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Lautaro Martínez: Lionel Messi tried to get me to sign for Barcelona

The Inter Milan striker was at one point Barcelona’s #1 target

Lautaro Martinez (left) celebrates a goal with Lionel Messi... Photo by Manuel Cortina/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Lautaro Martínez has revealed that Lionel Messi tried to convince him to join FC Barcelona when the latter was the Catalan giants’ captain. Martínez remains at the club he was at at the time, Inter Milan.

The two know each other well from their time in the Argentine national team. For a few transfer windows, Martínez was Barcelona’s #1 transfer target, although they could never quite convince Inter to let him go.

In those days, Messi would phone up his compatriot and try to see if he would be joining him at club level too.

“He would ask me about my situation at Inter, but I would tell him I was staying.” Martínez said.

Last month, the striker renewed his deal with Inter until 2026.

He said staying was the right choice and he was happy staying in the city of Milan.

Inter are set to face Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League.

“First, we are focused on the league. Later, we will think about Real Madrid, where we want to go to win. It will be important for us to win to continue growing. This match will be very important for us,” he said.