Inter Milan’s in-form Icardi attracting interest from around Europe
Inter Milan could be set to lose their sensational star striker Mauro Icardi in the summer transfer window, with the Argentine’s goalscoring exploits in Serie A attracting potential suitors from all over Europe.
Roberto Mancini’s stuttering San Siro side, 16/1 with Coral to win the Europa League, have endured a faltering fall from grace this season, incredibly dropping to 10th spot, ahead of fellow underachievers and bitter rivals AC Milan by two points.
A shining light in Inter’s dramatic downfall has been their ferocious forward Icardi, who has struck 13 times in the country’s top division and a delightful double in his side’s recent unsuccessful run in the Copa Italia.
The talented 21-year-old has captivated Italy’s top-flight this term, increasing speculation that he could soon be set for a premature departure from the San Siro, with Premier league clubs Manchester United and Chelsea reportedly upping their interest in his services.
Mancini would be very reluctant to lose his star man, especially to any domestic league rivals, with Serie A giants and reigning champions Juventus also expressing some desire to capture the amazing Argentina attacker.
Following a short spell at Barcelona during his youth career, Icardi switched to Italian side Sampdoria, netting 10 goals in his first senior season at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, and earning a move to current club Inter.
Icardi is one of the most sought-after and promising prospects in European football following his stunning performances, becoming one of only six players aged 21 or under to have netted 10 or more in either the Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1, Premier League, Eredivisie and Serie A this season.
The prolific poacher is behind only PSV’s wicked wideman Memphis Depay in terms of top-flight strikes so far during this current campaign, and is third in that list regarding shooting accuracy and shots per goal ratio.
Inter’s potent centre forward has shown a great sense of positional play, always finding space and popping up in dangerous areas to fire home for his Mancini’s men. With a deadly right foot, and an impressive aerial ability, Icardi is an all-round attacking threat, with a killer eye for goal.
However, with all his talent, the feisty forward has some troublesome flaws which have reared their ugly head this season, threatening to spoil his top class outings and derail his team’s attempts to overturn a bad run of form.
His temper on the field, along with some slight selfishness within his game, have been pinpointed at times this term, especially highlighted in recent league games when Icardi has refused to play easy passes to teammates in favour of going it alone, tending to ambitiously shoot from long-range positions.
A problematic style of play from the Argentine, along with a fiery attitude, recently caused friction with former San Siro teammate Dani Osvaldo. The tainted Italian was livid with Icardi’s decision to try and individually find an advantageous forward position, instead of simply playing his fellow forward through on goal.
Although, since the bust-up, Osvaldo has departed the country and Icardi has continued his superb showings for the Nerazzuri, becoming the club’s topscorer with 15 strikes in all competitions.
Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic are the next side to face the daunting task of trying to stop Icardi’s astute attacking threat, as Ronny Deila’s Bhoys battle Inter in a last 32 Europa League encounter at Celtic Park.
The Glasgow giants will have to keep the Argentine at bay in order to seal a shock progression over two legs, with Inter’s in-form striker set to lead the line yet again, having netted six times in his previous eight games.
Icardi is 8/1 to strike twice against the Hoops, after bagging a brilliant brace last time out in an Italian league triumph over Palermo, with their Scottish opponents available at 21/10 to cause a first-leg upset.