Barcelona have circled around Lautaro Martinez for way too long now.it seems the time has come for the Catalan giants to close the deal, but they have one final hurdle before getting to that point.
As per ESPN, the success of this deal ultimately depends on Barcelona and any possible sales this week. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant financial impact on the game with clubs across the world opting for player swap deals over cash, for the upcoming transfer window.
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Luis Suarez is not the player he once was, anymore. He does not have the same consistency and pace with which he once used to operate, and it is visible now. The problem has become deep enough for Barcelona to become desperate to land Martinez. The Blaugranes are not able to pay the required cash to Inter Milan who are against swap deals for the 22-year-old.
For Barcelona though, there is still a glimmer of hope. They are yet to recover the £160 million that they spent for bringing in Coutinho. Bayern have shown him the door and hence a permanent deal with the German giants will not be possible. However, the winger’s manager did reveal that Coutinho does plan to return to the PL someday and while there have been no significant bids, it seems there is adequate interest for the Brazilian star in England.
The money that Barcelona ought to get following the sales of players like Coutinho, Rakitic and Nelson Semedo will give them a launching platform to go for Lautaro. Ousmane Dembele was believed to be on the transfer list as well but he hasn’t attracted any interest owing to his injury prone nature.
Messi has been critical of Barcelona’s transfer decisions in recent times and not forgetting, his views on his team’s recent performances. So much so that the Argentine ace still hasn’t signed a contract extension that would keep him in the club post 2021. He has urged the club to sign Lautaro Martinez and it seems the only way to keep him at Camp Nou is to first sell of Coutinho, to have enough cash and then land Martinez.
Latuaro Martinez has a £111 million release clause but the Blaugranes do not intend to pay a sum that hefty. Moreover, they do not know when that clause expires. Martinez is a good option, but Barcelona shouldn’t be too impatient about this. Griezmann recently showed glimpses of his old self and should he regain his Midas touch, he will be as good as anyone in the world. The Blaugranes should first consider giving the 26-year-old an extended run in the team before making up their minds about Martinez.