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Inter Milan Vice-President Javier Zanetti is “very confident” of Champions League qualification, and hopes Mauro Icardi can go to the World Cup.

The Nerazzurri are aiming to finish in the top four this season, and and they currently sit in fourth place just one point ahead of Lazio, with a game in hand to come against city rivals Milan.

“I’m very confident, above all because of the difficult periods that everyone goes through,” Zanetti told Premium Sport.

“The important thing is knowing how to overcome those, and this team is proving that it knows how to do that.

According to various reports in the media, Juventus’ Massimiliano Allegri has moved to the top of Paris Saint-Germain’s managerial wish list as the Ligue 1 leaders plan to replace coach Unai Emery at the end of this season

Chelsea’s Antonio Conte and Tottenham Hotspur’s Mauricio Pochettino have been the two names most frequently linked with the PSG job after the French side crashed out of the Champions League at the hands of Real Madrid.

However, while Pochettino, who captained PSG as a player, remains high on the shortlist of chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi and sporting director Antero Henrique, Conte has been replaced by Allegri.

Chelsea have made the first move to sign in-demand Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi.

The 25-year-old Inter captain is a target for a number of Europe’s top clubs, including Real Madrid, after scoring 22 goals in 26 appearances for the Serie A side this season.

Icardi has scored 103 goals in 180 appearances in Serie A, meaning he has scored more league goals at the age of 25 than both Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Across the top five leagues, only Lionel Messi [169 goals], Sergio Aguero [109] and Wayne Rooney [107] had better totals at the age of 25.

He is one of the hottest young strikers in world football, and Inter Milan have beat them all to the signing of Racing Club striker Lautaro Martinez.

Speaking to La Radio de Linea on Wednesday, Martinez’s agent Beto Yaque announced that Inter would look to pair him with another striker – without namechecking Mauro Icardi – and how the Nerazzurri ‘burned’ Borussia Dortmund.

“He’ll have an €111m release clause with Inter, and they’ll build their team around him,” revealed the representative.

“That’s what the Inter executives told us. The Coach would like to play with two strikers, and one of them will be Lautaro.

Fiorentina president Mario Cognigni has announced plans to rename the club’s training ground after Davide Astori.

Centre back Astori, who was Fiorentina’s captain, died in his sleep earlier this month at the age of 31 following a cardiac arrest.

The club retired his No 13 shirt and will now train at Centro Sportivo Davide Astori, but Cognigni has promised even more initiatives to honour the ex-skipper.

“The past week has been particularly difficult and I want to thank everyone for their shows of affection and understanding we received during this painful period,” Executive President Mario Cognini told Mediaset Premium.

Italy’s interim coach Luigi Di Biagio says the door is still open for maverick striker Mario Balotelli.

Despite scoring regularly for Ligue 1 side Nice, Balotelli was once again overlooked for this month’s friendlies.

The 27-year-old has scored 22 goals in 31 appearances in all competitions for the French side this season.

‘Numbers and goals are important for forwards but they have to be linked to a certain type of performance,’ Di Biagio told reporters at the team’s training camp outside Florence.

‘I have looked, judged and decided… I will continue to follow him and we will see what he does in the next few months.’

Juventus general manager Giuseppe Marotta has openly admitted the Italian giants have made Liverpool midfielder Emre Can their ‘primary objective’ in the summer.

The Serie A side have made no secret of their desire to take the German, who will become a free agent in the summer.

Can is yet to sign a new deal with Liverpool, and has been linked with Juve throughout the course of the campaign.

The situation remains unclear, with Can in recent weeks confirming he would only be concentrating on the ongoing season, before permitting his agent to sort out his future once the summer window opens.

Gianluigi Buffon revealed he linked up with the Italy national squad for upcoming friendlies against Argentina and England to pay tribute to his late international team-mate Davide Astori.

With Juventus still in the fight for the Champions League, Serie A and Coppa Italia, the 40-year-old was expected to sit the two fixtures out to rest and recuperate ahead of a frantic season run-in.

But Buffon, who was pictured training with the Azzurri on Monday, says he felt a sense of responsibility and is hoping to honour Astori, who passed away on March 4 aged only 31, by playing in the high-profile friendly matches.

Inter captain Mauro Icardi truly led from the front as he blew Sampdoria away on Sunday afternoon. The Argentine scored four goals as his side thumped their Serie A rivals 5-0.

Ivan Perisic added the other but the match will belong to Icardi’s brilliant display – who passed two century marks in style.

Ending the day with 103 goals in his Italian league career, the 25-year-old became the sixth-youngest player in Serie A history to score 100 or more.

The players ahead of Icardi on the list are: Giuseppe Meazza, Silvio Piola, Giampiero Boniperti, Felice Borel and Jose Altafini – all legendary footballers.

Lazio are the remaining Serie A side in the Europa League after AC Milan were beaten 5-1 on aggregate by Arsenal.

In the quarter-finals, Lazio will face Salzburg of Austriam while Arsenal will meet Russian side CSKA Moscow. Elsewhere, Spanish side Atletico Madrid, who are second in La Liga, face Sporting Lisbon of Portugal and Germany’s RB Leipzig play Marseille from France.

Europa League Quarter-Finals Preview
Leipzig (GER) v Marseille (FRA)

  • The teams have never met before in UEFA competition.
  • Leipzig took four points off Marseille’s neighbours Monaco in this season’s UEFA Champions League group stage, drawing 1-1 in Germany and scoring four first-half goals in a 4-1 win in the return fixture.