Erik Lamela: 'I snubbed Barcelona move'

Erik Lamela of Spurs is closed down by Luvannor Henrique and Kobi Moyal of FC Sheriff during the UEFA Europa League Group K match on November 7, 2013
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Tottenham Hotspur forward Erik Lamela describes how he rejected the chance to sign for Barcelona as a 12-year-old in order to continue developing at River Plate.

Tottenham Hotspur attacker Erik Lamela has revealed that he declined the opportunity to sign for Barcelona as a child in favour of remaining at River Plate.

The Argentine starlet was initially courted by the Blaugrana as a 12-year-old, where his five-goal haul in a 12-0 victory during a youth tournament convinced onlooking scouts to attempt to lure him to Catalunya.

However, the 21-year-old, who joined Spurs for a club record fee of £30m from Roma in August, has claimed that the time was not right to quit River - but added that he held no regrets over snubbing the Spanish giants.

Speaking to FourFourTwo, Lamela said: "It was very tempting, but it wasn't the right time for me or my family.

"River was my home and I'm sure we made the right decision."

His father, Jose, added that the club had facilitated "everything" for the family should they make the transition from South America to Europe.

"The scouts came to a youth tournament in France and he scored five goals in a 12-0 win," he said.

"They said a further trial wasn't necessary. We spent around 15 days looking around the facilities, where he was going to go to school, where we would live.. everything."

The former Giallorossi favourite starred in Spurs' 2-1 victory over Sherrif in the Europa League on Thursday, bagging a goal and an assist in the win.

Erik Lamela of Tottenham Hotspur battles with Joe Bennett of Aston Villa during the Capital One Cup third round match between Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur at Villa Park on September 24, 2013
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