In a sport that is filled with what-if transfer moves, there was once a possibility that Inter Milan forward Lautaro Martinez could have once joined Barcelona.

For much of 2020, Martinez was linked with a possible permanent transfer move to Barca. One notable report from the Spanish-based outlet Marca noted that Martinez had agreed to personal terms with Barca club officials on a deal. In the end, Barca could not meet Inter Milan’s notable asking price for him.

Martinez even had now-former Barca star and Argentina national team counterpart Lionel Messi join in with recruiting him to join the Catalan side, which the Inter Milan forward opened up about to the Italian-based outlet SportMediaSet.

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“It’s true, Messi wanted me at Barcelona,” Martinez said. “We’ve spoken many times while on international duty with Argentina.

“He was talking to me about the situation at the club, but I’ve always remained calm and I’ve always spoken to Inter to find an agreement [over a new contract] because I am happy here. I am delighted to have stayed. My family and I are happy here.”

Barcelona had to wait a year to finally bring in a coveted striker as instead of pushing to once again haul in Martinez, the club opted to sign now-former Olympique Lyonnais star Memphis Depay on a free transfer deal over the recent summer window.

Martinez may not be going anywhere anytime soon, as he recently came to terms with Inter Milan officials on a new multiyear contract extension deal. He has so far scored eight goals in all competitions with the reigning Serie A champions.