Barcelona will reportedly stop at nothing to sign Lautaro Martinez this summer, and are prepared to offer up players such as Arturo Vidal, Nelson Semedo and Junior Firpo to get Inter’s price down for the Argentine.
The Catalan giants have held a long reported interest in Martinez’s services, with the feeling in Spain being that the 22-year-old could be the talisman to replace Luis Suarez.
His goalscoring antics for Inter this season have certainly helped his cause. 16 goals in 31 appearances have helped Antonio Conte’s side sustain a serious Serie A title challenge, albeit one that tailed off prior to the enforced break.
With his prolific form, however, has come a steadfast desire from Inter to hold onto Martinez, who is proving to be a relentlessly effective foil to the equally prolific Romelu Lukaku. It is expected to cost the entirety of his €111m release clause – or something very close to it – to pry him away.
According to Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca di Marzio (as relayed wildly in Italy through Sempre Inter and others) however, that’s a fee Barcelona – staring in the face of a financial crisis partly owing to the coronavirus pandemic – can scarcely afford.
Di Marzio claims that in a bid to reduce Inter’s asking price, the club are working on a deal that could include multiple first team players heading in the opposite direction. Options on the table could include Vidal, Firpo and Semedo – the latter of the trio reported to be Inter’s favoured choice.
Other reports (as neatly packaged by Football Espana) have even claimed to various extents that Antoine Griezmann could be involved in a part exchange, but Di Marzio reckons the Frenchman is off the table.
Di Marzio goes on to note that in the event of a Martinez move proving unviable, RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner is being lined up as a cheaper alternative, but that there has been no contact with Arsenal over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
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