Icardi stripped of Inter Milan captaincy

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Inter Milan have stripped Mauro Icardi of the club captaincy, with goalkeeper Samir Handanovic taking over the role, according to Sky in Italy.

Reports of Icardi losing the captaincy took an unusual turn on Tuesday when Inter's Spanish Twitter account displayed a picture of him handing the armband to Lautaro Martinez, accompanied by the "soon" emoji, which was later deleted.

Icardi has scored 122 goals and registered 26 assists in 210 games since joining the club from Sampdoria in April 2013 for a reported €6.5 million.

The Argentina worldwide trained with the squad on Wednesday but was a notable absentee when Inter named the 19-man party who would travel to Austria for the first leg of their last-32 tie.

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The decision was taken by head coach Luciano Spalletti and the club, and it was also confirmed on Wednesday that Icardi would not travel with the rest of the squad to Austria to take on SK Rapid Wien in the Europa League.

The 25-year-old's current deal is set to expire in 2021 but the Serie A club have been in lengthy negotiations with Wanda Nara, his wife and agent. "Obviously he was disappointed, but there are things going on which are disturbing him and the team".

"Tomorrow we have a big game, there will be time to clarify things".

Chelsea are one of a host of clubs linked with a transfer move for Icardi, who would fetch a monster fee for Inter as one of the best forwards in the world.

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The Argentina global has been a prolific goalscorer in an Inter shirt, with 119 goals in 210 appearances for Inter.

"There has been a lot of nonsense said about Mauro, for example a supposed fine that did not exist", she said.

"I would like Mauro to be more protected by the team".

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