'I'll tell you when I feel ready to play': Mauro Icardi's standoff with Inter Milan continues

Aditya Devavrat 17:12 08/03/2019
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Mauro Icardi remains out of action.

Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti has revealed that Mauro Icardi has ruled himself out of training despite being cleared to play by the club’s medical staff.

Icardi, who was stripped of the club captaincy last month as a contract dispute between club and player drags on, has missed Inter’s last six games, including Thursday’s Europa League draw with Eintracht Frankfurt in the first leg of their round of 16 tie. He initially complained of knee pain after Inter’s win over Rapid Vienna on February 13, the day he was replaced as captain as goalkeeper Samir Handanovic, and has not played since.

Speaking after the 0-0 draw in Frankfurt, Spalletti said the club had spoken to their star striker and inquired about his fitness.

“The truth is that we asked Mauro if he felt like resuming training,” the manager told reporters.

“The doctor said that in his view the necessary period for treatment had terminated. He replied: ‘No, I still feel pain. I’ll tell you when I feel ready to play’.

“I acknowledged what he said and went back home. The director [Beppe Marotta] will tell you the rest.”

Icardi was the leading scorer in Serie A last season, the second time he’d won the Capocannoniere, and is Inter’s leading scorer in all competitions this season as well. However, with negotiations over a new contract stalling and getting increasingly acrimonious, he has been linked with a move away, with Chelsea, Juventus, Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Barcelona all thought to be interested.

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