Atletico Madrid are gearing up for a feisty bidding war with Chelsea over the services of youngster Mauro Icardi, according to the Daily Express.
Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool have lost interest in the 21-year-old whilst Jose Mourinho has been joined by Diego Simeone in keeping his tabs on the forward.
Despite his formidable goalscoring prowess for Inter Milan, releasing Icardi could remove an obstacle in clearing their Financial Fair Play regulations paired with new boss Roberto Mancini being able to transform his squad.
£20m asking price
But in order to help clear their strict regulations, the Italian side have slapped a hefty £20 million price tag on the Argentine who has managed to score 17 goals in 36 games since making a move from Sampdoria in 2013.
However, money means nothing to Chelsea who have the likes of Roman Abramovich to help them through their financial affairs. After all, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa cost the Blues a significant £59 million, but their high prices have been proven after the pair have helped to deliver many positive results since joining in the summer.
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On the other hand, Atletico Madrid will not be backing down easily in the fight to sign Icardi who is no stranger to Spanish football. The 21-year-old spent three years with Barcelona's youth team before moving onto professional football in Italy with Sampdoria on loan until he was signed on a full contract.
Jose Mourinho has insisted that he has no interest in "tampering" with his current "excellent" squad and could therefore clear the pathway for Diego Simeone to swoop for the goal machine.
Although the Portuguese has gone against his word many a time in the past and could do so again if he becomes jealous of his European rivals coming close to signing the forward.
January exit likely
With Inter desperate to sell, it is almost inevitable that the Argentine will depart the San Siro in January however, his destination is yet to be confirmed.
If the worst comes to worst, Atletico could be out of their depth if the Serie A club decide to up the ante in the price tag slapped on Icardi as they do not want to overspend to exceed their budget, thus paving the way for Chelsea to comfortably land the 21-year-old.
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