Inter desperate to hold on to Icardi

The former Sampdoria striker has been linked to a move to Arsenal and Manchester United, but the Nerazzurri will try to keep retain him

Javier Zanetti has made it clear Inter are keen to hold on to Mauro Icardi amid speculation linking the prolific attacker with a move elsewhere.

Icardi has become a key figure at Inter since joining the club from Sampdoria in 2013 and helped his team to a 1-0 win over Frosinone at the weekend with his 14th Serie A goal of the season.

The 23-year-old’s performances have not gone unnoticed elsewhere and clubs such as Manchester United, Arsenal and Atletico Madrid are believed to be keeping a close eye on the Argentina international.

Nevertheless, Inter have no intention of cashing in on Icardi any time soon.

“Icardi is our striker and our captain,” Zanetti, vice president of the club, said.

“We hope that Mauro can stay with us.”
READ MORE  | No offers from abroad – Mancini

Icardi has a contract with Inter until June 2019.

Zanetti also had his say on Inter’s transfer plans ahead of next season and warned Financial Fair Play regulations could hold them back in their search for new recruits.

“We have to correct the things that did not go well and take some players with quality and experience,” Inter’s vice-president added.

“But we cannot forget that we have to respect the Financial Fair Play rules.”

Frosinone 0-1 Inter: Icardi gives Mancini's men victory

Roberto Mancini’s men kept up their slim Champions League hopes with a win on Saturday as they look to salvage something from the season

Mauro Icardi’s late winning goal sealed a narrow 1-0 victory for Inter at 10-man Frosinone on Saturday, with the battling hosts denied three times by the woodwork.
Both teams struggled to create opportunities in a testy match that saw referee Paolo Tagliavento hand out seven bookings and send off Leonardo Blanchard late in the game.
Luca Paganini could have snatched a memorable victory for the hosts when his header from Oliver Kragl’s cross struck the post, Daniel Pavlovic hitting the crossbar with a free-kick and Daniel Ciofani’s late effort clipping the post.
But Icardi headed home an Ivan Perisic cross after 74 minutes to settle the match and put Inter fourth, five points behind Roma with only six games to go in the battle for third place.
The victory gives Inter their first win away from home in Serie A since January 6, while Frosinone remain in the relegation zone and are running out of matches to preserve their Serie A status.
Frosinone were without striker Federico Dionisi through suspension, while Inter’s Miranda and Yuto Nagatomo were banned after both players were sent off in last weekend’s loss to Torino.   Jonathan Biabiany had the first chance after 11 minutes, beating the offside trap to race on to Stevan Jovetic’s pass, but he sliced his shot badly off target.   Nicola Leali almost presented Jovetic with a tap-in after 21 minutes, the goalkeeper recovering well to claim the loose ball after spilling a low cross.   Ivan Perisic should have put Inter ahead after 39 minutes but he turned a cross-shot from Biabiany wide at the back post, then Kragl hit a shot straight at Samir Handanovic.  
Shortly after half-time Jeison Murillo headed Marcelo Brozovic’s cross over as both sides struggled to create openings.
Daniel Ciofani almost inadvertently gave Frosinone the lead after 54 minutes, a header bouncing off him and going just wide after Handanovic missed the cross.
Inter’s first shot on target arrived just after the hour-mark, but Jovetic’s 20-yard effort was easily saved by Leali.
Frosinone knew a win would see them rise out of the relegation zone and they almost took a shock lead, Paganini’s header coming back off the post, while a superb Pavlovic free-kick crashed against the crossbar.
The reverse fixture earlier in the season was won 4-0 by Inter but they found it tough to breakdown the resilient Frosinone defence, Perisic shooting just wide after 67 minutes, before Icardi struck.
Perisic did well to dig out a cross and Icardi rose to head into Leali’s top-right corner, Jovetic almost adding a second but shooting just over the crossbar.
Blanchard was dismissed for a second yellow card with 10 minutes to go and Ciofani’s shot clipped the post as the woodwork denied Frosinone again, but Inter held on to put pressure on third-placed Roma, who play Bologna on Monday.

Frosinone v Inter: Nerazzurri aim to bounce back

Coach Roberto Mancini and defender Juan are both determined to see the San Siro club respond against the Serie A minnows after last week’s loss at home to Torino

Inter coach Roberto Mancini is keen to see his side avoid repeating the indiscipline which cost them last weekend when they travel to the Stadio Comunale Matusa on Saturday to take on Frosinone.

