Barcelona are reportedly willing to splash €112 million to land Argentine international Lautaro Martinez in the summer transfer window.
According to a report by Spanish publication Sport, who have quoted claims by Radio La Red, Barcelona have identified Lautaro Martinez as the ideal candidate to bolster their attack. The La Liga champions are ready to shell out €112 million to sign the Argentine international from Inter Milan in this summer’s transfer window.
Lautaro Martinez is a name that has been on the radar of top European clubs for quite some time. In fact, the Argentinean striker had even been on the cusp of joining Real Madrid in 2015, when he was aged just 18, before he decided to stay put at Racing Club, for whom he made his senior debut later that year.
After spending three productive years with the Racing Club first-team setup, the 21-year-old joined Inter Milan last summer, but had to play second fiddle to Mauro Icardi for much of the season. Martinez started just 17 games in the campaign gone by, but seems to have made enough of an impression to attract Barcelona.
Barcelona may have dominated Spanish football in recent years, but a close inspection would reveal a major issue at hand for the La Liga champions. For years, the Blaugrana have struggled to find an able backup for Luis Suarez, with the likes of Munir El Haddadi, Paco Alcacer and Kevin-Prince Boateng, among others, all failing to make an impression.
And so, heading into this summer’s transfer window, it has reportedly been their priority to sign a top class striker, who would not just be a backup option for Suarez initially but also be an able replacement in due time. To that end, a number of candidates have been reportedly been identified by Barcelona, including Valencia striker Rodrigo Moreno.
The latest player to emerge on their radar is Lautaro Martinez. As per Argentinean radio station Radio La Red (h/t Sport), Barcelona are ready to submit a massive offer to persuade Inter Milan to part ways with the 21-year-old this summer.
The report suggests that Barcelona are willing to pay €112 million to secure the services of the Argentine international, who has been the leading light for La Albiceleste at the ongoing Copa America. With Inter having paid €30 million to sign Martinez last summer, the potential offer could be quite tempting.
But, Mauro Icardi is already linked with a summer exit from San Siro, reportedly as part of a deal that would see Romelu Lukaku join the Nerazzurri. And so, Inter boss Antonio Conte is hesitant to offload Martinez as well, as he would be left with just one recognised striker in such a scenario.
As for the 21-year-old, while he would likely receive more minutes at Inter Milan in the immediate future, the long-term future could be brighter at Barcelona, with Suarez in the twilight of his career. But, the La Liga champions must convince Inter to sell Martinez and it remains to be seen if a deal can be agreed upon.