Inter signed Lautaro Martinez thanks in part to the transfer activity of arch rivals Juventus, according to the Nerazzurri’s former scout Adelio Moro.
The Nerazzurri acquired El Toro in the summer of 2018 from Argentine side Racing Club and the forward has gone from strength to strength in the time since, cementing himself as one of the best young strikers in the world under Antonio Conte.
Had it not been for Juventus, however, Piero Ausilio may never have spotted Lautaro’s talents at all, as explained by Moro today.
“It was January 2017 and the South American U-20 Championship was about to begin,” he remarked in an interview with Tuttosport, which appeared in today’s print edition of the Turin-based publication.
“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 Bentancur and Rogerio, we need to find a young footballer who is ready too.’
“There were many interesting players such as 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 and that was Lautaro Martinez.
“He was 19 and he was contracted to Racing Club, we knew Juventus and Atletico Madrid wanted to sign him too.”
Moro then recalled what he and his scouting colleagues told Ausilio and how Inter’s sporting director responded.
“We told Ausilio: ‘Lautaro has so much room for improvement, we must sign him immediately.’
“He then flew out to Argentina straight 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.”
Lautaro, who is under contract with Inter through to the end of the 2022-23 season, recently surpassed the 100 appearance milestone in an Inter shirt.
In 109 appearances across all competitions to date, the 23-year-old has scored 40 goals and provided a total of 14 assists for his Nerazzurri teammates.