Lionel Messi’s future at Barcelona has been a topic of huge debate in recent months after the Argentine reportedly has stalled contract renewal talks. Inter Milan are one of the teams tipped to sign the 33-year-old if he decides to leave the Catalan club once his contract expires in 2021. The six-time Ballon d’Or winner has been a dream for Inter Main since ages and will be available on a free transfer once the next season concludes. Lionel Messi Joins Inter Milan? Serie A Club Teases Fans Using Argentine's Silhouette of His Celebratory Picture to Advertise League's Game.

According to a recent report from Italian news outlet La Repubblica, Inter Milan president Steven Zhang, who took over from Indonesian tycoon Erick Thohir, is still interested in bringing the Barcelona captain to Milan. It is understood that his interest in the Argentine superstar has remained intact since 2016. Antonio Conte Shuts Down Rumours, Says ‘Easier to Move the Dummo Than Sign Lionel Messi’.

Soon after purchasing the club, Zhang demanded his sporting directors to bring Messi at the club, for which he was ready to spare no expense, but the dream was brought to a halt due to the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules. However, Inter chief still remains interested in Argentine and is still working on a transfer.

Messi’s relationship with Barcelona board is at its lowest point and he could be tempted to leave if a good sporting project is presented in front of him. Inter Milan are looking to take advantage of the tax laws in the country to persuade the 33-year-old to leave the Catalan club.

If the Argentine joins Inter Milan on the same terms he is at Barcelona, due to the tax laws in Inlay, the 33-year-old’s salary will cost Inter Milan €65 million gross a year rather than €85 million gross a year, which the Catalan club pay at the moment.

Despite the team’s struggles, Lionel Messi has enjoyed a stellar individual campaign, scoring 30 goals and providing 26 assists across all competitions in 42 appearances. The 33-year-old was miffed with the squad's performances in recent weeks which raised doubts about his future but Barcelona president stated that he is confident of the six-time Ballon d'Or winner signing a new contract

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 31, 2020 10:32 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website