Inter strips Icardi of captaincy

Inter strips Icardi of captaincy

Luciano Spalletti made the decision to strip Icardi of the captaincy after protracted talks over a contract extension.

The striker has worn the armband since the start of the 2015-16 season but Inter announced on Wednesday afternoon that he would be replaced by goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.

The club tweeted: "Samir Handanovic is the new Inter captain".

The decision comes amid contentious contract negotiations between the Nerazzurri and Icardi's agent, his wife Wanda Nara.

"Icardi was called up, and has decided not to travel to Vienna", the coach explained to Sky Sport.

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.

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Spalletti also reacted angrily to Nara's latest remarks and he spoke with the club's new general manager Beppe Marotta - who has already taken a heavy-handed approach by suspending Radja Nainggolan for turning up late for training last month - on Tuesday to discuss the issue, which was starting to cause disturbances within the team. "Obviously he was disappointed, but there are things going on which are disturbing him and the team". He has not scored in the league since mid-December - a run of eight games without finding the back of the net.

Since arriving from Sampdoria in 2013, Icardi has been a pivotal figure in the club's return to the Champions League.

"I have not created any problems for Icardi", Spalletti told DAZN.

"I would like Mauro to be more protected by the team".

The Argentine striker who is on a seven-game goal-dought has reportedly been at loggerheads with the club's hierarchy over a new contract, amidst interest from Europe's elite.

"There are some very important clubs interested in signing him".

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