A recent report from Mundo Deportivo has stressed the importance of unearthing hidden footballing gems across the world, as far as FC Barcelona are concerned.
With growing economic hardship, the club are not in a position to fund big-money moves for star players, which makes scouting youngsters all the more important.
However, the report also cites one occasion where Barcelona were close to paying almost €100 million for Lautaro Martinez.
This could have happened back in 2020, with the Argentine himself revealing in a past interview that he was close to signing for Barça.
“I was truly very close to joining Barcelona and I even talked it over with Messi,” the striker told ESPN. “However, the Blaugrana had economic problems at that moment, so I decided to stay at Inter. It proved to be the right decision, especially as we then won the Scudetto.”
Nevertheless, Barcelona’s coup of Martinez back then might have been quite significant. The Argentine international was targeted as the ideal long-term replacement for Luis Suarez. But given the club’s economic woes, the move never materialised.
Although they did manage to secure the services of Robert Lewandowski last summer, the club still require that added punch in the offensive unit, along with a reliable long-term replacement for the Pole.
Barcelona have been linked with another South American youngster in Vitor Roque recently. The Athletico Paranaense whizkid has become one of the club’s priority targets for the summer ahead. But he lacks the experience someone like Lautaro would have brought to the table.
However, it is fair to point out that Barcelona are not likely to renew the pursuit of the Inter Milan star anytime soon.