My game didn't suit Barcelona - Serie A expert Icardi seeks long Inter stay

By Chris Myson 4 March 2017 704
My game didn't suit Barcelona - Serie A expert Icardi seeks long Inter stay

Inter captain Mauro Icardi insists he is happy to stay at the club and believes his style is best suited to Italian football, after making the difficult decision to leave Barcelona as a youngster. 

While Icardi conceded the situation could change if Inter accept an offer for him, the forward's priority is winning trophies at San Siro.

The 24-year-old has scored 18 goals in all competitions and feels transfer speculation is inevitable for strikers who are regularly finding the back of the net. 

"I think Italian football suits me the most," Icardi, who last year signed a new contract until 2021, told Marca.

"I always said that, for me, my future is at Inter. Presidents will have to talk between each other if one wanted to buy me, but my thinking and my future will continue at Inter - always.

"I renewed the deal because it was something I had arranged with Inter a year ago. I had offers from other leagues, but I always said I am an Inter fan, it is important to continue with this shirt and get to win something with this club. 

"For me to be in this club is a source of pride and being able to help them play at the top level in Europe will be even better.

"Obviously I am a forward, and when you get goals, you get transfer rumours and offers. But, as I said, I am an Inter fan and representing this side makes me very proud."

Asked if leaving Barcelona as a youngster hurt, Icardi added: "No. My representative and I decided that because Barcelona's game was very different from my characteristics... I would [have to] move."

Icardi also claimed he has repaired his relationship with Inter's ultras after incurring their displeasure following the release of his controversial autobiography in October last year.

"It was always good," he said.

"From the first moment, when I arrived at Inter, they welcomed me very well.

"Then there was a problem with a book phrase - the writer put something, a phrase I had said and framed it like a threat, but it is all resolved now."

Ahead of Inter's away Serie A match with Cagliari on Sunday, Icardi backed head coach Stefano Pioli as reports linking Diego Simeone with the job returned after the defeat to Roma last time out.

"It is a rumour that has been going around, but we are not waiting for another coach," he said.

"Pioli is a talented tactician and his arrival turned our season around. I think the club will take that into account."

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Chris Myson