Inter president Massimo Moratti has expressed his admiration for Manchester United midfielder David Beckham but admits his club cannot afford to buy the England captain.

Last week, speculation was rife when newspaper Il Messagero claimed Beckham’s wife met Moratti in Milan and had instructed estate agents to find a house in the Italian city.

‘People have been suggesting I met the player’s wife during her recent stay in Milan, but it’s not true,’ Moratti said.

‘All I can say is that he’s a great player – not just because he’s English and I like English players, but because he’s very skilful and often decisive for his club,’ Moratti added.

‘There’s no deal going on. We couldn’t afford such an expensive operation.’