He's a good person - Spalletti believes Icardi wants to stay

By Sports Desk May 18, 2019

Luciano Spalletti sees no reason to doubt Mauro Icardi after the striker reaffirmed his commitment to Inter.

Amid recent reports in the Italian media that he is angling for a move away from San Siro, Icardi took to social media on Friday to stress he is not interested in a transfer.

"I want to inform our fans that I have repeatedly informed the club of my intention to stay at Inter," he posted on his Instagram account.

"Thus, from now on, no misunderstandings of any kind will be created. I understand the interests of the press to sell fake news but I can't do anything more than to clarify things personally."

The Argentina international has endured a difficult campaign at Inter - his sixth with the club since joining from Sampdoria - having been stripped of the captaincy in February and missed a couple of months with a knee injury.

But Spalletti is confident Icardi, who returned to action in April, is fully committed to the club and will consider selecting the 26-year-old against Napoli on Sunday.

"I always value the things that are said. I think he’s a good person and a great player," he said at Saturday's news conference. "If he expressed himself this way with two matches to go, then it must be considered [as being correct].

"Icardi is training in the right way and is available. Everything is okay."

Third-place Inter require only three more points from their final two matches, away to Napoli and home to Empoli on the final day, to secure a Champions League spot for the second consecutive year.

And Spalletti, who will reportedly be replaced in the San Siro dugout by Antonio Conte at the end of the campaign, insists the future is bright for his side.

"We have grown a lot since last season," he said. "We have worked well, we have seen positive results. We have done well in the present to set up an even better future.

"We must first play and win, then we talk about third place. It is a speech that is made later, it does not move us an inch now, we must remain attentive and focused. We focus on the current objective, which is the match against Napoli.

"We want to bring the maximum points home. We have trained well and what we saw in the last few games, even if we didn't win much, was the right attitude. We will try to repeat that, we want to win.

"We have to get back on the bus that's heading to the Champions League. The millions of Inter fans deserve it - they've shown great attachment to the colours over the past few years."

Related items

  • All change in Serie A: The task awaiting Sarri, Conte, Giampaolo and Fonseca All change in Serie A: The task awaiting Sarri, Conte, Giampaolo and Fonseca

    Serie A promises to be fascinating next season, with four of the biggest clubs in the league under new leadership.

    Champions Juventus surprisingly parted company with Massimiliano Allegri and replaced him with Maurizio Sarri despite winning the title yet again, although runners-up Napoli have stuck with Carlo Ancelotti.

    Inter and AC Milan both appointed new head coaches, with Antonio Conte and Marco Giampaolo taking charge respectively, while Paulo Fonseca is the new man in the Roma dugout.

    But what do the four men need to do to make a success of their new jobs? Omnisport takes a look.

     

    Maurizio Sarri (Juventus)

    Perhaps the most daunting task awaits Sarri next season, as he attempts to follow in the footsteps of Allegri, who won five consecutive Scudetti. Indeed, the last campaign in which the Bianconeri did not win the title was 2010-11, and if Sarri cannot sustain their dominance his spell in Turin could be short-lived.

    What's more, he will be tasked with turning an Allegri team that, for all its success, was criticised for playing dour, defensive football into the kind of free-flowing, passing side Sarri created at Napoli. He was unable to make that transformation happen during a tumultuous year at Chelsea, but perhaps a return to Serie A will rekindle his particular brand of magic.


    Paulo Fonseca (Roma)

    Roma narrowly missed out on a place in next season's Champions League, leaving new coach Fonseca in charge of a club in need of a morale-boosting return to Serie A's top four.

    The Giallorossi will still be expected to progress in the Europa League and Fonseca arrives in Rome with a strong track record in continental competition, having guided Shakhtar Donetsk to the last 16 of the Champions League in 2017-18. However, he will need to get more out of a talented group of players and keep on top of what Francesco Totti claimed has become a toxic environment at the Stadio Olimpico.

    Paulo Fonseca: “I am excited and motivated by the task ahead of us. I cannot wait to move to Rome, meet our fans and get started.

