After Lionel Messi’s decision to stay in Barcelona, Spain and
not escalate his crisis with him to the judiciary, local press
reports revealed that the Catalan club is trying to appease the
Argentine star by contracting with his countryman and friend
Lautaro Martinez this summer.
The agent of the Inter Milan striker has already opened communication
channels with Barcelona officials, according to the Spanish
sports newspaper “Sport”, which confirmed that he will meet
with representatives of the club during the next few days,
to discuss the deal that Barcelona has long sought.
There is a penalty clause in the contract of Martinez (23 years)
with Inter, worth 111 million euros, but Barcelona expressed
willingness to pay 80 million to disengage the player and his club.
According to “Sport”, Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has put
forward a substitute for Martinez in case the club’s efforts to
sign him did not succeed, the Dutch striker Memphis Depay,
Lyon French striker.
The international player’s contract with his club expires at the
end of next season and the two parties have already entered into
negotiations to extend it, but it could be available for 30 million
euros, according to the newspaper.
Barcelona recently got out, if only temporarily, from the crisis
of the team captain and its most prominent star Messi, who
decided to stay in the team for next season after his attempts
to leave for free this summer.
Previous press reports confirmed that the inclusion of Martinez
was one of the demands of his compatriot Messi, who was fed
up with the Barcelona administration’s failure to support the
team with strong deals, to compensate for the decline in the
level of some stars due to their old age.