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Madrid almost signed Belotti, claim Torino

Torino president Urbano Cairo has claimed that conversations with Real Madrid’s Florentino Perez almost saw Andrea Belotti move to the Spanish club.

The 23-year-old has been in superb form for the Italian side, scoring 45 goals in 83 games over three seasons and those figures have gained him interest from a number of Premier League and European sides.

Chelsea and Manchester United were linked over the summer months, but it was Madrid who edged close to a deal.

“I was eating dinner with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and we were talking about contracts of players with huge release clauses and I mentioned Belotti,” Cairo is quoted as saying by Tuttosport.

“As soon as he heard of the (€100m) clause for Belotti, who he didn’t know, it pricked his ears. If the clause had only been €20m, he wouldn’t have been interested.”

“Belotti is an exceptional lad and he’s loved by everybody; he’s always kept his feet on the ground and remained humble, even when he’s had a €100m price tag slapped on him.

“He needs to be relaxed and he told me that he has not even thought about the clause even when he put pen to paper on his new contract.”

Belotti was helpless in Italy’s World Cup Qualifier play-off on Monday evening as they lost 1-0 to Sweden on aggregate, seeing his country miss out on next summer’s tournament in Russia.

The Italian striker began his career with AlbinoLeff, before joining Palermo where his form gained him a move to Torino in 2015.

Having made his first international appearance in 2016, he has since gone on to score four goals in 13 caps.

Madrid have picked themselves up after a poor start to the La Liga season, having now won four consecutive league games since the defeat to Real Betis last month and they will be looking to further improve when they meet Diego Simeone’s side at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Elsewhere, league leaders Barcelona will travel to Leganes looking to further break away from Valencia and Madrid.

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