Mauro Icardi has found himself pilloried by his own team-mate Radja Nainggolan after the Belgian claimed Inter Milan have paid the price for the striker’s off-field dispute with the club.
The Argentina international had not featured for Inter for almost two months due to an ongoing row over contract negotiations before returning to action last week.
Inter currently sit third in the league table and look likely to qualify for the Champions League, but Nainggolan believes the long-standing spat had a toxic impact on the whole club and should have been avoided.
‘Every player in a team is important, but nobody is indispensable,’ Nainggolan told Corriere dello Sport.
‘Mauro is a great player, but we have another forward in Lautaro Martinez who did very well when given the chance and who is destined for the top.
‘Too much has been said. If Mauro had problems with someone, it should have been up to him to resolve them and not let those issues damage the rest of the team.
‘Enough now, he is training and available, just like everyone else. If he continues like this and scores goals, he is an important player to have.
‘I told him what I thought, which was that, if he had problems that he needed to resolve with someone, the whole group could not be made to pay for it with his absence.
‘[Coach Luciano] Spalletti put the focus on the group. A coach must be credible in the eyes of his players and Spalletti tried to deal with the situation as best he could by doing what he had to do.’
The situation has fuelled speculation Icardi could be on his way out in the summer with Real Madrid interested.
Reports in Spain claim Inter are ready to let the striker leave and have slapped a £68million price tag on him.