Mauro Icardi
Mauro Icardi is interested in joining Real Madrid, according to Sampaoli Getty

Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi is tempted to join reigning La Liga winners Real Madrid, according to manager Jorge Sampaoli.

The Argentinian has been in fine form this season with 18 goals in 22 league games. It puts his overall record for Inter at 89 goals in 147 games as he has quickly established himself as one of the most coveted forwards in world football.

His performances have seen him attract interest from Madrid, who have reportedly placed the 24-year-old on top of their wishlist for January. However, the Serie A club have slapped a €100m (£88m, $124.5m) price tag on Icardi.

Zinedine Zidane's side have been faltering this season as they currently languish in fourth place in La Liga with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema both struggling for goalscoring form.

Sampaoli confirmed that Los Blancos are monitoring the club's prized asset and went on to reveal that the player is very much interested in a move to the Bernabeu, having previously been close to a deal.

"Icardi is feeling well right now, I've talked to him and I told him the same thing I tell everybody: 'don't relax and you will be part of the World Cup squad'," Sampaoli told AS, as per CalcioMercato.

"I know he was close to joining Real Madrid and I know he is tempted to join them now. Real Madrid are monitoring him."

To add to the speculation, Icardi recently posted a cryptic message on Instagram in Spanish stating, "Growing up means being able to say goodbye."

Madrid midfielder and former teammate of Icardi, Mateo Kovacic, claimed last month that the Rosario native had what it took to play for Los Merengues but refused to speak further about a potential transfer.

"I have played with [Icardi at Inter], he's a very good player who scores a lot of goals," Kovacic said.

"But we have the best forward in the world, which is Karim. Icardi is good and could help us for sure, but I don't talk about signings."