Inter unaware of Real Madrid interest in Icardi, says Zanetti

By Sports Desk November 06, 2018

Mauro Icardi is happy to stay at Inter and the Serie A side are unaware of interest in their captain from Real Madrid, says vice-president Javier Zanetti.

Icardi has regularly been linked to the LaLiga giants, who have won the Champions League in each of the past three seasons.

But the striker, having hit six Serie A goals so far this season, indicated last month he could sign a new Inter deal.

Zanetti is not worried about the prospect of managerless Madrid making a move for Icardi in the January transfer window.

"Icardi is our captain and our reference, but he is also very happy at Inter," Zanetti told Marca. "We are not aware of any interest from Madrid.

"We are aware that Inter is a healthy club so that we do not have to sell and continue to respect [Financial] Fair Play."

Madrid have put Santiago Solari in temporary charge following the sacking of Julen Lopetegui, whose ill-fated tenure lasted 14 matches.

"I know Santi very well and I know what Real Madrid means to him," Zanetti said. "He has wonderful values as a person, he is a very intelligent guy, a very respectful guy with a great sense of belonging.

"He is developing and this step is going to be relevant for him. Knowing the atmosphere of Madrid so well is the best solution to get out of this situation. He is very prepared for it.

"You have to be patient with the coaches and give them the necessary time. It is important that the club is convinced of this, that a strategic plan is made and not to doubt when the bad moments come."

Former Juventus and Italy head coach Antonio Conte initially appeared the frontrunner to succeed Lopetegui before a reported breakdown in contract talks.

But Zanetti feels Conte, a three-time Serie A winner during his time at Juve, could be a good option for the LaLiga side having left Chelsea at the end of last term.

"Due to his style, great personality and experience, it would not surprise me if Madrid look at him," Zanetti added.

Related items

  • Genoa 0 AC Milan 2: Borini and Suso step up with Higuain left out Genoa 0 AC Milan 2: Borini and Suso step up with Higuain left out

    Fabio Borini and Suso stepped up in the absence of dropped striker Gonzalo Higuain, earning AC Milan a 2-0 win over Genoa at Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

    Higuain was left out of Milan's matchday squad for their first Serie A outing of 2019 due to concerns from head coach Gennaro Gattuso – who watched from the stands due to a suspension – over his mindset amid links with a move to Chelsea.

    Gattuso, punished for angrily confronting the referee after his side's Supercoppa Italiana loss to Juventus last week, saw the Rossoneri toil for much of the game.

    Milan had previously fired blanks in successive away league matches, but Borini broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute and Suso guaranteed a return to fourth place in the closing stages.

    Already without Alessio Romagnoli and Mattia Caldara at the back, Gattuso was dealt an early blow when Cristian Zapata went off injured and was replaced by Andrea Conti in the 14th minute.

    Further attempts from Goran Pandev - selected in place of supsended Milan target Krzysztof Piatek - and Daniel Bessa followed, the latter seeing a shot kept out by Gianluigi Donnarumma when through on goal as Genoa took control of the contest.

    Lucas Paqueta nearly fired the visitors in front late in the first half with a well-struck volley that skimmed the outside of the post, shortly after Domenico Criscito's deflected cutback was blocked by Donnarumma.

    Borini saw an angled drive tipped away by Ionut Radu, while Lucas Paqueta failed to make the most of a free header before Donnarumma's double save denied Christian Kouame and Bessa.

    Milan did find a way through eventually, however, as an unmarked Borini got on the end of Conti's cutback and converted from eight yards.

    The Rossoneri survived a scare when Donnarumma touched Miguel Veloso's shot onto the crossbar, but Suso wrapped up the points when he latched onto Cutrone's throughball and finished off the inside of the post.

  • Boateng closing in on shock Barcelona switch - reports Boateng closing in on shock Barcelona switch - reports

    Barcelona are understood to be on the verge of signing former Tottenham, AC Milan and Schalke attacking midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng from Serie A side Sassuolo.

    A report by Sky in Italy claims the 31-year-old will travel to Barcelona on Monday to conclude a loan switch until the end of the season, with an €8million option to make the move permanent.

    Barca head coach Ernesto Valverde has been looking for attacking reinforcements as cover for Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele – the latter now facing two weeks on the sidelines with a sprained left ankle.

    Munir El Haddadi joined Sevilla this month, while Paco Alcacer left for Borussia Dortmund during the previous transfer window, leaving the reigning LaLiga champions light up front.

    Valverde batted back questions over a purported interest in LAFC's Carlos Vela over the weekend, while Mundo Deportivo touted veteran Monaco striker Radamel Falcao as an option.

    Boateng would represent an even more leftfield move than those two, although he did enjoy a successful season in LaLiga with Las Palmas in 2016-17 on the back of his second stint at Milan – scoring 10 times in 28 matches.

    A campaign with Eintracht Frankfurt, Boateng's fourth Bundesliga club, followed before he joined Sassuolo.

    Boateng has been deployed as a false nine by Sassuolo and completed 90 minutes in Saturday's 0-0 draw against Inter at San Siro. He has four goals in 13 games this term.

  • Barcelona B defender Wague accuses Ejea fans of racist abuse Barcelona B defender Wague accuses Ejea fans of racist abuse

    Moussa Wague has said he was subjected to "numerous and repeated racist insults and songs that should never have to be tolerated on a football pitch" when playing for Barcelona B against SD Ejea.

    The 20-year-old Senegal international was sent off during Barcelona B's 1-0 defeat on Sunday, following an altercation with a fan when attempting to retrieve the ball for a throw-in.

    In a statement posted to his Instagram page, Wague apologised for the incident, in which he appeared to push the supporter in the face, but claimed he was angered by being on the receiving end of racism from the stands.

    "I want to express my sincere apologies to SD Ejea and the fan of that club for my conduct during the game yesterday," Wague said.

    "In a moment of anger, with the result going against us, I did not behave correctly and I acknowledge that and want to reiterate my apologies. 

    "I also want to report that my actions, in trying to get the ball back from a fan to take a throw-in, came after being the subject of numerous and repeated racist insults and songs that should never have to be tolerated on a football pitch."

    Wague joined Barcelona from Belgian club Eupen in August last year, having become the youngest ever African goalscorer at a World Cup.

    He was on the bench for the recent Copa del Rey trip to Levante and is in contention to win a place in Ernesto Valverde's squad for the knockout stages of the Champions League.

    Barcelona are yet to offer a public comment on the abuse Wague allegedly received.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.