Several media outlets, like this one, this one and this one, have perpetrated the rumor that Inter plans to back up a Brinks truck and bring Messi to the San Siro if, for no other reason, than to compete with Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus.
All of this is predicated on the comments of Marco Tronchetti Provera, the CEO of Inter’s main sponsor, Pirelli.
“I hope that Suning, once Financial Fair Play will allow it, can make a huge signing. Messi? How can you say no to Messi?” he told Tuttosport.
So, basically, a journalist asked Provera about Inter signings and maybe dropped Messi’s name … and they got that response.
Let the field day begin.
First, there is no way Suning will pony up the enormous fee to pry Messi away from Barcelona. It is somewhere in the neighborhood of €700 million. That isn’t to say that the idea wouldn’t cross their minds as they could recoup some of that in marketing and jersey sales, not to mention ticket sales going through the roof.
But still, the prospect of Inter’s ownership putting that much money into getting one player seems hardly plausible.
Consider that most of Inter’s deals this mercato have been loan deals with options to buy — except in the case of Stefan De Vrij and Kwadwo Asamoah whom they got on free transfers. And there is no way in God’s green Earth that Barcelona would accept a loan deal for their highlight name.
Plus, do you honestly think that Barcelona would be willing to even part ways with Messi? Big noper there too.
Also, you have to ask yourself if Messi even fits in Luciano Spalletti’s system. Now, I understand that Messi would be a big name and it could be argued that he could be a fit.
However, you have to also consider how he would fit in with Mauro Icardi — although it would be likely Inter would have to sell Icardi for a down payment on Messi’s exit clause — especially with rumors that the two really don’t like each other and that it was Messi who kept Icardi off Argentina’s national team roster for the 2018 World Cup.
Has anyone even asked Messi if he were seeking an exit from Spain? My guess is no, no one has and no, he isn’t interested.
There is a lot said about the rivalry between Messi and Ronaldo and that rivalry would be enough to bring Messi to Italy. But, I have doubts. Barcelona enjoyed owning Real Madrid with Ronaldo in the lineup. Now, with Ronaldo at Juventus, it can be argued that Barcelona will love to maintain their dominance in La Liga.
The bottom line here is that Inter couldn’t afford Messi’s price tag now, or even in the immediate future. They could sell off a majority of their starting XI and still not be able to afford it. And, with how Suning is trying to make Inter a financially solvent club, dropping nearly €700 million for one player seems awfully foolish and doesn’t make a lot of business sense.
I think Inter is putting together the pieces of a team that 1) fits Spalletti’s plan, and 2) does it without breaking the bank.
I firmly believe that Inter can not only compete with Juventus but beat them despite the fact that the Old Lady has Ronaldo. I have long suggested that one player doesn’t make a team.
While Ronaldo’s signing with Juventus does wonders for rising the status of Serie A, it certainly doesn’t mean that every other team in the league needs to make a splash signing to compete.
While I do love Messi as a player, him coming to Inter now or in the immediate future is a pipe dream and isn’t going to happen.
Of course, I could be wrong.
What do you think? Post your comments below!