According to Italian journalist Gianluca di Marzio, Manchester United have turned down the chance to sign Mauro Icardi, The Express report.
This is either a very sensible move from United, or one of the club’s biggest errors in recent years. There is not much middle ground.
Inter Milan are seeking to sign Romelu Lukaku, making the chances of a swap deal possible. United appear not to be interested despite not having to pay up his £97.4 million release clause.
Goal machine vs trouble maker
There is little doubting Icardi’s goalscoring prowess. He scored 17 goals this season, 29 the year before, and 26 the season before that.
At 26-years-old, on talent alone he is one of the best options around to replace Lukaku.
The issue is Icardi, and his wife and agent Wanda Icardi, are a potentially unsettling combination behind the scenes.
There is a reason Inter want rid of him despite his goals. BBC Sport report he was stripped of the club captaincy in February and subsequently refused to travel for a Europa League fixture.
Bad teams make bad decisions, see Alexis Sanchez. Signing Icardi would be adding petrol to United’s bonfire of issues.
United are simply not set up to accommodate a player of Icardi’s characteristics right now, with the team struggling for focus and success on and off the pitch.
On the other hand, Icardi is talented enough to make United’s reported decision look like a big mistake.
If the Argentine can find focus at his next club, this will look like a major opportunity missed.
Back in December, United fans responded to our question on Twitter regarding a potential Lukaku replacement, and Icardi was the most popular name. It seems crazy that the club are now turning him down.
Icardi could bring success to Old Trafford, but perhaps only fleetingly before it falls apart. It feels like begrudgingly, it would be wrong to take that risk right now.