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 By Ben Gladwell

Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi distracted by Real Madrid rumours - Ronaldo

Former Inter Milan forward Ronaldo believes Mauro Icardi is caught in two minds about a rumoured offer from Real Madrid as the Argentine's recent form has dipped.

The 24-year-old, who has also been linked with a move to Manchester United in the summer, has found the back of the net just once in his past five Serie A appearances, while his run of two goals in seven coincides with a winless run which has seen the Nerazzurri drop out of the running for the title and risk slipping out of the top four.

Icardi has often pledged his future to the Serie A club, but Ronaldo believes Real's interest could now be getting to him -- and he knows what he would do in such a situation.

"I'm convinced that Icardi is happy at Inter, as I was happy at Inter too, even if I suffered from a lot of injuries and my departure was not the one I had hoped for," Ronaldo told Sky Sport Italia. "But even though we don't know much about the transfer market, I think a lot of clubs are lining up for Icardi.

"Going to Real is every footballer's dream, but I don't know if it is his."

Inter are just a point ahead of fifth-placed Roma in a three-team scramble for two Champions League berths behind the runaway title challengers Napoli and Juventus.

Just two months ago, the situation looked different with Inter going on a 16-game unbeaten start to the season.

"It seemed like it was going to be our year," according to Ronaldo, who believes the club must now unite behind coach Luciano Spalletti and not abandon him.

"You can't go on questioning everybody, from the players to the coach, each year.

"You've got to believe in a project and give it the time it takes to work. What Inter did in the first two months of the season cannot have been a fluke.

"Everybody was saying how Spalletti was their best signing, weren't they? I tend to agree more with what 'my' president [Massimo] Moratti says, that if he's as good as he certainly is, then now is the time for him to find the key to get certain players -- without naming names -- back to playing at certain levels, even by changing something if necessary."

Former player Fredy Guarin has spoken of his desire to return to Inter, who signed Lisandro Lopes and Rafinha during the transfer window, two years after being sold to Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua.

"Money's not an issue -- I'd be willing to pay for a fifth of what I'm getting now," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport . "I spoke about it with [Inter's sporting director Piero] Ausilio last year, but the club's financial situation prevented it.

"I'd come back immediately, it's my greatest wish. When we spoke about it last year, there was [Frank] De Boer and a lot of confusion, but I wanted to come back at all costs."

Guarin was sold more for financial reasons, with Inter consequently avoiding the necessity of listening to offers for Icardi, as Guarin explains.

"Due to financial fair play, the management told me that only I and Icardi could earn them big money, and they needed money," he said.

"Nobody forced me to leave, of course, but my sale was important for the bank account. That was the only positive to come from my sale."

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.


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