Milan, July 26 (IANS) Manager Antonio Conte dismissed talks linking Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi with Inter Milan and also branded such rumours as fantasy football.
It was earlier reported in Spanish media that Messi had stopped contract negotiations with Barcelona amid reports of growing tensions within the club. His current deal runs till 2021.
Few reports have also linked Messi with a possible move to Italy, similar to what former Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo did couple of years ago. Conte, however, played down such talks linking Messi with a possible move to Inter in the near future.
"We're talking about fantasy football, situations that at the moment cannot be linked to Inter. For many reasons," Conte told reporters after win over Genoa as per a media report.
"I don't think there's a madman in the world who wouldn't want Messi. But that kind of situation really is very, very, very far from Inter, from what we are doing and what we are trying to build.
"We need to create a solid base, and then maybe... I repeat, this is fantasy football; however, I like the fact that when fantasy football is involved, the team that is linked to it is always Inter," he added.
Inter remain four points behind league leaders Juventus despite recording a convincing 3-0 win over Genoa on Saturday. Juventus also have a game in hand and need just a win secure the Serie A title.