Wilfried Gnonto is probably the most sought-after Italy starlet at the moment and the story of how Inter
let him leave two years ago has now emerged.
The 18-year-old is currently under contract with Zurich and made his senior Azzurri debut against Germany on Saturday, delivering an assist for Lorenzo Pellegrini minutes after being subbed on in the second half.
Gnonto is a product of Inter academy, but he left the Nerazzurri in 2020
, joining the Swiss club where he is under contract until June 2023. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the versatile striker rejected the Nerazzurri’s contract offer in 2019. It would have been the first professional contract in his career.
Inter had offered him a three-year deal, a proposal which the club thought to be suitable for the player’s development. Gnonto had been training with the first team under Antonio Conte, but the coach and the club promoted another youngster, Sebastiano Esposito, as a permanent member of the senior team.
According to the report, Gnonto expected a different treatment from the club
, especially after scoring three goals during the U17 World Cup in October. However, the Nerazzurri didn’t raise their offer, so the striker decided to leave the following year.
Federal rules are also to be blamed for Gnonto’s move to Zurich. The current regulations do not allow Serie A clubs to offer ‘preformation contracts’ at the age of 15 to avoid seeing youngsters move abroad, as it already happened with Gianluca Scamacca, who joined PSV from Roma in 2016, or Federico Macheda, who swapped Lazio with Man United in 2007.