Buenos Aires Times

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Mauro Icardi stripped of Inter Milan captaincy amid exit speculation

Argentine forward lost role after television personality Wanda Nara, Icardi's wife and agent, bashed his team on TV.

Wednesday 13 February, 2019
Inter Milan footballer Mauro Icardi and his agent-wife Wanda Nara.
Inter Milan footballer Mauro Icardi and his agent-wife Wanda Nara. Foto:PERFIL/Wanda Nara

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Mauro Icardi has been stripped of the Inter Milan captaincy in favour of goalkeeper Samir Handanovic amid speculation the Argentina forward is set to leave the club, the Italian outfit announced on Wednesday.

"The club can confirm that Samir Handanovic is the new captain of the team," the Serie A outfit tweeted.

Television personality Wanda Nara is Icardi's wife and football agent. She regularly appears on Italian TV to talk about her husband's career, and recently made bitter remarks about Intern Milan.

"Nobody on the team puts him in a position to play well," Nara complained on camera in Milan's San Siro Stadium. "The contract is still very far away from being signed.

The switch comes as Icardi, 25, has yet to sign a new contract amid protracted negotiations between the club and his wife.

Nala also claimed that Icardi could be poached by competitors.

"There are some very important clubs interested in signing him," she said. "There are the two biggest clubs in Spain, with whom we have excellent relationships, plus an English team and a French one."

The Argentine has been left out of the team's Europa League round of 32, first-leg game at Rapid Vienna on Thursday.

Icardi, valued at 100 million euros ($113 million), has been linked with a move away from Italy to Spanish giants Real Madrid or Chelsea in England.

The forward -- joint top scorer in Serie A last season with 29 goals -- has scored 15 this season in all competitions, but has gone seven Serie A games without a goal.

Inter are third in Serie A, 20 points behind champions Juventus, and five points ahead of city rivals AC Milan in fourth.

Luciano Spalletti's side returned to winning ways last weekend against Parma having taken just one point from their three previous Serie A games.

Spalletti had after the game demanded a swift conclusion to the contract negotiations.

The former Barcelona academy recruit joined Inter in 2013 from Sampdoria, scoring 122 goals in 208 appearances, with his contract running until 2021.

- TIMES/AFP

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