Inter Milan captain Mauro Icardi has been offered the chance to settle his current feud with the club's fans by removing a passage from his autobiography that has infuriated the Nerazzurri's Ultras.
As explained by the Guardian's Paolo Bandini, Icardi's retelling in his book of an incident after a 3-1 defeat away to Sassuolo during the 2014-15 season has been condemned as lies by the Ultras and led to calls for him to lose the captaincy.
After missing a penalty during Inter's 2-1 defeat to Cagliari at the San Siro, he was openly mocked by large swathes of home supporters, while abusive banners were displayed during the match, per Bleacher Report UK:
However, per Calciomercato, Inter's Ultras have now offered their terms for a truce: "The Curva has now offered the under-siege striker a deal: if Mauro Icardi decides to recall his book...then all will be forgiven. The Ultras would like the 23-year-old to republish his book...provided it doesn't contain the incriminating passages they don't like. "
The passages in question that have cause so much controversy appeared in his book Sempre Avanti (translated as "Always Ahead," per Bandini).
Argentinian Icardi recounted approaching Inter's fans after the defeat to Cagliari and offering a young fan his shirt and shorts, only to have them thrown back at him by "a head Ultra."
Per Bandini, he then described insulting the Ultra—for which he was supposedly "applauded like an idol" back in the dressing room—and subsequently offered a threat to the Inter fans: "How many of them are there? Fifty? A hundred? Two hundred? OK, record my message and let them hear it. I will bring 100 criminals from Argentina who will kill them on the spot."
For Football Italia, the threat of violence was a step too far, and Inter vice-president Javier Zanetti confirmed that action would be taken against Icardi following the controversy, per Mediaset Premium:
For the good of the club, the issue needs to be resolved.
Icardi is not only Inter's captain, but their biggest source of goals—he has netted six times and provided two assists in eight Serie A appearances so far this season, per WhoScored.com.
New manager Frank de Boer oversaw an excellent start to the 2016-17 campaign as Inter lost just once in their opening six matches—and beat Juventus 2-1—but they have now endured back-to-back defeats and lie 11th in the table.
The discord between Icardi and the Ultras is such that threatening banners have appeared outside the striker's home, per Squawka:
There seems little likelihood of the issue being resolved any time soon despite the Ultras' caveated offer of a truce.
However, something needs to change fast as the toxic atmosphere the controversy has created at the club is not conducive to on-field success.