Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini unconcerned by Mauro Icardi talk

The ESPN FC panel discuss Mauro Icardi’s request for a new Inter Milan deal and if he does enough to warrant a pay increase.

Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini hopes to be able to keep his squad intact as he prepares for a season he hopes will bring an improvement on the last one.

Speaking from the Nerazzurri‘s training camp in Riscone at a news conference, the 51-year-old coach was asked in particular about the future of Mauro Icardi, whose wife and agent Wanda Nara has been talking about a move away from Inter in recent days.

“All I can say is that he’s working really hard in training — other stuff doesn’t matter to me,” Mancini said. “What I care about is that he plays and scores lots of goals, that’s all. For me, all the players that form the core of my team are not for sale at any price, but I can’t talk for other people.

“I’m the coach and it’s my job to work with the players I have available to me. We’ve been working well up to now and all the lads have been putting in lots of effort.

“We’ve laid some good foundations and added some quality players that half of Europe would love to get their hands on. It’s not easy to build a new team but we have a strong, solid side now and I don’t think we’re far off.

“Our aim is to do better than last year. We want to get back in the Champions League but Inter must always aim for the top.”

Ever Banega is one of those new faces, with the former Sevilla man set to fill a key role in the Inter midfield next season.

“He’s a midfielder who likes to mix it up a lot,” Mancini said. “He can start by playing off the front man and drop deep to pick up the ball. He plays for Argentina, he’s got quality and charisma and I’m sure he’ll be very useful to us.”

As far as his own future is concerned, Mancini said the fact he was still leading training this preseason is the only sign he needs that the club still have faith in him.

His contract is up for renewal at the end of the season, but he does not need an extension to feel more comfortable in his position.

“It’s not important because I still have a year to go,” he said. “I love my job and I always try to do my best — I’ve done that ever since I joined. I spoke to the owners two weeks ago and there’s no problem there.”

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.

The original version of this story which was published by ESPN can be viewed here.

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