Friday February 15 2019
Another Icardi soap opera

Football Italia’s Chief Football Correspondent Richard Hall looks at the ongoing drama unfolding at Inter and asks how they can come to a resolution.

‘Behind every great man there is a great woman’ may well be a quote that Wanda Nara lives by, but few in Milan would agree right now. Mauro Icardi and his agent have been living out a soap opera of late and Inter have played a major role. Maybe she will be proved right, perhaps in two seasons time and as her husband lifts the Champions League with Real Madrid, she will give the Nerazzurri a well-manicured finger. Perhaps this situation will, once again, see an uneasy ceasefire called, but whatever the outcome, all parties look unprofessional.

Picture this, Beppe Marotta is walking through the Suning Training Center when he hears an argument. He walks into the large press room and to the right he sees Coach Luciano Spalletti gesticulating wildly. On the left of the room, Wanda is shouting back with all the Latin passion one would imagine. All of a sudden Mauro appears to back up his wife and the conflict escalates. Enter stage right Icardi’s sister, everybody gasps, she slaps Wanda, the argument continues until the door slams open, everyone is silent, it’s Massimo Moratti. Queue credits and theme tune.

This sounds ridiculous right? Well it is, but the protracted negotiations over Icardi’s contract and the time line to the captaincy being taken off him have been similar to a poorly-acted soap opera.

On February 12 when Marotta and Spalletti met, it is reported they discussed how to deal will the Mauro situation. They decided that the Argentinian wasn’t befitting of the Inter armband and who can blame them? Javier Zanetti still walks amongst them and is a living symbol, following in the footsteps of Beppe Bergomi, Armando Picchi, Giacinto Facchetti and Beppe Baresi. Perhaps no matter what the outcome, a new leader in the squad will send a message that they are the collective and Icardi will either be gone or simply remain as the striker with the bad boy image.

Whilst much of the anger has been directed at Wanda Nara, Inter must look at themselves. They have throughout this entire debacle not managed their PR in the right way. Spalletti has been extremely outspoken and at times provocative, enhancing his reputation as a Coach who struggles with players who have egos that match his own.

Marotta has come into a situation that must be incredibly hard to get to grips with and he will have some tough decisions to make. It can’t get much more complex than stripping the captain of his role to hand it to a teammate.

So, what next for Icardi and Inter? The simple fact of the matter is that if the Nerazzurri are to keep their centre-forward, then they need to accept that they will continue to experience their negotiations through the medium of Instagram.

There is an argument that the club could come out of this on top, albeit not unscathed. As mentioned previously, publicly disassociating Icardi from the image of the club is a politically shrewd step. This ‘him and us’ situation allows him to continue in the same vein, but now he is only an embodiment of himself and his camp. Many a team has had a wayward striker whose image has a rebellious appeal, so it could actually improve both brands.

If they are to sell him, then with two years left on his contract, they will get good money for him. Inter would miss the goals, but arguably the rest of the team would have to take on the collective responsibility. Look at the example when Gonzalo Higuain left Napoli, Maurizio Sarri created a utilitarian team who all revelled in their new goal-scoring roles. Inter also have Lautaro Martinez, who scored against Rapid Vienna (that’s right there was football actually played yesterday), he was dubbed ‘The Saint’ and the ‘Vice King’ in the morning papers. Even if Lautaro has a long way to go, the transfer fee for Icardi would at least allow the club to sign another front man.

This drama will no doubt rumble on for some time. Spalletti said, after the game in Vienna that there was no problem with Mauro returning as far as he could see and then went on to praise Handanovic as captain. It is likely that the two camps will reach some sort of resolution and he will return to action, especially as the transfer window is closed. Inter have some tough decisions to make as whichever direction they chose, or whichever path they are forced down, they have clear consequences. Icardi has come back from an argument with the Curva Nord let’s not forget, so tune in for the next episode.

