Manchester United to battle Real Madrid and Juventus for Mauro Icardi

Sudip Banerjee

Bengaluru, March 15: Premier League giants Manchester United will face stiff competition from Juventus and Real Madrid for Argentine superstar Mauro Icardi's signature if reports in Italy are to be believed.
The Inter Milan striker, 26, wants to quit the club this summer after a being stripped of the captaincy following a long-running contract dispute.
Old Trafford chiefs are monitoring his situation but reports in Italy claim that Serie A rivals Juventus and La Liga giants Real Madrid are also in the hunt. Chelsea have also looked at a move but their transfer ban is likely to hand the edge to their Premier League rivals United.
Icardi has not played for Inter since refusing to feature against Rapid Vienna in the Europa League in February. The outspoken ace and his wife and agent Wanda Nara have been involved in a bitter public spat with the club, which shows no signs of ending.
And the row could open the door for United, with pacey goalscorer Icardi a perfect fit for the free-flowing style which has returned to Old Trafford. But Real Madrid have also reportedly opened talks with Nara since Zinedine Zidane's shock return in a blow to the Red Devils.
Icardi has 109 goals in 179 Serie A matches and has regularly been among the best players in Serie A. But off-field controversy has followed his career reportedly leading the Argentine to look elsewhere.
Inter boss Luciano Spalletti is believed to be relying on other options with Icardi expected to be not in the squad for quite some time.
He said: "(Matteo) Politano played as a striker last year for Sassuolo and did really well.
"Not giving clear points of reference to the opposition can be an added advantage. Keita Balde is also comfortable in that position.
"Keita is doing well. We hope that these few rest days have got (Ivan) Perisic back to his best.
"Obviously, I won't complain about who I have available. Complaining doesn't help you qualify. We'll have 11 players out on the pitch, which is all that is needed to win matches."

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