Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta has revealed that the club intend to offer forward Lautaro Martínez a new contract to fend off interest from Barcelona.
Martínez is believed to be Barça’s top target for the summer transfer window, with reports of a deal worth €70m plus Junior Firpo continuing to rumble on.
Inter have always publicly insisted that they do not plan on letting Martínez go, especially after his €111m release clause expired, and now Marotta has confirmed to Sky Sport Italia that they still hope to tie him down to a new contract.
“We are discussing contract renewals with many players, above all the younger ones who we want to work with for a long time, and that includes Lautaro,” the executive revealed. “We’re doing it calmly, without rush, as there is a rapport of trust. He is happy to wear this jersey, we’re happy to have him, and at the opportune moment we will evaluate his future.”
AS have previously discussed the idea of Martínez remaining at San Siro. While it is thought he would prefer a move this summer, the Argentine is understood to be open to staying with Inter for one more year if it would help him seal his dream move to Barça.
He still has three years remaining on his current contract, but penning a new deal would ensure he does not lose value and Inter can still earn a sizeable fee if he does indeed go next summer.
Alongside Martínez, Marotta also took the chance to offer an update on Manchester United loanee Alexis Sánchez, whose loan deal expires at the end of the season and does not include an option to buy.
“We have had some contact with Manchester United to understand if we can extend his [Sanchez] stay after the Europa League play-off with Getafe,” he said.
“The future is to continue on this path. We have the certainty of participating in the Champions League, it means that we have achieved a goal. Next year we will further raise the bar, we want to reduce the gap that still exists [to Juventus].”
After a slow start to the campaign which was riddled by injuries, Sánchez has looked back to his old self in recent weeks, racking up two goals and seven assists in his last nine Serie A outings, helping Inter back into the title race.
I Nerazzurri currently sit third, seven points behind Juventus, who could mathematically eliminate Inter from the running with a victory over Udinese on Thursday.
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