Speculation of Barcelona being interested in Inter forward Lautaro Martinez is reportedly set to force the Italian outfit into action and offer their prized asset a new deal.
The 22-year-old joined the Nerazzurri last year, and while he showed his talent last season, he has started to kick on this campaign with five goals and two assists in 10 appearances thus far.
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While he’s also bagged nine goals in 15 caps for Argentina, there is little doubt that he has a big future ahead of him for club and country if he can maintain this type of form.
Unsurprisingly, that has led to talk of interest from elsewhere, but time will tell if Inter will even entertain the idea of selling a key figure who could still improve significantly in the coming years.
As reported by Calciomercato, Martinez is said to be on Barcelona’s transfer shortlist as a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez, and although they haven’t opened talks with Inter, they are monitoring their talented forward.
It’s added that Martinez has a €111m release clause in his current contract, and while it remains to be seen if any interested party is willing to pay that kind of fee for him, it’s noted that Inter are ready to offer him a renewal already to further strengthen their position to keep him.
That could be a major blow for Barcelona if they have a genuine intention to launch a bid to sign the Argentine international, as it could become increasingly difficult to prise him away from Inter.
While Suarez has been in good form so far this season, he does turn 33 in January and so there will come a time where the reigning La Liga champions will have to consider replacing him and Martinez could be an ideal fit given his technical quality, creativity and class in front of goal.