Lautaro Martinez has become one of the best strikers in Italy since he moved from Racing to Inter Milan.
The Argentinean has helped the Milan side to step up and become one of Juve’s biggest competitors for the Serie A title, but he could have been a player at Juventus instead.
The Bianconeri were one of the teams that considered making a move for him when he was still in South America, but Juve chose to sign Rodrigo Bentancur and Rogerio first, reveals former Inter scout Adelio Moro, and that paved the way for the Nerazzurri to land Martinez.
Moro said that Martinez came to the attention of scouts during the South American Under20 championship in 2017.
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He and scouts from Juventus and other teams were present at the competition to identify the next talents to bring to Europe.
During the tournament in Ecuador, Martinez caught their attention, while Juventus and Atletico Madrid hesitated to make their move for him, Inter struck a deal with Racing and he moved to the San Siro in 2018.
“It was January 2017 and the South American U-20 Championship was about to begin,” Moro told Tuttosport as quoted by Football Italia.
“Ausilio called all the scouts and said: ‘It’s too late to send someone to Ecuador, but I want guys to follow every game of the tournament. Juventus have already signed [Rodrigo] Bentancur and Rogerio, we need to find a young footballer who is ready too.’
“There were many interesting footballers,” Moro continued.
“Lyanco, who eventually joined Torino and Richarlison, who would move to Everton. When we watched Argentina, we immediately noticed this stocky attacker, with great technical skills: Lautaro Martinez.
“He was 19 and he was contracted with Racing Club, we knew Juventus and Atletico Madrid wanted to sign him too.
“We told Ausilio: ‘Lautaro has so much room for improvement, we must sign him immediately.’
“He flied out to Argentina immediately after the end of the tournament. He wanted to see Lautaro in person and speak to the player’s entourage.
“He beat the other clubs interested and eventually signed the player.”