Chelsea transfer blow with Conte to give Icardi captaincy to convince him not to leave Inter Milan

ANTONIO CONTE could hand old club Chelsea a transfer blow by persuading Mauro Icardi to stay at Inter Milan.

The Italian is expected to take over from Luciano Spalletti and his first job will be to sit down and convince striker Icardi to remain at the San Siro.

Conte has been out of work since being axed as Stamford Bridge boss in 2018 and spent the season linked with Real Madrid, United and Inter.

While Icardi had been frozen out of the side for 40 days and stripped off capacity in February after a contract bust-up with Inter chiefs after his controversial wife and agent Wanda Nara was believed to have caused the tension.

However, Marca report the rebel Argentine striker is willing to consider staying if Conte replaces Spalletti.

It is believed Conte is willing to reinstate Icardi as skipper, moving keeper moving Samir Handanovic to vice-captain with new arrival Diego Godin taking the third captain’s spot.

It comes as a transfer blow for Chelsea and Manchester United who have been tracking the unsettled striker all season.

It was suggested Inter chiefs were willing to accept just £52million for the 26-year-old, who looks set to be snubbed from Argentina's Copa America squad this summer.

But Chelsea are still in the process of appealing the two window Fifa transfer ban which was initially imposed in February, causing disruption for any potential signing.

While United striker Romelu Lukaku has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford with Juventus and Inter both interested clubs.

Old Trafford chiefs see Icardi as a replacement for the Belgian with reports earlier in the season suggesting they will use Lukaku as part of a swap deal.

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