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Inter Milan: specialists in selling the very best in the world

Coutinho is the latest in a long line of departures from Inter Milan, who they sold to Liverpool for just €13 million five years ago.

Inter Milan: specialists in selling the very best in the world

Philippe Coutinho's move to Barcelona is another example of hos Inter Milan either have no ability to appraise talent or have no ability to keep their best players. Just five years ago, the let Coutinho go to Liverpool for a mesasly €13 million. The fee Barcelona paid for the Brazilian is 10 times that figure and it's not the first time it has happened to the Italian club.

Coutinho belonged to Inter for four and a half years but spent two of those initial seasons with Vasco de Gama in Brazil. He played 47 times for Inter and spent the second half of the 2011-12 season with Espanyol, playing in 16 games and scoring five goals - the same number he scored with Inter.

Coutinho celebra un gol con el Inter de Milán.
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Coutinho celebra un gol con el Inter de Milán. GIUSEPPE CACACEAFP

Other examples of Inter selling cheap before realising what they had done include the transfers or Roberto Carlos, Andrea Pirlo, Denis Bergkamp and Ronaldo, who excelled long after leaving the San Siro.

The Italian, Pirlo, was a similar case to that of Coutinho. After three seasons and two loan deals, Inter sold him to AC Milan for €18 million - he was the 18th most expensive player that summer. He would remain at La Rossoneri for a decade, winning two Champions Leagues during his spell with Inter's crosstown rivals.

Pirlo en un partido ante el Vitesse
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Pirlo en un partido ante el VitesseEPA

Roberto Carlos and Bergkamp both left in the mid-90s with the Brazilian leaving for the Santiago Bernabéu for just €3 million in 1996 while the Dutch attacker left for Arsenal for €11 million in 1995. They both proved to be excellent signings for their respective clubs and bargains for the players they would become.

Ronaldo, another sale, proved to be the wrong the decision. At Inter, he was plagued by injury and suffered his worst spell as a footballer. Real Madrid went in with a €45 million offer after Inter had bought him from Barcelona for €28 million four years earlier. Following a soap opera that lasted the whole month of August, a deal was struck and the player was signed. The previous two summers, los Blancos had spent €60 million and €72 million for Figo and Zidane and Ronaldo was not even the most expensive signing that summer with Manchester United spending one million more on Rio Ferdinand. Another bargain and mistake by the Italian side.

Ronaldo, en uno de sus últimos partidos con el Inter.
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Ronaldo, en uno de sus últimos partidos con el Inter.DYLAN MARTINEZREUTERS

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