Barcelona warned of the only way they will be able to sign Lautaro Martinez this summer

Barcelona warned of the only way they will be able to sign Lautaro Martinez this summer

Barcelona have been warned Lautaro Martinez will only be allowed to leave Inter Milan if he makes a transfer request. Barca are keen on the Inter striker and have earmarked him as a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez.

But Inter chief Giuseppe Marotta insists he is happy at the club and says they won’t be forced to sell.

Marotta wants to keep the star players at Inter as Antonio Conte looks to build a team capable of toppling Juventus.

Inter are third with eight games to play but trail Juve by 11 points.

But Marotta insists Lautaro is happy where he is.

“Lautaro has not shown the slightest desire to leave,” he said.

“Aside from dates and deadlines, the clearest situation is that Inter do not want to sell their champions or interesting young talents.

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“If the player were to ask to leave, we would evaluate that together, but so far, that request has not arrived.

“I believe that, being a young player, it can boost his career to continue playing for a while longer at Inter.

“Being an Inter player means being part of a big club and that ought to be reason enough for him to feel proud.”

Barca have been in turmoil since the restart of La Liga, drawing three of their last four games prior to last night’s win over Villarreal.

They have all but thrown the title away with Real Madrid closing in.

There has even been talk of Lionel Messi leaving, with Manchester City among the clubs linked.

And Barcalona legend Rivaldo admits Messi could be tempted to team up with Pep Guardiola in Manchester.

“When Messi’s contract ends he will be 34, but with his class I think he could still easily play in Premier League,” the Betfair ambassador said.

“It will be sad to see him leaving Barcelona once his contract ends eventually, but I still hope that he can stay for now.

“Despite his connection to the club, he has the right to move if he wants and reuniting with Pep Guardiola at City will be tempting for him, as the two of them formed a great coach and player partnership at Barca.

“Perhaps Barcelona could also try to convince him to stay by signing a coach he likes, similar to Guardiola, to change his mind.

“There are rumours about Flamengo’s coach Jorge Jesus joining, he has a good approach to football, and who knows, that could be a boost for Messi to stay.”

Published at Mon, 06 Jul 2020 05:30:00 +0000