Internazionale president Massimo Moratti claims Frank Lampard must make the next move if he wants to leave Chelsea and move to Italy.
Lampard, 30, has been linked with the Italian champions in a transfer saga that has rumbled on throughout the summer.
Former Chelsea and current Inter coach Jose Mourinho has seen two bids for the England midfielder rejected by the Stamford Bridge hierarchy.
The Blues are keen to keep Lampard despite the current stand-off in his contract situation and the fact that he has just 12 months remaining on his existing deal and could leave for free next summer.
But although Moratti is still keen to deliver the signing of Lampard, the Inter chief has suggested the next move is now down to the player himself.
He said: "A lot depends on the player's expressed desire and it seems that the player is torn between a sense of duty to his current club and a new choice.
"We have done what we can and in the end it will be down to him to reach a conclusion.
"Lampard is the priority but naturally in cases like this I have been looking around for some time.
"If it is not possible to take Lampard, we would take a player with the most similar characteristics."