Barcelona want to sign a striker and they have made Inter's Lautaro Martinez a top transfer priority.

The Catalans have been searching for a new forward for a while now, with Luis Suarez having turned 33 in January and the club are well aware that he needs to be replaced soon.

Martinez is the preferred option but Barcelona are wary of interest from other major European clubs such as Real Madrid and Manchester City, whilst Inter are also doing their utmost to keep the striker in Italy.

The Argentine's current contract runs until June 2023 and Inter have attempted to start negotiations with the aim of giving the player a salary rise and tying him to the club for a longer period of time.

However, the striker has been reluctant to put pen to paper. It seems he is aware of interest from Barcelona and other clubs and would rather be free to decide his own future.

Barcelona have been keen to bring Martinez to the Camp Nou for a while and believe the striker is interested in making a move, but fear of becoming involved in a bidding war with other big clubs has stopped the Blaugrana from making a move.

It now seems that outside interest is beginning to cool down, leaving Barcelona in pole position.

At Real Madrid, Florentino Perez appears to be keen on signing Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund and there's even talk of Luka Jovic heading to Germany in a swap deal.

Meanwhile, Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has decided that he is better off with what he already has at his disposal in Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero.

Other clubs are looking at Martinez too, with Manchester United, Chelsea, Juventus and PSG keeping tabs on the player.

But Barcelona believe they will have the advantage if Martinez is forced to make a decision. They would be able to offer him a significant deal, whilst the opportunity to play alongside compatriot Lionel Messi is equally enticing.

Barcelona are working to make a deal, but it might take a while. President Josep Maria Bartomeu wants to take stock of the club's financial situation at the end of the 2019/20 season.

At the same time, the club want to offload other players and Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal could be used in any deal concerning Martinez.

Although it seems Rakitic is closer to joining Atletico Madrid, Vidal might certainly figure in a transfer.

Sezione: Mercado / Data: Mar 07 aprile 2020 a las 00:01 / Fuente: Marca
Autore: Stefano Bentivogli
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