The coach says he would struggle to replace the striker’s goals if he were to leave but acknowledges selling the 22-year-old would free up funds
Roberto Mancini has admitted the sale of Mauro Icardi would enable him to sign “two or three players” but fears his Inter side would be severely handicapped if he was to sanction his exit.
Reports have suggested the impact of Financial Fair Play could force the club to sell one of the squad’s star men, with the Argentine striker and goalkeeper Samir Handanovic rumoured to be candidates for a summer departure.
Icardi has been linked with a move to Premier League side Chelsea as well as a number of Europe’s other biggest sides in recent weeks after scoring 19 goals in 33 appearances in all competitions this season.
The 22-year-old hasn’t been without his detractors either, though. His relationship with the ex-wife of his former team-mate Maxi Lopez attracted headlines for all the wrong reasons, while he also clashed with Inter fans after a recent defeat to Sassuolo.
Mancini has spoken at length of his admiration for Icardi and recently tipped him to become one of the world’s top strikers, but whether that is at Inter or elsewhere remains to be seen.
The coach said: “We will see what will occur in the transfer market. If you have a striker who scores 20 goals a year then you don’t want to lose him, but if you sell him then it can get you money to buy two or three players to improve the team overall.
“A winning team must have those marks but forwards are decisive players and it is not easy to find one who scores that regularly.
“In any case, it is still too early in the season to discuss all this.”
The former Manchester City boss will come across one of his former team-mates in the shape of Vincenzo Montella on Sunday as Inter host Fiorentina at San Siro.
The pair played alongside one another for Sampdoria in the 1990s and Mancini praised the qualities of his compatriot following rumours he could replace Filippo Inzaghi at AC Milan.
“He scored many goals thanks to me!” joked the 50-year-old.
“It was a real pleasure to play alongside him. He is a good lad and deserves all his current success. He makes Fiorentina play really good football.
“Montella has enough experience to be a coach at any club, even the biggest ones, but a young tactician has to think carefully about his future and choose the side that will allow him to work in the best circumstances.”
Mancini also confirmed Xherdan Shaqiri is fit to play after being rested for the 2-1 win over Cagliari on Monday.