• Former Inter president believes Messi won't leave Barcelona
  • Messi's current contract will allow him to leave as a free agent this summer
  • The current season has been halted due to the pandemic

Former Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti has insisted that while Lionel Messi is “everyone’s dream,” he does not see the Argentinean leaving the Nou Camp side.

Amid internal issues in Barcelona, Messi has been linked with a move to Inter Milan since Moratti had earlier said Messi joining Inter was not a “forbidden dream."

“Messi is everyone's dream, but he won't move from Barcelona. He's still the best player there is,” Moratti told Gr Parlamento, as reported by Goal. Messi is currently contracted with Barcelona until the end of 2021 but a clause in his current contract could see him walk away as a free agent at the end of the ongoing season, which has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Inter Milan forward Latauro Martinez has been in the news over a summer move to Barcelona to join his fellow Argentine in the club. While the forward has received interest from other European clubs such as Manchester City and Real Madrid, Moratti believes Martinez is bound to end up in Barcelona.

“It will all depend on him, I read that Barcelona are making exorbitant offers for him, which will be difficult to say no to," Moratti added. Martinez had scored 16 goals in 31 games across all competitions before the 2019-20 campaign came to a standstill. While Bundesliga has resumed, there is no certain news about the resumption of other leagues such as La Liga, Serie A and Premier League.

The pandemic has caused major financial impact on even the richest soccer clubs and has seen players take pay cuts to help out their respective sides to recover from the losses. It is understood that Barcelona and Real Madrid are now negotiating with the European Club Association over more salary cuts and both the squads are prepared to accept lower pay for one more year.

Lionel Messi happily collected his sixth  Ballon d'Or in Paris on Monday
Lionel Messi happily collected his sixth Ballon d'Or in Paris on Monday AFP / FRANCK FIFE

Messi alone is paid $613K per week as Barcelona had started the season with Spanish soccer’s top wage bill of $716 million. According to a report in The Sun, if the Catalans went ahead with the salary slashing for another year, they would manage to save around $249 million.