Inter CEO confirms Barcelona interest in Lautaro Martinez

    Inter Milan CEO Giuseppe Marotta has acknowledged interest in star forward Lautaro Martinez but insists the club will do everything to fend off suitors

    Martinez has emerged as Barcelona’s top transfer target for the upcoming transfer window after reeling off a series of impressive performances for Inter over the past two seasons.

    The Catalan giants have identified the 22-year-old striker as Luis Suarez’s long-term successor at Camp Nou, but they’ve yet to overcome the player’s £98m price tag.

    Still, the reigning La Liga holders are confident of getting the deal over the line in the coming months after reportedly agreeing on personal terms with Martinez earlier this month.

    However, Inter CEO Beppe Marotta has reiterated the club’s desire to keep hold of the former Racing star beyond the summer, although he admits there’s interest from several Europe’s top sides.

    “It is known that he [Martinez] is the object of market attention,” he told Sky Sport Italia, as relayed by Goal.com.

    “He started well, he is young, and he has great qualities.

    “Inter is a club that does not tend to sell its best players. If he does not show his willingness to leave, we will keep him close.

    “He is flattered by the attention of big clubs. On our part, there is the desire to keep him, and he has never actually expressed the desire to leave. I am optimistic that we can continue with him again next year.”

    Martinez has been Inter’s driving force this season, registering 17 goals in 33 outings across all competitions, including 12 in 23 Serie A appearances.

    The Argentinean was on the scoresheet on Sunday night, too, helping the Nerazzurri to seal a 2-1 home victory over Sampdoria and reduce the gap on table-toppers Juventus to six points.

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