No Napoli or film role for Inter’s Icardi: club

Milan (AFP) – Inter Milan on Monday insisted captain Mauro Icardi is not for sale amid reports Napoli have tabled a generous offer — including a future role in a film — for the Argentine striker.

Icardi, who scored 16 goals in 33 league games last season, is a reported target for Arsenal as well as Serie A runners-up Napoli, who are expected to sell star striker Gonzalo Higuain to Juventus this week.

Icardi’s wife Wanda Nara, who is also his agent, has been listening to offers for the 23-year-old club captain amid Inter’s refusal to renegotiate his contract.

Napoli would be Icardi’s favoured destination, especially if Higuain, as widely expected, quits the Partenopei for league and cup champions Juventus.

A report in Corriere dello Sport even suggested Icardi had been promised a five-year deal worth 5.5 million euros ($6 mn) a season, a 100m buyout clause and a future role in a film directed by Napoli’s film-producing owner Aurelio De Laurentiis.

But for Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio, the reports amount to fantasy.

He admitted meetings with Napoli have been held, but insisted the club are looking to keep all their “top players” ahead of a fresh assault on the league. 

“For sure there have been meetings with Napoli, but we’re not selling him (Icardi) to Napoli, and it’s not a question of money,” Ausilio told media prior to Inter’s flight to the United States for a pre-season tour.

“There is no agreement. Inter will be keeping Icardi, as well as other players. Our ambition is to reinforce the squad and the club by keeping our top players.

“I’m not interested in what Napoli can offer. Icardi doesn’t have a release clause in his contract and Inter doesn’t want to sell him. It’s as simple as that.”

Icardi was handed the captain’s armband a year ago but it did not stop speculation surrounding his future for much of last season. 

Ausilio insisted: “There are no problems with the player. He’s working well, he’s been with us for years and he’s become the captain of a club with a glorious past.

“We’ve always paid attention to his requests. We renewed his contract at the right time and now is not the right time to renew it again.

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