Luciano Spalletti: Mauro Icardi Has Medical All-Clear but Not Back in TrainingMarch 8, 2019
Mauro Icardi has told Inter Milan he will let them know when he feels ready to return to training, according to manager Luciano Spalletti.
The Argentinian has not played for Inter since he was stripped of the captaincy in February amid ongoing contract talks with the club.
His absence has been partially explained by a knee injury.
But, after Icardi was absent again for Inter's 0-0 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt in the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, Spalletti revealed the striker has been given the all-clear by the club's medical staff, per Sacha Pisani of Goal:
"The truth is that we asked Mauro if he felt like resuming training. The doctor said that in his view the necessary period for treatment had terminated. He replied: 'No, I still feel pain. I'll tell you when I feel ready to play'. I acknowledged what he said and went back home. The director [Beppe Marotta] will tell you the rest."
Icardi, 26, and Wanda Nara, his agent and wife, met with Marotta earlier this week in an attempt to resolve his contract situation:
Given that Icardi again ruled himself out of appearing against Eintracht, it does not appear as though the meeting was a major success.
The forward's contract at the San Siro runs to 2021, but Pisani noted he has been heavily linked with a move to a number of top European clubs, including Juventus, Barcelona, Napoli, Manchester United and, perhaps most prominently, Real Madrid.
The forward's last appearance for Inter was against Parma on February 9.
Initially, the Nerazzurri dealt quite well without him, winning three games on the spin in all competitions.
However, they are now winless in their last three, and Icardi would arguably have been the ideal man to have on the pitch in Frankfurt to turn the tie in Inter's favour.
Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp saved a Marcelo Brozovic penalty that Icardi may well have buried:
The second leg is next Thursday, and Inter are slight favourites to advance to the last eight, given they will have home advantage.
They will be even stronger favourites if Icardi is back in the fold by then, as he is the club's best goalscorer by some distance.