Representatives for Inter Milan forward Mauro Icardi have dismissed reports he has had a medical with Real Madrid with a view to a January move.
Goal Italia (h/t Football Italia) are said to have contacted the Icardi camp to clarify the speculation, although the reports were completely dismissed. The article suggested the player’s representatives referred to the story, which originated from Diario Gol, as “fake news.”
Football Italia added that Inter want to agree fresh terms with Icardi amid rumours Los Blancos are keen to bring him in.
Per the piece, the Argentina international has a release clause in his contract of €110 million (£97 million), although that only becomes active in the summer, and Inter want to increase the trigger fee as part of a new deal.
While Icardi has also maintained he wants to stay at the San Siro, there has been plenty of speculation suggesting Real Madrid do want to sign him at the end of the campaign.
According to Jose Felix Diaz of Marca, the European champions are considering their options for the summer, as they want to secure a replacement for Karim Benzema. Icardi is said to be on their shortlist, along with Tottenham Hotspur forward Harry Kane and RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner.
It’s no surprise to see such high-profile interest in the Nerazzurri skipper, as he’s developed into a tremendous goalscorer. Football journalist Adam Digby discussed the kind of impact he can have on games recently:
Icardi is one of the best finishers in European football. While there may be times when matches pass him by, he comes alive in the penalty area and is able to tuck chances away with his right foot, left foot and in the air.
Under manager Luciano Spalletti, Inter are more of a workmanlike team than a creative one. And with that in mind, Icardi doesn’t get quite as many opportunities as other forwards in the division playing for top sides.
With more creative talent around him, he would potentially be even more prolific. As noted by WhoScored.com, he’s a man who thrives on excellent service:
At Madrid, he would get that with the likes of Gareth Bale, Isco, Marco Asensio and Cristiano Ronaldo in support. And Los Blancos would benefit from refreshing their forward line in the summer.
As good as Benzema has been in recent years, he has regressed this term, leaving Madrid without a focal point in the final third. That in turn has had a detrimental effect on Ronaldo, who has netted just four goals in La Liga this term.
Spanish football journalist David Cartlidge told Digby that Icardi would tick a lot of boxes for Real:
Given he’s been the captain of Inter from a young age and assumed the role of the team’s talisman, you sense Icardi would be able to cope with the pressures that come with joining a side such as Madrid.
There doesn‘t appear to have been a serious move from Real to get the striker yet, though, and Icardi has not agitated for a switch. However, you sense the speculation around the Inter man will lead to one of the main transfer stories of the summer.
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