Luciano Spalletti reportedly surprised everyone, including Inter directors, when dropping Mauro Icardi against Lazio for his refusal to apologise.
Icardi has not played since he was suddenly stripped of the captaincy on February 13, for reasons that have never been clarified, but are believed to revolve around his wife and agent Wanda Nara’s criticism of his teammates during her job as a television pundit.
This week, after intensive negotiations with lawyer Paolo Nicoletti as mediator between the club and Icardi, he agreed to return to training with the rest of the team.
With Lautaro Martinez injured, Icardi may well have been expected to start against Lazio, but Coach Spalletti surprised everyone in today’s Press conference by declaring the striker was not even in the squad.
The wording of Spalletti’s comments pointed to a new incident that occurred on Friday, which was when the rest of the players returned from international duty.
“Considering what happened lately, including yesterday, I maintain he is not yet able to help his teammates in this game. That is why he will not be called up.
“I have to consider everything, from the previous period all the way up to yesterday. He trained with us all week, something new happened yesterday that I need to evaluate.”
According to the Corriere della Sera newspaper, Spalletti started the session with all the players present and asked Icardi if he wanted to say something.
The Argentine replied he had nothing to say, having already cleared the air with Coach and club, but this irritated Spalletti.
Lawyer Nicoletti then told news agency ANSA that he was not “informed” of Icardi’s exclusion ahead of time, so this is seen as a new betrayal, or at the very least Spalletti going rogue against the club’s attempts to patch things up.