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Reports: Manchester United lead race for Real Madrid target

Akshaj Sinha
ANALYST
News
11.65K   //    16 Feb 2018, 16:57 IST

Manchester United v Arsenal - Premier League
Mourinho's side are in the market again for another attacker

What's the rumour?

As per the news that was broken by Daily Star, Manchester United have emerged as the frontrunners for Inter Milan forward, Mauro Icardi. Jose Mourinho's side have become the leading contenders ahead of their Spanish counterparts, Real Madrid. The Inter captain has a £80 million release clause in his contract in a deal that is due to expire in 2021.

In case you didn't know...

The Inter Milan superstar's agent and representative is his wife, Wanda Nara but Mino Raiola has made a formal approach to take over as the Argentine's new representative, as per Corriere dello Sport.

Raiola has been described as a 'super agent'. He was an instrumental factor in Manchester United breaking the transfer record fee back in 2016 for Paul Pogba. Raiola also helped Manchester United in securing the deal for Romelu Lukaku in the summer transfer window of 2017. He also represents Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mario Balotelli and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

The heart of the matter

Icardi joined the Nerazzurri back in 2013 from Sampdoria. Since his arrival, the striker has been a revelation for Internazionale. His first year was hard since he had limited opportunities and a lot of competition. But the 2014/15 season was his break out year in Milan, as the Argentinian scored 22 goals in Serie A.

FC Internazionale v AC Chievo Verona - Serie A
Icardi has been the standout performer for the Nerazzurri

In his four and a half year stint, the Argentinian has scored 20 plus goals twice in Serie A and is on course to have another record season in his quest to win the golden boot. This season, the 24-year-old has scored 18 goals in the Italian top flight and averages 3 shots and 1.2 aerial duels won per game.

Despite the club's struggles and disappointments, Icardi has been the only ray of hope for the Milanese giants in recent seasons.

Rumour probability/rating: 6/10

The situation remains unclear. In the past, Icardi had refused an offer from Mino Raiola to become his agent. But, the 50-year-old Italian born agent will make another attempt to convince the Inter Milan captain to become his latest client.

However, Real Madrid's number one summer target has been touted to be Harry Kane. This could leave Jose Mourinho's team in pole position to secure the signature of the striker. Man United would be eyeing Icardi has a secondary option for Romelu Lukaku, since Zlatan Ibrahimovic is destined to leave in the summer.

Both the clubs have the financial power to meet the demands of the Italian club and it is certain that they will be required to go beyond since the Inter are making an attempt to remove the £80 million release clause from his contract as they are eyeing to secure a three figure amount for their prized asset.

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Author's take

Real Madrid have lined up many targets as a part of their attacking reinforcements for the summer revamp of their squad. Tottenham Hotspur forward Harry Kane looks to be their primary targets meaning Icardi's future could be elsewhere.

Manchester United already have a stacked attacking lineup. The formation that they play utilises only one central striker meaning Icardi would have to start his career on the bench at Old Trafford. However, with Lukaku having disappointed so far this season, it will be necessary for United to have a backup option on the bench if he fails to adapt next season also.

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Akshaj Sinha
ANALYST
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