Serie A

Inter Milan: Icardi lacks backing of teammates in contract dispute

Piero Ausilio: "In other cases like this, the team would come out in defence of their captain; the leaders in the dressing room obviously feel he does not represent them."

Inter Milan: Icardi lacks backing of teammates in contract dispute

Mauro Icardi’s position at Inter Milan has been under serious scrutiny in recent weeks as contract negotiations bewteen the striker’s wife and agent, Wanda Nara, and the Serie A club show no signs of reaching a fruitful conclusion.

Icardi was left out of the squad to play Rapid Vienna in the Europa League after being stripped of the club captaincy in the run-up to the game, the armband being very publicly to Samir Handanovic in a move described by both Inter coach Luciano Spaletti and sporting director Piero Ausilio as “painful.”

Now, Ausilio, who has occupied the sporting director role at the Giuseppe Mezza since 2014, has apparently cited the reason for the decision to demote Icardi as a lack of faith in his leadership qualities among his teammates.

Icardi "not representing team" says sporting director Ausilio

Speaking to RAI, Ausilio reportedly said: “It is possible that Inter will decide to sell Icardi at the end of the season. The problem is with the squad. In other cases like this, the team would have come running to defend their captain and to make sure he retained the armband. Obviously, the team’s leaders don’t feel that he represents them as a captain.”

Icardi is under contract at Inter until 2021 and talks over a new deal have been ongoing for months, with Nara and the Inter board failing to come to an agreement over the striker’s future.

Inter play Sampdoria at home on Sunday with Icardi likely to be sidelined after Spaletti said he had missed the game in Vienna due to an inflamed knee that would likely keep him out of action for the Serie A fixture as well.