Inter director Beppe Marotta has responded to rumors the Nerazzurri could try to pull off a shock move for Barcelona captain Lionel Messi.
Marotta was asked by Sky Sport Italia on Saturday what he thought about the speculation and made his feelings on the issue quite clear.
“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.”
Messi’s future has come under scrutiny in recent weeks following a report that claimed he is considering leaving when his contract expires at the end of next season.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has played down the concerns and insisted the club will renew Messi’s contract.
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Messi Contract a Priority for Barcelona
Securing Messi’s future with a new contract will be a priority for Barcelona over the summer but may have to wait until the club completes their Champions League campaign.
The players have been given a week off after a hectic end to the league season in Spain that saw Barcelona relinquish their title to rivals Real Madrid, finishing five points behind Los Blancos.
Messi hit out at his team for their performances after Madrid were confirmed champions but went on to praise the players after they responded to their disappointment by hammering Alaves 5-0 on the final day.
The Argentina international has since headed off to Ibiza with his family to enjoy some downtime before Barcelona’s Champions League last-16 second leg against Napoli.
Another Champions League for Messi?
Winning the Champions League would make up for missing out on the league title and could help convince Messi to stay at Barcelona.
The Argentina international has lifted the European Cup four times in his career but has not tasted success in the continent’s elite competition since the 2014-15 season.
Indeed Barcelona are often criticized for ‘wasting’ Messi’s final years at the club by not providing him with a team competitive enough to deliver another Champions League title.
If Barcelona are to succeed in this year’s tournament they will have to do it the hard way too. Victory over Napoli is likely to set up a quarter-final against German champions Bayern Munich, with the winner going on to face Real Madrid, Juventus, Lyon or Manchester City for a place in the final.