INTER Milan’s chief has insisted star striker Mauro Icardi is going nowhere despite his wife and agent revealing two offers from big clubs, rumoured to be Manchester United and Real Madrid.
Speculation about the future of the 25-year-old Argentine — who is currently out injured — has increased as the Serie A club struggles to qualify for the Champions League next season.
His wife Wanda Nara, who also acts as his agent, has said she has been in contact with two clubs looking to buy him this summer, which will reportedly require execution of a 110m Euro buyout clause.
“In the last period, a couple of important teams have revealed that they want Mauro,” Nara told Corriere dello Sport.
“I’m taking care of his future, I have to listen to them, evaluate the offers and the situation. Names? No names.”
Replying to Nara’s claims Inter CEO Alessandro Antonello said: “I want to reassure everyone Icardi is a key piece of our technical project, first of all we hope that he can come back to the team as soon as possible.
“As (coach Luciano) Spalletti said we think the striped shirt suits Mauro very well. It is not the time to talk about certain things, we must remain focused on the goal that is to reach the Champions league and Mauro will help us in this sense.”
Icardi has scored 89 goals in 147 games for Inter since moving from Sampdoria in 2013.
Inter Milan have dropped to fifth — 18 points behind leaders Napoli — and out of the Champions League places, but will be hoping to collect maximum points against bottom club Benevento on Saturday.
Despite the slump Antonello insisted: “Trust in Spalletti has never been in doubt. (Everyone) must support the coach so they can get out of this moment of crisis quickly.”
Former Socceroo Erik Paartalu has revealed he has been confined to a hotel for the past seven months due to the COVID-19 crisis in India.
Paartalu, who played two matches for the Socceroos in 2013 as well as a 119 caps in the A-League for the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne City as well as stints across the world, plays for Bengalaru in the Indian Super League.
Despite playing his last match of the Indian domestic season on February 26 after the club missed the final, Paartalu has been stuck in the club’s biosecurity bubble, with Bengalaru preparing for an AFC Cup qualifying match on May 11 against the Maldives’ Club Eagles.
The AFC Cup is the secondary club competition in Asia with the winners qualifying for the AFC Champions League.
While other foreign players left at the culmination of the season, Paartalu has been stuck in limbo.
Last week, he hit out at the Australian government after the Morrison government introduced fines of up to $66,600 or five years in prison for anyone defying the travel ban preventing Australians returning home from India
India’s COVID-19 outbreak is breaking records with more than 400,000 new cases on Sunday alone, with the nation registering more than 3000 deaths a day over the last week.
On April 30, Paartalu expressed his disappointment at being stranded in the stricken nation.
“As an Aussie that has lived and worked in India for 4 years now I have never felt so far away from feeling Australian. I don’t know how you can deny citizens to return home especially when there are hotel quarantines in place,” he wrote.
Slater tweeted on Monday evening: “If our Government cared for the safety of Aussies they would allow us to get home. It’s a disgrace!
“Blood on your hands PM. How dare you treat us like this. How about you sort out quarantine system.
“I had government permission to work on the IPL but I now have government neglect.”
But speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Paartalu revealed he has only been able to travel from his hotel room to either train or play, having been in the biosecure bubble since the Indian Super League season began.
While he admitted that the team was relatively lucky, several of his teammates have had family members die from the virus.
Paartalu has also been separated from his family who are in Sydney and his wife in Scotland while he is stranded in India.
“It’s a horrible thing to say but I don’t think anybody is coping,” Paartalu said. “You get past a point where it just becomes exhausting. We are all past that point now and it just becomes a really sad normality. You have a set routine every day: you wake up, have breakfast, go to training, go to the gym, come back to the hotel, eat, sleep.”