Arsenal’s interest in Inter Milan striker Maurco Icardi has been confirmed by the players agent, with rivals Tottenham Hotspur also credited with an approach (via the International Business Times).
The 23-year-old forward has a £43 million price tag on his head and is the latest of a string of strikers linked with the north London outfit who require a prolific centre forward to compete and compliment Olivier Giroud.
Another Serie A hit man Gonzalo Higuain, who scored an impressive 36 goals in 35 games for Napoli last season, has been the most hotly linked striker of recent weeks alongside former Juventus forward Alvaro Morata after a failed pursuit of Jamie Vardy early last month.
Higuain’s hefty price tag with a £79m release clause is likely to keep Arsene Wenger second guessing (via IBTimes), with Icardi clearly outlined as an alternative with plenty of years in front of him. Scoring 16 times for Inter last campaign, the Argentine has received several offers from the Premier League and La Liga that could mean he may well be on the move this summer despite having three years left on his current deal.
Icardi’s wife and agent Wanda Nara has confirmed the interest while also clarifying her husbands contractual situation for the public with no release clause available.
“We want to stay in Milan. People say I am a mercenary, but I am not. [Inter] have to say the truth. They can’t say Icardi is not for sale and then talk to other clubs,” Icardi’s agent said (via IBTimes) .
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“I’ve asked for a renewal because the club had promised me a renewal. Last year we accepted their conditions, which mean a lower salary, the sale of the 50% of Mauro’s economic rights and there is no release clause on his contract. They have to keep their promises.
“There are many offers, but I do not negotiate with other clubs. I only talk about Mauro’s contract, that’s my role, not doing negotiations.
“Atletico Madrid, Tottenham and Arsenal have made contact. Napoli and Roma are also interested now,” she confirmed.
The Gunners pursuit for a striker is likely to keep the tabloids busy over the next month and a half, with Arsenal not clear yet on identifying their main target. So far Wenger has moved for the (relatively) budget, short-term move for Vardy which failed emphatically, while Morata and Higuian will command a record-breaking fee. But it is now a necessity to find the right man to lead the line next season, and buying a 16-goal striker with just one international cap is not what we need when there are more established options available.
Romelu Lukaku and Higuain remain the calibre the Gunners should be acquiring. 20+ goals a season consistently.