Inter general manager Marotta hopeful on Icardi's stand-off

Mauro Icardi has not played for Inter since early February amid doubts over his future at San Siro.

Mauro Icardi could be nearing an Inter return.   -  Getty Images

Mauro Icardi's stand-off with Inter could soon be resolved, according to the Serie A club's general manager Giuseppe Marotta.

Icardi has not played since he was stripped of the captaincy in February, as talks over a new contract reportedly broke down.

Marotta has since held positive talks with Icardi's wife and agent Wanda Nara, although the Inters striker remains sidelined with a supposed knee injury.

But Marotta believes that the situation is close to a resolution, insisting that the decision to hand the captain's armband to Samir Handanovic was not a punishment for Icardi.

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"I hope the situation can mend itself," Marotta told reporters.

"We're a family and parents must make decisions for the sake of their children, but they're not punishments. They're made so the kids can grow and get better.

"That's how our decision should be interpreted. I hope we can mend this rift as quickly as possible because Icardi is a good lad who has given a lot to Inter and can still give us so much.

"Now he's struggling with a knee problem. We hope it heals as quickly as possible and that he returns to the group after rehabilitation."

Icardi's absence was felt by Inter as it went out of the Europa League on Thursday, but Luciano Spalletti's side responded in style by beating rivals AC Milan 3-2 in a thrilling Derby della Madonnina on Sunday, moving them up to third place in Serie A.