Mauro Icardi refused to join an Inter Milan training session despite being given the all-clear by the club’s medical staff.
The Argentine striker, whose future at the club is uncertain, complained of knee pain after missing the Europa League win over Rapid Vienna on February 13.
But the club’s physicians couldn’t identify any specific issue, leading to Icardi being stripped of the captaincy and left out of the side by coach Luciano Spaletti.
The 26-year-old was again absent as Inter drew 0-0 away to Eintracht Frankfurt in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie on Thursday night.
And Spalletti revealed post-match in Germany that Icardi had turned down the chance to rejoin training, claiming he was still injured.
‘The truth is that we asked Mauro if he felt like resuming training,’ Spalletti said.
‘The doctor said that in his view the necessary period for treatment had passed. He replied: “No, I still feel pain. I’ll tell you when I feel ready to play”.
‘I acknowledged what he said and went back home.’
Icardi has missed three Serie A and two Europa League fixtures since reporting the knee problem and has not played since the 1-0 league win over Parma on February 9.
Icardi, who is contracted to Inter until 2021, and his wife and agent Wanda Nara held what was described as a ‘cordial’ meeting with club representatives on Wednesday.
In a post on their Twitter account, the club said: ‘Inter’s Sport CEO Giuseppe Marotta today held a cordial meeting with Mauro Icardi and Wanda Nara in search of a solution to satisfy the best interests of all involved.’
However, Spalletti’s revelation about Icardi’s apparent refusal to train could re-open the rift between club and player.