Mauro Icardi has hit out at criticism aimed in his direction by the Italian media, with the Argentine striker branding talk of him heading for an imminent transfer away from Paris Saint-Germain as “a load of cr*p”.
The South American frontman does face fierce competition for places in the French capital, with the presence of fellow countryman Lionel Messi alongside Neymar and Kylian Mbappe restricting him to 30 appearances – including just 10 Ligue 1 starts – and five goals in 2021-22.
It has been suggested in Gazzetta dello Sport that the 29-year-old now enjoys a “dream life, career in the balance”, with PSG reportedly seeking a buyer in the summer window.
How has Icardi responded to his critics?
The former Inter star has reacted angrily to the reports in Italy and posted in a passionate message on Instagram: “I’m in Africa, next year I’ll let you organise my holidays, if you like.
“These stories are a load of cr*p like every year. When I was scoring 30 goals a season it was the same thing. My career in the balance? I have two years left on my contract.
“I don’t think it’s in the balance as you suggest with this cr*p. At 29, don’t worry that having scored 200 goals, I think everyone knows me well enough.
“Then I decide to stay and make myself available. Thanks a lot and a big hug from Africa with the gorillas, the lions and all my friends who have more respect. See you soon.”
What is Icardi’s record at PSG?
The Ligue 1 champions moved to lure a proven performer away from Inter in 2019, with an initial loan agreement struck ahead of a €60 million (£51m/$64m) transfer.
He hit 20 goals through 34 outings in his debut campaign, helping to convince new employers that he was worth investing in, but the going has been tough since then.
Icardi found the target on 13 occasions in 2020-21, before dipping to just five efforts last term.
He does, however, have 173 club goals to his name – having previously hit 124 across six years at Inter – and has netted once while earning eight caps for his country.
PSG are loaded with attacking talent, and continue to be linked with further additions in that department, but Icardi – who has sparked talk of interest from England in the past – appears to be in no rush to take on a new challenge.