Lautaro Martinez Is Still Top Priority For FC Barcelona — But On Two Conditions

Internet Business 2020-07-29 16:05:53

Lautaro Martinez Is Still Top Priority For FC Barcelona — But On Two Conditions

MILAN, ITALY - JULY 28: Lautaro Martinez of Internazionale celebrates 2-0 during the Italian Serie ... [+] A match between Internazionale v Napoli at the San Siro on July 28, 2020 in Milan Italy (Photo by Mattia Ozbot/Soccrates/Getty Images)

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Lautaro Martinez remains FC Barcelona's top transfer target - but on two conditions.

Causing the Catalan press to swoon over him with a golazo for current club Inter Milan against Barca’s Champions League rivals Napoli on Tuesday night, the Argentine has been linked to the Camp Nou ever since scoring a two minute opener there in the same competition back in October.

Often headlining the region’s two newspapers, the transfer of the 22-year-old once seemed pretty straightforward through the mere activation of his €111mn ($130mn) release clause.

Valid over a unique two-week window in July, however, that has since expired and in cash-strapped times that have seen them lose 200mn according to president Josep Bartomeu in a revealing interview at the weekend, the Blaugrana need to look at other alternatives.

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On Wednesday morning, Mundo Deportivo’s Fernando Polo writes that Martinez, taking priority over Neymar who been all but discarded, is Barcelona’s top target for the 2020/2021 season - but on two conditions.

The first is that he comes as part of a player swap, with Junior Firpo already having been offered in one proposal, and that someone from the front line packs their bags and moves on.

With the likes of Pedri and Francisco Trincao further set to bolster the ranks, it remains a mystery as to who this might be. Antoine Griezmann recently told he is “massively” counted on for the future, there are also hopes of the recovering Ousmane Dembele finally kicking on.

Still under contract until 2021 with the automatic option of staying another year if he features in 60 per cent of his team’s matches next term, Luis Suarez will stick around as close ally of Lionel Messi’s and has even offered to help his potential successor bed in.

“He is a player who has been performing at a high level in Italy, something that is not easy coming from Argentina,” Suarez said to Mundo Deportivo a fortnight ago. “If he comes, I am here to help him. He is a young player who also needs to have experienced people at his side. It is not easy to come to Barça and play like [it is] nothing. One must learn different concepts that one is not used to. I am always there to help all the new players, be it a '9', a winger or whatever.”

The most likely candidate, then? February capture Martin Braithwaite.

Lautaro Martinez Is Still Top Priority For FC Barcelona — But On Two Conditions
Tom Sanderson

Now based in Barcelona after six years in São Paulo, I have written on these topics at length through previews and analysis while having also covered match reports for

Now based in Barcelona after six years in São Paulo, I have written on these topics at length through previews and analysis while having also covered match reports for tournaments such as the Copa America. As well as writing for Forbes Sports, I edit Yellow & Green Football: a site on Brazilian soccer that is part of the Guardian Sport Network and a partner of O Globo.

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