The 63-year-old has not always always spoken kindly of the Rosario native, branding him a "cretin" for taking part in Argentina's underwhelming 2011 Copa America campaign.
However, he has now admitted that he would love Messi to play for the San Paolo club.
"My dream is Messi," he told Gazzetta dello Sport. "He doesn't even have a tattoo. He's a footballing dream, and is very cinematic."
De Laurentiis went on to say that he is aiming for a top-five finish in the upcoming Serie A season, repeating the club's performance from the previous campaign.
"I said this last year and will repeat it, we must finish in the top five in the league," he continued. "The problem is that the quality of our football was so high that it was hard to win against a less noble team.
"I don't have a particular goal, we will try to do our best on every front."
Finally, the supremo praised coach Walter Mazzarri for his vision of football, as well as his professionalism.
"He is a man with an eye to the future. A man of few words, but big values. If I were to start playing football, I'm sure that with him, a winner, I would learn," he concluded.
Napoli beat Juventus 2-0 to claim the Coppa Italia in May.
Goal.com has a new podcast! Goal Daily Podcast is a MUST for all Soccer fans and discusses the very latest news and views. What’s more when you sign up the service is FREE for the first month and you can cancel anytime.
Follow GOAL.COM USA on