Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti has admitted he could be powerless from stopping Mauro Icardi from leaving the club this summer.
The 25-year-old Inter captain – who has a £96.3m release clause in his contract – has been linked with Europe’s leading sides including Champions League winners Real Madrid.
Spalletti says the striker has offered him assurances he will stay at that San Siro but concedes he would not be able to block a transfer if a bid did come in.
“I’ve spoken with Mauro several times and he sent very precise signals,” Spalletti told Sky in Italy.
“He’s happy at Inter and wants to stay, but then there are clubs which, if they decide to take a player, you could have been saying ‘I won’t leave here the day before, then the next day they take you and in the end you’re happy to go, even though the previous day you were thinking very differently.
“We have to be ready for anything, but for now there are no signals and no doubts about what he wants.”
Icardi joined Inter in 2013 from Sampdoria and scored 29 Serie A goals in Serie A this season, including last week’s crunch clash when Inter pipped Lazio to a Champions League place.
Icardi’s wife and agent Wanda Nara said during the week he was “wanted by the three best teams in the world”. Who were ready to pay the release clause but “his priority is Inter”.