'Icardi never looked to leave Inter, he wants to be the next Zanetti' – Wanda Nara plays down exit talk

The Argentine striker’s agent insists mooted moves to Real Madrid or Juventus were never a serious option for a man fully committed to the Nerazzurri

Mauro Icardi always intended to remain at Inter over the summer, claims the striker’s agent, with there a desire on his part to follow in the footsteps of club icon Javier Zanetti.

Having shown himself to be one of the most fearsome frontmen in Serie A, the Argentina international has seen his future called into question on a regular basis.

Icardi is Inter’s most prized asset, as their leading marksman and club captain, and they have regularly had to fend off talk of interest in his services from afar.

A switch to Real Madrid was mooted again during the last transfer window, while it has also been revealed that Juventus saw the 25-year-old as a possible alternative to Cristiano Ronaldo.

Wanda Nara, Icardi’s wife and representative, has, however, declared that a move was never seriously considered by a man who has already spent five years at San Siro.

She told Canale 5: “Staying at one club for a long time is an added value.

“His choice has always been to stay at Inter, and the fans recognise that.

“Having examples like [Javier] Zanetti at Inter and [Francesco] Totti at Roma is an added value, and good for anyone who comes to the club.”

Inter are currently working on fresh terms for a player whose current deal includes a €110 million (£98m/$129m) release clause.

Putting an extension in place should help to end the exit talk and allow Icardi to focus on the present and future.

Nara believes there are good times ahead for club and country, with Argentina expected to pair last season’s joint-top scorer in Serie A with Juve star Paulo Dybala as they seek to recover from a disappointing showing at the 2018 World Cup.

“In Argentina, Dybala is seen as a champion,” she added.

“He played a few minutes with Mauro in the last match for the Argentine national team and they did well.

“He and Icardi will be the starting pair in the future.”

Icardi, who netted 29 times across all competitions in 2017-18, is already up and running in the current campaign, with two efforts in six outings taking him to 109 goals in just 188 appearances for Inter.

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