AC Milan great Arrigo Sacchi has told Inter captain Mauro Icardi that he has to “improve as a man” in order to succeed at the highest level.
The two-time European Cup winning coach gave his verdict on the latest transfer dramas in Serie A, with Gonzalo Higuain having joined Juventus for €90million and Napoli chasing Icardi as they attempt to replace his compatriot.
Sacchi, 70, also revealed he had previously advised Silvio Berlusconi to bring Maurizio Sarri and Paulo Dybala to Milan, but the duo ended up joining Napoli and Juve respectively.
“I spoke to Silvio Berlusconi two years ago – I told him to get Maurizio Sarri when he was Empoli coach and also Dybala as a player, who was then at Palermo,” Sacchi told La Nacion.
“Dybala is a phenomenon, he’s a great player and a great guy. I always look at the man first.
“Dybala is fantastic and I’m sure he’s going to improve a lot. Icardi as a man is less reliable than Dybala. If he improves as a man he will grow because he also has a lot of talent.”
He added: “When I signed Frank Rijkaard I sent a man I trusted to Zaragoza for 20 days to watch how he trained, what he ate, how he behaved with rivals and team-mates. When I was wrong, I was wrong about the man and not about the footballer.
“Gonzalo Higuain had an incredible, incredible season and therefore he costs a lot. Do you know the world of football? It’s run on emotions and he gives great emotions.”
Sacchi, though, is concerned about the growing trend of massive transfer fees in the modern game.
He added: “Now, the money being spent is a lot – I have fear looking at the future because football could break with excessive leadership or business.”