Barcelona ‘set to seal Lautaro Martinez deal’ with Real Madrid and Manchester City interest cooling as Inter star is placed top of Nou Camp summer shopping list
- Barcelona want Lautaro Martinez to be Luis Suarez’s long term replacement
- Barca believe the opportunity to play alongside Lionel Messi will tempt Martinez
- The Spanish club may have to sell players to raise funds for a summer bid
Barcelona are reportedly closing in on the signing of Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez after beating off competition from Real Madrid and Manchester City.
Martinez has emerged as one of the hottest goalscoring talents in European football after scoring 11 goals in 22 Serie A appearances this season.
Inter were hopeful of extending the striker’s stay at the San Siro, but the 22-year-old has rejected an extension on his contract, which expires in 2023.
Barcelona are reportedly leading the chase to sign Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez
Martinez is in demand across Europe after scoring 11 goals in 22 Serie A appearances
Inter want Martinez to extend his contract but he has rejected the latest offer from the club
Barca are now closing in on his signature, according to Marca, and view the Argentinian as a long term replacement for 33-year-old Luis Suarez.
The Spanish club have been keen on signing Martinez for some time but were reluctant to make their interest public in fear of sparking a bidding war with other European clubs.
Rivals Madrid and City were also considering making summer bids, but appear to have cooled their interest, leaving Barca the favourites to seal his signature.
Manchester United, Juventus and PSG are also reportedly interested in Martinez, but Barca believe their financial package and the opportunity to play alongside Lionel Messi will tempt the player to move to the Nou Camp.
Real Madrid, Man City, Man United, PSG and Juve have all scouted Martinez this season
The 22-year-old is seen as a long term replacement for 33-year-old Luis Suarez at Barcelona
However, despite the club’s growing confidence in their ability to sign the striker, their perilous financial situation could yet scupper their attempts at bolstering their squad.
Last week, Barcelona players agreed to a 70% wage cut during the coronavirus pandemic to safeguard the club’s immediate financial future, with their coffers starved of matchday income.
As a result, Barca will take stock of their finances before committing to player signings, and could be forced to sell before they buy, which could delay Martinez’s arrival this summer.
Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic appear to be the players most likely to make way to free up funds, with both players set to enter the final 12 months of their contracts.
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