Sampaoli: "Icardi is tempted by Real Madrid"

REAL MADRID

Sampaoli: "Icardi is tempted by Real Madrid"

Sampaoli: "Icardi is tempted by Real Madrid"

The Argentina manager declared that Real Madrid were observing Mauro Icardi very closely and that the Inter Milan striker is feeling tempted by the LaLiga outfit.

Mauro Icardi, Inter Milan and Argentina striker, is close to Real Madrid. Jorge Sampaoli revealed as much after a tour of Europe recently which he spent visiting players from the national team. "It's a nice problem to have to have the riches of strikers in the team and when all of them are going through good moments. I spoke with Icardi and I told him what I told everyone: that if you keep focused, if he is going well, he will be called up. Icardi is being watched and almost tempted by Real Madrid," he said in the airport in Buenos Aires.

Real Madrid do not plan on signing anyone in the winter market but Icardi's name is on the agenda. They do plan on changing tact in the summer, however, and will sign several players to reinforce many lines on the field. Due to the collapse of Karim Benzema, striker is one position that needs help and Icardi, who has 18 goals in 24 games for the Serie A side, is behind just Immobile who has 20.

Icardi and Wanda Nara's enigmatic social media posts

Icardi and his entourage are delighted with the situation. The player has assured Inter that he loves the club and wants to stay but both he and his wide and agent, Wanda Nara, have dropped hints at a potential departure. On Monday, Icardi took to Instagram with a cryptic post that said "To be able to say goodbye is to grow" which was accompanied by a "Chau Chau" along with some waving hand emojis, the final and neccesary touches on a modern day hint at departure. Inter Milan sporting director, Piero Ausilio, said "It's not a message he sent to me, things that I don't have to respond to are things that don't worry me."

For her part, Wanda Nara has done little to quell talk of a move. In November, she said, "Have Real Madrid called me? I'd prefer not to say who has called me..." In December, she was enigmatic once again when she posted on Instagram with a caption that said "Madrid...a business trip" before actually travelling to Argentina.

Icardi's future is closely tied to whether Inter make the Champions League of not. They are currently third in Serie A and have not won in seven games. His release clause is €110 million and could opt to leave in the summer if he has no Champions League football next season even though los Blancos do not like how Wanda Nara conducts business.

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