I fail to see the reasoning there.
Not selling players wasn't the issue.
The issue was that there was a financial crisis in Europe which hit Italy the hardest of all the countries, there was political turbulence and unfortunately for us, the Agnelli family came on top and pretty much dictated the football units and won everything, while Moratti was trying to cover his losses with his oil company.
Selling a player at the time wouldn't have helped. Have you seen our signings at the time?
Even after being fucked hard by the federation with a last minute rule change which blocked us from signing Hernanes (chronologically after Coutinho, a 2007 signing, arrived in 2010), we raised our payroll - which I guess it's fair, but that's on Moratti as he couldn't sustain it eventually - and we did not manage to reinforce the team.
We didn't pay our players that much, so crying that Moratti handed out contracts is revisionist nonsense.
For example, Zanetti was making 3m net, as was Cambiasso, Samuel, Stankovic, Thiago Motta and Cordoba. Top earners in football made 10-12m but the top ten didn't have more of 5 of those. The top 20 salaries were starting at 6m, which was slightly higher than where Sneijder was. Only Eto'o was in the top 5 and the next Inter players were featured in the 20-30 bracket. Zanetti and co were at the 80-100 bracket and only Maicon and Julio Cesar were part of the top 50. That's with the salary hikes of the CL win...
We made bad choices but after the 2011 season our transfers were just bad.
Milito was completely off in the following season, had some injuries as well. We got Pazzini who was decent for a while but never a player to replace Milito. Thankfully, Milito returned the following season and was even better than the Triplete season.
After the CL we paid a lot of money to retain McDonald Mariga and Jonathan Biabiany.
In January 2011 we got Yuto Nagatomo. An average player who spent a long time here. As much as you can like the guy, he wasn't Inter material.
Pazzini was a good signing at the time.
But we sold Thiago Motta. Replacement? Houssein Kharja.
After having to sell Eto'o due to his very high salary and then we tried to do the same with Sneijder, what did we do?
Get an old Forlan, not a great option at the time, at a very high salary but low cost. To replace Eto'o who had a phenomenal season.
We got Ricky Alvarez hoping he'd become our Kaka. It turned out like that, linguistically...
We also got Jonathan to replace another high salary in Maicon. Another poor choice.
And we resorted to tactics of signing players on loan + option with Andrea Poli, Mauro Zarate, then Angelo Palombo etc. We were rapidly declining in level.
Selling Milito for 20m and Maicon for 35m in 2010 wouldn't have given us a lot. Maybe we could have landed Aguero (35-40m asking price) or Alexis Sanchez (30m asking price) only to sell them a couple of years later, but realistically we were in a downtrend and there was not much to stop it other than structural reform in Italian football. Somethng that didn't suit its rulers as it enabled them to go on an unprecedented winning streak.
If you consider that selling Eto'o freed up around 15m in amortization costs, 20m in salary and we got 27m cash for him and all we could do is lock Forlan for a 5m fee and 10m extra cost, you can imagine that selling Milito or Maicon wouldn't have had an optimal effect. We even got 20m from Mourinho's contract. That also wasn't properly reinvested.
And not even necessary to skip the entire 2010-11 season. We can talk about the winter window. We sold Thiago Motta and couldn't replace him with the funds. We did the right thing by not dismantling the squad. But we could have operated more prudently, but it was a hard knock on Moratti to see that he suddenly became very weak financially and he couldn't anticipate that this would become semi-permanent.