Former Inter Milan sporting director Marco Branca has confirmed Lionel Messi turned down the chance to join them back in 2008.
Messi has been intermittently linked with the Serie A giants during his career, including a high profile chase ahead of the 2008-09 season.
Branca stated the Italians were determined to bring him to the San Siro with a big money offer, but Messi declined to leave Barcelona.
“We did make a move for him, but Messi refused to leave Barcelona, he told an interview with TMW Radio, reported via Marca.
“He was very grateful to Barcelona, and the economic aspect does not always come first. Not everything is about money.”
The offer came during a period of sustained success for Inter, with five successive league titles between 2006 and 2010. before Jose Mourinho’s side secured a Champions League win in 2010.
Branca also indicated he is aware of the Catalans interest in current San Siro star Lautaro Martinez, but added he was unable to provide an update on the situation.
La Blaugrana have identified Messi’s Argentina international teammate as a key target this summer, with his €111m release clause activated in July.