Arsenal will not be signing Inter Milan captain Mauro Icardi anytime soon after their summer transfer target agreed a new five-year contract with the Serie A club that contains a reported £99m release clause.
The 23-year-old emerged as a transfer target for Arsenal during the summer after they missed out on Jamie Vardy, Gonzalo Higuain and Alvaro Morata to Leicester City, Juventus and Real Madrid respectively. After selling Higuian to Italian rivals Juventus, Napoli were also interested in Icardi but any hopes the two clubs had of luring the striker away from Milan now appear to be over.
Inter confirmed the news on Friday afternoon, and having stressed throughout the summer that he was fully committed to the club, Icardi has backed his words up in the form of a new contract that runs until 2021.
While a new deal is not a signal of long-term commitment in the current climate of release fees and player power, reports of Icardi’s buy-out clause being a nine-figure sum will make it almost impossible for Arsenal or Napoli – and most over clubs to that point – to sign him unless Inter are willing to negotiate.
Speaking to Infobae, Icardi’s agent – and wife – Wanda Nara said: “I’ve earned Mauro much more money. We’ve put in clauses and new conditions.
“If a club want to buy him, they’ll have to pay the clause of €110m [£99m]. We adjusted the contract and extended it for five years, which is the maximum possible.
Arsenal - transfer ins and outs
Arsenal - transfer ins and outs
1/9 IN: Shkodran Mustafi
Former Club: Valencia. Fee: £30m. Brought in after Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista suffered injuries. A World Cup winner with Germany in 2014.
Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images
2/9 IN: Lucas Perez
Former Club: Deportivo La Coruna Fee: £17m. 27-year-old Perez arrives to provide competition for Olivier Giroud in an effort to add goals for Arsenal, though the jury remains out over his ability to lead a Premier League title challenge.
3/9 IN: Rob Holding
Former Club: Bolton Wanderers Fee: £2.5m. A bargain given he has impressed in his early appearances after being thrown in at the deep end. Unlikely to feature as much after the signing of Mustafi, but looks a good signing for the future.
4/9 IN: Granit Xhaka
Former Club: Borussia Monchengladbach. Fee: £35m. Arsenal's first major signing of the summer is also one of the biggest in history with Swiss midfielder Xhaka adding steal to their midfield.
5/9 IN: Takuma Asana
Former Club: Sanfrecce Hiroshima. Fee: Undisclosed. Gunners supporters were outraged when, amid rumours of signing Jamie Vardy from Leicester, they instead signed unknown striker Asana from Japan.
6/9 OUT: Mikel Arteta
New club: Retired. Fee: None. Now at coach at Manchester City, the Spaniard hopes to learn the craft of management from pep Guardiola.
7/9 OUT: Tomas Rosicky
None: Released. Fee: None. A loyal servant to the Gunners, Rosicky is still looking for a new club after being let go this summer.
8/9 OUT: Mathieu Flamini
New club: None. Fee: Released. Eyebrows were raised when the Frenchman returned to the Emirates but Wenger could always rely on his talents.
9/9 OUT: Wellington Silva
New club: Fluminense. Fee: Undisclosed. The young Brazilian never really forced his way into Wenger's thinking before a return to Fluminense.
“We’re all happy, Mauro wants to stay. The club are happy with the extension, they wanted to keep Mauro and Mauro wanted to stay.
“The club, however, also respect my work, I had five clubs willing to put several million on a plate.”
Should a club activate his new release clause, Icardi will become the world’s most expensive signing by surpassing the £89m that Manchester United paid Juventus for Paul Pogba this summer. Interestingly, United have also held interest in the Argentina international in the past. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic turning 35 this week and Wayne Rooney out of form and facing a crossroads in his career, it’s not out of the question that United had eyes on Icardi next summer.
The club have flexed their financial firepower in recent seasons since the sacking of David Moyes capped the club’s rapid decline following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, and in shades of European rivals, Real Madrid, they have embarked on making a marquee big-money signing each season. Pogba’s addition came a year after United committed up to £58m to Anthony Martial, having spent £59.1m on Angel Di Maria the year before.Reuse content