• News

Napoli president rules out a move for Mauro Icardi

Getty Images

Aurelio De Laurentiis insists Napoli have moved on from seeking a move for Mauro Icardi, despite his troubled circumstances at Inter Milan.

The 26-year-old’s striker’s future at Inter is under a lot of doubt right now following the events of the past month, which saw him being stripped as captain in favour of goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.

This development came in light of unsuccessful contract talks with Icardi having been absent since February 9 due to a knee injury.

The Argentina international released a long statement on Thursday, where he openly questioned whether Inter have the same “love and respect” for him that he holds for the club.

Since then, doubts over Icardi’s future have only grown with Napoli being touted as a potential destination for the out-of-favour striker.

Icardi’s wife and agent, Wanda Nara, confirmed Napoli’s interest in signing her husband last year and added that there had been some initial talks.

But the Partenopei president insists their “crush” is well and truly over.

“You get over some crushes, they live in the moment,” De Laurentiis told Corriere dello Sport.

“We’ve all been through it as young lads. You feel the heart beat fast in the summer, then you go back to school, see that classmate again and smile. It’s difficult to reproduce those sentiments and situations.

“We’re not making a collection of Number 9s. We’ve lowered the average age of the squad and will continue along the philosophy that brought us to Alex Meret and Fabian Ruiz, but also Kevin Malcuit. Who could’ve known he’d be so effective?”

The Italian film producer also confirmed that Polish duo Piotr Zielinski and Arkadiusz Milik have agreed to new contracts at Napoli.

“They are part of the family,” said De Laurentiis.

“Unless someone falls in love with somebody else, I imagine they’ll be in our future for a long time.”

Napoli will have a showdown with Serie A title rivals Juventus at their San Paolo Stadium on Sunday with kick-off set for 8:30 PM (CET).

NAPLES, ITALY – FEBRUARY 21: Players of SSC Napoli celebrate the victory after the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 Second Leg match between SSC Napoli v FC Zurich at Stadio San Paolo on February 21, 2019 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)