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By ESPN Staff
Jul 17, 2008

Inter seek alternatives if bid for Lampard fails

MILAN, July 17 (Reuters) - Inter Milan have looked at alternative buys in case they fail to strike a deal to bring Frank Lampard to Italy, president Massimo Moratti said on Thursday.

The Italian champions, managed by Lampard's former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, have made a bid for the England midfielder but the London club have said they are not willing to negotiate.

'Yes, definitely,' Moratti told the club's television channel when asked if there were alternatives to Lampard.

'Lampard is the priority but naturally in cases like this I have been looking around for some time. If it is not possible to take Lampard, we would take a player with the most similar characteristics.'

Inter have expressed an interest in Porto winger Ricardo Quaresma but Mourinho said on Wednesday a central midfielder was a necessity.

Moratti confirmed media reports that Lampard is unsure over whether to ask for a transfer or stay put with just a year left on his contract. Talks with Chelsea over a renewal are deadlocked.

'Lampard is a very serious lad and certainly he is torn between having the pleasure of doing something new or having a sense of duty towards his current club,' Moratti said.

'In the end it is up to him to find a solution.'

Portuguese Mourinho, who left Chelsea last September and was appointed Inter coach last month, took his first day of training on Thursday having previously warned his squad about tardiness.

'I was almost scared to arrive late,' club owner Moratti quipped.

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