Barcelona remain interested in bringing Inter striker Lautaro Martinez to the Camp Nou but may have to get creative to achieve their aim.
The Catalan giants have been hit financially hard by the coronavirus crisis which has seen negotiations with the Nerazzurri over the striker grind to a halt.
According to Mirko Calemme at Calciomercato, Barcelona could look to land the talented 22-year-old by including Sergio Busquets and Luis Suarez in the deal.
Barcelona need to rejuvenate an aging squad and could be tempted to part ways with the two veterans.
Busquets has just turned 32 and Barca have a ready-made replacement in the shape of Frenkie de Jong, while Martinez is expected to take over from 33-year-old Suarez if he does decide to swap the San Siro for the Camp Nou.
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Could Suarez and Busquets Really Leave?
There’s no doubt that big changes are needed at Barcelona as their humiliating defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League showed. Barca’s squad needs refreshing and it’s expected the club will try to move some players on this summer.
Yet Busquets and Suarez do not appear in a rush to leave. Helena Condis at Cope has spoken to Jose Maria Orobitg, the agent of Busquets and Sergi Roberto, and been assured the duo have no intention of going anywhere.
Suarez is also keen to stay at the club despite attracting interest from Ajax, Juventus and MLS clubs. The striker has defended his goalscoring record this season and expects to stay, according to Ovacion.
Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic, Jordi Alba, and Gerard Pique are also over-30 and will find plenty of scrutiny on their futures in the coming weeks as new manager Ronald Koeman arrives and tries to build a new team at the Camp Nou.
Barca to go back for Lautaro?
President Josep Maria Bartomeu has played down a move for Martinez in recent weeks and told Barca TV on Tuesday much would depend on new manager Koeman’s plans for the future.
“Before restarting the league we spoke with Inter but we stopped the negotiations a few weeks ago because the competitions were returning. They have the Europa League that they are playing and we will wait for the new coach to arrive and the technical secretariat to see how they plan for the future.”
Yet club director Director Xavi Vilajoana subsequently told TyC Sports that the Inter striker is still very much in Barcelona’s thoughts.
“We are evaluating the possibility of bringing Lautaro. He has been in contact with Inter and the player and it is one of the options being considered. The market is difficult due to the economies of the clubs in Europe and we must be cautious, but Barcelona is attentive to incorporating the best players in the world and Lautaro is one of them.”
Barcelona will have to wait until Inter’s Europa League commitments are over before resuming talks with the Serie A club. Martinez scored twice in a 5-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk to send the Nerazzurri into Friday’s final against Sevilla.