Juventus, Napoli, Atlético, Man United... Where next for Icardi?
Following Inter sporting director Guiseppe Marotta's confirmation that the striker has no future at the Serie A club, we look at his possible destinations.
Inter Milan sporting director Guiseppe Marotta has confirmed that Mauro Icardi is not in the Serie A side's plans for next season, and will have to find a new club.
Having been banished from the first team for several months and stripped of the captaincy last season, Icardi had a troubled 2018/19 campaign at Inter, with the striker's refusal to train in March and the often outspoken comments made in the media by his wife and agent, Wanda Nara, adding to a situation that has seen his relationship with the Nerazzurri reach breaking point.
Icardi won't lack suitors. At 26, his relative youth will make him an attractive proposition for many of Europe's major clubs, as will his goal record: in 252 appearances for Inter and previous club Sampdoria, he has bagged an impressive 135 goals. What's more, his salary does not reach the levels of some of the continent's other chief stars, and Inter's public acknowledgement of their desire to sell indicates a willingness to negotiate an affordable fee.
Icardi has long been linked with Serie A champions Juventus. Vice-chairman Pavel Nedved and sporting director Fabio Paratici are firm admirers, while Turin would be an option favoured by the player and his family given its proximity to Milan. In recent months, it has been suggested that Icardi could replace Paulo Dybala at Juve, although that now seems unlikely given that new Bianconeri coach Maurizio Sarri is keen to hold on to 'La Joya'. The sale of Mario Mandzukic remains a possibility, and would help pave the way for Icardi's arrival at the Allianz Stadium.
Icardi is also coveted in the south of Italy, where Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis could well dig deep for the Argentine and offer him an appetising contract. He is a player who coach Carlo Ancelotti likes, but another forward would have to leave the Stadio San Paolo to make way for him. What's more, the Partonepei's current focus is on clinching the signing of James Rodríguez from Real Madrid.
Despite Nara previously stating that she and her husband "would like to stay in Italy", the option of a switch to Spain can't be ruled out. Atlético Madrid have long been interested in the player, who coach Diego Simeone thinks very highly of. However, Los Rojiblancos have just announced a deal to sign centre-forward Álvaro Morata permanently from Chelsea, so any move for Icardi would appear to depend on whether or not Diego Costa remains at the Wanda Metropolitano.
A transfer to the Premier League looks to be an outside option. Neither Nara nor Icardi want such a drastic change of scene. Be that as it may, Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku is a player who is greatly interesting Inter this summer, so the club could try to negotiate a swap deal involving the two strikers.
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