Inter are expected to demand Barcelona to pay the entirety of forward Lautaro Martínez’s €111m release clause this summer if they want to sign the Argentine, unless they agree to swap some players in exchange.
Martínez is one of Barcelona’s top targets for the summer, having been identified as the ideal long-term replacement for Luis Suárez, but that clause is only active during a two-week period in July.
Barcelona are thought to have been looking for a way to negotiate a discount as a result of the current financial uncertainty, but La Gazzetta dello Sport note that Inter aren’t playing ball and they will only sell for the full €111m.
Having said that, Inter have indicated a willingness to drop that amount, but only if they receive some specific players in exchange.
Their main target is Brazilian midfielder Arthur Melo. Antonio Conte is believed to be a huge fan of the 23-year-old, although the boss is thought to have accepted that landing him is unlikely as Barcelona simply do not want to let him do.
Arthur himself also put the rumours to bed, telling Gazzetta dello Sport: “It’s an honour that they’re [Inter] interested in me, but my time at Barça has not ended.”
With such a move looking nearly impossible, Inter are said to be happy to settle for two other players in the squad, giving Barcelona a list of four players to choose between.
Carles Aleñá, Junior Firpo, Marc Cucurella and Nélson Semedo are all in Inter’s sights, and if Barcelona agreed to offer any two of those players, then I Nerazzurri would be happy to drop their asking price for Martínez.
Of the group, it would make sense for Barcelona to include Semedo. Talks over a new contract have stalled and Barcelona are open to selling for the right price, so including him in a move for Martínez make plenty of sense.
It would not be a surprise to see Firpo on his way out of Camp Nou, while 22-year-old Aleñá might be interested in moving somewhere for regular first-team football, but including Cucurella’s name on this list is a little confusing.
The 21-year-old is on loan with Getafe and is expected to make his loan permanent after excelling this season, so Barcelona would have to re-sign him first, before shipping him straight out to Inter. It’s not impossible – they did something similar last summer with Cucurella – but it seems a little unlikely.
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