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Inter Milan sporting director Piero Ausilio has said Mauro Icardi is happy and denied speculation that his recent absence is due to disillusionment at the club.

Icardi has missed three games with a knee injury, but there have been reports that he is frustrated after a run of one win in 10 Serie A fixtures saw Inter drop out of title contention and risk missing out on a top-four finish.

But Ausilio said that was not the case, with both the player — who has only two goals in his last seven games — and club keen to extend his contract.

“I think he’ll be back next week,” he told Sky Sport Italia before Saturday’s defeat to Genoa.

“He’s always been willing and generous, but we didn’t want to risk him. As I’ve said before, there are no problems with him with regards to his contract renewal.

“He has a long contract already and he is willing to see whether there are the conditions to do something different.

“There’s no rush from him and his advisers, and there have not been any specific requests. When the time is right, we will do what is necessary.”

After 25 games, Luciano Spalletti’s Inter have 48 points — as many as at the same stage of last season.

They have picked up just nine points from 10 games to drop from the top of the table to fourth, and former Inter midfielder Esteban Cambiasso told Sky Sport: “It’s hard to find a reason for this crisis.

“They were lacking some key players [on Saturday] but, if you analyse Inter’s play recently, their whole game is lacking.

“They had enthusiasm at the start of the season, but enthusiasm doesn’t last as long as a consolidated game. Up front, I cannot see Inter causing too much fear.

“Before, nobody really attacked Inter but now the opponents are always giving them a game.”

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.

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