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Transfer Rater: Neymar to Real Madrid

Football Whispers
 By Ben Gladwell

Mauro Icardi affirms his desire to remain at Inter Milan

Mauro Icardi has affirmed his allegiance to Inter Milan amid reports of a revolution at the Serie A club this summer, which could mean that not even his future is safe.

The club captain is the latest name to be linked with a move away from the Nerazzurri, with their Chinese owners considering all of their options to ensure next season will not be another flop.

Inter have ambitious plans to lure Antonio Conte from Chelsea to become their next coach and reports claim that nobody -- not even Icardi -- is assured of a place at the club next term.

The Argentinian striker is arguably their most valuable asset, but he stressed in a message on his Instagram account that a transfer does not come into the question.

"The Champions League?? Yes, I am going to play in it with these colours because this is the club who made me grow and it is the club where I have reached the places I had always dreamed of reaching, and because it is the club who have given me the responsibility to be their captain and to represent them with pride and honour, ALWAYS, in the good times and particularly in the bad times," he wrote.

"These are just some of the reasons [why I want to stay]... but above all, because this is the club that I LOVE!! #ForzaInter."

Icardi will not have the opportunity to experience Champions League football next season, and it is not likely he will be playing in Europe at all. Inter need to make up a four-point deficit on their city rivals AC Milan in the final two games of the season if they are to have a chance of snatching sixth place.

On Wednesday, the club announced that Icardi has a left thigh injury and underwent an MRI to determine his condition. The club said he is "day to day."

The club's preseason aim was a top-three finish with qualification for the Europa League set as the minimum objective by their new owners, the Suning Group. Failure on both fronts is likely to lead to a squad overhaul in the summer and, to finance that, the sale of key players is likely.

Ivan Perisic is another of the candidates to be sold and it is being reported by both La Gazzetta dello Sport and Il Corriere della Sera that Inter's sporting director Piero Ausilio is on a mission to Paris and London to gauge interest in the Croatian. Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United are all listed as potential suitors.

The main piece in the puzzle, however, is the position of head coach. Inter went through three managers this season, with Roberto Mancini dismissed just prior to the start of the season, Frank De Boer lasting just three months and Stefano Pioli sacked just over a week ago.

Conte has been earmarked as their No. 1 target, but the likelihood of him being lured away from Chelsea after leading them to the Premier League title and a place in the Champions League next season appear slim.

According to Le Parisien, Inter have therefore turned their attention to Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim. He could guide the club from the Principality to their eighth Ligue 1 title on Wednesday night, having already taken them to the semifinals of the Champions League this season.

The French newspaper reported that their sources say Inter have already made contact with his entourage and offered him a contract worth €5 million per annum.

The names of Mauricio Pochettino and Luciano Spalletti are also reportedly on Inter's list of targets.

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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