Lautaro Martinez to stay at Inter ‘for a long time’ – Zanetti

Inter vice-president Javier Zanetti predicts in-demand striker Lautaro Martinez will be at the club ‘for a long time’ despite reports linking him with a move to Barcelona.

A multitude of reports have linked the Catalan club to the Argentine, who holds a €111m release clause at the Milanese giants.

“He is a very intelligent boy and he is making the most of the opportunity to play in a league as important as the Italian one,” Zanetti explained on Argentinian channel Cadena 3.  “When we saw him for the first time, we imagined this would happen. For Lautaro to be playing for Inter makes us proud and happy, because I think we have a striker for the team for a long time.

“The last thing we think about today is the transfer of players. Today we think about health, which is the most important thing. When we return to training, which we hope that football can be resumed, we will see what will happen in the future.

“We are focused on getting through this moment because there are many families suffering. The situation is complicated.”

A report in El Mundo Deportivo from February claimed that it was a ‘war’ between Barcelona and their El Clasico rivals Real Madrid for Martinez, who is said to be Barca’s primary transfer target.

It had been thought that Barcelona had led the way in the race for the 22-year-old, whom they had identified as the long-term successor to the ageing Luis Suarez.

The Argentine international has netted 16 goals 31 appearances for the Milanese giants this campaign and has particularly impressed in European competition, scoring five in six outings in the Champions League.

Martinez’s current deal runs to June 2023 and was signed in July 2018, when Inter paid Racing Club a reported €22.7m for his services and he has swiftly established himself as a star in Italy.

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