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Erik Lamela to Inter Milan link persists

Previous indications have been that Tottenham Hotspur will not loan out Erik Lamela, but a fairly reputable Italian outlet continues to buy a move as a possibility.

Ian Walton

Erik Lamela appeared to -- at least briefly -- get some new life under new boss Tim Sherwood. It seems highly unlikely that his opportunities to prove himself have suddenly evaporated, but Italian media continue to link him to a loan back to Serie A. The latest rumor has him making his way to Inter Milan.

According to Gazzetta Dello Sport, Inter will need a replacement playmaker if they sell Fredy Guarin this winter. They're unlikely to find a perfect permanent solution right away, so they'd like to add Lamela, presumably on loan.

E fra questi nomi c'è ovviamente Erick Lamela, visto che per un motivo o per l'altro Lavezzi, Menez e Pastore saranno difficilissimi. Sull'argentino ex Roma, il Tottenham (che aveva rifiutato lo scambio con Guarin proposto dall'Inter) fa capire che sarà durissima mettere le mani, ma a Mazzarri piace davvero tanto.

Roughly translated, that says Lamela is being considered by Inter because the PSG trio of Ezequiel Lavezzi, Javier Pastore and Jeremy Menez won't be easy to acquire. Tottenham refused an offer of a part-exchange with Guarin for Lamela (whether that's on loan or a permanent deal isn't clear) and made it clear that Lamela was not for sale, but Walter Mazzarri likes him and is still interested.

If it seems odd to you that Lamela, Guarin, Menez, Pastore and Lavezzi are all being compared to each other despite not being similar players, it's because they all function best in similar spots in Mazzarri's preferred 3-4-2-1 system. While some are central players and some wingers in more conventional systems, they all operate best between the center forward and midfielders in his setup.

As mentioned above, this article by Gazzetta doesn't clarify whether Inter think they can find a way to secure Lamela permanently or they want him on loan. It's highly unlikely that any combination of money and players that Inter could throw Spurs' way would make a permanent deal worthwhile. Thought it's not clear, it seems likely that the proposed Guarin deal would have featured cash and a Lamela loan in exchange for Guarin. Based on the exit of Andre Villas-Boas, I'm guessing that Guarin is no longer a Spurs target.

Thoughts on a potential Lamela loan? Do you think we just need to give him a run in the first team and let him fight through any issues with form and adapting to the Premier League? Or is a loan an acceptable idea for you?