Inter Milan sporting director Piero Ausilio has told Barcelona the only way the Catalan giants can land striker Lautaro Martinez in the summer transfer window is by paying his release clause.
The Catalan giants have been heavily linked with a move for the Argentina international and are said to be keen on including players in a potential transfer, but Ausilio told Sky Sport Italia that Barcelona must pay the full amount if they are to land the 22-year-old.
“If you want Lautaro, you will have to pay the clause. Actually, as far as Martinez is concerned, there is only one way that can take him away from Inter and that is the payment of a clause. A clause that everyone knows about, useless to hide: it is demanding, because it has both deadlines and commitments that must be kept very precise.
“Meanwhile is a clause that expires in the first days of July so it is not that it will last for a long time. And it is the only possibility that exists not to see Lautaro Martinez away from Inter today.
“We are not in this period discussing and tackling the Lautaro theme with anyone. Simply because we focus on him, he is an important asset of the club, and then let’s not forget that he still has a two-year contract with Inter. The most important players Inter have no intention of selling, but want to keep them and eventually strengthen themselves on the market and this also applies to Lautaro.”
Martinez is contracted to Serie A side Inter until 2023 and his release clause is set at an eye-watering €111 million.
Lautaro Tipped to Be the New Luis Suarez
Martinez has been tipped to become the long-term replacement for striker Luis Suarez at Barcelona. The Uruguay international has even welcomed the possibility of the Inter man arriving at Barcelona. He told Mundo Deportivo: “Players who come to fight for a place and help the team will always be welcome, it will always be better and it will strengthen the group.”
Captain Lionel Messi, who has played alongside Martinez for Argentina, has also backed Barcelona’s move for the striker. He has described his compatriot as “spectacular” and also likened him to team-mate Suarez.
Martinez has formed a strong partnership with Romelu Lukaku at Inter this season and had netted 16 goals in all competitions for the Nerazzurri before Serie A was halted in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Finances an Issue for Barcelona
Although Martinez appears Barcelona’s top priority ahead of the summer transfer window the club has been affected by recent events. The Spanish champions need to raise funds by selling players to balance the books before the end of June, according to ESPN‘s Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens.
Barcelona have been willing to offer several players in the deal to bring Martinez to the Camp Nou in an attempt to reduce his price.
Ausilio’s latest comments suggest Inter aren’t too interested in what Barcelona has to offer and will only allow their star man to leave if the Catalans pay top price.