MILAN, April 13 (Reuters) - Inter Milan owner Massimo Moratti says he is prepared to sell the Serie A club if the right buyer comes forward.
Moratti, who took control in 1995, has been frustrated by Inter's lack of success in recent years and the failure to win the Italian league title, last claimed by the club 17 years ago.
'If there is someone who can do better than I have and has the desire to commit themselves why should I be opposed?', said Moratti in an interview with the Gazzetta dello Sport daily published on Thursday.
'I am trying to be pragmatic. As I didn't take over Inter with the intention of being in charge eternally it is right that I should contemplate the possibility of selling the club.'
Moratti stood down as club president in January 2004, handing over to Giacinto Facchetti.
'I bought Inter for reasons of passion and I have handled all these years with the desire to sell the club after winning a lot of trophies,' said Moratti.
'Unfortunately the team has faded in the face of the big challenges. I need to take that into account and have the duty to do so.'
During his 11 years in charge, Inter have picked up only two trophies, the 1998 UEFA Cup and the 2005 Italian Cup.
Inter are third in Serie A and will play AS Roma in the final of this season's Italian Cup.
Having failed to mount a serious challenge to leaders Juventus in Serie A, Inter's European hopes were dashed by elimination from the Champions League after a quarter-final defeat by unfancied Spanish side Villarreal.
At the weekend, a group of protesting fans attacked players Javier Zanetti and Cristiano Zanetti at Malpensa airport after they returned from the league victory over Ascoli.
On Friday, Inter face AC Milan in the city derby at the San Siro stadium and the hardcore 'ultra' supporters groups have announced they will boycott the game, having handed tickets designated for their section back to the club.
Inter have spent an estimated $400 million on transfer fees under Moratti and the owner has had nine different coaches during his tenure, including incumbent Roberto Mancini.