Barcelona step up Lautaro Martinez chase, offer players to Inter
Spanish giants Barcelona have stepped up in their pursuit of Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez. The club has begun offering players to Inter in hope of striking a part-exchange deal. With the coronavirus pandemic suspending all sport and bringing regular life of people to halt, Barcelona are unlikely to spend heavily in this crisis period. Here's more.
Martinez keen to join Barca as discussions between clubs continue
The financial impact of the coronavirus means Barcelona are unlikely to meet Martinez's £97m (€110m) buy-out clause. According to a report in Sky Sports, Martinez is keen to join the Spanish side and personal terms are not expected to be a problem. Discussions via intermediaries have been going on for some time and Inter are believed to be keen on the players on offer.
The players offered by Barca to Inter
Inter want Brazilian mid-fielder Arthur but Barca have declined the same. However, the club has offered right-back Nelson Semedo, who is said to be open to the move. Besides Semedo, mid-fielder Carles Alena is also being offered by Barca. The player is currently on loan at Real Betis. Left-back Junior Firpo is also on the list, however, Inter aren't interested in him.
Martinez has started strongly for Inter to garner Barca's interest
Martinez made his Inter Milan debut last season and scored nine goals in 35 games. He was having a better campaign in 2019-20 until the coronavirus suspended the game. In 31 games, Martinez amassed 16 goals and formed a solid partnership alongside Romelu Lukaku. Martinez is just 22 years old and Barca feel he can be a long-term striking solution.
Barcelona hope to tempt Chelsea with this mega swap deal
Meanwhile, reports have claimed Barcelona want Chelsea mid-fielder N'Golo Kante by offering them Philippe Coutinho. Coutinho moved to Barcelona in January 2018 for a whopping a £142m deal. However, he lasted another season to have made 76 appearances in total, besides scoring 21 goals. Coutinho was signed by Bayern Munich in a loan deal last summer. Bayern aren't interested in making the deal permanent.