Big boost for Barcelona as Euro rivals could abandon pursuit of top target as key advantage touted

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Barcelona have reportedly received a major boost as Paris Saint-Germain are set to abandon their pursuit of Lautaro Martinez and will focus on signing Mauro Icardi outright instead.

The 22-year-old Inter forward has impressed this season as he has bagged 16 goals and four assists in 31 appearances, while he has nine goals in 17 caps for Argentina to suggest he has a big future ahead for club and country.

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As noted by Sport, Barcelona have been heavily linked with a swoop as they continue to assess their options given the €111m release clause in his current contract.

With Luis Suarez turning 34 next year and as Ousmane Dembele continues to be blighted by injury problems, a new forward is arguably a top priority for the Catalan giants, and it appears as though they may have received a major boost in their pursuit of Martinez.

According to Mundo Deportivo, via initial reports in France, it’s suggested that PSG are set to drop their interest in the Argentine international as his desire is to play for Barcelona and alongside compatriot Lionel Messi.

Instead, they will focus on signing Icardi on a permanent basis from Inter, and they could now negotiate the option to buy in their agreement which has set a €70m fee for the clinical striker.

Inter are seemingly the ones who will lose out most in this situation as they could lose two top forwards in one window, although armed with their transfer fees, Antonio Conte could be in a position to bring in quality replacements.

Nevertheless, while Mundo Deportivo reiterate that the competition is falling away as Martinez wants to join Barcelona, there is no suggestion that an agreement between the two clubs is close as of yet, and so the reigning La Liga champions still have their work cut out for them to prise him away from the San Siro this summer.

That said, given the financial power that PSG have shown in the transfer market in recent years, not having to go up against them for Martinez is a massive boost in itself for Barca.

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