Both Manchester United and Chelsea are interested in Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi, according to latest reports by the Daily Express. The 21-year-old is said to have been lined up by Jose Mourinho's Premier League leaders to replace Didier Drogba in the summer, while Louis van Gaal's Red Devils are interested in hijacking a potential deal.
The inexperienced striker is rated at around £30million and, according to the same report, Inter have already begun searching for a replacement. Despite Icardi's form, the Italian outfit are languishing in mid table and look unlikely to qualify for Europe next season through the league. This alone could be enough to tempt the youngster to move on.
Playing in one of the worst Inter sides in a decade, Icardi has 13 goals to his name in just 22 appearances this season. For a team that can provide better creative service, one expects he would score with even greater regularity. But for now he will have to settle for second place in the Serie A scoring charts, just one goal behind Juventus' Carlos Tevez (14).
The Argentine's major strength is his ability to find the back of the net. He has averaged 3.1 shots per goal this term, hitting the target with 44% of these attempts, while converting 24.1%. Despite being only 5 foot 11 inches tall, he poses a considerable aerial threat. He has scored two headed goals this term, while winning 43% of his total aerial duels.
The South American has created 16 chances, resulting in one assist, but when he is in advantageous positions, he tends to go alone rather than looking to pass. He averages just 0.7 chances created per game, and his selfishness has caused friction in the past, as evident with his bust-up with Dani Osvaldo earlier this year – as reported by Sky Sport Italia.
Furthermore, his distribution proves somewhat of a letdown. He has completed just 73% of his passes this term; a success rate that sees him ranked lower than any first team regular at both Manchester United and Chelsea. While he is evidently an accomplished striking force in the final third, his ability to maintain possession efficiently leaves a lot to be desired.
Icardi is a raw talent with undoubted potential, and under the right manager he could become a world class centre-forward. Manchester United are in desperate need of a player of Icardi's guile - a young goalscorer - while Jose Mourinho's Chelsea, in the long-term, would provide him with all the tools needed to succeed at the highest level.