Real Madrid are looking to seal a deal for Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi in the January transfer window, according to Spanish journalist Pipi Estrada.
Icardi’s wife and agent Wanda Nara confirmed in November that “top clubs” were pursuing the forward, with Calciomercato.com suggesting that Chelsea were among a number of teams chasing the Argentinian international.
Estrada says he has been told by a source that she is now in negotiations with a Spanish club. Estrada told TV programme El Chiringuito de Jugones (quotes via ElBernabeu.com)
“A friend of mine from Argentina has called me… I have been told that he has a friend who is very close to Wanda Nara, wife of Mauro Icardi, since childhood and who has had a conversation with Icardi’s wife. This is not a state secret. The thing is about a negotiation in the winter market Icardi could come to Real Madrid in January, she says ‘we are negotiating with a team in the Spanish league’. This conversation [happened] three days ago.”
Whether the source is reliable is anybody’s guess. Estrada does however go on to explain that the secrecy of the negotiations is down to the fact that Real do not want to rock the boat with manager Zinedine Zidane. So far the Frenchman has been kept out of the loop in talks as it is believed he may resist the transfer because of his good relationship with Karim Benzema, who Icardi could be brought in to replace.
Considering Alvaro Morata’s nightmare performance against Arsenal last night, Chelsea may need to up the urgency in looking for another forward to support the Spaniard. It is still unlikely to be someone of the calibre of Icardi, despite the Blues’ previous links to the player. The Evening Standard say that Red Star Belgrade’s Richmond Boakye is Conte’s preferred target at the moment.