Inter Milan chief Javier Zanetti has admitted trying to sign Lionel Messi.
The Italian side were one of several teams interested in the Argentina international after his contract at Barcelona ended in 2021.
With financial issues surrounding the Nou Camp, they were unable to extend the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner’s contract which later led to an emotional farewell.
Paris Saint-Germain won the race for Messi, where he currently plies his trade, but an unlikely move to Inter Milan was also on the cards.
Club vice-president Zanetti has revealed there have been talks between him and Messi, but Inter cannot compete with the vast riches on offer at the Parc des Princes.
He said, “I was surprised when [Messi] left Barcelona.
“In reality, we can’t compete with PSG or Premier League clubs, but because of our relationships, we spoke when there was a chance.”
Messi joining Inter Milan would have been a huge shock but he wouldn’t be the first world star to join a Serie A club in recent years.
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Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid for Juventus in 2018 where he stayed for three years.
However, any chance of the two superstars meeting in a league match would have been slim considering the Portugal international signed for Manchester United weeks after Messi joined PSG.
The Argentine has since netted 26 times for the French giants in 18 months as he helped his country win the World Cup in December.
His contract in Paris expires at the end of the season and there has been speculation he could move to MLS to end his career or return to Barcelona.
But it’s likely the 35-year-old will sign an extension with PSG for at least another year as they seek to win the Champions League for the fifth time in their career.
Messi hasn’t won the competition since 2015, which saw Barcelona beat Juventus 3-1 in Berlin. It was also the last time the Catalan club lifted the trophy.
As for Inter, they won Serie A in 2021 led by Antonio Conte and Romelu Lukaku, their first Scudetto in 11 years.
But their European form has not been great over the years, their last Champions League win in 2010 as part of Jose Mourinho’s famous treble campaign.
Since then, Inter have only reached the quarter-finals once without even reaching the competition from 2013 to 2018.