Inter Milan are reportedly taking the first steps to keeping star man Lautaro Martinez out of Barcelona’s clutches – by offering the striker a new deal in a bid to raise his exit clause to far beyond its current €111m.
The Argentina striker has been on Barcelona’s radar for some time, but whispers have grown louder in recent weeks that the Blaugrana have made Martinez their No 1 target to replace Luis Suarez at the Nou Camp.
Earlier this month, El Mundo Deportivo cited Corriere dello Sport in reporting that Lionel Messi had advised the Catalan club to make the move for his international teammate, while Tuttosport also suggested his current €111m release clause was ‘well within their reach’.
And the player’s agent has done little to dampen rumours of Barcelona’s interest, saying back in July: “Talk of Barcelona’s interest is true.
“No-one’s called us, but we know that they’ve been looking at him strongly. It’s true that Barcelona like him.”
With Mauro Icardi now departed at Inter, Martinez has become the club’s go-to player and he’s formed a decent understanding at the San Siro with summer signing Romelu Lukaku.
As per Tuttosport, Inter now rate the player well in excess of €100m, but plan to ‘significantly raise his exit clause to colossal new heights’ in a bid to dissuade Barca from an approach.
The striker has netted 12 goals in 44 matches for Inter, while he boasts a formidable record at international level with nine goals in 14 games – thanks, in part, to a good understanding he’s formed with Messi.