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Inter Milan sporting director Piero Ausilio has said the club are in negotiations with captain Mauro Icardi over a new contract.

The Argentina international striker still has three years remaining on his current terms, but he’s been subject to speculation regarding a possible exit lately. 

According to Chris Burton of Goal, the release clause in his deal of €110 million (£96 million) can be triggered in the first two weeks of July by clubs overseas, and that’s a concern for the Milan giants.

However, Ausilio told Sky Sport Italia (h/t Gianluca Di Marzio) that talks are ongoing and the club don’t feel pressured to hurry to an agreement.

“Icardis renewal? We are working on it, we aren’t hiding that fact,” said the sporting director. “We saw each other and talked, we aren’t in a rush.”

VERONA, ITALY - OCTOBER 30:  Sportif Director of FC Internazionale Milano Piero Ausilio attend the Serie A match between Hellas Verona FC and FC Internazionale at Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi on October 30, 2017 in Verona, Italy.  (Photo by Alessandro Sa

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Ausilio’s positive update comes after Icardi’s wife and agent Wanda Nara said the two parties had yet to start talks over an extension, per Tiki Taka (h/t Burton). It’s added by Burton that the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United have been linked with a possible move for the player.

Icardi continues to be a talisman for Inter, having taken on the captain’s armband and proving himself as one of the best strikers in the game.

He is also making strides towards becoming one of the Nerazzurri’s all-time great goalscorers:

This season, he struggled to get off to a fast start in an Inter team that underwent major surgery in the summer, but he has slowly started to find form again in recent weeks.

Icardi’s brace on Sunday helped Inter to a big win over SPAL and continued his recent upturn in goalscoring, with five now netted in his last five games. For Inter’s hopes of thriving in Serie A and in the UEFA Champions League, it’s vital he continues this sort of form.

Inter do appear to be going in the right direction, though, with Icardi making his first appearance in the Champions League this term:

There will be other teams looking at his consistency in front of goal in recent years and thinking that the release clause represents decent value in what is an ever-inflating transfer market.

Madrid, in particular, are having issues at the point of the attack. Karim Benzema is a little past his best, Gareth Bale continues to be hampered by injury issues and they lack a ruthless goalscorer in the final third following Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure to Juventus.

Icardi has shown down the years he can provide that edge, although it’s also clear he has an affinity with an improving Inter Milan team. All parties appear relaxed that an extension will be agreed as a result, but the club will surely look to extend his terms and bolster the release clause before the end of the campaign.

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