Betting Opened on Mauro Icardi Future After Captaincy Snub
Punters have been piling in on a summer move for Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi after the Argentine was inexplicably stripped of club captaincy on Wednesday.
The San Siro outfit confirmed via Twitter on Wednesday morning that goalkeeper Samir Handanovic would be the new Inter captain, sparking rumours of an internal rift.
Icardi, who has scored 15 goals in all competitions so far this season, has been locked in contract extension talks with Inter this season, prompting rumours of a January move to Chelsea.
With the Blues eventually opting for Gonzalo Higuain instead, Icardi will have to see out the season at the San Siro, but his days look numbered following confirmation of his captaincy being withdrawn.
Clubs will be lining up to sign the prolific striker this summer and, with Higuain only on-loan at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea remain favourites for his signature at 4/1.
However, punters are taking up the value in the rest of the market with Manchester United backed in from 12/1 to 8/1 within an hour of Inter confirming Icardi is no longer their captain.
Real Madrid are also a mooted option, but are outsiders in BetVictor’s initial market at 12/1.
The behind-the-scenes contract talks appear to be having an effect on Icardi’s form too, with the 25-year-old failing to score in his last seven league appearances.
Chelsea’s reported interest may depend on whether Maurizio Sarri keeps his job at Stamford Bridge, with Betway already taking bets on the Italian’s successor, with Zinedine Zidane the 6/4 favourite.
A Betway spokesman said: “Zinedine Zidane was very successful during his time at Real Madrid and with Maurizio Sarri’s head on the chopping block, we’ve seen strong support for the Frenchman replacing him at Chelsea.
“It’s perhaps telling that he’s the only candidate being backed with all the other leading contenders friendless in the market, though we have seen a bit of backing for Luis Enrique at 20/1.”
Other outsiders in the race to sign Icardi this summer include Liverpool (16/1), Arsenal (16/1) and Juventus (20/1).