Lautaro: ‘I was close to Barca, but…’

Lautaro Martinez confirms he was ‘truly very close to joining Barcelona and talked it over with Lionel Messi, but staying at Inter was the right decision.’

The striker has just won his first piece of silverware, taking the Serie A title with the Nerazzurri and ending the nine-year Juventus dominance of Italian football.

It all could’ve been very different, as last summer Barca were repeatedly knocking at the door, rebuffed by the presence of a €111m release clause.

“I was truly very close to joining Barcelona and I even talked it over with Messi,” the 23-year-old confessed to ESPN Argentina.

“However, the Blaugrana had economic problems at that moment, so I decided to stay at Inter. It proved to be the right decision, especially as we then won the Scudetto.

“It’s just incredible to win the title at such an important club.”

El Toro also reveals he had been approached by the other Spanish giants too.

“Real Madrid did come for me twice when I was in the Racing youth team, but I wanted to make my name in Argentinean football first and only made the move to Europe when I was ready.

“I do dream one day of returning to Racing. The fans are just as ‘crazy’ and passionate as the Inter ones.”

Martinez was snapped up by Inter in the summer of 2018 for €25m.

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