Antonio Conte Responds to Rumours Linking Lionel Messi With Inter Switch

Antonio Conte
Lionel Messi has been linked with a move to Inter in recent days | Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Inter coach Antonio Conte has categorically put an end to any ties linking Barcelona star Lionel Messi with a move to San Siro this summer, describing the rumours as ‘absolutely fake’.

The Barça legend has grown frustrated at the current situation at Camp Nou this season, after failing to defend the league title, and slipping close to a Champions League exit at the hands of Napoli.

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Messi has become disillusioned at Barcelona | Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

These murmurs of discontent blossomed into talk of a dramatic exit for the Argentinian superstar, which in turn went into overdrive when his father, Jorge, was spotted in Milan supposedly buying a house in Italy’s economic capital.

But dreams of seeing Messi pull on Inter’s black and blue jersey have been crushed by the man in charge, Conte. Speaking after Inter’s 3-0 victory over Genoa on Saturday evening, the Italian coach dismissed any rumours surrounding a summer move for the Argentine as ‘absolutely fake’, as cited by Fabrizio Romano.

“The rumours about Leo Messi to Inter are absolutely fake. Don’t trust these fake news. He is not joining Inter, not even in fantasy football,” Conte said.

Hardly surprising, but still disappointing. Messi seems destined to end his career at Camp Nou, and even if he is unhappy with the current state of affairs at the club, it’d take something catastrophic for the pair to part ways.

Genoa CFC v FC Internazionale - Serie AGenoa CFC v FC Internazionale - Serie A
Conte watches on in Inter’s 3-0 victory over Genoa | Paolo Rattini/Getty Images

The 33-year-old has given his entire career to the Catalan giants, but he did speak out at the end of this season, claiming ‘a lot must change’ if they are to even contemplate competing for the Champions League trophy again.

As for Inter, it always seemed very unlikely that I Nerazzurri would target a move for Messi, given the astronomical wages that the forward would demand, and their need to strengthen in other areas.

So, the world’s greatest player won’t be leaving Barcelona – for now, at least.