Mancini wants Icardi to stay

Argentine striker Mauro Icardi finishes level with Luca Toni after bagging a brace of goals in the home win over Empoli

Inter manager Roberto Mancini was full of praise for Mauro Icardi after the striker finished the Serie A season as joint leading scorer.

Icardi struck twice for his side in their 4-3 home win over Empoli at the San Siro, though the result wasn't quite enough to see them qualify for the UEFA Europa League.

While the team's season has been disappointing as they finished in eighth position, the Argentina international has been an undoubted success.

He ended Serie A with 22 league goals, the same number as Verona's Luca Toni, and Mancini hopes Inter can now keep hold of one of their prized assets, along with midfielder Mateo Kovacic.

"He was as good as Toni, I'm happy that we have won the top scorer," the former Manchester City boss told reporters.

"He's improved week after week, tonight he could even make four [goals] for all the chances we had.

"I would like him to stay for [next season], start afresh from him again next year. The same goes for Kovacic, tonight he did what he should do always, he must learn to be more consistent over time."

Icardi was pleased to end the campaign on a winning note - and insisted he was not looking to make a move during the upcoming transfer window.

"We had to win this game to end the season well at San Siro," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"Next year we can build  on this and I am sure we will do well with the coach. We've been working for a few months now and pre-season training will help us further understand his ideas.

"Everyone wants to play in Europe, but I have always said I'm happy at Inter and next year will already be a great campaign."