Results have improved for Barcelona and Ernesto Valverde over the past few weeks. It means they sit top of La Liga and are headed for the Champions League knockout stages so things look pretty good.
It also has the knock-on effect that they don’t need to make any panic purchases in January. Previously they might have felt inclined to make a few moves to kick start their season, but now they can focus on the future.
Even a player for the future can cost an incredible amount, but Luis Suarez turns 33 next month so it’s understandable that Barca might be looking at an eventual replacement.
According to a report from Football Espana, that replacement could be Argentina and Inter Milan star Lautaro Martinez.
They cite various sources from Spain and Italy which suggest they are seriously considering making a bid. They say that Diario Sport have claimed Barca are prepared to pay the €110m release clause, while they claim an agent has previously said that the reports of Barcelona being interested are true.
He’s scored 13 goals in 20 games and has generally looked outstanding for Inter Milan this year, so while the price tag is high, it could almost be good value for someone who looks like they could be the next megastar striker in Europe.
A lot might come down to how Barca plan to use him and what he feels is best for his development. He’s currently playing every week and starring at the top level, so it’s hard to see him accepting a place on the Barcelona bench for now.
Barca might decide to make the move and bench Suarez instead, but his recent form and friendship with Lionel Messi makes that look unlikely.
It certainly looks like there’s interest, but there hasn’t been any indication that a deal is close at this point.