Inter Milan Striker Lautaro Martinez is almost out of Barcelona's grasp as his £111M release clause expires today by 11:59 pm.
Barcelona's top target for the next campaign is the Argentine forward, Lautaro Martinez who is seen as an ideal replacement for Luis Suarez but the forward is also seen as a part of Antonie Conte's project and Inter Milan long term striker. This makes signing him difficult and almost unattainable but before the revelation of the player when he was signed from Racing Club, there was a release clause in his contract which allows any interested club to poach him for a whooping £111M.
Prior to the coronavirus break, it was a done deal for Barcelona, all they had to do was wait for July when the release clause would be active. The economic effect of the coronavirus outbreak makes that almost impossible with loss of funds to TV rights, Stadium attendances both locally and internationally (UEFA champions league matches).
The Blaugrana opts for a swap deal which would automatically lower the transfer fee, which has not gone well either with the Italian club picking Antonie Griezmann or Semedo with £95M in cash.
Earlier today, a statement from the club's President, Bartomeu when asked about transfer said "We'll talk after the season, let's focus on the season for now", He told Rac1.
AllNews understands that the effect of missing out on today on the Blaugrana's pursuit of Lautaro Martinez is that Internazionale is free to offer the 22-year old a new contract and increase the release clause or play safe by removing the clause altogether. If the player turns down the renewal offer, he might see his game time reduced with Sanchez, Sensei going ahead of him in the pecking order and that might see his performance halted.
When Barcelona come back with as much as £120M at the end of the season, it might not be enough to sign the former Racing Club forward.
The leverage of the Spanish club has in the negotiation is the fact that Lautaro wants to play with fellow countryman Lionel Messi which could help their link-up when back at the Argentina camp when the international break arrives.
In the Copa America, the duo was a force to reckon with scoring and providing assists for each other which carries the team into the semi-final of the competition, if the combination can be fine-tuned at the club level we might see a new Argentina team.
Lautaro Martinez is a prolific player with 26 goals and 7 assists in 72 appearances for the Seria A giant.