The Argentine striker looks set to leave San Siro after a tumultuous season and his successor as captain hinted he would not be missed.
Inter captain Samir Handanovic fired a broadside that seemed to be aimed at unwanted stars Mauro Icardi and Radja Nainggolan when he called for players to respect their “duties towards the club”.
Icardi was stripped of the Inter captaincy last season amid conflicting views of an apparent knee injury and internal disagreements with the club’s hierarchy, while Nainggolan was suspended by the Nerrazurri midway through a turbulent first term at San Siro.
Chief executive Giuseppe Marotta confirmed both players have been told they can leave the club, and Handanovic indicated they would not be missed by a squad beginning to thrive under the rules being laid down by new coach Antonio Conte and team manager Gabriele Oriali.
“We are happy that Lele Oriali has returned as team manager, because he is the link between the club and squad, he sees everything,” Handanovic told a news conference.
“He is here because we want to get back to having the values that were lost over the years. Players have duties towards the club too, they can’t just think they are allowed to do anything because they are talented.
“With Oriali’s return and Conte in charge, we can improve a great deal.”
The future remains unclear for Icardi and Nainggolan, but Handanovic indicated his support for the club’s decision to let both players leave, saying: “The club has been clear in its position. I do not need to add anything more.”
He went on to speak about his approach to captaining the team, doubling down on the insinuation that Icardi failed to commit to the responsibility.
“I feel great pride in wearing the captain’s armband,” said Handanovic.
“My attitude has not changed, though. A captain is someone who takes responsibility and speaks when he has to, trying always to be fair.
“It takes many captains in a team, as one is not enough.”
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