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Inter Milan determined to keep Icardi, Kovacic

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Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

Not that this rumor ever seemed likely to come true, but since we had talked about the tenuous links between Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi and Chelsea before -- and they've bubbled along in the background ever since -- we probably should note the following words from Inter's vice president Javier Zanetti.  Even if the quotes are a couple days old and even if the initial links sounded mostly like agent shenanigans.

(On a side note, nice to see the club legend staying involved with the Nerazzurri.)

"The intention is to keep both Icardi and Kovacic."

"I'm with [manager Roberto] Mancini in believing next year will be a good year. It's just a matter of time. It is a difficult time but we will overcome it all together."

-Javier Zanetti; source: Express

This is somewhat opposite of recent reports wherein the club leadership seemed resigned to losing one or both of their prized prospects and it's not immediately clear if there's been any actual substantive change behind the scenes since.  So perhaps it's all negotiating strategy, except from the club side this time.

Either way, Chelsea are still in the periphery somewhere, either as a bargaining chip or just the vulture circling and looking for a good deal.  Though right now, at a rumored price tag of £30m -- just like with Paulo Dybala down in Sicily -- there is no good deal to be found here.