Inter Milan could be bracing for a blockbuster move in 2021 – the signing of Lionel Messi. The Italian giants are closely monitoring the situation inside Camp Nou as club President Steven Zhang reportedly is serious about acquiring the Argentine superstar next summer.
An account from Sempreinter tagged a scoop from Italian broadcaster Sport Mediaset and bared: “Inter president Steven Zhang has asked the Nerazzurri’s management to see if there is a real possibility to bring Lionel Messi to Milan next summer.”
Zhang’s determined approach came amidst doubts from certain Inter executives who think Messi’s signing could be too much for them to afford.
Rome based newspaper Corriere Dello Sport, via Sempreinter, pointed out the soccer legend’s massive salary, suggesting that “Inter wouldn’t be able to afford to sign Barcelona star Lionel Messi next summer, even on a free transfer.”
But Zhang seems committed to pursuing Messi as he believes that sponsors and a projected massive marketing returns will be more than enough to cover the Blaugrana star captain’s nearly $60 million per season paycheck.
“Despite yesterday’s comments by CEO Beppe Marotta and coach Antonio Conte that signing Messi was only ‘fantasy football’, Zhang is serious,” the Sempreinter report stated.
“Inter vice president Javier Zanetti is in charge of sounding out the operation, the report notes, and Messi’s €50 million salary doesn’t frighten the Chinese owners, who believe that it would be worth it due to sponsors, marketing and the sale of shirts.”
The speculation further escalated after Messi’s father, Jorge, was reported to have bought a residence in Milan’s Porta Nova neighborhood and is expected to move early next month. Furthermore, Italian media outlet Rai likewise stated that the older Messi is determined to negotiate with Inter regarding the potential transfer of the six-time Ballon d’Or winner to the Nerazzurri.
La Gazzetta Dello Sport, however, claims Jorge, who also acts as his son’s agent, is just opting for lower tax rates in Italy than the offers from Spain with a report from Mundo Deportivo also debunking the rumor.
Messi has been an unhappy figure inside Camp Nou this season. Marked by several questionable moves, Barca management has earned the ire of the veteran skipper, sparking rumors that a breakup is set for 2021.
But despite the speculation, Messi vows to continue spearheading the Spanish giants, who will look to redeem themselves after recently losing the La Liga title to Real Madrid.