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The controversy surrounding comments in the 23-year-old's autobiography has escalated quickly, with Javier Zanetti confessing the striker is at risk of losing his armband

Inter vice-president Javier Zanetti has warned that captain Mauro Icardi may be stripped of the armband after fans voiced their displeasure at comments he made about them.

'Take the armband off you CLOWN!' - Inter fans hit out at Icardi

Tensions between the striker and the Nerazzurri faithful are high after the former published disparaging comments about the latter in his autobiography.

Club Ultras published a statement rubbishing what he had written, calling them lies and declaring that Icardi was unfit to be team captain.

Icardi, who had threatened to leave the club in the summer over a contract and wage disagreement, had defended himself earlier on Sunday in an Instagram post.

"I am surprised and disappointed,” he wrote. "I simply gave my recollection of an incident. If I had the slightest brain in my skull, I certainly wouldn’t have risked offending the fans.

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"I didn’t want to offend or disrespect anyone. The captain’s armband represents the realisation of my childhood dreams, the joy that I gave first of all to my family and then to myself.

“You are the ones who I look out for every Sunday after scoring a goal, it is your embrace I seek first, because I love Inter."

 

A photo posted by Mauro Icardi (@mauroicardi) on

However, Inter fans have not been convinced and unfurled a banner for Sunday's clash with Cagliari slamming the 23-year-old.

It read: "You are not a man… You are not a captain… You are just a vile piece of s***“.

And club icon Zanetti took a very serious stance on the matter, stating Icardi risked losing his armband following his misdemeanour.

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“Will we be taking action? Unfortunately, yes. The fans are the most important element, they accompany us and we all should respect them,” the former captain told Mediaset Premium before the match.

“We cannot accept this behaviour from a person who works for our club. After this match we will talk things over and see what happens.

“Will we remove the captain’s armband? We’ll talk about it later, but this is an issue not just for Icardi, but for everyone who is part of the club.  

"Nobody expected this outburst, as you know we are concentrated on other objectives, but Inter stands beyond any individual person and we really could’ve done without this incident ahead of an important match.

“Unfortunately, social media can be used in a negative fashion and we must safeguard the club. Every individual who works for Inter must be very careful on social media: he can write anything on his private life, but cannot damage the history of this club.”

Icardi started Sunday's match against Cagliari, but missed a penalty in the first half, sending it wide of the post.

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