The relegation-threatened hosts are only one point away from safety with seven games remaining, and anything they can take from Mancini’s out-of-sorts side will be considered a huge bonus in their hunt for survival.

Inter continue to suffer from indifferent form as they face the prospect of failing to qualify for the Champions League again, despite having led the Serie A table until just before the winter break.

Mancini’s side now lie 18 points behind leaders Juventus and are eight points off third-placed Roma, who occupy the third and final Champions League qualifying position.

Their cause has not been helped by rashness, with Mancini left frustrated by Joao Miranda and Yuto Nagatomo both being sent off, the former for committing two bookable offences and the latter receiving a straight red card, in a 2-1 loss at home to Torino in their last outing.

“The season isn’t over but we have to learn from our mistakes,” he said.
“We need time to build maturity.

“At the start of the season we were very focused and picked up some great results. Then we went through a tough patch where we got less than we deserved.”

Despite his players contributing to their own downfall, Mancini still placed plenty of blame for the defeat at the referee’s feet, suggesting Miranda’s first yellow card was incorrectly given and accusing Torino of diving to earn the decisive penalty.

But defender Juan is keen for Inter to move on.

“We’re all a bit disappointed after losing the game on Sunday but we have to end the season on a high,” the Brazilian defender told Mediaset Premium.

“We mustn’t drop any more points. We’re certainly motivated. We’re a big club and we must set out to win every game.

“Our aim is quite simply to take each game as it comes and see where we end up. We need to be more aggressive and more focused.

“We’ve got a tough match coming up against Frosinone on Saturday. We’ll have to be at our best to come away with three points.”

Frosinone, who were thumped 4-0 at Genoa last time out, are without centre-forward Federico Dionisi, who is suspended due to suspension.

Both Nagatomo and Miranda will be banned for Inter, who have no other fresh absentees to worry about.

Key Opta stats:

– Inter Milan’s 4-0 win in the reverse fixture was Frosinone’s largest Serie A defeat in terms of goal difference, along with their 5-1 loss against Napoli and 4-0 defeat to Genoa.
– Frosinone have kept a clean sheet in five of their last six home league games, while they have not conceded at all in their last 270 minutes of action.
– Inter’s last win away from home in Serie A came on January 6. The Nerazzurri have picked up just three points from their last six games on the road.
– Frosinone have conceded 37 goals in the second half of their games, more than any other Serie A side this season. Meanwhile, Inter have shipped 10 of their last 11 goals after half-time.
– Inter Milan have used only four Italian players in this campaign, which is fewer than any other side.
– The reverse fixture between Frosinone and Inter produced Jeison Murillo’s first Serie A goal for the latter.

'I've had no offers from abroad' – Mancini denies reports of Premier League return

The former Manchester City man has dismissed speculation linking with him a move back to England and also refused to discuss a possible summer move from Yaya Toure

Inter head coach Roberto Mancini claims rumours linking him with a move away from the club are not true.

Reports in England and Italy this week have suggested the 51-year-old is ready to walk away from San Siro before the final year of his contract in order to take up a role elsewhere.

Mancini was rumoured to be keen on the Arsenal job should Arsene Wenger leave the Emirates Stadium, but he insists he has no concerns over his immediate future and has not received any enquiries.

“I’ve had no offers from abroad and everything that’s been written and said is untrue,” Mancini said on Friday.

“Coaches are related to their results, it’s borne out of the working situation. But I have one more year on my contract and so I’m not worried.”

When asked about the prospect of a bid for Yaya Toure, whose agent has claimed will leave Manchester City at the end of the season, Mancini refused to discuss transfer rumours.

READ MORE  | Nagatomo signs new Inter deal

“I think it’s premature to talk about players coming in. Let’s focus on the games, we’ll see in the summer,” he said.

“I’m not worried about the transfer window, even if they have to sell big players. In football you can do well even without spending huge amounts.”

Inter head to Frosinone on Saturday looking for a win that could close the eight-point gap to Roma and keep their slim hopes of Champions League qualification alive.

“There are 21 points available so we can’t afford to let our motivation drop,” Mancini said. “As long as points can be played for, you can’t give up on the Champions League, even though it’s extremely difficult.

“We made a few too many mistakes away from home. We lost the continuity we had at home, but it’s time to change that. If there’s even a small hope, we must think we can take it.

“Sometimes you think that a reconstruction project can be done more quickly than you expected. We’re on the right path, even though we’re still some way off.

“We spent half the championship in first place, so it can’t have been all bad. We need greater strength, but that just takes time, patience and hard work.”