Primera Division

Barcelona and Real Madrid left disappointed as Martinez set to stay at Inter

The Argentine has been linked with a big-money move away from San Siro this summer but his agent has confirmed he is staying put

 
12:06pm on Tuesday 15th September 2020
By
Martin Macdonald

Lautaro Martinez will not be joining Barcelona or Real Madrid this summer and will stay at Inter for the 2020/21 campaign, according to the player's agent.

The Argentine has become one of the most sought-after strikers in Europe over the past 12 months due to his exploits with Inter, scoring 21 goals in all competitions for the Nerazzurri.

Before the coronavirus pandemic hit clubs hard financially, he was believed to be Barcelona's number one transfer target for the summer, with Lionel Messi reportedly keen to link up with his compatriot at the Camp Nou.

However, plans have changed in Catalunya as after the devastating exit from the Champions League at the hands of Bayern, head coach Quique Setien was fired to be replaced by Ronald Koeman.

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Although Martinez remains a long-term target for the Blaugrana, Koeman has prioritised the signings of Memphis Depay from Lyon and Gini Wijnaldum of Liverpool - two players with whom he worked closely alongside with the Dutch national team.

Rumours then circulated that Real Madrid had entered the race for his signature, with a potential bid being accepted over the weekend.

But, agent Carlos Beto Yaque says there is no agreement and has never been an agreement with either Clasico outfit.

"It was just a courtesy visit, that is all," he told Tuttomercatoweb after he was spotted entering Inter offices this weekend.

"There is nothing with Real Madrid and Barcelona. Lautaro is staying here at Inter."

Barca were previously in the running for Martinez after Lionel Messi announced his intentions to leave the club this summer. The subsequent windfall from that sale would have allowed for spending on Martinez, but after Messi announced he was staying the plans were scrapped.

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