F.C. Internazionale Milano forward Mauro Icardi has dismissed speculation linking him with a summer move away from the San Siro amid reported interest from UEFA Champions League semi-finalists Atletico and Real Madrid.
The Argentina international, 21, joined Internazionale from U.C. Sampdoria for €10 million last summer and has impressed for the Nerazzurri this season.
Icardi, who is contracted to Inter Milan until 30 June 2018, has bagged eight goals in 18 Serie A appearances for Walter Mazzarri’s side in 2013/14.
Although Icardi has been absolutely brilliant this term, the 21-year-old ace has shown a few glimpses of immaturity.
He was criticised by Mazzarri for his recent goal celebration against former club Sampdoria on 13 April and is currently involved with the ex-wife of former team-mate Maxi Lopez.
After the game, which can only be described as tempestuous (to say the least), Mazzarri was full of both praise and criticism for Icardi.
“Up until his goal, he had conducted himself perfectly,” said the Inter boss. “All he then had to do was go back to the centre of the field and not make that gesture, even if it didn’t seem to be anything scandalous.
“He did his job and showed great personality, considering the atmosphere which had been created around him,” continued the Inter coach.
“If he carries on like this, and we manage to get rid of all the superfluous things about him, then he’s going to become a great player.
“He’s a striker with a true striker’s characteristics, and he just has to focus on his football. Personal things need to be put to one side. Footballers are professionals and they mustn’t forget that.”
Internazionale are certainly used to dealing with controversial young talents, with the likes of Mario Balotelli and Marko Arnautović coming to mind in this regard.
However, the club eventually cashed in on the aforementioned duo and reports have suggested a similar fate for Icardi, who is attracting interest from Spanish heavyweights Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.
Atletico are believed to be lining up a replacement for Diego Costa, who has been heavily linked with a summer move abroad, while Real are always keen to add young prospects to their star-studded squad.
That said, Icardi has played down these reports, insisting he wants to stay in Italy.
“I want to stay at Inter and continue to grow as I am doing this season.
“If Atletico and Real Madrid want me, they have to talk with Inter.
“I only think about playing and I don’t look at what’s happening around me and what people are saying.”
Should he stay or should he go?