Inter Milan now have the financial power to move for Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo as they are now one of the richest clubs in the world, according to club director Piero Ausilio.
The Serie A side were taken over by Chinese investor the Suning Group last year and now claim to have the financial clout to compete with the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United in the transfer market.
Inter have been in steady decline since Jose Mourinho left them as treble winners in 2010, not winning a trophy for six seasons and failing to get into the Champions League since 2012.
They look set to miss out on Europe altogether this season as they are eighth in the Serie A table but Ausilio said they can compete for a marquee signing as they look to rebuild.
“The new Chinese owners could comfortably buy the most famous players in the world, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, but the truth is we can't do that because of Financial Fair Play, which takes into account the development of the club,” he told students at a class in the Universita degli Studi in Milan.
“It's a path that takes time, ideas and management. We have to make as few mistakes as possible, certainly fewer than we've made this term.
“Every day I read about players we're supposed to be buying, but the truth is we must respect the salary cap. Our revenue is €200-€230m (£171-£197m), whereas Juventus – who participate regularly in the Champions League – make €400m (£343m).”
He also revealed that Inter tried to sign Pablo Dybala before his move to Juventus but the Serie A leaders outbid them.
“Inter tried to sign Dybala, but there was a €20m (£17.1m) difference with Juventus and in the end he went there,” he added.
“Today it is not possible to think of spending €200m or €300m (£171m-£257m) on the transfer market. It's not that we don't want to, it's simply impossible.”