SERIE A

Massimo Moratti: "I think Inter Milan are planning to sign Messi"

Massimo Moratti was Inter's owner between 1995 and 2013. The Italian businessman chatted to AS about the club's chances of signing Messi.

Massimo Moratti, expresidente del Inter Milán.
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Massimo Moratti was Inter Milan's owner from 1995 until 2013. During his time at the helm the team collected 16 Serie A titules and achieved a legendary treble in 2010 with Jose Mourinho as coach. He also tried to sign Messi a few years ago and has a feeling that the club are planning another attempt to lure the Argentinean to Milan.

After a great season, Inter were unable to win the Europa League, losing to Sevilla in the final…

Inter went into the final in a great moment of form, looking more and more secure and overcoming some very tough opponents but Sevilla have a great tradition in European competitions. And that, in football, makes a difference. Lopetegui has a team which functions very well - for me they were the favourites in the final for everything they have achieved in recent editions of the Europa League.

What does it mean to win the Europa League today?

A lot. Apart from the sense of euphoria it generates, it proves to the players at the club that they are capable of winning trophies. It also gives the team a boost for the next season.

Sevilla FC vs Internazionale

Conte, a capable coach

Conte had a great first season, but it is not known whether he will continue or not...

In these instances, much of it will depend on his relationship with the president but no on can argue with his capability. He did really well this season, gaining some very good results.

And Lukaku equalled the 34 goals Ronaldo scored in his first season

His performance levels have been outstanding, I honestly didn't expect that. He has shown himself to be an intelligent lad, who has adapted incredibly well to Italian football, and superseding all expectations. I like him a lot.

What did you make of Lautaro's season?

He has incredible potential, he's very talented. Now he's showing what he is capable of but I think we are going to see even better things from him.

Barça are keen to sign him Do Inter have to keep him whatever the cost or would it be better to let him leave? 

I don't know. When we sold Ibrahimovic, it was an operation which suited all parties. We were losing an exceptional player like Ibrahimovic, but the deal had some fantastic benefits for Inter. It all depends on how they would find a replacement for Lautaro, we replaced Ibra with Eto'o…

What about Luis Suárez, for example, do you like him?

Well, Eto'o wasn't 33 years old. But yes, he's a brilliant player. He's clever and very strong technically.

Barcelona v Bayern Munich - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final

Does Messi really want to leave Barcelona?

On the subject of Barça, Inter have been linked with Messi. You once tried to bring him to Milan, do you think Inter could sign him this time?

I would imagine that Inter have already tried. I saw that Suning advert with Messi's silhouette on the Duomo and that make me think that perhaps they have already attempted to get him. And if that wasn't the case, I think they will try again very soon.

So Inter fans can start dreaming about having Messi?

It won't be a simple operation economically, there's no doubt about that. But the biggest obstacle would be convincing Messi to come. We need to know whether he really wants to leave Barça and I am not so sure he does.