He said: "If he leaves us, I will be very disappointed.

"He's a great champion and can be useful for us even in the next season. After that, we'll propose to him a role as manager, but I think that he still wants to play football for a little while longer."

Figo, meanwhile, was left furious after coming on in the 89th minute of yesterday's victory over Fiorentina. The Portuguese left the San Siro steaming and snapped at waiting reporters: "It's best I don't talk about this."

For his part, Inter coach Roberto Mancini shrugged: "If the player isn't arrogant, you can send him on with three minutes left and he can make a difference."