Barcelona have been warned that signing striker Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan in the summer transfer window will not be an easy transfer to pull off.
The 22-year-old Argentina international, who has scored 19 times for club and country in 2019-20, is closing in on a move to the Camp Nou with the Nerazzurri willing to sell this summer, according to Sport.
However, Argentina national team boss Lionel Scaloni has told Cadena SER the Catalan giants will not find it easy to prise the striker away from the San Siro.
“The first thing that I think of is how easy is it going to be to get Lautaro away from Inter? Inter is a big club, with a powerful president,” he said. “It’s honestly not going to be easy and I hope he does what is best for him.”
Martinez is certainly not a player who will come cheap. The striker has a $121 million release clause and is contracted to the Serie A side until the end of June 2023.
Lautaro Viewed as Luis Suarez’s Replacement
One of the big reasons why Barcelona want to sign Martinez is because he is viewed as the perfect replacement for Luis Suarez. The Uruguay international will turn 34 in January and is heading towards the end of his illustrious career.
Suarez told beIN SPORTS in December that the best thing for Barcelona would be to sign a “new number 9” as the club needs to look towards the future and strengthen its attacking options.
Scaloni agrees that Martinez is “similar” to Suarez and also explained why such players are so important to clubs: “They are area players that never give a ball up as lost, players that punish defenses, that mark moves… players like [Martinez] can give a club certain years of tranquility as a No. 9.”
Martinez and Messi Link-Up Would Benefit Argentina
Martinez’s arrival at Barcelona would also see him link-up with compatriot Lionel Messi which would also benefit Argentina. The duo have already played together for the national team, and Scaloni believes they have struck up a good understanding.
“It’s logical that they want to play together, they get along well. They understand each other well. We would like that. They have already played together in the national team. For me as coach, and for the national team, the more games they play, the better.”
Messi has already made his feelings about the possibility of Barcelona signing Martinez very clear. He told Sport he thinks the 22-year-old “is a really complete forward” and is similar to Suarez.
Barcelona manager Quique Setien has also talked up a move for Martinez. He told Gazzetta dello Sport the Argentinian is “a great player” and added how the chance to play alongside Messi would be a “huge incentive” for any player.
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