Barcelona are ‘very close’ to completing the signing of Inter striker Lautaro Martinez, according to a report in Argentine outlet Ole.
The biggest sports media outlet in the South American nation cites ‘sources from Spain’ as saying that ‘the dream will come true’ for the in-form striker as he closes in on a move to the Camp Nou.
Martinez’s €111m release clause appears to be the biggest stumbling block in the deal and the report admits that a number of players may need to be used in exchange plus cash for the player.
Arthuro Vidal, Nelson Semedo and Ivan Rakitic are players the report claims could be involved in the move, while earlier this week El Mundo Deportivo cited a report from Italian media outlet Gazetta dello Sport claiming that Junior Firpo could be moving the other way in any deal.
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 this summer.
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.
“The greatest talent I ever coached was Ronaldo but at the same time he was the player who created the most problems for me in the dressing room. He used to throw parties and do everything. Once Van Nistelrooy said to me: ‘Coach, the dressing room smells like alcohol’.” Find out who which manager said this right here.