Icardi rumours inevitable, says agent

The striker is reportedly a target of both Real and Atletico Madrid, with his representative unsurprised by the level of interest in the Argentine

The agent of Inter’s Mauro Icardi says rumours linking his client with a move away from the club are “inevitable”.

Speculation has been mounting that the striker could be a target for both Real Madrid and Atletico following a string of impressive performances since signing from Sampdoria in the close-season.

And, while acknowledging the presence of newspaper talk about Icardi’s future, the forward’s representative stressed that the 21-year-old is fully focused on his role at Inter.

“We are at a moment in the season when it is inappropriate to talk about operations in the transfer market,” Abian Morano told Fichajes.com.

“Mauro is totally focused on the field and will continue to grow under the command of Walter Mazzarri.

“All these stories are inevitable, Icardi has a bright future ahead of him.”

Speaking earlier this week, Icardi himself told Sky Sport 24: “I want to make my career here at Inter.”

Icardi has scored eight goals in 19 Serie A appearances this season.

Moratti: Zanetti could have become Inter president

The 68-year-old had grand plans for the veteran prior to selling his majority stake in the club, but feels he will still play a key role at San Siro when he eventually retires

Massimo Moratti believes Inter legend Javier Zanetti could have become president had he still been in charge of the club.

The 68-year-old sold a 70 per cent stake in the San Siro outfit to Erick Thohir last year, with the Indonesian businessman ending Moratti’s 18-year presidential reign when he was elected in November.

However, the Italian oil tycoon feels Zanetti could have risen to the top of the Nerazzurri hierarchy under the former regime.

“With me, Zanetti knew for sure that he could even have become president,” he is quoted as telling Telelombardia.

“Because I might have thought about naming as president someone who knows everything, someone who represents Inter, who’s respected and who has the right image. And who could perhaps give interviews instead of me in the morning!

“There’s been a change for him now, there’s a new person who obviously couldn’t know him as well. But I think he’s sounded things out, also because Thohir is smart.

“Zanetti will stay at Inter and he’ll definitely have a position which, in my view, must be an operative role and not just a representative one.

“He’s the sort of person who knows how to manage situations, just as he’s managed his personal life well with the PUPI Foundation and other things that are very important.

“He’s managed his family life extremely well, his investments, his life at Inter.

“I think he’ll definitely be an excellent director and that’s what they’ll get him to do.”

Zanetti, 40, has made nine Serie A appearances for Inter this season.

Icardi: I will not leave Inter

The promising youngster is keen to stay at his current club and has ruled out a move to Atletico come June

Mauro Icardi has insisted that he has no intention of leaving Inter any time soon amid rumours linking him with a move to Atletico Madrid this summer.

The Primera Division leaders allegedly see Icardi as the perfect replacement for Diego Costa in case the latter leaves ahead of the 2014-15 campaign, but the 21-year-old has made it clear that a transfer is not an option for him at this stage.

“I want to make my career here at Inter,” the Argentine attacker told Sky Sport 24.

“If Inter send me away then I will leave, but I want to continue doing what I have been doing this year and learn new things here.

“Other clubs are interested in signing me? They’ll have to think of someone else.”

Icardi joined Inter from Sampdoria in the summer of 2013 and has developed into an important first-team member in recent weeks after a difficult start to life at the Nerazzurri.

The former Barcelona youngster has netted eight goals in 19 Serie A appearances so far this term.

Handanovic would cost €80m, says Pagliuca

The Slovenia international has been linked with a move to Manchester City, but only a world record bid for a keeper will prize him away according to one former San Siro star

Former Inter goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca says the club’s current No.1 Samir Handanovic is worth €70-€80 million.

The 29-year-old has kept 14 clean sheets in 33 Serie A appearances this term and subsequently been linked with a move to Premier League side Manchester City.

However, Pagliuca believes it would take a world record bid for a keeper for the Nerazzurri to even consider parting with the Slovenia international.

“He is a player that makes the difference, of course,” Pagliuca told TuttoSport. “If a team were to offer 70 or 80 million euros then maybe they could take him, otherwise they will have to look elsewhere and find someone else.

“Handanovic’s year didn’t start so well but he recovered and is having a super season finale.

“Yes, he has made a couple of mistakes against Atalanta and Parma for example, but, no discussion is needed, his performances have been good.

“Handanovic did well last year, but also had the ghost of Julio Cesar to get rid of. After [Gianluigi] Buffon, he is the best goalkeeper in the Serie A.”

Pagliuca also added that Inter made the right decision to send 22-year-old goalkeeper Francesco Bardi out on loan.

“He has an assured future, is a great prospect and has had a good season. But he is still young and needs to play with continuity.

“I would send him out on loan again next season and would make a decision in the summer of 2015. Right now, Inter must stick with Handanovic.”

Serie A Team of the Week: Three and easy for rejuvenated Milan

The Rossoneri renaissance continued against Livorno on Easter Saturday, with three Diavolo stars making Goal’s best XI of round 34

The Easter calendar saw Juventus edge closer to a third successive title, Roma ensure Champions League group stage football in 2014-15, Inter and Milan continue their assault on Europa League places and both Sassuolo and Catania grab relegation lifelines. Just another dramatic weekend in Serie A then. And our latest Goal Team of the Week reflects just that.

Like any standard weekend in Italy, there was a Samir Handanovic penalty save to enjoy, with the Slovenian’s stop from Antonio Cassano helping Inter to beat Parma 2-0. Ahead of him, Rolando played his part too, scoring the opening goal in the win at the Tardini. Leandro Castan was much of the reason Roma overcame Fiorentina to guarantee Champions League group play, while Paolo Cannavaro had a similar effect in Sassuolo’s hugely important victory at Chievo. Meanwhile, Kevin Constant became the first of three Milan players in our XI thanks to his performance in the 3-0 victory against lowly Livorno.

Juan Iturbe was the star of Verona’s midfield as they saw off Atalanta in Bergamo, and Antonio Candreva was also on fire, scoring twice in Lazio’s dramatic 3-3 draw against Torino. Juve’s charge for 100 points was boosted by Paul Pogba‘s excellent finish against Bologna and Adel Taarabt was also on the scoresheet as Milan moved level with Parma on 51 points.

The front line has two familiar faces, with Mario Balotelli leading the way for the Rossoneri and Adem Ljajic adding to his goal against Atalanta by turning in a starring show against former club Fiorentina as Roma took a seat at European’s top table for the first time in four seasons.

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