Have your say...
Inter need to cut their losses and let go of Icardi and the off-field circus that goes with him. He's not good enough to worthy all the drama. Sell him asap get good money, invest in local youth and build a team, not a collection of individual premadonnas. Inter are lagging and need to get serious about competing with Juve and the big boys in Europe!
on the 19th February, 2019 at 10:11am
To compare wages: Robert Lewandowski earns €225k (€3,32M y.) a week, which is official a highest wage at Bayern. Unoficcial is said around £300k pw.
on the 19th February, 2019 at 9:33am
Inter have to sell Icardi. With this, he is done at Inter. Even if I agree that 4.5m a year is not what he deserves, negotiations have to be conducted for regular ways. Wanda will try to get every euro she can. I dont understand Icardi - he should control his wife, or probably she wears the trousers in that house? I would not be surprised at all...
on the 18th February, 2019 at 5:04pm
What do you expect from club like inter? Lol
on the 18th February, 2019 at 12:57am
Inter should apologise to Mr & Mrs Wanda.
on the 17th February, 2019 at 2:29pm
It's so simple, Icardi package (including Mr Nara) is not a proper example to represent the club thus he was stripped of from captaincy. At the same time everyone knows he is top striker.
From now on he will be treated like a typical greedy footballer, not the symbol of the club.
I guess they'll offer him a better deal but will he sign it? We will see.
Nice point: "...all parties look unprofessional
on the 17th February, 2019 at 12:58pm
Beppe rossi
I actually agree. I mean im the first to say these players of today earn toooo much but if was a player like Icardi and i saw that Ramsey is on his way to Jube for 400k AWEEK i would 100% be asking for a payrise. I mean I'm better that Ramsey. It's deals like this that ruin football. I mean what on earth are Juve doing wasting that kind of money on a player who is injured more than he plays and to be brutal he is absolute turd even icardi wife his better than him.
on the 17th February, 2019 at 9:23am
Stop giving her money- she will soon shut up when she can't buy a £10k handbag. Then she'll realise nust how good she has it.
What a shame for any man to end up with with a B like that!
on the 17th February, 2019 at 9:14am
make a apology. return to the team like nothing has happened as gesture of humility. since scenario has changed and captain is now handanovic the most respected and senior figure in the team you have accept that. sign a proper contract without any clause now that we are in cl and you have a hand in achieving it. join us to show love or boycott us because you want to buy a plane.
on the 17th February, 2019 at 9:11am
Inter is not waiting here to like you. but i get that not evereybody have to like everybody. why on earth we dont want to fullfil the demand of most top billing genuine striker?. who told you that? i'm pretty sure this saga is raiola esque one where you have to stomach poison for the case in order to come in terms. icardi is not bigger than INTER so if there any sorts of by laws in the contract that means he needs gap to jump the ship as he wish. no respect for the club he captaiined
on the 17th February, 2019 at 8:58am
I feel like every year, Icardi's wife is asking for a new contract. I feel like Inter really should put their foot down and have him either commit to a long-term extension of at least 3 years or look to offload him. I don't even like Inter and I find this to be ridiculous that any club is having to bow to the ego of someone like Wanda Nara.
on the 16th February, 2019 at 10:38pm
After the wife stealing saga, I didn't like Icardi either. But as time went on I came to respect him. Firstly, he stayed with Wanda so it wasn't just a cheap fling. He's clearly committed as a stable family man. Secondly, for his professionalism on the field. Ever since he arrived at Inter he's always worked hard and shown his mental strength. Lastly, his incredible ability. He has a phenomenal record for such a young age. Inter should have doubled his wages like he deserves and avoided all this
on the 16th February, 2019 at 6:42pm
Inter needs to get rid of Icardi and his circus at the end of this season. Timo Werner is out of contract in the summer and with him and Lautaro we will be fine. Use the Icardi money to get the midfield sorted i.e. to replace Nainggolan and Vecino as starters, perhaps with Barella and Benassi, and we will be fine. Wanda can go to any side of Madrid and see how they treat primadonnas not named Ronaldo over there.
on the 16th February, 2019 at 4:23pm
Icardi is henpecked, but he can't see it.
on the 16th February, 2019 at 3:06pm
LOL Stupid management from iconic club of clowns. What a stupid mistake from inter. Zaniolo, Joao Cancelo, and now Icardi... Hahahahaha.

