Inter Milan sporting director Giuseppe Marotta has said star forward Lautaro Martinez controls his own future, amid rumours Barcelona are strongly interested in the Argentinian.
Per AS, Marotta stated Martinez is happy in the Italian fashion capital, but if he wanted to leave, the club would negotiate: "We are Inter Milan and we don't have to sell anybody. That said, the future of a player is in their heads. If Lautaro wants to continue with us, we are happy with that. At this moment, he is with us and we are happy. If he wants to take a different path, we will weigh up the situation."
The Blaugrana have been extensively linked with the 22-year-old and have made no secret of their admiration. Manager Ernesto Valverde praised Martinez ahead of Tuesday's 2-1 win at the San Siro, per Sacha Pisani of Goal, and club director Eric Abidal did the same last month, adding they are monitoring him, per Mundo Deportivo (h/t Football Italia).
Martinez's agent has confirmed Barcelona's interest, per Ole (h/t Pisani).
The mobile forward is having a breakout season with Inter, scoring five goals in the Champions League and eight in Serie A. He's been likened to Luis Suarez, and Ben Hayward of the London Evening Standard explained why the Catalans are looking at a replacement for the Uruguay international:
Martinez bagged a goal at the Camp Nou in the first meeting of the two teams this season, and while he didn't find the net on Tuesday, he still impressed. He could have scored several goals, with the offside flag denying him, and assisted Romelu Lukaku for Inter's equaliser.
The lead-up to the Belgian's goal showed just how versatile Martinez is, per EiF:
Like Suarez, Martinez contributes far more than just goals. He is a mobile, technically adept forward who can play in space and split out wide, or pick his spot in the box as a sniper.
He already has experience playing alongside Lionel Messi for the national team and is only starting to scratch the surface of his potential.
Per AS, there is a clause in his contract that will make him available for €111 million for two weeks in July. That gives Barcelona plenty of time to continue evaluating him ahead of a possible summer move.