Mauro Icardi stripped of Inter Milan captaincy
Last Updated: 13/02/19 9:05pm
Inter Milan have stripped Mauro Icardi of the club captaincy, with goalkeeper Samir Handanovic taking over the role.
It is understood that the decision was a mutual one between the Serie A club and manager Luciano Spalletti.
Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta and sports director Piero Ausilio were both present at the club's training ground when the 25-year-old Argentina international was told about the decision on Wednesday morning.
Coach Luciano Spalletti admitted Icardi does not to want to play in their Europa League match against Rapid Vienna on Thursday, following the "painful" decision.
"The decision to remove the captain's armband from Icardi was difficult and painful, because we all know what he is worth to the team," Spalletti said.
"But it was divided between all parts of the club and was made exclusively for the good of Inter. Obviously, he took it badly but there are things which disturb him and the team."
"Obviously, he took it badly but there are things which disturb him and the team."
Roma head coach Luciano Spalletti on Mauro Icardi
Spalletti said that Icardi was initially included in the squad for Thursday's match but he "did not want to join up with the team."
After Saturday's 1-0 win at Parma, Spalletti appeared to criticise the club for not finalising a deal with Icardi to extend his contract, which still has two-and-a-half years to run.
"I was wrongly interpreted and I do not deal with contracts but it was clear that there are things concerning Icardi which must be sorted out, and his decision to not accept the call-up today shows this," he said.
Icardi's agent and wife, Wanda Nara, is a television personality and regularly appears on Italian TV where she talks about the striker's career.
Recently, she has been talking about the negotiations surrounding the renewal of his contract at the San Siro.
Sources in Italy say that Icardi's team-mates no longer see him as a captain. He has not scored in Serie A for seven games.
Inter face Rapid Vienna in the Europa League round of 32 on Thursday and Icardi is not in the squad for the game.