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Lautaro Martínez rejected Real Madrid at 18 years old

The Argentine was playing with Racing back then

Racing Club v Arsenal - Superliga Argentina 2017/2018 Photo by Rodrigo Valle/Getty Images

Lautaro Martínez rejected Real Madrid when he was 18 years old. That’s been a long-standing rumor that has just been confirmed in an interview with Víctor Blanco, the president of Racing Club, his team at the time.

The striker started out in Liniers, a small club in Buenos Aires. At 17, he moved to Racing’s youth team and by the time he hit 18, he had become a part of the senior team.

The player’s father, Mario, had previously stated that his son had rejected Madrid.

“In 2015, everything was agreed with Real Madrid but he made the decision not to go. He was not ready and decided to stay at Racing,” he said.

That’s now been confirmed by one of the clubs involved.

“Real Madrid came looking for him and offered a loan with an important buy option,” Blanco said.

“Nevertheless, he rejected the possibility because he wanted to triumph with Racing before leaving. And he stayed. He didn’t lose concentration. He was very clear on his objectives.”

Real Madrid were firm in wanting to take him and continue to let him grow in their youth system, according to Blanco. But the young striker said no. In fact, many big teams were in for him, but he turned them all down at the time.

Three years later, Martínez finally made his move. He signed for Inter Milan for a reported fee of €22.7 million. Now, he’s wanted even more by the biggest clubs in the world, including Barcelona.