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It seems Inter Milan may be interested in keeping Mauro Icardi

Striker has been a rumored target of Real Madrid.

FC Internazionale v FC Crotone - Serie A
Mauro Emanuel Icardi (L) of FC Internazionale Milano and his wife Wanda Nara attend the serie A match between FC Internazionale and FC Crotone at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on February 3, 2018 in Milan, Italy.
Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Apparently, Inter Milan management is interested in keeping their star striker on the payroll for a while.

Despite being in somewhat of a goal-scoring drought of late – scoring just two goals in the last eight games he has played. Prior to that, Icardi had 16 goals in 15 games.

Now, the Nerazzurri are considering removing the release clause from his contract, making it harder for other teams to pursue him. He has been strongly linked to Real Madrid who are in dire need of finding offense with their current La Liga struggles.

Spal v FC Internazionale - Serie A
Mauro Icardi of FC Internazionale in action during the serie A match between Spal and FC Internazionale at Stadio Paolo Mazza on January 28, 2018 in Ferrara, Italy.
Photo by Claudio Villa - Inter/Inter via Getty Images

Currently, Icardi’s contract includes a €90 million release clause that becomes valid in July, meaning if a team is willing to pay it, Icardi can be bought out of his Inter Milan contract.

But, Inter wants to lock him in or, at least make it more difficult for the Argentinian to move away.

Football Italia and Corriere dello Sport are reporting the club seeks to increase Icardi’s salary to €6.5 million per season – a €1.8 million bump from his current wage. On top of that, the club will place incentives to add to the total.

To do that, management wants to remove the release clause, but Wanda Icardi – Mauro’s wife and agent – have countered with a €7 million salary and a release clause valued at between €150 million to €200 million. If the club wants to remove the clause entirely, Wanda Icardi is asking for a salary of €8 million.

A survey of the highest paid footballers show that Icardi’s €8 million yearly would still be below the top 25 wages in the sport. It is even below the €10.5 million Inter’s Chinese sister club Jiangsu Suning is paying midfielder Ramirez. The wage would make Icardi the highest paid player in Italy – ahead of AC Milan’s Leonardo Bonucci’s €7.5 million annual wage.

The question becomes: Is Icardi worth it?

At the beginning of the season, any Interisti would have likely told you ‘absolutely.’ I mean, 16 goals in 15 games and helping lead the team to the top of Serie A is hard to argue against. However, the form of late is the issue.

The club has done a good job bringing in some reinforcements with Rafinha on loan and purchase deal for Argentine Lautaro Martinez, who will be with Inter in the summer.

The club is banking a lot on qualifying for the Champions League and adding that revenue to the bottom line to help meet Financial Fair Play rules. If Champions League qualification doesn’t happen, you can expect the sale of players in the summer transfer window to offset potential losses.

There is no question that Icardi can be worth the money. I’m not sure about €8 million, but €7 seems palatable, without a release clause. That would meet Icardi’s demands in the middle. It would also show investment in the future of the club.

What do you think? Post your comments below!