Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini is ready to cash in on Argentine striker Mauro Icardi next summer for a fee in the region of £28 million, a decision which means both Chelsea and Liverpool know exactly what it will take to finally land a long-term transfer target.
Icardi has been linked with the Premier League giants for some time and given his raw potential that's hardly a surprise, with the 21-year-old impressing during brief but brilliant purple patches at Inter over the last two seasons.
Mancini is reportedly not sold on the South American starlet though, with the Daily Star citing Italian sources in their claim that the experienced coach plans to sell Icardi and spend the money to overhaul an under-performing squad ahead of next season.
Icardi dubbed the 'new Ronaldo'
The former Sampdoria forward clearly made a huge impression on former coach Jesus Hernandez, who told Gazzetta dello Sport that he thinks Chelsea and Liverpool would have a huge star on their hands if they are prepared to spend big on Icardi next summer.
Hernandez said: "If Icardi played in Spain or England, where he is likely to go, he would be a star. He will become one. He has the talent to be the new Ronaldo. You'll see."
Icardi needs to improve performances quickly
Scouts from top clubs across the continent are likely to monitor Icardi closely between now and the end of the season, although they won't have been impressed with his performance in the Milan derby last weekend.
The Argentine international missed a gilt-edged chance to put Inter ahead early on and his mistake was punished by a superb finish from Milan winger Jeremy Menez soon after, although the Nerazzurri did battle back to earn a 1-1 draw in Mancini's first game in charge.
Should Chelsea or Liverpool make a bid?
Both Chelsea and Liverpool are in the market for a new striker and will expect to see improved performances from the promising marksman before making a formal offer, while it remains to seen if the striker can change Mancini's mind over his long-term future.
Chelsea will definitely be looking for strike cover when the current campaign closes, primarily because Didier Drogba looks likely to call time on an incredible career next year.
Liverpool meanwhile have looked woefully short in attack this season, so expect Red boss Brendan Rodgers to be seriously considering a formal offer as early as January if Icardi is put up for sale.
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