Tue | Mar 31, 2020

Icardi wants PSG stay

Published:Friday | January 10, 2020 | 12:28 AM
PSG’s Mauro Icardi (left) vies for the ball with Saint Etienne’s Miguel Trauco during the French League Cup quarter-final match at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on Wednesday.
PSG’s Mauro Icardi (left) vies for the ball with Saint Etienne’s Miguel Trauco during the French League Cup quarter-final match at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on Wednesday.

PARIS (AP):

Things are going so well for Mauro Icardi at Paris Saint-Germain that he’s already thinking about staying next season.

Some contrast from last year, when he was embroiled in a dispute with Inter Milan so bitter he even sued the club.

The Italian team loaned Icardi to PSG this season, but few observers would have expected him to succeed to the extent he has, with 17 goals in 19 games so far. Only France striker Kylian Mbappé has scored more than him.

PSG have the option to make the loan deal permanent and Icardi, playing his part in a rampant attack which has scored 29 goals in the past six matches, appears to welcome a long-term move.

“It’s a great time for me and for the team. I feel very good in Paris,” said the 26-year-old.

PSG hat-trick

The Argentine scored his first PSG hat-trick in Wednesday’s 6-1 League Cup win over Saint-Etienne.

“There are five months left before the end of the championship. When everything’s over we can sit around a table and discuss it. If I can stay here I’d be very happy,” said Icardi.

Icardi’s finishing is so ruthless he has scored with 71 per cent of his shots so far, and although all of his goals have been from inside the penalty area, is he is far more than a goal-hanger.

His exceptional movement off the ball and excellent first touch make him an easy player to both pass to and feed off for PSG’s other stellar forwards: Neymar, Mbappé and Angel Di Maria.

By picking his four forwards together in recent games, PSG coach Thomas Tuchel appeared to risk making his side top-heavy in attack and thus unbalanced elsewhere. But it is working seamlessly, albeit against modest teams.

“I’m convinced the four forwards enjoy playing together. There’s an obvious understanding between Mauro and Kylian,” Tuchel said. “They are finding each other in the right positions.”

Now Icardi’s got as many goals as he did in 37 games last season, and is poised to reach the 20-goal mark with back-to-back matches against Monaco on Sunday and Wednesday.

The fact that Monaco has one of the league’s worst defences will be welcome news to Icardi.