Barcelona reportedly face having to pay €111m to sign Lautaro Martinez this summer, while they’re not open to a possible swap deal involving one particular star.
The Catalan giants have faced an issue up front this season as with Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele sidelined by injury, they were forced to sign Martin Braithwaite outside of the transfer window to bolster Quique Setien’s options.
Nevertheless, with Suarez set to turn 34 next year and Dembele’s injury troubles continuing, it surely calls for a long-term solution in that department to offer support to Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann.
As noted by La Gazzetta dello Sport, Barcelona have been linked with a swoop for Martinez who has enjoyed an impressive campaign with the Nerazzurri this season, but his €111m release clause could be problematic as it’s suggested Inter will accept nothing less.
That in turn has led to talk of a possible swap deal to bring that fee down, and while it’s suggested that Inter would gladly receive Arthur in return, Barcelona aren’t willing to consider allowing the Brazilian to be sacrificed in such a deal as he seemingly has a key role to play moving forward.
With stalwarts such as Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal on the wrong side of 30, the likes of Arthur and Frenkie de Jong will no doubt have important parts to play in the long-term picture for the reigning La Liga champions in midfield.
Meanwhile, Carles Alena, Junior Firpo, Marc Cucurella and Nelson Semedo are all specifically mentioned as other options, but time will tell if Barcelona can put a package on the table which satisfies Inter’s demands and convinces them to part company with Martinez if they have no interest in including Arthur.
Martinez, 22, has bagged 16 goals and four assists in 31 appearances so far this season, while he also has nine goals in 17 caps for Argentina as he appears to have a big future ahead of him for club and country.