Published: Thu, February 14, 2019
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Icardi stripped of Inter Milan captaincy

Icardi stripped of Inter Milan captaincy

The situation surrounding Mauro Icardi at Inter Milan appears to be coming to a head.

Inter Milan announced on Wednesday afternoon that goalkeeper Samir Handanovic was their new captain.

The 25-year-old's current deal is set to expire in 2021 but the Serie A club have been in lengthy negotiations with Wanda Nara, his wife and agent.

The Argentine has been left out of the team's Europa League round of 32, first-leg game at Rapid Vienna on Thursday. "It is a very hard decision to take, but it is one that everybody within the club shared, and one which was taken exclusively for the good of Inter".

The Argentina worldwide trained with the squad on Wednesday but was a notable absentee when Inter named the 19-man party who would travel to Austria for the first leg of their last-32 tie.

Spalletti also reacted angrily to Nara's latest remarks and he spoke with the club's new general manager Beppe Marotta - who has already taken a heavy-handed approach by suspending Radja Nainggolan for turning up late for training last month - on Tuesday to discuss the issue, which was starting to cause disturbances within the team.

Sources in Italy say that Icardi's team-mates no longer see him as a captain.

The forward - joint top scorer in Serie A last season with 29 goals - has scored 15 this season in all competitions, but has gone seven Serie A games without a goal. He is quoted by Football Italia as saying: "I have not created any problems for Icardi".

"I would like Mauro to be more protected by the team".

The 25-year-old Argentine has always been rumoured to be thinking about a San Siro exit.

"There are some very important clubs interested in signing him".

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