Inter Milan are hoping the Jose Mourinho factor will be enough to lure “number one” transfer target Frank Lampard to the San Siro this summer.
The Italians are already feeling the benefit of Mourinho’s appointment, with season-ticket sales for next season 30% higher than at the same stage last term.
And now Inter president Massimo Moratti hopes Mourinho will have the golden touch in the transfer market, with Chelsea midfielder Lampard top of his wish list.
“Lampard? We like him, and he’s our number one objective,” Moratti told Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport.
“Mourinho likes Lampard a lot. We all know that he’s a great player.”
Moratti also hinted negotiations with the Stamford Bridge outfit may have already started, adding: “Has there been contact with Chelsea? I think there has but I don’t know yet.”
Moratti was less forthcoming about other names being linked to the club.
Barcelona’s Deco, who was a key member of Mourinho’s Porto side which won the Champions League in 2004, has also been touted with a move to Italy.
While Moratti admitted the Portugal playmaker was a player he liked, he suggested the competition would be fierce.
“Deco has the right characteristics to play for Inter, but we can’t all have him,” he said.
His tone turned more sarcastic still when asked about the possibility of bringing Portuguese wingers Ricardo Quaresma and Cristiano Ronaldo to Milan.
“Forty million euros (£32million) to buy him (Quaresma)? That seems an absurd amount which we have no intention of paying,” he continued.
“And Cristiano Ronaldo? Oh yeah, he’s another one who won’t cost us much!”
Morrati revealed Inter season tickets were a sought-after commodity in Milan this summer.
“That is down to Mourinho,” admitted Moratti. “The fans are all curious and cannot wait to see what Inter are going to be like.
“It is not that I really considered this all before, but as soon as I was forced to make a change, I knew I had to get the number one.”
Former boss Roberto Mancini was sacked despite winning seven titles, including the last three Scudetti, in four years in charge.
The only failure of Mancini’s reign was the inability to proceed beyond the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
However, Moratti insists Mourinho will not be judged on how far he can take the club in Europe – though he does expect a fourth consecutive Serie A title.
“The main aim for him has got to be winning the Scudetto,” said Moratti.
“To aim for the Champions League means taking a lot of energy from the team and (winning) it is like a toss of a coin.”