Luciano Spalletti claims the saga involving Mauro Icardi has ‘embarrassed’ Inter on the eve of their Europa League last-32 first leg against Rapid Vienna.

Icardi was stripped of Inter’s captaincy on Wednesday morning, before it emerged that the striker had made himself unavailable for the trip to Vienna.

“Rapid are like many Italian teams tactically,” the Coach said at a Press conference.

“They use a 4-2-3-1 that is very common in Italy and they’re organised at home. They didn’t concede a goal at home [in the group stage], and that shows the clarity they play with.

“They’re a neat and tidy team who have a very good idea of what they want and what their objective is, otherwise they wouldn’t have won at Spartak.

“They’re a team who came through a difficult group, but we want to pick up a good result and win the game.

“We must play in a way that lets us win. Icardi? We’ll pursue the appropriate action in light of the positions that have been taken.

“Nothing has changed from a technical point of view, but we’ve been embarrassed and unfortunately we won’t have him at our disposal tomorrow.

“Still, we’ll be able to call on someone like Lautaro who showed his quality at Parma. We’ll need him right away, here in Vienna.

“I expect the same contribution from him and the same from the others.”

Unsurprisingly, the questions kept coming about a certain topic…

“I see you [journalists] are interested in the game,” interjected Spalletti.

“The ball is round and the pitch is rectangular. We have to win the game and I have the obligation to focus on the match.

“We can talk about what you want during the week but since Icardi won’t play, now we’re thinking about the game tomorrow.”


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Football Italia staff