Inter Milan tabled a whopping £225 million bid to sign Lionel Messi from Barcelona in 2006.
That’s according to Joan Laporta, who has returned to the club’s presidency after being elected in for a second time.
His first term was between 2003 and 2010 and he’s revealed that the club rejected a huge offer for Messi 15 years back.
A young Messi had just helped Barcelona win the Champions League under Frank Rijkaard and Inter were prepared to pay four times the current world record transfer fee for his services.
At the time, Zinedine Zidane was the most expensive player in history after joining Real Madrid from Juventus for £46.6 million in 2001.
Laporta told Radio Onda Cero: “Nobody who loves Barcelona can have doubts about Messi.
“We rejected a €250m (£225m) offer coming from Inter in 2006. [Massimo] Moratti wanted to bring him to his club.”
Messi has gone on to win a further two Champions Leagues, eight La Ligas and six Ballon d’Ors in a dominant period in world football.
Last year, when he handed in a transfer request and it looked like he may leave the Nou Camp, Inter were one of the clubs keen on the Argentine.
Speaking in August, former Inter director Massimiliano Mirabelli told Radio Sportiva: “When I was at Inter, President Zhang would talk about the transfer market and say, ‘I want Messi,’ but we had to explain it wasn’t possible due to Financial Fair Play.
“I can assure you that Messi is more than a dream for Inter.
“He now has only a year left on his contract and Barca don’t want to risk losing him for free next summer.
Showing no signs of slowing down, Messi has scored 29 goals and registered 13 assists in all competitions this season.