REAL MADRID will replace Karim Benzema with Inter Milan star Mauro Icardi, according to Daniele Massaro.
Icardi has been prolific this season hitting 13 goals for the Italian giants who are two points behind Napoli in the title race.
The Argentine striker has been linked with big money moves away from Italy with Chelsea reportedly monitoring his situation.
But Massaro, who now works as a pundit in Italy, is adamant the 24-year-old striker is destined to join the European champions next summer.
Massaro told AS: “I can tell you today that Mauro Icardi will be a Real Madrid striker next year.
“His arrival will be at the expense of (Karim) Benzema.”
Benzema looked certain to leave the Bernabeu last summer as Los Blancos thought they were in pole-position to sign Monaco teenager Kylian Mbappe.
But the French international was given a reprieve when Mbappe joined Paris Saint-Germain on loan.
Icardi’s family left South America for the Spanish Canary Islands when he was a kid and joined the Barcelona academy in 2008.
He moved to Sampdoria on-loan and made his first team debut in 2012.
The forward bagged eleven goals in his first full season and his performances prompted Inter to land him for £11million.
Icardi has a contract at the San Siro until 2021 and the Italians could demand up to £80m to any potential suitors.