Mauro Icardi’s Agent Reveals ‘Big Clubs’ Willing to Trigger Inter Striker’s Release Clause

?Mauro Icardi’s wife and agent Wanda Nara has revealed there has been a great deal of interest from a host of European super clubs willing to trigger the Argentine striker’s release clause.

The ?Inter captain currently has his release clause set at a hefty €110m, but this has allegedly not dissuaded interest from the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and ?Real Madrid who would be interested in signing the 25-year-old striker.

FC Internazionale v US Sassuolo - Serie A

Icardi enjoyed yet another season of prolific goalscoring in Serie A this campaign, notching 29 goals throughout the season to claim a share of the Capocannoniere award with Ciro Immobile of Lazio.

His goalscoring exploits fired the Nerazzuri into the Champions League places on the final day of the season, thus attracting interest from a whole host of ‘big clubs’ across Europe.

Nara spoke to Radio Metro regarding the possibility of a big-money deal, saying: “There are some big clubs ready to pay the release clause, which is very high, but considering the figures that are circulating in football right now and the kind of player Mauro is, it’s not even that remarkable.

FC Internazionale v US Sassuolo - Serie A

“There are many clubs putting pressure on, but his priority is Inter. There will be a meeting with their director of sport and the priority as of today is to stay here.”

As a result of Inter securing Champions League football for the 2018/19 season, the Nerazzuri are naturally very keen to renew the contract of their prized asset, keeping him at the club as they look to return to the formidable force in Italy, and indeed Europe, that they once were.

“It irritates me when people underestimate Mauro, as he is wanted by the three best teams in the world,” Nara added.

Udinese Calcio v FC Internazionale - Serie A

“We’ll see what he does with Inter, the situation is he’ll either sign a renewal or leave, but the priority is to remain here and resolve the issue before we can go on vacation.”

With Icardi ?omitted from Argentina’s World Cup squad destined for Russia this summer, he’ll have plenty of time to consider his next destination without the added pressures of international football. However, it goes without saying that Inter fans will undoubtedly be keen to see their talisman donning the same blue and black jersey come the end of the summer.

??

Let’

Inter Owner’s Son Insists Luciano Spalletti and Mauro Icardi Will Both Remain at the Club

The son of ?Inter owner Jindong Zhang has insisted that both Luciano Spalletti and Mauro Icardi will remain with the club ahead of next season.

The ?Serie A side secured Champions League qualification with a ?dramatic victory over Lazio at the weekend. I Nerazzurri won 3-2 at the Stadio Olimpico, as the two sides battled it out for the final spot in the top four. Spalletti’s side came from behind twice, before finally taking the lead in the 81st minute, to snatch fourth spot thanks to their head-head record against Lazio.

SS Lazio v FC Internazionale - Serie A

After a six year absence from the Champions League, Inter will now return to the competition, and Steven Zhang has expressed the importance of keeping hold of the man that made it possible.

Spalletti took over at the San Siro ahead of the recently concluded 2017/18 campaign, but he is only on a two-year deal, and Zhang Jr has revealed that the 59-year-old will definitely be offered a new contract following the success of his first season with the Italian side. Zhang Jr. also confirmed that star striker Icardi will be staying with the Serie A club.

“Is this a starting point? No, the starting point was at the beginning of the season, when we chose Spalletti and brought the right players to the squad.

FC Internazionale v Juventus - Serie A

“Will we renew with Spalletti? It’s not even a question that has to be asked. It’s the same for Icardi,” said Zhang Jr, when speaking after the final game of the season, as quoted by Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport (?via Football Italia).

Icardi netted 29 goals in 34 league appearances this term, and the club are desperate to keep hold of the Argentinian forward, as well as their manager.

Steven Zhang also spoke of the spirit of the club and thanked everyone who played their part in reaching the clubs goal of a top four finish.

FBL-ITA-SERIE A-INTER-JUVENTUS

“First of all, I thank the fans, the players and the coaching staff, who gave everything they could.

“Even if we suffered and there were highs and lows, in the end we got the result we wanted. We all gave our all until the end to reach the finish line, as is the spirit of Inter.

“This is a club that conveys hope and positive energy to all the people of the world,” said Zhang Jr.

??

Let’

Argentina Boss Sampaoli Cites Reason for Icardi World Cup Omission Due to ‘Style of Play’

?Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli has defended his decision to omit ?Inter striker Mauro Icardi from his 23-man ?World Cup squad for Russia this summer, citing he wants individuals who ‘identify with our style of play as closely as possible’. 

Speaking to the gathering world’s media as the Chilean revealed his final selections for this summer, Sampaoli is quoted by ?Football Italia as wanting players for his team who offer versatility but above all fit La Albiceleste’s current brand of football. 

FC Internazionale v US Sassuolo - Serie A

Sampaoli stated: “We came to this list after long and meticulous analysis. 

“The players I called up identify with our style of play as closely as possible. For example: I chose Ansaldi because he’s a full-back who can play on both sides.”

