Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli has claimed that Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi is tempted by the prospect of playing for Real Madrid.

Jorge Sampaoli, in an interview with AS, has made a sensational claim surrounding Inter Milan captain Mauro Icardi. The Argentina manager has professed that the 24-year-old is keen on making the move to Real Madrid, who are reportedly scouring the transfer market for a striker.

Icardi has evolved into a goalscoring extraordinaire since joining Inter Milan from Sampdoria in 2013. The single most instrumental figure for the Nerazzurri, the Argentine striker has also been entrusted with the responsibility of leading the club since the retirement of Javier Zanetti.

In all, Icardi has 96 goals and 23 assists in 170 appearances for Inter Milan over the last four-and-a-half years, and it is not hard to see why a number of clubs have been linked with him in recent years. One such club is Real Madrid, who are reportedly in the market for a striker.

2017-18 has been a season of uncharacteristic struggles for the Spanish and European champions, who are practically vying for just one trophy after only half a season. Their problems largely stem from their flounders in front of goal.

Cristiano Ronaldo has been a shadow of his domineering self this season, while Karim Benzema does not look anything like a first-choice Real Madrid striker anymore. Gareth Bale’s struggles with fitness hasn’t helped matters much, and it is clear that Los Blancos are in severe need of adding goals to Zinedine Zidane’s squad.

As a result, Real Madrid have been linked with several top strikers, with Icardi being one of the names that have been discussed at the Bernabeu. And now, Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli has claimed that Icardi himself is keen on a move to the La Liga heavyweights, even though the player has insisted that he is happy at Inter.

“I spoke with Icardi and I told him what to all: that he does not relax, that if he is well he will be summoned. Icardi is being watched and almost tempted by Real Madrid.”

Sampaoli’s words should provide a spring in Real Madrid’s steps as they bid to sign a striker to address their goalscoring woes. A move in the winter transfer window though, is unlikely, with Los Blancos not looking to make any major move ahead of deadline day.

Any possible switch to Santiago Bernabeu will now only happen in the summer, and it remains to be seen if Icardi makes his way to Real Madrid after the end of the season, and bring a fruitful five-year spell at Inter Milan to an end.

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