SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi and midfielder Radja Nainggolan are not in his plans for the new season, coach Antonio Conte said on Friday.
Conte, tasked with reviving a team who have not won a major trophy for eight years, play Manchester United on Saturday at Singapore’s National Stadium in the International Champions Cup.
Argentine Icardi left the club’s training camp in Switzerland last week, local media reported.
“The club was very clear to tell that he (Icardi) is out of this project. This is the reality, he is gone,” Conte said, adding that Nainggolan was also “out of the project”.
Conte did not hide his desire to lure United striker Romelu Lukaku to Inter, adding that getting a new striker was imperative for the club. [L8N24K342]
“For sure it is not easy to play without a striker at the beginning of the season like this. The market is still open. It is not easy to play against teams like Juventus and Manchester United without strikers,” Conte said.
The former Juventus, Chelsea and Italy boss is the club’s 11th coach in nine years.
He voiced frustration at Inter’s management saying they were “a bit late” on the transfer market.
Among players signed are winger Valentino Lazaro from Hertha Berlin, midfielder Nicolo Barella from Cagliari and Uruguay defender Diego Godin from Atletico Madrid..
(Reporting by John Geddie, editing by Ed Osmond)