Inter Milan president talks about Roberto Mancini amid reported unrest
Erick Thohir has called Roberto Mancini Inter Milan's "star player" amid reports of continued unrest between the manager and the club's new Chinese owners.
Mancini and Inter president Thohir met on Friday in a bid to settle any differences, but the outcome was an agreement to meet again on Tuesday, when representatives of Inter's new owners -- the Suning Group -- will also be present in New York.
Thohir is hoping Mancini will remain in place to continue his work with Inter, which led to them finishing fourth in Serie A last season.
"Lots of things have been written about Roberto Mancini in Italy," Thohir said. "I've been in contact with him over the last few days and I'll be meeting him in the States, but I would like to repeat what I've said on previous occasions and always thought -- that Roberto is our star player.
"It is with his ability and experience that we want to try and improve on last year's league position to qualify for the Champions League and go as far as we possibly can in the Europa League and Coppa Italia."
However, Mancini appeared frustrated when asked for an updated status on his relationship with club bosses and whether he is considering resigning amid the ongoing uncertainty, saying "it's the same as it was two days ago."
"Let's see what happens in the next few days," added the 51-year-old on the Nerazzurri's website. "There's nothing to say about it. Nothing has changed."
Thohir also moved to play down speculation surrounding the future of Mauro Icardi after the striker had been linked with Napoli and Arsenal.
He said: "There has also been a lot of talk about Mauro Icardi and I'd like to reiterate what our sporting director Piero Ausilio said just a few days ago: Mauro is a major asset for Inter, he's our captain and he is not for sale."
Inter were beaten 3-1 by Paris Saint-Germain in a preseason warm-up fixture on Sunday and will play Estudiantes in New Jersey on Wednesday night before meeting Bayern Munich in Charlotte, North Carolina on Saturday.
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.