Former Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti has expressed his desire to see Dimitri Payet join the Serie A underachievers. The popular French international has boosted his reputation immeasurably since joining West Ham United from Marseille in a £10m ($13.3m) move last summer, quickly establishing himself as one of the Premier League's most feared attacking talents with nine goals and 12 assists.
That dramatic improvement in form also saw Payet make a triumphant return to the French national team. The 29-year-old set-piece specialist rescued victory for Euro 2016 hosts Les Bleus in their opening Group A clash with Romania with a stunning late strike and also notched in stoppage-time against plucky Albania at the Stade Velodrome.
The latter victory secured their progress through to the last 16, where, after a goalless draw with Switzerland, Didier Deschamps' side bounced back from Robbie Brady's early penalty to beat 10-man Republic of Ireland 2-1 courtesy of a quickfire second-half brace from Antoine Griezmann.
France entertain Iceland in Saint-Denis on Sunday evening (3 July), where Payet will hope to play a key role in helping his country reach the last-four stage. Such an impressive individual tournament is also leading to increased transfer interest in the player, whom Moratti thinks would be a strong signing for Inter.
"As a fan, I would love to see Payet in an Inter shirt," he was quoted as saying by The Mirror. "However, the great champions are currently elusive, you have to be lucky enough to find the right opportunity. We are missing two to three players to be competitive. The important thing is to have solid players that ensure continuity."
Inter won an unprecedented treble under the tutelage of Jose Mourinho in 2009/10, but have slowly faltered since then and finished second, sixth, ninth, fifth and eighth while frequently changing managers in the years following the "Special One's" departure to Real Madrid. They enjoyed a particularly strong start under Roberto Mancini last term, however, and even topped Serie A before an indifferent run saw them settle for fourth place and Europa League qualification.
A latest failure to reach the Champions League has obviously limited what the Nerazzurri can do in the transfer market both in terms of attracting the most high-profile players and complying with Uefa's Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, although they are the subject of wealthy new ownership following Suning Commerce Group's decision to buy a €270m 68.55% majority share from Erick Thohir. According to Football Italia, the privately owned Chinese retailer have already increased club capital by approximately €242m (£199.5m).