Edgardo Bauza returned to Buenos Aires this morning from his European scouting tour and confirmed among other subjects that although Mauro Icardi remains in his plans, the Inter Milan captain will not be in his next squad.
The 23-year-old has been in fine form in Serie A this season with fifteen goals prompting calls for Bauza to hand him a only a second Argentina call-up but despite meeting with the striker there appears to be no immediate change in the circumstance.
“We met with him [Icardi] and chatted about football. I told him for now he wouldn’t be called but at any point in the future, yes,” Bauza told reporters.
The Argentina coach has repeatedly said that Gonzalo Higuaín and Lucas Pratto are his first choice number nines and so unless either are injured it appears both will be called for the World Cup qualifiers in March against Chile and Bolivia.
In addition, Bauza praised the level of Ángel Di María after his match winning display against Barcelona in midweek.
“He has been showing that level, he played on the right and then in the middle, scored two goals and had a great game against Barcelona.
“He is a player of great importance,” Bauza said before referring to Paris Saint-Germain’s other Argentine players.
“We chatted with Di María and Lo Celso although they are in different stages. Di María is integrated and Lo Celso is still adapting.
“There is also Pastore, who is starting to play and get back up to speed. I am pleased with the level of Di María and we hope that Pastore regains his form.”
Bauza has already hinted that he may name a larger squad for March due to a number of players one yellow card away from suspension and it seems that Roma defender Federico Fazio is under consideration.
“Fazio is a possibility. I don’t rule it out nor do I confirm it as there are still a lot of games left. We will name the squad calmly and I hope that there are no injuries.”
Following a discussion with Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, Bauza said: “We talked about football. Mourinho has a great concept with Rojo and plays him centrally. That’s fine, as long as he plays, I don’t worry.
“I hope Romero has more opportnities. Mourinho trusts him and the times he has played, he has done well so I think he is going to have more opportunities.”
Finally, on the subject of Lucas Alario and a potential move to the Chinese Super League, Bauza said, “They are personal decisions, we are concerned only about their level.”