Two-time World champions Argentina struggled to qualify for this summer’s tournament since the former Chilean national team coach took over after leaving Sevilla in May of last year.

His transition into the Argentina set-up, however, has been far from seamless. It took a Lionel Messi hat-trick against Ecuador in their final qualifying game to scrape through, after Sampaoli elected to omit the likes of Paulo Dybala from the starting XI to accommodate his plans – to their detriment.

FBL-WC-2018-ECU-ARG

The Chilean’s decisions have thusly come under fire and his latest one has and will likely leave many scratching their heads.

Icardi finished joint-top scorer this term in Serie A with Lazio forward Ciro Immobile, as both finished the campaign on 29 goals. In three of his last four seasons, the 25-year-old from Rosario has scored 20-plus goal for the Nerazzurri.

In his squad announcement, Sampaoli also left out Roma’s Diego Perotti and Atalanta’s Alejandro Gomez, but the Chilean tactician explained his reasons.

FBL-WC-2018-ARG-TRAINING

“Icardi, Perotti, Papu Gomez and Lautaro Martinez won’t come to Russia with us”, said the Chielan. “But they’re still good players, who could be in our attack.”

“There’s also [Dario] Benedetto, for example, who helped us a lot in qualifying but is now injured.”  

After a troubled qualifying campaign, the Chilean will be under huge pressure to progress from Group D this summer. Dubbed the “group of death”, Argentina will face Croatia, Nigeria and Iceland, who they kick off their World Cup campaign against on June 16 in Moscow.

                                               

Let’

7 Things You May Have Missed From Europe’s Thrilling Final Matchday This Weekend

As the 2017/18 campaign comes to a close across Europe, we are usually treated to an abundance of sensational showdowns and teary-eyed farewells, and this year has been no different – maybe even more spectacular than any other. 

So, sit back, relax and enjoy the final European football round-up of the season. 

1. A Header From the Heavens: Inter Break Lazio Hearts in Dramatic Fashion

As 78 minutes struck, leading 2-1, Lazio were heading for the Champions League at Inter Milan’s expense. 

However, a Mauro Icardi penalty swiftly followed up by Matias Vecino’s bullet header initiated unadulterated limbs amongst the travelling Nerazzurri following. 

After 38 games, it had come down to a corner 12 minutes from time inside the Stadio Olimpico to secure the San Siro outfit’s place in next year’s European elite competition, and doing so on the head-to-head record between the two sides made it all the more sweeter for the Milan club. 

2. Crowned Again: Celtic Secure Unprecedented Double Treble

Glasgow Celtic have been the dominant force in Scottish football following Glasgow Rangers’ demise in 2012. 

League success has been ever-present – as have other domestic trophies – but on Saturday Brendan Rodgers’ Hoops wrote their name into the history books by securing a somewhat unprecedented double treble; becoming only the third European side in history to do so. 

First half goals from Callum McGregor and Olivier Ntcham were enough to down Motherwell in a repeat of the Scottish League Cup final from earlier in the season and maintain the former Liverpool boss’ record of securing every domestic trophy he has entered since taking over at Parkhead in 2016.

3. Past vs Future: Dramatic Eintracht Deny Bayern

If there were a more fitting cup winning story than Eintracht Frankfurt’s success in the DFB Pokal this weekend, however, I would like to see it. 

Niko Kovac – the man picked to succeed Jupp Heynckes next season in the Bayern Munich dugout after others allegedly turned the job down – stood and watched on in his final game as Die Adler coach as his side denied the Bavarians a domestic double with a scintillating 3-1 victory. 

Ante Rebic’s double would have proved enough to counteract Robert Lewandoski’s strike for the Reds; but a dramatic stoppage-time period, which saw Bayern’s penalty claims waved away and Mijat Gacinovic run the full length of the pitch before slotting home into an empty net, rounded off a sensational afternoon for the unfancied Hessens. 

4. Adios & Addio: A Weekend of Farewells

Although three of this generation’s greats bade farewell to their respective clubs this weekend, none are set to hang their boots up for good this summer. 

However, that did not stop the teary-eyed departures of Andres Iniesta of Barcelona, Gianluigi Buffon of Juventus and Fernando Torres of Atletico Madrid – who scored a brace in his send-off – taking centre stage. 

The significance of the changing of the guard will be felt more at Barca and Juve undoubtedly, as their search to now find suitable replacements for the arguably irreplaceable begins.  

5. Tempers Flare: Legia Warsaw Crowned Champions Amid Crowd Trouble

In a bizarre end of season moment, Legia Warsaw were crowned champions of Poland without actually completing 90 minutes. 

This was due to Wojskowi being awarded a 3-0 walkover after Lech Poznan fans threw flares onto the pitch as Legia went 2-0 up on the 77th minute, forcing the referee to abandon the game. 

Following the contest, the Polish Ekstraklasa league commission granted Dean Klafuric’s side maximum points – meaning they finish up with a three-point buffer over next in line Jagiellonia Bialystok. 

