Inter Milan Sporting Director Says Mauro Icardi 'Won't Join Juventus'

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2018

Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi celebrates after scoring his team's first goal on a penalty kick during an Italian Serie A soccer match between Inter Milan and Udinese, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

Mauro Icardi "won't join Juventus," according to Inter Milan sporting director Piero Ausilio, despite the striker stalling on signing a new contract with the Nerazzurri.

Ausilio updated reporters on the state of negotiations with Icardi's wife and agent, Wanda Nara, on Tuesday, per Calciomercato:

"His agent? She knows where to find me, in the office or on the phone. I say things how they are, Icardi received a contract two years ago and signed it. The most recent proposal was two months ago, which he received but it was not accepted. This doesn't mean a dead end, we want to continue the negotiations."

When asked about Serie A rivals Juve talking to the prolific No. 9, Ausilio sounded unfazed and unconvinced by the prospect of Inter's star player moving to Turin: "I reply with a laugh and no comment, I can say without problems that Icardi won't join Juventus."

Icardi won't be joining Ronaldo at Juve, according to Inter's sporting director.
Icardi won't be joining Ronaldo at Juve, according to Inter's sporting director.MARCO BERTORELLO/Getty Images

Ausilio's words will ease the anxieties of Inter fans, who naturally won't want to see Icardi's goals benefit the Bianconeri.

The sporting director's reassurances come after Icardi's wife told Tiki Taka (h/t Football Italia) that her husband and Inter remain "very far away" in talks over a new deal after a renewed sponsorship agreement with Nike was reached.

She also said Inter have yet to offer any fresh terms and wanted to sell the centre-forward to Juve, an idea Icardi himself rejected. The priority for the Icardis is to remain at the San Siro.

Icardi recently added weight to the notion he wants to stay when he took to social media to suggest he knows his future:

It's good news for Inter, who have become increasingly reliant on the South American's goals. The dependency makes sense since Icardi has no trouble finding the net as the focal point of Luciano Spalletti's team.

He's done so 13 times across all competitions this season, including netting nine goals in the Italian top flight. His performances have been good enough to move Inter up to third and six points ahead of AC Milan, although the Nerazzurri have played a game more than their city rivals.

If one factor could determine Icardi's future at Inter beyond this season it may be the club's UEFA Champions League status. The club failed to qualify from the group stage of this season's competition despite Icardi scoring four times in six matches.

It means settling for a place in the Round of 32 of the UEFA Europa League. Icardi's presence makes Inter a major threat to win Europe's second-tier club trophy, but it's not the level a player of his ability is likely to want to stay at for long.

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