Mauro Icardi has been assigned the number seven jersey at Inter for the upcoming season.
The striker had been heavily linked with a move away from the San Siro this summer but his inclusion in their squad suggests Icardi has a stronger chance of staying put.
Why did Icardi and Inter fall out? Five things to know…
- Icardi joined Inter when he was just 20 years old.
- He was made captain two years later.
- However, in February of this year, he was stripped of the captaincy…
- …amid tension created by a failure to agree a new contract.
- He was left out of Inter’s pre-season tour to Asia and reports say he has been told he is not in new manager Antonio Conte’s plans.
Following Inter’s decision to give Samir Handanovic the captaincy in February this year, it appeared Icardi’s time at Inter was up.
He then refused to travel with the squad as they faced Rapid Wien in a Europa League game, according to former coach Luciano Spalletti. This coincided with a troublesome knee injury and even more troublesome contract negotiations, which supposedly led to Icardi refusing to play for the side.
It was such rumours that turned Inter’s ultras against the Argentine yet again. They said they were ‘done‘ with the forward and subsequently refused to celebrate when Icardi scored in a 4-0 win against Genoa.
He appeared destined for a move, potentially even to one of Inter’s Serie A rivals; Juventus emerged as early favourites while there was talk of a swap deal with Napoli for Arkadiusz Milik.
But Icardi publicly stated earlier this year that he planned on staying in Milan. Following news of his brand new shirt number, it appears he may get his wish. However, reports in Italy say he will not be included in Inter’s squad for Monday’s Serie A opener vs Lecce and there is another week left of the European transfer window to go.
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Inter’s Alexis Sanchez transfer pursuit still underway?
It appeared as though it was simply a matter of time before Alexis Sanchez joined up with Antonio Conte in Italy after reports had said a deal had been agreed for the Chilean.
However, perhaps Icardi snapping up the number seven jersey would suggest otherwise. Sanchez is currently in possession of the infamous (and recently cursed) number at Manchester United and it was expected that he would retain it if/when he moved to Inter.
Of course, Alexis wore number 17 during his outstanding spell at Arsenal, so maybe this announcement shouldn’t be read into too much. In fact, according to the Guardian talks between Inter and United are set to resume over the weekend as the clubs look to resolve the financial issue of his £390,000-a-week salary to final agree a loan deal.
If Alexis does join Inter and he, Icardi and record signing Romelu Lukaku can hit the ground running, it could be a very special season for one half of the San Siro.