Milan Skriniar 'Close' to New Inter Contract Amid Manchester United Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistFebruary 22, 2019

Inter Milan's Slovak defender Milan Skriniar reacts at the end of the Italian Serie A football match Torino vs Inter Milan on January 27, 2019 at the Olympic stadium in Turin. (Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)

Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar has said he is close to signing a new contract with the Serie A side. 

The centre-back has been one of the standouts in his position in Serie A since joining the club in the summer of 2017.

As such, it's been no surprise to see some of the biggest clubs in European football linked with a move for him, with Mark Ogden of ESPN FC previously reporting Manchester United were interested in the Slovakia international.

But speaking with Sky Sport Italia, the defender said he is near to agreeing an extension with his club (h/t "My contract renewal? We are close," he said. "I have a great relationship with the club."

These words will be music to the ears of Inter supporters, especially given the ongoing saga involving former captain Mauro Icardi.

As BBC Sport reported, the striker's agent and wife, Wanda Nara, has commented publicly on Icardi's contract issue on numerous occasions, with Inter manager Luciano Spalletti saying the impasse cannot be resolved by "likes on social media."

Skriniar was asked whether Icardi, who has been absent from Inter's past three matches because of a knee injury, was involved in the team's celebrations after they beat Rapid Vienna 4-0 in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday. 

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"I did not go into the locker room since I went for a doping test," he said. "When I play, I try to do my best, beyond the opponent. This is my spirit and in my opinion, it must be within every single player."

If Inter do want to return to the top of Italian and European football again, it's crucial they keep hold of the likes of Skriniar and Icardi, as they can help forge a dependable spine for the team.

Per Scouted Football, despite only turning 24 recently, Skriniar is experienced in the Serie A and has a positive impact on the team's defensive play:

On the ball, he's an assured and purposeful presence:

Speaking to Sky Sport Italia ahead of Thursday's match, Inter director Giuseppe Marotta said the club is "very advanced" in its negotiations with Atletico Madrid for their veteran defender Diego Godin (h/t Football Italia).

The Uruguayan is poised to join Skriniar, Stefan de Vrij, Miranda and Andrea Ranocchia among Inter's defensive options. With that in mind, Nerazzurri supporters would have been fearful the club might cash in on their star centre-back in the summer.

But Skriniar appears content with life in Milan, and a new contract would ensure any suitors would have to part with an extraordinary amount to prise him from the San Siro.