Lautaro: Messi has tried to sign me for Barcelona

Carlo Garganese
Lautaro: Messi has tried to sign me for Barcelona

Lautaro: Messi has tried to sign me for Barcelona

Lautaro Martinez has admitted that he was close to signing for Barcelona last year and that Lionel Messi spoke to him about joining the Blaugrana.

Lautaro has been one of the key figures in Inter’s Scudetto triumph this season, with the Nerazzurri romping to their first title for 11 years.

But the Argentine was close to leaving the club last year when Barcelona made him their number one transfer target for last summer’s market.

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It was widely reported that Messi even tried to convince Lautaro to quit Inter and the former Racing Club star has now admitted that is true as he prepares to extend his contract that expires in 2023.

“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 told Sky Sport.

“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.”

Lautaro: Statistics in 2020/21

Man of the match2

Lautaro has formed a devastating partnership in attack with Romelu Lukaku, with the pair scoring 47 goals between them this season.

“After the first training session, we talked for two or three hours,” the Argentine explains.

“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.

“People cared so much about winning the Scudetto 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.”

Inter are 10 points clear of second-placed Atalanta going into the final game of the campaign next weekend, with Antonio Conte’s men facing Udinese at San Siro.