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Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi named to Argentina provisional squad

Oh, and it looks like he is staying with Inter Milan.

FC Internazionale v US Sassuolo - Serie A
Mauro Icardi (R) of FC Internazionale tackles Rogerio of US Sassuolo during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale and US Sassuolo at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on May 12, 2018 in Milan, Italy.
Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi has been named to Jorge Sampoli’s provisional Argentina national team squad ahead of the World Cup in June.

Icardi – Serie A’s second-leading scorer behind Lazio’s Ciro Immobile – has made just four appearances for the Albiceleste since 2013 but has seemingly been rewarded for his strong play this season.

Racing Club v Universidad de Chile - Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2018
Lautaro Martinez of Racing Club drives the ball during a group stage match between Racing Club and Universidad de Chile as part of Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2018 at Presidente Peron Stadium on May 3, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images

In addition to Icardi, Sampoli also named Inter signee Lautaro Martinez to the 35-player provisional team.

Martinez, who is set to join the Nerazzurri next season, has scored 20 goals in 26 appearances for Racing this season. Five of those goals came in five games during the Copa Libertadores.

Joining Icardi and Martinez will be Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain, FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and AC Milan midfielder Lucas Biglia despite Biglia’s back injury.

The Argentina national team will be trimmed from 35 players to 23 by June 4 just prior to the start of the World Cup in Russia. Argentina will open World Cup play against Iceland June 16. Ivan Perisic’s Croatia and Nigeria round out the group.

In other Icardi news, Inter Milan Sporting Director Piero Ausilio told Sky Sport that the Argentinian will stay with Inter Milan next season despite rumors he could be shopped elsewhere.

“Mauro has a three-year contract with Inter: I have always said that his situation will not change whether we finish fourth or fifth, although it changes Inter’s situation,” Ausilio said, as reported by “He will stay, we have no intentions of selling him. The release clause is there but it’s only available for foreign clubs, they can talk to Icardi but not us.”

He added that the club is sold on defender Joao Cancelo and midfielder Rafinha – both loanees from the January mercato – but it will come down to economics to determine whether the Nerazzurri will be able to afford their respective buy-out clauses.

“There isn’t a lot of time,” Ausilio said. “It’s not about technical decisions, we have no doubts about them. On the other hand, from an economic point of view, we will see at the end of the season.”

Both Cancelo and Rafinha have upwards of €30 million tags on them but Inter will be faced with Financial Fair Play rules, making signing both of them difficult even if the team qualifies for the Champions League next weekend.

Another interesting note from Ausilio: He was asked about whether he was concerned with Steven De Vrij playing for Lazio next week. De Vrij is close to joining Inter next season on a free deal as his contract with Lazio is up at the end of the season and will not be renewed.

“I don’t care if he plays on Sunday, I’m only interested in new Inter players after June 30,” Ausilio said. “It’s the coach who decides the training, they are free to do it as they see fit.”

There has been concern over De Vrij playing against a team he will be joining next season with so much at stake next weekend in Rome.

Argentina National Team:

  • Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Manchester United), Wilfredo Caballero (Chelsea), Nahuel Guzman (Tigres), Franco Armani (River Plate).
  • Defenders: Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Federico Fazio (Roma), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax), Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla), Eduardo Salvio (Benfica), Marcos Acuna (Sporting Lisbon) Javier Mascherano (Hebei China Fortune), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), German Pezzella (Fiorentina), Ramiro Funes Mori (Everton), Cristian Ansaldi (Torino).
  • Midfielders: Angel Di Maria, Giovani Lo Celso (Paris Saint-Germain), Ever Banega (Sevilla), Manuel Lanzini (West Ham), Leandro Paredes (Zenit St. Petersburg), Diego Perotti (Roma), Maximiliano Meza (Independiente), Enzo Perez (River Plate), Ricardo Centurion (Racing), Lucas Biglia (AC Milan), Guido Pizarro (Sevilla), Rodrigo Battaglia (Sporting Lisbon), Cristian Pavon and Pablo Perez (Boca Juniors).
  • Strikers: Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Lautaro Martinez (Racing), Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan).

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