It was December 2017 when Atlético Madrid Madrid closed the deal to buy Lautaro Martínez. The Argentine striker, then 20 years old, had excelled at Racing, and the “red and white” club had moved immediately. Representatives of “Los Colchoneros” flew to Argentina to “kidnap” the firm of the attacker.
According to local media, Lautaro would sign for six seasons with Atlético, a team that would pay 12 million euros (his departure clause was nine million) and would stay at Racing until June on loan.
The footballer also underwent medical examinations in Buenos Aires and his representative, Roly Zárate, admitted that with “99%” the operation was performed.
So, until in July 2018 Inter formalized the signing of Lautaro Martinez. The Italians had paid double the amount Atletico had offered. Lautaro was persuaded by Diego Milito to wear black. Milito, a former Inter player, was very friendly with Javier Zanetti. His clause in that period had gone from 12 million to 18 million.
Atlético was left without Lautaro, with whom he had agreed on everything, but the footballer changed his mind at the last moment. The newspaper “El Mundo Deportivo” was able to provide documents proving this. There are two photos in which Lautaro Martínez appears, smiling and signing the contract he would sign with Atlético, even posing with the file (with the club emblem) that contained all the documentation.
Four years later, the value of the player has tripled. Atletico, at the time, beat Dortmund’s competition, but failed to overtake Inter, who offered double for the striker’s card, even though Lautaro himself had signed some letters.
It is one of those curious stories that the football world leaves behind, similar to that of Fernando Hierro when he signed for Real Madrid in 1989, when he was at the Vincente Calderon that same day.