Reports: Lionel Messi personally contacts Real Madrid target, asks him to join Barcelona instead

Reports: Barcelona set to rival Real Madrid for €169million-rated Premier League superstar

According to reports from Spain, Lionel Messi has personally contacted Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez and asked him to join Barcelona, amidst interest on him from Barca’s arch-rivals Real Madrid.

Don Balon claims that Martinez, who is Messi’s teammate in the Argentina national team, was approached by the man himself via phone earlier this week. The Spanish news agency further added that the telephone conversation involved talks about Martinez’ future – the Barcelona legend apparently wanted the 22-year-old to join him at the Camp Nou next summer, by snubbing Real Madrid’s interest.

Martinez joined Inter Milan last summer, from Racing Club for a reported transfer fee of €14million. Since then, he has made 44 appearances for the Nerazzurri, and has also scored 12 goals and provided three assists.

In the ongoing 2019-20 season, he has made nine appearances till date – seven in the Serie A and two in the Champions League – and has already scored three goals and provided one assist. One of his goals was against Messi’s Barcelona, in a Champions League game where Inter eventually lost 2-1 despite taking the lead via the Argentine striker. He also scored a goal against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus, in a Serie A match last week.

Meanwhile, there have also been reports of Real Madrid exhibiting some keenness on the forward as mentioned earlier, although they are yet to submit an official bid for him, according to the Spanish news agency.