Barcelona are said to be close to signing Inter forward Lautaro Martinez, with the Catalan giants ready to pay €60m plus two players for his services.
Martinez’s proposed move to Barça has become a seemingly never-ending transfer saga, having long been linked as their successor to Luis Suarez.
The Argentina international bagged 16 goals in all competitions this season before play was halted due to the coronavirus, striking up a menacing partnership with Romelu Lukaku.
A source told 90min at the start of April that Martinez’s priority is to join Barcelona, while the club also have him at the top of their wish list. Any potential deal, however, has been impacted by the coronavirus.
SPORT now report that Martinez is ‘getting closer’ to becoming a Barça player. Most significantly, an agreement in principle is said to have been reached, with the club willing to offer two players in exchange plus €60m for Martinez’s services.
Barcelona currently aren’t in a position to activate the player’s release clause of €111m, hence why the club have looked to use players as part of the deal.
Initially, they discussed offering one player in exchange, but that still wouldn’t have been financially viable. As a result, the €60m figure plus two players has ‘finally’ been agreed between the two parties.
The report doesn’t state who the two players are for certain, but it’s noted that Ivan Rakitic and Samuel Umtiti are the most likely to make the switch to San Siro. Arturo Vidal is also an option, while Carles Alena and Nelson Semedo are two other names that could leave.
ESPN, however, report that a number of European giants are keen on signing Martinez, and this could spark a bidding war. Barça do not want to get caught up in this, but the report adds that Inter are particularly keen on both Vidal and Semedo, so a deal could be pushed over the line.
Officials at La Blaugrana are comparing the situation to the deal that brought Frenkie de Jong to the club, and remain ‘hopeful’ the saga will end in the same way.