Lautaro Martinez’s agent, Carlos Beto Yaque, has responded to rumors the Inter striker is Barcelona’s top transfer target this summer.
Yaque told La Figura de la Cancha that Martinez is happy with life at the San Siro and feels speculation that he could leave the club and move to the Catalan giants has been exaggerated by the media.
“Lautaro’s transfer is more in the media than real life. Lautaro has three years on his contract with Inter and is very happy where he is. He’s had a very good season, still has the Europa League to play for and I hope Inter can go all the way in that competition.
“I’ve never needed to give him advice and I don’t need to now either. He’s always been a complete player and has matured over the years.”
Martinez is Barcelona’s top target and has already agreed personal terms with the club, according to ESPN’s Moises Llorens and Sam Marsden. Yet the Spanish side must sell players before they buy this summer for financial reasons, according to Sport‘s Lluis Miguelsanz.
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Lautaro Move Currently On Hold
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has readily admitted that talks with Inter over a move for Martinez are on hold until the end of the season. The Catalans remain in contention in the Champions League, while Inter are through to the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
Bartomeu told Albert Masnou and Javier Giraldo at Sport that negotiations have been brought to a standstill and suggested his club will not be able to make big signings this summer after being hit financially hard by the coronavirus crisis.
“Barça have spoken with Inter about Lautaro, but the talks have stopped. The situation doesn’t invite large investments.”
The Barcelona president also explained in the interview how his club’s finances and transfer plans have been affected by the current pandemic.
“The club lost €200m between March and June. In the 2020/21 season, we expected to earn €1100m but that’s likely to be 30% less now. If the situation doesn’t improve, they won’t be people in the stands, at the museum or the shops and we’ll keep losing money. This will cause us to revise our spending plans and which ones can wait. We have to adapt.”
Inter could be willing to lower their asking price if players are included in any potential deal for Martinez. According to Cadena Ser, the Nerazzurri would be willing to accept €70 million plus defender Junior Firpo.
Martinez to Arrive in 2021?
Barcelona hardly lack for attacking options with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann, and Ansu Fati all in the squad. Youngsters Francisco Trincao and Pedri will also arrive in the summer, meaning Barca could wait to try and land Martinez.
According to Fernando Polo at Mundo Deportivo, the Inter striker would be willing to wait a year to make the move to the Camp Nou. Miguel Rico at Mundo Deportivo has also reported that Barca will only try to sign Martinez this summer if Suarez leaves.
There seems little chance the Uruguay international will depart this summer after playing a key role for the club once again in 2019-20, meaning a Martinez move looks increasingly unlikely currently.