A good deal for all as Mauro Icardi completes permanent move to PSG

Paris Saint-Germain confirmed the signing of Mauro Icardi on Sunday after agreeing a €50 million fee with Inter Milan. The 27-year-old centre forward has been with PSG since September on loan and has now made the switch permanent with the French champions making use of their buy-out option.

Icardi scored 20 goals in 31 matches in all competitions before picking up a Ligue 1 winners’ medal with the French season ended early due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Argentina international (eight caps), who also holds an Italian passport, has signed a four-year deal with the capital club until 30 June 2024. The Rosario-born player is the 16th Argentinian player in the history of PSG, ” the club said in a statement.

After an electric start to life in Paris, scoring nine in his first ten league appearances, Icardi’s form had dipped to three in the next nine, but with Edinson Cavani’s contract expiring on June 30th and Icardi’s consistent record of scoring goals, PSG’s decision to spend €50 million on a striker touted for far greater sums only a year ago was a relatively simple one.

Inter added in a statement of their own: “FC Internazionale Milano announces the transfer of Mauro Icardi to Paris Saint-Germain FC: the striker, born in 1993, has permanently moved to the French club.

“The club thanks the player for the six seasons he spent with us and wishes him the best for his future professional career.”

And while the gratitude is genuine, Icardi’s departure will be bitter-sweet. A healthy profit on a player signed from Sampdoria in 2013 and who had burned his bridges at the club but the loss of a player who has provided plenty on the pitch for the Nerazzurri during a difficult period.

With 124 goals in 219 appearances for Inter, eighth highest in the club’s history, and a two-time Capocannoniere no one could question Icardi’s quality on the pitch though the baggage that arrives with the 27-year-old is equally undeniable.

Conflict with the club’s ultras and several run-ins with the owners certainly make it an easier pill to swallow for Inter. Only the sale of Zlatan Ibrahimović to Barcelona has earned the Italian club more and a reported clause that will see Inter pick up a further €15 million should PSG sell to an Italian club within two years makes it somewhat sweeter.

Inter know that Icardi’s true value is greater than what PSG eventually paid, the former captain has proved himself an elite penalty box goalscorer, but with no future in Milan options were limited.

Only a small number of clubs could afford this level of transfer, even fewer in the post-Coronavirus market, and many of those that could will likely have reservations over Icardi’s reputation. Inter have been able to move on with the maximum amount possible at this stage, PSG get a proven goalscorer entering his peak years and Icardi moves to a club with aspirations of challenging for all major honours.