Inter Milan chief executive Giuseppe Marotta wasn’t willing to answer questions regarding the future of striker Mauro Icardi on Friday as rumours mount that he could be sold this summer.
The Argentina international has had a difficult 2019 and ended this season in poor standing with the Inter fanbase. Marotta spoke to the media as the Nerazzurri announced their summer training camp, but the topic of Icardi brought a negative reaction.
“Icardi? Let’s move on to the next question,” Marotta said. “Evaluations of the squad are premature. There will be a special press conference scheduled to illustrate what the team will look like. I prefer not to answer now for a question of correctness.”
Antonio Conte was appointed Inter manager in May after Luciano Spalletti was sacked at the end of the season. Icardi was dropped from the latter’s matchday squads throughout February and March amid a contract dispute with the club, and Italian reporter Fabrizio Romano said the new boss wants rid of the forward:
Fabrizio Romano @FabrizioRomano
@SkySport #Inter Antonio Conte doesn’t want Mauro Icardi into his team. He wants Icardi OUT from Inter. The player today asked to stay again… but Conte wants him out. Game over. 🔵 #transfers
It doesn’t appear as though Icardi has done his utmost to resolve the situation, either. Calciomercato.com reported he and his wife, Wanda Nara-who also acts as Icardi’s agent-recently left Milan for a family holiday despite knowing talks with the club were scheduled.
The 26-year-old scored 17 goals in all competitions last season, but only 11 of which came in Serie A, representing his second-lowest-scoring campaign in the league since he arrived at Inter in 2013.
The player was regularly seen attending Inter matches in the stands during his time out of the team, but journalist Siavoush Fallahi noticed the right attitude was still lacking after his return:
Siavoush Fallahi @SiavoushF
Icardi is embarrassing to watch. He’s not in the game. You can complain all you want about Perisic and the others but they’re sweating and giving what they got. Icardi is totally checked out. Really needs a goal
It appears as though Inter already have an attacking replacement lined up. La Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t ) reported terms have been agreed with Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku, who could join in a deal worth £62 million.
Icardi made 37 appearances in all competitions but had a major drop-off in goals after the turn of the year, as noted by sports writer Sacha Pisani:
Sacha Pisani @Sachk0
Via @OptaPaolo: The only two Serie A goals Mauro Icardi scored in 2019 both came from the penalty spot, away from home. #NapoliInter
Marotta joined Inter’s backroom in December and enjoyed great success with Conte during their time together at Juventus.
It’s difficult to imagine the pair will have different approaches on how to deal with such matters, and Marotta’s comments may suggest there’s a united willingness to sell the player.