Inter Milan shirt sponsors Pirelli would be happy to chip in to bring Lionel Messi to the San Siro but they have called on the club’s directors to make it happen.
Asked if Pirelli would back the signing, CEO Marco Tronchetti promised to “help” but warned that the responsibility for financing any transfer would lie with Inter president Steven Zhang.
The tyre company may be asked to partly fund a potential deal in the same way Italian carmakers Fiat drove Cristiano Ronaldo ’s £99.2million move to Juventus from Real Madrid in 2018.
But Tronchetti warned, compared to the situation back then, the cost of the coronavirus lockdown would affect Pirelli’s ability to inject money into the team.
“Honestly, at a time like this, we’re unable to invest in sports more than we are, between Formula 1, the America’s Cup and Inter,” Tronchetti told Italian radio.
The businessman went on to explain: “We have to ask (Inter Milan’s) Steven Zhang to make an effort himself. We can help, but we can’t do anything significant.”
Rumours linking Inter and Messi are again circulating after the Argentine pulled out of contract renewal talks with Barcelona, reportedly over concerns about the direction of the club.
The already legendary No.10 has opened the door to leaving the La Liga giants once his current deal expires in 2021, though some say he is simply boosting his huge bargaining power.
Inter have previously shown interest in Messi whenever there has been talk of the six-time Ballon d’Or winner ending his glittering spell at the Camp Nou.
Former club president Massimo Moratti insisted it was “not a forbidden dream at all”.
Even Pirelli’s Tronchetti indicated in 2018 that the transfer would be too good to refuse.
He said: “Messi? How can you say ‘no’ to Messi? If there were the conditions for a deal, the Inter Milan fans would be enthusiastic.”
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