Inter coach Antonio Conte blasted rumors his club want to sign Barcelona captain Lionel Messi as “absolutely fake” after his side’s 3-0 Serie A win over Genoa on Saturday.
The Italian spoke to reporters after the match and insisted there was no chance the Argentina international would be moving to the San Siro in the summer transfer window.
“The rumours about Leo Messi to Inter are absolutely fake. Don’t trust these fake news. He is not joining Inter, not even in fantasy football.”
Inter director Beppe Marotta also dismissed the speculation ahead of the match. He told Sky Sport Italia that he believed Messi was only interested in staying at Barcelona.
“It’s fantasy football. He certainly is not one of our objectives and I think he’s interested in continuing his football career in Barcelona.”
There have been reports in Italy this week that Messi’s father Jorge is set to buy a house in Milan which has fuelled rumors the Nerazzurri could try to land the 33-year-old.
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Inter Move into Second in Serie A
Inter’s win saw them move above Atalanta and into second place in the table, just four points behind leaders Juventus with two games of the season left to play.
Two goals from Romelu Lukaku and an Alexis Sanchez goal secured the victory for Conte’s men, but the boss said he wants his team to keep on pushing.
“I didn’t say second place was bad, it’s just if you want to see the glass half-empty or half-full,” he said.
“I don’t know why, people lately always wanted to see it half-empty. The numbers are clear, these lads are doing great things and of course we must improve, but at the same time congratulate these players, as they keep pushing.
“It’s a pity about some games, but there are seasons when you don’t reap what you sow and that’s what happened to Inter. We want to go as far as possible and get the best statistics we can. Someone else will win the Scudetto, but we must have the ambition of aiming as high as possible.”
Inter’s final two league games are against Napoli and Atalanta. The club will then turn their attentions to the Europa League and a last-16 tie with Spanish side Getafe.
The game has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but UEFA have since confirmed it will now take place in Germany as a single-legged match on August 5.