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25-Aug-2020, 09:15 am

'Inter have probably tried to sign Messi' - ex-president Massimo Moratti

Lionel Messi, Barcelona, Inter badge

Inter have probably already begun attempts to sign Lionel Messi from Barcelona, former president Massimo Moratti says.

Messi is said to be giving his future serious consideration after a disappointing season that ended with an 8-2 Champions League loss to Bayern Munich.

That loss has seen plenty of change at Barcelona with Ronald Koeman replacing Quique Setien as manage r while sporting director Eric Abidal has been dismissed.

Moratti, Inter president between 1995 and 2013, thinks a recent television advert by club owners the Suning group - featuring a silhouette of Messi projected onto Milan's Duomo cathedral - is a sign they are keen to bring the player to San Siro.

"It's not a simple operation economically, that's clear. But the biggest obstacle is Messi's intentions," Moratti told AS.

"You have to understand if he really wants to leave Barca. I'm not clear on that.

"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."

Inter are certainly not short on attacking firepower, with Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez having scored a combined 55goals in all competitions in 2019-20.

Moratti has been particularly impressed with how quickly Lukaku has settled since leaving Manchester United last year.

"I honestly didn't expect such a high level of performance," he said."He's proven to be an intelligent lad, who has adapted very well to Italian football, exceeding all expectations. I like him."

On Martinez, who is said to be a prime Barca target, he added:"The Argentine has incredible potential. He's a talent. He's showing really good things now but he's going to explode even more."

Inter finished second in Serie A this season, just one point behind Juventus as the Scudetto once again found its way to Turin.

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