Premier League clubs have been dealt a blow after Inter Milan forward Mauro Icardi has insisted he is staying in Italy.
Manchester United and Chelsea have both expressed interest in the 23-year-old Argentinian international who has impressed for Inter this season. He took over the captaincy of the club from Andrea Ranocchia at the beginning of the campaign and has helped Inter to a fourth-placed finish in Serie A.
Icardi has come out and said that he is ‘absolutely’ going nowhere and intends to stay at the San Siro. Icardi also commented on the longevity of fellow countryman and Inter legend Javier Zanetti:
“I have a contract until 2019 and there are a few years to go yet. I will absolutely stay here.”
“Do I want to become the new Javier Zanetti? Steady on, that’s a lot of years.
“I am happy to be here and to be wearing his armband. If I get to remain as many years as he did, then I’ll be even happier.”
Icardi has been a hit at Inter and it is no wonder that clubs from the Premier League are interested in his signature
Here we look at how he compares to the striking options of both United and Chelsea.
Both United and Chelsea have lacked bite in front of goals this season compared to previous campaigns. A forward like Icardi would be a welcome addition to their squads for the coming season. Icardi has netted 16 times in the notoriously tight Serie A league. Those 16 goals come in just 32 league games meaning Icardi has an impressive record of one goal every two games and has scored 33% of Inter’s goals this season.
In comparison to United and Chelsea, Icardi is miles ahead. United’s top scorer is Anthony Martial who has 11 goals and Diego Costa is the top marksman at Stamford Bridge with 12, a below par score compared to the 20 times he found the net last season.
With Icardi in the team, Inter score an average of 1.3 goals per game, United have a slightly worse record than that with 1.2 but Chelsea have a better record at 1.5.
As the fourth top scorer in Serie A this season Icardi will be getting a lot of attention. United have a number of wingers and players in the number 10 role and even Wayne Rooney is operating in a deeper position nowadays. Van Gaal could do with a striker who can be effective in the penalty area and allow the likes of Rooney, Martial and Juan Mata to pull the strings for him.
It will be interesting to see if Icardi’s head can be turned the way of the Premier League especially now Antonio Conte has been appointed Chelsea manager. The Italian will know all about Icardi from his days as Juventus manager. Conte does have a world class striker in Costa already at Chelsea and on his day the Spanish international can be unplayable.
Icardi however does seem settled in Italy and Inter boss Roberto Mancini will hope he stays at the club and mount a title challenge next season with the I Nerazzurri.