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 By Ben Gladwell

Inter Milan 'have got to pursue' players like Gabriel Jesus - Massimo Moratti

Former Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti says he fell in love with Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus, saying that he is precisely the kind of player the Nerazzurri need to sign this summer.

The Serie A club are expected to spend big following last summer's takeover by China's Suning Group when the next transfer window opens and Moratti -- who has been consulted at all top-level meetings between the new owners and current president Erick Thohir -- suggested City's winter recruit would be an ideal candidate.

"He made me fall in love with football again," Moratti told Sky Sport Italia. "Every now and again you need this new kind of player to reignite your passion and Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City is, for me, a player you have got to pursue.

"[Lionel] Messi is outstanding, but it's difficult to get him. But it's beautiful when you see a player who you believe has potential by the bucket load -- and who knows what great things he will do. For me, [Gabriel] Jesus is one of these."

Gabriel Jesus made a noteworthy start to life at Manchester City before being injured.

Inter missed out on signing the 19-year-old in January, when he chose City over the Italians, and the Nerazzurri are unlikely to succeed in a bid for a player who signed a contract until 2021 and had been impressing with three goals in four Premier League outings before fracturing his metatarsal against Bournemouth on Monday.

Nevertheless, Moratti's comments underline the ambitions of the 2010 Champions League winners, who are keen to return to the very top.

"Some of our hopes have been reignited because a lot of things are really happening again," Moratti said. "Inter are making you want to go and watch them again, but in addition to this desire to see them, they are also giving the idea of a positive future.

"At the moment, the gap between the Nerazzurri and their rivals ahead of them is not as big as it was in years gone by. They just need a few minor adjustments here and there and they will already be on that level."

Moratti credited coach Stefano Pioli for his part in this transformation, saying he would not prefer to see anybody else on the Inter bench right now -- not even Antonio Conte or Diego Simeone.

"As far as I'm concerned, he's excellent," Moratti said. "In addition to having good ideas, he is also courageous. I think he's a great coach.

"Simeone and Conte are outstanding -- Conte's paranormal for how good he is -- but when you have a coach with whom things are going so well, the worst thing you can do is think about what you want to do at the end of the year.

"Pioli needs to be backed fully."

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.


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