Lionel Messi has been linked to a move to Inter Milan, one seen as a rather far fetched in recent weeks, though the Serie A powerhouse sees it very differently. Following Barcelona's 8-2 thrashing at the feet of Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal, the prospect of Lionel Messi leaving the Catalan club is much more palpable at the moment.
Barcelona's contract extension talks with Lionel Messi have been put on hold, now with the Argentine wizards having less than 12 months left to run on his deal.
Every summer a Messi rumor surfaces, but the embarrassment Barcelona experienced at a worldwide stage might just crack the door for the superstar's exit this time around.
Massimiliano Mirabelli, who is Inter Milan's former sporting director, believes hauling in Lionel Messi is no pipe dream for the Nerazurri.
“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 told Radio Sportiva. “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.
“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.”
Barcelona has reportedly put up every player for sale besides Lionel Messi, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Clement Lenket, and Frenkie de Jong. Youngsters Ansu Fati and Riqui Puig are understood to be part of that small bubble as well, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Yet it isn't about who Barca want to keep, but who the can keep. Lionel Messi was visibly frustrated after yet another humiliating loss in the Champions League, a wound too close to letting the La Liga title slip away to rival Real Madrid.
The 33-year-old can likely pen his exit to any team of his preference — and if Inter Milan has cash in hand ready to make it happen, the Nerazurri might just make that “dream” a reality.