Inter Milan have entered the fray to sign Lionel Messi from Barcelona and took the unprecedented step of using his silhouette to advertise a Serie A match in China.
The 33-year-old has been disillusioned with the current situation at his boyhood club and did not hold back when criticizing the team after they lost out in the LaLiga race.
Barcelona parted ways with Quique Setien in the aftermath of their embarrassing 8-2 thrashing by Bayern Munich in the Champions League and appointed former captain Ronald Koeman as their new manager.
The Dutchman has subsequently highlighted his strategy for the club and stated that a number of the current players do not feature in his plan and are unwanted at the club.
It is understood that he hopes to build the future around Lionel Messi, but the Argentine international reportedly told the gaffer that he sees no future at the Camp Nou outfit.
This represents a major conundrum for Barcelona and with just one year left on their skipper’s contract, the rumor Mills have been spinning with speculation over his next move.
Inter Milan are one of the forerunners to sign Lionel Messi and have been keen on his services right from his days with La Masia.
Speaking on the situation, former Inter president Massimo Moratti said: “It’s not a simple operation economically, that’s clear. But the biggest obstacle is Messi’s intentions.”
“You have to understand if he really wants to leave Barca. I’m not clear on that,” he added.
Moratti, who was in charge of the Nerazzurri from 1995-2011 continued: “I imagine Inter have already tried [to sign him].
“I’ve seen the Suning advert with the Argentine’s silhouette on the Duomo and this makes me think an initiative has already been taken. “If not, I think they will do so soon.”
The deal would, however, be complicated, as Lionel Messi currently has a release clause pegged at £631m and Barcelona would only be willing to let their talisman leave if this valuation is met.
This is highly unlikely given the current financial crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic but reports have emerged that Messi’s father recently bought a house in Milan, further fueling talk of a move to Inter.