Sport

Inter can signal Barcelona celebrity Messi – Cauet

Former Inter midfielder Benoit Cauet insisted the Nerazzurri can sign Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.

Messi has been linked to Inter since ex-president Massimo Moratti said the six-time Ballon d’Or winner joining the Serie A club was not a “forbidden dream”.

Barca captain Messi is contracted to the La Liga champions until 2021 but his future is far from certain at Camp Nou, where he has clashed with board members this season.

“Of course Inter can sign Lionel Messi, there are no doubts that they could,” Cauet, who won the UEFA Super Cup with Inter in 1997-98, said in an Instagram Live interview.

“President Steven Zhang has the financial capabilities and the potential ambition. He is a president who thinks big.”

Messi – who moved to Barca from boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys in 2001 – had scored 24 goals across all competitions before the 2019-20 season was postponed due to coronavirus.

The 32-year-old attacker tops the La Liga scoring charts with 19 goals through 27 rounds.

La Liga chief executive Javier Tebas believes the potential loss of Messi to his competition “would not be a drama”.

He says La Liga will always be strong, pointing to Cristiano Ronaldo’s switch from Real Madrid to Juventus as proof, while he claimed Italian football would not be fixed purely by Messi’s arrival.

“I do not think that the arrival of Messi can solve the problems of Serie A, which are linked to the bad relationship between debts, high and insufficient collections,” Tebas said.

“Serie A’s figures are stressed, and these economic problems certainly are not solved by Leo Messi. I would like Messi to stay here, but if he leaves it would not be a drama.

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“It was said that without Cristiano Ronaldo the league would have lost money, and instead we would have earned it, even in Portugal. Players help but are not essential to a championship.”

Former Inter supremo Moratti started the Messi rumours during an interview with Radio Rai, when revealing he felt it was possible for the Nerazzurri to sign the Argentine legend.

“I don’t think it’s a forbidden dream at all. Maybe it wasn’t even before this misfortune [the coronavirus lockdown],” Moratti said.

“Messi is at the end of his contract and it would certainly be attempted to bring him home. I don’t know if this situation will change anything, but I think we will see strange things at the end of the year.”

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