Milan - Inter Milan are slumped in their worst season for 20 years, with uncertainty over their plans for next term and reports about the possible return of former president Massimo Moratti adding to the confusion.
Inter visit Verona on Saturday (1845) without a win in their last seven games in all competitions, languishing in joint ninth in Serie A and 10 points adrift of the Europa League places.
Their total of 38 points from 29 games is their lowest since three-points-for-a-win was introduced in the 1994/95 season and even worse than the notorious 1998/99 season when Inter employed four different coaches.
Roberto Mancini, who led Inter to three successive Serie A titles in a previous spell in charge between 2004 and 2008, was re-hired in November in an attempt to stop the rot, yet has fared almost no better than predecessor Walter Mazzarri.
The signings of Lukas Podolski from Arsenal and Xherdan Shaqiri from Bayern Munich have failed to provide the desired spark, leaving Inter to look forward anxiously to the next transfer window.
Also read: UEFA charges Inter, Celtic, Dynamo
Mancini has already said he wants to sign Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure from Manchester City, although any plans for a spending spree could be scuppered by UEFA's break-even rules, known as financial fair play policy.
Inter's spending over the last seasons was put under the microscope when they qualified for this season's Europa League and they were among seven clubs referred for further investigations by UEFA.
There is already speculation that Inter could struggle to hold on to 20-year-old midfielder Mateo Kovacic and 22-year-old forward Mauro Icardi, their top scorer this season with 15 goals.
Inter were taken over by a consortium led by Indonesian business tycoon Erick Thohir in November 2013 and on Wednesday, Italian media widely reported that Moratti, who was club president for 18 years, wanted to buy the club back.
Moratti issued a quick denial, but the Gazzetta dello Sport on Thursday insisted he was still interested in regaining control, and published further details of the plan.
"I was surprised by what I read," Mancini told reporters at an event on Wednesday. "I have very close ties with Moratti, certainly as he was a great president and is still involved with the club, but I have faith in Thohir's work.
"He has a good project, he's only recently arrived and he needs a little time."
In other matches at the weekend, runaway leaders Juventus (70) visit bottom-of-the-table Parma on Saturday (1600) while second-placed AS Roma (56) visit Torino, who are seventh, on Sunday (1300).
Lazio, one point behind Roma in third place which would earn a spot in the Champions League qualifying round next season, will attempt their eighth successive league win when they host Empoli (Sunday 1300).
For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.