Torino president held talks with Real Madrid over Andrea Belotti
Torino president Urbano Cairo has revealed that he discussed Andrea Belotti with his Real Madrid counterpart Florentino Perez, who appeared interested when he learnt of the player's value.
Cairo inserted a release clause in Belotti's contract, which runs until 2021, when he renewed his deal last year that means he would be allowed to leave Torino if a club outside Italy offered €100 million.
That figure was, according to Cairo, enough for Madrid president Perez to take notice of a player he had not heard of until then.
"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 said at an awards' ceremony in Milan.
"As soon as he heard of the 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."
No foreign side offered the €100m required to force Torino to let the player discuss terms and Cairo is pleased that he has stayed at his club.
"Belotti is an exceptional lad and he's loved by everybody," he said. "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."
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.