'The door is always open for the best' - Icardi could return to Argentina squad, says Scaloni
Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni has opened the door to a potential return to the national team for Mauro Icardi, with the 26-year-old in fine form for new club Paris Saint-Germain.
Icardi has only made eight appearances for Argentina, and none this year. He is reported to be unpopular among the squad due to his personal issues with former forward Maxi Lopez, a close friend of Lionel Messi.
He has never been far from the headlines for his goalscoring prowess or his personal life but, with nine goals in 10 games for PSG this season, he could prove a useful addition to Scaloni’s squad.
"He is a player that we have in mind," Scaloni told a press conference.
“He is playing again and gathering momentum after not having done so at the end of last season, and it is important that he is scoring goals.
“He was always on our agenda, but not for the moment because there are others who are doing well.
“At any time he could return. The door is always open for the best.”
Icardi had been included in Scaloni’s preliminary 40-man squad for this summer’s Copa America, but he was eventually cut from the final selection.
Argentina came third in the tournament, having been knocked out in a controversial semi-final by rivals Brazil. The two teams face off again in a friendly on Friday, before Argentina face Uruguay three days later.
One of Icardi’s rivals for a place in the attacking line-up, Inter forward Lautaro Martinez, has not trained in the past few days after a slight injury but Scaloni said he would wait until the last minute to make a decision on his match fitness.
Finding a solution to their attacking problems would be a welcome boost for Scaloni, with his side still suffering from an over-reliance on Messi. With two goals apiece, Lautaro and Sergio Aguero were the only players to score more than once at the Copa America this year.
Since then, though, they have scored 12 goals in their last three games; a 4-0 win over Mexico, a 2-2 draw with Germany, and a 6-1 victory against Ecuador.
"The last two games of ours, against Germany and Ecuador, we didn’t play the same as against Brazil in the cup,” Scaloni added.
“For sure we will copy some things with respect to the last match against Brazil, but the games are different”.