Suning dream of taking Messi to Inter

Sports Desk Published: 1 August 2020, 04:50 PM
Suning dream of taking Messi to Inter

It was the dream of former Inter president Massimo Moratti to one day bring Lionel Messi to the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, however the fiscal climate of football changed and that was never possible, yet years after the Italian left the club, their current owners, the Suning Group, share the very same dream.

The summer of 2020 is perhaps the most unusual period the world has faced since the end of the Second World War in societal terms, yet far less importantly there has also been the dramatic impact COVID-19 has had on sport.

What was initially clear was that football clubs would be hugely impacted from a financial perspective with them losing a large portion of their income through ticket sales, stadium tours and promotional pre-season tours.

Barcelona are a team that has been severely impacted and their financial problems are well documented, whilst Real Madrid have a more stable platform but are being incredibly careful as they have embarked on a huge redevelopment project at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

However, what is even more alarming for Los Cules is Messi's happiness, or lack of it, at how things are currently developing at his club.

After the LaLiga Santander season finished the Argentine forward launched a stinging attack on the running of the club, as well as the performances of the team and warned that Napoli would eliminate them from the Champions League if things didn't change, and change quickly.

Now, these comments from the usually mild-mannered Messi are eye catching, especially because he has tended to keep such outbursts private during the Josep Maria Bartomeu era.

His frustrations are numerous, from the club not replacing Xavi Hernandez properly to the departure of Neymar which sent Los Cules into a tailspin from which they haven't yet recovered.

This is where Suning come in. Reports linking Messi away from the Camp Nou in previous years have always been simple to deny, simply because of the economic cost it would take.

The year 2020, though, is unusual as we previously mentioned with Financial Fair Play regulations having been suspended to help ease the burden on European clubs.

In theory this is a sensible measure, yet it doesn't take into account the small number of clubs who are owned by incredibly wealthy companies like Suning, or even states themselves, as is the case with Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

These teams are essentially being given a free-pass to spend the money they have without recourse, at least for this summer transfer window, and with Messi not having looked willing to sign a contract renewal with the Blaugrana, an Inter move shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.

According to a report published in La Gazzetta dello Sport, Suning would be prepared to try and bring the Argentine to the club at a total operation cost of around 260 million euros.

The scale of Suning's wealth can be seen by their fiscal records from 2019 with the organisation earning 77.24 billion dollars and employing 280,000 people.

Jiangsu Suning and Inter are the company's biggest jewels from a sporting perspective, although Zhang Jindong's PP Sports holds the broadcasting rights in China for the Premier League, Serie A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and LaLiga Santander.

Zhang's son, Steven, has been entrusted with the day-to-day running of Inter and it is believed his main goal is to unseat Juventus as the dominant force in Italian football.

Antonio Conte was brought in to close the gap from a tactical perspective and he was backed in the transfer market, although the Nerazzurri had to work within FFP restrictions.

According to the club's last income statement, the 2018/19 season saw them bring in 417 million euros which was a club record.

Suning also plan to inject 1.2 billion euros into the club to fund a stadium move, with the new San Siro plans being drawn up at the present moment.

This plan would be reinforced with what AC Milan and other private entities would contribute, with the Rossoneri set to share the new ground.

Jiangsu Suning almost made a splash in the transfer market in 2019 by signing Gareth Bale from Real Madrid, but were forced to settle for the much more modest purchase of Mubarak Wakaso for four million euros.

When PP Sports mentioned the name of Messi over the last seven days, they weren't merely doing it to advertise a football match, it was just another wink in the seduction process, and whilst it's difficult to imagine it happening in 2020, Barcelona know they have a real problem on their hands with a cash-rich Suning-backed Inter.

Source: Marca