Inter Milan reportedly want FC Barcelona to offer Antoine Griezmann in deal to sign Lautaro Martinez, who has a release clause of £92 million.
According to Turin Daily, as relayed by The Sun, Inter Milan are hoping to land an ambitious deal that would see Antoine Griezmann joining the club, in exchange of Lautaro Martinez moving to Barcelona.
The highly-rated Argentine forward, who has emerged as one of the top performers in Europe this season, has a release clause of £92 million, with Real Madrid and Barcelona reportedly keen on securing his services. They are also joined by Chelsea and Manchester United.
Barcelona, it seems, are desperate to get their hands on Martinez as they seek a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan veteran has suffered a lot of fitness problems in the past 12 months and has been ruled out until May after undergoing knee surgery.
But, it is believed that the Catalans are unwilling to meet Martinez’s £92 million release clause. They are, instead, ready to offer players like Arturo Vidal, Philippe Coutinho, Carles Alena and Jean-Clair Todibo in an effort to sweeten the deal.
Inter Milan, however, are not interested in any of those individuals and have set their sights on Griezmann. The Frenchman hasn’t entirely been able to make the desired impact since moving to Barcelona in a big-money move from Atletico Madrid last summer.
From a pure sporting perspective, a direct swap deal between Martinez and Griezmann does not make sense. First and foremost, it remains doubtful whether or not the Inter forward can replicate his performances in La Liga, having had very little experience at the highest level of football.
Griezmann, in contrast, has emerged as one of the most successful players in European football, having notably won the FIFA World Cup in 2018. He has also performed consistently in La Liga during his spells at Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad.
Besides, it is also fair to point out that Griezmann is seemingly improving at Barcelona. After a rough start to the campaign, the Frenchman has now built a solid combination with Lionel Messi. Meanwhile, his tremendous work-rate and willingness to close down defenders have added another dimension to Barcelona’s offensive game.
In any case, the Spanish champions are unlikely to offload Griezmann. The ex-Atletico Madrid forward certainly has a future in Catalonia and could potentially fill in the shoes of ageing Messi in the future. Also, Martinez recently reaffirmed his commitment to Inter Milan and so, a move would have been complicated to see through.
But, in the meantime, Barcelona should really look to offload some of their fringe players in an attempt to fund a move for Martinez in the upcoming summer transfer window. Earlier this month, it was reported that the club are willing to sell Coutinho in the summer and the Brazilian has no shortage of options. An intriguing summer beckons.