Brazil legend and former Inter star Ronaldo has suggested that Mauro Icardi has been caught in two minds following a reported offer from Spanish giants Real Madrid, as the 24-year-old has been a been a shadow of his former self in recent weeks.
The Argentina international has mirrored Inter's dip in form as one goal in his last five games have been matched by nine games without a win for the Serie A side, plummeting the Nerazurri to fourth place and out of contention for the Scudetto.
The 24-year-old has regularly affirmed his loyalty to Inter but - having been subject to rumours of interest from Madrid and elsewhere in the last year - Icardi could have had his head turned by the prospect of moving abroad.
Ronaldo told Sky Sports Italia, via Football Italia: “I’m convinced that Icardi is happy at Inter, as was I happy at Inter too, even though I suffered from a lot of injuries and the goodbye wasn’t the one I wanted.
“I don’t know much about the transfer market, but I think a lot of clubs want Icardi. Going to Real is every footballer's dream, but I don’t know if it is his.”
Inter without Icardi is like a trash bag without the bag.— Kessie_fan (@ZizouHuweidi) February 3, 2018
The uncertainty surrounding Icardi's form and future will do little to ease the worries coming out of Inter's camp who are a measly point ahead of fifth-placed Roma in a congested race to a Champions League berth come the end of the season - a competition the Italian side have not been a part of since season 2011/12.
It is a stark contrast to the situation Inter found themselves at the start of the season as a 16-game unbeaten streak had many dreaming of the title, including Ronaldo.
He added: "It seemed like it was going to be our year. Seriously, you have to be on the inside to evaluate but looking at the league from the outside this really seemed like the right year.
“The fans were having fun for a while - even if they always want results first - and I was really content with the way things were going. Compared to last year Inter have improved and they’ll improve again, so they have to do everything to return to the Champions League.
“They’ve been missing from it for too long and it’s a necessary step to relaunch, in Italy and especially in Europe.
“You can’t question everything, every time, every year: the players, the Coach. You have to believe in a project, you have to give it time to work."
Inter's next opportunity to end their winless streak comes against Bologna on Sunday, three points which could prove all the difference as Roma host the league's cellar dwellers on the same evening.