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.”