Icardi should not be Inter captain - Melo

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Felipe Melo believes Inter made a mistake appointing Mauro Icardi as captain due to his lack of maturity.

The 24-year-old took the armband from Andrea Ranocchia prior to the 2015-16 season, when Roberto Mancini was head coach, but his impressive form on the pitch has been overshadowed by moments of controversy.

Icardi continues to divide opinion among fans in Italy and in Argentina due to his marriage to Wanda Nara, the ex-wife of team-mate Maxi Lopez, while he was fined by Inter for comments made in his autobiography that caused outrage among some of the club's supporters.

Felipe Melo - who joined Palmeiras from Inter on loan in January and is set to seal a permanent move when his contract expires this month - feels the Nerazzurri still rely too heavily on Icardi's goals and claimed he is the wrong man to lead the team.

"He's still very young and he has to grow, but he's also very strong right now," he told FCInterNews.

"If he doesn't score, Inter don't win, that's all too obvious. But the captain's armband is another thing. I think it's too much for him. 

"A player who is captain must have the respect of his opponents. He's someone who, when you look at him and listen to him, you should think 's***!'.

"And I'm also referring to the opposition, who should be afraid of him in a positive sense, and this is not the case with Icardi. 

"There have been too many things in the past. I don't see him as a real captain today. Maybe in a few years, because he's a champion, but right now he shouldn't wear the armband."

Mancini was sacked last August in the wake of a 6-1 pre-season defeat to Tottenham but Melo believes Inter would have finished in Serie A's top three last term if he had been kept on.

"If Mancini hadn't left, Inter would be in the Champions League right now," said the Brazilian. "I have no doubt about that, I can say that 100 per cent.

"He knows the Nerazzurri very well and he was definitely the best coach for our team.

"He's a very intelligent person, a great coach. The boss was perfect for us and you see how the season without him went."

Inter, who are expected to name Luciano Spalletti as their new coach in the coming days, finished seventh in Serie A in 2016-17.