Argentine striker Mauro Icardi said it was a “dream come true” after being officially unveiled as an Inter Milan player.
The 20-year-old, who came through Barcelona’s youth academy before joining Sampdoria in 2011, burst onto the scene in Serie A last season, scoring 10 goals in 31 appearances after replacing the injured Maxi Lopez early in the campaign.
That earned him a move to the Nerazzurri where he hopes to improve his scoring record, potentially alongside compatriot Diego Milito or Rodrigo Palacio, even if one of the three Argentineans may have to make do with a place on the bench next season.
“Milito is a great champion and if I get the chance, I will always do what I can to give the team a hand,” he said. “It’s a dream come true to be here and I hope to win everything possible with this shirt.”
The coveted Icardi was also on Napoli’s radar but he has no regrets about opting for Inter, who finished seven positions behind the Partenopei last season and will therefore not be playing in Europe this year.
“I received lots of offers, but Inter are a big club and I can carry on growing here,” he said at a press conference. “I started out with Samp’s youth team and now I’m here to take a step up in my career. Napoli did approach me, but I had chosen Inter and all I am thinking of now is what I have to do here.”
Icardi was presented alongside another fresh face in the Inter attack next season, that of Ishak Belfodil. Both will be rivals for a place in Walter Mazzarri’s side and the Algerian is focusing on maturing as a player under the former Napoli coach.
“I like him a lot,” he said. “He’s a coach who works a lot.”
Belfodil is hopeful the move to Inter will bring out the best in him again after a difficult end to last season with Parma.
“I started the season well, but then I had a few problems and that restricted me,” he said. “The defenders also started to get to know me better and Amauri was in great form, which led to me spending time on the bench.”