Torino Chief Cairo Reveals Dinner Talk with Real Madrid President

It is no secret how close Andrea Belotti was to Milan during several transfer market windows but ultimately chose to move to Roma. Torino president Urbano Cairo could have raked in tens of millions for the center-forward, who instead left the Granata to complete his Roma move on a Bosman transfer.

Cairo shed light on his ex-striker, who was on the radar of some of the biggest clubs in the world, in an exclusive with La Gazzetta dello Sport (via Tuttomercatoweb).

“It went like this. Belotti took 12 games to score a goal but then exploded in his second year under Sinisa Mihajlovic who plays with a three-man attack. He scored 26 goals. I tell him: ‘I would put a clause of €100M in your new contract. It’s a way to position yourself.’ Napoli had just sold Higuain for €90M.”

He then shared his interaction with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez about Belotti.

“In fact, one evening at dinner with Florentino Perez in Madrid, while we were talking about our players, I told him: ‘I’m thinking of putting a €100M clause on my center forward.’ Florentino suddenly comes alive and asks me everything about Belotti. This was the meaning of the clause. I told him Milan are asking us to have him loan with a half-obligation to buy. Florentino justified himself though saying they had already spent a lot. Yes, but we are talking about a 26-goal scorer and, if I loan him out without cashing in, how do I replace him? Belotti wants to go to Milan, is disappointed, and has a bad season. He gets injured often. I have no regrets, also because I always look ahead.”

Juventus center-back Gleison Bremer also jumped ship from Torino last year, a transfer which earned the Granata a handsome sum of money.

“Maybe yes (our biggest capital gain). He is a great player, strong, powerful. He grew up under Walter Mazzarri. Even if at the beginning, he didn’t play much, but he trained him. Then Ivan Juric helped him a lot.”

Bremer was bought for €6M and sold for €42M. Meanwhile, Belotti was onboarded for €9M from Palermo but left for free. He could have been Torino’s biggest departure in terms of fees, eventually missing out on the chance of playing for his boyhood club Milan.

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