Lautaro Martinez's Agent Says 'Talk of Barcelona's Interest Is True'

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJuly 12, 2019

Argentina's Lautaro Martinez gestures after missing a goal opportunity during the Copa America football tournament quarter-final match against Venezuela at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 28, 2019. (Photo by Pedro UGARTE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images)
PEDRO UGARTE/Getty Images

Barcelona's reported interest in Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez is real, according to the forward's agent, Alberto Yaque.

After some fine performances with Argentina at the 2019 Copa America, during which he scored two goals, Martinez has emerged as a €112 million (£101 million) target for Barca, per Radio La Red (h/t Football Italia).

Given he only signed for Inter last summer from Racing Club for €22.7 million, that is quite the rise in profile.

But Yaque told Ole the reports are accurate and that Barcelona are interested in Martinez (h/t Sacha Pisani of Goal): "Talk of Barcelona's interest is true. No one's called us, but we know that they've been looking at him strongly. It's true that Barcelona like him."

Martinez's debut campaign with Inter in 2018-19 was hardly spectacular; he managed six goals and two assists in 27 Serie A appearances, contributing to a goal every 167 minutes.

He is still a young, developing player, though, and he has huge potential:

Atletico Madrid recently splashed out €126 million (£113 million) on the similarly unproven Joao Felix, so Barca spending a lot on Martinez is not out of the question.

And the Blaugrana do need to refresh their attacking line.

Luis Suarez remains the club's undisputed first-choice No. 9, and with good reason, as he netted 21 La Liga goals last season.

However, the Uruguayan will turn 33 during the course of next season, and Barca do not have an obvious successor for him in their squad who can provide cover and competition.

Barca have been strongly linked with Antoine Griezmann for much of the summer, and recent reports suggest his move to the Camp Nou could be imminent:

But Martinez could also be a contender because he looks to have huge potential. His return of six goals in his first 11 appearances for Argentina is impressive, and he would only get better playing in a Barcelona side that also includes compatriot Lionel Messi.

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