Inter Milan boss Luciano Spalletti has blamed a break down in contract negotiations for Mauro Icardi’s recent woes in front of goal.
The Argentine talisman has failed to find the back of the net in his last seven Serie A appearances, his longest spell without a goal at Inter since joining in 2013.
Icardi once again struggled in his side’s 1-0 victory over Parma on Saturday night and Spalletti claimed afterwards that talks over a potential new deal were behind his poor performances.
According to Italy’s main football publications, he said:
‘Mauro is evidently seeing his performance affected by some situations that have been going on recently. He needs to free himself from the talk that is around him.
‘The directors agreed to start talking about the contract, so now they need to go there and conclude it.’
Icardi has been at Inter since 2013, scoring 122 goals in more than 200 appearances for the Serie A side, but reports last month claimed that the 25-year-old, whose current deal runs out in 2021, is ready to snub the club’s latest offer.
Negotiations with Icardi’s wife and agent Wanda Nara have been ongoing for weeks and appear to be far away from any conclusion.
It is claimed Icardi wants his salary to rise to £8.7million per-year but Inter are only willing to offer £6.1m plus bonuses. Icardi also wants his release clause of £105m to be ‘adjusted’.
Nara recently admitted negotiations are at a standstill, with his wife hinting that Real Madrid and Barcelona are among those interested in signing him.
‘Right now, Icardi’s renewal with Inter is very far away,’ she told told AS. ‘We’re far from reaching an agreement. The figures being talked about in Italy aren’t true and we haven’t received a satisfactory proposal from Inter yet.
‘I won’t deny that we can reach an agreement, but right now we’re very far apart. It’s not logical to renew Mauro’s contract for the amount he currently earns.
It remains to be seen whether Maurizio Sarri’s interest is still intact following the arrival of Gonzalo Higuain.