Torino president Urbano Cairo claims that Perez was interested in signing Andrea Belotti during the summer transfer window, but only after finding out about his release clause.
Belotti was part of the Italy side that failed to reach the World Cup for the first time in 58 years on Monday, starting both games as the ‘Azzurri’ fell to a 1-0 play-off defeat to Sweden.
There was thought to be plenty of interest in Belotti’s services during the summer, with both Chelsea and Monaco heavily linked with a move for the striker, who scored 26 goals in 35 Serie A games last season.
Speaking to ‘ESPN’, Cairo now claims that Real Madrid were also on the player’s list of admirers, albeit only after they learned about the player’s mega-money release clause.
‘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,’ he explained.
‘As soon as he heard of the (100m euros) 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.’
Despite the interest, Belotti stayed put and Cairo insists that the 23-year-old is focussed on life in Turin at the moment.
‘Belotti is an exceptional lad and he’s loved by everybody,’ he added. ‘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.’