Lautaro Martinez confirms he had been very close to joining Barcelona and discussed it with Lionel Messi, but ‘made the right decision’ sticking with Inter.
The Argentina international confessed the situation had been at a very advanced stage last summer, although the two clubs failed to reach an agreement.
“I am very happy at Inter and my family is happy here too, so I am not thinking about anything other than staying here,” Lautaro Martinez told Sky Sport Italia.
“My agent will resolve the various details of my contract. I was close to Barcelona, it’s true. I talked to Messi about it, but in the end I decided to stay with Inter and it was the right decision.”
He is celebrating the first Serie A title of his career and Inter’s first in a decade.
“People cared so much and we could sense it, seeing all those people before the Sampdoria game, plus of course the joy at the final whistle of Sassuolo-Atalanta. We did it for them and we had so many points above the rest, that showed we did a really good job.
“We talked after the Champions League exit and knew we had to get the Scudetto, as it was all we had left. We worked so hard every day, studying games, and we’re so happy to have done it. I think the most important goal in the title race was Christian Eriksen against Crotone, as he really broke that deadlock.”
Lautaro is very good friends with his teammate Romelu Lukaku and that bond is evident on the field as well as off it.
“After the first training session, we talked for two or three hours. He speaks some Spanish, so we were able to communicate straight away. He’d been watching Inter games from the previous season, so he knew everything.
“I didn’t play much in my first six months, but that was natural, as I had to adapt to a new style of football and learn the language too. I’ve grown so much as a player, especially in my defensive work for the team.”
Lautaro is maturing off the field too, as his partner gave birth to daughter Nina last month.
“She has given me so much strength and I have this sense of calm now, more than I had before.”
Inter can now begin preparing for next season and inevitably the pressure is on to do better in the Champions League.
“I think in Serie A you can get along to a degree, but the details make all the difference in the Champions League, so we need to be more focused on the little things and take that step forward.”