Icardi given No. 7 shirt at Inter as stay begins to look more likely

The club have handed a squad number for Serie A this season, with a move away from San Siro now looking unlikely

Mauro Icardi has been given the No. 7 shirt for Inter this season as it grows increasingly likely he will stay at the club.

The Argentina international saw his No. 9 jersey given to new signing Romelu Lukaku as talks over a transfer away from San Siro continued.

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Lukaku recently completed an €80 million (£74m/$90m) move away from Manchester United, having fallen out of favour under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Icardi too has been linked with a move away from the club since earlier this year, having been omitted from the squad during the season’s final few months.

However, with an exit beginning to look unlikely, the striker has been given a new squad number for the 2019-20 Serie A season, which starts this weekend.

Icardi was told to look for a new club by chief executive Giuseppe Marotta in July and was excluded from the club’s pre-season tour of Asia.

The 26-year-old, who was stripped of the club captaincy last season, was tipped to move to Juventus in a part-exchange deal involving Paulo Dybala, but no such agreement has been reached.

Most recently, he was linked with Ligue 1 side Monaco, only for wife and agent Wanda Nara to rule out such a transfer.

Nara seemed to hint at Icardi staying at Inter with a tweet on Friday showing her photographed with other wives and girlfriends of Nerazzurri players, captioned ‘another year together’.

Icardi originally joined Inter Sampdoria in 2013, and has been awarded the Capocannoniere, given to Serie A’s highest scorer, twice since joining the club.

In total, Icardi has scored 124 goals across 219 appearances for Inter, with 17 goals coming in 37 appearances last season.

His best campaign, however, came in 2017-18 when he scored 29 goals in Serie A.

Inter finished fourth in Serie A last season, finishing just ahead of rivals AC Milan to seal the fourth and final Champions League position.

With new manager Antonio Conte stepping in, Inter begin their Serie A season at home to Lecce on Monday before visiting Cagliari in their second match of the domestic campaign.

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