    "Together, I believe we can create something special.” #ASRoma pic.twitter.com/PnSAeTxcYN

    — AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) June 11, 2019 Antonio Conte (Inter)

    Inter's return to the Champions League did not go according to plan in 2018-19, and despite having their fate in their own hands, Luciano Spalletti's side dropped out in the group stage and lost to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League round of 16. Spalletti did secure a second successive top-four finish, though, meaning Conte's primary target will be to better the performance in Europe's elite competition, while also closing the gap on Napoli – if not Juventus quite yet – who finished 10 points above the Nerazzurri.

    Mauro Icardi is the elephant in the room and getting the best out of the striker who was stripped of the captaincy as a dispute over a new contract rumbled on in the second half of last season will also be top of Conte's to-do list, should the Argentine remain at San Siro. If not, then it could well be Romelu Lukaku who leads Inter's line next term.


    Marco Giampaolo (AC Milan)

    Giampaolo's task will be, on the face of it, a simple one – gain qualification for the Champions League. Gennaro Gattuso's failure to do just that ultimately cost the Milan icon his job at San Siro. It was a frustrating campaign for Milan and having led Sampdoria to a ninth-place finish last season, Giampaolo must now settle on a system that can see the Rossoneri challenge for the top four.

    Milan's squad does not have the quality it once did but Giampaolo has a natural goalscorer at his disposal in Krzysztof Piatek. However, his first port of call should be to solidify a defence that was left exposed under Gattuso, with Gianluigi Donnarumma having to come to their rescue far too often.

  • Rumour Has It: Real Madrid to offer €130m and James or Bale for Neymar Rumour Has It: Real Madrid to offer €130m and James or Bale for Neymar

    The race is heating up for Neymar.

    With Paris Saint-Germain reportedly willing to part with the world's most expensive player, two LaLiga giants are set to go head-to-head.

    Will Neymar end up at former club Barcelona or bitter Spanish rivals Real Madrid?

     

    TOP STORY – BARCA AND MADRID FIGHT FOR NEYMAR

    A return to Barcelona and a blockbuster transfer to Real Madrid both appear on the cards for Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar.

    According to Mundo Deportivo, Madrid are reportedly ready to pay €130million for Neymar in a deal which would also include either James Rodriguez or Gareth Bale.

    But Globo Esporte says Neymar – who left Barca for PSG in a €222m transfer in 2017 – is still on track for a Camp Nou comeback.

    It comes after Le Parisien claims PSG want €300m to part with the injured Brazil forward.

     

    ROUND-UP

    Aaron Wan-Bissaka is set to become the world's most expensive full-back as Manchester United negotiate a £55million deal with Crystal Palace, according to the Daily Record. However, talks between the two Premier League sides have dragged on and the Red Devils have identified alternatives, with Sky Sport Italia claiming Napoli's Elseid Hysaj is a target.

    - According to Marca, Atletico Madrid will announce the signing of Benfica sensation Joao Felix on Thursday. The 19-year-old has already undergone a medical and signed his contract ahead of the €120m move.

    Frank Lampard has notified his Derby County squad that he will replace Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea if the right offer arrives, the Mirror reports. Former Chelsea star Lampard is expected to move back to London following Sarri's switch to Juve.

    Paris Saint-Germain outcast Adrien Rabiot is on the verge of signing for Serie A champions Juventus, according to Sportitalia. The French midfielder and free agent has reportedly penned a five-year contract worth €7m plus bonuses, and a €10m signing-on fee.

    - According to the Daily Mail, Inter and Atletico Madrid are both eyeing a move for Southampton full-back Ryan Bertrand.

    Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has agreed a deal worth £180,000 per week to join Inter, says The Sun. With Lukaku heading for the exit, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reportedly eyeing Bournemouth's David Brooks.

    Andre Gomes is on the verge of joining Everton permanently from LaLiga champions Barcelona. Gomes enjoyed a successful loan spell in 2018-19 and a £22m fee has "verbally been agreed", according to the Telegraph.

  • Head coach Dennis Lawrence already putting TT's loss to Panama behind Head coach Dennis Lawrence already putting TT's loss to Panama behind
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.