Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan have reportedly reached an agreement over the permanent transfer of Mauro Icardi.
The Argentine striker had joined PSG on loan ahead of this season, and the Ligue 1 champions have seen enough to make his move permanent for a fee in the region of €50 million, plus €7m in add-ons.
This comes after Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio hinted on Friday that they were eager to offload Icardi permanently.
“Mauro Icardi wants to stay at PSG and we are in talks to make that happen.”Piero Ausilio
The 27-year-old has played 31 times this season, finding the back of the net on 20 occasions, whilst also providing four assists. Initially, PSG had negotiated a clause to sign Icardi for €70 million, but the coronavirus crisis has taken a big toll on the clubs’ finances and hence, a lower fee was agreed.
Icardi is a player of immense calibre, and the Parisians did well to rope in a striker of his potential for the aforementioned fee.
With that said, now that the Ligue 1 champions have signed Mauro Icardi permanently, here’s why it could prove to be a shrewd piece of business for PSG:
Mauro Icardi: Player Profile
After beginning his youth career at a small club called Vecindario, Icardi soon started to turn heads due to his prolific performances as a prodigious talent. The likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona tried to lure him and eventually, he joined the La Masia in 2008.
He continued to shine for Barca’s youth teams, and was later loaned out to Serie A outfit Sampdoria. The Argentine marksman made his senior team debut in 2012 and after just one season in the Italian top-flight, Inter Milan decided to spend €6.5 million to acquire Icardi’s services.
Inter Milan, the rise and the fall
Since joining the Nerazzurri, he would go on to develop into one of the most prolific strikers in all of Europe. In 2015, aged 22, he was handed the captain’s armband, as a result of his impressive exploits with Inter.
Having said that, his off-field issues, especially due to his wife Wanda Nara, whose ex-husband Maxi Lopez was Mauro Icardi’s teammate at Sampdoria, caused a lot of trouble at the San Siro in the past couple of seasons.
This is why incoming coach Antonio Conte froze the striker out of his squad completely, effectively sending out a strong message.
Paris Saint-Germain, therefore, decided to take their chances with a player who was the top-scorer in Serie A on two occasions, in 2014-15 and 2017-18.
Move to PSG, a new lease of life
After a prolonged transfer saga in 2019, Mauro Icardi was finally on his way to France on the last day of the transfer window. He has since earned a lot of plaudits, having scored five goals in six matches during PSG’s run to the Champions League quarter-finals.
That, combined with his 12 goals in the Ligue 1, helped the capital club win yet another domestic title after the season was cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic, and Paris Saint-Germain were awarded the title, given they had racked up a massive 12-point lead over second-placed Marseille.
As a consequence of Icardi’s sumptuous performances, the Parisians have decided against renewing the contract of their record goalscorer Edinson Cavani, who will become a free agent in the summer.
Icardi and PSG: A match made in heaven
There are a couple of things which make Mauro Icardi’s move to PSG very smart piece of business. The first factor is obviously the fee, which is considerably less for a player of his talent.
To compare, Real Madrid shelled out €60 million on Luka Jovic, who has scored just two times since joining Los Blancos from Eintracht Frankfurt last summer.
Secondly, PSG have found a worthy like-for-like successor to Edinson Cavani. Icardi might not offer the Uruguayan’s work ethic, but when it comes to finishing, few strikers in the world are more effective than the former Inter star. One cannot give this man an inch anywhere in and around the box as he’s a lethal goal-poacher.
Thirdly, at 27, the Argentine is still entering his peak years, so essentially, PSG have made a long-term investment.
Moreover, judging by the initial signs, Mauro Icardi’s move to France could be his best decision till date, given he’s already struck a partnership with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, two darlings of the Parc des Princes.
All stats courtesy: Transfermarkt.co.in