Former Inter president Massimo Moratti believes that the departure of Milan Skriniar on a free transfer will be a significant loss to the Nerazzurri, but he is no Walter Samuel.

Skriniar appears set to join Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent when his Inter contract expires in the summer, after failing to pen a new deal to remain at the club.

In an interview with Tuttomercatoweb, Moratti assessed Skriniar’s situation and insisted that it was unfair to question whether Inter had done everything in their power to retain the Slovakia international without knowing the details from within the club.

“You have to be inside the club to respond, it’s difficult to judge from outside,” Moratti claimed.

“I honestly don’t think Inter were bluffing, they wanted to keep him. Maybe they didn’t think there was this will on the part of the player.

“I think he is replaceable. He is very strong, but he is not Samuel.”

Moratti was asked if players who dedicated their careers to a club still existed, as Javier Zanetti did upon joining Inter from Banfield, but the former president felt it was right for footballers to make their own career decisions.

“The characters of the players exist. Francesco Totti has also always remained at Roma, other personalities prefer to choose what to defend and therefore change teams.”

Nerazzurri striker Romelu Lukaku has struggled for form and fitness this season after returning on loan from Chelsea, and Moratti urged that his injury troubles needed to be taken into consideration before Inter committed to signing him again next season.

“It depends on his physical condition. If he was OK he is strong, but instead he has difficulties. This aspect must be understood.”

Inter have also been linked with a move for former AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie, now at Barcelona, in an exchange that would see Marcelo Brozovic move to the Catalan club.

“For me Brozovic is fine at Inter. He only had one defined role and he always played it very well. He’s strong, we’re on the safe side with him.”

The Nerazzurri find themselves 13 points behind Serie A league leaders Napoli with a game in hand, and whilst Moratti felt that the gap was too large for Inter to close, he was encouraged by their style of play.

“I don’t think it’s possible because the points behind Napoli are many, but in football you never know. Playing like this certainly makes it easier to hope,” the 77-year-old added.

Moratti was at the helm at Inter from 1995 until 2013 as president, and then until 2016 in an honorary capacity.