FC Barcelona agree personal terms with Inter Milan superstar Lautaro Martinez, although the deal hinges on the future of Phillipe Coutinho.
According to ESPN, Lautaro Martinez has agreed terms with FC Barcelona over a potential transfer summer. The Inter Milan striker is willing to leave Italy, following months of speculations.
However, the deal is far from over as there is no guarantee whether Inter Milan are willing to sell their prized striker. Martinez’s reported €111 million release clause is also believed to be too much for FC Barcelona while Inter themselves have distanced from any discussions that involve the potential swap of players.
As a result, the Spanish giants will now have to fund enough cash to sign their Argentine top-target. The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has made that job infinitely more difficult, meaning the deal now hinges of potential outgoing transfers from Barcelona this summer.
Philippe Coutinho, in particular, is among the players tipped to leave Camp Nou. Although the Brazilian extended his loan deal at Bayern Munich for more months due to the Champions League, he won’t be retained by the Bavarians giants, who, in turn, have recently signed Manchester City star Leroy Sane.
Ousmane Dembele is another player who could potentially leave Camp Nou, following a disappointing three-year spell in Catalonia marred by injuries. And with Ansu Fati seemingly becoming a more prominent member of the first-team, the Frenchman’s departure could indeed make sense.
In contrast, the potential arrival of Martinez this summer could be absolutely crucial as Barcelona prepare for life without Luis Suarez.
The Uruguayan international’s decline from a fitness standpoint has been rather evident over the past couple of years. This season, in fact, he has made only 21 starts, notably missing a chunk of the campaign due to knee surgery.
Barcelona also don’t have any viable alternative to Suarez in the number nine role, especially with, last summer’s marquee signing, Antonio Griezmann, failing to live up to his staggering price-tag.
Martinez, in that regard, should provide Quique Setien with an ideal number nine, who can not only score goals but also has pace and is able to link-up with teammates. And having played with Lionel Messi for Argentina, the 22-year-old shouldn’t find any difficulty in integrating to Barcelona’s system that is mostly centred around the Argentine superstar.
At the same time, however, it remains to be seen whether or not Barcelona can squeeze enough money out of the potential sales of Coutinho and Dembele.
One thing is for sure – the Spanish giants are set to face backlash in case of a botched transfer, especially following the controversial swap deal between Arthur Melo and Miralem Pjanic.