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Inter Milan Chief Javier Zanetti: 'We Have Talked Too Much' About Mauro Icardi

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistMarch 28, 2019

MILAN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 21: Mauro Icardi  looks on in VIP standing during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 Second Leg match between FC Internazionale and SK Rapid Wien at San Siro on February 21, 2019 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Tullio Puglia/Getty Images)
Tullio Puglia/Getty Images

Inter Milan vice-president Javier Zanetti has said the constant talk around Mauro Icardi's future has been "too much" and must cease for the crucial run to the finish of 2018-19. 

Icardi has not played for Inter since February 9 amid ongoing contract talks and his being stripped of the captaincy:

B/R Football @brfootball

—Stripped of club captaincy —Left out of #UEL squad Checking in on Mauro Icardi rn: https://t.co/QVawB6fnpN

Rumours continue to circulate that the striker could leave the Nerazzurri in the summer amid links to Real Madrid, Juventus and Napoli.

He recently returned to training after an apparent injury. But when asked whether Icardi, 26, could line up against Lazio at the San Siro on Sunday, Zanetti said the Argentinian should not be the focus, per Sacha Pisani of Goal:

"I think we have talked about him too much. Now we must focus on the field because it is fundamental for the season finale. We have the goal of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League, 10 games are left and on Sunday we meet a direct rival. The team is preparing for the match as best as possible with the coach."

Inter have blown hot and cold without their star striker, who has nine Serie A goals in 20 appearances this season.

However, they earned a crucial 3-2 win against AC Milan last time out to move above their city rivals into third in Serie A:

Squawka Football @Squawka

AC Milan 2-3 Inter FT: Shots: 11-14 Pass accuracy: 89%-85% Chances created: 8-12 Possession: 56%-44% A five-goal thriller as Inter Milan take the bragging rights in the Derby della Madonnina. https://t.co/j1KxFlhRhZ

Most importantly, they are six points ahead of Roma in fifth place, so they look well set to qualify for next season's Champions League.

It would be a big boost if Icardi could be reintegrated back into the side for the final games of the season, as Inter have a difficult run-in.

Including Sunday's meeting with Lazio, they face Genoa, Atalanta, Roma, Juventus and Napoli in their last 10 matches.

Inter have earned some good results without Icardi, but he is arguably their best attacking player and has finished each of the past four seasons as the club's top scorer.

Crucially, Icardi's team-mates seem set to welcome him back into the side.

Per Sport.sk (h/t Pisani), centre-back Milan Skriniar said of the forward's return to training: "You should ask Icardi what happened. Of course, us players have no problem with him, nor does he with us. It's up to him to put an end to this situation."

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