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Ausilio: ‘Our Reasons To Strip Icardi Of Captaincy Are Valid’

Inter director Piero Ausilio explained why they stripped Mauro Icardi of the captaincy and reiterated it was his decision to pull out of the Europa League game against Rapid Vienna.

Inevitably, the pre-match interview was dominated by the Icardi situation, as the striker and former captain refused to take part.

“Luciano Spalletti spoke after meetings with the directors, so this is a shared decision by Inter as a whole,” Ausilio told Sky Sport Italia.

“The reasons are serious and valid. We don’t need to explain anything else other than we evaluated it carefully and considered it with all due care.

“Naturally, the player can be upset, he remains important and of quality, he has given much to Inter and has more to give.”

Icardi hinted on social media today that he was undergoing physiotherapy and therefore pulled out due to injury, but Ausilio made it clear that was only a cover.

“I can only say that at the end of the training session he was in the squad list, then he made this decision not to attend. It was not caused by anything in particular.

“Physiotherapy is a normal behaviour, all the players do it when they are not on game day. It all happened very quickly and we had to fly out for this game. We have every intention of recovering the player and we have never had complaints about his performances or behaviour on the field.

“What we did have an issue with was his role as captain, his behaviour and approach to that role and those around him. We have never stepped back from the contract renewal talks and won’t let this problem affect it.

“The negotiations about a contract and what he does on the field are two different things. We’ll see tomorrow what to do in case of a possible Radja Nainggolan-style temporary suspension or not. We haven’t talked about it yet.

“In football, as with any workplace, we have to focus on the group rather than the individual. If this type of situation creates some sort of embarrassment or awkwardness, then it damages the group.

“We let a few things slide, but eventually the time came to make this decision. It might seem like a step backwards, but in terms of the group it is 10 steps forward.”

The Icardi row comes just two weeks after Ivan Perisic saw his transfer request for an Arsenal move rejected.

“As soon as the transfer window shut, Perisic was fully focused on Inter and at the disposal of the club. He was led to believe certain things that were not true.”