Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has rubbished reports linking him with transfers to Inter Milan or Newell’s Old Boys, slamming the speculation as “fake news.”
Links between Messi and the Nerazzurri spiralled after former Inter president Massimo Moratti—who attempted to sign the player early in his Barca career—told TeleLombardia (via Football Italia) a move could yet materialise.
Argentinian outlet TNT Sports more recently revived the rumours of a potential move for Messi, but he screenshot their report and captioned it as false via his Instagram story:
"What they said in this same newspaper about Newell's [Old Boys] a few weeks ago was also false. Thank goodness that nobody believes them anymore.”
Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano provided a screen-grab of Messi’s denial via Instagram, which suggests he’s happy at the Camp Nou:
Messi also dashed the suggestion he helped pay bail for former Barcelona talisman Ronaldinho and his brother Roberto, who were released from a Paraguayan prison on house arrest earlier this week, per Goal’s Ignasi Oliva Gispert.
The 32-year-old arrived in Catalonia from his native Argentina in 2001 and is in the middle of his 16th professional campaign with the club, with Barcelona leading La Liga before play was suspended due to the coronavirus.
Messi recorded 51 goals in 50 games last season—the fifth time in his career he’s ended a term with greater than a goal-per-game average—including 36 in Spain’s top flight:
Inter are hoping to revive their former glories with Antonio Conte at the helm, and his side led Serie A for patches of this campaign before a drop in form at the start of 2020.
Newell’s are the only other club Messi has technically represented after spending six years in their academy. The six-time Ballon d’Or winner has spoken in the past of his desire to return, though he told TyC Sports (via Goal’s Matt Dorman) in October 2019 he didn’t know whether the reunion will come to fruition.