'Messi? I'll talk to the management' – Thohir jokes at swoop for Barcelona star

Inter’s new president was in high spirits as he watched his side fall to a friendly defeat against Swiss minnows Chiasso, hinting at a move for the Argentine attacker

Erick Thohir has lightheartedly suggested that Lionel Messi could be a transfer target after taking over the presidency at Inter on Friday.

The Indonesian businessman bought a majority 70 per cent stake in the Nerazzurri in October and, after a general meeting at the club, was voted in as a replacement for Massimo Moratti – ending the Italian oil tycoon’s 18-year tenure as president.

Speaking to journalists after an under-strength Inter fell to surprise 1-0 friendly loss against Swiss side Chiasso, the new president appeared in a jovial mood as he earmarked a potential transfer swoop.

“Buy Messi? I should discuss that with the management!” the 43-year-old joked when asked if the Argentina forward was part of his plans.

He also played to the assembled Inter support, receiving a warm welcome when he walked onto the field and jumped along with them as they sang: ‘Whoever doesn’t jump is a Rossoneri.’

Moratti, who has since been made honorary president, also sought to reassure fans over the recent changes at the club.

“I chose the honorary presidency precisely because I am sure we will do well. I’d like to say hello to all the fans at San Siro,” he added.

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