Lionel Messi nearly moved to Inter Milan when he was a teenager in 2006.
The Serie A giants agreed to activate the Argentine’s £130million release clause but the Catalan giants managed to cling on to their talisman by increasing it by an extra £80m.
This story came out when The Guardian asked former Barca president Joan Laporta, if they had ever come close to parting ways with Messi.
He said: “It was 2006 when Inter made an offer.
“They were prepared to pay the €150m buy-out clause, which is why we [later] raised it to €250m, but I always felt reassured by my relationship with his dad, Jorge.
“I told him: ‘They’ll have to pay the clause because I won’t sell. He’ll be happy here, he’ll get glory. There, he’ll only win financially. Your son’s destined to be the greatest in history and here he’ll have a team to help get there. He’ll enjoy it’.”
He added: “I’m very Cruyffista but what Leo does – and I talked about this a lot with Johan – makes him the best in history. Johan said so too.
“Messi’s football is beautiful and effective. For me the best ever are Cruyff, Maradona and Messi. Leo’s a mix of Cruyff and Maradona, but he is Leo Messi.”
So far this summer, Messi has already been linked with a move to Manchester City.
But City’s chief executive expects the superstar to sign a new deal at the Nou Camp.