adequate replacement.

A more assertive approach would be to demand €60 million for Calhanoglu. Such a sale would likely be accepted by the fans and provide Marotta and sporting director Piero Ausilio with the financial security to make significant moves in the transfer market. Selling Calhanoglu for a lower amount would suggest a willingness to offload a 30-year-old player at the first opportunity, regardless of who might replace him. This would indicate a focus on immediate financial returns over the long-term sporting project, revealing the true nature of Oaktree’s ownership.


Serie A obsessive.