Barcelona currently sit atop the La Liga table and with the future of this season’s title in their own hands, but as they look ahead to the 2020/21 campaign they could be running out of time to sign one of their summer targets.
Lautaro Martinez has a €111m release clause with Inter Milan but this runs out on July 7, and the Serie A club’s president, Giuseppe Marotta, is hopeful that the Catalans won’t be able to raise the cash before the cut off date.
Once that time has elapsed, Inter themselves can set whichever transfer fee they see fit for a player who is ostensibly being seen by Barcelona as the successor to Luis Suarez in the centre-forward position.
“It is difficult to speculate on the future of Lautaro at this time,” Marotta said to Gazzetta dello Sport and cited by Sport.
“But to him I say: stay focused on the present, there is a season that is resumed, there are objectives […] On our side there is no will to sell Lautaro: he is young, he has a future and he is an important player for Conte. Although, of course, there is a clause…
“Perhaps they (Barcelona) also have alternatives … I hope they do not pay the clause. And in the case of a farewell, instead of Lautaro will come a player of great weight, an elite level player.”
The fact that Barcelona appear to want the player at this moment in time speaks of their desperation.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s expected that most transfer deals this summer will be loans or player swaps, and certainly not any that are north of the €100m mark.
Not to mention that the club have also asked their players to take a 70 percent pay cut to help see them through what is a difficult period for everyone, whilst preparing to break the bank to bring in new blood.