Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio has told Barcelona that the only way they can sign Lautaro Martinez is by triggering his €111m release clause.
The Argentine striker’s clause appears to be the biggest stumbling block in the deal and reports have suggested that the Catalan club have attempted to work around this by including players going the other way as part of any move.
As recently outlined by El Mundo Deportivo, Inter believe Junior Firpo – the Barcelona full-back signed a year ago from Real Betis – is the only Blaugrana player they want.
Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal, Nelson Semedo and Jean-Clair Todibo are among the other Barcelona players who have been linked with a move to the Milanese club.
Argentine international Martinez 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 reality of the situation with Martinez is that there’s only one path to take him away from Inter and that is to pay the release clause,” Ausilio told Sky Italia, as cited by Diario AS.
“It’s a clause everyone knows about, there’s no point hiding. It is a difficult clause because it has certain deadlines and some very precise demands.
“First and foremost, the clause expires in early July, so does not last very long. It’s the only possible way right now that we won’t see Lautaro Martinez at Inter next season.
“We are not discussing the Lautaro issue with anyone, because quite simply we are relying on him, he is an important asset for the club and let us not forget he still has two years left on his contract with Inter.
“We don’t have any intention of selling our best players, but rather to reinforce ourselves on the market.”
“Many clubs contacted us to discuss Lautaro. Among those, the most determined is Barcelona. We have a friendly and cordial relationship with them.
“I won’t disguise any of that, just as Barcelona know full well what our intentions are. Inter do not intend to sell Lautaro Martinez. There’s a clause and that’s the only option. I think I’ve been clear.”
“He’s got childlike innocence but he’s very cruel with it.” – Find out who which cricketer said this right here.