REAL MADRID

Racing president: "Lautaro turned down Madrid when he was 18"

Víctor Blanco, the president of Racing de Avellaneda, explained in an interview with Mundo Deportivo that the Argentine rejected Real Madrid.

Racing president: "Lautaro turned down Madrid when he was 18"

Lautaro Martínez is one of the most sought-after strikers in Europe. His second year at Inter Milan has been exceptional and with 16 goals between Serie A and the Champions League, the 22-year-old is wanted by some of the biggest clubs there is including Barcelona, who see him as Luis Suárez' long-term replacement. Victor Blanco, the president of Racing Avellaneda, has revealed to Mundo Deportivo that Real Madrid tried to sign the play a few years back and were met with a resounding 'no'.

"When he was in the youth team and was 18, Lautaro said no to Madrid," he said. "They came looking for him and offered a loan with an option to but for an important fee. He rejected them though because he wanted to be successful at Racing before leaving. He stayed and didn't hide it. He was very clear with his goals."

The current Inter Milan striker wanted to be successful with Racing and was. He won the best newcomer award in the Superliga after completing half a year when they were named champions. Atlético Madrid came in for him then and had the deal almost wrapped up but they lost out in the end.

During the interview, gave details of what Madrid offered: "They were keen to bring him in to let him finish his development in the academy. They obviously noticed him. The fee wasn't small and Racing would have gotten big percentage of his move. But he knew exactly what he wanted."

The president of the club spoke about his relationship with the player. "I love him," he said. "He acted very well with the club and with. He always have exemplary conduct. He adapted quickly and his rise was dizzying. He rose up through the categories very quickly, got to the first team, then went to Europe... the same as always."