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Barcelona ace identified as preferred option in potential swap deal for €111m target

Inter boss Antonio Conte reportedly wants Barcelona midfielder Arthur and sees him as the ideal option in any potential swap deal for Lautaro Martinez.

As noted by Sport, the Catalan giants are being heavily linked with a swoop for the Argentine international, who has enjoyed a stellar campaign thus far and also has a €111m release clause in his current deal.

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The 22-year-old has bagged 16 goals and four assists in 31 appearances for the Nerazzurri, establishing himself as a key figure for Conte’s side.

However, speculation remains rife over his future, and while Sport specifically note in their report above that Barcelona could include a player in a swap deal to reduce his fee, Conte may well have picked out his ideal option to receive in exchange if he is to lose his attacking star.

As reported by Calciomercato, via the paper edition of Tuttosport, Inter are said to want Arthur and the Brazilian midfielder is believed to be Conte’s preferred option to receive in a swap deal with the reigning La Liga champions if they are to prise away Martinez.

The 23-year-old’s campaign has been disrupted by injuries this year as he has been limited to 23 outings for Barcelona, although he has managed to contribute four goals and four assists in those appearances.

With the likes of Sergio Busquets, Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic not getting any younger, Arthur is arguably seen as a long-term solution in midfield for the Catalan giants, and so an exit wouldn’t seem to make too much sense.

Nevertheless, based on the report above, if Barcelona want to land Martinez’s signature this summer, they may have to include Arthur in any offer they make to appease Conte and get the green light for a potential deal.

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