Inter Milan have told FC Barcelona that they have to pay only in cash if they are to secure the services of Lautaro Martinez.
According to Sport, Inter Milan are only interested in receiving a cash payment for the sale of Lautaro Martinez. The Argentine attacker has been linked with a move away from San Siro, with FC Barcelona reportedly in pole position to secure his services in the summer.
Martinez currently has a release clause of €111 million – a price deemed too expensive by Barcelona. However, with no other options in the market, Inter believe that they can provoke a bidding war in the summer, with Manchester City and Chelsea also interested in his services.
That being said, Barcelona are still confident they can convince Inter to accept a player plus cash deal. They are already aware of Antonio Conte’s interest in Arturo Vidal. In fact, the Chilean topped the list of Conte’s transfer wishlist during the January transfer window, although a move did not materialise.
Vidal is not the only midfielder linked with a move away from Camp Nou in the summer. Ivan Rakitic has been the subject of transfer speculation after falling down the pecking order, especially after the arrival of Frenkie de Jong last summer. In fact, the Croatian international was reportedly courted by Inter Milan as well as Juventus in January.
Either way, Barcelona must find a way to sign Martinez given their current crisis in the attacking department. Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele have suffered from numerous injuries. As a result, the Blaugrana have appeared over-reliant on the services of both Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann.
Martinez, in that regard, should easily slot in as the number nine, with Messi and Griezmann operating in the wider attacking roles. Although the Argentine could face stiff competition from Suarez for a place in the first-team, he could eventually become the first-choice striker for Barcelona, especially with the Uruguayan turning 33 earlier this year.
It would also be fair to consider the success Martinez has had in the Serie A this campaign. He has flourished under Conte, having been involved in 20 goals in all competitions. His contributions in front of goal have helped Inter put up a strong challenge to Juventus and Lazio for the league title.
Nevertheless, with no sign of football resuming due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, both clubs will try their best to churn out best possible deals, thereby potentially stretching this transfer saga longer than usual. But in hindsight, it might not be a bad idea for Barcelona to splash €111 million on Martinez this summer.