Messi's image was projected onto the side of Milan's Duomo cathedral prior to Inter's match with Napoli last month as the Serie A giants continue to be linked with the Barcelona forward
Former Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti believes his old club have already made attempts to sign Lionel Messi from Barcelona.
The future of the Argentine international is under scrutiny over rumours he is unhappy at the Nou Camp following a disappointing season which culminated in the heavy 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich.
Inter seem the only realistic candidates to secure Messi's signature if he were to move on given their significant financial backing of the club's owners Suning Holdings Group.
And it is believed their strategy to tempt Messi into a switch to the San Siro has already begun after a picture of the forward was projected onto the side of Milan's Duomo cathedral.
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Club chiefs denied any involvement in the stunt but Moratti feels it is the early signs of Inter's charm offensive, which could ramp up in the weeks to come.
"It's not a simple operation economically, that's clear," Moratti told AS. " But the biggest obstacle is Messi's intentions.
"You have to understand if he really wants to leave Barca. I'm not clear on that.
"I imagine Inter have already tried [to sign him]. I've seen the Suning advert with the Argentine's silhouette on the Duomo and this makes me think an initiative has already been taken.
"If not, I think they will do so soon."
Messi has less than a year remaining on his current contract at Barcelona meaning the club could possibly be forced into accepting a lot less than his staggering £630million release clause if he makes it clear he wants to move on.
There is of course the option for Messi to see out his final year and move on a free next summer, but at 33 his seasons left at the top of the sport are verging on limited.
Barca remain hopeful of keeping their talisman however, with new boss Ronald Koeman already insisting he is not planning for life without Messi.
"It’s up to me to find a way we get the best out of Messi, that he’s happy here and that he feels important," Koeman said at his press conference unveiling.
"He’s the captain and he should end his career at Barcelona.
"Messi is Barcelona and Barcelona is Messi."