Antonio Conte gives honest verdict on Lionel Messi to Inter Milan speculation
Antonio Conte has provided an honest response to speculation linking Lionel Messi with a shock move to Inter Milan this summer.
The six-time Ballon d'Or winner is reportedly unhappy at the Nou Camp after a season in which Barca surrendered the La Liga title to rivals Real Madrid.
Problems behind the scenes have also contributed to Messi's discontent with just a year remaining on his current contract.
A picture of Messi was projected onto Milan's cathedral – the Duomo di Milano – on Tuesday in a reported publicity stunt by Inter's owners.
But when Conte was quizzed on the possibility of Inter either landing Barcelona's talisman, or four players worth €50million (£45m) each, he gave a definitively straightforward answer.
"I think both of those scenarios are pretty improbable!" he said on Sky Sport Italia .
"I am holding on tight to my players, as they are giving their all, I can guarantee that.
"It'd be easier to move the Duomo than to bring Messi to Inter!"
Messi labelled Barcelona's current crop of stars "weak and inconsistent" after Real Madrid sealed the title, and insisted his team will struggle to get past Napoli in the Champions League.
Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta has suggested claims of Messi moving to the San Siro are pure "fantasy football" though, while Barcelona are confident the 32-year-old will pen a new deal.
President of the Spanish club, Josep Maria Bartomeu, said to Mundo Deportivo : "Messi has said many times that he wants to retire here and I have no doubt that he will re-sign."
Meanwhile Messi's strike partner Luis Suarez has reportedly been offered the chance of a switch to MLS.
The 33-year-old is being linked with a swansong in the States, with David Beckham's Inter Miami franchise said to be keen on signing the Uruguayan.
Suarez is said to fancy ending his career across the pond, but Barcelona expect him to remain on their books for at least another season or two.
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