Yo Inter fans, answer my question honestly. Do you think he's better than Dybala or Higuain??? If yes is your answer then you will have to accept his demand and pay him as much as Higuain's salary in Juventus/Milan/Chelsea. That's how it works if you want to compete with the Big Guns like Juventus, Real Madrid, Barcelona, PSG, etc.
on the 16th February, 2019 at 3:01pm
Inter punish Icardi for standing by Wandas' insulting comment of the club but when he refuses to play which is worse they don't punish him. No consistency, mixed messaged limp response. That's why these problems don't get resovled and escalate. Inter brought this mess on themselves.
on the 16th February, 2019 at 12:29pm
You can hate Raiola as much as Wanda but they are nothing alike. Wanda is messing up a pretty simple deal for her client. Raiola makes clubs sign deals they don't want to which is fantastic for his client. Unless Wanda cheats on Icardi then he is stuck to her. I hate Inter but even I don't think they deserve to deal with Wanda. Hats of to Viktor for not mentioning his team for once.
on the 16th February, 2019 at 10:13am
Without saying too much about the clubs themselves, the fact that both the Milanese clubs allowed 2-bit players to drag the clubs through the mud - Donnarumma at Milan and now Icardi at Inter - speaks volumes about their managements (or lack thereof). @Paolo: I can see why you'd hate Moggi, seeing as his brilliance as his mercato genius often confounded people like you who hated his guts. This goes to show that even if you do good for 1 club there are always people like you everywhere.
on the 16th February, 2019 at 6:54am
Why Inter didn’t improve his contract in last two or years?you can’t treat your mvp like that and 4.5m is pretty low for his caliber. If Inter did, he’d be happy to take an offer around 7m to 8m. Juventus improved Dybala’s contract after two seasons, Inter management team should be angry. It seems the departure is destined but don’t know how much Inter could get from him. PSG need a replacement for Cavani.He would be a perfect successor of Mandzukic though.
on the 16th February, 2019 at 2:53am
Well funny thing is if money’s an issue what was the wages for Inters payroll when they had Vieri Ronaldo Baggio Zamorano as strikers at THE SAME TIME!? Cmon Inter spend that Perelli money.
Icardi is bit immature after all how can ya trust guy who sleeps with and steals floozy wife of fellow soccer countrymen and friend?
Tho I think they need each other.
Icardi could get that money and do well at other big clubs...cuz sadly Inter have been poorly managed when he’s the captain / face of club.
on the 16th February, 2019 at 12:02am
Unless anything changed, your star striker is only making €4.5 million a year. How can Inter think they wouldn't have a demand to raise his pay? Capocannoniere last season, and 109 goals in 179 matches for Inter. Inter are very cheap. I don't see any fault with Icardi demanding a doubling in wages.
on the 15th February, 2019 at 11:21pm

the female version of raiola i knew that there was a male version of his species him and moggi are toxic waste, this means they can procreate.

It is interesting to see how wanda deals with his situation does she see that icardi is affecting is financial welfare and his commercial prospects. Jezz i really wonder how she would handle a business situation seeming her key qualification is that she is icardi wife.
on the 15th February, 2019 at 10:12pm
Icardi is under contract it is only feb he would be a complete moron not to try and reconcile with inter he basically would be hurting his chances of a better wage. Inter need icardi goals it feb they don't really have another player capable of doing what icardi does. those two reasons alone are enough for reconciliation.

as for his situation you have a player with a estimated worth of 100 million euros running down a contract with 2 years left on it. They would crazy not to sell.
on the 15th February, 2019 at 10:02pm
If Icardi is to to play for Inter, Wanda has to go and he can only prove himself on the playing field with good performances.
on the 15th February, 2019 at 9:54pm
At this point, it's likely that Spalletti will be gone at the end of the season(here's hoping) and if Marotta is serious about clearing up this mess then Icardi's sale is highly likely too, if any other club is stupid enough to take on his loudmouthed baggage, especially as we need funds to revamp our clunky midfield. Lautaro is perfect as the new face of the 'brand', bar his inexperience. He has a 'look', a trademark celebration, and one could argue a bit of Zamarano about him. Stay tuned...
on the 15th February, 2019 at 8:19pm
It was about time they stripped the captaincy from him. No one is more deserving of the armband than Handanovic, as he has been a loyal servant for years and has't been controversial at all, also he has clearly been the on-field leader even when others held the armband. It is now time to completely ditch Icardi and let Lautaro grow.
on the 15th February, 2019 at 8:03pm
Bahahahahhahahahh.... I mean, honestly, couldn't y'all se this from MILES???

His wife is running the show entirely. Such talent, such horrid woman. She's the female version of Raiola.
on the 15th February, 2019 at 7:56pm

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