Barcelona are refusing to give up on their pursuit of Internazionale’s Lautaro Martínez despite the Serie A side saying that any club interested in the Argentinian would have to pay the full release clause of €111m (£99.6m). Barça are also hoping to find a way to sign the Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic.
The two clubs have been in discussions for more than three months about a possible move for the highly rated 22-year-old Martínez but the Inter sporting director, Piero Ausilio, told Sky Sports Italia on Wednesday night that they do not want to sell him. “We want Lautaro to be part of our future. He will not be sold, unless the release clause is met,” Ausilio said. “Barcelona know this and so do the other clubs who have contacted us.”
Barcelona are refusing to give up, however, and the Guardian understands that the two clubs are carrying on talks and that the Catalan club are weighing up an offer of €90m plus one player as a makeweight.
Pjanic, meanwhile, would prefer to join Barcelona rather than Chelsea in the summer. Juve are prepared to let the Bosnia and Herzegovina international go and have held discussions with Chelsea over a possible swap involving Jorginho, with Paris Saint-Germain also interested in signing him.
However, with Chelsea’s participation in next season’s Champions League still uncertain the 30-year-old has made it clear he would rather join Barcelona. The two clubs had hoped to finalise a deal involving the Barça midfielder Arthur but the Brazilian does not want to leave.
Barcelona would be keen to add Pjanic to their squad but at the moment the two clubs have not been able to find a solution. The Juventus manager, Maurizio Sarri, is keen to get a replacement in should Pjanic depart and the uncertainty of the transfer market means the Bianconeri are mainly looking at swap deals.