Mauro Icardi has been stripped of the Inter Milan captaincy and dropped from their Europa League squad to face Rapid Wien tonight.
On Wednesday morning, the club produced a tweet explaining that goalkeeper Samir Handanovic is now the new captain.
"The Club can confirm that Samir #Handanovic is the new Inter captain #FCIM," they wrote on Twitter.
Of course, anyone with a slight interest in Italian football will know that the relationship between Icardi and Inter Milan isn’t great.
A lot of the controversy surrounds Icard’s wife and agent, Wanda Nara.
But where did it all go wrong?
Well, Football Italia have produced a detailed timeline of events that explains exactly how we’ve reached this point:
October 7, 2016: Inter announce Mauro Icardi has signed a new contract until 2021, worth €4.5m a season with a €110m release clause for foreign clubs.
October 16, 2016: Inter ultras in the Curva Nord demand Icardi be stripped of the captain’s armband after a chapter in his book criticised them. “You’re finished.”
October 17, 2016: Wanda tells Corriere dello Sport that her husband’s renewal came after an offer from Napoli, who wanted him to replace Gonzalo Higuain.
April 7, 2017: Wanda claims she is ‘the only wife who makes money for her husband’ in an interview with magazine Gente. “He’s gone from being worth €14m to €250m.”
September 25, 2017: Wanda reaffirms Mauro’s commitment to Inter at a book launch. “Their captain forever? That’s my dream, we hope so.”
November 30, 2017: Cracks begin to emerge as Wanda seeks an improved deal for Icardi. “I’ve received some calls, but I prefer not to say from which clubs. He’s worth at least €200m.”
December 15, 2017: Wanda mentions Real Madrid for the first time. “I don’t know anything about Real Madrid, but I won’t say yes or no,” she tells Verissimo. “If it was up to Mauro then he’d stay at Inter for life, but there are other things we don’t know. We hope so.”
February 22, 2018: Wanda tells Corriere dello Sport: “Ausilio knows what I think and I know what he and the club think. A couple of big clubs have approached us and shown they appreciate him… I have to at least listen to them and assess the situation.”
March 20, 2018: Wanda bears the front page of Gazzetta dello Sport, declaring ‘we’re confident about Icardi’s renewal and when I meet the directors at the stadium we laugh and joke. I make the joke that he’s worth more with every day that passes.’
May 22, 2018: Icardi’s €110m release clause stands ahead of the summer transfer window and Wanda warns: “There are some big clubs willing to pay his release clause that, to tell you the truth, considering the figures that are going around, isn’t even that much for a player like him. There are many clubs pressing…”
July 2018: Icardi decides to stay at Inter without signing a new contract and his release clause expires. Wanda does not make any public statements throughout preseason.
September 4, 2018: Wanda reveals to Tiki Taka how ‘Juventus looked at Icardi but Cristiano Ronaldo was their primary objective. Surely Mauro could’ve been an alternative.’
November 28, 2018: Over two years pass since Icardi’s last renewal and Wanda tells Corriere dello Sport: “It’s not the time to talk about it. He’s not asked for anything, every renewal was signed when the club offered it to Mauro. I prefer Milan to London, Madrid and Paris, but that doesn’t count for anything… I’m very superstitious and I don’t want to reveal what Mauro told me, but he’s very calm.”
December 18, 2018: Wanda launches her first tirade against the Beneamata. “Inter? We’re very far apart. What’s been written in the last few days annoys me. No-one’s called me to ask for any explanations. Inter wanted to send Icardi to Juventus, but it was Mauro who said ‘no’ as he wanted to stay at Inter.”
January 9, 2019: Argentine outlet TyC Sports drops the bombshell that Wanda told Inter her husband would not be signing a new contract.
January 10, 2019: Icardi asserts Wanda ‘will take care of my interests until the end of my career’ after Gazzetta dello Sport claimed Inter had become fed up with her.
January 12, 2019: Wanda issues her own response. “No-one’s allowed to interfere with my family affairs, reporting false and biased news. The lack of respect towards a gentleman like Icardi, who attended your last event and has always been available to you, is truly shameful.”
January 18, 2019: The two parties look to set a date for face-to-face talks, but the meeting doesn’t take place and Wanda writes on Instagram: “I like people who speak three languages: to your face, directly and with balls.” She tells Striscia La Notizia later that day: “Yes, we’ll renew, we’ll renew.”
January 28, 2019: Wanda brings calm to the situation, telling Tiki Taka: “We haven’t discussed figures, Inter have other priorities right now... I like Marotta, he seems like a sincere person to me and today he showed it, he’s what we need. There’s hypocrisy in football, but he looks at you and tells you the truth, and in this industry we’re not used to that.”
February 11, 2019: Wanda Nara is back on the offensive. “I didn’t mention the renewal when the club called me…” she tells Tiki Taka. “I’d like to see Mauro more protected by the club because sometimes nasty things have come out from inside.”
February 13, 2019: Icardi is stripped of Inter’s captaincy and replaced by Samir Handanovic.
And it seems Wanda’s latest comments are the tip of the iceberg.
Whether or not there’s a way back for Icardi from now until the end of the season remains to be seen.
Inter are currently third in Serie A and have a fantastic opportunity to qualify for next season’s Champions League, and they may need to call upon Icardi - who has scored 15 goals this season.
But if he - and his wife - are in danger of disrupting the entire squad, it’s probably best to leave him out.
It certainly looks as though he will be on the move this summer.
Whether clubs will be scrambling to work with Wanda is unlikely, though.News Now - Sport News