It was not very long ago that Lautaro Martinez was heavily linked with a move to FC Barcelona. The Inter Milan superstar had been earmarked as the long-term replacement for Luis Suarez at the Catalan club and negotiations over a possible move had taken place.
However, a move never materialised and the Argentine hitman stayed put with the Nerazzurri. The 25-year-old will step out on the pitch at Spotify Camp Nou later tonight as Inter and Barcelona square off in the UEFA Champions League.
On the eve of the game, Martinez attended the pre-match press conference, during which he was inevitably asked about his failed move to Barça in the past. And the striker claimed that he had no regrets about it and is now fully focused on helping Inter Milan succeed.
“Years have passed since the negotiations with Barcelona, now I’m at Inter and I give everything for this team,” Martinez said in the presser (h/t FC Inter News).
The said failed move went down in 2020, when Barça were holding talks with Inter as well as the striker, but were reluctant to trigger his release clause as the club was going through financial difficulties.
Martinez has previously revealed that he had even spoken to then-Barcelona captain Lionel Messi about the possible transfer but ended up staying at Giuseppe Meazza, where he would go on to win the Serie A title in 2020/21.
“I was truly very close to joining Barcelona and I even talked it over with Messi,” the 25-year-old had told ESPN last year. “However, the Blaugrana had economic problems at that moment, so I decided to stay at Inter.”
Coming back to the present, the Argentina international also spoke about the qualities of this Barça side and insisted that his team will continue with the same plan that worked well for them at the Giuseppe Meazza last week, saying:
“They have high-quality players. The approach we made in Milan went well and tomorrow we will try to do what we have prepared.”