It’s been a chaotic couple of days for Mauro Icardi. Well, in truth, a chaotic campaign altogether.
Marred by his ongoing contractual saga, which has apparently seen him lose the Inter captaincy, Icardi has struggled to maintain his usual consistency. However, he has still been at the heart of everything the Nerazzurri have done well, notching 15 goals and three assists in 28 appearances.
He remains the most clutch number nine in football right now, and at 25 is the hottest striking commodity that appears somewhat available on the market.
So, if Inter can’t meet his (and Wanda’s) demands here are six suitors who just might, ranked for suitability:
6. Paris Saint-Germain
Ahh, Paris Saint-Germain. Guaranteed dominance of the league goes hand in hand with European ignominy and a load of cash.
Plus there’s the added complication of a competitive field, with the Parisians already in possession of a highly potent frontline. Of course, whether that will stay this way beyond the summer remains to be seen. However, Kylian Mbappe only seems to growing into the number nine position.
As I said, if you fancy cash and trophies for old rope, then by all means. But if you value competition and team success, as it seems you do, Mauro, then give it a miss.
5. Bayern Munich
Ok, Bayern have clearly got a loyal following, a decent enough atmosphere and some sturdy team spirit. But do they have the quality of depth to truly challenge on the biggest stage?
It’s an ageing squad over in Bavaria, and while that leaves some spots open for rebuilding, the man up top – Robert Lewandowski – remains almost as sharp as ever. Also, their record transfer fee is still just €41.5m. Are they really going to sufficiently invest around you if they’ve already coughed up €100m or more? Doubt it.
The Auld Enemy. I mean, the Old Lady, but still, same thing really. It’s a dirty, dirty move to switch Milan for Turin, but it’s certainly not unprecedented.
Perhaps more pressing for a man who’s had no qualms squabbling with Inter’s ultras in the past, is that man up there. Sure, he’s a 34-year-old now, but he’s also still an alien. So can you really take a chance on someone like that slowing down.
Yes, there’s always the potential for two up top, but I can’t see Cristiano Ronaldo being too accomodating, can you?
What’s not to like?
Well, maybe quite a lot, but still, Mauro, give love a chance. Because Chelsea fans would unequivocally love you, no holds barred. Gonzalo Higuain? He’s just warming your seat. But, if you want him to stay for some nice compatriot company, that can definitely be arranged. Higuain’s great too.
Yes, there’s upheaval, managerial uncertainty, and the potential for no Champions League football and no Eden Hazard, but apart from that, it’s the dream! Honest. You’ll be a legend.
Old haunts. Old flames. Reconnection. Redemption.
There’s nothing quite like it, is there? It’s a story told thousands of times over, yet it never gets old. And this is the opportunity that awaits at Barcelona – the chance to play for the team that forgoed you, a chance to play with the player you sought to emulate all those years ago. Lionel Messi.
But also, a less overwhelming Messi. A latter-day Messi, willing to share the limelight. Yes, he’s ‘best buds’ with Luis Suarez right now, but how long can that last, especially with the Uruguayan’s knees. It’s time for a new Sheriff at the Nou Camp.
1. Real Madrid
Conversely, you could shove all that lovey-dovey sh*te in the bin, and opt for sustained European excellence instead.
Because you know what’s an even more prevalent story being told in this day and age? Revenge. And it’s best served ice cold, baby. You just saw it yourself, Barca abandoned you. They left you to rot. Fed you to the dogs. They didn’t care if they ever saw your face again.
And now they want to backtrack? They want to bring you back? F*@& THAT. And, if you think Luis Suarez is dispensible, then look no further than Karim Benzema. Sure, he may be in the form of his life, but do you think Real Madrid care? Not a jot. He’s 31. He’s washed. He’s out of there the second you arrive. So, where’s your pen?