There was speculation regarding Lautaro Martinez joining Barcelona in the summer transfer window. The speculation was running around due to his good performances and Barca allowed their main striker Luis Suarez to leave the club simultaneously. The Nerazzurri forward has earned his acclaim with his consistent performances for his side. Inter Milan manager Antonio paired up Martinez with Manchester United reject Romelu Lukaku to develop a fierce attacking front.
Barcelona wanted to replace Suarez with Lautaro Martinez
Lautaro bagged 49 appearances for the Serie A giants in the 2019/20 campaign scoring 21 goals in all competitions. As the current edition of Serie A kicked off, the striker has already netted 3 goals in 3 appearances. He was initially the favorite to replace Suarez and wear the number 9 shirt at Camp Nou. The Argentine had a huge price tag on him which Barcelona wanted to pay through a swap plus cash deal. However, Inter Milan did not agree to the terms and demanded Barca to meet the provided asking price for their transfer target.
The economic crisis at Barcelona forced them to step back to pursue Lautaro Martinez in the summer transfer break, according to Marca. The Nerazzurri successfully retained the 23-year-old at San Siro with the £90 million price valuation. Consecutively, Inter wants him to pen down a long-term contract which will expire in June 2023. The club is desperate to hold on to the striker as they are also offering a significant hike in wages.
New deal to Martinez: Huge blow for Barcelona
The talks are active between the club and the player’s representative. If Lautaro signs the new contract, it will mean an end of the road for Barcelona to snap up their chief target in the upcoming season. Even if the Catalan club frees up funds to sign the Argentine, it will be hard to meet the new price tag due to the lengthy contract.
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Koeman also lost out in the pursuit of his cheaper alternative in the form of Memphis Depay. Olympique Lyon Sporting Director Juninho Perambuanco announced that Barcelona may sign Depay on the deadline day with strong links but La Liga hindered. Ousmane Dembele’s failed loan move to Manchester United caused the ruckus as the salary cap restrictions were retained. Hence, the La Liga governing body did not allow the completion of the transfer through Lyon and Barcelona agreed on the terms and finalized the deal.