It has not been easy to sign a Barcelona striker in recent years. The special way the team likes to play means the team needs a top striker who can fit the bill in this role which often involves support of the wide forwards.
There are always options but the best players are reticent to sign if they can't be assured of a fundamental role. Lautaro was not convinced either.
It was hard for him to believe in it because he's seen the precedents and Luis Suarez is still around, scoring frequently.
Lautaro did know he needed to take a step forward in his career and could not make a mistake. Messi's figure was an attraction.
Barcelona, however, aren't signing him as a complement but to arrive as an indisputable striker - even if his role within the team varies. Lautaro knows this now, the project, his role and his future. He liked what Barcelona explained.
Just as with De Jong, Barcelona can only compete for Lautaro if the layer is convinced. They won't enter into a multi-million euro battle, instead by using the player's determination to wear their colours. That's how they can get ahead of Madrid and Man City. Lautaro knows at Barca he will play alone up front or with Luis Suarez as a front two.
It's a challenge for him but for the team too, to adapt to him. It will be the first time that a striker arrives at the club and has that privilege. He is more than a bet.