‘Likes’ and chat don’t solve problems, Spalletti tells Icardi
Problems are not resolved by text messages and ‘likes’ on social media, Inter Milan coach Luciano Spalletti on Wednesday warned unsettled forward Mauro Icardi, who was stripped of the captain’s armband last week amid protracted contract negotiations.
The Argentine has refused to play for the team since and underwent a scan and tests on Wednesday in Milan after complaining of a painful knee.
The 26-year-old arrived at the Istituto Clinico Humanitas with his wife and agent, Wanda Nara, and his father, emerging 45 minutes later.
“This morning, Mauro Icardi underwent a scan .. due to pain in the right knee,” the team said in a statement.
“The scans didn’t reveal significant changes compared to those performed before the start of the current season.”
Icardi complained of the knee problem just after losing the captain’s armband to goalkeeper Samir Handanovic last week.
The decision came amid constant speculation over his future, fuelled by his wife Wanda on social media, which has caused friction within the team.
“Some problems aren’t resolved via chat, videos and ‘likes’ but with words and being together, with real contact,” Spalletti told a press conference ahead of the team’s Europa League last 32 return leg game against Rapid Vienna in Milan on Thursday.
“For Icardi a recovery plan will be put in place, but less social network and more reality,” he told the player.
“In these cases, remembering how it was once done, would be a step in the right direction, even if the world is more technological now.”
The Argentina international refused to travel to Vienna for the Europa League 1-0 win on February 14, and watched from the stands, along with his wife, as Inter beat Sampdoria 2-1 in Serie A at the weekend.
Fellow Argentine Lautaro Martinez will take Icardi’s place for Thursday’s game.
“Until recently, when there was no Icardi, we said it was a heavy absence for us,” Spalletti continued.
“It’s still the same.”
Inter Milan midfielder Antonio Candreva added: “We know Mauro is unhappy and how much he cares about the team, the jersey and his fans.
“We will wait for him with open arms when he is recovered.”
Icardi — whose contract expires in 2021 — joined Inter from Sampdoria in 2013 and has scored 122 goals in 210 games, twice finishing joint top scorer in Serie A.