Pirelli chief executive Marco Tronchetti said the Inter shirt sponsor can "help" the Nerazzurri sign Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi but club president Steven Zhang must "make an effort himself".
Messi's future is once again in the headlines amid reports the Barca captain is ready to quit the LaLiga giants once his contract expires in 2021.
Inter have been linked to Messi previously, with former president Massimo Moratti insisting the six-time Ballon d'Or winner relocating to Milan was not a "forbidden dream at all".
Tronchetti, however, warned the coronavirus crisis will impact Pirelli's ability to contribute like Italian automobile manufacturer Fiat did when it assisted in Cristiano Ronaldo's move from Real Madrid to Juventus in 2018
"Honestly, at a time like this, we're unable to invest in sports more than we are, between Formula 1, the America's Cup and Inter," Tronchetti told Gr Parlamento.
"We have to ask Steven Zhang to make an effort himself. We can help, but we can't do anything significant."
Messi has scored 22 goals and supplied a career-high 19 LaLiga assists for Barcelona this season.
Across all competitions, Messi has scored 27 goals for two-time defending LaLiga champions Barca – who are set to be dethroned by bitter rivals Real Madrid.
Barca are second and four points behind Madrid with four matches left to play.
Inter, meanwhile, are third in Serie A following Sunday's shock loss at home to Bologna.