Mancini: Icardi doubtful for Genoa trip

The marksman has been in sublime form of late after initially struggling at the start of the campaign and the Nerazzurri boss has backed him to continue improving

Roberto Mancini has revealed in-form captain Mauro Icardi could miss Inter’s trip to Genoa on Wednesday after sustaining a knock.

Icardi scored last time out as the Nerazurri downed Napoli 2-0 at San Siro to move four points behind Roma in the battle to secure third and qualification for next season’s Champions League.

The 23-year-old’s strike against Napoli took his goalscoring tally up to 15 in Serie A and Inter’s hopes of catching Roma will suffer a huge blow if he’s absent against Genoa.

Mancini confirmed in his pre-match press conference ahead of his side’s clash with Genoa that Icardi, alongside Jonathan Biabiany, will both undergo tests to determine whether they can feature at Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

“Icardi and [Jonathan] Biabiany have taken knocks. We will evaluate them today,” said the Italian.

“We will see with the line-up, we’ll have a look today and then tomorrow morning. Tomorrow’s game will be difficult, Genoa are an aggressive team that runs a lot.
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“Everything will depend on the next two games. If we get important points, then the game with Napoli will have been crucial, but we must prove ourselves.

“Everyone has highs and lows, with the exception of Juventus. It’s normal over a season.”

Icardi was the joint-highest scorer in the league last season but endured a difficult start this term, finding the net just twice in his first eight top-flight outings.

However, the 23-year-old is now booming with confidence and Mancini expects to see even more from Icardi in the future, insisting the striker is always striving to improve.

“I played with Pietro Vierchowod [at Sampdoria], and even at 34 and 35 years old he was improving every day, working more than 100 per cent. Not surprisingly he won the Scudetto and many titles,” said Mancini.

“Mauro is 23 years old, if he puts in maximum effort and concentration he can grow. He’s doing that. Every day he takes a step forward like anyone who is serious about their work.

“He’s always scored goals and will continue to because it’s his best quality. A football player has the misfortune of only being able to play up to a certain age and should take advantage of these years to improve. If you do it with intelligence, it happens.”

Thohir keen on finding investors to help revive Inter

Potential backers would be welcomed by the Nerazzurri president but he has no intention of relinquishing his majority share at the San Siro club

Erick Thohir would welcome financial support from external parties as he tries to turn Inter into a Scudetto challenger in Serie A.

The Inter president has bankrolled significant investment at the club since taking over from Massimo Moratti in 2013, but they remain 18 points off leaders Juventus with five games to play this season.

Reports had suggested Thohir was looking to sell his majority share of Inter to a Chinese company, but he has rejected those claims and insists he is determined to bring glory back to the club.

However, the Indonesian has admitted he cannot fund Inter on his own for a sustained period of time.

“I have been here for two years and am trying to reconstruct the squad. Massimo Moratti helps and gives me advice. We are on the right track,” he told the Inter Channel.

“Our revenue is growing, our performances are improving, we have a good team and a great coach. We built a strong management structure and are growing not only in sporting terms, but also commercial ones.
READ MORE  | Icardi: Inter proved we are a great side
 
“I am the president, I want Inter to be great again. It is a process, which is why we say it is a five-year plan. I have no intention of selling the majority share of the club.

“I will remain, I will keep the majority share. I do need support. If we have the chance to bring in a strategic partner who can make Inter even stronger, then why not? This happens all over the world.

“We must be open to the world, because we are one of the top 20 clubs. All clubs grow and we have to as well.”

Jovetic wants lengthy Inter stay

The 26-year-old Nerazzurri attacker is not thinking about leaving the San Siro club any time soon and is keen to show that he can be a key figure

Stevan Jovetic has laughed off suggestions he could leave Inter at the end of the season and is adamant he wants to stay at the club for a long time.

The 26-year-old joined Inter from Manchester City at the start of the season on an 18-month loan deal with a view to a permanent deal and impressed in his first few weeks at the San Siro side.

However, a series of injuries prevented him from making a more lasting impact and some reports suggested he could be on his way out of Inter again come June.

Jovetic caught the eye in the 2-0 win over Napoli on Saturday, though, and has made it clear he has no intention of leaving any time soon.

“I know what I can do and, unlike what I’ve read in the papers, I came here to stay for a long time and make my mark,” Jovetic told the official Inter website.
READ MORE  | Icardi: Inter proved we are a great side
 
“I didn’t have the best of time but now I’m on the way back and I’m getting some minutes under my belt.

“It was a wonderful feeling to go off to applause at San Siro. I’ve played a lot in the last two matches and I’m sure that my fitness levels will keep improving.”

Jovetic has netted four goals in 21 Serie A appearances this season.

Icardi: Inter proved we are a great side

The Argentina international says that Nerazzurri’s 2-0 win over Maurizio Sarri’s men proves they are a “great side” as they tighten their grip on a top-four finish

Mauro Icardi says Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Serie A title contenders Napoli shows Inter are moving in the right direction under Roberto Mancini.

Inter dealt a huge blow to Napoli’s hopes of challenging Juventus for the Scudetto with victory at San Siro, with Icardi opening the scoring after four minutes before setting up Marcelo Brozovic to seal the win just before half-time.

Victory strengthened Inter’s grip on a top-four spot with five games to play and kept them within four points of Roma – who drew 3-3 with Atalanta on Sunday – in the final Champions League place.

“I don’t know if it was our best performance of the season, but this is a team that always fights hard,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
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“In January we went a bit wrong, but Inter proved today we are a great side.

“I think we always played with intensity. There was a spell when we didn’t lack intensity as such, but tended to concede goals late on to draw or lose games.

“We all care for each other and want the best for the team. We are doing well and have picked up three very important points.”

Thiago Silva deserves Brazil place, says Miranda

The Paris Saint-Germain defender has not been called up since conceding a crucial penalty in the quarter-final defeat to Paraguay at last year’s Copa America
Paris Saint-Germain captain Thiago Silva deserves a recall to the Brazil squad, according to fellow centre-back Miranda.

The former Selecao skipper was injured for the early part of Dunga’s latest spell as head coach and has subsequently struggled to force his way back into the international reckoning.

Silva was included in the Copa America squad last year, but has not been called up since conceding a crucial penalty in the quarter-final defeat to Paraguay, despite some exemplary form at the heart of PSG’s defence this season.
READ MORE  | Thiago Silva irked by PSG’s Champions League exit

But Miranda believes Silva, alongside his fellow Brazilian PSG team-mates David Luiz and Marquinhos, all merit a place in Dunga’s Brazil squad such is their quality.

“I think Thiago Silva is a great defender who deserves to be selected,” the Inter man told Globoesporte. “But it’s a choice for the coach and you have to respect that.

“I’ve also been rejected and I have learned lessons.

“David Luiz? He is one of the best defenders in Europe, it’s normal that when you make mistakes you are criticised. I have no problem playing with him or with Thiago Silva, or with Marquinhos, either.”