Mauro Icardi Lost Inter Milan captaincy. Mauro Icardi’s future at Inter Milan appears to be in doubt after he was stripped of the captaincy and then left out of the squad for two matches in a row. James Walker-Roberts explores what’s happened with the forward and what the future holds… Luciano Spalletti is no stranger to dealing with big-name players and off-field issues. The 59-year-old has managed in Italy for most of his 20-year career and oversaw the end of Francesco Totti’s time at Roma. Spalletti even sent the club legend home after a disagreement over playing time, and later admitted: “In Rome, I had become the one that divided rather than united”.
With that in mind, it is remarkable that Spalletti is now in a situation at Inter Milan
With that in mind, it is remarkable that Spalletti is now in a situation at Inter Milan that he says is even more difficult to handle. “I have never seen anything like it. It’s just frustrating that we keep having to get tied up in all this talk around Inter. I’ve had some situations in my career with a lot of attention, but never like this.” The ‘situation’ is Mauro Icardi. The forward has scored at least 20 goals in three of the last four seasons for Inter and is their leading scorer in Serie A this campaign. However, his six years at the club have not been without incident. In 2016 he was fined by Inter after writing in his autobiography that he had been “hailed as a hero” after confronting ultras following a defeat in 2015. Inter ultras said at the time that Icardi was “finished” and some supporters celebrated when he missed a penalty. Unsurprisingly, the relationship has been uneasy since.
Icardi has regularly been linked with a move away from San Siro
Icardi has regularly been linked with a move away from San Siro, but has stayed, and even remained as captain, which has not sat well with everyone. Former team-mate Felipe Melo said in 2017: “There have been too many things in the past. I don’t see him as a real captain today. Maybe in a few years, because he’s a champion, but right now he shouldn’t wear the armband.” While his captaincy credentials can be debated, there is no denying Icardi’s importance to Inter on the pitch. However, constant speculation over his future, fuelled by his wife, and agent, Wanda Nara, has not helped his relationship with supporters or team-mates. “Wanda Nara speaks every week on TV about the situation of Mauro,” says Sky in Italy’s Matteo Barzaghi. “And often she speaks about Inter, about Mauro’s team-mates, and she talks about some aspects that players only know in their dressing room. So many players are angry with Mauro because he doesn’t stop his wife from talking.”