Barcelona have reportedly made contact with RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner in case they are unsuccessful in their pursuit of Inter forward Lautaro Martinez.
The 22-year-old Argentine has enjoyed a fine season with the Nerazzurri this year, scoring 16 goals and providing four assists in 31 appearances.
That in turn has led to endless reports over the past few months over interest from Barcelona in taking him to the Camp Nou, although it’s now suggested that the reigning La Liga champions have a Plan B in mind just in case they fail to land his signature this summer.
As reported by TMW, the Catalan giants are said to have started first contacts with Werner’s representatives, as he could be an alternative option to Martinez, with Inter also said to be lining him up as the Argentine’s replacement in a possible transfer merry-go-round.
Sport, via the paper edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport, double down on that claim as they note that Martinez is still the priority, but Barcelona are in talks with Werner’s entourage to ensure that they have a back-up plan if needed.
It’s added that while the Argentine ace has a €111m release clause in his current contract which is complicating a switch to Spain, it’s suggested that Werner could be prised away from Leipizig for around €60m.
For a 24-year-old who has bagged a superb 88 goals and 39 assists in 150 appearances for the Bundesliga outfit, there could be an argument that that swoop makes more sense rather than splashing out on Martinez.
Nevertheless, with Luis Suarez turning 34 next year, it could be a case of replacing him with a long-term solution, and the Argentine perhaps ticks more of the right boxes in that regard and could be an ideal fit next to compatriot Lionel Messi.
Time will tell how the situation plays out, but it’s sensible planning from Barca as they will not want to be left short next season if they can’t land Martinez, and Werner is undoubtedly an excellent option to have in their back pocket if required.