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Lautaro Martinez Says He Is 'Happy at Inter' Amid Barcelona Transfer Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2020

NAPLES, ITALY - JANUARY 06: Lautaro Martínez of FC Internazionale celebrates after scoring his goal 1-3 ,during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and FC Internazionale at Stadio San Paolo on January 6, 2020 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by MB Media/Getty Images)
MB Media/Getty Images

Lautaro Martinez has said he's "happy at Inter" amid recent speculation linking him with a possible move to Barcelona. 

The Argentina international has reportedly caught the eye of the Catalan club, and it was suggested in December that the player's agent held talks with Blaugrana officials when Inter met the La Liga side in the UEFA Champions League.

Speaking after Inter's impressive 3-1 win over Napoli on Monday, Martinez said he's content with life in Milan at the moment, per Sky Sport Italia (h/t Football Italia).

"I am doing my best at Inter. I only focus on giving my all on the pitch," said the 22-year-old. "I am happy at Inter. I try to work hard and stay focused. That's my goal with this club."

It was reported recently that Inter are seeking to tie Martinez down to a new deal, as he has a release clause in his current contract of €111 million (£94 million).

If the forward continues to perform to the same level, it wouldn't be a surprise to see a high-profile side meet that amount in an upcoming transfer window. Martinez was on the scoresheet in the win at the San Paolo, as Inter continued to keep pace with Juventus at the top of Serie A:

Premier Sports 📺 @PremierSportsTV

🔵⚫ Lautaro Martinez restores Inter's two goal lead! 🙌 The Nerazzurri's deadly duo up front have tormented Napoli tonight https://t.co/aqAeTDmwPn

This season, Martinez and Romelu Lukaku have linked up to great effect for the Nerazzurri:

OptaPaolo @OptaPaolo

16 - #Lukaku and #Lautaro Martínez are the couple to have scored the most on the road in the Top-5 European Leagues 2019-20: 16 goals (10 Lukaku, 6 Lautaro). Tandem. #NapoliInter https://t.co/FVo4TYLPt3

The striker was frequently used as a back-up option last season, although this term he's been able to establish himself as a regular in Antonio Conte's side.

He's showcased his goalscoring potency, netting nine goals in Serie A already this season. However, there is so much more to the youngster's game; he's adept at dropping into space, running the channels and giving Inter creativity in the opposition third.

Spanish football writer Andy West was impressed with the forward's recent performance in Inter's loss to Barcelona, suggesting he'd be an ideal replacement for the club's current No. 9, Luis Suarez:

Andy West @andywest01

Lautaro Martinez didn't deserve to lose. Non-stop running, positive attitude, some lovely touches and unlucky with a couple of shots and two offside goals. Perhaps the strongest candidate as a long-term Luis Suarez replacement. Even got the same ferocious free-kick appeal.

According to Transfermarkt, at the moment Martinez is the most valuable player in Serie A:

Italian Football TV @IFTVofficial

Lautaro leading the line 🤑 https://t.co/XxfgBXvueR

Given Suarez is 32, Barcelona will surely be looking for a long-term Suarez replacement, and Martinez has all the tools to play for a club of that status in the future.

However, at this point it's understandable that the forward is in no rush to move on. Under the guidance of Conte, he's taken his game on to a different level and is spearheading a charge for the Serie A title. It means Barcelona will need to part with a huge sum if they're to prise him away from the San Siro eventually.

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