Esteban Cambiasso is set to leave Inter Milan after a decade of service as Chelsea and Manchester United lie ready to capitalise on the financial disagreements which have led to stalemate with the club’s hierarchy over the midfielder’s contract extension.
The Argentine's contract expires this summer and the San Siro club look unlikely to offer him a new deal after it emerged that he wouldn’t entertain a pay drop from his £3.7m-a-year deal.
New Inter owner Erick Thohir is rumoured to have been shocked by the club’s escalating wage bill and pledged not to pay any player over £2m per season, according to The Mirror.
After slumping into the Europa League last year, rather than the more familiar surroundings of the Champions League, Inter are becoming increasingly wary of the Uefa Financial Fair Play regulations and could off-load several other ageing stars including Diego Milito and Christian Chivu.
Unless Cambiasso has a change of heart, the 33-year-old will find himself looking for a new club for the first time in ten years after winning the Serie A title on five occasions, the Coppa Italia four times and the Champions League in 2010.
Jose Mourinho, the Chelsea manager, has regularly expressed his desire to sign an anchoring central midfielder since his return to Stamford Bridge and, with his Blues just two points adrift of leaders Arsenal, would seem a likely suitor should the stalemate continue.
Working with Cambiasso during the Nerazzurri’s historic treble-winning season of four years ago, the pair are said to have a strong relationship and ‘Cuchu’, meaning Old Man in Spanish, could perhaps be persuaded to help his former manager to his third Premier League triumph.
David Moyes is another manager on the look-out for midfield cover, having failed with summer bids for Thiago Alcântara and Cesc Fabregas, but the 33-year-old’s age could prove off-putting.