Lionel Messi is much more than simply a dream transfer target for Inter Milan but a serious possibility, according to former director Massimiliano Mirabelli.
Inter are becoming heavily linked with the Argentine superstar, with Messi appearing increasingly unhappy in a Barcelona team which looks to be crumbling around him.
Messi is entering the final year of his contract and has the option to walk away from the club next summer, which is ideal for Inter’s Chinese owners, according to Radio Sportiva in Italy.
The radio station have spoken to former chief Mirabelli, who has shed further light on the club’s obsession with Messi.
‘When I was at Inter, President Zhang would talk about the transfer market and say, “I want Messi,” but we had to explain it wasn’t possible due to Financial Fair Play,’ Mirabelli revealed.
‘I can assure you that Messi is more than a dream for Inter. He now has only a year left on his contract and Barca don’t want to risk losing him for free next summer.’
Within Messi’s contract the superstar had the option to walk away from Barca this summer, although this scenario expired once June was passed.
It means, as things stands, Messi’s contract has automatically extended into one final year at the Nou Camp.
Following their recent humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich, in which Barca were thrashed 8-2 as the world watched on, Messi is tipped to finally leave the club he has spent his entire senior career with.
However, the player’s astronomical £625million release clause has come back into play, meaning the power is in Barca’s hands regarding whether they wish to sell up, or retain Messi for one final year.
Mirabelli added: ‘There are important decisions to be made in Spain, but they won’t want to be left empty-handed. Anyone who wants to make the most of the situation should step forward.’
Mirabelli’s admission comes as the latest event in a string of Messi sagas in Milan, after the owners of the famous blue and black striped club recently decided to beam Messi onto the city’s famous Duomo cathedral.
A television station in China owned by Suning also used Messi’s shadow cast on the Duomo di Milano cathedral as part of an advertisement for an upcoming Inter Serie A match, prompting more speculation that a move for the world’s greatest player is in the pipeline.