Inter vs Bayern Munich preview: Nerazzurri fend off Icardi speculation ahead of ICC clash

The Italian and German giants lock horns at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium on Saturday, but a prospective move to Napoli is dominating the agenda around the club captain

Inter face a tough test in the shape of Bayern Munich in their latest International Champions Cup clash, but the biggest concerns at the Italian giants revolve around the future of Mauro Icardi. 

The ex-Barcelona and Sampdoria striker has been heavily tipped to succeed Gonzalo Higuain at Inter’s Serie A rivals Napoli. 

The club have more than €90 million in new funds following that sale, but the Nerazzurri will not let their captain go without a fight. 

“All of us are hoping that number goes over €60m,” president Erick Thohir warned in New York when asked about a reported new bid from Napoli.

“But for us, that isn’t important at the moment.

“Inter will be here for hundreds of years yet. Inter is made of individuals who can change. This happens every year.

“Icardi is a very important player for the team, he’s our captain. We’re building a team and we have to look at the dynamic.”

The Argentine missed both of Inter’s games in the past week, as a 3-1 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain was followed a draw against Estudiantes in New York. 

Coach Roberto Mancini, however, has insisted that injury kept Icardi out of action. 

“I didn’t field him because he reported feeling some pain in his shoulder this morning. There would have been no point in risking him,” he said, while refusing to confirm whether Icardi would participate in Saturday’s Bayern clash. 

The Bundesliga champions, meanwhile, are looking to end the International Champions Cup on a high after enduring a defeat on penalties at the hands of AC Milan. 

“We have to continue our work. We have time to prepare the team before we start the official competition,” coach Carlo Ancelotti said at a news conference after the game. 

“We can use this game to improve our conditioning, to improve our organization. We’re at the beginning, so we made some mistakes but of course we have to wait for all the players when they come back and after that we can prepare our season.”

Players like Robert Lewandowski, Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Renato Sanches are resting after playing in Euro 2016, and while midfielder Arturo Vidal is in the United States, he did not feature against Milan.

Partly because of the absences, the new Bayern boss is more concerned with how his players are progressing physically than if the team lifts pre-season trophies.

“At this moment, I think the most important thing is the physical condition,” he said. “We don’t have all the players, but we try to do our style, our play, so the goal is to improve our physical condition.

“In this sense, we are doing well. We didn’t have injuries tonight and we can continue to work, to prepare the next two games here and this is good.”

Guardiola: I still love Ribery despite jibes

The French winger said the new Manchester City boss lacks experience and feels more trusted by Carlo Ancelotti, and the Catalan coach believes he has a point

Pep Guardiola says he still loves Franck Ribery despite criticism from the Bayern Munich winger over his coaching methods.

Guardiola departed Bayern at the end of last season to take over at Manchester City having led the Bavarians to three consecutive Bundesliga titles.

However, his exit was not met with despair in all quarters, with Ribery claiming the former Barcelona boss lacked experience.

“Pep hasn’t had a long career as manager. He is a young coach,” Ribery told Bild this week. 

GOALREAD MORE ‘Guardiola wanted Tuchel as Bayern successor’

“He lacks experience. Sometimes he talks too much. Football is very simple.”

Ribery has also said he feels more trusted by new Bayern head coach Carlo Ancelotti, but Guardiola took the comments on the chin and insists he holds no ill will towards the former France international.

“About Ribery I must say I love him very much,” he told a news conference.

“It’s good that Ribery says I’m young. I’m here to learn.”

Guardiola wanted Tuchel to be his successor – Bayern chief

The Bavarians’ technical director Michael Reschke claims the Spaniard urged the club to appoint the Borussia Dortmund boss as his replacement at the Allianz Arena

Pep Guardiola wanted current Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel to be his replacement at Bayern Munich, according to the German champions’ technical director Michael Reschke.

The Spaniard recommended Tuchel for the role back in 2014 when Reschke joined Bayern, prompting him to set up a meeting between the two managers.

Reschke told 11 Freunde that Guardiola had said to him: “Thomas has to become my successor at Bayern.”

At the time Tuchel, who replaced Jurgen Klopp at Dortmund in 2015, was on an enforced break after leaving Mainz before the end of his contract.

GOALREAD MORE  | Pep and Tuchel star on touchline

“I had a trusting relationship with Thomas Tuchel, and knew that he admired Pep’s work,” Reschke said.

“Pep, on the other hand, was impressed with Mainz’s displays. He often talked to me about Thomas.”

Guardiola and Tuchel went head-to-head on Thursday in the International Champions Cup as Manchester City defeated Dortmund 6-5 on penalties.

WATCH: Ribery scores impressive strike vs Milan

The former France international struck a powerful effort past Rossoneri goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma before levelling the game in the last minute

Franck Ribery scored an impressive double during Bayern Munich’s 3-3 draw with Milan on Wednesday.

The former France international, who recently praised new Roten boss Carlo Ancelotti for the faith he has shown in him since arriving, equalised for his side after M’Baye Niang’s opener.

Ribery latched onto a dragged pass from David Alaba, before powering his effort past Gianluigi Donnarumma in the Milan goal.

The Frenchman scored another in the dying moments of normal time from the spot to take the game into a penalty shootout.

Watch Ribery’s first strike in the video above!

WATCH: Alaba scores long distance screamer in ICC tie with Milan

The Austria international scored from range against the Serie A side during their pre-season friendly in Chicaho on Wednesday

David Alaba scored a screamer against Vincenzo Montella’s Milan side in their International Champions Cup on Wednesday.

The Bayern Munich man picked up the ball far outside the Milan box before instinctively taking a strike at goal, the awkward bounce beating Gianluigi Donnarumma in the Rossoneri net.

Alaba also hand a hand in Franck Ribery’s, and Bayern’s, first of the game which ended in a 5-3 penalty victory for the Italians.

Watch the goal in the video above.