Inter deny Real Madrid contact over Icardi

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Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio says there has been no contact from Real Madrid over a possible bid for Mauro Icardi.

The LaLiga champions have been linked with the Argentina international largely due to their goalscoring problems this season, with Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo having netted just four league goals between them and Gareth Bale struggling with injuries.

Icardi, by contrast, has scored 16 goals in 15 Serie A matches to propel Inter to the top of the table, prompting rumours that Madrid could look to activate his release clause, which is reportedly set at EUR110million.

But Ausilio says Madrid have made no approach and is confident the club captain would not be tempted to leave San Siro.

"We don't need to convince him to stay at Inter," he told Domenica Sportiva. "He has a long contract here and his will is very clear.

"He's our captain and he wants to win with this shirt. This all goes way beyond contracts and clauses.

"Madrid haven't called us but they would have to convince Mauro to abandon our project, in which he is a leading light."

Ausilio suggested Inter could look to strengthen in the January transfer window but warned they would not sign players simply to make up the numbers.

"We have clear ideas but everyone in this squad is a first-team player," he said.

"The group is our strength. Therefore, in January, we don't want to do just any old business.

"Ours is a team you can only improve by signing great champions and I don't see any of their kind on the market.

"We're strong at the moment and we want to move forward with our current squad."