Barcelona are said to be confident that a deal for Inter forward Lautaro Martinez is close, with the Serie A side willing to accept a player-plus-cash deal.
Martínez has a €111m release clause in his contract, and before the coronavirus outbreak, it was a near-certainty that Barcelona would shell out that amount. However, the financial uncertainty of the current situation has forced Barça to get creative.
A bid of €60m plus two players is thought to be on the cards, and Sport note that Barcelona are feeling optimistic about their chances of getting a deal done. They have promised Martínez that he will be the first-choice striker, with Luis Suárez likely to transition into a reserve role.
There was recently talk of a bizarre £97m bid from Manchester United, but a source has confirmed to 90min that Martínez’s focus is on joining Barcelona this summer. Now that he has received guarantees over his game time, he is ready to commit to the move.
The focus of the negotiation has now turned to which players will be involved in the transfer. Sport believe that Nélson Semedo is likely to be included, while Arturo Vidal’s name has also been discussed. However, Inter want to sign Vidal in a separate deal.
Junior Firpo has previously been mentioned as a potential option, while Antoine Griezmann has even been questionably touted as an alternative. But Barcelona’s focus looks to be on something a little smaller.
Now, here’s where things get a little confusing. Corriere dello Sport have their own report on this deal and they believe that Semedo could be on the move, but not to Inter.
Instead, Semedo is tipped to move to Manchester City, which would allow João Cancelo to join Inter and return to the team with whom he impressed during the 2017/18 season. You’ve got to love a three-way trade.
Regardless of the specifics of the deal, all the noise coming out of Barcelona suggests that La Blaugrana are closing in on an agreement to bring Martínez to Camp Nou.
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