Cristian Romero claims Messi asked him to join Barcelona before Spurs transfer

Cristian Romero of Argentina lift the Conmebol Copa America Trophy
Cristian Romero of Argentina lift the Conmebol Copa America Trophy - IMAGO / MB Media Solutions

The Argentine defender has revealed that Messi tried to persuade him to move to Barcelona.

Tottenham defender Cristian Romero has claimed that Lionel Messi wanted him to sign for Barcelona.

Romero became a top target for Europe’s top clubs following his stellar season at Atalanta, which followed with an equally impressive Copa America campaign where he helped Argentina to lift the title.

However, Spurs managed to win the transfer race for the 23-year-old after agreeing to a 50m euros move.

Now, Romero has claimed that his compatriot Messi tried to persuade him to move to the Nou Camp.

As things turned out, the six-time Ballon d’Or shockingly left his boyhood club due to salary cap concerns, eventually joining PSG on a free transfer.

Romero said: “The fact that Messi would want me in his team, and that he wanted me to come to Barcelona is amazing.

“The team that PSG have built is crazy. I’m a bit sad about how Leo left Barcelona, I thought he would have stayed there forever. I wish him all the best, he’s a great person and hopefully he can win everything alongside the other Argentinians there.”

Despite Messi’s interest, Barca would have struggled to sign Romero due to their financial crisis. All of their summer signings – Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia – were free transfers and Barca were able to register them only after veteran defender Gerard Pique agreed to halve his salary.

Romero failed to make a single appearance for Juventus after joining them in 2019. He managed to revive his form at Atalanta on loan last season and he was also bestowed with the Serie A MVP best defender award.

Romero made his debut for Spurs in the Premier League fixture against Manchester City, coming in as a late substitute.