6. Fan Frictions: Sporting Lisbon Suffer Shock Defeat After Attack

In Portugal, Sporting Lisbon suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to relegation survivors Aves in the Portuguese Cup final, just five days after the players were attacked by fans. 

A 50-strong group of hooded supporters attacked players and officials at Sporting’s training base on Thursday – leaving doubts over the participation in their final. 

However, after deciding to go ahead, Aves, a side who have spent just three years in the Portuguese top-flight since 1930, secured the silverware through Alexandre Guedes early on before Oeiras added a second 15 minutes from time. 

As the underdogs netted their second, Sporting fans were seen clashing with police as they made their distaste known.  

7. ‘I’ll Be Back’: Parma Secure Third Straight Promotion

However, always wanting to leave on a high note, Parma are back in Serie A three years after they were declared bankrupt following a dramatic third successive promotion. 

Despite leading 2-0 against Spezia, Frosinone’s 2-1 lead over Foggia was expected to condemn the former Uefa Cup winners to the promotion play-offs. 

But in the 89th minute, Foggia managed to net a dramatic equaliser, meaning Parma secured second spot in Serie B via their head-to-head record with Frosinone. 

Let’

End of Season Review: Inter’s Report Card From the 2017/18 Campaign

It’s been an up and down season for Inter. After a stellar start to the campaign, winning eight of their first ten matches and going undefeated in the league until December, it looked as if Luciano Spalletti’s first season in charge would be a hugely successful one.

Their league form tailed off, but Inter overcame Lazio on the final day of the season  to qualify for the Champions League in dramatic fashion.

A poor domestic cup showing thrown in means there is work yet to be done at the Nerazzurri.

1. League Performance

Inter started the season on fire. Eight wins in their first ten games left them looking as if they may be the side to break Juventus’ stranglehold on the division. But a Christmas capitulation, coupled with recent defeats to Sassuolo and Torino, meant they faced a struggle to qualify for the Champions League.

However, while Napoli inherited the responsibility of being the side to take the challenge to Juventus when it once looked like it would be Inter giving the Old Lady a run for their money, it shouldn’t be forgotten that this season represents progress. Inter have shown some highly promising signs.

After a seventh placed finish last season, they eventually finished fourth this campaign, above city and stadium rivals AC Milan. If Inter can cut out some of the inconsistency and dropped points that harpooned their prospective title challenge this season, their domestic future could be bright.

2. Domestic Cup Performance

Inter’s Coppa Italia campaign began as their league season appeared to be coming off the rails, and this showed in their performances as they just about squeezed past Serie C side Pordenone on penalties in the round of 16, and followed it up with a 1-0 quarter final defeat to AC Milan.

To reach only the quarter finals after entering at the last 16 stage is, on paper, an average performance at best. When you consider the meek fashion in which they bowed out to their bitter rivals, their cup performance leaves a lot of room for improvement.

3. Best Player

This one is academic. Talismanic captain Mauro Icardi has scored 29 goals in Serie A this campaign, more than any Inter player has since Antonio Angelillo in 1959, and is undoubtedly the most influential player in the Nerazzuri ranks.

If Inter are to go a step further and challenge at the head of the division in 2018/19, keeping hold of the 25-year-old is crucial, but after fending off interest from all over Europe last summer, it’s hard to imagine it will be an easy task.

4. Worst Player

It may seem harsh to pin the worst player tag on a 19-year-old, but after Yann Karamoh joined from Caen last summer and added to the buzz around him with a tremendous strike in his first start against Bologna, the Ivorian winger has flattered to deceive.

It should be noted that clearly he has the potential to become a very good player, but after a frustrating season in which he has failed to make the substantial impression he was tipped for in his handful of starts, perhaps a loan move is the way forward for the highly rated teenager.

5. The Manager

The Nerazzuri’s immediate managerial history has been somewhat turbulent, with Roberto Mancini’s two year spell between 2014 and 2016 the longest a manager has stayed in place since Jose Mourinho. Luciano Spalletti perhaps has reason to believe he will be the man to buck the trend.

The ambition when he came in was to get Inter back into the Champions League, and by December, with Inter undefeated and at the top of Serie A, the former Roma manager looked as if he was cruising beyond expectations in his first season.

They have tailed off, but have still guaranteed a return to the top four at the first time of asking under their new boss. Inter should, and look as if they are willing to be patient and give Spalletti a chance to build on the successes and failures of his first season in charge.

6. Overall Grade

After such a relentlessly promising start to the season, it would be hard as an Inter fan not to feel at least slightly deflated at the fourth placed finish. What’s perhaps most worrying is the inconsistency that has so often plagued them in recent years reared its head in the second half of the season and cost them a genuine title challenge.

However, it is easy to get hung up on the negatives. Some of the football Inter have played this campaign has been nothing short of phenomenal, and prior to Christmas, they looked as if they had the gusto to go on and become one of the great Italian teams. That level of class doesn’t just disappear.

If they get the recruitment right this summer and hold on to the core of their squad (Icardi!), the future could be very bright indeed for the Nerazzuri.

Overall Grade: B

Let’